Are you a amateur or professional?

Today’s a red letter day because in today’s Notes from Minnesota I’ve got a fantastic co-hostess (with the mostess.)

Her name’s Jackie. She’s one of the best musicians you’ll ever meet. She’s been playing forever and a day… worldwide. Plus she’s awesome.

Enjoy as we chat about what differentiates an amateur versus a professional. Then answer may surprise you… 🙂

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Fifteen Rules for Successful Self Promotion

February 4, 2016

~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Freelancer!

Oh my. This new year is gearing up to be an interesting one.

1. Bob Bly (one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet) graciously allowed us to release his incredible ““Bob Bly’s Guide to Freelance Writing Success: How to Make $100,000 a Year as a Freelance Writer and Have the Time of Your Life Doing It” as an economical ebook. I’m beyond excited to hail its praises… in fact today’s feature article is a fast excerpt I hope you’ll enjoy. (You can check it out here.)

2. My podcast, Notes from Minnesota, is growing and now available at iTunes. Very cool. A huge thanks to everyone who has taken a listen, downloaded, and recommended it. I’m humbled (yet very pleased) that so many people have emailed to let me know they found it useful. Yay! If you haven’t checked it out, here’s the video link. The audio link. iTunes.

3. I’ve got some great articles on tap in the upcoming weeks. Keep your eyes open for a number of content-heavy mini issues of Writing Etc. to hit your email box as early as next week. I’m really looking forward to releasing this new idea. Squee!~!

4. Reviews on my novels have been coming in strong. I’m pretty thrilled about that. Thanks for your support. Get free excerpts of all my books, both fiction and nonfiction, here.

5. Finally, and this is fairly sobering news… I haven’t revealed much about this part of my life, although I’ve talked about it in the Podcast. My dad was just categorized as stage4/terminal lung cancer. It’s been a rough couple months with lots of hospital visits and ambulance calls. My only advice concerning this situation is to embrace your mortality, chase your dreams, and write. Life is brief and precious.

Onward and upward!

Beth 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Think it’ll take forever to earn a great living as a writer? Think again. With Jumpstart Your Writing Career and Snag Paying Assignments, you’ll discover how easy it is to:

  • Think like a writer
  • Hone your writing skills until they’re razor sharp
  • Tackle the most lucrative branch of writing
  • Learn secrets of fiction
  • Organize your nonfiction articles
  • Write powerful queries
  • Promote your writing business for little or no money

Completely revised and updated, if you want to be a freelance writer who snags paying assignments, this book’s for you.

It’s currently 3.99 for the digital download. Nab yours when the getting’s good. 🙂

Get it at Amazon US    Worldwide

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1932794034Fifteen Rules for Successful Self Promotion
Robert W. Bly

1. Never tell anyone that you are not busy and that you are looking for work. (Clients want to hire those who are successful, not those who are hungry.)
2. Always put your name, address, and phone numbers on every piece of promotion you produce. This makes it easy for potential new business to reach you.
3. Write a book. It positions you as an expert.
4. If you don’t have the time to write a book, write an article.
5. When you write that article, try to sell it more than one publication. (You can change the title and a few of the examples to tailor it to each publication’s readers.)
6. Regularly mail reprints of your articles to your prospects and clients. Attach a note or short cover letter to personalize the mailing.
7. Advertise your services in magazines aimed at advertising professionals. Try a variety of journals and different ads until you find which ads give the best results. Also, try both classified and display formats.
8. Use direct mail to generate new business leads. A successful mailing of only a hundred letters can often yield five to 10 highly qualified new prospects.
9. Create a package of literature describing your services, background, fees, methods, clients and so forth. Mail the package to people who request more information in response to your ads and mailings. Such a package is extremely useful in prescreening leads.
10. Some copywriters, such as the late Paul Bringe, have had great success using self-published newsletter to promote their services. Newsletters help build recognition and establish credibility with a select audience (the people who receive the newsletter) over an extended period of time.
11. Don’t skimp on letterhead, envelopes, and business cards. The letterhead design and paper quality can convey an image of class and success.
12. Package your copy so that it looks expensive. Type on high-quality paper, mail flat, and protect copy with cardboard, tissues and so forth. You can charge more if the product looks better.
13. Use a word processor. It will allow you to produce flawless manuscript as well as dramatically increase your productivity.
14. Offer to speak and give seminars before trade associations and professional groups. Make sure potential clients will be among those in attendance.
15. Teach a course in advertising, marketing or writing at a local college or university-day school or adult education. This establishes you as an “instant expert” in the field.

NOTE: Bob’s got dozens more immediately useful techniques for successful self promotion in his book, “Bob Bly’s Guide to Freelance Writing Success: How to Make $100,000 a Year as a Freelance Writer and Have the Time of Your Life Doing It.” It’s available as an economical ebook here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com

Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You received this email because you subscribed at FilbertPublishing.com. You can easily manage your subscription by clicking the link at the end of this email.

You’ll receive between 1 – 4 emails per month, lots of tips, articles, and announcements of our latest titles.

I don’t rent or share your email information with anyone. Ever. Period.

Please forward this message with your friends, writing groups, peers, and anyone who you feel will find this content useful. I think they’ll find the information helpful and I know I very much appreciate your support.

~~~~~

PRIVACY STATEMENT: We will not distribute your email address to anyone. Ever. Period.

Please send your news items, ideas, comments, etc. to filbertpublishing(at)filbertpublishing.com
Writing Etc.
Box 326
Kandiyohi, MN 56251
Maurice and Beth Erickson, Publishers
mailto:filbertpublishing@filbertpublishing.com
http://filbertpublishing.com/
(c) 2016 FilbertPublishing.com

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Write. Create. Repeat. Preparing for 2016

Writing Etc.: Become a Writer for Hire

December 3, 2015

~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Freelancer!

The grand Filbert Publishing restructuring of 2015 is going well. Watch for our ebook selection to continue to grow in the coming weeks; I’ve got some incredible titles ready to roll. (Trade paperback updates and revisions to follow.)

In that vein, I wanted to extend a big “Thanks” to you. It means a lot that you stuck with me through this entire cancer nightmare. My latest tests came back NED (No Evidence of Disease… ha, I may have just expanded your medical vocabulary). Good test results are quite a relief.

So, to celebrate my probability of good health, my first, fully revised and updated title “Jumpstart Your Writing Career and Snag Paying Assignments” is temporarily only 3.99. It’ll go up to its regular price (8.95) shortly. So, if you’ve been thinking about expanding your freelancing income streams in 2016, you’ll likely find this title invaluable.

Today is all about goal setting. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Jeepers, I pretty much suck when it comes to fancy dancey calendars, day planners, and hard core scheduling. I’m weird that way.

But I’ve found a system that works very well for my purposes. Be sure to check it out below. (Oh, and nab your copy of Jumpstart if you want to get in on its special new-release price.)

Hmmmm… I think that’s it. For now.

Onward and upward, see you next time,

Beth 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

jumpstart littleThink it’ll take forever to earn a great living as a writer? Think again. With Jumpstart Your Writing Career and Snag Paying Assignments, you’ll discover how easy it is to:

  • Think like a writer
  • Hone your writing skills until they’re razor sharp
  • Tackle the most lucrative branch of writing
  • Learn secrets of fiction
  • Organize your nonfiction articles
  • Write powerful queries
  • Promote your writing business for little or no money

Completely revised and updated, if you want to be a freelance writer who snags paying assignments, this book’s for you.

It’s currently 3.99 for the digital download and the price will go up to its regular 8.95 price shortly. Nab yours when the getting’s good. 🙂

Get it at Amazon.

Worldwide

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Preparing for 2016

Beth Ann Erickson

When I sit back in my office chair, sipping pumpkin chai tea, I can barely wrap my head around the fact that I’ve freelanced for 20 years. Yikes. Where did the time go?

I’ve seen fads, trends, and exponential changes in this industry since I was a doe eyed young lady exiting college with her dream proudly displayed on her sleeve.

But you know what? When it comes to actually writing, marketing, and selling writing, much has remained constant. When you drill down the latest hype, distill Internet brouhaha, and take a step back, writing success generally boils down to this:

Write. Market. Repeat.

A great way I know to do this is to set flexible goals. And setting goals for 2016 can be broken down like this:

1. Think about what you want to accomplish.

Some people set financial goals. Some set daily word counts. Others decide how many books they’ll publish.

2. Purchase a calendar you like.

I’ve seen calendars costing close to a hundred bucks (they call them day planners). Just to contrast, I often get my calendar at the dollar store. Get one you like. I use something simple so I don’t spend too much time micromanaging my next day.

3. Create a loose plan.

I whip up a list of personal projects I’d like to complete in the coming year. I then decide how many author projects Filbert Publishing can work on, making sure we have enough time to personally work with each new author.

I also ponder a loose marketing schedule. It’s probably prudent to note here that I’ve read a gazillion marketing books. Whenever I come across a marketing technique that makes me wince, I don’t add that to the schedule. Seriously, if you hate a marketing technique, you won’t do it.

Instead, create a marketing schedule that works for your personality type and run with it. (If you need marketing ideas, my 101 No Cost (And Low Cost) Techniques to Turbo Charge Your Freelance Income is packed easy marketing strategies. It’s also on a big-time sale, too.)

With this list I then…

4. Break the plan down into workable chunks.

After 20 years in the biz, I kinda know how long each task can realistically take. Then I double my initial estimate. 🙂

Now I list each task by order of priority: Which one do I want finished first? What’s next? What’s after that? Are some tasks seasonal? I need to make sure I schedule them well before my deadline.

5. Break the chunks down into weekly and/or daily tasks.

Now that I have my handy list, I can open my calendar and kinda/sorta fill in my schedule. I always leave a blank day each week to play catch-up. Remember, tasks often take longer than you expect. Sometimes, gloriously, a task goes fast. Those are the days I head to Caribou Coffee and celebrate like it’s 1999. 🙂

I rarely fill my calendar to the brim. I work a month at a time, always keeping my primary, yearly goals tucked inside the little calendar book. This way, I know what I want accomplished, but also acknowledge that I need flexibility.

Finally…

6. Use a pencil to mark your calendar.

Don’t be afraid to erase, reschedule, and live your life. Remember, the most important part of each day is to write, create, and distribute your words. If this is all you get done on particularly hectic weeks, you’re still way ahead of the pack. But be sure to do these three activities (write, create, repeat) every day.

So, let’s do this, eh? Here’s to a wonderful 2016 prep. 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com

Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You received this email because you subscribed at FilbertPublishing.com. You can easily manage your subscription by clicking the link at the end of this email.

You’ll receive between 1 – 4 emails per month, lots of tips, articles, and announcements of our latest titles.

I don’t rent or share your email information with anyone. Ever. Period.

Please forward this message with your friends, writing groups, peers, and anyone who you feel will find this content useful. I think they’ll find the information helpful and I know I very much appreciate your support.

~~~~~

PRIVACY STATEMENT: We will not distribute your email address to anyone. Ever. Period.

Please send your news items, ideas, comments, etc. to mailto:filbertpublishing@filbertpublishing.com

Writing Etc.

Box 326

Kandiyohi, MN 56251

Maurice and Beth Erickson, Publishers

filbertpublishing(a)filbertpublishing.com

http://filbertpublishing.com/

(c) 2015 FilbertPublishing.com

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