Writing Tools for the Busy Entre(info)Preneur
Why a page about writing tools on a site about natural food and farming and market gardening? Because the ability to communicate is essential to a successful small farm business or market garden. Here's some examples where writing skills are essential, and where writing tools can help:
- You will need to be able to write 'ad copy' - i.e. marketing information - to inform potential customers about your products. An example of this is the marketing flyers we use to promote the New Terra Farm market garden. They get us a good response, generally between 1%-2%. That is, if we send out 1,000 flyers we will get between 10 and 20 responses. By the way, this is considered pretty good in the world of direct mail marketing.
- Once you have customers, you should keep them 'in the loop' with regular communications. At the farm we send out an electronic newsletter every month during the season. We tell our customers what's going on with the garden, we tell them about the availability of other farm products e.g. meats and eggs, and we also give them tips to help with their home garden. This takes some time but pays dividends in good customer relations.
- You can and should promote your business using article marketing. Article marketing is simply writing informative articles about your business and distributing them to article directories on the Web. Articles also establish you as an 'expert' in your chosen business. Links in the article can lead back to your web-site (you DO have a web-site, right?)
- You REALLY should have a web-site supporting your small farm, market garden, or any other small business for that matter. A 'web presence' has become the new standard for small businesses. Just as you are expected to have business cards if you are in business, you are now expected to have a content-rich , keyword-oriented web site, 'findable' by both search engines and people. Writing for the web is another skill that can be learned
- Create information products for another stream of income as an 'info-preneur'; that is, selling your knowledge about a particular subject (yes, that's what I do with the Bootstrap book). If you are an expert, or even very passionate, about any topic, it's possible to create and sell information products - e-books, audio-tapes, auto-responder courses, videos, seminars, webinars, workshops, etc etc etc.
Information is the ultimate product and you can create your information products in your spare time (my information products, created when I wasn't busy with farm stuff, have made a few mortgage payments for me.)
The Writing Tools
In no particular order , here are the writing tools and resources that have helped me create and promote my website, advertise my business, and create another income stream with information products.
Become an InfoPreneur with Solo Build It!. To learn about selling your knowledge, check out this link for more, umm, information (bonus, Solo Build It! also includes an auto-responder that will distribute your e-mail newsletter to your customers for you automatically.)
If you are not sure you can write for money, check out these resources that have helped me.
Freemind Mind Mapping Software
You may be familiar with mindmapping as a way to document and organize free-form information. It's one of the newer writing tools available. I have used a mind mapping tool called Freemind for a couple of years now; in fact i used it to organize the content for my e-book 'The Guide to Pest Control in the Organic Garden'. You can download Freemind for free at the link above.
p.s. If you would like to see the actual mind map I created to write the Guide, download this report from my website
Cool IT Tools for the Busy Market Gardener
Finally, here's a great book about writing for the web The Net Writing Master Course from Solo Build It! Definitely a must-have to craft your own income producing web-site - and it's FREE!
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