Archives for September 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.

Drive-By-Shooting Sunday: Break Time

Today’s drive-by shooting has been canceled by request – it’s just bad timing. Rather than leave you empty handed, we thought we’d provide a little entertainment from James’ eclectic musical collection with one of his favorite Sunday morning songs. Enjoy, chill, and have a great day. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjyIKHrb0as[/youtube] We’ll be back next week with our lineup of upcoming hit jobs: September 21 – Fawnskin Flyer September 28 – Forty Plus Two October 5 – The Enhance Life October 12 – Creative Texture Tools October 19 – Ulla Hennig’s Weblog October 26 – Simplistic Thoughts November 2

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How to Be a Good Customer

We’ve written on other companies, impressive events and their service before. As writers and designers working hard to give top service to our clients, and as bloggers giving freelancers lessons on improving their own services to gain clients, these experiences are ones we feel teach well. So gather ’round, my friends. I have a tale to tell you that teaches you how to be a good customer. Once Upon A Time… Once upon a time long ago, I needed special effects to ramp up my design work and stand out from the competition. I was

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Simplicity for Writers of All Types

I admire Stephen King’s work. It may be arrogant of me to say that I think his writing is rather terrible, if you look at the pure sentence structure, grammar and all that jazz, but arrogance aside, none of that matters in my greater scheme of things. Stephen King could write on a napkin and I’d be enthralled. I’m even more enthralled lately with suggestions for improvement that he bashed into my mind via his book On Writing. (It’s worth every penny. Get it, no matter what type of writer you are.) You see, King’s

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Stop Being a Wimp and Start Succeeding

Confidence. If you don’t have it, you aren’t going to make it in business. The problem is that many people – especially the creative type – lack confidence in a big way. Creative minds want to create. They don’t want to convince people to hire them or peddle their wares. They want to love what they do, do what they love, and hopefully make a bit of money to feed their family. Reality check: Money doesn’t fall from the sky. If you want to sell what you create, you have to have the confidence to

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Finding Fame and Fortune: Rock Star or Olympian?

I’m missing the Olympics now that they’re over. Talk about a nightly dose of high-end inspiration. These games get right into my soul. The sheer amount of sacrifice, guts, and determination behind every performance is enough to make me step back and seriously evaluate my own goals. I was watching the closing ceremonies and I thought to myself, which is better – being a Rock Star or being an Olympian? This comparison struck me like the thunderbolt of Zeus. Both have advantages, both bring great fame, and neither is a very easy path to walk.

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Drive-by-Shooting Sundays: Mike Riversdale

White. The color of nothingness. Everything around Harry was white – the floor, the walls, the ceiling… Except at night, when the lights shut off. Then everything fell into shades of shadowed grey. They’d escaped the educational facility of last week’s hit, only to find themselves chased by cops and tackled roughly to the ground. There’d been a scuffle punctuated by French curses and Jamie trying to bite a cop’s arm… Harry had attempted to explain the situation calmly. Now look where they were. James’ shout echoed through the air. “Let me out, calisse! I’m

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Does It Look Easy to You?

While I was watching the Olympics, I was constantly amazed at how easy the athletes make their sport appear. Look at Michael Phelps: That man swims like a fish. Break a world record? No problem. It’s just another day in the pool. Even our community here at MwP and Escaping Reality has told us we make what we do look easy. Training The next time you see someone making what they do look easy, think about the hard work and training that went into that performance or project. It may have taken decades years or

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Pen Men Coming Out of the Closet

Once upon a time, there was love. It was sweet. It was bromantic. It involved roses and starry-eyed compliments, and there was even an impulsive proposal for marriage (though who proposed to whom remains a mystery). Bound in mutual admiration, the relationship blossomed. It was all beautifully casual. We compared creative curses. We laughed and teased each other. We could be laid back together, chink beers and not argue over the remote control. We had the same types of dreams, the same visions and most importantly, the very same ethics, both moral and professional. It

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Getting Distance or Going All the Way

This post is an expansion on a one I wrote during discussion over at our creative writing role-playing game, Escaping Reality. Feel free to drop by the game boards. Writing fiction can be an amazing adventure and a fantastic release from real life. But characters can also create chaos in your life. They’re creatures from your mind. You thought them up. You made them what they are. What happens when you feel like you’re just too close to the situation that you can’t be sure you’re writing your character true? Where does your character start

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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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