Archive for July, 2008

Sell Yourself with a Website

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Websites are extremely beneficial to authors. Say you’re shopping your novel. Give agents and editors your web address, and they can easily find you online, read your bio, view your previous work and awards, and learn more about you. You can only put so much in that query letter, and your website can sell you a lot better than a one-paragraph bio. 


Agents and editors are looking for writers with marketability. A professional website shows them that you are serious. It says that you know how to connect with people, that you are a go-getter and won’t sit back and expect someone to do it for you.


Laura Benedict, author of Isabella Moon (Ballantine Books, 2007), wasted no time in creating an online presence. Within two weeks of signing a two-book contract, she hired a designer to create her website,


“There is a mythology built up among writers that a big publishing house will do all kinds of promotions for its authors,” says Benedict. “While that may be true for some very big names, it is not true for the vast majority of a house’s authors.”


“I do not regret one dime I’ve spent on web promotion,” she says. “My website is unique, and it presents a professional, public face for me that a publishing house could not give me if it tried.”


And publishers know this.


For the freelance magazine writer, having a website is a great place to market yourself and your work to potential editors. It also makes the querying process a lot less messy. No more attachments. Simply query with a link to your samples.


In early 2007, I decided to build my own website to display my magazine feature samples, my resume, and my bio. The challenge was to create a site that was professional, easy to navigate, and captured my personality. I figured the last thing an editor wants to see is a boring writer.


And I was right. But the results weren’t what I expected; the benefits of building a website surpassed my expectations. Not only did I sell more magazine jobs, but editors also started to call me. Yes, you read that correctly. Editors looking for solid, experienced writers in the Charleston area googled “freelance writer Charleston” and up popped my website. I even had a small publishing house call and hire me to write a coffee-table book on Charleston.


**The above is an excerpt from the article “Why an Online Presence Is Vital to Your Writing Career,” which was published recently in the Missouri Writers’ Guild newsletter.  

Using a Ghostwriter to Expand Your Business

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Message from Michelle

Welcome to the July 30th edition of Your Business Marketing Solution.

I’d like to share with you events that led up to the decision to write on this particular topic. Recently, I posted a blog entry on my Sumer Blog about ghostwriting. I was shocked that it had the highest hit of any posting. Weeks later, that entry is being read repeatedly and has the highest traffic. And over the past few weeks, I’ve had more inquiries about ghostwriting blogs and online articles from companies who are looking to drive more traffic to their website.

It’s crucial to give your target audience what they want, right? Well, here you go. This issue of Your Business Marketing Solution uncovers the secret world of ghostwriting. Okay, it’s not really a secret–but most people are unclear as to what a ghostwriter is, why they might benefit from hiring one, and how to choose the right ghostwriter for a project.

Want to see something covered in the next issue of Your Business Marketing Solution? Drop an email to . I’d love to hear from you.

Feature Article:

Using a Ghostwriter to Expand Your Business

Small business owners often take on more work than they can handle. The little things always seem to take an hour or more, and it’s too easy to get behind. Way too easy.

But not to fret.

There’s an easy, cost-effective solution.

Hire a ghostwriter.

Ghostwriting seems to have an aura of mystery around it. Many people don’t know what a ghostwriter does, or they may have an idea but aren’t exactly sure how the process works.

Simply put, a ghostwriter writes assigned copy under the name of someone else–with consent. Ghostwriters will take your idea about a book, article, or blog and write a clean and thorough form of this idea on paper. They record interviews or transcribe manuscripts or notes and write a marketable product that maintains the author’s voice, not their own. People hire ghostwriters to write letters, articles, blogs, ebooks, virtually anything.

People hire ghostwriters for a variety of reasons, including…

  • They don’t have the time.
  • They don’t have the necessary skills.
  • They don’t want to mess with it.

Ghostwriting is extremely beneficial for any business. The progression of the internet has provided more options to market a company with the use of audio, video, blogs, ezines, email, ebooks, and articles. One person is incapable of performing all of these functions for his or her website–at least not without going crazy.

Ghostwriters will save the small business owner time and the agony of thinking of a creative and thorough way to get an idea across.

How ghostwriters can benefit a business:

  • Save time and energy
  • Position the owner as the expert
  • Increase client base
  • Enhance existing marketing message

When looking to hire a ghostwriter, it’s important to hire someone who is a good fit. Also, a ghostwriter must be able to write well, have excellent interviewing skills, and be able to write in the voice of the author.

Want to see more marketing articles like this one? Visit Michelle’s marketing Sumer Blog.

Tip of the Month

Ghostwriting is more common than you might think: According to Writers Weekly approximately 50% of books that are published today are created with the help of a ghostwriter. It is difficult to nail down an exact percentage because authors often do not disclose that they worked on their book with a ghostwriter, therefore the numbers could be even higher.

What’s New

Interested in having your name and website displayed to thousands online? I’m looking for subscribers to share testimonials about my newsletter and FREE report. When you email me your testimonial, I’ll post it on my newsletter archive page, along with your company name and website.

Here’s all you have to do: email me at

Thank you to those of you who have already done so. I appreciate your taking the time out of your busy schedule.

Are You Sure Customers and Businesses Can Contact You?

Friday, July 25th, 2008

One of my biggest pet peeves is going to a website, which contains minimal contact information.

The internet is too vital a place to neglect this important information, as virtually all people use some aspect of the internet to communicate with others. It’s crucial to give customers options for contacting your company.

Customers love options because it allows them to choose the most convenient way for them to contact your company. Many people use email everyday, and it might be easier for them to send your company an email with an inquiry, comment, or suggestion rather than picking up the phone and waiting through a recorded message and being on hold for five or ten minutes.

Items that should be on your “contact us” page:

·       STAFF: I can’t tell you how many websites don’t have a list of their most important staff members listed. This is important because it adds a personal flare to your company and allows the customer to feel as though they are contacting an actual person and not just a company. People may be discouraged from contacting your company via email if they do not have a specific name or title to use.  

·       PHONE NUMBER: Provide a phone number for those who want questions answered immediately and who want to speak directly with a person.

·       EMAIL ADDRESS: Provide an email address for general questions and staff email addresses for more specific inquiries and comments.

·       MESSAGE FORM: Provide a form so that the customer can fill in questions and comments right there and not go through the trouble of creating an email. A message form should have boxes for customers to fill in their name, company name, cell or business number, email address, and their questions or comments.

·        EMAIL AND MESSAGE FORM COMBO: Sounds like a meal at a fast-food place, doesn’t it? An email address and message form would add even more options for your customers to contact you. 

Want more small business marketing advice? Subscribe to Your Business Marketing Solution, a bimonthly ezine filled with marketing tips and informative articles.


How Well Are You Communicating?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

How many times have you had a meeting with someone who has made direct eye contact only 50 percent of the time?   

Everyone is guilty of this at some point.

Body language is a great indicator of how a person feels about a conversation. Frowns and furrowed eyebrows can make the speaker feel as though his  message isn’t getting across or is being disagreed with. This isn’t always the case. Many times the nonverbal cues could be misinterpreted by the speaker.

Avoid body language that may discourage the person speaking with you. Make direct eye contact, keep a neutral facial expression, and give nonverbal cues, conveying that you understand what the speaker is saying, such as nodding with understanding.  

Also, be aware of proper personal space. In America, a business conversation should happen about four to twelve feet apart. This space differs from country to country, so if you are planning to attend a business meeting with foreigners, it would be beneficial to observe their speaking distance before the actual meeting.

Want more small business marketing advice? Subscribe to Your Business Marketing Solution, a bimonthly ezine filled with marketing tips and informative articles.

Communication: The Key to Success

Monday, July 21st, 2008

The act of selling, persuading, and buying products and services is always driven by some form of communication. Most businesses would cease to exist without successful communication.

One of the most commonly used forms of communication is oral, either face-to-face or via telephone.

It’s more effective if done face-to-face because you are notice the receiver’s facial expressions, eye contact, and body language. These cues can help you understand if the receiver is picking up on the things you are saying.

Sometimes this can be deceptive.

How many times have you acted as if you were listening to someone? If your mind is somewhere else during a conversation, you may miss most of the message.

As a small business owner, it is extremely important to be an active listener and teach yourself to tune out other things going on in your mind during a conversation. And after a conversation, write down the most important details if you think you won’t remember.  

Stress Less and Outsource

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Overworked? Not enough time to finish your daily, weekly, monthly to-do list? The solution is to outsource some of your work. It’ll save you time, money, and stress.   


Three ways to outsource your work:  

1. Ghostwriters are specialist who take ideas and put them on paper. Hire a ghostwriter to write letters, articles, ebooks, ezines, and the list goes on. Want to know more about ghostwriters? Check out a previous blog from Copy Doodle. 

2. Copywriters have the talent and the knowledge to phrase web copy, articles, ezines, etc. in order to reach your target market. Writing SEO and organic web copy is an important talent copywriters perform because the right web copy can bring your website a major increase in traffic.

3. Editors are a vital element for all small businesses. Nothing looks worse than grammar and spelling errors on marketing materials . . . write? That’s a joke, but see what I mean? Why risk turning off potential customers and having a word spelled wrong?


Subscribe to Your Business Marketing Solution, a bimonthly ezine filled with marketing tips, market trends, and informative articles.

Small Business Success: Be Creative

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Message from Michelle

Yes, we’re in the depths of midsummer. The heat is rising. There are weekend backyard barbeques to attend. You and your clients are coming and going on vacation.

While there’s a bit of a lull in daily business, this may be the perfect time to take a good look at your marketing strategy and sales performance and see where you can tweak existing plans and implement new ideas.

In this issue of Your Business Marketing Solution, here are four tips to help you develop new ideas for your products and services. Get creative. Brainstorm by the pool if you have to. Make it fun. And enjoy.

Is there something you’d like to see covered in Your Business Marketing Solution? If so, send an email to .

Feature Article:

Small Business Success: Be Creative

Did you know that small businesses with 500 or fewer employees bring in 39% of all U.S. sales?

It’s true.

According to Boone and Kurtz, authors of Contemporary Business, ninety-two of every 100 U.S. businesses are small businesses. If you fall in this category and want to bring in more sales, it might be beneficial for you to go back to the drawing board and develop a few new ideas.

Let’s look at the big picture. Almost all large firms once started out as small businesses. (Stating the obvious, yes, but how often do you forget this fact when times get tough?). Yes, they all had dreams of becoming successful, just like you, and now they are extremely successful.

The question you need to ask is what steps do you need to take to achieve the success you want? What action can you take today, next week, next month that will get you closer to realizing your goals?

Before you dive right in, a plan needs to be in place. It’s important to thoroughly develop your ideas for the industry you are selling your products or services in.

Here are four tips for developing ideas for your products and services:

1. Create a marketing strategy

This involves research into your target market, company goals, budget. It also entails researching the success of various marketing channels, such as the internet, print, mail, etc. You may already have a marketing plan developed, but by constantly tweaking it and throwing in some creativity here and there, you are sure to attract fresh consumers.

2. Research your competitors

Research companies that are selling similar products and services. What’s the competition like? Have they thought of something new and innovative that makes your business look like a doormat? If so, it’s time to get that creativity flowing. Perhaps you should reevaluate your target market. Come up with an entirely new product or service.

3. Go global

Ever thought about selling overseas? What do we have that Europe doesn’t and could possibly use? Selling globally sounds overwhelming, but that’s why baby steps are important. Instead of trying to sell directly to clients overseas, search for a company abroad that is willing to join forces with you. Think about what your products or services provide, and then research which companies might benefit from partnering with your company.

4. Utilize existing resources

As you begin to implement changes in your marketing strategy and develop new ideas for selling your products or services, take advantage of the resources you already have in place. Resources might include websites, online discussion boards, contacts, networking associations, etc. Once you tap into existing resources, then take the next step and consider other marketing avenues.

Tip of the Month

Small businesses provide one of the greatest foundations for new creations. According to Boone and Kurtz, authors of Contemporary Business, “Key 20th-century innovations developed by small businesses include the airplane, the audiotape recorder, double-knit fabrics, the optical scanner, the personal computer, soft contact lenses, and the zipper.”

Now that’s some major encouragement for being creative.

What’s New

The heat is on for Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial. Tons of exciting things are happening. Michelle’s book, Charleston: A Photographic Portrait is available for purchase, and it’s already received great reviews!

About Michelle

Michelle Salater is an award-winning freelance writer and owner of Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial, Inc., a copywriting company specializing in writing marketing materials for small to midsized businesses. Michelle’s clients benefit from her five-year experience as a freelance writer and her dedication to each client’s success. With an understanding of the business world, marketing strategies, and magazine publication, she offers a variety of services that address each client’s marketing needs. Her goal is to provide result-oriented copy, including web copy, ezines and newsletters, sales letters, ghostwritten articles, along with other marketing materials such as brochures, postcards, and email marketing.

Michelle resides in Charleston, South Carolina, with Mama Mia, a gorgeous dog she rescued from St. John, US Virgin Islands. She can be contacted at or 843-364-2401.

How-to Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Website

Monday, July 14th, 2008
Every company wants more website traffic. Here are a few tips to get your numbers up and get more customers. Three tips to drive more traffic to your website:
1) Place or swap ads with other ezines in your niche
Seek out other ezines in your niche whose publishers might be interested in swapping ads. In addition to, or instead of swapping ads, you could also purchase ad space in an ezine in your niche that has a large circulation. If you pay to place an ad, for the best results, run it for a minimum of three consecutive issues.
2) Write articles and post them online
An excellent way to drive traffic to your site. It’s simple: write an article that offers people useful information. Often times, people will use these articles in their ezines or post them as content on their websites. People read online articles and click the link to your website provided in the author bio box.
3) Write a press release
Press releases are another way of getting targeted traffic to your site. It’s important that the release be newsworthy and not an advertisement / plug for your service or product. There are numerous press release directories online where you can post for free. Also, don’t forget the power of your local media. Research the proper person at local papers and magazines, then send them a release.

Integrating Your Business

Friday, July 11th, 2008
Ways to integrate yourself into the online community:
• Write a blog and comment on other blogs
• Post audio and video on Youtube and look at other Youtube videos related to ones you post
• Take videos and photos of your products or services and post them on a photo sharing site (Flickr or Buzznet)
• Join a website that allows users to post reviews for local businesses, such as
• Join a social bookmarking site, such as or
Two great ways to get more traffic to your site is through and These two social media sites, although slightly different, can easily integrate you into various online communities.

Subscribe to Your Business Marketing Solution, a bimonthly ezine filled with marketing tips, market trends, and informative articles.  


Double Sales with Web Copy

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Selling products and services online can be a tricky task. Don’t shy away from it though because it could be the most effective way to sell your products, doubling and even tripling sales.  

The key element in online sales is to know how to promote your products in the best light. One of the greatest problems small companies have with their websites is a lack of traffic. Translation: there are not enough potential customers viewing their products or services online.
Many of the sites having these problems are ones created by companies that have only a basic knowledge of web design and web copy. A website with a few pictures and a couple of words describing a company and its products isn’t going to cut it.When people visit a website, they are attracted by the aesthetics of the site, such as layout, design, and photos. People reach these sites by typing keywords or phrases into their favorite search engines or clicking on links from other sites.

Websites with effective web copy will bring these people into their sites from search engines, increasing traffic. Once potential consumers are at a site, their attention must be grabbed immediately with the words, also known as web copy. These words can persuade a viewer to make a purchase from your site, subscribe to a newsletter, subscribe to an RSS feed, and or bookmark your site.

The harsh truth is, if a customer’s attention is not grabbed within the first few seconds of viewing a site, he or she is on to the next one that will keep his / her attention and evoke a response.

Web copy is also important in promoting navigation through the site. Your goal is to have the viewer click on certain links, such as contact information, newsletter subscriptions, and the company’s blog. You need to have well-written web copy to motivate viewers to further investigate your site.If your company isn’t getting the traffic you need to further your business, then it would be a good idea for you to hire a copywriter. Many freelance copywriters who specialize in web copy. Copywriters investigate the most beneficial ways of marketing your company and design web copy to reach the right target market, pushing more traffic to your site.

What a good copywriter will do for you:

• Create a profile for your target market
• Utilize key words in the web copy (tags and links) that will push your site to the top of search engines
• Write a smooth and fresh web copy that contains no fillers, just vital information
• Create a personal and approachable style of writing, which connects to the viewer
• Put a creative spin on your marketing approach, making your site stand out above others
• Edit the web copy, so there are no mistakes