Sunday, September 28, 2008

Getting Facebook Referrals

One of the easiest ways to build a contact list, and also the most effective, is to get a referral from someone you already know. In fact, Facebook was created on this premise when it originally was created with a closed network that you had to be invited into by someone else to access. This is no longer the case, and you can simply choose to sign yourself up without a referral from anyone.

However, then you find yourself in Facebook and you're all alone! Instead of sending out emails to anonymous people, you should always start to try to build your network with people you already know who are on Facebook. This way you never find yourself in the position of having to make an email cold call. Someone will have already introduced you as a friend. This will give you a degree of credibility when you go to approach people you don't know on Facebook, who you would like to get to know. If you have no friends, you can bet others will not trust you as easily as if you have a few friends on your side already willing to vouch for you.

When you sign up, you will be asked for a variety of personal information. You should be truthful with where you went to school, where you live, and where you work (if you don't mind an employer finding out you are on Facebook).

Some people have even tried using screen names, but found that when building a business, it makes more sense to use your own name. After all, hopefully you are not online to post pictures of the latest frat party, but rather to make money. So, if you keep to some decent business standards, you shouldn't have to worry too much about using your own name and it can help to start to brand you as an expert in some field.

The reason for using your own personal information is because you are going to use it to find your friends! If you go in and can find no one there who knows you, you will have to start trying to make friends, without having any friends to speak of. That's like being the new kid in school who no one knows, no one trusts, and everyone thinks is a bit weird. Friends are important because they can help you establish your identity and verify who you are. And, identity is everything in social networking.

So, after answering the profile information, you can start to look for people who might have attended school with you at some time in the past, your prior co-workers, and even people in your specific geographical area. Another great way to find people you already know on Facebook is to think about the types of organizations you have joined in the past. Is there a church you attended?

Plug in the church name in the friend finder and you will be surprised how many people pop up. Any organization is fair game, whether it is a library book club or a business organization. It doesn't hurt to look and it can be a great way to establish a presence from the physical encounters and time you've already spent doing your regular activities in your area.

Source: Profitable Freelancing with Facebook

Four Tips for Effective Communication

There are many factors that contribute to effective communication, but one area that shows that you are able to speak effectively is how well you assert yourself during conversation.

Here are four tips that will help you increase your composure when giving an assertive message so that you can present what you have to say with confidence.

Tip One: Speak Immediately

When giving an assertive message it is important to speak about the topic you are concerned with while it is actually occurring – this will keep the flow of communication relevant.

If you wait for hours, days or weeks to approach the problem situation you may experience increased stress and sleepless nights as you brood over the matter. So aim to resolve the problem situation as close to when it is occurring as possible.

Tip Two: Be Direct

It is important to realize that the situation that you are in is primarily affecting yourself, not the other person. In fact, they may not know or even care that their actions are affecting you.

You will need to state the problem to them directly – provide them with an example of the annoying action or behavior. Further to help resolve the problem, it is best to suggest some alternative action that they may take, or ask them to stop doing it directly.

Tip Three: Be Pleasant

When you send an assertive message to another person you are asking them to stop performing some annoying behavior or action, and instead do something less obtrusive. So if you present in a hostile manner it is very unlikely that the other party will take you seriously. In fact it as more likely that you will create a huge scene, and turn your assertive message into an argument!

Instead, take a deep breath and find a pleasant posture. This will help you frame what you need to say in the right manner and your delivery is more likely to be accepted.

Tip Four: Keep Calm

The main risk in giving an assertive message is facing the resistance of the other party. Occasionally the other party may take offense at what you are presenting, or resist without apparent reason.

In these situations it is important to maintain your composure. If you act offensively they will not want to help you. Make up your mind to keep composed even if there is resistance, and repeat your assertive message until it is accepted.

By following these four tips when giving assertive messages you should experience increased confidence and other people are likely to respond to your requests.

(C) Writing Career

Saturday, September 27, 2008

How to List Your Business in Google and Yahoo Local Search

Even if your business is done completely online, you may benefit from getting listed in Google Local or Yahoo's local listings. People often feel more comfortable doing business with someone who is local; and potential customers may stumble across your business while searching for other things. Submission to Local Search at both Google and Yahoo are free, and may bring you more business than you expect.

Here are the URLs for the signup forms below, but before you get started you should have the following information ready at hand:

1. The first thing they will ask for is the physical location of your business. If your business is in your home, that is no problem, just use your home address. You shouldn't, however, use a post office box, as Google doesn't accept them.

2. The telephone number(s) of your business - If you use your home phone number for your business, be sure you have an appropriate answering machine message, and that your phone is answered in a professional manner.

It is best to get a separate telephone number for your business, even if it and your budget are very small. Check with your phone company and the VOIP companies, you may be pleasantly surprised at how cheaply you can get a second number. Many people use VOIP for their business, and pay just $25 per month for unlimited local and long distance through their broadband internet connection. If you have a fax number, have that ready also.

3. A business email address - Use an email account at your business domain. If you don't have a website for your business, buy a domain for your site from a registrar such as who gives website space with a domain purchase, or at least put up a "one page business card" website on the free space Yahoo offers to local listers. In any event, don't use an America Online address or a "freebie" email service such as Hotmail or Yahoo for your business. This is considered very unprofessional.

4. Your business website address - Get a site if you honestly mean to have an internet business. Yes, a website is not strictly required in order to earn online, but to anyone with online business experience you will appear as a rank amateur without one.

5. A description of the services or products you sell. This should be a short 1 to 3 sentence summary such as:

"Your Business Name provides widgets to all widget users, with special emphasis on blue widgets for widgeteers. We also offer widget payment plans."

Don't make it a blatant advertisement, just an explanation of services.

6. Categories your business falls under - You'll be able to choose up to 5 categories for your listing.

7. What types of payment can you accept? (Cash, credit card types, etcetera)

8. Your business operating hours and days at your location.

9. Contact Name - likely yours.

Google users will need to setup an Account. Fear not...if you have Gmail, Google Sitemaps or any other Google service requiring an email address you are already registered.

When you have your information ready, go to

Sign into your Google account and follow the onscreen instructions. Once you have finished, Google will telephone or send you a postcard (your choice) with a confirmation number. When you receive the pin number in the mail or by phone, you will then need to go back to your account and enter that pin number before your entry can be activated.

After that, just wait for the phone calls from new customers.

For Yahoo, the information needed is nearly the same, and they will give you a free 5-page website for your business to boot!

Sign up at Yahoo here:

Get going and boost your business into areas you might not have thought of trying.

(C) Writing Career

Friday, September 26, 2008

Employers Are Not Helping Alleviate the High Cost of Commuting to Work, Inc., the world's largest network of niche career communities, polled members across its network of thousands of sites to learn what employers are doing to help workers cope with the high gas prices affecting their daily commutes. More than 7,000 Network visitors responded to the question:

"What is your employer doing to help with the rising price of gas affecting your commute?"

72% - Nothing
15% - Ability to telecommute
7% - Short work week
6% - Company-sponsored car pool/transportation

The high price of gas has taken a toll on the budgets of many American households, especially those who have a long commute to work. In fact, a previous poll conducted by found that an astounding 79 percent of professionals are actively looking for a job closer to home as a result of high gas prices. Employers who choose not to take action could end up losing valuable resources as a result.

"Contrary to popular belief, helping workers offset the high price of gas does not have to be costly or time-consuming for the company," says Rich Milgram, CEO of "There are many small gestures that employers can make that go a long way in providing some level of assistance."

Listed below are five steps employers can take to help alleviate high gas prices without breaking the company's budget:

Promote Public Transportation – Post current transit schedules in the office to inform employees of available routes to-and-from work. Also, consider subsidizing public transportation.

Reward Employee Performance – Reward employees who have earned perfect attendance or achieved a specific goal or objective with a gas card. This is also an effective to increase productivity and reduce absenteeism.

Offer Flexibility – Identify employees who can effectively perform their job from home or offer the ability to work longer days, resulting in a shorter work week.

Encourage Carpooling – Establish and communicate an internal carpool. Consider providing preferred parking spaces to carpool participants or those owning "green vehicles."

Install a Bike Rack – Offer secure bicycle storage for employees who opt to ride their bike to work.

For more workplace-related tips, please visit's Career Resource Center.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Media job site makes it easier to get that dream media job

SourceThatJob, the specialist media job board, has launched a brand-new resources area dedicated to assisting people in establishing and developing a career in media.

Whether it be a job in advertising, a career in public relations, a marketing role or a journalism job - the resources area on SourceThatJob is a great starting point for those wishing to enter a media career.

The resources area includes sections on journalism, PR, marketing, advertising and design. Each one gives a short introduction into finding work in that area of the media, followed by useful links and a list of relevant books that can be purchased from sister site The Media Bookshop.

This is just the first step in providing media career advice on SourceThatJob. The resources area will grow over time to cover more detailed advice in establishing a media career and information for those who wish to develop an existing media career.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Blog Helps PR Students and Recent Grads Get Career-Ready

As college students head back to campus this fall, many of those majoring in public relations or communications already have begun taking advantage of a new career-focused resource: This new blog, launched this summer, recently saw its ranking on blog tracker Technorati jump more than one million spots in less than a month as aspiring PR professionals logged on for answers to their questions about starting their careers.

Culpwrit provides PR students and young professionals with career advice and industry insights that go beyond most textbook and classroom settings - and that are available around the clock. Ron Culp, managing director and partner at Ketchum ( and a 35-year PR industry veteran, launched the blog to provide information that he hopes will enhance the professional development of millennials. He shares his experiences, features posts from other industry leaders, and personally answers questions from readers.

"Whenever I meet young people in school settings or at conferences, they ask me the standard questions about my personal career path," said Culp. "Then when I interview young people - either for a job or informational purposes - there are always questions I wished they had asked but suspect they were afraid to. My hope is that Culpwrit will be a key resource for the things young people really want and need to know."

As more and more millennials turn to blogs for information and advice, Culpwrit responds by providing quick and direct feedback. Students and young professionals post questions that range from "Corporate or agency... or nonprofit?" to "How long should I stay in my first job before switching to another firm?" No matter what the question, industry veterans weigh in with answers, creating a forum-like discussion.

Guest bloggers have included Bob Kornecki, a seasoned PR agency professional and author of How to Thrive in the Public Relations Business; Kim Hunter, head of the LaGrant Foundation, which seeks to attract more minorities to PR; and LTC Paul Swiergosz, a public affairs officer in the U.S. Army. Young professionals who are new to the field also share their experiences in a regular feature called "Day in the Life."

"Young people today are accustomed to getting information fast and at their fingertips, and many of us who have worked in public relations for a long time are eager to share our knowledge," Culp said. "Blogging is a great way for us to come together."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Some of the World's Top Professionals Reveal Career Success Secrets

For anyone looking at the road -- or the crossroad---leading to or changing careers, there hovers the question "Now what?"

Paul Carpino, M.A., a Career Counselor currently inspiring students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, endeavors to answer that by providing guidance in an innovative form. In his unique book "Now, Launch Your Career", he has researched, compiled and edited personal advice letters from top names in business, education, science, entertainment, arts/design, finance, real estate and many more. This collective wisdom has been synthesized into a book by "career curator" Carpino.

Some of the most recognizable names in his book are master builder Donald Trump, shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, doctor/professional clown Patch Adams, film critic Rex Reed, fitness expert Richard Simmons. Readers will be especially familiar with celebrity chef Mario Batali, cartoonist Jim Davis and comedian Jeff Foxworthy. Their stories are in the company of others whose careers range from monastic abbot to pastry chef, from hypnotherapist to funeral director. Other careers explored are in the fields of retail, entertainment, real estate, securities, art, photography, and geology, to name just a few in this wide span of 42 responses.

"Now, Launch Your Career" began as a research project for grad school when Carpino was a student at Chapman University in Phoenix. Seeking real world research, he sent letters to successful people asking them three simple questions:

1) What do you like about your career?
2) What don't you like about your career?
3) How did you decide on, or break into your career?

As Carpino received responses, the project took on a 5-year life of its own- and his thesis was finished, with his own career counseling advice contribution.

Something about Carpino's message spoke to people at high levels, causing them to respond. He humbly asked for support and it worked! The answers came back in many forms -- some were hand-written letters (Thomas W. Dibblee Jr., credited with mapping the geology of California). Some were meditative in tone while others were briskly businesslike. But all of the responses had something to say.

"This is not theory, this is not motivational," maintains Carpino. "This is real world advice. Career truths." Each letter is followed by a bio of the writer, some of which relay a fascinating career trajectory. Mario Batali, for example, was urged by his parents to go to cooking school but initially resisted, wanting to be a businessman. Now he is a master chef for restaurants where many businessmen enjoy the results of his career reconsideration.

Among the notable entrepreneurs is Cordia Harrington, self-described as "the Bun Lady." Harrington was a McDonald's franchisee who discovered a need to streamline the bun-baking process. Now she is CEO of the Tennessee Bun Company, supplying McDonald's and other restaurants.

Some respondents knew from the start what they wanted to do. Robert B. McKnight, Jr, founder of Quiksilver athletic apparel, was at heart a surfer, selling board shorts out of the back of his Volkswagen on the California coast. He rode that wave, making a living from the surfing culture lifestyle with Quiksilver. Now he is the Chairman of the Board (and, it could be said, Chairman of the Surfboard!)

Carpino, who included himself in his interviews, worked for a decade in telecommunications and corporate marketing before his aptitude for helping others was applied to career counseling. In the past eight years of doing that he has seen a lot of people looking for or changing career paths. Surveying the guidance given by the contributors in his book, he says,
"It worked for them. Is it going to work for you? It could. What's in this book is do-able."

Readers of "Now, Launch Your Career" can explore fulfilling, rewarding and interesting careers through personal advice from those who have created such careers. These people have been propelled -- by fate, family, or even by fluke -- toward something that has been the making of them. They are now in a position of success, and in many cases they are also famous. There is a delight in reading letters from household names who share their answers to these three simple -- and highly illuminating---questions posed by Paul Carpino.

"Now, Launch Your Career" is available in soft-cover. The cost is $17.95. It can be ordered by visiting iUniverse.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Online Portfolio Directory and Jobs Board For Creative Professionals has launched its comprehensive online portfolio/jobs board service for creative professionals. WhosCreative gives graphic designers, motion designers, animators, photographers, illustrators, digital artists, art directors, creative directors, web and gaming artists/programmers, fashion and film industry artists the chance to present their portfolios, be social and find freelance and fulltime jobs.

WhosCreative is the brainchild of Jon Lewis and Dwain Schenck, experienced recruiters and founders of ICA Creative - a placement firm in the graphics, post production and broadcasting industry. WhosCreative was developed as the ultimate place for artists to display their talent and as a tool for employers to find and manage talent.

WhosCreative allows users to point their own domain names to their portfolios and when the portfolio is accessed through its own domain name, it becomes an independent site without WhosCreative branding. Additionally, WhosCreative offers a client access-extranet-component for those who need to present their work in-progress and to share files with their clients in a password-protected area.

Creatives who sign on to the site enjoy a myriad of services - including the opportunity to post a detailed profile page, send and receive messages with other members, bookmark favorite profiles/portfolios, apply to listed jobs, develop a customizable portfolio, set up their own web address on the site, post unlimited images in the portfolio and upload video and audio files.

The basic service is free to join and allows users the ability to set up a comprehensive profile and standard portfolio.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

5 Newsletter Tips to Stay In Touch with Clients

You know you need to stay in touch with the people on your list, but you're in two minds about starting a newsletter. Will it take up too much of your time? What if you run out of things to say? Can you maintain quality over a period of time? How long should your newsletter be?

Your first aim should be to offer useful or interesting information. (If you don't do that, you won't have subscribers for long!) Your second aim should be to keep your newsletter short. Remember that people are inundated with email these days - they actually prefer something they can skim quickly and then put to use.

Spend some time thinking about the best format. You need a model that will be easy to reproduce week after week, month after month. Any one of the following five ideas will make your job easier. Choose one and keep it as a regular format, or combine several of them (for example, you could use the "Tip of the Week" format for weeks 1-3 each month, and offer a checklist every fourth newsletter).

1. Tip of the Week

This one speaks for itself. You can easily brainstorm enough content for six months of weekly newsletters (you need to come up with 24 tips, which you will present weekly). Anyone with a degree of expertise on a given topic should be able to do this without any trouble. A handy way to organize this is to (a) explain the problem then (b) offer the tip which will solve it. Length? Anything from 150 - 500 words.

2. Top Ten

This is a tried and true format, and easy to create. Example: if you are an expert on finance, you could offer advice on the Top Ten Ideas for Getting Out of Debt, or the Top Ten Ways to Save Money on Car Expenses, or the Top Ten Tips to Pay Off Your Mortgage in Ten Years. Make sure you keep a tight rein on word length - just offer a couple of sentences for each tip, not half a page.

3. Three Ways to...

Sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge to come up with ten ways to do things, whereas just three ideas is a cinch. You can also explore three ideas in more detail. Alternatively, you can alternate the "Top Ten" format with "Three Ways to...” the two of them will work together nicely.

4. Before and After

Who doesn't like makeovers? This works in a similar way to 'Tip of the Week' in that you show the problem and then provide a solution, but the 'before and after' approach lends itself better to case studies. This is a good way to interact with your clients - invite them to send in details of whatever needs a makeover: an article, a website page, their wardrobe etc, then present your solutions. Alternatively, you can ask for 'before and after' examples from readers who have managed to do this themselves, then showcase it for the rest of your customers. (If you don't use HTML for your newsletters, you can add a link to a website page for the accompanying photos.) This works particularly well if you have a health and fitness related newsletter - your readers will be motivated by seeing the changes others have made through diet, exercise and weight training.

5. Checklists

When you're learning to do something new, there's nothing like a checklist to make sure you don't leave out a crucial step. Checklists can save a lot of time, and your readers will be delighted to get one. Write a brief introductory paragraph, present the checklist, and then follow it with a few final tips. You can either base your entire newsletter on the checklist format, or present one at regular intervals as a change from the standard article format.

Final tip: set up an address at yahoo or gmail just for newsletters. Spend a few hours checking out sites related to your own interests, and sign up for any free newsletters. Every so often, check your new email account and browse, looking specifically to see what approach other editors use for layout and articles. When you see a format you like, print it out and put it in an 'ideas' folder. Unsubscribe from any that are constantly filled with junk or endless sales pitches.

(C) Writing Career

Creative Networking For Stronger Sales

Every business depends on networking between employees and other stakeholders in the company to accomplish the goals of management. To be effective in a small business, you have to take a look at the way a corporation builds its network of clients and recruits their employees. Effective networking practices assure the highest profitability for a business. This is why human resources is such a high priority in the corporate world. A corporation draws its strength from its client base and the reputation it builds by recruiting the best and brightest employees.

If you are a small business owner, you have probably thought of expanding your business. The way to increase sales is done through either leveraging capital or human resources. To leverage capital, you would borrow money and invest it in your means of production. This might be better equipment, more employees or anything that would increase your productivity.

Most small businesses choose to leverage human resources. A good example of this is an affiliate program. The idea behind running an affiliate program is to offer other companies or individuals a monetary incentive for acting as agents to sell your products to the public.

Imagine having a small army of affiliates selling your products. The best part is that you only pay them a commission after they sell your product. You have no paid salespeople at all. Basically, you just receive the orders, process the payments and ship the goods to the customer.

This is a good example of effective networking because you have a built-in loyal workforce once you have hired your affiliates. The benefits to the merchant are increased sales, market share and product visibility.

Another popular form of networking is direct sponsorship in a Multi-Level Marketing organization. In this type of marketing plan, an individual sponsors many other people into an organization. Then he trains this group of people on how to sponsor more people into the organization themselves. This method results in a very large base of marketers working to sell products for the company. The original sponsor gets paid for his efforts by the volume of sales his team produces. The profit trickles down through the organization based on the number of people each group leader has sponsored and the sales volume achieved by each member of the group for the sales period.

Affiliate programs and MLM are not for every company. There are costs of maintenance, and a payroll to meet every month. The biggest advantage of using these programs is that a non-employee of the company makes every sale. This way the company does not have to pay the worker's benefits and Social Security taxes. Each affiliate or network marketer is an independent taxable entity. They are not employees of the company from a legal standpoint.

Business owners must decide for themselves the best way to expand their business when it comes time to do so. It all comes down to a cost per sale analysis. Finding the best way to capitalize your business always includes market research and weighing the benefits of your available options.

If you decide to use one of the methods outlined above, it is best to discuss this move with a qualified marketing specialist. Also hire a qualified accountant for taxes and payroll purposes. You may want to talk to other business people who have successfully made this change for more information.

(C) Writing Career

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Media Training 301 -- Become a Partner, Not a Player

Every business owner should include getting publicity as a part of his or her overall marketing strategy. However, there is a lot more to garnering free publicity for your business than just writing – and sending – press releases.

You want to build a long-term relationship with the media, and become known as a resource, an expert in your industry. That doesn't happen overnight, and it doesn't happen by accident. It takes time, careful planning and a strategy. The good news is that you don't have to spend tens of thousands of dollars, or hire an outside agency to do it for you.

Before you can start creating a buzz and building a successful publicity campaign, you need to know three things:

1. Why do you want publicity in the first place? Are you trying to build credibility? Let people know about your product or services? Create or strengthen your business's brand?

2. What is your message? When putting together your publicity campaign, you need to know what you're going to say and how to say it so that you achieve your ultimate goals.

3. What type of coverage are you looking for? (There are three types: Newspaper/visual, radio/audio, and Television/visual/audio). Of these three types, which is going to be the best way to get your message out?

Once you know where you want to end up, the next step is to create a roadmap that will get you there.

There's a famous saying that illustrates perfectly what you ultimately want to achieve: "If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying 'Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday,' that's advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk him into town, that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flowerbed, that's publicity. If you can get the mayor to laugh about it, that's public relations. And if you planned the elephant's walk, that's marketing."

Here are the "insider secrets" that will help you to become a partner, and build a solid relationship with the media so that you can "plan the elephant's walk" for your business.

1. Do your research before writing your first press release. Think about your story. Who is it going to affect, interest or impact? Is it strictly of local interest, or can you “hook" it to a larger event or happening? Is it a one-time happening, such as your grand opening, or a special event, or milestone? Is it part of an ongoing effort?

2. Create your own "hot list." Now, figure out which media sources are going to be most interested in your story. Start locally. Think of your local newspapers, television and radio stations. Include your local public radio station, college stations and any others that provide news stories in your list. (Special Note: If your story isn't one that is going to be over in fifteen minutes, don't forget organizations that publish newsletters! Think about your local Chamber of Commerce or organizations whose members or clients could also become your customers!)

Then think even further outside your "circles of influence." If you live in an urban area, there may be national affiliates like APR, etc that have stringers or offices nearby. Include those in your list.

Now look at online sources. Be thoughtful here. Don't just send a press release to everyone. Sure, it may get published online, but it may also get dumped into a “news bin" on a thread where it is never seen or read.

In addition to the hundreds of news sources, think about your affiliations. Are you a member of a national society, or organization? If it is relevant to your story, mention that you're a member, and then send a copy of the press release to them as well!

3. Make it personal. Now that you know which media sources you're going to send your press release to, get on the phone. Find out the name of the specific person you need to send the press release to. (These is a step a lot of people skip over, but take my advice and don't, because it's one of the most important!) Remember the word "relations" in "public relations." Building any worthwhile relationship takes time and effort. You have to give something to get something.

If possible, talk to the reporter or editor personally. Introduce yourself, and let her/him know that you're going to be sending him/her a press release. (If you're inexperienced at this, you can actually use that as an introduction and let him know that you want to get started off on the right foot). You want to find out the following information:

- The correct spelling of her/his name.
- How they prefer to receive the press release -- faxed or in the mail.
- How far in advance do they prefer that you send the press release?

Always make sure to ask what their deadline is. If faxing your press release is okay, get the fax number, and find out if the cover sheet should be addressed to the reporter or someone else.

DO NOT CHAT. This is not a social call. You are calling to get information, not a date. (Tricks of the trade: Get your Rolodex or PDA out while your talking to the reporter. Note all of the pertinent information so that you've got it for the next time. On the back of the card, or in the memo section, write down the date you spoke with them, and the reason for the press release.)

4. Once you've found your contact person, stick to them! Unless otherwise instructed, never send the same press release to more than one person in any organization or publication. If there is any confusion or duplicate coverage, it will be blamed on you, and you will lose your credibility.

5. Follow-up. Within a day or two of sending your press release, call and make sure that they received it. If not, be calm, and pleasant, and just say that you'll send another one. Re-check your contact information, and make sure you've got the right address, fax number, etc. And then send it right away.

6. Never just send a press release the day of your event. It makes you look unprofessional, and you probably won't get covered. The only exception to this is if you're holding a press conference to make a big announcement that will impact many people.

Always plan ahead and give the media as much time as possible to decide how they are going to cover it.

7. Know Their Deadlines. I can't stress this often enough. EVERY TIME you talk to a reporter, ask what their deadline is.

When you're submitting an article or a press release to a magazine, call first and ask about submission deadlines. And then make sure that you send it in with time to spare.

Mark the deadline on your media info sheet, or your Rolodex, but check back with them periodically, because changes do happen.

8. Keep your promises. If a reporter calls you, and you don't know the answer to a question, or he needs something you don't have but you promise to get it -- do it. Always follow through and do what you say you're going to by their deadline.

9. Be professional. Offer to act as a liaison if the reporter needs to speak to other people in your organization or industry, and volunteer to provide additional research or background information. Put together an online pressroom on your Website, as well as offline media kits that you can send along with your press releases, or when needed.

10. Remember what your mother taught you. Be polite. Say please and thank you. If you read an article that a reporter has written and you liked it, send a handwritten a note and let them know. Be willing to provide information, resources or background material even if it doesn't directly benefit you. Building a solid relationship is about more than selling more widgets, and will pay off in the long run.

(C) Writing Career

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How to Create Fresh Content for Your Blog

When you first start your blog, you have so much to say that you have no problem posting every day. After a while, you begin to run out of ideas and you can't seem to come up with fresh content. Every blogger has this problem from time to time. So how do you keep the blog going - keep it fresh and full of value? Here are some ideas:

Do a top 10 list - "The top 10 mistakes people do when trying _______ for the first time." "The top 10 tips for ______." Lists tend to be easier to write and take less time to formulate. If you can't come up with 10, perhaps you can make it the top 3 or top 5.

Interview an expert - Approach someone who is very knowledgeable in your blog niche and you may find they'll be happy to do an interview, especially if they have a new product just launched and would like the exposure. Put together some thoughtful questions and ask them to write out their answers. The beauty of this blog post is that aside from asking the questions, the interviewee does all the work!

Answer a recurring question/problem - Go to the forums you frequent in your niche and look for a recurring question that people have. Doing a little research and coming up with answers makes for an excellent blog post. You also can become the expert.

Blog about other blog posts - Have you read a blog post recently that caused you to stop and think, or offered up a huge glittering gem of priceless information? Blog your opinions, insights, and inspiration you've gotten from that person's post. Be sure to provide a link back so your readers can read the original post.

Use the weather - Look around you at the season and tie it into your niche. Does the hot weather inspire you to share a story on your internet marketing blog about going fishing while your internet marketing business is still making you money? Does the 4 feet of snow outside make you think about reading your favorite books? If so, you can do a niche-related book review with your Amazon or other affiliate links attached.

What's up in your business world - Blog about what you're working on now. Using a personal tone, explain what your current project is. Letting a few tidbits escape builds anticipation and helps your readers feel like they're now on the "inside".

These are just a few blogging ideas to help get you back on track providing real thoughtful and informative value to your readers.

(C) Writing Career

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Book Introduces Musicians to the Music Press

Available for download now, "Guide to the Music Press 2008" features 213-pages of the most detailed entries every published on music journalists and photographers.

The music press has shared this information at for years, but only among registered members. Now the time has come to make it public. Why? Publicists, labels and musicians spend way too much time and money bombarding every journalist they can find with un-targeted pleas for coverage that are widely ignored. The constant spamming enrages journalists and does nothing for the musicians.

Simply put, typical music industry directories and contact lists don't work. Making personal connections is always the best way to market music. Now there's a tool to help make that connection.

For more information, visit or download the book directly at:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Why are referrals so effective?

Anyone who is in business wants to get connected to others who can help them to get more business. It's what networking is all about. In fact, working' to get connected is the most effective way to build your business --- through referrals.

Why are referrals so effective? Because people tend to take action on personal referrals over any other type of advertising. If you’re in need of a marketing firm, and a friend of yours recommends one to you, you’re more likely to act on that referral, right?

The key to true business networking is the formation of a mutually beneficial relationship – a stark difference from the standard shake-hands and exchange your business card event. The best way for an entrepreneur to get clients is by referral. But the process of building enough word of mouth to produce the number of clients you need can seem daunting, to say the least.

According to experts, business networking functions best when individuals offer to help others to find connections, rather than "cold-calling" on prospects them. Business networking can take place outside of traditional business environments and at public places such as airports, restaurants, golf courses, and movie line-ups.

If you want to gain the most out of business networking, follow Mark McGregor's Ten Commandments of Networking:

1) Lose the "what is in it for me?" attitude.
2) Listen to what the other person is saying - hear it, and be moved by it.
3) Strive to build a relationship with those you meet.
4) Make an effort to give the first referral.
5) Do not tell others of the referral you require. Instead, "show them" with a story.
6) Be specific in the type of referrals you’re interested in.
7) Reciprocate when appropriate.
8) Participate in the network executive, functions, and network time.
9) Thank the person who gave you a referral.
10) Follow up on the referral within 24 hours.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Suffering from Information Overload?

The age that we live in is called the information age. And it's said that the Internet is the information superhighway.

If you're an e-business owner, it's possible that you've been run over on the information superhighway. Unfortunately, the traffic is so heavy that it's difficult to get up! The information just keeps coming and coming and coming.

What can be done about all of the information coming at us all at once? What strategies can be used to manage the flow of information so that you only have to deal with the important stuff?

First, let's look at what information you've got coming at you:

If you're online all day long, there's a good chance that a lot of it is from browsing around the Internet, looking for information that you can use to build your business. Perhaps you get emails from people (as well as spam)...including vendors, customers, and partners. You probably get reports from your advertising efforts, like Google Adwords, and there may be times (like when you own several websites) that you have to manage such information as domain registrars.

The first thing you want to do is deal with the flow coming in:

Before reading any information, give it a quick glance and decide if it is critical to your business efforts or not and if it is, save it. If it isn't, delete it.

- Resist the urge to review everything with a fine-tooth comb and resist the urge to respond to emails as soon as they come in.

- Decide whether you need to spend two hours gathering marketing information or only one hour.

- Prioritize information coming in so that you only deal with the most important information and can simply glance at and correctly file the less important information.

Review and prioritize to first reduce the flow.

The second thing you want to do is manage the flow that you're allowing through:

To do this, you'll want to create systems and use databases so you can keep track of everything. Not everything needs all of your attention right away. You can use information managers and task managers to help you manage the flow of information coming in to you.

What's the end result? You'll have less information to deal you'll have more time to spend on critical business activities like you'll generate more you'll generate more you'll generate more profit!

(C) Writing Career

How to Blog Like a Pro and Profit Like a Guru

How many times have you heard the words blog or web log or how about online diary? If you have been active online for the past few years, you’ve probably heard it thousands of times.

What you might not realize is that blogging is not only one of the fastest and easiest ways to get indexed in search engines but it is also a huge source of income that is just waiting for you to grab your share.

Blogging has actually been around for quite a while but only up until the past few years have online as well as offline marketers, become aware of how powerful this medium is.

You can find plenty of free to very inexpensive places to start a blog. A few of the top rated blog hosting services are Blogger, which is owned by Google, Wordpress and Moveable Type. If you already have a web hosting account somewhere, that runs cPanel & Fantastic, then you're in luck, because Wordpress blog software is just a couple of mouse clicks away from installing on one of your domains.

The easiest to get started and set up would have to be, since they are not only free, but they have a very simple step by step process for creating your blog. The only downside to Blogger is that the features that they offer are very limited. The upside to Blogger is that it's owned by Google, which is not a bad thing at all, if you know what I mean.

The most common ways that most Internet marketers are making a profit from blogs is by integrating Google Adsense into their blog. This is very simple to do and Blogger makes it even easier for you. You can also insert many other contextual advertisements into the blog such as Yahoo, Kanoodle, Chitika and many others as well as any other affiliate links you may have.

The other benefit to blogging is also the ability to add back links to your blog that point to your other websites. This is very important since the more back links that you have coming inbound to your websites, the better you will rank for the keywords you are promoting. You will also have to setup the proper keyword anchor links in your blog and on the pages of your websites that the links are pointing to.

Let's look at a summary of what needs to be done in order to take advantage of blogging.

First, you need to setup a blog either at Blogger or one of the other online services mentioned earlier or create a blog on your own domain name & web hosting account.

Once you have your blog setup, it's time to start monetizing it by adding in contextual advertising such as Google Adsense and or affiliate links. Now add in some targeted keyword anchor links that point back to your other websites.

All you have to do now is post to your blog a couple times per week and make sure that you are pinging after you make your new post. Sending out a ping is a way to let the search engines know that you have new content on your blog. The search engines will come to crawl your blog and start indexing your new content and follow all those targeted links that point back to your other websites. Are you starting to see how powerful this is?

Now just keep posting to your blogs and if you keep up with it and continue to add new content on a regular basis, you'll start reaping the rewards of blogging.

(C) Writing Career