sallyhanan’s blog

A writer’s blog

Web copy writing tips June 24, 2010

Filed under: Business advice,Copywriting,Writing — sallyhanan @ 7:50 pm
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Imagine you have a house that is stunningly beautiful; and it is set up for parties, dinners, and dances. Every person who comes to one of your parties is enthusiastically welcomed, he has a great time every minute he is there, and he gets to go home with party favors. Each guest is going to think about his time at your house for a long time, and he is going to want to come back and visit as soon as possible. Web copy needs to make a site’s visitors feel the same way.

Web copy
When you write copy for Web sites, you have some goals in mind, but the bottom line is that you want readers to get the warm fuzzies and feel completely at home with the site and everything it represents. You also want them to get a little taste of the goods, and you want that taste to make them hungry for more. It’s like a first date—you dress up, use your best manners, flatter, open up a little, and leave her at the door after a sweet kiss. Then you follow up on that kiss with a phone call . . . but that’s another writer’s job.

Still a little overwhelmed? Follow this checklist:
-Welcome
-Who?
-How?
-Why?
-What? (Peek and taste)
-Hungry for more

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

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How to write something quote worthy June 4, 2010

Filed under: Copywriting,Social media tips,Writing — sallyhanan @ 10:57 pm
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We all have moments in our lives when sentences come out of our mouths and the people listening seems to dissolve in rapturous admiration. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating. 🙂 Nevertheless, how is it possible to get that kind of genius into our writing?

Some of the things we love about quotes:
They make us laugh.
They make us think more deeply.
They make us seem more interesting.

We all have the ability to come up with a string of words. How can we do that in one sentence that is funny, interesting, and thoughtful?

My dog is on the floor, eyes closed, hair decorating the carpet around him. What can I put together? What comes to mind?
A dog’s life
Get back in your kennel.
Dog flaps
Bad hair day
Mute
Dry food
Doggone it!

Doggone it—a phrase invented because of a missing steak and a lick of a dog’s lips.

If I think about marriage, I think of
affection
support
friendship
assumptions
sarcasm
disagreements

“Building a marriage is like building a house—laying one stubborn brick on another with love as the cement.”

“When you open your heart to another you take the risk of being hurt deeply, but you also open yourself to being loved fully.

Your turn.

If I think about family, I think of
memories
laughter
food
closeness
trust

See what you can come up with. . . .

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

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Make money writing May 18, 2010

Filed under: Business advice,Copywriting,Writing — sallyhanan @ 11:19 pm
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I started to write in earnest in 2005. I had big dreams and a notable ego, but I quickly found that no one else was quite as impressed by my writing as I thought he/she would be.

When you are your only critic, everything you write is wonderful.


Five years later, with a dried-up ego and smaller expectations, I am finally making money. Granted, this month’s check is a paltry sum that only pays two household bills, but it is something. By next year I should have earned back all the money I spent on conferences, books, and magazines on writing. 😀

So how did I do it?

Step One
Write for free.

Step two
Once you have about five published clips, start querying the magazines that pay $5-$10 per piece, then gradually increase your queries to magazines that pay from $15-$100.

Step three
Once you have clips from three recognizable magazines, start to query the magazines you really want to write for.

Don’t make the same mistake I did in the process—I kept looking for new magazines to write for, but what I neglected to recognize, as a huge blessing, were the magazines that actually liked me enough to publish me in the first place.

Your regular sources of income might be right under your nose.

I recently contacted some older magazines’ editors to remind them how much they loved me, and to see if they needed any new material. One has now added me as a regular on her mail-out request for submissions; another has asked me to write another piece for her October issue. This leads us to step four.


Step four
Don’t bite the hand that fed you. 🙂

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

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Learn how to write great copy February 27, 2010

Filed under: Copywriting,Writing — sallyhanan @ 11:12 pm
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“Copyblogger was founded in January of 2006 by Brian Clark. Brian is a writer/producer, entrepreneur, and recovering attorney.”

Brian Clark writes a blog that has been rated among the top ten blogs on marketing by a bajillion national and international companies. Ok, maybe I exaggerated, but his blog, Copyblogger, has “over 100,000 subscribers and more than 240,000 unique monthly site visitors.”

With numbers like those, Brian is obviously doing something right, and it would be in a copywriter’s best interests to learn from him. Fortunately, this is an easy task because Brian has posted his wisdom all over his blog.

If you would like to learn the basics of writing copy, you can do so by reading his blog archives. Start here: “Copywriting 101: An Introduction to Effective Copy.”

You can also sign up for his updates and/or his newsletter; and no, he’s not paying me to promote his blog, I just find it an incredibly useful source of learning power.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

 

Make a simple flyer with Word. December 8, 2009

Filed under: Copywriting,Technology tips,Writing — sallyhanan @ 12:28 am
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There comes a time for most writers when they wish they could do simple design work. A simple flyer, a brochure—couldn’t be too hard . . . could it?

If you want to do graphic work, you must have graphic software, and most writers only have Microsoft Word 2003. So what can you do? Use Microsoft Word. 🙂

Directions for making a simple flyer
Open a new Word page.
Write the text you would like for your flyer.
Block your text from beginning to end with the mouse.
Click on “Format” in the top line of buttons on your screen.
Click on “Borders and Shading.”

Those tabs
Borders is for a border around the text you block.
Page border puts a border around the entire Word page.
Shading shades in the space you have blocked.

Borders and page border
The left column helps you decide on the type of border you’d like.
The middle/style column helps you to pick out the border width, color, line thickness.
The right column asks you if you want a border around all of the text or just one side of it.

Shading
Click on the color you would like your box to be filled with. There are more than the colors you see to choose from—click on “More colors.”
The “style” button is for choosing how solid or see-through you’d like the color to be.

You can use your new image in your documents. So far, I have not been able to save it as a useable image with any other program, but I know it has something to do with saving the image as a PDF first.

Keep in mind that this flyer will only be a low-quality printed work, but knowing how to do this can give you the confidence to break into higher-tech learning in the future.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

Exacerbate the fears and make millions August 19, 2009

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So we’ve seen how writers and sales people can capitalize on the four basic fears of others, but we only delved into two fears. Let’s continue. . . .

Example #3
You are afraid that you don’t matter to anyone, that you are not pretty enough/good enough/smart enough.


Sales pitch: Are you small? Would you like to be bigger? Being bigger would take care of all the problems in your life. No more will people overlook you when filling job positions. No more will people not notice that cute mole on your right cheek. No more will others not listen to your opinions. We want to give you, yes, give you, NoMoreShrinkage, because at this price, we’re practically giving away attention. NoMoreShrinkage works in such a unique way that you will not even feel it happening, and after your one hundred and thirty-five easy payments, you can walk tall.


Story: She stood in front of him, her eyes wide. He knew what she was thinking. Was there anything in there, behind those glassy gray eyes? She looked deeper, her pupils rushing from fleck to fleck in desperation. He held his own, hands in his back pockets, acting as calm as Tom Cruise on a dead motorbike. He just wished he had the shades. Her shoulders heaved, her eyes filled, and her body moved a step back. It was true. He was as dumb as a deaf, blind and mangy monkey, and there was nothing he could do about it, except, maybe, go buy those sunglasses now.

Example #4
You are afraid that you are irredeemable. You have messed up so much and so often that James Frey has nothing on you. You own the corner of the market on sin, and if you remind yourself enough (like, minute by minute) of what a loser you are, it will spur you to achieve incredible leaps of perfection (despite the fact that your dad tried that and it obviously didn’t work).


Sales pitch: Do you feel like cr*p? Have you failed again? Will you ever get it right? We have the answer! The Shoulda Button is attached to this tiny electrical wire that is attached to your neck that is drilled through your thick skull that is embedded in your brain. Every time you feel as if you should push yourself more, press this button and deliver 14 amps of electrical messages to your brain, saying such things like, “You shoulda not said that, you shoulda said this, you shoulda been witty, you shoulda smashed their face in.” Guaranteed for life, this only adds to the messages your brain already delivers, but we all know, it’s never enough. Exacerbate the pain, and maybe, some day, you’ll feel enough like the crud you really are to climb the highest mountains, drink milk with a moustache, and live your STD-filled life to the fullest.


Story: Grunt sat on the gritty floor of the granite cave grunting. Dadgrunt was out stoning bison, just like he did every day, only today he had asked Grunt to go along with him. Grunt grunted. He’d never be a stoner. His arm was too short, his aim was too high, his low was too low, but he couldn’t tell his dad that. Dadgrunt was the region’s top stoner. He’d never understand. Grunt lay on the gritty floor, and began to cry.

So it’s all quite simple really. Imagine the worst, write it down, and make your millions. Oh, and by the way, if you try and sue me because your writing career suddenly finds itself in the toilet, your worst fear might come true. Just think about that. Selah.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

Use fear to sell your wares August 17, 2009

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Having been a lay counselor for almost ten years, I have noticed that people’s problems tend to settle into four basic beliefs or lies about themselves. Writers and sales people then use those fears to sell their wares.


Example #1
You are afraid of being abandoned by loved ones and believe that no one will help you when you need help the most.

Sales pitch: Do you live alone? Are you nervous about strangers breaking into your house in the middle of the night to kidnap your children and steal the family jewels?
Then buy the Zillion Decibel Alarmifuss, the ONLY alarm that will not only wake you, but also all the neighbors on your street and the cops in the donut shops on 5th and 9th. Buy Alarmifuss TODAY, and don’t live in fear any longer.

Story: She was at the part of her dream when he pulled her to his manly studly body and lowered his soft lips when the noise woke her. So disturbed was Lady Antonia by the sudden breach of her dream that she fought to regain her mind.
Lady Antonia was alone. Sir Gallivant had left her for his weekly tirade of the servants down at the shed (or had he), and she, the weak and helpless damsel, felt her heart stir with dread. She traced a finger down her cheek to the floor. Soon it would all be over, and Sir Gallivant would find her in a pool of her own blood with the jewels that bedecked her ears . . . gone.
                                                               
                                                               
Example #2
You are afraid of emotional or physical pain and you fear that you will die if you experience too much of it.

Sales pitch: Are you sad ALL the time? Do you cry at Disney movies? Do you weep at comedies? Are there tears on your pillow?
You need CryNoMore, the laughing pill that will have you frozen in happiness forevermore, and it’s sunshine yellow, because once you start taking these pills, every day will seem to have the sun shining through it.

Story: He looked into her liquid-green eyes and saw the fiery sparks of resentment firing back up into a fire. His heart melted in the flames, liquid lava spreading through his gut like a fire in his belly—the flames of love and lustiness reaching new heights—only to be drowned in her fireman’s dousing of all that lay within. He backed away, one footstep at a time. His fire would never meet her hose again—he vowed, and then he dashed away.
                                                               

Subscribe to this website for Part Two, cuz if you don’t, you, too, might find yourself without all I have to offer.
                                                               
                                                               

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

 
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