Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's Better Than Having Too Much Time and Too Little Work

Surfacing briefly... can't breathe... smothered in work...

The work load at the moment is fairly extreme with a decent-sized content project, a large-sized PR project and all of my smaller contract work and other freelance writing stuff that comes up throughout the month. I'm accomplishing some fairly big things, but it's still some of the smaller stuff that catches my notice sometimes. I noticed this week that is featuring one of my recent articles on their homepage, making the the traffic on it triple this week.

If you've never written for the site before, it's a fun little content site that gets a pretty heavy amount of traffic. It's an AdSense share site with writers getting 50 percent. There are a lot of AdSense-share sites out there, but most of them aren't worth bothering with. Sites that get good traffic, however, generally are. And, you don't have to be an American to do it, like a lot of content sites. It has its problems, like any other, but the hassles are generally worth the income that results.

My eHow blog is doing ok so far, especially considering sporadic updates, almost zero promotion and a lack of design. I'll have more time to post to it next month after things calm down a little and I can breathe again.

So, back to the PR project. I'm under an NDA with this one for now, but I will probably talk about it next week after the company and product have been introduced to the public. It's a biggie.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Aaaarrg, It Be Talk Like a Pirate Day

If ye aren't knowin' about Talk Like a Pirate Day, ye be a scurvy dog. Ye need some vitamin C. I be talkin' like a pirate most of the time anyway, so this day be just like any other. Business meetings with this bilge rat never be boring!

A few updates since last I wrote:

Me crazy workload be driving me to walk the plank.
I may have been exposed to TB, so that be pretty piratey.
I got a pen stuck in my hair while bein' right the middle of a business meeting- no one dared laugh at the fearsome pirate with the bad hair.

If ye aren't already, I encourage ye to start talkin' like a pirate. The wench behind the counter who "doesn't know" if they have flu shots and "can find out in a few hours" be far less annoyin' if ye can tell her that someone should keel haul the lot of them. I be havin' a long list of wenches and scurvy dogs who be needin' to walk the plank.

Here be a joke:

A pirate walks into a bar and the bartender asks him, " Did you know you have a paper towel on your head?"

The pirate said, "Aaarg, 'tis true...I got a Bounty on me head."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

I'm embroiled right now in a massive PR project that is pretty much consuming my every waking thought. We went out for ice cream last night and I blurted out "machine parts" for no reason when we got there. Seriously. I've had a few projects like this, like Giant Soul-Crushing Project from a year or two ago. But unlike GSCP, this one is a challenge that doesn't feeling crushing.

For the past several months I've been hesitant to take on anymore online PR because a lot of the call for online PR is from small companies who really don't know what PR is. They think it's just a little copywriting, and that's all they want to pay for. I'm just tired of seeing people who want to pay $30 for a press release and have no idea how much they are cheating themselves. A well-crafted PR campaign takes a lot of time and research, and I'm fortunate enough to be working with a company right now that understands that.

I'm actually considering changing my focus from Web content, small local PR projects and random press releases for online clients to larger PR projects for companies who actually know what they want. It's challenging, but it's far less annoying and stressful than high-volume content writing. To do that means actually trying to sell myself, though. That always makes me feel uncomfortable. That's the big choice that I have to make- feel gross and uncomfortable in order to make a needed change, or stay on this course. I'm not so sure yet.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Create Your Own Pen Names

If you're interested in creating anagram pen names for some of your work, I just found a great site that will give you instant anagrams for your name. They aren't necessarily names, but they are good starting points. It actually told me that there weren't any for mine at first. But um, I beg to differ- I did find a lot of high-quality anagrams in an earlier post. After dropping one of the Z's in my name, I did get a few anagrams from the site:

Elder Shh Zip
Held Her Zips
Held Hers Zip
Led Re Shh Zip
Zed Re Shh Lip

Yeah. I'll definitely be using those. I wish better luck to anyone else who tries it.

I may not be posting a lot for the next few weeks. I'm involved in two massive projects, one PR and one Web content. I barely have time to breathe. Ok, I do seem have time to play with the anagram site. And, I may possibly have time to cut my dog's hair so that it looks like a Fu Manchu. Actually, I find that doing other things while thinking about a major project can be extremely helpful for organizing project tasks. Sometimes staring at a blank computer screen is the least constructive thing that you can possibly do.

While driving, I come up with press release ideas. While showering I think of ways to construct specific press kits. For anyone who finds a blank screen to be intimidating, I heartily recommend stepping away and doing other things. You can be working just as hard on a project while you're making your dog look funny as you can with a keyboard under your fingertips. Then, when you step back into the harsh light of the computer screen, you have something to throw at it to keep it from being blank. You win!