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The Edge

Success Strategies for People Who Work With Words



The EDGE

Success Strategies
for People Who Work With Words

23 March 2009

In This Issue

  • Director's Spotlight

  • Featured Success Strategy: "Website Basics"

  • Announcements: Winners of the Words Matter Drawings

  • Subscription Management (If you need to change your e-mail preferences, here are instructions.)


Director's Spotlight

Dear [[firstname]],
 
 Welcome once again to the new NAIWE members and e-zine subscribers! We're delighted to have you.
 
I've had some very interesting correspondence with members this week, so I felt that it would be a good time to review the purpose and strategy of your business website. I'll share the basics of how to work with your site, and what to put on it in order to attract the kind of clients you want.
 
Another member wrote in with a concern about potential liabilty for a project she'd been hired to copyedit. She felt that the content was potentially libelous, and didn't want to be held legally liable for it. I passed the question on to the attorney that is providing information services for NAIWE members, and received a quick and helpful response. It's a reminder to each of us that, as my grandmother always said, "It's better to be safe than sorry!"
 
Finally, we'll reveal the winners of the Words Matter Week Drawings. NAIWE member and Words Matter Week guest Peter Bowerman graciously donated The Well-Fed Spread, a slip-cased set of The Well-Fed Writer and Back for Seconds, as well as a copy of The Well-Fed Self-Publisher. I've found Peter's information well-researched and very usable, and I have owned all these books for years. I can assure you that the winners will be very lucky to have them.
 
To your growing success,
 
Janice Campbell
Director, NAIWE

Featured Success Strategy

Website Basics
Janice Campbell

One of the first steps an entrepreneur usually takes is to establish a business website. This can be an important source of business for freelance writers and editors who conduct much of their business online. At minimum, a business website should offer a professional profile, work samples and/or testimonials, and ideally, a blog, which allows readers and potential clients to get acquainted with the writing style and personality of the writer or editor. 
 
To attract the readers and clients that you enjoy working with, place enough information on the site so that visitors will feel as though they know, like, and can trust you. If you're a commercial writer or editor, write in your own professional voice, so they can get a sense of your style. Write about things you care about, so that you'll attract projects that fit your expertise and interests. If you are a fiction writer, share snippets of works in progress and anecdotes about other books and the things that shape your writing. Your site is the place where you can establish yourself as a real person. Be sure to take advantage of it!

NAIWE Member Sites
The business website is such an important key to success that it's our most popular benefit at NAIWE, and many of you are actively using and enjoying your sites. For those who are not technically inclined, I want to offer a brief overview of the two steps it takes to activate your site.
  1. Log into your member area from www.NAIWE.com
  2. In the right column of your Dashboard page, click on "My Blog."
You can do this! Your site is now active and ready for you to use as you see fit. If you need ideas for what to write on your blog or website, you may want to browse around and see how other members are using their sites. Enjoy!
 
As a bit of extra help, I've pasted in excerpts from the member letter you should have received as soon as you joined. A few of you have missed this, as your filters have apparently misrouted it due to the attached document. 
 
[Start letter excerpt.]
...Your Quick-Start Guide is attached (and you'll also find a copy of it in the Library). Reading it will orient you to the features of your new website, and the benefits of membership. It's short and sweet, so don't hesitate to read it now!

   Your User ID:
   Your Password:
Log-on to your member pages at: [address given]

To activate your blog, simply log in to your Dashboard and look in the right sidebar. You'll see a link to "My Blog." Click this, and your website will be activated and ready to use. The username and password for your website will always be the same as your NAIWE login, so it should be easy to remember.

How to edit information in your website:
Each page of your website contains text that suggests how to use the page. You may use the "Manage" tab from the blog administration panel to replace this information with your own text.

To create a new page or post
, just choose the "Write" tab, and type your information directly into the space provided, using the editing tools provided. Pasting copy directly from Microsoft Word does not work well, due to hidden coding that's incompatible with the site. This usually results in text that runs together. If you want to cut and paste text, paste it first into a text editor such as TextPad, and save it as "plain text." This strips away the coding and makes it usable online.

If you have any questions or difficulties, please don't hesitate to contact me or the webmaster (webmaster@naiwe.com). We'll be happy to respond to your questions, though if it's outside normal business hours, it may take a little longer than normal.
[End of excerpt.]
 
Please ask for help if you need it!
One thing I want to emphasize is that everyone on our team is here to assist you and to answer questions. A few members have written to the webmaster with a question, and then written to me, expressing delight and appreciation for the quality of his assistance. We are very fortunate to have him, as he is not only an excellent programmer but also a superb communicator. He will be on vacation in Paris from March 27-April 10, so please send any "webmaster" correspondence to me at janice@naiwe.com, and I'll pass it on to his backup.
 
Additional Website Question
Q. Can I post photos on my site?
 
A. You may post as many photos as you like. Click on the small image symbol above the text area in your post, and a pop-up box will appear with a space for the photo URL. Paste in the image location and select the photo alignment that you prefer (I most often use "left" alignment, as text wraps nicely around it), and your image should show up perfectly.
 
The key thing to remember is that photos must first be hosted at a free public photo host such as Picasa.com, Photobucket.com, or Flickr.com. To post a photo in your site, go to your free photo host and copy the image location. Some of the services display the link next the photo, while others allow you to right-click on the photo and select "save image location."
 
There are several reasons to host photos at these photo sites, rather than on our server. Primarily, we need to maintain the speed and stability of the NAIWE server for many users, and if too many images are hosted, it can slow the site down for everyone. Having the photos remain on photo-host sites of the member's choice, within the member's control, seems a safe and satisfactory solution to these concerns.

(c) 2009 Janice Campbell is the Director of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors .



Announcements

The lucky winners of the Words Matter Week 2009 book drawings are:

The Well-Fed Spread goes to Ashley Wright

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher goes to Rossinna Ippolito

Congratuations to both of you! Please e-mail me your snail mail address, and you'll receive your book in the mail directly from Peter. I'm sure you'll enjoy his work!

*****

Words Matter 2009 Yearbook from NAIWELast notice in the e-zine! The Words Matter 2009 Yearbook and its cover (separate files for easy handling) are ready for download:

*****
If you're on Facebook , LinkedIn , or Twitter , you're welcome to send a friend request and I'll accept. 
*****
The interview with Susan Sheppard , our March Member of the Month, is posted at the NewsWire blog along with the link to the audio version. Enjoy!
 
--Remember, members are welcome to submit items for the NewsWire blog, including news about books completed or published, interesting projects, industry news, links to resources and articles of interest, funny writing mistakes you spot in public places, etc. Just e-mail your submission to editor @ naiwe.com

Reminder 
If your member website is ready, and you'd like to be considered for a future Member of the Month interview, please e-mail me at janice@naiwe.com. Being featured as a Member of the Month is news that you can share with your current and former clients as a subtle promotional tool. The information in the interview can help you begin to establish relationship marketing ties that can make a difference in how well your clients and readers remember you.
 
The next available interview will be for the May newsletter, so you have plenty of time to post a professional profile and other information to your website. If you're not yet a member, there's plenty of time to go to the "Join NAIWE " page, become a member, and post your information so that you, too, can be a Member of the Month.

Copyright 2009 by Everyday Education, LLC.
This issue of The Edge is brought to you by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors. If you're not a member, we invite you to join us , and experience all our success and support benefits!
 
You're welcome to forward this e-zine in its entirety to others who may be interested in building their word-oriented business. Please be sure to include a personal note, so they'll know whom to thank!