Get Your Website Up Eight Steps

by LoriAnne on June 5, 2012

Writer's websites in 6 stepsI’ve long taken the position that every writer should have their own website. Okay, maybe there are a few that don’t need one, but most of us do.

There are two major reasons to get your website up right now:

Clients and even publishers look for writers online. That’s where they expect to find you – if you’re not there they can’t find you.

Your website gives you a place to display your talents. You can publish your tear sheets or samples online, avoiding the old drama of sending them by snail mail where they were hardly ever really read.

The Eight Steps

Choose a host. The host is where your website lives and is shown to the world. BlueHost (affiliate link), and HostGator are two of the most popular and both offer an easy WordPress install.

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Four Bad Habits Of Business Owners

by LoriAnne on June 5, 2012

One of my favorite restaurants in town had the best crepes and paella on the planet. So why did it close just two years after opening?

The owner.

From the start the place seemed positioned for greatness. It was one of just a few restaurants in town, and the food rivaled the menus of some of the best restaurants in the area. However, because the owner failed to pay attention to her customers and their feedback, the restaurant soon became the subject of some bad word-of-mouth: long waits for meals, no interaction with the owner at all, high staff turnover, and no feeling that anything beyond collecting the bill at the end of each meal mattered.

The food? It was amazing. Still, it couldn’t save the place.

Freelancers can make the same mistakes, or they can learn from studying how not to do it and avoiding the same fate. Here are some really big mistakes business owners make:

1. Show up unprepared. Did I mention that the restaurant owner walked around her restaurant regularly wearing a t-shirt and exercise pants? In a French-style bistro, that’s not working. I saw her come in and out of the kitchen dozens of times before I realized she owned the place. I thought she was a badly dressed cook. She wasn’t prepared to host her guests.

Nor are writers who don’t do their homework on their potential clients or show up to meetings without even a notepad and pen. Whenever talking with or meeting a client, make sure you show your investment in their business.

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With the ubiquitous availability of social networking sites and our own web and blog pages it’s tempting to think we freelance writers no longer need those little rectangles of cardboard known as business cards. Why it’s even possible to attach a business card to your emails!

Consider, however, these scenarios:

You’re at a party and someone expresses a genuine interest in you and your writing. Which do you think will work better? Saying your website address or handing them a well-designed business card?

You’re working at your computer at your favorite coffee shop and someone asks what you’re doing. You get in a conversation and want to establish email communication. If they’ve got their computer or smart phone it’s easy to do, but what if they don’t? Sure you can scribble on a napkin, but a business card is way more professional and way less likely to be thrown away.

A friend dragged you to a networking group

You meet an old friend in a restaurant

You’re walking your dog

You go to a writer’s conference

You get the idea. Even in our digital world a physical business card only makes sense.

What should be on your business card?

Read more…

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