Did you happen to see the Google logo on the search engine’s homepage yesterday? If not, here’s what it looked like:
Did you try to look something up on Wikipedia only to see a black screen? You can thank SOPA for both of those blackouts.
SOPA, which stands for Stop Online Piracy Act, is an anti-piracy bill that is working its way through congress. It was introduced into the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, and, if made into a law, would allow U.S. law enforcement, as well as intellectual property holders, to sue foreign websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. Think about how the Chinese government can order blocks on websites…that could be the right of the U.S. government if SOPA passes. Continue Reading
The magazine I run is holding a contest, and we’ve been working hard with our PR consultant on creating the best press releases possible to advertise our event. It’s not as easy as one might think to craft a good press release—even if you are a professional writer. I found this blog post on 5 Tips on Writing a Good Press Release really helpful—and I thought I’d share it with you.
Do Your Research Before You Pitch
I get press releases all the time that make me wonder if the person who sent it to me had even picked up a copy of the magazine I work for. We are a regional publication that has strict guidelines on what we publish. And we publish the same columns and categories each month. National news or news outside of our coverage area does not interest me, or our readers.
Yet I constantly get emails and phone calls from PR people pushing their agenda on me, the editor of a publication that would never consider publishing their news. They are not only wasting my time, they are wasting their time. And, if they are charging their clients, they are wasting their client’s money.
Make sure you do research on the magazines, newspapers, TV stations, whoever you are pitching your press release to before you pick up the phone and call. There is no reason to pitch the opening of a new Los Angeles-based restaurant to a home improvement magazine who caters to people living in Boston, Massachusetts. Continue Reading
There is only so much you can learn from a textbook. And with technology changing at break neck speeds—there is only so much you can learn in school before, inevetibally, technology changes again.
Internships are a great way for students to get hands on experience working in their chosen field—but there aren’t many internships available for freelancers who are looking to learn without receiving college credit. This is where mentorships come in.
A mentor can help a newbie learn acquired skills, which sometimes take years to develop. The mentor/mentee relationship provides the newbie exposure to skills beyond the textbook teaching to help that person fast track his or her career with advanced skills that will separate them from the piles of résumé for a job. —PRDaily
It’s the beginning of a new year and you have decided to get serious about marketing yourself as a freelancer. Congratulations—that’s half the battle.
You have a lot of work ahead of you, and I found some tips in this article by Steve McKee for businessweek.com that will help you avoid some pitfalls. I’ve taken these tips and turned them towards the freelancing crowd, so you can make quick use of them. Continue Reading
I’m a writer. I like words. I also hate words. What people say in daily conversation rarely makes sense on paper. Using acronyms and emoticons are infuriating—especially to an editor.
Here’s an example: I teach undergraduate journalism courses at a couple of universities in the area. I once had a student hand write me a note and used a colon and parentheses to create a smiley face at the end of her letter. How did shorthand typing evolve into writing?
Another pet peeve of mine is when I get emails (usually from college students looking for an internship) using strange shorthand and emoticons. Talk about unprofessional!
I recently wrote a post listing words that should be banned in 2012. I’ve found en even better list on PR Daily by Arik Hanson on 28 shorthand words to eliminate from our lexicon forever. I had to share—and add my own two cents of course!
“29 terms we obvi need to totes elims from our lexi forevs.”
Did you understand that? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
I know we’re turning into a texting culture full of shortened and unintelligible words. But we’re destroying our language. At some point, we need to draw a line in the sand. Today’s the day. —PR Daily
Search Engine Optimization—three words that can make or break your website. If you haven’t been paying attention on how to up your SEO by now, it’s time to start listening.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of your website in search engines. Go ahead and look your business up on Google. Does it appear at the top? On the first page? Second page? Anywhere? The earlier your website is listed (or higher ranked as they call it) the higher the chances are that someone will click on it to find what they are looking for.
There are some basic ways for you to increase your search engine ranking organically, to give your site better results when people search for it. No one really knows the “best” way or “right” way to increase your visibility in search engines, but there are some SEO strategies you can implement that can help.
I found three hot tips from this article that I thought made a lot of sense. These strategies are free, so why not give them a shot? Sure, they take a little time to implement, but if they bring more traffic (and more sales) to your site, what do you have to lose? Continue Reading
I’m fairly new to the whole LinkedIn thing. I’m on it, but I haven’t really been using it to my advantage. I get updates from my Alma Mater’s LinkedIn page each week, but I usually throw that email right in the trash. Is LinkedIn just another social network I have to pay attention to? I decided to take a closer look.
Recently I have been logging in more to my LinkedIn page. Some of the most interesting articles I write about for this blog I have found through LinkedIn. And this article, about connecting on LinkedIn, I found…wait for it…on Linkedin.com! Here are some tips from that article to consider before connecting on LinkedIn…
Like any new thing I try, I like to follow the rules—or at least try to figure out what they are. Seems the rules for connecting on LinkedIn are a lot like the rules for connecting on Facebook—only connect with people you actually know. Many people who use LinkedIn to broaden their professional network are connecting to people they have never talked to. Why? Continue Reading
My husband gave me an iPad as a wedding gift. I thought it was pretty cool. I had no idea how much I would use it for my job.
I take my iPad with me everywhere. I do not have an iPhone, or even a smartphone. The thought of reading emails (and sending them) from something that fits in your jeans pocket makes my eyes hurt. My husband reads the news on his iPhone in bed, holding it so close to his eyes that the phone practically touches the tip of his nose. This is ridiculous to me.
But the iPad—now that’s different. I work on an iMac at home. I’m glued to my desk without a laptop. My iPad is less than a laptop and more than a phone. I love it. And when I read this post by Jason Falls on social media explorer on what mobile optimization does for your website, I listened. Continue Reading
Engagement with your clients doesn’t happen overnight or all at once. It is something that needs to be worked on consistently over time. Engaging your clients is a great way to keep them involved during the down time as well as offer them reasons to remember your great work.
Following are ideas to help you engage with you clients, which will improve that professional relationship and strengthen your freelance business. Continue Reading
I really like the 60-Second Solutions videos on Entrepreneur.com. I thought that the recent video by communications coach Carmine Gallo on creating a 60 second strategy to tell your story was especially useful.
Sometimes it’s hard to explain to people what it is you really do. Many people hear the word ‘freelancer’ and don’t quite understand what it means, other than you probably work from home in your pajamas.
Gallo suggests you come up with one sentence answers to the following four questions to keep your “What I Do” story to 60 seconds.
What do you do?
Are you a graphic designer? A freelancer writer or photographer? Do you have a niche or topic (like small business, agriculture, health) that you concentrate on? Turn this into one sentence. Example: I am a freelance blogger and I write about small business financing for several online magazines. Continue Reading
The term customer service reminds me of wasted time spent on the telephone with some huge conglomerate that somehow messed up something I purchased. Right now I’m dealing with customer service for both my cable/TV company and my home/auto insurance. It’s infuriating.
But customer service isn’t just for big box stores and insurance agencies. It’s important to freelancers, too.
As consumers, we’ve become disenchanted with advertising and marketing of all sorts, having being duped, tricked or made to feel foolish on more than one occasion. The last true medium that holds sway is referrals from friends, colleagues, or online reviews from the likes of Yelp, AngiesList or TripAdvisor. —Matt Mickiewicz for Forbes.com
According to an American Marketing Association survey, 90% of consumers trust peer reviews and 70% trust online reviews. The author of this post is Matt Mickiewicz, the co-founder of 99designs. He offers three rules that small businesses (and freelancers) should follow to offer their clients great customer service. Continue Reading
I was tickled when I found this list of 12 words that should be banned in 2012 on PRDaily.com. What started in 1975 as a publicity ploy at Lake Superior State University in Michigan has turned into a phenomenon.
The List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness gets submissions from around the world. The word with the most nominations this year? AMAZING. It’s the first time the word has made the list.
Here’s a list of all 12 words (some of them are more than one word phrases) that made this year’s list, in order of the number of submissions they received:
- Baby bump
- Shared sacrifice
- Man cave
- The new normal
- Pet parents
- Win the future
- Thank you in advance