Barbara Bartlein used to put an ad in the Yellow Pages and then
wait for the phone to ring from customers seeking her expertise.
Now she brings in buyers by putting her knowledge into words.
“People believe the written word and when they see you in print;
you have instant creditability and exposure,” says Bartlein, who is
president of Great Lakes Consulting Group, which provides
keynotes, seminars and consultation for business and life balance.
“Articles provide you with a body of work that can be sold in many
forms,” Bartlein says. She offers this advice for getting your message
to the masses:
Flood the print world. Identify the magazines, newspapers and
journals that represent the industries you serve. Study their format
and content. Obtain editorial calendars, article submission requirements and deadlines. Build relationships with reporters and editors
so they immediately think of you as an expert in a particular field.
Offer to write a column or be an expert contributor.
Go live. Internet search engines love content. New postings and
changes will get you higher in the searches than static pages. The
easiest form of exposure is with a blog, which will direct search
engines to your site based on key words and content. To create a
free blog, visit www.blogger.com. Link the blog to your main site
for increased traffic. And once you post articles on your blog, alert
search engines that you have fresh content with a ping. For free
pinging, visit www.pingomatic.com.
Create an e-mail newsletter. Reuse articles in your “expert”
newsletter and send it monthly to clients, audience participants
and Internet sign-ups. If you don’t want to create an e-mail
newsletter, offer to submit articles to your client’s internal/employee
Send articles to e-zines. Drive visitors to your Web site by publishing
articles in online magazines and newsletters or e-zines. Contact other
colleagues, speakers and writers to share content. Follow specific
submission guidelines, and include your URL and copyright information. Try Article Submitter Pro ( www.articlesubmitterpro.info) and
submit your articles to hundreds of sites.
Copyright all material. Rather than getting paid a few hundred
dollars for exclusive rights to your aticle, reuse your material over
and over again in different forms by using a copyright: “Copyright
2007 by YOUR NAME, all rights reserved.” You do not need to register each item and pay a fee.
Proofread, proofread and proofread. If catching typos and
grammatical errors isn’t your thing, hire an editor who can. Check
For maximum productivity, write your draft on one day and critique it
the next. Better yet, start the project long before it is due and go through
several short rounds of creating and critiquing, with breaks in between.
RULE3 Divide your preparation time into equal segments
When you have no choice but to begin a communication project
mere hours before it is due, work with your brain rather than against
it. Here’s how:
Divide whatever time you have into three equal parts:
Use one third of your time to plan to develop questions (scenes)
and gather information needed to answer them.
Use one third of your time to write and fill out the draft, adding
an opening, transitions and a conclusion. As you write, turn off
your spell check. This helps you to avoid fixing things that might
get deleted from the final draft.
Devote a full one third of your time to revision, a word which
means re-vision. Step back and take a hard look at the message from the receivers’ perspective. From this perspective, you
may delete or rearrange large chunks of material; you may
reconfigure the scenes in your message. Once you’ve adjusted
the material, it is time to do the fine work of editing. Perform this
task carefully, until the transitions between scenes are seamless
and the grammar and punctuation is perfect.
Dividing the project into three equal parts will produce a well-balanced message that makes the best use of your time. Remember to take a brief break between each major task to allow your
brain to shift gears.
Following the rules described in this article will not change the fact
that writing is hard work. On the other hand, following these rules can
help you get out of the negative productivity spiral that often surrounds communication tasks. The rules can help you invest time in
a focused way to produce high-impact messages.
Bonnie Budzowski works with organizations that want to use
influence and credibility to move business forward. Bonnie is the
author of Secrets to Get Busy People to Respond to Your Messages
and Clickety Clack: 86 Ways to Keep Your Speech on Track. Con-
tact her at www.InCredibleMessages.com or