Archives for January 2008

Blog Archives

Enjoy 1,000+ articles geared to your content-marketing, writing, freelancing or small business endeavors. Scroll down for recent posts, select a category, or browse the archives here.

I’m an eDad

I am an eDad. I have an eTeen and an eToddler. We’re an eFamily. In the middle of me trying to write a guest post, juggle client calls, respond to emails and read feeds, my family is struggling to eat together at the table, stick to a schedule and shove in some quality time. The television is on, the phone is ringing again,

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The Way of Writing – Part One of Six

“Do nothing which is of no use.” – Miyamoto Musashi While cleaning off my bookshelves, I came across a book I hadn’t read in years: Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings. I bought it back when I studied martial arts in the mid-80s. At the time, the Book of Five Rings was a big hit in the corporate world. Musashi’s teachings proved useful in the art of kenjitsu (the sword) and in the business world as well. Many CEOs studied his writings on tactics meant for warfare, applying them to the boardroom. Some people saw

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Three Tips to Unclutter Your Mind

If you’re like me, your mind is pretty cluttered. You’re constantly thinking about your business, your revenues, what to write, who to contact, and how to get ahead. Ideas pop up, inspiration happens… and then something distracts you.   *POOF!*   That idea is gone.   There are three easy ways to clear your cluttered mind and get some space so you can think better and more effectively. Plus, you’ll be more productive and successful in your endeavors.   Want to know how? Check out my latest guest post on Clutter Cubed and get Three

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When You Regret the Rate You Quoted

Have you ever thought to yourself that you should’ve charged more? I’m not talking about those nightmare projects, the ones where you’re digging a hole in your profits because the project isn’t going well. I’m talking about when a client hires you flat out without haggling. Imagine this: You’re approached for a project, you think long and hard about your time and potential gains, you determine how low you’ll go when the client starts to haggle, and you finally – nervously – propose a higher rate than usual. You send the proposal off. Then you

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Priming Your Audience: The Power of Words

In this day and age when people are more inclined to communicate through emails, text or instant messages, choosing the right words is important. Words have the ability to uplift and inspire. They also have the power to cut someone to the quick or ruin lives. When we speak to children, we choose our words carefully. We may not be so careful with other adults. Even your vanity license plate could have an impact on its readers. What do license plates have to do with writing? Read about the “License Plate Lady,” Caroline Miller, on

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What To Do When You Have A Strong Opinion

I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. Where I live, the cultural expectation is outspoken frankness and people are generally pretty passionate about their views. They say what they think, and they feel free to disagree. It’s all good. Everyone chinks beers at the end of the day and toasts each other. But that doesn’t always fly in a virtual world. I’m terribly conscious that offending other people is very easy to do. The online personality you portray could upset others, your personal views could alienate readers, or and the type of comments

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How to Never Lose Your Job

Every now and then I have one of those philosophical moments. The world goes away, my mind is peaceful, and I can just think. That’s exactly what happened when I wrote my latest guest post for Itty Biz. Read about a realization I had on job security… … and how that realization might affect your life, too. Comment there. Then come back and comment here. (Did you expect any less? I’m the Comment King, after all…or so says Naomi.) Why do I want you back here? Because last night I had another philosophical moment. The

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How Tom Cochrane and Ice Hockey Teach You to Be a Better Writer

Sometimes at night I can hear the ice crack. It sounds like thunder and rips through my back. – Tom Cochrane, Big League Each time I hear those lyrics, a shiver runs down my spine. I can hear that ice. I can feel its strength, its cold power, and I can sense the ripping in my body as if I was the one skating for my life. The strength of those two simple sentences gets me every time. Granted, the song is a great one. It’s all about the dream of young boys who want

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Finding The Perfect Manager

We’ve talked a lot about starting a business as a single entrepreneur, but we don’t often post about what it’s like to work with a partner or a team over long distances. One of the biggest problems James and I had in the business was how to manage the workflow and organization of information amongst the team and ourselves. We weren’t in the same office building. Our virtual business has people working thousands of miles apart. 3,000 miles, to be almost exact. When you have a virtual business shared with others, you can’t always take

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If I Knew Then What I Know Now

James’ post on life experience vs. a professional degree got me to thinking. How would my life have turned out if I knew then what I know now? I don’t think I fully understood the phrase “youth is wasted on the young” until a few years ago. I was horrible in school. I had poor study habits (so bad that my study habits were practically non-existent), I was overly sensitive to criticism, and I was introverted. Looking back, I missed a lot of opportunities. At the same time, had I not made certain choices, I

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James and the team at Men with Pens helped us write a number of pieces to be used for marketing purposes. James was quick to respond to our questions at...

Nick Domino – Water Damage Defense

James and the team at Men With Pens have been absolutely amazing to work with. When I came to them, I had only the vaguest of vague ideas of what...

Johnny B. Truant – The Badass Project

James and MenWithPens listened carefully to what I wanted and needed , then designed a site and accompanying twitter and facebook pages that went way beyond my expectations. They finished...

Dr. Cory Annis – Unorthodoc

When I hired Men with Pens for the web design (doesn’t it look awesome?), I also kicked off one of the most rewarding professional relationships of my life. James Chartrand...

Peter Shallard – New York Business Psychology Consultant

Working with Men with Pens for my first site redesign couldn’t have been a better experience. Their design and technical knowledge is second to none, they’re scary-fast in terms of...

Amber Naslund – Brass Tack Thinking

Men with Pens? These guys are fantastic! When saw their design, I was so happy, I just couldn't get the wrap-around-grin off my face. Communication skills, creativity, know-how - they...

Mary Jaksch – Write to Done / Zen Habits

I can’t thank you enough for what you and your team has done for our company. Our marketing presence has taken on a whole new attitude, and I think it...

Scott Gin – Better Basketball

I have worked with a lot of designers and copywriters and Men With Pens surpasses them all. After just a few emails they were able to capture my style, tone...

Melani Ward, Marketing Consultant

With a sweep of their magic wand, MWP took my old site and redesigned the look. My traffic went up 35% in two weeks, and book sales have doubled. These...

Mike Davenport – Max Rigging

Men with Pens is a great company, because they are a) smart b) talented c) quick d) funny. What else do you want in a web design firm?

Pamela Slim – Escape from Cubicle Nation

Covered in goals, and bogged down by the steps to accomplish them, I was in need of serious help. That's when I turned to James. One call with her, and...

Adam King – Adam King Studio

My first observation after the Google Analytics code went in is that users are spending 10 times (yes, that's right) as long on the site as they were on the...

Matthew Needham – Big Red Tomato Company

The art in web designing truly lies in the designer's ability to accurately capture the essence of what the client wants, and the skill to translate that into an overall...

Dr. Angelica Perez, Ph.D – New Latina

Our products sales have increased drastically after adding the new copy to our website. Thank you so much! I'll look forward to using your services again in the near future.

Bryant Tutas – Short Sale Superstars

I feel like no words would do them justice and please don’t say, “No pun intended”. This team is out of control good. They do a better job of getting...

Melani Ward

A gal in my yoga class made a huge point of telling me how much she loved the way my blog was written. So personal, so fun, so absolutely ME!...

Andree Kehn – AndreeKehn.com

I liked your straightforward advice to writers re: voice and style advice.

Margaret Atwood

What a delight working with Men with Pens. They acted as great advisers, fabulous designers and thoughtful counselors, guiding me through a website upgrade and new blog design. In addition,...

Dr. Peter Gratale

Men with Pens has this uncanny ability to take my rough ideas and turn them into something great. I am a professional writer, and working with MWP on writing projects...

Marie Rippel

Not only did James Chartrand and the whole Men With Pens team get us everything before our deadline, they were instantaneous in response pretty much all the time and very...

Jaime Mintun

As seen on Third Tribe!: Just had to share a resource for an outstanding team of copywriters, web developers, and all around rockstars that I've worked with several times now:...

Amber Naslund – Brass Tack Thinking

I was recommended Men With Pens, and I have never looked back. They seriously ROCK! I live in Asia and despite a 12 hours time difference, communication was smooth. They...

Tomas Bay – Beat The Monster

Thank you for all the effort you have put in to capturing the essence of what I am truly about and helping my voice to come out, loud and proud,...

Ali Davies

These guys rock. They quickly got to the heart of what we wanted to do, produced brilliant copy first time round and were really lovely to work with.

Marcella and Michael Bungay Stanier – Find Your Great Work

Fantastic! Men with Pens were tremendously helpful in reviewing content for my company's new website. Their critique was right on the mark, and their insights have allowed me to greatly...

Chris Sutton – Easy Ear Training

Men With Pens were just great! They listened carefully to determine what I wanted, then created a website that fit perfectly with my vision but still managed to surprise me....

Dave Rowley – Creative Chai

That looks fabulous, money well spent. I have yet to see a bad design by Men with Pens, and they have certainly surpassed themselves on yours. If I were a...

Judy (for Billybrew.com) – Judy of the Woods

Wanted to thank you for your endless patience throughout this process. You produced a site we're thrilled with. Maybe more important, you made the entire development process a fun ride!...

Janus Javier – Real World Supply Chain

If you're looking for a copywriter, a website architect, an eBook designer ... stop. Here at Men with Pens you've found a wonderful company of professionals who will be with...

Austin Briggs

Working with Men with Pens was one of the best business experiences I have had as a customer. The team was knowledgeable and engaged and provided valuable insight that helped...

Karen Swim – Words for Hire

HOLY HOT COPY, BATMAN!! Ok...can I just TELL you how much I love this copy? Seriously! I just read it to one of my colleagues and she had goosebumps!! THANK...

Jodi Ojo – Model Per4Mance

The feedback I’ve received on the site has been all good. Thank you so much for EVERYTHING. You’ve been a joy to work with, a patient instructor, quick witted, and...

Karen M Hollman, Esq. – The Law Office of Karen M. Holman, PLLC

I've used many web developers from the solo freelancers to the big national firms and have always been disappointed. And then I found Men With Pens. Great rates and amazing...

Kevin Kruse – Kru Research

I have had Men With Pens design two sites for me now. I described what I wanted and how I wanted the sites to feel. Somehow they took the images...

Elizabeth Fayle – Make Way for Biz

James and the gang at Men with Pens totally rock! The cool new site they created for us went live about six weeks ago. Already it’s generating traffic at levels...

Frank and Lou Anne Reddon – EnZepplopedia Publishing Inc.

I simply have to rhapsodize about the following website design from MenWithPens. The site is http://www.petershallard.com - the design is resplendent, the copy compelling, and the content magnificent to boot....

Barbara Ling

I wasn’t really thinking of designing a new website. But curiosity (or my ego) had me intrigued for detailed feedback about how I could improve my existing website? Who could...

Penny Hoff – New Hip Tips

For nearly a year, my associates and I tweaked and edited our online web hosting business website in an effort to generate more customer sign ups. Despite our efforts, new...

John Hoff – eVenture Biz

James challenged us to dig deep and truly understand what we wanted to accomplish, and then built a site that captures the essence of who we are. The site is...

Mark Dyck – Regina Lakeview Community Association

Our school is booming. We're having easily the best January ever, and it's only, what, the 11th? Our new site has had an impact on our overall attitude and perspective...

Shifu Ahles – Blue Dragon Kung Fu

I am thrilled to say that we have had a fabulous response to the new website and in fact we're already starting to see clients (it's only been seven days...

Sasha Stricker – Alberta, Canada

Great customer service, James. It created trust right away. You seem like an honest, stand-up guy, very professional and caring about the client. Your designs are superior to what I’ve...

Michael Toebe – Quick Help Now

Men with Pens took a site that I had built a six-figure business around and that was already "pretty good" and made it spectacular, improving product sales and boosting opt-in...

Brian DeChesare – Mergers and Inquisitions

Your ability to communicate clearly, spec a job realistically, meet a deadline and completely fulfill the work to your client's satisfaction is exceptional. And in short, code is scary to...

Elizabeth Pendleton

I'd never dealt with an online web designer. My family told me I was crazy. How could I put a large amount of dollars into someone's hands I'd never met?...

Dan Miranda – Knicks Vision

When I hired Men with Pens to design my site, I hired them for two reasons: 1. they are capable of creating artistic looks while retaining functionality; and 2. great...

Patrick Vuleta – Silvered Copy

A massive thank you for designing my blog as quickly as you did. It met and exceeded my expectations and I really couldn’t be happier with what you delivered. Keep...

Linda Iruoha

If you’re considering hiring a writer for your website or Blog, you can’t go wrong with James over at Men with Pens. He really takes the time to understand your...

Marc Chase – My Credit Group

Your original website review gave me plenty of great information that allowed me to take another step in the right direction. One thousand thank-yous for offering that insanely awesome offer...

Michael Lindstrom – Strolen's Citadel

I would strongly recommend working with the Men with Pens team. I came to them as a client who knew nothing about web design. I was nervous, didn't know how...

Wendi Kelly

Thank you so, so much for your website review, it was very enlightening! I've been listening to it again and again and had more than a few light-bulb moments (as...

Julie Duran

James is a Genius! I am thrilled and amazed at how much talent she has. Where to begin? The price was excellent for what Men with Pens did for my...

Yvonne Oliver – Dallas Relaxing Massage

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