The 24 Comic Crunch is going awesomely — I’ve already written a 12-page comic script for my new space pulp project.

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2013 Is Already Booking Up Fast

I just updated my my Google calendar for the next three months, and I’m already exhausted just looking at it. In addition to my monthly meetups C4: Comic Creators Coffee Club and StartLouis, there are also a lot of local and regional events I’m interested in attending. We’ve got comics, anime, video games, and startups:

Plus, we’ve got the C4 comic anthology deadline on Feb. 6, and then I have to edit that book and get it printed. Rocketbot has a comic anthology that I want to submit to, with a deadline in early February as well. And I’ve been wanting to start going to the STL WordPress Meetup (I keep missing it, and WordCamp was so fun).

Clearly I need to find a way to clone myself.

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2012 Wrap-Up

2012 was a decent year for me, but I’m hoping to make 2013 even better. Some things I accomplished this year:

  • Added more clients to my roster
  • Moved from trade pub articles to more business blogging projects
  • Published an anthology comic for my comic book creators meetup group
  • Formed a meetup group for St. Louis freelancers
  • Joined an online forum for freelance writers
  • Moved my website onto WordPress

So looking back, I’ve accomplished a lot, and I want to continue that trend for the new year.  So here are some new goals I’m setting for myself for 2013:

  • Book more long-form projects (blog packages of 10 or more, white papers, case studies)
  • Add three new regular clients to my roster
  • Publish another anthology comic for the comic creators meetup group
  • Commission a logo for my website
  • Invest in a premium WordPress theme
  • Take three professional development classes

Best wishes to all my readers, and I hope that you have a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

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Don’t Make These Website Mistakes

You’ve got three seconds. Just three seconds to persuade that random person who surfed to your website from Google to stick around and read your website. You can’t afford mistakes with such a thin margin of error.

I write web copy. I’ve worked as an editor at several online publications. I have looked at a lot of websites over the years, and it amazes me that so many websites contain the same basic mistakes.

  • Mistake #1: Not updating the copyright date. Seems like such a tiny thing. I mean, it’s a number at the bottom of your website, in tiny print, and really it’s just there to keep people from jacking your content. But if you don’t have a blog front and center, or other dynamic content, this is what readers use to tell if you’re currently in business. Really, how do they know that you didn’t go out of business in 2005, or 2006, or in 2008 after the economy tanked? For every potential customer who does take the chance and email or call you, there are more who simply skip to the next Google result.
  • Mistake #2: Not having all types of contact info. I personally despise contact forms. If that’s the only way I can contact a company, if I can’t see the email address of the person I’m writing to, or a phone number to call to get a real person, I won’t bother to do business with them. That’s potential money walking away. Other people hate email, and want to call your office to talk to a real person. Still others hate phone calls, and would rather come to your office to meet face to face. Be able to accommodate a number of communication styles. Have a contact form AND an email address AND a phone number AND a snail mail address AND links to all your social networking pages. The more contact methods you have, the more contacts you get.
  • Mistake #3: Crazy navigation. Don’t make your readers guess where stuff is on your website. Use common phrases like “About Us” “Work Samples” and “Contact” in your navigation so people can easily find what they are looking for. The worst example of navigation I ever saw was a graphic designer who used single letters for each part of his navigation menu. I don’t want to have to guess that “Q” stands for “About The Company.”
  • Mistake #4: Fancy flash graphics. Not everyone has the fastest computer or the most up-to-date browser. If a potential customer gets a “You need Flash plug-in Number X to view this website” message when trying to enter your website, chances are they’ll just go somewhere else.

This post originally ran on the Indie Arsenal blog in September of 2009.

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