Category : blogs
Do You Know Who You’re Writing For?
(This Post was posted on Monday, February 7th, 2011 at 9:26 pm)

As I continue with my Valentine’s theme, I wonder if you’re practicing writing from your heart after reading my previous posts. And, whether you are or you’re not, I wonder if you think about who you’re writing to and for when you write your business communications.

It’s true, maybe some of your business writing would not be appropriate for writing from the heart. That’s why it’s so important to be clear about who you’re writing for when you write emails, ezines, articles, blog posts, tweets, and any other business communications. Even with books and ebooks, you must know your target audience, your ideal reader.

See, not everyone will respond the same way to the same message. What that means for you is that you’ll have to tweak your writing to different target markets. Say you’re writing a memo in a formal business environment; writing from the heart may not be all that well received. Of course, you’ll want to write honestly, but you may want to tone down the personal connecting that you would do when writing to a friend.

Suppose you’re writing an email to your mailing list. You need to be clear about who they are, what they want, and what you want to accomplish. For example, most of the people in my database are aspiring or existing writers/authors. They want as much information as possible about writing books and ebooks, and I want to establish a connection so I’m trusted and respected as an expert and authority.

Therefore, writing from the heart connects me on a personal level with my audience, and writing valuable content connects me on a professional level where what I say will be taken to heart! Yes, taken to heart because I come across as sincere in my desire to educate. So I sort of combine head and heart in this situation.

Communication is a two-way street, and you’re not communicating effectively if what you write is not being heard. So the more you know about your target market, the better you’ll be able to write to them so your message will be received—and you’ll be taken to heart!

Happy heart writing!

Andrea
Andrea Susan Glass
www.WritersWay.com


 
Put Your Heart on the Page
(This Post was posted on Friday, February 4th, 2011 at 9:19 pm)

This month my theme is to put heart in your writing. Writing from the heart may sound a bit woo woo for business writing. After all is there a place for this in emails, ezines, articles, blog posts, tweets, etc? I used to think a resounding “NO!” There’s no place for heart in business writing.

Then I started to get emails—way too many for my taste—from supposedly successful online entrepreneurs that always started with some personal story: my kids were at a soccer game; I just took a vacation to Costa Rica; my in-laws just came for a visit; and on and on. Personally, I’m a “just the facts please” kind of a person, so these emails bore me to tears.

But, wait, these people are truly successful—so they say—at what they do. These are some of the top Internet marketing experts. These are the people I SHOULD be following. Yet, I couldn’t see that MY list would be interested in what I ate for breakfast or where I took my last vacation (that would interest me since I can’t remember my last vacation!)

Yet, as I said in my last blog post, putting heart in my writing has always been a challenge for me, I guess because I’ve never resonated with it in other people’s writing. But I’m not really writing for me, am I? I’m writing for you, I’m writing for my target market, I’m writing for people who DO resonate with heart-centered writing.

So, buck up and just do it, I told myself. With my amazing business coach, Kelli Claypool, who is the warmest, most heartfelt, yet highly effective and professional coach, I’m learning to open my heart and pour it onto the page. You might want to do this as well and see what happens!

Happy heart writing,

Andrea
Andrea Susan Glass
www.WritersWay.com


 
Have a Theme of the Month: Put Heart in Your Writing
(This Post was posted on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 9:14 pm)

Since I write so many blog posts, it helps me to have a “theme of the month” so I don’t run out of ideas. Not that I usually do, as a full time professional writer! But, it can happen, even to the best of us. So creating an annual calendar of monthly themes for your emails, ezines, articles, blog posts, etc. can save a lot of time and conquer potential writer’s block!

Not to be too cliché, but I chose “Put Heart in Your Writing” as my February theme to coordinate with Valentine’s Day. And truthfully, I had no idea what I had in mind—I didn’t really—when I decided on that theme. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that putting heart in your writing is a great lesson for anyone who wants to get more results with their writing.

What I mean is that most of what we write—at least for business—has an aim in mind. To get results means you want the reader to learn a lesson, take some action, feel a feeling—whatever your aim is. With all the information we all receive on a daily basis, how do we even decide what to read? It depends on what our aim is for reading—information, entertainment, business, career, friendship…

So when writing has heart in it, the reader connects with the writer and is more apt to read the message, get the message, and get the intended result. Sharing from the heart connects, rambling from the brain disconnects. Putting heart in my writing has always been a challenge for me, but I aim to teach what I need to learn. I get to practice with my blog posts and you can follow this tip as well: just say what’s on your mind and in your heart with no walls between writer and reader.

That’s how you can put heart in your writing.

Happy Heart Writing!

Andrea
Andrea Susan Glass
www.WritersWay.com


 
I Don’t Have Enough To Write About
(This Post was posted on Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 at 8:44 pm)

When you’re just starting to think about writing a book, you may be one of those who fall into the category o thinking you don’t have enough to write about. After all a book should be at least 150 to 200 pages or more and you can’t think of that much to say.

First of all, there are all sizes of books from 25 page picture and quote books to 1,000 page tomes. Nowadays, almost anything goes! And with ebooks, the whole world of writing has taken a 180 degree turn. I’ve paid upwards of $50 for a 35-page ebook, thinking I was getting the brilliant answers to life’s tough questions. So no matter the size of the book, it’s the sizzle that sells.

Second, if you have an interest, a passion, or an expertise in the subject you want to write about, I’ll bet you have more than enough to write about. You can go really niche and write about a very specific topic like teaching your parakeet to recite the alphabet or you can go broad on a topic like teaching any bird to talk. It all depends on what the market is asking for and how much information is available on the subject.

What you don’t know, you can either research or take in a partner or two; that is, get a collaborator or conduct a few interviews to get more content for your book. And we all know the success story of the Chicken Soup model of having other people write your book for you!

So, please don’t use the “I don’t have enough to write about” excuse any longer. Remember, it’s sizzle over size, every time.

Happy Writing!

Andrea

Andrea Susan Glass
www.WritersWay.com


 
How Long Should My Ebook Be?
(This Post was posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011 at 11:40 pm)

This is one question I get a lot. Is 30 pages long enough for my ebook? Is 100 pages too long for an ebook?

My answer is always: it depends. On what? On what you plan to do with your ebook!

If you’re writing an ebook to give away–as an enticement to have someone join your mailing list, as a bonus when you sell another product or as a bonus to offer someone in a joint venture, or as a sample of your writing or your ideas–then 30 pages is enough. After all, it’s free, and you may want the buyers to buy a product or service from you, so you don’t want to give away the store.

Now, if you plan to sell your ebook for $17, $27, or even $47, then you need to give it some meat, and make it worth while. After all, you want to give the appropriate value for the cost and you want buyers to buy from you again, so you don’t want to cheat them.

I’ve seen really short ebooks selling for more than $50, and I’ve seen terribly written and poorly spelled ebooks that the author expects will lead to the next level sale, but this is cheating your audience. First impressions are lasting impressions, so I believe in giving value–all the time, even with your freebies.

It’s a jungle out there, and if you want to build your business and make a name for yourself online, make your ebook long enough to say what you need to say, and give the value to make customers clamor for more.

Let me know if this all makes sense to you!

Happy ebook writing!

Andrea

Andrea Susan Glass
www.WritersWay.com


 
Tips to Achieve Your Writing Goals This Year
(This Post was posted on Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 at 1:22 pm)

Are you excited that a New Year is here? I am! Time to wipe the slate clean of the past year’s challenges, celebrate the successes, and set new goals for the year ahead. But, if you’re like most people, by the end of January, a lot of those goals have fallen by the wayside, lost in the “busyness” of life and the “business” of living!

So what can you do to have better success with achieving those goals? And since my business is writing, I’d especially like to see you succeed with your writing goals.

Did you say you wanted to write a book (or ebook) last year? Or start a blog or ezine? How many years have you been saying that? If you’re like me, I’m sure you have a few goals that seem to carry over from year to year.

I’d love to support you in achieving your writing goals. All it takes is to get crystal clear on what they are and then plan the strategy to achieve them. I use an Excel spreadsheet or a Word table to plot out my goals.

  1. Write the goal
  2. Enter the expected date of completion
  3. Outline specific action steps
  4. Estimate costs
  5. Identify team members I’ll need for support

Here’s an example:

Goal: Write workbook

Date: March 31, 2011

Action steps: Set up time to write and put it in calendar; outline workbook content and format; gather content from other sources; write; send it to editor; format; get cover design; produce.

Costs: Editing: $350; Cover design: $150

Team members: Editor, graphic designer

With these tips, I’m confident you’ll achieve your writing goals this year. And if you need support or encouragement, I’m easy to reach through my email at andrea@writersway.com and through the contact page on my website at http://www.WritersWay.com/contact.

Happy New Year! Happy Writing!

Andrea

Andrea Susan Glass

www.WritersWay.com


 
Infoproduct Process–everything you ever wanted to know!
(This Post was posted on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 at 12:40 pm)

Blogs are great to share bits and pieces of information, but when it comes right down to it, asking questions and getting immediate answers is the best! I write blogs, distribute articles, and sometimes even get my ezine out. But I know my audience still has questions, still has stumbling blocks keeping them from writing that book, ebook or other infoproduct they keep saying they’re going to write SOMEDAY!

Someday only comes when you DECIDE to make that commitment to get it done. I have lots of tips on how to do that, having written or edited more than 100 ebooks, books, ecourses, and more. It takes motivation, planning, and support.

I’m going to share lots of tips in creating infoproducts and some Internet marketing tips–as well as answer all your questions on my free call Infoproduct Process Q&A on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010 at 9pm ET (6pm PT). Just go to www.writersway.com/091410 to sign up.

Start thinking about everything you ever wanted to know about infoproducts and bring your questions. I’ll have the answers!

Happy infoproduct profits!

Andrea
www.WritersWay.com


 
Writing Compelling Marketing Copy for your Business
(This Post was posted on Monday, August 9th, 2010 at 6:38 pm)

As a service professional, such as a coach, consultant, or health care provider, your goals are twofold: to help as many people as possible and to make a profit in your business. In order to achieve these goals, you need to let as many people as possible know about your services and convert as many as possible into paying clients!

However, this often presents a challenge. Why? Because you’re highly skilled at the service you provide, but probably not as skilled at marketing and selling those services. When you trained in your industry, it’s unlikely you took any classes in sales and marketing, and if you did, a lot of it probably went over your head.

That is, until you hung out your shingle and got out there in the world to open your doors to business. And found out getting the clients in the door to offer your services was a little tricky. You may have applied some of what you learned or had to learn on the fly. You may have discovered what didn’t work and maybe some of what did work. You can continue to throw tofu against the wall and see what sticks or you can get a plan!

One piece of advice I give to my marketing students at UCSD is that to be effective more times than not, it pays to have a marketing strategy or plan. And when they focus on their target market and the best methods to reach them, they find that most of the strategies require writing marketing copy—another skill usually not taught when you learned the skill you provide in your services.

Once you’ve clarified your ideal clients—by gender, age, income bracket, location, problem, and whatever else identifies them—you get a clearer picture of how to reach them. And in order to reach them effectively to generate leads and convert them to clients, you have to have a clear message about what you do. Your message must be written in compelling copy to capture readers’ attention and propel them to say YES!

Now you may be doing most of your marketing online; you may be doing some of it offline; or you may be doing a combination. This depends on how you serve the client and if online methods make sense. Even if you’re a hands-on healer who needs to treat clients locally, you can still use online methods to let people know about your services.
If you use online methods, you might have a website or blog, write articles and press releases, and use social media like Facebook and LinkedIn. If you use offline methods, you may use direct mail newsletters, and postcards, attend networking events, or give talks and workshops. Yet, what all these methods have in common is that you need to write compelling marketing copy.

There are 5 common factors you need to have in every piece of marketing copy:
1.    speak to your target market
2.    identify problems and solutions
3.    clarify your differentiation/niche
4.    use keywords
5.    include a call to action and contact information

For example, if you have a website, you need to have your message about who you serve and what problem you solve immediately available to visitors to your site. You need to tell visitors what to do—sign up for your newsletter or call you for a complimentary consultation. Or if you’re sending out a flyer for a workshop, you need to have a great workshop title that taps into your market’s primary problem, have a bulleted list of benefits they will get by attending, and tell them to send you a check for the workshop fee by a certain date because you can only take a limited number of students.

All these components make for compelling marketing copy that will attract a lot of leads for you that you can convert into paying clients. When you learn some of these skills, you’ll be able to achieve your goals of helping as many people as possible and making a profit in your business—a win for everyone!

Happy Info-Product Profits,

Andrea

Andrea Susan Glass
www.WritersWay.com


 
Assemble A Team & Resources To Help You Produce & Promote Your Info-Products
(This Post was posted on Thursday, April 15th, 2010 at 10:30 am)

If you think you’re able to produce your first info-product alone, you’re in for a big surprise. You may be talented at certain skills, but you probably don’t have every skill necessary to make this happen. I know I don’t, and I’m pretty much of a lone ranger!  Whether it was money issues or control issues, for much of my career, I’ve been a true solo-preneur! Would you like you to learn from the errors of my ways? I hope so!

For example, if you like to write, are disciplined with your time, and are a good editor, that’s great! But, most of us aren’t good at all of these things, so we need to find a good ghostwriter, copyeditor, and/or writing coach. Even though I’m a great editor, I still have one of my associates edit my work!

Now, if you’re a graphic artist or techno whiz, you’ll be able to add graphics, format your e-book, and upload it to your website. But if you don’t know uploading from downloading, you’ll need to find some good people to fill these needs.

Do you have the promotional skills to write a press release, submit articles, and Tweet? If not, you could use a promo person, social media expert, and/or virtual assistant (VA).

I didn’t mean to overwhelm you with everything you need to do, but it’s got to be done and a team of experts and valuable resources will help. Just about everyone of us needs the time and talent of others to achieve our goals. And once we find the best people and resources, we can use them over and over with each info-product we produce!

If you’re wondering how to find the best team members and resources, it takes some education and experience. I’ve taken loads of teleclasses, webinars, live seminars, etc. for years and had experience both doing it all myself or hiring the wrong people. But that’s what it took to get to where I now have a great team of people and resources.

Shortly, I’ll be releasing a new e-book on Producing Info-Products and I go into this in full detail. But for now, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Make a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish in producing and promoting your info-product
  • Check off the ones you know you can do
  • Make a list of the tasks you’ll need to outsource
  • Start a list of potential team members and resources

Some examples are: virtual assistant, copyeditor, graphic designer, PDF software, autoresponder program, and a source for images. Start a Word doc called “Resources” and add names and URLs as you do your research, take classes, and ask for referrals.

I’m invested in your success as an infopreneur, so let me know what else I can do to help you reach your goals!

Happy Info-Product Profits,

Andrea Susan Glass
www.WritersWay.com


 
Determine Your Target Market & Niche for Your Info-Product
(This Post was posted on Sunday, March 21st, 2010 at 10:30 am)

I just wanted to remind you that as I’m teaching you, I’m also following my lessons because I’m working on a new e-book. So I get to test out everything and perfect it for you. I’m making this journey along with you! We can keep each other motivated and accountable. Are you up for it?

Now, in following up my previous blog post, I want to walk you through the steps necessary to create a winning info-product. The next step involves several critical decisions: the subject of your product; the specific niche; the ideal target market or buyer; and the type of product you’re going to create. This is an example of what these choices might look like:

  1. Subject matter: General topic – Personal growth
  2. Niche area of subject: Solve a problem – How to listen to inner guidance
  3. Target market: Specific segment of market – Small business owners
  4. Type of product: First product – E-book

Subject: Choose one that has the highest potential for profit—if that’s your top motive. If your motive is to establish yourself as an expert or attract more clients, your subject matter will be in the area of your expertise. If your goal is to attract media attention, you’ll want to choose a subject that’s hot, topical, and popular.

Niche: This is a specific segment of a subject or market. For example, if your market is small business owners, a niche would be home based business owners.

Target market: Those people most likely to purchase your info-products are your ideal customers. Small business owners is a broad target market, and home based business owners is a smaller niche within the broader market.

Product: Whether you start with an e-book or audio file will depend on what you think your ideal buyer will prefer and what you’re willing and able to create. Ultimately you’ll probably want to create a product line including several formats, but it’s important to start with the one you’re most likely to complete so you get a sense of success!

Getting clear on your subject, niche, market, and product are critical to your success as an infopreneur (one who sells info-products). Do you see how all these choices are interconnected? Take the time to work through this process before you proceed to creating your info-product. You’ll be glad you did when you see the results of your efforts in successful sales and satisfied customers.

Keep me posted on your progress and I’ll keep you posted on mine.

Happy Info-Product Profits,



Andrea Susan Glass
www.WritersWay.com