Lovable Labels Review – And Giveaway!!

Okay, listen closely everyone, because you’re about to get the chance to get the CUTEST kid-friendly (and mom-saving) product I think I’ve ever come across.

Say hello to the Lovable Labels Camp Pack!

I will admit to actually squealing out loud when I opened this package on Friday! Not only is it totally adorable (seriously, I’ll show you pictures in a second) but it is SO functional that my type-A personality fell in love immediately.

And the Camp Pack is so beyond functional – it includes every single type of label you would *ever* need to send your child to camp, AND they throw in cute bonuses like a packing list, and hubbster’s favourite part of the whole package (which I’ll show you in a minute.)

I guess this is a big moment, though. Why?

Because right now, I’m going to reveal flufflmonster’s name.

Yes, Gazelle and the other ladies over at LovableLabels were kind enough to even personalize this package for me and fluffy. So, without any further adieu, I’ll show you all of the labels that come with the camp pack – and our little baby girl’s name!

Say hello to…

Isabella (Lynn Violet) W.

… and her Camp Pack Stickers!

These stickers are great. Not only are they totally adorable (and you can personalize them – this is the “Diva Pack!”), but they’re large enough to be seen on book spines, water bottles, even cell phones. Durable, too. And they’ll stick to ANYTHING. See?

Ha ha sorry, I just had to. ANYway…

Next are the slimline labels, which I think are perfect for some school supplies and things like Tupperware in your lunch box. Because yes, these (along with the Sticker labels, Allergy Alert, Think Pink, Square, and all Household labels) are DISHWASHER AND MICROWAVE SAFE.

Can you say MOM WIN?


And the shoe labels…

And the clothing dots rock! No ironing required, like most clothing labels. Just peel and stick these babies onto tag or care label, or the lining inside windbreakers, snowpants, jackets… And they’re totally machine washable. Hello! MOM WIN! And you get three sheets of them in the camp pack, too!

Then the square labels, which could be used for a multitude of things – I’m thinking larger things though, like lunch boxes, sports equipment, etc. Totally adorable :

And of course, hubbster’s favourite part of the whole camp pack – the dog tags. He’s ex-military, so the very idea of his daughter having her own adorable little dog tags made him squeal like a girl. Yes, LIKE A GIRL.

So ladies… Thinking they’re cute? Thinking you absolutely MUST get some of your own? Well, you could go over to LovableLabels.ca and buy a Camp Pack for your little one (which I completely recommend doing by the way!) – or you could stay here, and see if you’re the lucky winner of our giveaway!

There are plenty of ways you can enter. The mandatory entry?

You MUST retweet this giveaway! Just use the #LovableLabels hashtag, and tweet this :

“@crunchybusiness – I just entered the #LovableLabels giveaway at http://wp.me/pTHTw-7o ! Please RT!”

Then come back here and comment, letting me know that you’ve tweeted! One week from today (next Monday) I’ll randomly choose a comment to win! Be sure to include your email address, so I can get in touch!

Optional entries (come back here and comment when you’re done!):

Visit the LovableLabels site, and tell me which product of theirs is your favourite!

Follow LovableLabels on Twitter!

“Like” Lovable Labels on Facebook!

Visit and subscribe to the LovableLabels Blog!

Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Follow me on Twitter!

Good luck ladies!

Want to Improve Your Copywriting Abilities?

I’m *finally* getting around to creating a few posts to answer some fantastic questions I received on the warrior forum! This one is for “robyna”. Check out my answer below!

1. What are 5 or 6 concrete things that a budding copywriter can do to improve their copywriting abilities? (Besides reading, I’ve done a ton of that and need to do actual exercises to improve.)

This is an easy one – start writing copy! A lot of people suggest re-writing old, successful salesletters. And there is some merit to that, but… First you need to figure out how well you can write copy. Get your own kind of style down.

Just a word of warning – do *not* start by writing copy for your own products. Just don’t. Every copywriter knows that it is harder to write copy for your own stuff, because you’re too close to it.

First, decide what type of copy you want to write.

Remember that it is the specialist copywriter who brings home the big bacon, not the generalist. So let’s say you want to write B2B copy for products aimed towards retailers – this is a huge market that not many people know about, but it can be very lucrative.

Now, choose a product that is already out there.

Like Coca-Cola for example. Write a salesletter trying to sell Coca-Cola to your ideal prospect – a retail business. Explain to them why they would want to carry Coca-Cola in their retail establishment.

Do this a few times for a few different products. By now, you should have an idea of the copywriting process.

Now, try finding a few pieces in your target market.

You don’t have to know performance stats, but if you can find a mailer that has been sent out for a long period of time, chances are that you have a control – a letter that all other letters are tested against – and it probably pulls in a pretty good conversion rate.

Now write it out.

By hand. As many times as you can before either writer’s cramp or insanity set in. Learn the letter, and learn every detail of how it works.

Then go back to your original pieces (which can also serve as portfolio pieces, FYI!) and improve them. Take what you have learned from rewriting the high-converting copy, and integrate it into your own letters.

Soon, you’ll get really good at “seeing” what works and what doesn’t. Writing good copy will be like second nature for you. Then, and only then, should you write a salesletter selling your own services, and begin to market yourself.

2. What copywriters do they look up to that really know their stuff?

This is a pet peeve of mine, to be honest. A lot of people look up to copywriters who claim to really know their stuff, who name-drop big-name clients, and then go on to market their “how to be a super-awesome bazillionaire copywriter” type products. Here’s a hint…

IGNORE THOSE PEOPLE.

Really!  Yes, they may be good copywriters. And one could argue that the copy for their own products must be awesome, because it sells really well. But then you’d be missing the point… The copy for their products, 9 times out of 10, can suck. It can suck BAD. And it will still rake in cash like a cab driver at last call because all of the “gurus” are flogging their stuff, and they have social proof.

You want to look up to those who are already in your market, writing copy.

Look up to people who write for the same niches that you do. They may not even be copywriters – they could be marketing managers, or even business owners. Watch them. Study them. Follow everything that they do, and make a point of subscribing to all of their lists.

Because they live, eat, and breathe your target market more than any “guru copywriter” ever could – and often, they’ll offer you help. They aren’t so concerned with getting you signed up to their next boot camp, seminar, or infoproduct, because they’re every day job is making money doing the exact same thing you do – writing copy.

You may even find that when you come to them for advice, after a while, they may offer you freelance assignments (especially if they are business owners or marketing managers, and not copywriters.) You’re an expert, and they’re a generalist. They would rather spend their time working ON their business than IN it.

Yes, they know their market really well – but so will you, in time.

You have an advantage by being the outside expert, even if you’re not quite the expert yet. A set of fresh eyes – and a new perspective – can do wonders for a direct mail campaign, and people in your target industry know that.

I hope those answers help you in your copywriting business. Look forward to some more posts answering some of your greatest business questions coming up!

Something special on Monday!

I am so sick today I can hardly think, and tonight, I’m starting “the big reinstall” – taking 4 years worth of data and migrating it over to Windows Vista. So I’m going to be a little bit MIA the rest of the day and over the weekend.

But on Monday, I have something *very* special for you!

I was recently asked to do a review and giveaway for one of the cutest products available, from a Canadian company no less! (Hey, I have to support my fellow country-women!)

I just got the product in the mail yesterday, and I actually SQUEALED when I saw it. Seriously. Even hubbster got excited, he thinks its absolutely adorable!

AND as part of the review, one lucky blog reader will get their very own version of this product – completely customized for them – completely and totally free!!

Trust me gals (and guys, if you’re out there reading this!) – you won’t want to miss this giveaway!

Alright, I’m off to drink some ginger-lemon tea to soothe my aching throat, and watch some daytime TV to soothe my aching brain.

Be on the lookout for my post on Monday!

I'm going to be totally MIA this weekend…

… but I have a good reason, I promise.

You see, my computer – as much as I love it – is slow. Not because it’s old (although it is approaching the 4 year mark, which makes it kind of old by computer standards…) but because I’ve had the same Windows XP installation running on it for the WHOLE FOUR YEARS.

If you’re not too geeky like me and you’re wondering what that means, it’s kind of like driving your car for 4 years without changing the oil. Yeah, not good.

I have one of the most complex home office setups of anyone that I know.

It drives some people crazy, because they don’t even know how I manage to use it – but it is for productivity. When you write for a living, and charge by the word, the faster you can write the more you can make. So I spend a lot of time working to improve efficiency in my office.

Right now, for example, I have two monitors (one widescreen and one regular screen) hooked up to my desktop computer, hubbster’s desktop computer an arm’s length away (just in case I need to look up something while this computer is busy), and my laptop. Oh how I love having a laptop, because I can do some of my work on the laptop anywhere I want – AND I can use a handy dandy feature called remote desktop to work out on the patio, but basically be “viewing” my desktop computer THROUGH the laptop. Which means all of my files and programs are accessible.

Totally essential to be able to access your files from your laptop when you have 12 email accounts. Totally.

Last night, I went out and purchased a new wireless-N router because our internet was getting slow. Tomorrow, I’ll be wiping out this Windows XP installation and putting Windows Vista on this computer. Which is why I’ll be MIA. Because the computer will be getting a fresh start!

The next steps after this?

Well, I’d really like another monitor, but I don’t think my desk would fit one as it is now… So I suppose a new desk, THEN a new monitor. 3 total. That isn’t *too* crazy, right?

My Top 2 Business Tips…

… are also my top 2 favorite quotes.

They aren’t really “quotes” in the sense that someone famous once wrote them, or said them during an interview. They are simply things that I say, because they make sense both in business and in life.

I was reminded of the first one today while surfing a well-known internet marketing forum, where I have been a member since 2005.

In that forum, particularly in the copywriting section, there is an elitist mentality.

Any potential client who comes in seeking a copywriter but doesn’t offer $1500+ per sales letter is instantly flamed, scoffed at, and asked never to return. And may God have mercy on your soul if you enter the Copywriting forum, and ask for a content writer (this is among the greatest faux pas one can commit, apparently. Despite myself and other high level copywriters also working in content.)

And on this particular day, I noticed a thread started by fellow long-time forum member, Harlan Kilstein.

Like me, he only visits the forum periodically, because we’re both simply too busy running our business to be bothered with posting 15+ times each day on a forum. But he started a thread offering an excellent opportunity for newer copywriters, offering to recommend them to some of his own private internet marketing students.

In exchange for what? Absolutely nothing.

He just wanted some reliable people he could recommend to his students. No commission required, no freebie work had to be given up, nothing. And to have your name recommended by Harlan Kilstein? That’s like a sainthood in some circles.

But then he made “the ultimate mistake” – and said that the work would probably be low pay.

While a couple of individuals saw this for what it was – really, a potentially career making opportunity – others did not. Others followed the herd, did as monkeys do, and publicly scoffed at the idea of low pay.

I’m not sure why copywriters do this.

Sure, I talk about cheap content and cheap copywriters sometimes – but it is usually brought about when I see a client come to me, after having been burnt by a “cheap” writer, and genuinely wanting to help others avoid the same fate.

But these writers almost seem to believe that publicly denouncing low paying projects is a way to *prove* that they command higher fees.

It isn’t.

All it *proves* is that they have far too much time on their hands to surf internet marketing forums looking for copywriting work, and far too little client work to actually keep them busy.

And it reminded me of this saying…

“If you don’t do anything different, you can’t do anything better.”

What would have been wrong with looking down your nose at the project, and simply moving on? Nothing. Why was it necessary to publicly state your displeasure with a project you had absolutely no interest in taking?

Because everyone else does, that’s why. The problem with that, is that if you don’t do anything different, you can’t do anything BETTER.

You don’t want to be the same as everyone else, because then you’ll get the same results as everyone else.

Do you see high end copywriters who command six-figure salaries sitting on internet marketing forums, whining about $100 copywriting projects? No, because they’re too busy MAKING MONEY.

So instead of following the herd, branch out. Do something different. Get attention for being unique for a change, instead of just voicing the same opinion that everyone else has.

Be different. Be better.

My other favorite quote? “Everyone makes a choice between greatness and mediocrity. Greatness is only rare because mediocrity is easier.”

Why do I love that saying?

Because to me, in a nut shell, it says “HEY. YOU. The one on the couch, eating cheetos in your underwear. I know it is easy to be lazy, but you’re never going to achieve anything at that rate. Get up and do something outside of your comfort zone, and amazing things can happen!”

Which is true. It falls along the same lines as the above quote. If you do the same thing as everyone else, and always take the path of least resistance, you’re going to get the same results as everyone else. And everyone else? Well, they’re not seeing massive success. At least not most of them.

There is a reason only a small percentage of the population falls into the category of “super rich” – because creating wealth takes work, dedication, and a willingness to be DIFFERENT.

Nobody ever made a billion dollars by selling the same junk widget as everyone else.

Try it today. Go out, be different. Try something outside of your comfort zone. Put on some pants, put down the cheetos, and get off the couch.

You could be amazed at what happens next…

Do You Have the Mom State of Mind?

Mom State of MindOver the last few days, I’ve had the chance – no, the privilege – to speak with Shannon over at Mom State of Mind.

She is an absolutely fabulous gal, who has overcome a lot of challenges in her mom journey – and was gracious enough to share some of those challenges not only with me, but also with you, my readers!

Shannon runs a couple of different blogs, from the aforementioned Mom State of Mind, dedicated to her daily life (and its a great, fun read!), to the blog that started it all, God Gave Me You – a blog about the story of her son, Tristan, and the joy that his amazing little life brings her.

Of course, you can also find Shannon over on Twitter @momstateofmind and on Facebook, if you wish to follow her! (C’mon, give her a little bit of social media luv, gals!)

So without further adieu, I give you my interview with Shannon!

If you’d like to ask her more questions, you can comment here (she will be watching this post) or over at her blog!

Q. Shannon, would you mind telling us Tristan’s story? I know you’ve told me, but if you could share it with my readers I’m sure they would love to know.

Tristan Corey, my sweet blessing from God, came into this world on April 20th, 2007, 12 weeks too soon at 28 weeks, he weighed 1lb and 5.8oz and was 12inches. He spent from April 20th 2007 to September 24th, 2007 in the East Tennessee Childrens Hospital NICU. Tristan was on the ventilator for over 2 months and at one point we weren’t sure if he would make it on his own.

Tristan had many many complications which you can read about on his blog, God Gave Me You. Tristan came home with oxygen and a heart monitor, and a gastric feeding tube, because he was born before 30-33 weeks, he didn’t have the coordination for the suck,swallow,breathe that is needed to take a bottle, and when he tried he was losing more calories and not gaining weight, so he still has his G-tube and he only eats baby foods,yogart,apple sauce, he can drink most anything.

Tristan receives speech therapy/feeding therapy 3 times a week and also has occupational therapy and physical therapy. Tristan just turned 3 and is in special education preschool. He still doesn’t talk and doesn’t interact with other children or toys much at all. We are going to be having a vision and hearing screening and hopefully everything will turn out okay.

Q. Seeing the kinds of challenges you face being a SAHM with Tristan, things can’t be easy for you and your fiance. How do you make time for eachother?

I spend most mornings taking Tristan to either therapy or pre-k and my fiance, Allen, works evenings so he sleeps during the day mostly. Once Tristan is back home I am feeding him, working with him on different things, and trying to maintain a clean home.

My parents are not comfortable keeping Tristan overnight so he has never been away from us overnight..Allen and I don’t have alot of money with just him working for us to be able to go out and do alot of things, we mostly rent movies and stay at home and watch movies together, or we have “our time” when Tristan is taking a nap.

We really don’t do alot by ourselves, we always try to include Tristan. The last time we went out alone was Valentines Day. We just try to communicate and thats what has helped keep us together.

Q. Do you consider yourself to be a hero, caring for a child with special needs like Tristan’s? (I know many people would!)

I don’t feel like a hero as much as my own parents think I am.

They often tell me how much of a wonderful mother I am to Tristan, and that he is very blessed to have someone like me that cares for him. I feel that God gave me Tristan because he thinks I have “what it takes” to take care of a special needs child.

God is the real hero, he has watched over Tristan since birth and continues to do so! I praise him for everything. I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

Q. What has been the biggest joy for you since Tristan came into your life?

Everything. Seeing his beautiful face when I wake up and before I go to bed. Watching him get excited over the small things, watching him accomplish goals that most of us take for granted. He completed me, when I have my own bad days, I remember, he is here for a reason, and he is worth it all!

Q. How has being a Mom to a little boy with special needs changed you?

I am a very proud advocate for special needs children with all types of disabilites. I am a very proud supporter for the March of Dimes. I enjoy every single moment I have with Tristan, the good, the bad, and the very ugly.

I push myself everyday to get Tristan “where he needs to be” in order to live a fully active life. Even when I am tired or want “mommy” time, I remember he comes first. I try to inform others that life is very precious and don’t take anything for granted!

Q. Why did you choose to start blogging?

I became a member of a Yahoo group called Preemie Mom Blogs, when Tristan came home from the NICU. I didn’t know about this group until after he was already home. The support of other moms of preemies was great to have and these mothers had blogs where they shared their NICU experiences, told of everyday events, shared pictures, and gave advice.

I also wanted to be apart of this great group of bloggers. So I started Tristans blog, God Gave Me You, and from there I got to meet other bloggers, known as “mommy bloggers” and then I started a blog that was more of a “fun” blog, Shannon Blogs Here, and now its Mom State of Mind. I haven’t updated Tristans blog in a while, but I have been doing some “cleaning up” and “updating” so I’m going to try and get back into that.

Q. Any tips for mommas who want to start a blog, but aren’t sure if they should?

I think a blog is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. If you don’t want others to read your blog, you can make it private, and invite those you want too, to read it.

I recommend using Blogger, its a very easy platform and its free.

If you want to bring traffic to your blog, I would join blog directories and social media sites, like, Twitter or Facebook too.

Its really a personal choice if you want to start a blog.

If you love to write though, you would love to blog!

———————————

See what I mean about Shannon being an amazing woman?

I honestly don’t know if I could ever do what she does. I have so much respect for every man and woman who can take on the challenge of parenting a child with special needs, and do it with such grace and so much love! And she is so humble, like most every day heroes are.

She is an inspiration to me, and she doesn’t even realize it. Every day when Fluffmonster is giving me a tough time kicking, making me feel ill, or just making things a bit more difficult, I remember Shannon and other moms and dads like her. And I realize that if they can get through the challenges they’ve faced with so much love, and so much humility – then surely I can get through even the biggest challenges I face with my little one.

Shannon and Tristan’s story gives me strength, it gives me hope, and it gives me perspective. Sometimes it seems easy to make a mountain out of a mole hill, until you realize that your mountain is a grassy knoll compared to the peaks that others joyfully climb.

We’re all so lucky. Every mom, from Shannon to Alison to Pippy and me – we’re all so lucky to have our little miracles in our lives.

I hope you all get a little bit of inspiration from Shannon’s story, and if you want to find out more about her, then follow her blog and check her out on Twitter! I follow both, and she’s always been someone fun to keep up with!

Q. Shannon, would you mind telling us Tristan’s story? I know you’ve told me, but if you could share it with my readers I’m sure they would love to know.

Tristan Corey, my sweet blessing from God, came into this world on April 20th, 2007, 12 weeks too soon at 28 weeks, he weighed 1lb and 5.8oz and was 12inches. He spent from April 20th 2007 to September 24th, 2007 in the East Tennessee Childrens Hospital NICU. Tristan was on the ventilator for over 2 months and at one point we weren’t sure if he would make it on his own. Tristan had many many complications which you can read about on his blog, God Gave Me You at http://palmersf.blogpsot.com . Tristan came home with oxygen and a heart monitor, and a gastric feeding tube, because he was born before 30-33 weeks, he didn’t have the coordination for the suck,swallow,breathe that is needed to take a bottle, and when he tried he was losing more calories and not gaining weight, so he still has his G-tube and he only eats baby foods,yogart,apple sauce, he can drink most anything. Tristan receives speech therapy/feeding therapy 3 times a week and also has occupational therapy and physical therapy. Tristan just turned 3 and is in special education preschool. He still doesn’t talk and doesn’t interact with other children or toys much at all. We are going to be having a vision and hearing screening and hopefully everything will turn out okay.

Q. Seeing the kinds of challenges you face being a SAHM with Tristan, things can’t be easy for you and your fiance. How do you make time for eachother? I spend most mornings taking Tristan to either therapy or pre-k and my fiance, Allen, works evenings so he sleeps during the day mostly. Once Tristan is back home I am feeding him, working with him on different things, and trying to maintain a clean home. My parents are not comfortable keeping Tristan overnight so he has never been away from us overnight..Allen and I don’t have alot of money with just him working for us to be able to go out and do alot of things, we mostly rent movies and stay at home and watch movies together, or we have “our time” when  Tristan is taking a nap. We really don’t do alot by ourselves, we always try to include Tristan. The last time we went out alone was Valentines Day. We just try to communicate and thats what has helped keep us together.

Q. Do you consider yourself to be a hero, caring for a child with special needs like Tristan’s? (I know many people would!)

I don’t feel like a hero as much as my own parents think I am.

They often tell me how much of a wonderful mother I am to Tristan, and that he is very blessed to have someone like me that cares for him. I feel that God gave me Tristan because he thinks I have “what it takes” to take care of a special needs child.

God is the real hero, he has watched over Tristan since birth and continues to do so! I praise him for everything. I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

Q. What has been the biggest joy for you since Tristan came into your life? Everything. Seeing his beautiful face when I wake up and before I go to bed. Watching him get excited over the small things, watching him accomplish goals that most of us take for granted. He completed me, when I have my own bad days, I remember, he is here for a reason, and he is worth it all!

Q. How has being a Mom to a little boy with special needs changed you? I am a very proud advocate for special needs children with all types of disabilites. I am a very proud supporter for the March of Dimes. I enjoy every single moment I have with Tristan, the good, the bad, and the very ugly. I push myself everyday to get Tristan “where he needs to be” in order to live a fully active life. Even when I am tired or want “mommy” time, I remember he comes first. I try to inform others that life is very precious and don’t take anything for granted!

Q. Why did you choose to start blogging?

I became a member of a Yahoo group called Preemie Mom Blogs, when Tristan came home from the NICU. I didn’t know about this group until after he was already home. The support of other moms of preemies was great to have and these mothers had blogs where they shared their NICU experiences, told of everyday events, shared pictures, and gave advice. I also wanted to be apart of this great group of bloggers. So I started Tristans blog, God Gave Me You, and from there I got to meet other bloggers, known as “mommy bloggers” and then I started a blog that was more of a “fun” blog, Shannon Blogs Here, and now its Mom State of Mind. I haven’t updated Tristans blog in a while, but I have been doing some “cleaning up” and “updating” so I’m going to try and get back into that.

Q. Any tips for mommas who want to start a blog, but aren’t sure if they should? I think a blog is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. If you don’t want others to read your blog, you can make it private, and invite those you want too, to read it.

I recommend using Blogger, its a very easy platform and its free.

If you want to bring traffic to your blog, I would join blog directories and social media sites, like, Twitter or Facebook too.

Its really a personal choice if you want to start a blog.

If you love to write though, you would love to blog!

5 Ways to Get Motivated as a Freelancer

I’m going to admit, sometimes it is very hard to get motivated to work. Especially when you’re pregnant or have kids, and working from home – it only gets tougher.

Take today, for example. I’m writing this blog post from my bed. Why?

Because my back hurts, my head hurts, and I ache all over – and getting out of bed this morning just wasn’t something I felt like doing. Thank heaven for laptops.

So as part of my lack of motivation to get off my butt (although I am technically still working, albeit in relative comfort for my back compared to my old office chair), I thought I would post some ways that I use to get motivated, when work is the last thing I want to do.

1. Remove distractions from the equation. Sure, it would be easy to sit down in front of the TV and do nothing all day. Don’t think I’ve never considered it on a slow work day. But if you remove yourself from the living room, and work at the kitchen table or in a dedicated office, you’ll find that the temptation to sit in front of the TV all day instead of working is almost gone. Because it isn’t directly in front of you anymore!

2. Reward yourself for working, with more work. Hey, it is completely true that as part of any career, there are going to be things you have to do that you don’t enjoy. But there are also things that you have to do that you’ll REALLY enjoy.

For me, for example, that is working on a new whitepaper I’ll be offering to clients when it is done. It is on a topic that I’m really passionate about, and it will help spruce up my marketing a little bit.So today, when I’m done my baby shower guest list, all of my blogging, and a few lessons in a course I’m taking, I’m rewarding myself by working on the free report.

Rewards don’t have to come from outside of work, sometimes just rewarding yourself with a fun work task can do the trick!

3. Don’t forget your health and happiness. I know of thousands of freelancers and business owners (I’d venture to say that all of them do this, in fact) who have, at some point, completely neglected themselves for their business. Whether that means pulling an all nighter instead of spending time with hubby and the kids, forgetting to eat/drink/sleep/relax, or not getting in any “you” time, we all do it. And we need to stop!

If your body hurts, your mind is frozen, your stomach is empty and your work calendar is full – take a 10 minute break. Stretch, grab a bite to eat, and clear your mind for a few. 10 minutes will NOT make or break your deadline, I assure you – but the consequences of NOT taking that 10 minute break could include a missed deadline, shoddy workmanship, complete and total lack of motivation, depression, insomnia, and worse. Take care of yourself!

4. Do something you love, to begin with. I know, like I said above – every career has its [email protected] parts. It does. You can’t love everything about your work, and still call it work. There is a reason we don’t call it “super happy fun-time” anyway.

But if you make what you love the central idea of your career – in my case, it is writing – you won’t lack motivation nearly as often. Sure, it will still happen. It happens to the best of us. But you won’t wake up every morning dreading what you have to do for the day.

Figure out what it is you love to do, and then see if you can make money incorporating that into a career or a business. If you can, you’ve struck gold.

5. Ignore all the advice you read on the internet about getting motivated. Really! Even this post. Because motivation is a completely unique and individual thing. The things I’ve posted here worked great for me, yes. Does that mean they’ll work great for you? Nope – it just means you can give them a try, and find out.

You may need more organization in your day to stay motivated – so keep to a schedule. Or you might need bigger rewards for your work – so start planning a vacation that you have to save up for with the earnings of your business. You may even need a business partner to hold you accountable. Get your spouse involved in your work, and let them make sure you follow through on deadlines.

The bottom line is, motivation is always going to be a problem. Everyone wants to lay around doing nothing sometimes, and that is OK. What you need to remember is that instead of fighting that urge, you should take a 10 minute break and figure out WHY you’re lacking motivation.

Do you not enjoy the task you’re trying to complete? Are there better things to do, and you’re getting distracted? Do you need a nap, a meal, or a drink? There is always a reason why you’re lacking motivation. And once you figure it out, you can solve it – instead of just spinning your wheels, procrastinating, and getting yourself into more trouble.

3 Ways Twitter Can Help You Write Better Headlines

We’ve all seen them… Those sales letter headlines that *scream* cheesy, used car salesman style copywriting newbie.

It is sad when I see entrepreneurs do it, because they’re probably just copying what they’ve seen online and hoping it will succeed. It is even sadder when I see actual, supposedly professional copywriters doing it – because someone PAID for that headline. *shudders*

What is one thing that most of these headlines all have in common? Length. And lots of it. And then some extra length, as if to say “30 words isn’t long enough to get your attention, this needs to be a full run-on sentence!” For example,

“Discover The Super-Simple Easy Secret to Driving Visitors AWAY From Your Website, Losing Thousands of Dollars in Sales, and Flooding Your Bank Account with Nothing At All Using These Secret Insider Strategies for Uselessly Long and Mundane Headlines!”

I could continue, but I think you get the point. While these headlines are more common in the internet marketing niche, they’re popping up all over the place on sites owned by internet marketers who choose to get their information from the most reliable sources available – unmoderated forums. </sarcasm>

The best thing about internet marketing is also the worst. The low entry cost of the internet marketing business means that almost anyone can give it a try, and get involved. It also means that people typically don’t have a whole lot of business sense, and are willing to believe whatever they read – simply because they don’t know better.

That is why I’m writing this particular post. I want to show internet marketers (and potential future internet marketers) that there IS a better way. Even if you can’t afford to hire a professional copywriter like me to write your sales materials, you don’t have to resort to a headline like the above atrocity.

Just use Twitter.

There are a few ways that twitter can help you create profit pulling headlines. First, look at popular retweets and hashtags. Seek out trends. Look at what is currently working – within 140 characters – to get attention. Use those tweets for inspiration, instead of some rehashed old copywriting ebook, written by a penny a word ghostwriter who never knew the first thing about copywriting to begin with.

And second, when you come up with a killer headline idea, type it into Twitter. Will it fit into 140 characters? Chances are, if it is longer than that, you’re fabulous headline will be lost on potential customers.

Third, and this is perhaps the most useful tip of all, TWEET IT! Don’t just type it into twitter, see if it fits within 140 characters, and move on. Tweet the headline. See if you get any response from it. If not, it isn’t an idea killer (that really depends on what kind of an active following you have.)

But if you get people asking you about your headline, then you’ve probably got a little piece of marketing gold there. Because you just got a response from your headline! It attracted attention! It made people want to know more! What else is a headline supposed to do, after all?

What other ways to use Twitter for headlines have YOU discovered?

Tomorrow is #WritersWorthDay!

To all of my fellow writers, moms who wish to write from home, clients and potential clients who hire writers, and the blog reading public – tomorrow is a very important day for this industry.

In the writing and content creation industry, a funny thing has happened. Wages have been frozen for the last 50 years, at about $1/word at the very top end. The bottom end of those wages, however, used to be closer to 10-20 cents/word. Now? It is a penny. ONE PENNY. Sometimes even half a penny, or at worst, 1/10th of a cent. To put that into perspective, that is about $1 per thousand words.

For my non-writing readers, an average well rounded writer, conducting proper research, with good typing skills, can create 750-1000 words/hour, depending on the subject. Sometimes much more, sometimes much less – but usually no more than 2000 words/hour, even if you know the material inside out and type 100 words/minute.

What does that amount to? $2/hour as the minimum wage in the writing industry. TWO DOLLARS. PER HOUR. As in, you work a 10 hour day, you earn $20.

Now, that was fine when these people were hiring some writer named “Dave” from Uzbekistan, and not expecting perfect English. Or original content. Or anything that resembled an article. Because lets face it – in third world countries, $20/day can sometimes make you RICH.

The problem is, that isn’t just expected of “Dave” anymore. Many of these people offering $1 for 500-1000 words are asking for 100% original content, in perfect English, written by native English speaking writers. Meaning first world countries like the US, Canada, Australia, UK, etc. – they won’t even accept writers from Uzbekistan anymore. They want someone from North America or Europe with a Masters in English – for $20/day or less.

That is $7300/year if you work 10 hours/day for the full 365 days.

How many people do you know that make $7300/year with a Master’s degree? Or a highschool diploma? Or a 2nd grade education, for that matter?

Writers, we need to stand up and stop taking this. I know, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that this work is easier to get, you’ll only do it once, you need the cash, etc. etc.

But this work ISN’T easier. Spend 10 hours writing 20 articles, and make $20. GREAT! Now, if you’d spent that entire 10 hours marketing yourself, you’d probably have a project worth at least $100 by now.

Isn’t that a kick in the pants?

Stop taking those lousy $1/article jobs. They aren’t WRITING jobs. Just look at the people they hire – they aren’t writers. When these companies get to hire someone like you, a writer with experience, credentials, and proper, Native English – they feel like they’ve hit the jackpot.

And writers, remember your worth! Figure out the bare minimum per word you’ll accept, and don’t drop below that for anyone. You may feel tempted to accept lower paying gigs when things are slow, but use that as an opportunity to market yourself and get those higher paying gigs instead!

My experience with Demand Studios…

In one of my posts awhile back, I talked about Demand Studios. It is a website that you can apply to join (for free of course) and if you get approved, you can write articles for them for around $10 each.

Terrible pay by most standards for a professional writer, but it looked like a half decent way to fill gaps in my schedule and make some extra cash – instead of just twittering them away, or spending those gaps in Farmville.

And I promised I’d let you all know how it went after I got approved.

Well, lets just say I don’t know how my experience would have gone if I had kept going – but the first 10 minutes were ridiculous, so I gave up.

See, an average freelance writer can write a 500 word article with little research in about 30 minutes. Sometimes you can go faster, but that is a good estimate to use once you get good at writing articles. Newer writers, that same article is already taking you an hour or two, which could bring your hourly wage below the poverty line if you use Demand Studios as it is. ANYway…

I assumed, going in, that I could find articles that are somewhat related to topics I know, write about them for an hour or two during my spare time, and make some quick cash during what would have otherwise been a wasted afternoon.

But one quick look at their article assignments told me I was sorely, sorely mistaken.

They could have been asking for articles on nuclear physics, with the amount of research needed to write on most of these topics. How to change a fan belt on a 1999 volkswagon jetta? Really? (And I’m not exaggerating, there really were article titles like that…)

And not only did most of the article titles in there require research, but they had a list of specific sites you could go to and do the research. If you used an “unapproved” site, you would be banned. And they wanted properly cited, MLA style references (many of you will remember MLA style referencing from highschool and college) with links to verify every. single. fact. in your articles.

So my 30 minute, easy peasy $10 article just turned into at least an hour with research.

Then, reading more reviews of Demand Studios, I learned that “Demand” was a good name for them. Apparently (although I never experienced this myself, since I never submitted any articles…) the editors are unreasonable, at best. On a bad day, they’ll ban you for a typo.

My advice to mommies who want to write from home and make a living? If you like doing research, and don’t mind making less than minimum wage, give Demand Studios a try.

If you really want to make a living at it, you’re probably better off joining a site like eLance.com, where you can bid on writing jobs in your area of expertise (yes, being a mom IS an area of expertise!) and get paid the same day, most times.

At least with those particular projects, you can sometimes find good paying people who will have an ongoing need for writers. If you do a good job for them the first time, chances are they will hire you again and again – and now you have a client who brings you work all the time, for a decent rate of pay.

Writer Momma Out!