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Posts Tagged ‘e-zine’

A while back during one of my carpet-bombing cold call email blasts, I got this reply: “Thanks for contacting me Michael. I like your experience and your samples – so much so that I am going to overlook the typo in the opening paragraph of your cover letter.”

Now, this guy had me dead to rights. I had made the type of error I always do – something along the lines of “I’m responding to YOU ad for a copywriter.” A missed keystroke, nothing more. A dumb mistake but, really, what douche makes such a point of calling it out? Well, apparently, THIS douche, because I never heard from him again.

So, fast-forward to today. At a meeting with a potential (and totally non-douchey) client  he remarks: “I’m glad I was able to reach you through (a mutual acquaintance.) Did you know that there is no simple, clear way to reach you on your blog? No biggie, just something to think about.”

And he was right. First of all, thanks for the CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. But DAG, how can I have been at this blogging thing for 2.5 years without a contact page? The problem is, you only get so many navigation tabs on WordPress (with my specific template.) So I went through all my pages and inserted “Please contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com.”

Appropriate? Tacky? Who knows? All I have to say is “Please contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!”

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Between the usual freelance load and my half-time gig at the Global Giant Consumer Electronics firm, the blogging has been next to nil. Well, the Global Giant thing is winding down, as the office is pulling up its Charleston roots and moving Up North. But it’s all good.

It’s been an OK ride. Good people, downtown location, good schedule, GREAT money, etc. But as for the work itself…meh. Unfortunately, conditions on the ground did not quite match the job description at the outset. It wasn’t a matter of misrepresentation, but some big changes in business conditions that shook up the job mix.

Basically, what promised to be a healthy mix of web, video, brochure, point-of-sale, trade show, special projects and technical writing became overwhelmingly technical writing. Nothing against tech writing, but it’s not my strong suit, and not what I enjoy.  You can read my thoughts on that here.

So, after enduring it for a while and pushing through some huge projects, I turned in my notice. The timing seemed right; freelance, which had been kind of sleepy throughout the summer of 2010, was making a comeback. I gave a healthy 4-week notice and suggested to my boss that he try to find a true tech writer to do the, you know, tech writing, and perhaps save me for the creative stuff. He agreed, and… and… and then they announced they were closing the Charleston office.

Funny, you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you wail and gnash your teeth and cry out in anguish, “How much LONGER can I do this job?” Then you get the answer: four weeks. And you’re like, “Cool.”  So, I will be in the office until the first week in December or so, and then go home and wait for those creative projects the boss promised. Will they come? The office is supposed to be closed by spring, so we will see.

At every big serious gig I take, I am always trying to figure out “why I am here.” What is the lesson I am supposed to be learning? How will this benefit me in the future?  In some ways I think the “purpose” was that I needed to support myself throughout a sleepy freelance period.  Another thought was that I always said I could never, would never, do technical writing. But I did. I didn’t love it, and I never felt very proficient at it, but I did it. And I suppose I could do it again if absolutely necessary.

So, soon, it’s back to the full time pursuit of freelance work. And blogging more regularly, because I need to rebuild my Google strength.  So stand by for more pearly pearls of freelance copywriting wisdom, fans of freelance copywriting wisdom!

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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Well, dang. The thing I was having the most fun writing has gone dormant. The Charleston dining/entertainment/ real estate/ what have you site has gone on hiatus while the owner concentrates on his paying business (the NERVE!) Frankly, in a town as  dining/entertainment/ real estate/ what have you as Charleston, the field of dining/entertainment/ real estate/ what have you websites is crowded, to say the least. Every time you turn around, a new one has popped up. Just the other day, I saw a CARTA bus with the full screen print wrap treatment advertising a new site – and this one had local geriatric newscasting legend Warren-freaking-Peper endorsing it! Grrr!

Well, it all goes naptime on good terms and, if it revives, I am sure I will be included in the festivities. I sure hope so – it’s a great gig! I invite you to check it out, because there’s a whole lot to like – even in limbo!  PremiereCharleston.com

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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I don't carry a lunchbox. But if I DID...

I have copywriting clients from here (Charleston SC) to hell and gone – corporations, MarComm agencies, web design/marketing firms and so on. I have never been one to place all of my ova into one woven cellulose conveyance.

As the recession wore on, that policy served me well.  One client might be booming while another was dry. Other times, several of them might all be running at a middling pace. It all evened out somewhat.

But as the downturn continued to, um, downturn, it seemed like all of them were drying up at the same time. And suddenly I started paying attention to all of those annoying “Copywriter Jobs in Charleston” emails I subscribed to but never opened.

On a sleepless Saturday night about a month ago I saw and ad for – get ready – Copywriter Charleston. It was a blind recruiting agency ad looking for copywriting experience in web, print, video, packaging, point of sale, and trade show materials. It all seemed like a good fit, so at 3:30 in the A of M I rifled through my archives and uploaded resume, references, samples, etc. I hit submit, and commenced the Waiting Game. (“I’m sick of the Waiting Game! Let’s play Hungry Hungry Hippos!” – Homer Simpson.)

It’s a month later, and I am working for a global consumer products giant based in Europe. The local branch does consumer electronics accessories. Good folks, lots of creativity in the air, cool downtown location. And, though you might not see this as a benefit, I work half time so I can maintain my current clients. Of course, the moment I begin this new endeavor, everybody who was dormant suddenly started calling again. This is a problem I can deal with!

So that explains my absence for the last month. Going forward, I think for the time being I will do some repost-with-comments from the last 2.33 years of Lively Exchange. So if you are down with a little short-term rehash, stay tuned!

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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Frank DeFord definitely has nothing to worry about from me. Still, I had a crapload of fun summarizing my first  Charleston RiverDogs experience for PremiereCharleston.com.

As Tom Hanks once declared, there is no crying in baseball. In Charleston, however, there is sweating. There’s a lot of sweating, and not just in the cheap seats. Even non-VIPs like me who somehow scored a spot in the air-conditioned luxury box were gripped by the Sweaty Fist of Oppression™.

Please take a look at my latest blog post, Panting Like a RiverDog. Until next time, this is the old left-hander, rounding third and heading for home!

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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The Charleston portal site I write for assigned the task of describing Charleston’s Coastal Beauty and Diversity entitled, appropriately enough, “Charleston’s Coastal Beauty and Diversity.”  Inspired by the BP oil spill in the Gulf, obviously.  Too late to include in the article, I just saw a TV commercial for “Northwest Florida: NOT an Oil-Stained Wasteland Yet.” So, you know, pack up the kids and head for Marco Island…quickly! Here’s an excerpt…

Dateline: Kiawah Beach, SC. Moms and dads sizzle in the sun. Diaper-butted babies splash in tidal pools. 10-year-old boys wipe out spectacularly on boogie boards. People of all shapes and sizes bob in the waves. Farther out, the occasional dolphin fin breaches the surface, and pelicans do that insane kamikaze dive of theirs. Out on the misty horizon, a half-dozen shrimp boats ply their trade, harassed by squadrons of gulls.

It’s weird to imagine the possibility of this all simply going away.

Read the rest of  Charleston’s Coastal Beauty and Diversity  HERE.

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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Well, the dumb-guy’s perspective on e-commerce draws to a close this week.  Four parts, five weeks and 4300 words later, we come to the stirring conclusion: e-commerce is good…so, like, do it!

So, just for the sake of completeness, here is the entire four-part series in its entire entirety. Enjoy, e-geeks!

Part One: History and Growth of E-commerce

Part Two: Niche Marketing and E-commerce

Part Three: Tools of E-commerce

Part Four: Potential Benefits of E-commerce

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