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Archive for the 'Righting Your Writing' Category

Two Steps Forward – Keep on Going

Author: Karen McGreevey

copywritingHave you ever noticed how sometimes when you’re getting ready to write an article or a blog post or your web copy, etc., you have an inclination to find all kinds of things to keep you from moving forward with that writing project?


Maybe all of a sudden you notice the clutter on your desk; the clutter that’s been there at least a week! Perhaps the really great topic you had floating around in your head vanished as soon as you sat down at your computer … or got out your notebook.


Or, you’ve put three sentences on your screen and then have decided you’ve got to edit what you’ve written. But then doing so, you changed your mind on the content 50 times in two seconds!


Hmm, something’s wrong here. You’re not getting anywhere and already two hours have passed. It’s worse than that gerbil on one of those wheels!


A great way to give you some momentum with your writing is to set some time limits. Say for instance you allow 20-30 minutes to write your first draft. Set a timer, start writing and don’t come up for air or change anything you’ve written until that timer goes off!


At the sound of the timer, read what you’ve got. Make some edits and then set the timer for 15 minutes more–to come up with a headline!


Since your resource box ought to already be pre-written, just tack it on and you’re done–in one hour! Then submit your finished product to or some other directory, then move to your next project.

In no time, you’ll find that once you get the hang of it you’ll be writing articles/content in no time, and faster, at that.


For another take, check out these Quick and Easy Content Writing Tips: 99 Highly-Effective Writing Tips by Douglas Roberts.

Jewels of Life: Believe, Dream, Internet Marketing, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA




doublemint-gum-twinsOne of the challenges to coming up with good, effective content for your blog posts, your articles, your website copy, your whatever these days is figuring out how to say your piece in an interesting way that will encourage your reader to click to your product or service. Without you repeating yourself overly so.


The thought’s the same, the words are not


In my proofreading and editing reviews of clients’ work and in my own content writing as well, on occasion I’ve noticed the repetitious use of some words. In fact, on occasion the double and triple use of words will stick out like a sore thumb!


Because it’s pretty easy to just repeat the same words over and over when you’re putting together a writing project, try using new words and don’t use duplicate words in the same proximity–especially in a sentence.


This way you can also learn new words to help you convey your message.


Get more tips on how to enhance your writing from Paula LaRocque’s book, The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well.


Jewels of Life: Believe, Dream, Internet Marketing, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA



He said, she said – Testimonials

Author: Karen McGreevey

testimonyYou, the online entrepreneur, know the importance of marketing your business, you also know the “usual” means to do this is to post on your blog regularly, to write articles, guest post at blogs, hang out at forums in your niche and post comments, provide a free report or audio for your visitors, sell an ebook, and participate in social media regularly, to name a few.


There is another venue you might want to consider when it comes to getting out the word about your products and services.


Positive vs negative


Make it a point to try to get testimonials from 8-10 people who have used your product or service. Now don’t be too concerned if feedback you’ve already received indicates your product may not be all that positive as the testimonials will most likely reflect that. You do, after all, want honesty. Any negativity you receive will give you a chance to make things right with the purchaser and reflect that in coming updates.


What to say


Perhaps you’ve discovered, when approaching a potential testimonial provider, there may be some reticence because the provider may be concerned with what to say. In view of a circumstance like this, you can have some questions prepared that you send to those you ask for a testimonial. For instance, you could include: Read the rest of this entry »


merry-go-round-smallWriting, as you know, has many “rules” designed to help you to stay focused and on point.


One of those, is keeping on track with your topic.


In other words, get to the point in a short amount of time and space without merry-go-rounding your message in enough words that collectively could fill a series of books.


And do it without the risk of the “Big B” (boredom) setting in on your reader so he clicks away before getting the good part (of your content: blog post, website content, article or ezine)!


Douglas Roberts has put together a handy little guide with 99 tips in his book, Quick and Easy Content Writing Tips:…


Jewels of Life: Believe, Dream, Internet Marketing, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA



Photo source: Peter Griffin,

How to “NOT” Create an Ezine

Author: Karen McGreevey

As one who needs a bit of email-dfygiveawayguidance now and then on how to get traffic, perhaps you’ve read articles, blog posts and the like on “how to publish an ezine”.


Especially if creating an ezine is new to you! Even if it’s not, it can sometimes be helpful to get a new perspective on how to do it.


So I thought it might “fun” to do a different take “on the doing” by illustrating with some two-part tips – first by (tongue in cheek) “how NOT to publish an ezine”, and then by following each NOT with a (what actually to do) counter-point. So let’s look at a few tips…


1. Leave out your name and contact information. Who would want to get in touch with you anyway? Your readers don’t care if there is a real live dependable person writing the ezine. NOT


Counterpoint: Your readers definitely do want to know they can contact a real person if they want to or need to. They also want to know “how” they can contact you. This helps you establish trust. Thus, be sure your name, email address at least are clearly visible in your ezine. A telephone number would also be helpful.


2. Put as many squigglies and decorations in your ezine as possible. So what if your readers get a headache while trying to read your ezine? Too bad! NOT


Counterpoint: Squiggles and curly-Q’s and funky font and colors may look cute and all, but they may make it difficult for some people to read your ezine. So keep your design neat and clean for easy reading. (After comments from some of my readers, I’ve changed the font color and font size in my ezine template.)


3. Load your ezine with ads. I mean after all, isn’t that why you’re putting out an ezine in the first place? NOT


Counterpoint: No, you are not publishing an ezine to run tons of ads; you are publishing an ezine to build that important relationship of trust and respect with your readers. In turn, this will also help to build your business and your reputation.


Pay attention to these NOTs and before long you’ll see that you’ll have a high-quality ezine your readers can depend upon. At the same time, your efforts will prove to be a huge boost for your business!


I’ve included discussions of additional NOT tips here and here.


In case you’d like some additional guidance with putting together your ezine/newsletter, check out Dr. Tony Alessandra’s ebook, 10 Tips for Creating an Effective Newsletter (Kindle Edition).


Jewels of Life: Believe, Dream, Internet Marketing, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA




Just recently I came across some tips blank-monitoryou might use when pulling together an ezine. I wrote about them in a coming issue of my own ezine, On the Bright Side.


Because there are 10 tips in total and perhaps too much to “take in” in one sitting, I’ve divided them into three different blog posts.


You can read them at your leisure here, here and here! I do suggest you have pen and paper or computer keyboard handy for taking notes.


These tips are written from the viewpoint of how to “NOT” write an ezine. (With each “NOT”, I include a comment you might consider to improve your ezine on that particular point.)


1. Content is content, right? As long as your ezine is full of “stuff”, it is helpful. NOT!


Try to give your readers basic, straightforward, helpful information that they can actually use to their benefit. Don’t use hyped up ads disguised as tips or articles. Quality content is key.


2. Don’t let your readers get to know you. They are interested in your ezine, not you. NOT!


Your readers need to know you so they can trust you and know they can depend on you to publish a consistent, quality ezine.


3. Don’t bother formatting the ezine correctly. Who cares how many characters are in each line, it all reads the same.


Definitely make sure to format your ezine uniformly and evenly. You aim is to to produce an ezine that’s clean, sharp, and professional.


4. Don’t waste time proofreading. Everybody makes mistakes, right? What is a mistake or two, nobody is perfect. NOT!


Take the time to make sure the spelling and grammar are correct in your ezine before you send it.


If you’re looking for more tips on putting together an ezine, check out Omar Johnson’s ebook, How To Create A Profitable Ezine From Scratch


Jewels of Life: Believe, Dream, Internet Marketing, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA



The “haves” and the “have nots”

Author: Karen McGreevey

Not long ago, I came across some tips email-dfygiveawayyou might use when pulling together an ezine. I wrote about them in a coming issue of my own ezine, On the Bright Side.


Because there are 10 tips in total and perhaps too much to “take in” in one sitting, I’ve divided them into three different blog posts.


You can read them at your leisure here, here and here! I do suggest you have pen and paper or computer keyboard handy for taking notes.


I’ve written these tips from the viewpoint of “what not to do” when you are putting together an ezine. Then I provide a solution to the “NOT”.


1. Don’t bother putting your ezine on a regular “send out” schedule. After all, most people can’t read it every time anyway. NOT!


How can your readers learn to trust in you and believe what you say when they can’t even depend on you to send your ezine on schedule?


2. Don’t add any original material. Just use all the same material everyone else is using. It works for them, why not for you? NOT!


Always have original material in your ezine, even if it is just an editorial or some tips.


3. Why bother with a disclaimer or privacy policy? Readers know their email is safe with you. They also figure if it is in your ezine, you recommend it. NOT!


Never assume anything. (You know what “assume” is.) Your readers want to be assured that their email is not being handed out for profit or promotion.


Also, you want your readers to know they should check out all offers, opportunities and ads. And just because you’re talking about it in your ezine, it’s not necessarily an indication you’re recommending it.


Along this line, Omar Johnson’s ebook How To Create A Profitable Ezine From Scratch may be of interest to you.


Jewels of Life: Believe, Dream, Internet Marketing, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA



Catching your breath

Author: Karen McGreevey

pull-hair-sm2If you’ve been “writing for the web” for any length of time or if you’re about to start, you know (or will know soon enough) these days there are different ways to write copy that could cause your English teacher to pull out her hair!


For instance, one of the “hair be gone” reasons centers around “what do to with commas”.


As you know, a comma is used for effect; it’s original usage intent was to cause you, the reader, to pause; to breathe in and out a bit before proceeding to the next “thought”.


In a reading aloud regard, the comma is especially helpful as it gives you a chance to catch your breath.


Imagine reading five or six lines of content with no comma, no place to stop–you’re likely to be gasping for breath when you’ve finished reading.


So the next thought would then be, if you’re not using commas how are you managing to get your point across in a manner that makes sense and thus keeps your reader alive?




You’ve probably seen those “little dots” around the web when you’ve been reading someone’s sales copy. For those who don’t know, they are called “ellipses”.


Actually, they are a really good substitute for the comma; they also make partial sentences coherent. Further, they connect your sentences into full thoughts so everything makes sense. Ellipses are even used to connect two or more items in a list.


Try them. See how many times you can use “ellipses” instead of “commas” the next time you write a blog post.


If you’re looking for more tips for writing copy, check out Clifford Kilarn’s book, Writing for the Web


Photo source:


Jewels of Life: Believe, Dream, Internet Marketing, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA



Checking your website twice

Author: Karen McGreevey

You may or may not know by now that copywritingwhen you’re working on your Web site, there is a checklist of sorts to keep in mind as you proofread your site and put on the “finishing touches.” For starters, you might consider one or all of these tips:


Make sure all of your links work. Nothing says frustrating (or “get me outta here”) more than to be reading along at a site, seeing a link that interests you, doing a click, and another click for good measure, but then going nowhere!


Look at your text to see if it is readable. If you can’t see it, most likely neither can others! And, your background may not be suitable either.


Does your message have some rhyme or reason to it? You know–does it make sense? If not, “out with the old and in with the new”–get rid of what’s outdated and add current information.


Using your scroll bar on the side of your site, view one line at a time, either from the bottom down or top up. This is also helpful, in general, when reading your site. As well as other sites you might visit.


As you zero in on some of these points, you will find that proofreading correctly definitely takes time. So if your time is short, you may decide to find someone who can do the proofreading for you. Think me!


In the end, though, the effort will not only potentially boost your sales, but your site will have the look of a professional.


Lisa Angelettie has a Kindle book, Content Marketing Tips, with more tips, check it out.


Jewels of Life: Believe, Dream, Internet Marketing, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA



Before You Write Your Sales Letter…

Author: Karen McGreevey

As you know, Child handing over the telephoneevery marketing campaign ought to begin with a plan. And so your Sales letter is no different. No plan, and you may miss the mark and the end result you are aiming for.


Although there are many, here are some thoughts you might use to help you to craft your plan:


1. Create a list of frequently asked questions for your ebook/product/service.
You can do this by putting yourself in your prospects/visitors’ shoes, and then figuring out what they are looking for, and then come up with a way to give it to them.


For instance, what burning questions do they have about your product or service? Then answer the questions in your sales copy and with the product you create. Actually, before you can come up with how your product will benefit your prospects, you need to know what problems your audience faces.


2. Make a list of your upsell offers or possibilities.
This is where a lot of small business professionals miss out. They fail to create upsell offers. Create your upsell offers and opportunities before you even start to write your sales letter. That way you can weave them into your backend pages and sales messages.


3. Make a list of bonus gifts.
Choose some bonus gifts before you write your sales letter. This way you can include the benefits in your sales message, as a part of your product.


4. Develop your guarantee.
Nowadays, it’s quite common for businesses of all sizes to have a built in guarantee. So that if someone asks for his money back, he’ll receive his money back without the business owner spending time analyzing whether they should or shouldn’t.


5. Gather your testimonials into one file.
If you don’t yet have any for a new product, use famous quotes about your field until you get some. Then sprinkle them throughout your copy.


6. Go look at your competitor’s sales page.
Study their FAQs (did you miss any?). What are their bonus gifts; what is their guarantee, do they have an upsell? What is their upsell? Use your competitor’s sales pitch as a measuring stick. How do you measure up?


By putting these steps into place before you even write your sales letter, you’ll improve your opportunities to sell more!


Take a look at Steve Slaunwhite’s book, The Everything Guide To Writing Copy: From Ads and Press Release to On-Air and Online Promos–All You Need to Create Copy That Sells for more insight into how to write copy for just about everything.


Jewels of Life: Believe, Dream, Internet Marketing, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA



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