Monday Spark: Remember the very best work you have done.

first prize for good workWe all of us suffer from self-doubt from time to time. We have good days and not so good days. Days when we think we can conquer the universe, and days when we feel we’re not even worthy to get paid for the work we do.

Welcome to the life of a freelancer!

Hopefully you have more up days than down days.

For when you do have the occasional down day, here is something I do to snap myself out of it.

I think back to some work I did that was really good. Maybe it performed incredibly well. Maybe I was just particularly proud of what I created. Either way…

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7 Headline approaches that will hook your readers and keep them reading.

Writing powerful headlines for web content is a forgotten craft.

I don’t mean the craft itself is forgotten. I mean we simply forget to use it.

Somewhere in our minds we know the headline is important. We know it’s what hooks the reader, or not. And we know it has a big impact on whether or not our content is shared through social media.

So how come we keep grinding out boring and unenticing headlines for our content pages?

I don’t know what your excuse it, but for myself I sometimes publish content with boring headlines simply because I have forgotten to rework the placeholder headline I started out with.

This is a side-effect of the way I write any page or post. I throw down a placeholder headline as an anchor to get myself started. It’s often simply a short description of what I plan to write about.

The trouble is…

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Being able to write for a living is a remarkable gift.

writing skillsFor most of the time, we take our ability to write for granted.

After all, pretty much everyone can write. It’s one of those default skills we learn at school. And because everyone can do it, the act of writing becomes a commodity. There is no longer anything special about it.

Your mother writes. Your neighbors write. Your kids write. In fact, chances are that one of them is writing something on Facebook right now.

But if you view writing as a craft instead of just a commodity activity, remarkable things can happen.

First, you will have found a way to express yourself, your feelings and your opinions beyond simply writing one more Facebook entry. Second…

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Monday Spark: You’ll feel better as a freelancer when you see the difference you can make.

small business clientsI was asked recently to identify my most memorable job from the last 30 years as a freelance writer and copywriter.

The interviewer was probably expecting me to come up with a job I did for one of my big-name clients from the past, like Apple, Yahoo! or Chrysler.

But I didn’t. My most memorable job is one I did for a friend about 25 years ago. I wrote a direct mail letter to help him grow his one-man business. And it worked gangbusters. In fact, a week after the mailing was sent out he had to hire three more people to keep up with demand.

Why was that job more satisfying than some huge project I did for a much bigger company?

It was satisfying because I could clearly see the results. I could see by how much I had helped my friend and his company.

In other words, I had made a difference and could see it.

With much of our work, we never really get to know if our contribution made any significant difference…

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My favorite way to make money as a writer [VIDEO]

money-making website videoFor most of the last 30 years I have earned my living by writing for clients, as a freelancer. And I have no complaints about that. I wrote promotional materials to help companies sell more of their products and services and, in return, they paid me for my time.

But over the last decade I have branched out a little, using my writing skills, and my love of writing, to make some money in a few different ways. I have written books, ebooks, courses and programs.

But my favorite way to make money as a writer is to generate passive income from the websites I create for myself.

The most successful of these sites, so far, is my site about coffee – CoffeeDetective.com.

As you`ll see from this video…

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Monday Spark: Find your own 2:57 Moment.

2:57 momentIn my first Monday Spark post, a few weeks ago, I showed a video of Jeb Corliss jumping off a cliff.

That video inspired me to make some changes to a presentation I gave several weeks ago at the AWAI Bootcamp at Delray Beach in Florida.

I showed the video and, since then, I have seen a few mentions on Facebook and on blogs of what I described in my presentation as the “2:57 moment”.

So I thought I had better explain what that’s all about.

First off, here is that video again. Watch it now, and pause it at 2 minutes and 57 seconds.

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