Content Creator? Create Better, Faster

You’re a content creator. But it’s an on-going challenge. What if you could create better content, faster? And do more with the content you create?

Content creation in 2015 and beyond

I love creating content. The first edition of 60-Second Content Power: Create Better Content Faster appeared in 2011. I’ve expanded the program considerably since.

These days, content creation is fun and exciting. I love creating content, because there are more opportunities for writers to make money with everything they write.

In 2015, a we’re living in a world where EVERYONE, from the smallest one-person operation to the largest companies, is a media entity.

However, although everyone may do content, most content is nowhere near as effective as it might be.

Take control. Make 2015 the year that you dive into content. Create it for others. Create it for yourself, too.

Important: look on every piece of content you write as useable and reusable. Turn your blog posts into ebooks, and your ebooks into online courses and video programs. Few writers (and I include myself in that group) do as much with their content as they could.

Create it, and reuse it: consider ways in which you could do more with your content

One of the easiest ways to do more with your content is to turn your content into Amazon ebooks. If you’ve been creating your content for a while, you have many opportunities to turn that content into short — or long — ebooks. I don’t do as much of this as I should, so in this case, do as I suggest, rather than as I do. :-)

Offering ending: 60-Second Content Power

Our offering on 60-Second Content Power: Create Better Content Faster ends today; if you haven’t checked it out, do that now.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

4 Powerful Steps Turbocharge Your Writing Career

4 Powerful Steps Turbocharge Your Writing Career

Do you feel as if your writing career has stalled? Perhaps you’ve received too many rejections lately, or you’ve lost a couple of key clients. Something has happened, and you’ve lost confidence, and don’t know how to get it back.

Take heart. I’ve found that these times are valuable. They give you breathing space so that you can assess where you are, and where you want to be. Slow down. If you can, spend some time alone. Avoid forcing yourself to write.

When you’re ready, take these steps.

1. Believe in YOU: think about your dream writing career

Your writing life can overwhelm you. A student we’ll call Sophie told me that she was working so hard on low-paying gigs that she didn’t have the energy to approach bigger clients.

She said: “I’m not achieving anything. I hate the writing I’m doing now.”

I asked her what her dream writing career looked like.

Her response: “I want to write novels. I did a couple of weeks of NaNoWriMo last year, but —“

I stopped her before she could go on, and told her that she could have her dream writing career. I suggested: “Spend twenty minutes a day on fiction. You don’t have to write if you’re exhausted; read fiction instead.”

Twenty minutes sound like no time at all. However, even five minutes day is valuable. It helps you to keep your dream alive.

2. Develop two writing process goals today (you’ll feel in control)

Process goals are goals over which you have total control.

A goal like: “Make $100,000 this year from my writing” isn’t a process goal, because others are involved in how much you’re paid, and when you’re paid.

A goal like: “Write 1,000 words of fiction every weekday” is a process goal. You control how much you write each day.

Here are five examples of process goals:

  • Write 500 words a day;
  • Send out three magazine proposals a week;
  • Finish editing my novel in 30 days;
  • Write one blog post a week.

3. Reach out: ask for advice, and ask questions

Many writers are shy, and solitary. Reach out to others, even if you force yourself to do it. If you’re not sure exactly what a client wants, ask. If you’re not sure what an editor means, ask.

You can also reach out to other writers. If a writer has a regular byline in a publication in which you want to be published, ask if the writer can spare five minutes to give you a couple of tips.

Vital: remember to follow up with past and prospective clients. Everyone’s busy today. If you need more writing gigs, reaching out to past clients is the sure way to get them.

4. Read every day: reading is as important as writing

All successful writers read a lot. They’re always studying something, or reading for entertainment. Bestselling novelist Dean Koontz reads 150 books a year. Another bestselling author, Stephen King said: “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”

I read for a couple of hours every day, whenever I can get time alone, and always before sleeping. You need a knack with words, and you get that from reading.

If you’re in a slump, try these five steps to turbocharge your writing career. Before you know it, you’ll be out of your slump and moving forward again.

Want to write fiction? Write a short story this morning, and publish it this afternoon

Receive a free mini course, “Commercial Fiction For Beginners: Create A Full-Time Income From Part-Time Writing”, which shows you how.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Fiction: Plan And Write A Series of Novels

Fiction: Plan And Write A Series of Novels

I’ve had some questions about writing a series of novels. Is it hard? It is worthwhile? Will your series sell?

All good questions. :-)

Questions answered

Is it hard? It can be challenging. I think of a series as one book; that mindset might help you too. In my ghostwriting life, I write trilogies for clients, usually somewhere around 200,000 words, all up. I write them because I enjoy it, so it’s not hard, because I’ve had lots of practice.

Take it word by word. To quote an aphorism, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you’re starting out writing fiction, I recommend that you start with short stories. After a time, you’ll build your muscles, and you’ll know how stories are built.

It is worthwhile? Definitely. Each book sells the other, so if you get a series that’s a hit, you’re golden.

Will your series sell? Um… excuse me while I dust off my crystal ball… (Peers into crystal, which is clouded over.) Sorry, my crystal’s silent on this one.

No one knows what will sell. Be all about the journey. It’s the only way to write and keep writing.

I wrote a blog post about the following tips here… I hope they help.

The tips:

It’s all about your series’ CHARACTER

  1. Choose your poison: family saga, on-going quest, or…?
  2. Create a problem that’s solved over the course of the series (optional)
  3. Write BIG: do your very best with each book
  4. Keep track: Fred has blue eyes, or are they brown?
  5. Schedule it: get it written

You’ll find that Story Power: Write and Sell Short Fiction — Short Stories, Serials, and Series will help, if you’re planning on writing series.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Content Creation Made Easy: In 60 Seconds

Content Creation Made Easy: In 60 Seconds

We’re writers. Writing is what we do, so content creation should be a breeze for us, shouldn’t it? Sadly, for many writers, it’s not easy at all. They struggle with it.

So I’ve updated 60-Second Content Power: Create Better Content Faster for 2015, because so many writers need it.

Here’s an excerpt, from the introduction.

The voracious Web: content has a short shelf life

Creating content should be a breeze for writers, but it’s not. This is because the online world is voracious. A Twitter tweet (a short snippet of content) is viable for around three hours, a recent study reported. After three hours, it vanishes into the cyber ether.

Blog posts are similar, with a life-span of just a couple of days.

The search engines are focused on freshness.

This means that everyone online needs to be able to create content daily, just to survive in the online environment.

In this guide, my goal is not merely to help you to create better content faster. It’s also to help you to become supremely confident – and to have fun, as you prosper. You must be able to create your own money-making websites, blogs and ebooks, ensuring that you have an ever-increasing income.

Write once, use content over and over (you can profit from content many times)

Content — of any kind — takes time and energy to write. Few writers make the most of the content they create. I’m as guilty of not doing more with my content as any one else. However, in 2015, because you need to produce a lot of content for clients, and for yourself, it’s vitally important that you focus on:

create once, use many times.

You’ll discover how to do that in 60-Second Content Power: Create Better Content Faster for 2015. As my students are doing, you can increase your income without doing more writing. Enjoy this updated version of the program. Happy creating. :-)

60-Second Content Power: Create Better Content Faster — 2015

Your solution to content woes in 2015, no matter what you’re writing.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

5 Easy Ways To Sell Your Content Marketing Services

5 Easy Ways To Sell Your Content Marketing Services

You write content. You sell your content marketing services. However, at times you struggle to explain what content is, and what it does.

How do you convince a company that it needs your content services?

Over the past week, I’ve been helping several writers to build their service offerings, and do their own content marketing. After all, if you’re selling content services, you need to be creating content which sells those services.

You need to start at the beginning. If you’re selling content services as a blogger, Web writer, or copywriter, you need to be clear on what content is, and what it does.

Let’s look at five ways you can sell your services, by explaining how content can help a company to increased profits.

1. Content is an investment

Companies spend thousands of dollars on advertising each month. There’s a big problem with that: if they stop paying, their advertising stops. Content marketing supports a company’s advertising.

Content and advertising go hand in hand. Today, global brands like Nike, Sony and Coca Cola advertise, and they create content too, often in real time. They do it because their audience tunes out advertising.

2. Content is entertaining, persuasive and explanatory

Advertising is direct marketing. Content marketing is indirect. It can be both entertaining, and persuasive. Yes, it’s advertising, but a company’s audience doesn’t see it that way. A company’s audience may hate to be sold to, but they read content.

Today, some 80% of companies use content marketing in some form, because content converts. That is, it makes sales.

3. Content in global: it expands a company’s reach

In days gone by, a company could buy space in the yellow pages, do some newspaper advertising, and make a profit. Today, their audience is fragmented. It’s never been harder for companies to reach a specific audience.

Paradoxically, at the same time, it’s never been easier. Content is endlessly adaptable. A blog post can become part of a white paper or ebook, and can be mined for social media nuggets. A blog post can be syndicated too, reaching hundreds of thousands of readers. Getting such a wide reach through advertising would be prohibitively expensive.

4. Content wins attention, leads and buyers

Content is subtle in its effect. It gets attention, and over time, that content develop leads as well as buyers.

5. Content builds credibility and trust

When you’re selling your content services, point out any of a company’s competitors who are using content marketing. It’s a persuasive argument, because content increases a company’s credibility, and over time, trust develops.

So there you have it: five ways to persuade companies to buy your content marketing services. Content sells. Prove it, by creating and promoting your own content. You’ll get clients.

YOU can make a six-figure income in 2015, just by WRITING

Discover the secrets of creative content, when you create your own content funnels. It’s not complicated. If you’re a beginning writer, you’ll start your writing business off the right way. Content funnels are essential know-how in these days of endless Google algorithmic updates.

If you’re an established writer, you’ll sell MORE. And you’ll make good use of all the content you’ve already created.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

How NOT to Make Money Writing

How NOT to Make Money Writing

You want to make money writing. Specifically, you want to make money writing content. That’s EASY to do. Everyone wants content, so content buyers are everywhere.

A couple of days ago I received an email message from a content writer. The message provides a great example of what NOT to do to make money writing content.

The message offered me articles at $10 per 1,000 words. That’s OK; it takes me around an hour to write a thousand words, so the writer’s making $5 an hour. He may live somewhere where $5 goes a lot further than it does in a developed economy.

You’re wondering why I said he makes $5 an hour, and and not $10 an hour. One reason; you can’t spend every hour writing. You have to do all the housekeeping chores which surround writing: marketing, communicating with prospects by sending quotes and other material, communicating with clients, and on, and on. Chores are endless.

So the article writer – let’s call him “Jim” — is making $5 an hour.

Here are the mistakes Jim made in his unsolicited email message

I won’t share the message, because it’s not mine to share. The copyright remains with the sender.

1. He didn’t target his prospects

I don’t buy articles, so sending me and others like me (I’m assuming he sent messages to hundreds of other people who run blogs) is pointless.

2. He didn’t tell me his name

When you’re meeting someone for the first time, it’s common courtesy to lead with your name. (His message greeted me by name, so shouldn’t he tell me his name?)

When you’re writing to someone you don’t know, lead with your name. Hi, Prospect, my name is Jenny Smith, and I write content.

In your next sentence, explain how you heard of the person you’re writing to: I’m a (blog) reader, or I found your name on Twitter, or Fred Jones suggested I get in touch with you.

You can write anything you like as your reason for contacting the recipient. It doesn’t matter what you write. What matters is that you don’t sound like a crazed stalker, because you have a connection — no matter how slim — to the person to whom you’re writing.

3. His message is all about Jim

Here’s the structure of Jim’s message:

  • His first paragraph says he’s been writing content for eight years, and mentions several content factories.
  • His next paragraph tells me he’s very experienced in SEO copywriting, press release writing… etc. He offers no evidence for this experience. (A copywriter would shoot himself in the head before he wrote anything for $10 an hour, but I digress…)
  • Next paragraph: his fee for his 1,000 word articles.
  • Final paragraph: a bunch of links to articles at content factories.

Can you see the huge problem with this email message? It’s all about Jim. No one cares about Jim except Jim. We’ve talked about What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) — that’s a primary tenet of copywriting. When you’re promoting, it’s all about your audience, and how your offer can help them.

Jim could have made his message all about his audience and how he could help them very easily. Whoever he is, I’m sure he knows how his content writing helps his audience. He should have made his message all about that, rather than about himself.

Don’t be Jim: content writing gigs are everywhere

Jim did something right. He reached out to prospective buyers. Well done, Jim! :-) I’m not being sarcastic at all. It takes courage to reach out to people, so Jim did that, and he deserves kudos for it.

However, please don’t be a Jim. Yes, reach out to people. But send targeted, well crafted messages, which are all about your audience.

Never, ever send out mass emails. Send personal emails, about how you can help. If Jim had given the slightest indication that he knew me and my blogs at all, by mentioning something that I’d written, he would have received a response of some kind from me. If I felt that he could write for someone I know, I’d have put him in touch.

Want to write content? You can make much more money than Jim does

Check out Article Firestorm, and our free mini course.

Article Firestorm is a complete 4-week writing workshop with videos and PDFs. Its focus going beyond articles, to content strategy.

When you sell a content strategy, rather than positioning yourself as an “article writer” your income goes up. A lot.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.