Copywriting For Hard Copy

copywriting-for-hard-copy

Copywriting For Hard Copy

Hello, this is Craig again.

Copywriting for Websites was working on an unusual client project recently. It falls somewhere between ghost writing (where the writer creates a document to be published under the client’s name) and translation from “foreign English” to standard English. All of this comes under the category of copywriting for hardcopy clients.

A little more information is required, without naming the client, so that you understand the circumstances a little better.

The client is a technical company, working in both engineering and hardware construction. The company is located in a non-English-speaking European country. Their personnel are predominantly from the home country and from other areas where English is not a native language. To make things easier to understand, lets just call the country “Nirvana.” The Nirvanians speak their own language, Nirvanan. They are not really familiar with English except as a second (or maybe third) language on a job site.

The Nirvanian client has an older English brochure they use in their marketing and public relations activities. They used this in both Nirvana and for their activities in international areas. They feel that English is the most widely used language in their marketing area and their technical arena. Therefore, they desire a presentable brochure that the majority of their potential customers can read and understand. That’s why they came to Copywriting for Websites.

Because of the “Websites” part of our name, they were a little hesitant to approach C4W. However, our expertise in their technical area convinced them that we would be a good selection. Luckily, Craig has a little exposure to Nirvanan. That made communications with them easier. We negotiated a deal, and C4W started working on the project.

Because they were in the middle of a marketing personnel change, the project was strained in terms of coordination, but we got the job done. Also, there were changes in some of their existing client areas. That meant we were aiming at a target that was sometimes moving politically as we wrote. But we did get the job done.

What was involved? Basically, C4W went through the existing brochure as a first draft. In doing this, we cleaned up the English so there was a firm basis for understanding the work. We also clarified some inconsistencies and rectified some misstatements. Next, we discussed some modifications to the brochure. These made it more of a selling device than a simple recital of their work experience. We also agreed on some fundamental ideas. After that, we adapted the existing text to the new ideas. Then fit things together with some new information. Finally, we dropped some policitally inappropriate text.

All that is left now is a final read over the finished product. This will assure that we catch all the typos and logical mistakes. It will also make sure we are consistent with numbers and names and formats before it goes to the printer. We also had to coordinate the text with the visual images they want to use in the brochure.

Think you could do that? Of course you can, otherwise you wouldn’t have read this far down the page! 🙂 The catch is to have your own expertise niche, where you can provide a useful service. Then sell, sell, sell, based on your advantages.

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Copywriting For Hard Copy

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How To Find A Mentor Who Does What You Want

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How To Find A Mentor Who Does What You Want?

A mentor can be the difference between just mediocre performance and becoming a rock star. Assuming you find the right one. In fact, it seems that most successful authors had mentors and still have them – often more than one.

There is no question that having a mentor can help you through many bad places and worse. The catch is, unless you are lucky and someone grabs you under the arms and drags you along with them, like it or not, mentoring can be very expensive, whether it is in conventional business, or in internet marketing.

And that brings up a point – it never occurred to me before that you could buy a mentor. I always thought that “mentoring” meant that someone was voluntarily helping you to learn how to do things for yourself. “Bootstrapping with help” is probably an appropriate description. But there apparently is no shortage of people eager to be your PAID mentor. In some areas, like sales funnels, the ultimate high-end product is mentoring, even to the extent that is virtually a required portion of the product line. So much so, in fact, that it appears today that everybody is in the mentoring business. Ok, you decide that you need a mentor too, and that you are willing to pay for one. Well, the $64 dollar quesion is, How do you find a mentor who does what you want?

I put together some questions that you should go over to see if they will help you find the right mentor for you. There are some critical questions here, so read closely!

  • Exactly what does the mentor do that is common to your wants and needs? Does what s/he proposes meet your objectives?
  • Can this person really help you in the area that you want help in? What kind of background does s/he have. Does s/he have enough experience and success in their own career to validate that experience?
  • Do you like this person? If it’s a team effort, are all the team members the kind of person you would like to work with? Think seriously about that – if this is a strenuous effort and is scheduled to go on for six months or a year, if you don;t like some of the people now, think what it will be like when you have 4 months behind you.
  • What is the program? What is the extent of the content? Do you get personal coaching? Videos? Printed material? Conferences or seminars? Is everything on a schedule, or is it all ad hoc? What about recordings or minutes of the sessions – do you get copies? Is there any support outside of the scheduled sessions? This is not an exhaustive list – take a look and see what is important for you. Some people simply thrive on teleconferences, while others just find them so boring that they can’t even stay awake.
  • Who actually does the mentoring? Is it always the same person or is it a team? Do they use outside “experts”? Is it “stuff” that you could easily get somewhere else – maybe also for free? Do you work better with close contact – in which case a one-to-one approach would be better, or more on the university lecture basis, in which case you might get better overall content from a team of people.
  • Have you looked for references or testimonials? Have you talked to someone with personal exposure to the mentor or mentoring team? Did it help them? Does their experience look like it would be helpful for you, and are these people doing better noe than they were before the mentoring experience?
  • What does it cost in money? What will it cost you in term of time? Can you see that it will benefit you in some way that makes it worth more than you will spend on it? Is there a way to spread the financial costs across time? Does the mentor guarantee positive results? How?
  • Take a close look at the advertising and handout materials that are available from the mentor. Do you want personel attention? Then send them a letter and ask some questions that are important for you personally. What you get back should be a good indication of what you can expect in the program itself. Lots of printed broschures, or a specific personal answer?

If your investigation turns out negative, don’t get talked into doing it anyway – there are too many options available for you to get stuck in something you don’t like. Think also about this: if you do’t like it at the start, you will probably drop out somewhere in the middle, gain nothing useful and lose all your money.

On the other hand, if your investigation turns out positive, and it is at a level you can afford, both in time and finances, go for it! You have found a mentor who should deliver the mentoring you want.


What Else Do We Do?

Hello again,

As you have guessed from reading this material, our main goal is writing copy for other people. We have another activity that is related, but not exactly the same. That is website authoring (or creation, if you prefer).

We build new websites and rebuild old sites that have good content but poor structure for other people. This requires some technical skills in the website area, and some intrinsic feel for the attractiveness of a site, and what will cause a surfer to stop and look. We also provide bits and pieces of content here and there when the owner is slow or cannot or will not write copy for his own website. Most of this (but certainly not all) is essentially stuff that we have written before, just adjusted as necessary to fit the current assignment. It is often intended as a prod to get the owner to provide his own content, and sometimes is even in the form of a conversation (Q & A) with the owner. For example,

“Hi Charley (ficticious name), in order to get this part done, we need some background on you and Mable, and maybe a couple of photographs as well. Can you get this for me? Thanks!”

So you get the idea. Our websites are mostly WordPress documents, because we feel that the WP package offers such an advantage in intrinsic SEO already present in the basics of the blog that it is foolish to try to re-create that. There are also thousands of plugins that allow the expansion of a WP blog in any direction. It is also open source, so that there are many different opinions involved in and options available to determine how your specific system should work.

You don’t want a blog? To be honest, neither do we, but the WP system is so fexible that there are many WordPress websites out there that are not dynamic and do not look like a blog. One recent example: http://bewtag.com/. An older example that does look like a blog, but really is not used that way, is here: http://bandb-umbria.com/.

We even have a special offer for owners of B&B’s, small hotels and such. Essentially, they are offered a free website on a format of their own choosing (they can choose the theme and have a say in the customisation of the theme), with the only proviso being that they promise to use our full-time maintenance service for at least 12 months. This service provides a free domain name, hosting, unlimited email service, and maintenance by us for the complete system for the period of the service. We think this is a good deal. To help sell it, we put a demonstration website together for a website for our B&B (now closed) in central Italy. You will find the demo at http://craigspage.info/.

If this sounds interesting to you, you can either use the form in the righthand column here, the form on the website at Craig’s Page dot info, or go to our home website http://jimmycraig.info/freewebsite/ and find a form or the email address there. There is no obligation to ask for more information!

What Else Do We Do?