blogging

  • When is it Time to Raise Your Rates/Prices?

    This is a heads up to all clients and potential clients, not-so-cleverly disguised as an informative blog post. I am raising my rates at the beginning of April by about 10%. This is both a cost-of-living raise and reflects my improving skill-set and specializations. If you are a current client – don’t fret, I’m not going to raise the price halfway through a project. Rates for future projects may be slightly higher, or not, depending on several factors.

    If you are a new potential client and would like to lock in a project at the current rates, then contact me now – I’ll be quoting based on current rates till the end of the month.

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  • Pirates, irate customers and post-blogging tips: A few of my most recent client blogs and guest posts

    I like to share some of my work with you, in case you feel you don’t get enough of me on my own sites. I’ve been busy writing my way across the web, with often humorous results! I had a lot of fun writing this post – Writing Tips from Blackbeard the Pirate – for […]

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  • The Short and Sweet Guide to Setting 2013 Goals

    2012 is no more. The Mayans were wrong, and thousands of conspiracy theorists the world over are scratching their heads in confusion. We were blown off our campsite (winds up to 160kmph – we were literally blown away!) so had a New Years party in the city this year, and now I have a fridge filled with camping food that desperately needs to get eaten!

    This year is going to be one of the biggest and craziest of my life, both in terms of my business and my personal life. This year I make the transition from city girl to country lass. This year I embark on an exciting new publishing challenge (more about that later), and this year I grow my business bigger and brighter than I ever thought possible.

    The New Year is a time to reflect on the last year, and to plan for the year ahead. But with family overstaying their welcome at your house, kids home for the holidays, and a gazillion other demands on your time, it can be hard to find a few minutes to sit down and think strategically about business. Before you know it, it will be the end of February and you haven’t started anything for the year yet.

    Here’s my solution – a short and very sweet guide to 2013 goal-setting.

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  • Writing around the Web

    It’s a lazy, sunny Sunday here in New Zealand. My husband and I have just purchased a 4 acre lifestyle block – eeee! – and it is sucking away every moment of free time we have right now. It’s wonderful to be spending so much time outside, doing physical labour, feeling the satisfaction of dirt under your nails and a sun on your arms. I haven’t had such restful sleep in years! We have a lot of work ahead of us before we can even begin to build our dream home, but we’re excited about building our future in this place.

    Since it’s a lazy Sunday, and you might be spending the day thinking about your business and catching up on your Internet reading, I thought I’d link you up to some of my most recent articles for writers and small businesses around the web:

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  • The Life (and grisly, blood-splattered Death) of a Ghost Blogger

    Ghost-blogging (or staff blogging, outsourcing or freelance blogging) has been a huge part of my income for at least three years now, ever since my other blogs have gained enough traction that I’m able to show people I have what it takes to produce viral/high traffic posts. Personally, I like the term ghost blogging, because I’m a horror movie nut, but you don’t have to call it that. Since I often get asked by other writers and business owners about the opportunities for ghost blogging, I thought I’d do a little guide for anyone who wanted to either hire a ghost blogger or find this kind of work for themselves.

    What Is Ghost Blogging?

    Basically, a ghost blogger writes blogs for a company or individual other than themselves. Usually this is because the client wants a blog but is either not a writer themselves, or has no time or energy left to maintain a blog. The ghost blogger takes some of the pressure off by writing and uploading articles, and in many cases managing the content of the blog itself.

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  • It’s Raining Chickens, and Rethinking Your Regular Blog Schedule

    For years I’ve been an advocate of a regular posting schedule for your blog. I reckon if you set a goal to write a post every day, or every week, and you work hard to stick with it, you become a better blogger. Because you’re forcing yourself to practice everyday – in the same way a guitarist noodles away every night no matter how shite his day at work was or how much he’d rather finish that George R. R. Martin book – you’re going to get better. Right?

    Not necessarily. Sometimes you just get pissed off.

    Sometimes you don’t have anything to write about. Sometimes you’re terrified of facing that blank page again. Sometimes you think, “Goddammit, if I have to write ANOTHER word about death metal/weddings/cat pictures/personal finances/zombies/tofu recipes/chicken coops today, I am going to stick that chicken coop so far up the universe’s backside it will be raining chickens in Russia.”

    How many blogs do you actually read? I mean, really read? Not just add to your reader, skim the titles and think “oh, that sounds mildly interesting, I’ll come back to that”, and never do. How many writers are so awesome they create something new every day or every week that you have to devour, word by glorious word? How many?

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  • On writing, shyness and never giving up: Epic Interrogation with Ali Luke

    When I was starting out on my mission to conquer the Internet world via Grymm & Epic, Ali of Aliventures was one of the first people to support this project. That’s how I first found her site and I’ve been learning and loving it ever since.

    Ali is a lovely, kind and easy-going writer who started off making a full-time income writing paid blogs for sites like Daily Writing Tips. She now coaches writers, writes and sells ebooks on writing (including the awesome Bloggers’ Guide to Freelancing), creates amazing writing e-courses, and is about to self-publish her first novel about what happens when the world of Geekdom becomes very, very real.

    General

    Firstly, we just want to know who you are, and what you do. Can you share your journey from mini-Ali to Aliventures?

    Sure! As a teenager, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I worked on a really bad sci-fi novel in my mid-teens, holing up in the school library in my lunch-hours. (I wasn’t the most sociable of kids…)

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  • Epic Interrogation with Vail Joy of FutureNoir – designer behind steffmetal.com and grymmandepic.com

    If you’ve admired the bad-ass graphics and design of any of my websites, you’re should direct your compliments to Vail Joy of FutureNoir.net. Vail is the epitome of a grymm & epic businesswomen, running her creative design studio out of Slovenia, where she can indulge her bird-watching obsession and attend as many metal festivals as she wants, the lucky wench.

    Over 18 months ago I was thinking about updating my Steff Metal site and sent out a message to all my readers asking if anyone knew of a good designer. Vail answered the call and I’ve been bugging her with projects ever since. She’s friendly, super easy to work with, has the BEST ideas (have you SEEN my Cthulhu-themed copywriting packages? That’s all Vail’s work), and I recommend her to everyone I know planning a website – especially if you’re even a little bit alternative.

    vail-joy-future-noir

    Vail’s come over to Grymm & Epic today to talk about being a creative freelancer, money managing tips, and how to find the time to get to all the best heavy metal concerts.

    Firstly, we just want to know who you are, and what you do. Can you share your journey from mini-Vail to FutureNoir?

    Well, I am a transient cat herder and long-time lover of music, but make a living as an independent writer and designer. FutureNoir is a niche design studio focused primarily on web solutions for the creative industry – music, authors and artists.

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  • How to blog about your Art and wow people’s clothes off

    Hypothetically, of course. Anything else might get me into trouble.

    In my ebook, the Grymm & Epic Guide to Blogging, I talk a lot about figuring out what to blog about. A successful blog strikes a balance between writing about what interests you, and writing that helps you find and build an audience – the right audience. The audience that will go on to buy your art. And sometimes, that audience isn’t whom you’d expect.

    A lot of artists get stuck in the habit of writing about the business of selling art. Often, they’ll get quite in-depth, writing epic 2000 word posts about their successes and failures at craft fairs, etc. These posts will be extremely useful for other artists, and they’re profoundly interesting for the artist writing them, because they offer the chance to put thoughts about business down in a cohesive way and analyse what is and isn’t working. But whenever I see an artist with a blog that’s all about running an art business, I wonder if the artist knows whom their audience really is.

    Who wants to read a blog about how to run an art business? People who want to become full-time artists, of course. And yes, many people who are full-time artists want to support other artists and love to buy art, but they are a small slab of an infinitely larger pie.

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  • The Rise of the Personality Brand (and what it means for your creative business)

    [dropcap]L[/dropcap]a Carmina says it best: ” I love every aspect of my work; it feels like play, so I don’t mind the long hours … For example, Sebastiano and I are going to Hong Kong, where we’ll be having “fun” at a Macau hotel-resort opening, cute cooking lessons, and an art fair. But the trip and apartment are sponsored, and these activities are material for paid AOL Travel articles, my blog, and other projects.”

    If I could be so bold (what? Me? Bold?) I’d say personality branding is probably the biggest marketing innovation brought on by the internet – and, in particular, Web 2.0. Many bloggers have built full-time businesses by embracing the concept of personality branding.

    So what is personality branding? Basically, it’s creating a caricature of yourself that’s saleable. This means, you put yourself “out there” as a particular type of person, you attract readers/viewers/customers who WANT to be the same type of person, and you sell them things that will help them become that type of person. They might be things you’ve made yourself, or they might be things from companies who see

    La Carmina, this week’s Epic Interrogation victim, is one of the best examples of personality branding I’ve ever seen. The La Carmina we see through her blog and her other projects is outgoing, fun, quirky, upbeat, stylish, and an advocate for alternative subcultures the world over. She sells herself and her lifestyle through her TV work, collaborations with companies and her books. But what she’s really selling is her lifestyle (and personal style). Thats why she can make money with adverts on her site.

    The real-life La Carmina is much more complex. She probably has grumpy days, and walks around the house in her pyjamas, and yells when her boyfriend eats all the peanut butter. She’s probably interested in things that have nothing to do with gothic subculture or Japan.

    But you won’t see her writing about any of these things. Why? Because she knows her blog isn’t a personal diary – its business, and insanely fun business, at that. But even though her readers probably don’t realise it, the La Carmina they see on the blog has been filtered with a selective eye. What works with her personal brand is put up – what doesn’t work, is kept to herself. We see the cumulative effect of all her efforts, and we fall in love.

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