Writing Journal 17: Web Writing, Fiction, and Parrots

Writing Journal 17:  Web Writing, Fiction, and Parrots

My writing journal for Friday, August 29, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Rush gig: Web pages for a copywriting client

No fiction or nonfiction this morning. Last night I received a message from a client. He needs a set of Web pages in a hurry. I got up, made coffee, and started working on them immediately.

Result? I feel vaguely disoriented. My mind expects me to open Scrivener and work on my novella, and then the nonfiction book. The boys in the basement are upset. They’re yelling. :-)

I’ve drafted the Web pages, so it’s time to take a break, feed Honey, and check email.

Email: Mailbox is amazingly fast

Mailbox can’t sort my email as Gmail does, so I’m still opening the morning’s email in Gmail. Then I use Mailbox for the rest of the day.

After working with Mailbox throughout the day on my devices and Mac, Gmail-in-browser (Chrome) appears SLOW and sluggish. It’s a relief to close it down.

Mailbox creates its own labels in Gmail. That’s handy, because I can move messages in Gmail to Mailbox labels — Later, To Read — and deal with them in Mailbox.

I read somewhere that the developers wanted Mailbox to be more like messaging than email, and it has that feel. You can draft an email message in Mailbox on Mac, then open Mailbox on the iPad, and the message is there instantly, ready for you to complete and send.

Gmail has the BEST spam control

Using Mailbox has helped me to appreciate Gmail. You can add your iCloud accounts to Mailbox, so I’m seeing more spam than I normally do. All my other email accounts are directed to Gmail, because it detects spam wonderfully well. With Mailbox, you get the iCloud spam, as-is.

Email’s done, so it’s time to have my own breakfast, and then get back to writing the client’s Web pages.

After breakfast, it’s back to the rush copywriting job until it’s time for my walk.

Parrots everywhere: spring is coming

Lots of birds around today, mainly small honey-eating parrots, and the horrible Indian mynahs. They’re called “flying rats” for a reason. Mynahs have bullied native finches out of existence. We used to have finches in abundance, now they’re rare. I haven’t seen any in our garden in at least a couple of years, and that’s sad.

Eastern Rosella

According to Birdlife Australia — the parrots are Eastern Rosellas and Rainbow Lorikeets. They swoop across the road and in and out of bushes. Then they settle to feed on banksia flowers.

The Web pages are proofed, and off to the client.

Lunch at the computer; no time for our usual Friday lunch — and no hummingbird cake. (Sniff.)

After a busy morning, it takes an hour to catch up on email and phone calls.

I complete the draft of an article about Haiku Deck. Haiku Deck has saved me lots of time over the past year.

Back to the novella, at last

My brain’s fuzzy; I’m not in the mood for fiction, but I press on anyway. I read through what I have, make some notes and create a cluster diagram Before I know it, I’ve completed 1200 words.

On to nonfiction. After a couple of timer sessions, 1500 words, which is fine for today.

I need the rest of the afternoon to catch up on admin, so I turn up Spotify, and get on with it. Sigh… I do dislike administrative stuff, but needs must.

Notability arrives for the Mac — good news

One of my favorite iPad apps is available for the Mac. Great news. I use Notability for interviews, as well for planning. TC has an article on it. Apparently it’s popular with students who record lectures and make notes, and lawyers too.

Finally the day’s done. I do the daily review, and total my word count – and the week is done too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

photo credit: Chip_2904 via photo pin cc

Web Content: How to Get Ideas When Your Mind’s a Blank

Web Content: How to Get Ideas When Your Mind's a Blank

Web content creation is becoming more and more important to businesses. If you’re chosen as the creator, what do you do when your mind’s a blank? Here are some ideas.

Great Web content is the body and soul of your website. Whatever your business happens to be, customers find you and judge you by your content. So you know you need it, but what if your mind’s a blank?

Relax. You don’t need to start from scratch. You’ve got the seeds of great content already: the seeds are right within your business.

You know your business. All you need to do is share your knowledge.

Let’s look at five ways you can get ideas.

1. Expand on What You’ve Already Written

If your website already has content, browsing through what you already have is the easiest way to get fresh ideas. Nothing stays the same, especially on the Web. Check through your website, blog, press releases, and marketing materials.

If you haven’t created a content inventory, now’s a good time to start. Record the content you already have in a spreadsheet. As you do this, think about what’s changed since the content was created. Can you expand on it? Correct it?

Before you know it, you’ll have many fresh ideas. Make a note of them.

2. Check Your Emails — What Did You Say?

You spend time on email every day. You answer questions, either in brief, or at length.

Look through your Sent folder. Make a list of responses you’ve made. You’re sure to find lots of ideas for content.

3. Check Your Emails — What Were You Asked?

While you’re going through your messages, look at the questions you’re asked. Perhaps you’ll find ideas for content. If someone else is responsible for customer service, ask to browse through the database of customer questions. (If questions aren’t being recorded, now would be a good time to start.)

Yes, some questions will be unique. However, many of the questions you’re asked are asked over and over again. Use the questions as seeds for content.

Remember too, that “content” may be images, audio, video, or slideshows. Sometimes content begs for video, rather than text alone. Look for ideas for content in formats other than text.

4. Read More: Read the Latest News and Books in Your Industry

You’re the expert in your business. You need to keep up with the thought leaders not only in your business, but also in business news in general.

Read the news, as well as books in your industry. Make notes as you read. Your notes will provide you with many content ideas.

No time to read? Business books often come out in audio as soon as they’re published. You can listen while you drive to work, or exercise.

5. Pick a Brain: You Don’t Need to Struggle Alone

You’re not alone. Ask your colleagues for content ideas. You never know, perhaps you’ll find someone to share your content creation duties.

Ideas for content are everywhere. Start creating ideas from what you already have. Each idea will spark another one. Before you know it, you’ll be able to say, in all honesty: “I love creating content — I have more ideas than I’ll ever need.”

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, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

photo credit: commune_absence_giboyeuse via photopin cc

Web Writing: New Web Content Creation Series Launching

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Do you have challenges with creating Web content? If you do, you may find my new content-creation series useful.

Here’s the press release announcing it.

Web Writing Blog Launches New Series of Web Content Creation Tips for Writers and Marketers

Web writing expertise is essential for anyone who works on the Web, especially for writers. Angela Booth’s SYWON.info blog is launching a new series of of Web content creation tips for writers and marketers.

Top copywriter, author and writing teacher Angela Booth created her Web writing blog for students of her popular Web writing course, Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON), and it’s publicly available. The blog covers the skills Web content writers and marketers need in 2010 and beyond.

Many business people are using Angela’s course to start and build businesses online. Angela says: “Writing for the Web demands different skills from other forms of business writing. The Web is much more interactive and intimate. It’s an exciting environment, offering opportunities for business owners to communicate directly with their clients.”

Over the past few months, Angela has covered many different topics on the Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON) Blog, including: how to create and use WordPress blogs, how to get traffic and links to websites, and how to market using press releases.

Next week she’s starting a new series on the blog: “Super Simple Web Content Creation Tips — Teach, Entertain, and Sell”.

Angela says: “Information sells online, however creating reams of content can be intimidating too. It doesn’t need to be. I encourage my copywriting clients to approach content creation with the mantra ‘teach, entertain, and sell’ and it works for them. It makes creating content much easier. I’ll be sharing the tips and strategies I teach my clients with the readers of the Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON) Blog.”

The series will be a valuable resource for writers, marketers, and small business people — anyone who’s facing creating content, and wants some creative, yet practical ideas.

More information is available on the Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON) Blog.

For information on Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON) Web writing training. click here.

Image credit

Web Writing Secrets: 4 Ways to Get Your Web Content Read

Are you writing web content? If so, your primary aim is to get your content read. As you know competition is becoming heavy online, so you can no longer assume that readers will flock to your site automatically. Let’s look at four ways you can get your content read.

1. Make Your Content Relevant to Your Audience

Start by finding out exactly what your audience wants. Your content must be relevant to them, and useful. What are people searching for online in your industry?

If you’re promoting your own business, think about what your customers want to know about your industry in general, and about you in particular. Make a list of the questions you’re asked about your business.

Educating your customers leads to sales.

2. Get It Found: Advertising Primes the Pump

The easiest way to get your content found and read is to promote it via advertising. You can use Pay Per Click, or other forms of advertising.

If money is tight, consider classified ads both online and off-line. The price is reasonable, and your content will be read.

Set aside a portion of your marketing budget to advertise your content.

3. Interact on the Social Media Sites to Win Followers

Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are constantly in the news. This means that their influence is expanding. Once your customers expected you to have a website; now they expect you to be active on the social media sites.

Interacting on the social media sites is a great way to get a jump on your competition. Set up alerts for your company name on these sites and make sure that you have your own pages there.

4. Forget Tricks: Use Marketing Techniques

For the past few years, search engine optimization (SEO) has been all the rage. Unfortunately nowadays the first ten spots for competitive keywords are filled with companies which have million-dollar budgets, or which have considerable longevity online.

While search engine optimization is still important, there aren’t any tricks which will easily get you to the front page of the search engine results for competitive queries.

These days you need to focus on straightforward marketing techniques, rather than search for nonexistent tricks.

DIY Copywriting – the Secret to Big Sales Every Day

Copywriting has been called the secret of business success, and it’s no exaggeration. Expert copywriting can double and triple your profits within a year.

However, top copywriters are expensive. Worse, they’re always booked well in advance.

What if you could do your own copywriting? You can become an expert copywriter with Angela Booth’s “Copywriting Master Class – Ten Weeks to Copywriting Genius” – the class takes you from beginner to copywriting pro.

Do your own copywriting: sell more. Discover the communications’ secrets of the top copywriters. At the end of the class, not only can you do your own copywriting, you can also sell your copywriting services to others.

Enroll in “Copywriting Master Class – Ten Weeks to Copywriting Genius” now.