Archive for October, 2008

5 Tips for Creating Ezine Content

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Message from Michelle

In case you didn’t see my email yesterday, Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial, LLC, version 2.0 debuted this week with a new look, new features, and enhanced service pages. A special thanks goes out to James Eastman at Colophon New Media for working with me on the new look and design. If you haven’t already, please check it out.

I am so happy I have this ezine and a growing list to share the exciting changes like my site launch. I didn’t always feel this way.

Thinking back to when I first started my ezine, I loved writing them but struggled with the article focus. I had too many ideas but was hesitant to pick a topic and write on it. The result: my ezine was a pain and something I dreaded.

Sound familiar? How many of you loathe creating and writing content for your ezines? Come on, you know who you are.

Since I’ve learned how to focus and create content, I sit down, pick a topic on my idea list, and crank it out. Writing ezine issues is now easy and fun.

This issue, I share my top 5 content-generating ideas with you, in hopes that you’ll begin to find joy and ease in creating your ezines.

Feature Article

5 Tips for Creating Ezine Content

  1. Interview experts and associates. Interviewing people whose expertise will benefit your readers is an easy way to crank out your next issue. Send the person a list of questions and have them email back their answers. Clean up the copy and put it in Q&A format, send it back to them for review, and voilà, you have an article. Make sure to offer the interviewee a bio and plug at the end of the piece and to include a link to his or her website.
  1. Offer case studies. Showcase your expertise through the power of example. Ask a client if you can use them as an example of how you solved their specific problem and helped them succeed.
  1. Answer repeat questions. Make a list of the top 10 questions potential customers and current customers ask you on a regular basis. Then, turn each question into an article. See, already you have 10 article ideas. Answering customer concerns in an ezine will also help reduce those repeat questions. If you aren’t sure what your customers want to know, ask them. Send out a survey asking people what they want to learn more about. Another way is to ask your ezine subscribers to email you questions, and then answer each question in the next issue’s article.
  1. Make lists. Offer short articles with 5 or 10 tips or secrets on a topic that will help your readers. These are easy to crank out and should be kept short and sweet.
  1. Borrow an article. Article directories are full of free, useful articles you can borrow, providing you give the original author the credit and bio. You should only use other people’s articles occasionally. Your readers perceive you as the expert, and you want to keep it that way.

Want to see more marketing articles like this one? Visit Michelle’s marketing blog, Copy Doodle.

Tip of the Month

According to JupiterResearch, 87% of online consumers spent time online reading their emails in 2007.

What’s New

In the past few issues, I’ve been dropping hints on upcoming events you don’t want to miss. If you are ready to make 2009 the most profitable year using your website to generate clients and cash without spending a fortune, then you’ll want to be on the lookout for a BIG announcement in mid-November. We’re finalizing dates and details now…so stay tuned!

Whew hew! My website changes are complete. Web 2.0 design and blog-style feel reflect the company’s conscious focus on the future of the web and an effort to incorporate technologies that improve user experience. I invite you to check out the new design and updated services page and my renamed and revamped weblog, The Michelle Show.

Michelle Recommends

Make publishing ezines stress free by writing them in advance. Having two to five months (or more) of ezines ready to publish will help eliminate stress and save you time.

5 Tips to Get Organized and Be Less Stressed

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

The clutter is there. On your desk. In your office. In your car and briefcase.

Don’t ignore it.

Important documents, business cards, information, and, yes, sometimes bugs (especially in swampy areas where I live), can be found squashed between piles and piles of paper and folders. And when you need a document in that growing pile, it takes up too much of your time to sift through it all.

Creating a well-organized workspace will save you enormous amounts of time and frustration. And it will relieve unnecessary stress from your life. Solid structure is what keeps things from falling apart.

Here are some tips on getting your life on track with organization:

· Hit delete. If your inbox is suffocating with the build-up of information you no longer need, toss it. It’s important to clear the way for new information and store any of the old in a folder on your computer. Seeing an organized inbox every day will make you feel less stressed.

· Store business cards and contact information in an alphabetical or categorical organizer. It will save you time when searching for a specific contact.

· Organize important documents in folders, which should go in a file cabinet. It would be highly effective for you to have folders with personal information separate from business folders.

· Finish a project before moving on to the next. This goes for business projects as well as home projects. Don’t put off what could be done today. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself overloaded with unfinished business and, therefore, more stressed.

· Don’t save more than you need. Sometimes people save magazines, photos, books, newspapers, and other items that only create clutter. We even forget why we saved them in the first place. When going through a magazine, for example, take out the pages you need and place them into categorized folder. Throwing the rest of the magazine away will eliminate the extra space an entire magazine would take up.

It’s not difficult to organize your life. With the right mindset and the right tools to get the job done, you’ll find yourself with more time and less stress.

Generate success for your small business and sign up for Your Business Marketing Solution, a biweekly ezine packed with marketing articles, tips, and stats.

Benefits Make the Sale, Not Features

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Getting product feature happy on your website could be fatal to sales levels. Simply focusing on what a product looks like and how it operates isn’t enough to actually sell it. Customers aren’t likely to buy a product based just on features. They want to know the product will satisfy a need and be worth their hard-earned money.

Telling customers the benefits of your service or product shows them you care about their needs and satisfying those needs.

Here are some ways to turn features into benefits and increase sales: 

·       Find out what your target market needs to satisfy some aspect of their life. Think about how your product will benefit the customer, and design the features around those benefits.

·       On your website, present the features of your products / services, directly followed by how it will benefit the customer. You’ll lose customers if you don’t present them with why a product is worth purchasing. It must be of some value.

·       Here’s an example of how to attach a benefit to a feature:

o      Feature: This face lotion eliminates the harsh appearance of wrinkles

o      Benefit: so that you look ten years younger and healthier.

Presenting the entire package of a product is what adds value to it and persuades the customer to purchase.

Generate success for your small business and sign up for Your Business Marketing Solution, a biweekly ezine packed with marketing articles, tips, and stats.

How to Write Successful Headlines

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Writing successful headlines for your business marketing materials is extremely important. The right headline will get the attention of potential clients and help increase site traffic.

There’s a certain formula for writing headlines. Magazine and newspaper headlines are usually witty, creative, fun, and clever. Headlines for ebooks, sales letters, press releases, online articles, and blogs need to be more direct. They need to be rich in keywords to increase SEO and site traffic and usually lack some of that witty repartee found in magazine headlines.

Choosing the best keywords for your title is crucial in grabbing the attention of viewers and ranking high in search engines. Once you understand the components of a well-crafted and result-driven headline, you’ll keep viewers interested in reading further.

Here are some templates for creating headlines:

·       How to…

·       Discover…

·       Have You…

·       5 Ways…

·       Three Tips…

·       Does Your Website…

·       How to Do…

·       Is Your…

·       Free…

·       Save…

·       The Truth About / Behind…

·       Make More…

There are many other combinations you can use to create effective headlines, but these are some of the most popular and effective.

Use a phrase about the topic of your blog. Place a colon after it, and then explain the importance of the topic. For example, “Website Effectiveness: Discover Your Return on Investment,” or “Web Design: Do You Need an Update Now?”

To learn about our many result-driven writing services and get more tips on writing effective web copy, visit Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial, LLC.

Ghostwriters: The Little Secret to Success

Friday, October 17th, 2008

You’re craving to share your industry expertise with the world but can’t quite put your knowledge into words. Crafting a brilliant written piece consumes a great deal of time. Time you may not have. Fear not, there are professionals who can put your brilliant thoughts into a symphony of words.

These miracle workers are called ghostwriters. They don’t go bump in the night as their name implies. They are writers who work for you and remain unknown to others. They can place your knowledge into various successful vehicles, such as ebooks, online articles, press releases, blogs, you name it. If you don’t have the time or the particular talent for effective writing, a ghostwriter will put your ideas in any writing vehicle, in a way that will effectively reach your target market.

What a ghostwriter can do for you:

·       Create keyword-rich writing that will increase site traffic, reach thousands of potential customers, increase your company’s credibility, and boost sales.

·       Grab the attention of any client with creative, concise, and clear wording, which gets to the point, fast and effectively. 

·       Save you time that could be dedicated to other aspects of creating a successful company.

·       Research your industry and target market to create a result-driven ebook, article, press release, or any other writing need.

Want to learn more about our ghostwriting services? Visit Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial, LLC. 

The Marketing Power of an Online Press Release

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Message from Michelle

Welcome to the October 16 issue of Your Business Marketing Solution.

I cannot believe it’s the middle of October. I guess time flies when you’re busy working to grow a business. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much fun I have trying to grow my business and how lucky I am that every day I encounter new challenges that call on me to use my creativity in order to handle the issue at hand.

Growing a company, whether virtual or storefront, involves creativity, planning, and stepping out in faith. It also requires a great deal of marketing. If you want the prospects and the sales, you have to market.

In August, we covered how article marketing works to increase online visibility and bring in more customers. In this issue, we take a look at another tool, specifically, the benefits of online press releases and how they help enhance search engine optimization efforts.

Feature Article

The Marketing Power of an Online Press Release

Too many companies struggle with driving traffic to their website. When site traffic is minimal, sales are sluggish. Who wants that?

Investing in your SEO efforts is essential if your company is to be found by potential customers. While there are numerous ways to increase your online visibility, regularly posting a newsworthy press release online is a powerful strategy that will greatly boost your online presence.

When you post an online release that’s optimized with relevant keywords, it helps maximize your SEO efforts and drives more traffic to your website. Also, if the directory allows it (often they do, if you pay to upgrade), include keyword-rich links to various pages of your website in the body of the release. This helps boost search engine rankings and further increases site visits.

Regularly posting—or whenever you have something newsworthy—is also great for publicity, direct exposure, and name recognition. Companies, journalists, and the general public opt in to have specific types of press releases sent to them daily. If someone is looking for news related to your industry, the release is more likely to be picked up by the media or seen by a potential customer.

Another benefit of submitting newsworthy press releases online is that they are archived. One release will get exposure for a long time.

When writing a press release, keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • The press release must be newsworthy and not an advertisement / plug for your service or product.
  • It must include your key message.
  • When announcing a new service or product, you must be clear about what it is and why it’s important.
  • Follow proper formatting guidelines.

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

Tip of the Month

comScore has reported that approximately half of all internet users visit an online news site in a given month.

What’s New

I want to give you a heads-up about my F*R*E*E telesclass on November 19 that will skyrocket your sales. In this call, I’ll show you proven strategies you can implement now to drive website traffic and increase sales quickly and with ease.

Be on the lookout for more detailed information about the teleclass in the weeks to come.

Also, over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with you more about how you can make 2009 the most profitable year, using your website to generate clients and cash without spending a fortune. You’ll be the first to know about my upcoming Bootcamp scheduled to begin in January.

Michelle Recommends

There are numerous press release directories online where you can post. Some are free while others charge. is free, easy to use, and requires no registration. allows you to choose from 4 distribution packages. The basic package is $80 and the most advanced is $360.

About Michelle

Michelle Salater is an award-winning writer and owner of Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial, LLC, a copywriting company dedicated to helping small to midsized businesses increase their competitive edge, boost sales, and expand their online presence through stellar copy.

Michelle’s clients benefit from her seven-year experience as a freelance writer and her dedication to each client’s success. With an understanding of the business world, marketing strategies, SEO copywriting, and magazine publication, she offers a variety of copywriting services that address each client’s marketing needs. Her goal is to provide result-oriented copy, including web copy, SEO copywriting, ezines and newsletters, online articles, along with other marketing materials such as brochures, press releases, and ebooks.

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.

Networking: Where to Look for the Best Opportunities

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Networking to some people sounds like a business operation, when, in reality, it’s more about being social in any environment you find yourself in. The woman next to you on a flight is networking when she strikes up a conversation with you about the weather. By the end of the flight, you’ve discovered she’s a boutique owner interested in the clothing line you just started. You exchange numbers. Aren’t you glad you decided to chat it up?

As a business owner, it’s important to socialize wherever you may be. You’re bound to run into someone that you can benefit from and vice versa. Networking relationships are born from simple day-to-day communication with people you’ve met for the first time. These relationships benefit both parties involved because each person listens, communicates, advises, and helps the other reach company and personal goals.

Know the type of people you are networking with to set goals for your conversations. Are you networking with potential clients, partners, employees, or sponsors? Your interaction, questions, and advice may be different for each person.

Where do you go to network?

·       Don’t forget, you can socialize anywhere. 

·       Industry events and organizations are great places to meet people with similar business goals, knowledge, interests, and experiences. The people you meet here could be potential clients, employers, or business partners. Many have had different industry experiences than you and can help you avoid future obstacles and further achieve your goals.

·       Joining a general business organization allows you to get free business advice, name recognition, and the opportunity to learn about the operations of other businesses. It also shows customers you’re a credible company because you are part of a recognized business organization.

·       Online newsgroups and discussion forums are hot spots for people from all over. Customers, business owners, and industry workers participate in the various online forums. It’s a great way to establish your expertise in the industry, get advice from others, and learn more about your target market. A simple online search will pull up dozens of newsgroups and forums related to your industry.

Generate success for your small business and sign up for Your Business Marketing Solution, a biweekly ezine packed with marketing articles, tips, and stats.

Press Releases: Get Your Company the Attention It Deserves

Friday, October 10th, 2008

If you’ve been marketing your business the same way for years now, it’s time to make changes and send your company soaring to success. Make the public aware you’re eager to lend your industry expertise and that you’re passionate about customer satisfaction.

Press releases provide an excellent opportunity to bring your brand name to life. If your business has remained at a steady rate for years now, the right press release can gain your company recognition, leading to growth and incredible success.

What makes a good press release?

·       Knowing what medium your target market is apt to use will allow you to structure your press releases towards those specific mediums and media members.

·       Newsworthy information will help you stand out to the media and public, to gain company recognition, and secure more business.

·       Press releases should encompass the elements that set your business apart from others in the industry.

·       Every bit of information in your press release must lend itself to the success and growth of your business. Let the public know you’re at the top of your game and are a solid investment for their time and money.

·       A press release must be newsworthy. News items include the following: new employees joining the team, involvement in the community, participating in fundraisers, important anniversaries, new and innovative products / services entering your market, important internal affairs, and much more. Your company deserves the spotlight as it goes through important changes.

Press releases need to sell themselves to the media, the crucial link between your business and the public eye. The media loves informative and edgy news, so flaunt it. Press releases require expert skills in writing, public relations, and selling. If you don’t have the right resources, skills, and time to create a powerful press release, hire a freelance copywriter to show off your company and all it has to offer.

For result-driven press release services, visit Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial, LLC.

Marketing Survey . . . Short and Sweet

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Dear Copy Doodle Readers and Those Who are New to my Blog,

I would love some feedback to the following questions:

1. What is the most important aspect in growing your business? And why.

2. If an expert were to offer free advice on two online marketing problems you face, what would those two problems be?

If you took the time to leave a comment, that would be great. Thanks for reading!

Green Marketing: Saving the Environment and Your Company

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Being green has never looked so darn good. The green craze is not simply a celebrity fad. It’s a growing national movement. Green Movement consumers are on the rise, passionate about saving the environment, conscious of health hazards in food consumption, and keen on decreasing energy consumption. All companies can contribute to the Green Movement, whether it’s through participating in a volunteer program, selling green services / products, or paperless marketing.

How your company can market green:

·       Have a credo of values section on your website, allowing consumers to understand the goals and inner workings of your company. Mention in your mission statement ways your company participates in green practices, such as using minimal packaging that’s recyclable, conserving resources, and using services / products that decrease energy consumption and waste.

·       Join an ecofriendly organization to certify your company as green. For example, if you are developing a new marina or revitalizing an existing one, join a volunteer program such as The Certified Clean Marina Program. Joining organizations shows consumers you are a certifiably clean marina and comply with environmentally clean standards.

·       Create a green conscious product / service line. We’ve all seen this in grocery stores, with a variety of organic meat and dairy products. Clothing stores are doing it as well, designing lines of clothes made from organic materials.

·       Research ways the world is going green and cater your products / services around some of the actions people are taking. Knowing how people are buying and consuming is important to the success of your business.

·       Create customer surveys focused on the Green Movement, and research the top things people are doing to save the environment.

To get more tips on effectively marketing your business and learn about our many result-driven copywriting services, visit Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial, LLC.

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