NEW and Powerful for 2014: Copywriting YOU Can DO

Copywriting YOU Can Do

Interested in getting copywriting jobs?

What if there were simple copywriting gigs YOU could get, even if you’re not a copywriter?

Finally updated for 2014: Copywriting YOU Can Do

Copywriting YOU Can Do is one of our most popular programs. As the name suggests, it’s copywriting for just about any writer. No matter how new to professional writing you are, you can write these kinds of copy, and get paid WELL for them.

I’m thrilled I’ve finally got the update for this program done. It’s our “beginning copywriter” program, so I wanted to cover stuff that students have asked about, and I wanted to make it as practical and powerful, and as easy to use as possible.

A first: audio training sessions — listen, learn and earn

I’ll be doing more audio trainings in future, because they work well. We provide an accompanying PDF with the audio, so you can see what the end result of a piece of writing looks like. Then listen, and write, as we go through the process of getting to the end result.

I’ve been using audio with my private coaching students, and they love it, because you can listen anywhere. I love it, because the students get results right away, and because audio files are small, which means they’re easy for you to download.

To that end, I’ve included two audio (MP3) training sessions in this program.

• Speed Writing Copy, and

• How to Get Regular Clients and Make $10,000 a Month

These audios cover the major challenges new copywriters face — getting copy written quickly, so that your hourly rate stays high, and turning one-time clients into regular clients.

I’ve developed a process which helps you to write creative copy FAST. Using this process (which we’ll be covering in detail in an upcoming program), you’ll not only write better copy, but you’ll also eliminate procrastination.

The second audio helps you to do more with the clients you already have (and all the new clients you get). This is huge, because it’s much easier to do more for a current client, than it is get constantly get new clients. If someone has hired you once, and they’re happy with you, they want to work with you again. They’re happy, you’re happy, and all is golden.

Check out Copywriting YOU Can Do, and then come and write copy with us. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing For Money: 3 Tips for Creating Products FAST

Writing For Money: Creating Products FAST

Writing for money is fun, and you work with great clients. However, there comes a time when you want to break free. Several of my writing students have asked about going client-less, by creating products and selling products like ebooks, so let’s look at how you can do that… fast.

A tip: you need to understand the basics of marketing, to successfully create and sell products. Seriously. Do a copywriting course, or a marketing course. It’s an investment. I cover some marketing in SYWON 2 (Sell Your Writing Online Now), because when you start creating products, you need to market them.

Writing for money: write fast

Let’s look at three tips which will help you to create products FAST. Without products, you have nothing to sell. (By “products” we mean ebooks, reports, courses, novels, short stories… anything you write and sell, over and over again.)

1. CREATE! Write, write, write, and then write some more

You’ve got a day job. Or, if you’re a full-time writer and you’re writing all day. Your product-creation time is limited. However, somehow you need to carve out two to three hours a day to write.

It isn’t easy. When I started to write novels, I had three small children, and a full-time job. I wrote late at night, or very early in the morning. Stop doing what someone else can do, and eliminate time-sinks, like social media.

One of my students wrote several nonfiction books in his lunch hour at work. Another writes during her daily commute on the train.

2. Be yourself. Trust your own intuition. Writing needs to be fun for you (and the likelihood that you’ll sell goes up)

One of the most common questions I get from people new to product creation is: will it sell? Honestly, no one knows. That’s why big publishers publish so many books. Most won’t become bestsellers. Indeed, most will be lucky if their authors “earn out”.

The best advice anyone can give you is: trust yourself. Believe in your own ideas. Yes, keep the marketplace in mind. New Adult is a highly popular fiction genre at the moment, and if you read these books with pleasure, you can probably write them.

However, if you think to yourself: “New Adult is popular, and I want my novels to sell, so that’s what I’ll write”, ask yourself whether you read New Adult. Readers read fiction for an emotional experience. You’ll understand the experience when you read books in the genre you’re targeting.

Here’s why your writing needs to be fun if you’re creating products:

  • You’ll write, rather than procrastinating;
  • Your enthusiasm will come across in your words;
  • You’re likely to know what the marketplace (fiction or nonfiction) is looking for, because you read the kind of material you’re selling;
  • You’ll market your products.

Writing is challenging. If you hate what you’re writing you’ll soon stop writing.

3. Set deadlines, and meet them… ready or not: eliminate perfectionism

Perfectionism is based on fear, and fear can cripple you. I wrote about the one big secret of writing — writing. If you’re anxious, you won’t write your ebooks quickly. You’ll second-guess yourself.

If you’re self publishing, building your catalogue on Amazon is vital. K. Matthew wrote 1 Year, 100 Titles. Take a lesson from “100 titles”. If you’ve published three books on Amazon, and you’re not making enough to replace your full-time income, you know what the solution is, don’t you? Yes, publish more.

Set deadlines. Do your best to meet them. You won’t always meet them, and that’s fine. Having deadlines helps you to beat perfectionism.

When I talk about perfectionism, I’m not implying that you don’t need to write well, edit your writing, and get beta readers. However, everything needs to have a deadline. If you’re editing a book, know exactly what stage of the editing process you’re at, and work to a plan. Otherwise “editing” will stretch on forever.

You’ll know if you’re a perfectionist or not. :-) Get it under control with deadlines.

So there we have it. Three tips to help you to make the switch from working with clients, to creating and selling your own products.

Write Short: Sizzling Success From Short Reports and Short Stories

Write Short: Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories

Use your spare minutes; turn them into cash. Write and sell SHORT products you create, both nonfiction and fiction. You’ll discover a great new write-and-sell strategy, and will develop your own profitable income streams which will boost your hourly rate into the stratosphere. Get started immediately.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Book Marketing With Your Blog: 3 Easy Ideas

Book Marketing With Your Blog: 3 Easy Ideas

Many writers get stuck on book marketing. They either avoid it completely, or do as little as possible. Writing the book seems much easier than marketing it. I sympathize. For many years I felt the same way, and that’s an odd reaction for a copywriter. Although I was more than happy to market clients’ books, products, and services, I actively hated marketing my own.

That changed around 15 years ago, and for a long while, I didn’t catch on. Why did I suddenly enjoy marketing my own stuff? It seemed a weird turnaround, and it niggled at the back of my mind. Then I suddenly realized: I enjoyed marketing because I love blogging. Once I started blogging, book marketing (and marketing in general) was suddenly fun.

I can’t promise that blogging will have the same effect for you. However, I do know that book marketing with your blog will make marketing more doable, AND blogging will help you to build your platform too.

We’ve discussed easy ways to blog a book:

Let’s look at three no-hassle ways you can blog your book in the shortest possible time. I defy any writer to tell me that he has “no time to blog” with these methods.

That article gives you three options for creating book marketing blogs fast.

However, that doesn’t solve the challenge of what to blog about. Authors constantly ask about this. You can’t blog endlessly about your book, can you? Well, you can, as you’ll discover. Blogs grow organically. You blog about something or other, and that leads to fresh ideas for more blog posts.

Here are three easy ideas to get you started.

1. Blog General Information: News, Reviews and Freebies.

This one’s easy. What new books are coming out in your category (nonfiction), or genre (fiction)? Blog about them. Yes, you’re promoting others. Maybe they will return the favor, who knows? Here’s what happens when you blog about new books and other news: you become known, because you’re knowledgeable. Many, many authors take this route to build their platform, and sell their books, and you can too.

Consider doing book reviews too, if you read a lot, and have opinions on what you read. I used to do a lot of reviews on my writing blog, but over the past few months, I’ve been too busy to write reviews, although I’m reading as much as ever.

As we’ve said, you’re promoting others. This is a good thing to do for the reasons above.

Freebies abound in publishing. Get onto BookBub’s mailing list, and you can blog about free books every day if you wish.

2. Blog Thoughts About Your Category (Nonfiction), and Genre (Fiction), and Your Thoughts in General.

Even if you’re a new writer/ blogger/ author, you have opinions. Share them.

It’s your blog, so you can blog about whatever you like. Some authors blog about their families, movies they’ve seen, a family vacation… It’s up to you how much personal material you want to share. Some authors share lots, others share none.

Your readers read your blog because they’ve read your work, or they want to. Be yourself.

3. Blog About You and YOUR Book(s): Excerpts, Snippets From Your WIP, Publication Dates.

Finally, you can blog about your book, and upcoming books. You can post excerpts, snippets of your works in progress, and upcoming publication dates.

Important Tip: Your Blog Is for Your Readers.

Your blog will grow, and it does, you’ll attract readers.

This brings us to our most vital point: your blog is for your readers, rather than for you. If you consider your readers when you’re blogging, you can’t go astray.

So, there we have it. Easy ideas for book marketing with your blog. Have fun. If you’re having fun, so will your readers, and that’s what counts. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing For Magazines: Become An Idea Machine

Writing For Magazines: Top 10 Tips

Writing for magazines can be a lot of fun, and lucrative too. Consider however that beyond money, being published in top tier magazines gives you prestige. When you have magazine writing credits, your stocks as a writer go up. Not only will businesses and sometimes other publications ask you to write for them, book acquisitions editors and literary agents may approach you too, if you’re covering hot stories.

Writing for Magazines: My Top 10 Tips

I gave you these top ten tips on writing for magazines last year:

1. Love a magazine? Send them a query

2. Keep sending queries, even if they ignore you

3. Look for ideas, everywhere

4. Think beyond the newsstand

5. Companies publish, too: custom magazines are lucrative

6. Pick a topic, research it, develop a slant

7. Forget your doubt, send it out

8. Pick up the phone: research your ideas

9. Set process goals: productivity is everything

10. Just write it: nothing you write is ever wasted

Get more information in the article here.

Today, let’s look at what it takes to be published in top magazines. In a word, it takes IDEAS.

Writing for magazines? Become an  IDEA machine

Writing For Magazines: Become An Idea Machine

I wrote for magazines for 15 years. At the time, I kept four journals, and one journal was devoted just to ideas for magazine articles. Not only did I explore my own life for ideas, I kept up with the news religiously, and subscribed to dozens of magazines.

Here are some tips for becoming an idea machine. By the way, these ideas work not only for writing for magazines, but for writing for any kind of publication, online, or offline.

1. Set targets for how many queries you’ll send out per day/ week

Most writers adore research, and we can research endlessly, kidding ourselves that research is “work.” So set targets now. At the height of my magazine writing, I produced FIVE queries a day, five days a week: 25 queries a week.

I’d mix up the magazine querying with sending proposals to businesses, because many magazines pay on publication; often a month or two after publication. I like being PAID, so business writing kept my motivation high.

2. Read the magazines you’re querying, religiously (not optional)

Read all the magazines for which you’re writing, or for which you want to write. I know you think you can shoot a magazine a query without reading it, and of course you can. But if you want to sell your writing, you’ll read the publications.

 3. Idea gold mines: the news, and press releases

Magazines demand freshness. Fresh ideas (even though they may be new slants on old ideas) and fresh insights. Get them by staying up to date in your subject matter. Create Google alerts for topics, and sign up for mailings from press release websites.

In any area, there are large companies which dominate an industry. In tech, that’s companies like Apple and Google. Look for the “media” centers on these companies’ websites, and sign up to receive their press releases.

Additionally, follow leading lights of your chosen industries on social media. You’re not looking for a scoop, as much as you’re looking for fresh insights, and trends.

4. Journal it — you need lots of input, and thinking

Let’s say you cover fitness and health. You need to keep track of lots of information. You need to think about what you’ve learned too. The easiest way to do that is to keep a journal. Your journal will help you to come up with fresh ideas on shop-worn topics, and that’s your job as a magazine writer.

Your journal also helps you to track people in an industry. Let’s say a new weight loss pill has been released. Add the names of the media spokespeople, and the experts mentioned in articles, to your journal. I suggest Evernote for your magazine writing journal, because it helps you to track information — you can save your searches, and can group notes together with Tables of Contents.

 Look for further opportunities NOW

Writing for magazines can be fun. If you love the areas you’re covering, you won’t find the research and interviews a chore. Be aware however that sooner or later you will burn out on it. Look for opportunities beyond magazine writing, for when that happens.

In the later years of my magazine writing career, I transitioned to ghostwriting, and to writing business books for major publishers. That’s the big benefit of writing for magazines. You’ll get known, and you’ll get offers to do other things. One of my friends went into PR from magazine writing, and another has gone on to editing books.

Want more on magazine writing? Discover how you can develop a magazine writing career.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Full Time Writer: Develop A Great Writing Career

Want to become a full time writer? It’s easier than its ever been. This week’s offerings will help you to develop a great writing career.

Full Time Writer: Develop A Great Writing Career

The two things you need to become a full time writer: writing and buyers.

Essentially, to become a full time writer you need two things:

  • Writing which sells;
  • Clients and/ or readers who buy enough of your writing so that you have a full time income.

Nothing else matters. No, you don’t need a website or a blog, although obviously they help.

Let’s look at those two things in a little more detail.

1. Writing which SELLS.

You’re a writer. Therefore you need writing to sell.

In our article on the one big secret, we mentioned Ryan:

I asked him: “What did you write today?” He told me he hadn’t written anything. He’s sent out a few queries, and he’s waiting to hear from the editors.

I suggested that to get paid like a professional, Ryan needs to develop a writing process which focuses on writing.

With my writing students, I find that producing — writing stuff — is their one big challenge. If you can produce, you can get clients and readers. And you can make a full time income, which means you can become a full time writer.

 2. Clients/ readers who buy your writing.

Once you’ve got writing which sells, finding buyers and/ or readers isn’t much of a challenge. Where writers go astray is that they try to get the buyers/ readers first. They want some sign that an audience will magically appear, and buy, before there’s anything to buy. Needless to say, this tactic works poorly.

After 30 years of working with clients, writing magazine articles, and writing books, I know one thing for sure: your clients and readers don’t know what they want until they see it.

When you’re getting writing clients, you need stuff to show. This means that you can say — I can do this for you, or you need something like this. If you haven’t got anything to show, your prospective clients will brush you off.

When you’re writing short stories, novels, nonfiction ebooks, and even reports, it’s obvious that you need the products for your readers to buy. Writers however tend to want a guarantee: will the book that I started last week sell?

Just about anything will sell. I’ve seen ebooks in the top ten in various niche categories which are selling well on the Kindle book store overall, so I can say that with absolute confidence. These books may not appeal to me, but these days, on Amazon and the other ebook retailers, you have a global audience, so the answer to will it sell is — probably. But only if you finish it and publish it.

This week’s offerings: the help you need to become a full time writer.

 NEW: Instant Coaching (Phone Consults)

Writers have asked for a program which gives them solutions, when they want them, and with Instant Coaching, you get those solutions. Coaching is via phone, or Skype. If you choose Skype, we can record your session, so that you have it available on MP3.

Web Content Creator: Dominate the Web — a complete package in content creation

A tsunami of content flows onto the Web easy and every day. Someone needs to write that content. Becoming a content creator is a great way to develop a full time income.

It’s never been easier to become a full time writer. Write stuff that people want, and you’ll make a great income. Be aware that there’s no ceiling on your income either. Most importantly of all: your work will be your pleasure, and that means that it isn’t work at all. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Marketing for Writers: Get Hired Via Your Blog

Marketing for Writers: Get Hired via Your Blog

Marketing for writers is a tricky topic, because most of us hate marketing with a passion. We’re writers, why oh why do we need to be marketers too? I feel your pain, but… Here’s why: in 2014, there are millions of writers around the globe. Writing has become competitive, because there are so many people who claim to be “writers.”

Putting it bluntly: if you don’t market, others are eating your lunch.

Today, we can’t afford to stand above it all, waiting and hoping for prospective clients to get in touch. Even if you have a full order book, your clients may cut back on their business, or change their business model. Publications die. You need to market consistently.

Your blog is central to marketing, it’s your marketing hub.

Blogging’s long been a great marketing tool for writers. For example, Jesse, one of my writing students, is making over $8,000 a month from one simple marketing strategy: his blog.

Marketing for Writers: How To Turn Your Blog Into a Money Machine.

Jesse has turned his blog into a money machine. You can do it too. More on that in a moment.

Choose Your Targets: You’re Auditioning for Them.

Start by deciding for whom you want to write. If you’re just starting out, you may say you’ll write for anyone who’ll hire you. Sadly, “everyone” ends up being no one. Decide to woo your prospects, and you’ll be amazed at the results.

I’ve often talked about the magazine I wooed for nine months, before the editor finally called me. Not only did he give me an article to write, he hired me to be a regular monthly contributor. I wrote for that magazine for 15 years, through several editors.

Here’s why I was able to do that: I loved the subject matter, studied it endlessly, and always read the magazine cover to cover. Writing for them wasn’t a chore, it was a pleasure.

These days, it’s much easier to woo people. You can get in touch with anyone, with little effort. The easiest way is by doing what Jesse did: he wrote about his prospects on his blog, then he let them know he’d written about them.

Action tip: make a list of companies and publications for which you would love to write. Add prospects to the list as you come across them.

Your Blog Is Your Sales Tool. No Blog? No Problem.

If you’d like to use Jesse’s strategy, you need a blog. You can use any blog for this strategy, no matter what you’re blogging about on the blog right now. Just start a new “Hire Me” category on your blog.

If you haven’t got a blog, you can create a blog in moments. Sign up for Medium, or Quora, the Q and A site. Or you can just blog on your Google+ account.

One tip: if you’re blogging on a website you don’t own (that is, you haven’t registered a domain name, and don’t have a Web hosting account), keep regular backups of your blog posts. Companies get bought – viz Posterous, whose principals were hired by twitter… or they close down.

You’ve got a blog. Great. Now it’s time to make yourself memorable.

Jesse’s Experience: Make Yourself Memorable.

Even just a couple of years ago, a writer could create a blog about whatever, and you’d get a certain amount of traffic because of the RSS feed, and search engines.

That’s no longer the case. In 2014, it’s a real challenge for writers with a new blog to get traffic. It will come, but you need to put in the effort first.

As Jesse found, there’s a shortcut.

Remember wooing? In time-honored fashion, writers who are wooing clients send them query letters. They’ve done that for decades, and they do it today, although today it will be a query email. A query is a proposal. Basically it’s you saying to a company or publication… Hey, want a story about this? Or, would you like me to write about that for you?

Write for Results: Write, and Reach Out.

Jesse says: “My process is simple. I choose companies I want to write for. Then I develop a couple of blog posts about them. Before I publish a post, I send them a quick message introducing myself. If they have a blog, I comment on the blog. A few days later, I contact them to let them know about the post.”

Most companies and publications have alerts for their names, so when you write about them, they will acknowledge you. However, Jesse doesn’t stop there. Next, he sends his prospects a query (proposal), offering to write something or other for them.

Can you see how clever this is? Jesse auditions for his prospects; he writes about them. He says: “If a company has a blog, writing about them is easy. You simply respond to something that you saw on their blog. Mostly I do a review of the company, researching news reports, customers, and products. I get responses because few writers take the time to get to know the companies they want to work with.”

Everything’s Personal Today. Your Marketing Needs to Be Personal Too.

These days, everything is personal. Google tracks you around the Web. If you’re researching a product you want to buy, you’ll see ads for that product appearing on many websites you visit. Your marketing needs to be personal too.

Choose companies you’d like to work with, and write about them. Then get in touch with them to let them know, and query them – offer to write something for them. When you personalize your marketing, not only do you get to work with the companies you choose, you’ll become a lot more confident too.

Give Jesse’s process a try. It’s marketing for writers which works.

Want to make the most of new opportunities? SYWON 2 (Sell Your Writing Online Now) helps you to do that.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Exercises: Try Them, They Work

Writing Exercises: Try Them, They Work

Writing exercises can be immensely useful, but few writers bother to do them until they hit a block. That’s a shame, because writing exercises can not only help you to improve your writing, they can make writing less stressful too.

A few months back, I published Writing Exercises: Tap the Other 99.99 Per Cent of Your Brain, and I’ve just updated it with another exercise:

I’ve found Gabriele Rico’s clustering concept immensely useful. Clustering works much as your brain does, by associations. Start with a word, and circle it in the center of your page.

clusteringYou can see that the seed word in the cluster on the left is “turn”. You can choose any word you like. I use clustering to develop characters in fiction; my seed word is the character’s name.

Easy Writing Exercises: Start with Morning Pages.

Here’s an easy exercise, which works well if you’re struggling with your writing: Morning Pages. They’re three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing which you do first thing in the morning. Yes, just grab a cup of coffee, and start writing. :-)

Morning Pages prime the pump of your writing. Whenever I do Morning Pages, I find that all my writing flows more smoothly all day. If I feel that I’m not as productive as I could be, I get back to doing my pages every morning.

Here’s what happens with Morning Pages. For the first week or two, you’ll find that your pages are odd. They tend to be full of complaints. Gradually, you’ll find that there’s a shift, and your pages start to be more useable.

There’s a danger here, however. You may have a couple of days in which you turn out material which is perfect for a project. That’s fine. However, be aware that your pages need to be stream-of-consciousness writing.  Otherwise, you’ll find that instead of Morning Pages, you’re working on your “real” writing, and Morning Pages will soon stop being effective writing exercises.

Let me know how Morning Pages — and other writing exercises — work for you.

And if you have your own exercises, please share them. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.