Saturday, February 28, 2009

FREE eZine- Getting It Write- Due Out Today.


My FREE ezine-Getting It Write is due out today. It's full of resources, tips, reviews and articles that make sense!

So sign up and get your copy today!

Cheers!

Monday, February 23, 2009

How To Write A Riveting Press Release


A press release is a short summery of an event or information that is sent out to the media. This is an ideal way to publicize company news or boost sales, with minimum costs involved. However, each day editors receive hundreds of press releases; and the challenge is to get your press release to stand out from the crowd and not get filed away with the rest. You have a story to tell and the editor in whose hand your release lands, must want to pick it up and explore it further.

Use these 10 tips to grab your reader's attention:

1. Write a killer headline
: This is what makes your release stand out from the rest, so put all your creativity into writing something short, but unique.

2. Start out with a bang:
Write your important information in the first paragraph. It can be short and concise, but must get the message out at the beginning.

3. Keep it simple: Editors do not go in for hype or unsubstantiated claims. Keep your sentences short and to the point.

4. Use quotes and comments: Make sure your quotes and comments are fun and interesting and most importantly, can be verified.

5. Use the active tense
: And keep your release as upbeat as possible (unless the news suggests otherwise). If you are excited about a new launch, product, service on the market, others will be too.

6. Stick to one page: Make your release just one page in length. Longer than that and you're liable to lose the editor's interest.

7. Avoid too many technical terms:
While you may need to incorporate some technical terms, try to write in a lingo that a lay person will understand.

8. Include all the relevant details: When writing your draft, ask yourself the following: Who (is involved), Why (is the event occurring), What (is it about), Where (does/did it take place), When (does/did it take place).

9. Always include a contact: Complete details of the company spokesperson should always be included, along with any interview opportunities.

10. Proofread:
This is probably the most important thing you could do for any document, but more so for a press release. A poorly written release with grammatical errors is never going to see publishing daylights, so read and re-read before submitting it.

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Creating a killer sales page

If you ever wonder about how to create a killer sales page, it's really quite simple.
The prospective buyer comes to the site, reads the copy and if he’s impressed with it, he’ll move on to the purchase page; if not, he’ll move on to the next site on his list. Writing sales copy that sells is really quite simple if you remember the following:

Research key words:
Use word tracker or some similar site to check the key words that apply to your sales pitch. Word tracker will also provide SEO alternatives to select from. Pick the ones that will attract visitors and incorporate them into your copy

Write an eye-catching heading:
This is what will grab the reader’s interest and make him continue reading. So make sure it’s catchy and newsworthy.

For 8 more such tips, subscribe to my Free Ezine, Getting It Write. It takes less than 3 minutes to subscribe to, and you'll receive valuable tips and advice, right to your mailbox. It's sent only thrice a month, so your inbox is not flooded with lots of messages. Give it a try- you have nothing to lose, but lots of professional advice, hints and tricks of the trade- to gain.


© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Phone.....The Phone Is Ringing.


If you've ever watched a preschool series called Wonderpets, you'll remember the catchy opening line to each episode- 'The phone, the phone is ringing. The phone, we'll be right there. There's an animal in trouble somewhere...'

What happens when your phone rings?

Do you?
a) Pick up on the first ring and say hello.
b) Check to see if the number is familiar before picking up.
c) Let the answering machine pick up, irrespective of you being close by or not.

And when you do get a message, do you call back or respond via email?

Your phone habits say a lot about you as a professional. A lot of freelancers are intimidated by phone calls and having to speak to clients. Most will prefer answering phone calls with emails. However, if the client has called you, it's usually for a reason. Either they need urgent clarification, they need to add something to their brief or they just feel more comfortable dealing with a live person rather than an email address. Whatever their reason, it's part of customer service to respond with a call (or pick up the phone if you're around). By ignoring a phone call, you'll likely to miss the opportunity of convincing a client (knowingly or unknowingly) of your abilities, gaining repeat business or even keeping the client. If you do feel unprepared or are not sure of what you can offer the client, then don't hesitate to say you'll think about it and call back. Or that you need some time to work on what he's requested. Or that you're in the midst of an alternative deadline, but will call him back in one hour. And then, do exactly that. The only thing worse than ignoring a call is to not call back when you say you will.

So the next time your phone rings, do yourself a favor and pick it up!

Happy Writing.

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My ezine is now available thrice a month!


My FREE ezine-Getting It Write is due out today. I've changed it from a bi-monthly to one that will go out thrice a month. It's full of resources, tips, reviews and articles that make sense!

So sign up and get your copy today!

Cheers!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

5 Reasons To Invest In Yourself


Most of us are on tight marketing budgets and self-investment is usually last on the list of things to undertake. Why should we invest in ourselves? The following 5 are great reasons to pull out some extra cash and put it down towards our own betterment.

1. You will become a better writer- There's so much knowledge out there that you can always tap into. Struggling with your grammar? There's a course for that. Need to get inspired and your creative juices flowing? There's a course for that too. If a university course is out of your reach, then consider doing an online course. There are a number of credible ones to select from. If a course is not an option due to high fees and time constraints, why not pick up a book on the subject? You can read it at your own pace and most books do come with end-chapter exercises. Just make sure you schedule in time each day to read a chapter or two.

2. You will gain credibility- There's nothing more impressive than a writer who has a list of courses attached to his/her name. It doesn't matter if you are an excellent writer in your field, a client is probably still going to select someone who has an impressive sounding list behind his/her name. See if you can improve on what you already have, or begin to create your own little educational portfolio.

3. You will improve your writing style- After a while, a writer's style, no matter how creative he/she is, will tend to get stagnant. You get comfortable and tend to write on what you know. By studying/reading constantly, you will learn the intricate subtleties that go into making a good writer, a great one.

4. You can command a higher fee- It's much easier to increase your fees if you have done a course and specialized in a subject. Niche writers are always in demand.

5. You will learn something- And finally, you personally will learn something from whatever course you take or book your read. Additional knowledge can never be go waste or be undone, so go for it!

Happy writings!

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Who's Your Daddy?


If you believe that your client is the only source your should please, then you couldn't be further off the mark. Nowadays, there are a variety of 'potential' clients, including your readers if you have a blog, your colleagues in a forum or discussion group and the millions of web surfers, who knowingly or unknowingly may just end up at your site. And they should all be kept happy and satisfied if you are to move your business up a level.

Take a perfect example (of what not to do) in Mr. S's attitude. We are not naming names here, but Mr. S has (an often inspiring) newsletter that I subscribe to online. He himself seems to be a fairly good copywriter. Towards end December, I received an email from him announcing one of his courses. I had just finished an Advanced Studies In Business course, and of course Christmas always pretty much wipes us out; but I did have enough money to pay the $700 fee. Then while browsing his site, I discovered he makes an offer- you can make 4 payments instead of one lump sum payment. This sounded good, so I emailed him asking if it's possible. Remember, I still had the money to make full payment. No response. It's almost the New Year, I reminded myself, not wanted to make my 'hero' into the bad guy (and I really like his writing style, so yes, I did tend to idolize him a bit). I used that time to ask former clients of his, if they still would do this course in retrospect. Some said yes, a couple said maybe. A few days well into the new year, I sent him a reminder to that question. And I still am waiting for a response!

Did I pay the full amount and do the course? No, I did not. It made me wonder that a person who cannot respond to two emails, yet constantly continues to send me his weekly newsletters, may not be such a great teacher to learn from after all! Was I disappointed by his behaviour? You bet! I don't know him, but somehow I expected more (the power of marketing playing here- he has an excellent website and ezine).I could pay in full and I would have had he asked. But by ignoring both my emails, he lost a current and future client in me.

Did I explore other avenues? I sure did! And you'll learn more about them in my next FREE Newsletter. So don't forget to subscribe to it (simply by filling and clicking on the box next to this post), and I'll let you in on my secrets- the research I've been doing online that has helped me, and will certainly help you further your writing career.

Happy writing!

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Power Of One- When one is better than two!


Having two clients is great. Having one is even better! When? When both the 'clients' belong to the same company.

Whether dealing with a company, corporation or a small business; try and see if you can communicate with just one designated person, preferably the person who hired you. Often, you are hired to deal with a project by a person (usually someone of authority within the company), and in due course, the person turns over the dealings to his/her associate. So, you've pitched your finest pitch and hope to get more business, when the new associate steps in. In such a situation; the deal could go either ways- they could give you additional work, or they could follow a different philosophy and actually cut back on the work given to you.

There's also an increased likelihood of internal confusion increasing, with every email that's sent back and forth between you, your older point of contact and your newly designated contact. If you do have a water-tight contract that you initially signed; that would lock you into your projects for the duration of the contract. However, a lot of freelancers do not sign contracts- jobs are done based on email requests with hopes that payments will be made. If that's you, then you should consider revising your signing policies (or, lack of them) and ensuring that you are clear at the start as to what and how much work you will be producing.

Happy Writings!

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Subscribe and take the opportunity to receive a FREE Ebook



Hi,

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Happy Writing!
Usha