22 items found for ""
- How Do You Prep Your Web Copy? Effective Copywriting For Your Business.
Copywriting isn't just a service, it is a detail-oriented process that anyone with a firm grasp of their chosen language can accomplish. However, knowing how to write is not enough. Anyone can put two sentences together but will the work be effective? Effective copywriting requires prep time, write time, and ample review time. It takes time. Over the years I have learned and honed my own process, however, I do have a few tips to help you create your own effective copywriting. After all, being effective means better copy for your own business or even the ability to write web copy for a living. As a matter of fact, you could apply these ideas to any of your written works- web, blog, article, or any of your other copywriting needs! Let's start with: 1. Effective copywriting prep time. Prepping for the work you are about to write is the most important step. It dramatically decreases the amount of time you will spend writing and editing later. Seriously, this will save you. In school, I learned that some serious prep prior to writing and reviewing your work can take an average writer and make them great. I want to be great. You want to be great. We need to prepare our content! How exactly do we prep? Where it all starts is an idea. I'm sure you have an idea. I have an idea right here. However, an idea will not get you all that far. You need facts and statistics to back up that idea. You'll see here that I did not back up my work with any facts or statistics that I could quote. I am writing a simple blog piece on my own experience, though. If you need some hard-hitting information to stand up against argument, though, you need those bits of proven information to back up your writing. Once you have your idea and the information to back all that up, outline the heck out of your work. I have always hated creating outlines. Please listen closely because I would not recommend it if I felt you could get by without one. Your outline does not need to be detailed. Think of it like note-taking. You have a header, subcategories, and a conclusion. Isn't that what most broken-down articles look like? Rather than create notes of a completed work, you create an outline to see what your piece will convey before it can become notes again. It is a bit of reverse engineering. What do you want your takeaway to look like when someone reads your work? Their notes should resemble your content outline. 2. Effective copywriting write time. This part just got easier. You have all the work done in prep, now you just need to fill in the gaps. Creating the content is easy. If you are writing for a group that will only scan your work, without reading it as a whole, consider stating your main thought in the first sentence. Elaborate in the following sentences. Your thought will grab their attention, and they will read the supporting lines of that initial thought in that paragraph if it did the expected job of attracting their attention. Throw each punch in your outline. Bam! 1/3rd of people care about this statement right now. This is why they care about that statement. You should care too. Now end point one and move on. Do you get the gist of what I am saying here? Make your points and make them stand out at the beginning of every paragraph. Simple, right? 3. Effective copywriting review time. Never publish your work without a good review of what you wrote (unlike what I did on Sunday, oops). Depending on the piece you wrote, that review process can look a little differently to everyone. Client work will often go to the client for final review, for example. If I am writing an important piece for my own needs, I'll ask my own resources for their thoughts on my piece. I also like to throw my work through a simple plagiarism and grammar check to make sure everything is kosher with my writing and content formation. The plagiarism check is especially important as most people want search engines to recognize their content as original. You don't have to plagiarize directly for something to come across as such. It is better safe than sorry. These are the essentials for a good piece of copy. They not only improve my quality but they make me a more effective copywriter. I love what I do. I want you to love it too. If you don't have the time or experience to write your own web copy, contact me and we can work out the details to create an eye-catching piece of copy for you!
- Help Wanted: Testimonials, Please!
Good morning on this beautiful Sunday. It is cool, crisp, and comes with a call out to potential clients! I am in need of some new testimonials. So, what does this mean for you? It means I am offering incentives! I am looking for 2-3 potential clients who are small business and in need of a little help. Whether you need an hour or two of my time or some copywriting. I'm hoping to help some people, like you, who could use my services without the premium cost. In return, all I ask is that you write an honest testimonial that I can use on my website to help promote my services. Each testimonial also comes with a link back to your website. Please reach out through the various contact options in app or on my website to discuss this prime opportunity and for more information.
- Oh Goodness, I Did It!
You are currently reading the blog of Angela J Shupe Freelance Services LLC and I could not be more proud! Before 6am this morning, I filled out all the paperwork for the state. I used LegalZoom to collect the information, paid the state filing fee, and submitted it. Around 10:30am I was alerted that it was official. I am now a state recognized company. After a little more work, I have my federal EID number now too. It is done. It is official. We are in business! This is a dream I have had since I was 17 years old. I never thought I would get there. It only took 21 years! Never say never. Thank you all for your patience this week as I have been busy with school and backend work, building my business to this moment. My goal is to someday help people with their own struggles get a start and realize their own dreams by offering job skills and advice. Everyone needs a place to get started. As for today, I am using my job skills to better myself and build this company to the point that I can do those things. One. Step. At. A. Time. I'm so proud of myself.
- Progress Report: Returning From My Recent Hiatus...
Unfortunately, I had a lot going on in my life recently and I took an unexpectedly long hiatus from blogging. I would say I am disappointed in myself but it really was absolutely necessary for my wellbeing. I cannot say I will be here 5 days a week again, but I want you to know I am here and share my current progress report. Soon I will officially be a LLC, and I will be taking big strides into client work, freelance writing, and so much more. Keep your eyes peeled for what is to come. It is very exciting and I cannot believe I am making these milestones in my career happen! I've been doing my best to keep up with school as I take these strides forward in my life. I am currently sitting at a B in Business Communications but I certainly have room to grow. I still have 3 more weeks to build on that score. My goal is to maintain a B at minimum. Going back to school is not simple, and I am feeling the struggle to adjust to the extra workload. I refuse to let anything hold me back from finishing my Associate's and moving on to my Bachelor's. I have some article ideas that I want to work up to post in my portfolio. Working it in between school is tricky as I adjust to this new life I created for myself. Angela, you are making things happen for yourself, and that is my progress report. Tomorrow I should have an update geared more toward business and less personal. Thank you all for sticking around and keeping your eye on Angela J Shupe Freelance Services!
- Building A Freelance Resume
Yesterday I had to do a little work to build myself a freelance-friendly resume for submission to potential clients. Essentially, this whole website is my portfolio of work and contracting services. I get that. However, I needed to sum up some of my information into a sheet that I could submit digitally to potential clients. That is exactly what I did. Feel free to scan the photo version for a moment. I will wait. Creating an accurate freelancer resume can be a little... tough. Due to the shortage of clients I have had, especially since most of them are over 10 years old and only one could give me a direct testimonial for my website, I tried to lump my current experience under one header. I am not a fan. As I gather new clients, I will divide my clients into different experiences under the same company heading as an entrepreneur. Right now, I just wanted to show I have some qualifications. Creating a better resume than my previous was refreshing and frustrating. So, please, if you have tips as to how you built yours - I am listening!
- Back To School: The Adult Edition
Tomorrow is my first day of class, and I wanted to make sure I took a moment to come on here and discuss a little about my life at this moment. For a moment I didn't think I would be able to finish a dream that started in my teens. I've always wanted to be in business, in particular virtual-based business. In my 20's, I finally took the leap and fell short. So, when I decided to go back to finish my existing degree program and move up to a bachelor's degree, I got a little scared when admissions took their sweet time approving my re-enrollment. It gave me less than a week until class started but I couldn't be happier that everything came together. I'm living a dream! I'm going to get those credentials that mean so much to me. I am going to finish my goals and I will succeed. After all, I have a GPA that sits over 3.5. I know I have the ability to succeed, I just need to put in the time and effort. As I prepped for school, I was thinking of my own business. I have had a passion for business for as long as I can remember. In High School, I wanted to be a designer. I wanted to sell my goods online. As time progressed, I stopped wanting to be a designer but I never stopped wanting to be an entrepreneur. I eventually found work that allowed me to live that dream and did it for 6 years. That passion never left me, it just got set aside. I'm ready to take it off the back burner, and that is why I have Angela Shupe Freelance Services (working on becoming an LLC actually). I've grown over the years. I was lucky enough to be my own inspiration, looking back on how I found my first client in 2006 and grew my business during that time. Today I sit here following that dream once again and realizing that sometimes I just have to live the life I love while continuing to be a productive member of society. At some point, I would love to give someone a leg up like Dane did for me, once I am in a place to do so effectively. This mature college student is ready for what the educational process has to throw at her. I am ready to get the degrees that suit my abilities. I'm going back to school through the University of Phoenix. I started at that school and I wish to finish my degree there. After all, my reality is that their format is much easier on me than an in-person-style education. I'm self-motivated and work best on my own schedule. I am most effective in that manner. Why wouldn't I want to give myself the best start possible by letting my education meet my needs? Tomorrow I will log into my Business Communications course, and I will give it 110%. I have an end goal and I know what I need to complete that dream. Welcome back, Angela.
- Welcome To An Inside Look Into My Life
Life has been a bit much lately, especially my personal health. This is why I work from home. Thank you all for being a rock while I keep working on bettering myself! This post is going to be short and sweet. I simply wanted you to know that I am working on some things in the background. Keep an eye on my X (Twitter) account for life updates while I focus on getting my health and life on track. I am there under @angelajshupe and I will keep being my witty self. I am waiting to hear from school about starting plus taking care of some health appointments. I will update sporatically as I am able. I may even just share some personal insight. Hay, this is my blog after all!
- Is Higher Education Worth The Money? The College Edition.
The topic I am writing about today is very personal right now. I've seen online arguments about whether you need a college education to succeed in the field. I've always been on the fence because I want that degree but a lot of the knowledge can come first hand. I have been in college. As I worked toward an associates degree, I noticed I was taught a lot of the same stuff I learned firsthand by being self-employed in the field of small business (it was the topic I wrote about most, researched the most, and realized the type of connections we learned about in class long before I was told they were connections). I regretted not finishing my college education, and my associate degree, so I decided to rectify that. I have submitted my application and I am waiting on admissions to get my paperwork sorted, figure out what credits can roll over, and finish the heck out of my degree. It is something that has been bothering me for 10 years and it is time I do something about it. That brings me to a whole different, but related, topic. I've seen debates around the internet about whether a degree is necessary to be a successful business owner. Want to know my opinion? Sure you do... No, it doesn't matter if you are willing to do the work. It just depends on you and what you want your approach to look like. I began my self-employment journey prior to going to college. What I discovered when going for my associates was that I knew a lot of the base education from experience. I learned by doing! I also learned that I could have avoided many mistakes by going to school first. My advice to you is to learn what you need to succeed. You can do so by using your experiences when you get started in business or by going to college before starting a business. I also recommend finding an existing entrepreneur who is willing to advise you on the ways of running a business. That can generate a lot of knowledge and help you decide on what would help you most. Just because I chose both in my life does not mean you have to follow my path. I really would hope you would consider your own skills and mindset before making that kind of decision. Student loans are a real pain if you don't feel you need the education they pay for.
- The Work-Life Balance
I'm sure you have noticed that I tend to draw from real life. That is happening here again. This time it is directly related to balancing work and life at the same time because, well, sometimes that stuff merges, and managing them can get difficult. As a matter of fact, nothing causes it to merge more than working from home. You are literally sitting in the middle of life doing work. How are you supposed to separate that stuff? It takes some work but it is possible. Finding work-life balance is as easy as 1-2-3. Not quite, but it is easier than you realize. It is all about barriers. Physical barriers are great, like walking out of a physical building and getting in the car for your drive home, but mental ones also work. If you have a private office space with a door, that is a physical barrier you can implement in your work life. However, that is not always possible. Sometimes you just have to make due and mental barriers can really help in this area. If your office is a corner in your bedroom with a desk, raise your hand. That is exactly where my office is located. I needed to find a way to make working from home work for me, and the quietest space was the bedroom. It is also a master bedroom with a private bathroom. It is great for never having to leave during work hours. It also happens to be just far enough off from the bed and the actual "bedroom" space, I am able to differentiate between the two mental modes. That is a prime example of a mental barrier. There is no physical barrier. I mentally separate the two spaces by facing away from the bed while I work but also by keeping my workspace at the foot of the bed, so I sleep without having to look at work. My brain has placed an invisible wall between the two spaces behind the one door. So, how do you replace the decompression during the physical drive home with a traditional 9 to 5? See, for me that is an important step. I need to be able to set aside the stressors I faced while working before I enter home life. Being I am at home already, I cannot use the car as that medium. I have a routine for that too. I decompress by walking away from the computer after I shut it off. I do not leave the room, though. As I mentioned the bedroom setup previously, that helps me in this situation. I walk away from the computer and I go sit on the bed. I may play on my phone for a moment or I might just take a few deep breaths with my eyes closed. Either way, I am away from my workspace but not quite in the living area. Sitting on the bed for 5 minutes is my car ride home. Finding that work-life balance is a welcome challenge. I'd rather be home working than anywhere else. It is simple. Being self-employed in my own space makes me much happier than physical decompression barriers. I wouldn't change my work life for anything.
- Mental Health Matters, And So Do You
I'm having a hard time motivating myself today. It is simply a rough, emotional day in the house and I suspect I need more than a handful of hours to sleep. That weighs heavily on me and happens to be the exact reason why I am writing what I write now. Get a grip! Your mental health matters! People who work for themselves tend to be harder on themselves than they should. They also happen to forget how important it is to be objective. If you are in the middle of a mental health necessity, not only do you understand it more than anyone else but you may actually believe you should just "get over it" and forget to just be kind to yourself instead. Be Kind, Rewind! Darn it, I am not kidding. Be kind. Take an extra moment to breathe. Look at a pretty picture. Really hear your favorite song and absorb the words. Start working on a hat that someone decided to pay you to make (Oh sorry, that is just me!), and most importantly, do it often. Regular mental health respites can actually help you keep your mental health in check. Whether it is anxiety or depression, that mini break can give you focus while you handle necessary tasks. It is the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow. I know some days the thought of sitting with loved ones while crocheting after I am done with my day keeps me focused. Like now. I'd much rather turn my hours of sleep into more than half a handful but I write to you, dear reader, because it is my work and that nap will come after my projects are complete. Maintain healthy patterns and routines so the harder stuff feels less, well, hard. As a matter of fact, I have a morning routine. It keeps me on track when days feel a little more heavy. The routine motivates me and tells me I can conquer the world by freelancing with one client at a time. It also tells me that I have a moment of calm coming as soon as I finish that last project. Those are some mental health goals but also productive ones. I leave you with a simple question... What mental health respites keep you moving forward through a hard day?
- Should I Become An LLC?
After the past few days, I have spent a lot of time putting my business knowledge to use. I have been researching becoming a LLC, and it is looking like it may become a reality. I went to college to get my associates in business back when I was still a virtual assistant in a previous life. I left 3 courses before completion, but the knowledge sat with me this entire time. My business knowledge is coming in handy now. In all my research, I discovered some resources for Michigan small business that are just getting started or looking to grow. These resources screamed at me and told me it is time. It is time to take the leap and be that business of my dreams. Have you taken the steps to legitimize your business yet? What advice do you have for me?
- What Do You Do When The Contractor Scam Hits Close To Home?
I recently had a situation that left me wanting to write more than a couple of words on the topic. It was not a situation that I had encountered until recently. That situation is the "contractor" scam. Someone reaches out to you with credentials that appear legitimate, they ask legitimate questions about your skillset, and finally, they let you know they would like to add you to their team. You finish the contract negotiations, sign things, and submit the necessary information to be a 1099 worker... just to be emailed a poorly altered copy of a check that states, "For mobile deposit only." What do you do when the contractor scam comes knocking at your door? Well, that is exactly what came to my virtual door yesterday and I spent quite a bit of time researching what steps I needed to take to protect my identity. First, I gave the "company" the benefit of the doubt. It took a turn into fishy fast, so I tried to validate the check in the image using the unaltered information listed on it. It could not be validated. When I couldn't validate the check, I quickly took action. This included a lot of research, which I hope to simplify for you. My first stop was at Google to see what resources said to do. After all, I'm smart enough to be able to check through resources. There are two government pages (if you are in the US) that you need to bookmark. These are the two pages you want to visit: identitytheft.gov reportfraud.ftc.gov/ These two pages will help protect you in this instance. The first protects you and tells you what you need to do in the event of exposed information. The second will allow you to submit a report about the fraudulent action that exposed your information. If you are at risk, stop now and do something to protect yourself! I wanted you to know what I did to protect myself because I want you to protect yourself from shady gigs that turn into simple information grabs. Freelancing is a little like the wild west. You never know who may step out of the shadows and shoot you in the back.