• Finding the “Voice” of Your Business

    If you’ve spent any length of time around writers, discussions of “voice” will inevitably arise. “I’m writing in the first person, but I’m finding the voice a little tough,” or “I really admire the richness of Margaret Atwood’s voice” or even, “I’m trying to fit my voice into a male character, and it’s just not working …”

    But if you try to corner one of us to ask exactly what we mean by “voice”, you’ll find we stammer some half-arsed answer, cry “look, a man wearing an enormous novelty mustache!” and scamper away when you back is turned. “Voice” is a concept writers understand innately, but we struggle to describe.

    But “voice” is a concept that’s vital for any business owner to grasp, as it’s an integral part of your brand. And since I’m a writer who works predominantly with small business owners, I thought I’d do my part to demistify the concept of voice and why it’s important for your business.

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  • Magazines: Small business marketing for wordsmiths

    Do you read magazines? Most of us do. We read magazines to learn more about our hobbies and interests, for entertainment, and to keep up-to-date with news and events in our industry. Even with blogs, podcasts and online media becoming increasingly influential, magazines still play a vital role in the publishing industry.

    Print magazines are at the top of the heap when it comes to quality. Every print magazine is backed by an editorial team that ensure the quality is maintained across every article and layout. Most industries have at least one magazine that is considered highly influential – businesses featured within it’s pages have definitely “made it”.

    So if you’re reading these magazines in your industry, why aren’t you writing for them?

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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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  • Attention Writers: special awesomeness just for you

    I may have mentioned (about a million times) that my Grymm & Epic Guide to Blogging is one of the bonuses in the World Changing Writers Workshop, run by Pace and Kyeli and featuring some seriously amazing writers (SARK! Bindu Wiles! Ali Luke!) It’s too late to sign up to the live-action workshop, but is […]

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  • Your Services as Products, or how I earn buttloads of money as a writer.

    I’ve been utterly blown away by the response to my new writing packages. You guys were so enthusiastic I spent nearly every waking moment before we left for Germany creating press releases and writing blogs and talking on Skype at all hours of the morning and night. (That’s the only problem with doing consulting from New Zealand – we’re so far ahead of the rest of you, I’m always having to wake up at 4am to talk to someone. It’s all good, though.)

    I’m still taking orders for new writing packages, but keep in mind I am on holiday. And it’s a real holiday too, meaning I’m not working till I get back to New Zealand on the 16 August.

    Some of you have been emailing asking why I decided to create writing packages. “Surely,” someone said, “you’d be better off sticking with your old services page?”

    After reminding him my name is Steff, not Shirley, I assured him I’ve had a much better response to the packages than I ever did to my “hire me” page, even when I promoted my services quite heavily.

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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 NYT Best-Selling Urban Fantasy Author Jeaniene Frost

    [dropcap]I[/dropcap]’ve got vampires on the brain.

    I blame it the kobo website, who has cottoned on to the fact I like books about bloodsuckers, so sends me daily emails about the latest fanged thrillers. I blame Poppy Z Brite, whose book Lost Souls restored my love of erotic horror, after it had been shattered by the Twilight books (which, to be fair, had a lot of the erotic but not nearly enough horror). And I blame today’s guest, New York Times Best-Selling author of steamy vampire urban fantasy, Jeaniene Frost, for getting my vampire on four years ago with Halfway to the Grave.

    But Jeaniene Frost isn’t just an author, she’s in part responsible for bringing vampires and urban fantasy back into the mainstream, and her legions of fans worldwide (her novels have been translated into seventeen languages) attest to her remarkable ability to write amazing books and get them in front of the people who want to read them. I’m thrilled to sparkling bits to have Jeaniene here today for an Epic Interrogation about how she kicks ass with her creative business:
    Firstly, we’d just like to know who you are, what you write, and what’s new in the world of Jeaniene Frost?
    Thank you so much for having me. I’m the author of the Night Huntress series and Night Huntress World novels, which are urban fantasy romances containing vampires, ghouls, ghosts, demons, and a sprinkling of black magic. The most recent novel to hit the shelves was This Side of the Grave, and my next novel is One Grave at a Time, which releases August 30th.

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  • When Everything Feels Right

    I’m working on my novel this weekend. It is the most wonderful weekend I’ve spent working in a long time.

    I don’t talk about my novels very often, because this is a blog about being an awesome business chick, and when I think of the four unsold novels sitting on my hard drive, I don’t feel so awesome. That’s a lot of hours of writing for no direct benefit.

    Or was it?

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  • Kicking Ass with your Online Portfolio – Why you Need One and What To Stick In It

    [dropcap]T[/dropcap]hese days, if you ain’t online baby, you ain’t anywhere. You could be the most incredible clothing designer, writer or cartoonist in the world, but it nobody finds you, you’ve wasted all your hard work. Wiring-up your creative business enables potential clients, customers and fans to locate you, anywhere in the world, even while you’re sleeping or having sex in the shower.

    As an artist, you are only as good as your portfolio, and your portfolio should be online (as well as hard copy). Do not underestimate the need for a portfolio that can be accessed through your website.

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