Attention grabbing title

Sometimes inspiration is not at the highest levels and in that case production just comes down to hard work and falling back to a growing backpack of expereince. Attention grabbing title today. It might even work out great.

Sometimes lack of something better proofs to be the best way to go and first things that comes to mind at the end turn out to be the best ideas.

Dutch Centre of Financial Information
Today recorded a short screencast to explain how to download an excel sheet I am offering to the Dutch public to help them budgetting on a monthly basis. Content is getting updated and I start seeing first positive effects of our latest efforts in terms of ad revenue. A long way to go still.

Cute Cat
The relavance of a cute cat with this post is little, but still i’d like to mention that cute cats ar good attention grabbers, second after my stunning headline ofcourse. Also, the use of captions under images is a good thing according to Ogilvy, so I better start using them.
This is my second caption in 10 years of blogging.
Copywriting jobs at Upwork Three potential clienst in a row tried obtaining a free sample writing. This is against the Upwork policies and user agreements so I had to reject those unfortunally. I think it is fair to charge a regular fee for a trial task. This is to prevent that clients obtain -lets say- ten sample writings in the interview phase before to continue working with the best.

Being the best candidate, I had no doubt that I would win all three of these gigs, but I feel sorry for the other applicants that may submit work without getting paid. I made this mistake once, without realising it. Just a few paragraphs is not the point. It is the time I invest in applying, studying your site, read into your market space before to have a skype meeting and the actual meeting wich usally takes between 30 minutes and one hour.

E-book on Upwork Success
Another dissapointment at the Upwork platform was that it will take a minimum of 13 weeks to get my Top Rated status back. Even though I have an excellent feedback or Job Succes Score (JSS). Technical talk and noboday cares probably. In the meanwhile I keep working for my loyal clients and slow down my chace for new clients untill I have my Top Rated status back, let them come to me.

These episodes are fuel to my E-book about Upwork Succes, collecting good and bad experiences. Always look at the bright side.

Thats all folks, for this factual update.

To be continued.

Are you a generalist or an expert?

This is going to be one of those brainfarts with no proper start or ending resulting from too many weeks of blogging absence, a baby sitting on my lap hitting the keyboard too, and ideas fighting to pop-up first.

Soo Ill start whit what comes up first.

I’m excited about hiring a virtual assistant. I almost forgot why I started to offer consultancies trough the Upwork platform. To enable to fund bigger things. The day to day expenses forced me to focus on generating enough cash flow and in some way, I’ve learned an awesome lot in the past year (ooach, you must be tired or reading new year reflections) but at the other hand my private web developments got slowed down.

Time to get things going again and create some accountability by publishing progress on – for example – a Facebook campaign to get the clickablegrid plugin going.

Ok, heres my baby:

Cjnfd nf mcimn cng nim ni nic I ib hhfhnmj v

Enough opinion for a 1,5-year-old.

./ {SLAP)

No just kidding.

She needs some aattention now. Gettinvgn bacj laer.

One hour later… relative quit has come down to the house after lunchtime. It is daddy’s day and I am not working today, but I just had to get this blogpost out. It is such a relief to know that someone is working for me -at this moment- on updating a website and later we have the help in house coming to do the dishes.

To be successful you need to have focus

For some reason I did not read the often quoted ‘4-hour workweek’ bestseller of Tim Ferris before. It was nice to read so many similarities of the path I am on to become financially independent. Currently I can say I work location independent and that is a first big triumph on a journey that started five years ago in 2013.

More on that in another sequence of my upcoming e-book on Upwork success. Yet another idea of too many ideas. To be successful you need to have focus. I am sure someone has said that, and you must have heard it around.

As a generalist I know a little bit about everything and almost nothing when is becomes specific. The more I read the more I realize how little I know. Specialists on the other hand can charge much higher rates. The thing is that I never would want to end up enslaved in my own dental clinic or lawyer’s office.

Too bad I am not native English

There are few things a generalist can become exceptional good at. One of those is copywriting. A broad range of experiences combined with knowledge, learning and research skills is a good mixture to get started. Finishing off with a sauce of practise and a new specialist is born. Too bad I am not native English. Always will be a spot on my resume as a professional copywriter so I might as well brag about it. My lower rates due to my geo arbitrage may help too in landing more clients for copywriting gigs, but low pricing has never been a winning marketing strategy to my knowledge.

Enough food for thoughts, the edible metaphors keep coming in so I’m probably still hungry.

[Fills another plate of his famous 15 min pasta]

The funny thing is that I can write whatever I want because nobody is reading anyway. I will jus keep on publishing weird postings until someone proofs otherwise.

Am I writer just for myself or for a public?

It would be interesting for you to follow how I progress with some projects, so therefore a little list of things I am working on, also as a reference for future blog material.

Lack of focus is illustrated by the ammount of ongoing projects

Maintaining a modest portfolio of client websites. Not that interested in accepting new clients for hosting. Only when it is an extremely interesting full concept development.

Dutch Centre of Financial Information
The Dutch Centre of Financial Information is a translation for Nederlands Centrum voor Financiële Informatie or NCFI in short. It is the umbrella brand for my activities with Dutch personal finance websites. A long going SEO project with it first website published in 2007. Currently I am drafting SOP to be able to remove myself from the system.

Management System Consulting and Audits
After further educating myself with an MBA in Costa Rica and an additional internal auditor training I am actively applying to Management System implementations and or audit openings both at the Upwork platform and on site in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. How is that for desiring location independent work? It is not for the money. It is to gain experience and a good reason to get out from time to time. Real life examples are still the best way to understand and learn how organisations operate.

Copywriting jobs at Upwork
Web content in Dutch and English such as website content, blogposts, managing affiliate marketing campaigns. Translations, creative writing, copywriting, editing. I’m trying to specialise here in content for small to mid-size organizations that need to upgrade their mission and vison statements. I’m avoiding start-ups. This strategy may change tomorrow.

E-book on Upwork Success
As I know two sides of the Freelance world, both as a freelancer and as contractor too. I can provide a unique perspective on Upwork Success and help you prevent to make many mistakes I have made so far and share the good stuff. Lots of it.
One of my latest blurbs that will probably get disposed after some time or become a huge hit. Either of those. The idea is that applications should be accessible to all. Not in terms of costs, but in terms of one app for all devices. I dislike non-compatibility. Explaining my weird fascination for the bureaucratic world of standards.
Another idea that has been on the shelve for too long time. Time to act with a Facebook campaign to get some subscriptions of pre-orders in. I have been thinking a lot -too much perhaps- on the coding language to use and all that. I have decided to move on with the all familiar WordPress PHP framework and get a plugin developed as a first shippable software product.
Image navigation technology that enables website owners to make images such as flowcharts or organigrams clickable in a simple, straightforward way, and use those for intuitive browsing. Totally responsive and available on any device. You understood that already.
Backbone Management System is the Hosted Intranet for Integrated Management Systems. It is still in the alpha design phase but soon, very soon, a demo version showing the basic concept will be available. The Clickablegrid plugin will be a feature in to enable simple image navigation.

Return on Investment
Based on my current rate per page this blog post would have costs you 75USD. The ROI of my efforts on my personal blog is hard to predict because it is general self-promotion, but I promise I will get back to that. One day sooner or later.

Those are a lot of promises for future content. On all these topics I should be giving updates in the coming weeks. If you have read this. Ask me about it!

No Rocket Science, Science that Rocks

Have you seen the series Mad Man? This hit on Netflix is about an Advertising Agency and I loved it. Everything about it just shows off the efforts that were put in to make the series stand out from a mainstream production.
The decors, the clothing, the cast. It all adds up to a very realistic feeling of the time setting. I am not a marketing expert, but I know a thing or two about search engine optimization and content creation for the web. The advertising aspect played a vague role as a background motivation to watch the series.

Because I picked up blogging recently to get attention for my initiative to develop an Integrated Sustainability Management System, I started listening to podcasts about copy writing. One recommended reading Scientific Advertising, as the starting point for everyone wanting to learn about writing copy that works. Because let’s be honest, aren’t we all selling something? Even if it is an opinion, you are marketing yourself. Perhaps you are a consultant, selling a product or service? Every expression you leave online can show up at some point and grab someone’s attention, and make an impact.

When I listen to these marketing experts discussing split testing, how to write headlines and the amount of research that goes into writing a good advertisement, I realize that these Mad Man are real! They exist and they have been around from quite some time. There are just so many wannabee marketers and copywriters, that I never paid attention. On twitter, there are more social media consultants than actual social media users. Everyone is a guru.

Rocket ScienceSo, to get to the point, I got myself a copy and read Scientific Advertising in one go. It grabbed me, for its clarity, and excellent explanation of key concepts of writing sales copy. I was shocked to learn that the book was written by Claude Hopkins in 1923! I thought it was from the fifties. Perhaps because I had these Mad Man in mind reading it. The concepts of Hopkins’s book are totally applicable on today’s online communication and marketing strategies. The human psyche has not changed, that explains the scientific approach. Now do not worry, it is no rocket science. It is all about testing and experimenting, and most of all, learning from documented mistakes others made before.

The basic understanding of how advertising works, and most important, what does not work, can safe every business or organization from wasting budget on campaigns or copy that makes no sense. Advertising, when carefully thought of, and well spend, can help take your organization take off like a rocket. No Rocket Science, but Science that Rocks!

I was surprised that I did not hear about this book before, and asked around to some of my contacts, many people still do not know this classic. The good news is that it became public domain literature, that is why I choose to re-distribute this must read to my subscribers.

I am confident this book can help improve your writing. If you are not writing yourself, I encourage you to invest in reading this 62 page ebook. It is for free, but very valuable. It will help to determine what kind of copywriter you should contract for your content.