What’re Your Favorite “Well-Fed Writing” Resources?

OK folks, I’m closing in on finishing the updated edition of TWFW – due out mid-2009. Just to refresh your memory, I’ve combined and updated the content of both how-to guides on lucrative commercial freelancing, The Well-Fed Writer and its companion, TWFW: Back For Seconds, while retiring the latter. Two 300-page books into ONE 300-page book. Can you say “Editing Job of Biblical Proportions”? Though, I will be offloading some of both the original books onto the web site and a beefed-up Well-Fed Tool Box companion ebook. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’m putting together THE key appendix: Well-Fed Writing Resources, the equivalent of Appendix A in Back For Seconds. I’d love to get your input as to YOUR favorite books, web sites, blogs, conferences, local commercial writers organizations in your area, or any other commercial writing resource you’ve found indispensable (or even just plain useful) as you’ve grown your commercial freelancing business.

Whattaya say? What are your faves?

Put another way, what resources should no self-respecting commercial freelancer be without?

9 replies
  1. Debbi
    Debbi says:

    One organization I’ve found particularly useful is American Independent Writers–its Web site is http://www.americanindependentwriters.org/

    The group was formerly known as Washington (DC) Independent Writers, but recently changed its name and expanded its membership to include people outside the DC area.

    The group puts on great networking events and conferences (including an annual conference) and offers group health insurance and access to Job Bank listings (for an extra fee) to members. Now that it’s gone national, the group will probably be offering more Webinars, podcasts and other online resources.

  2. Jill Gormley
    Jill Gormley says:

    I find the Business Marketing Association, an organization geared toward B to B marketing, is a useful resource for me. My chapter has regular meetings that bring together a wide variety of local business people, and whenever I’ve attended I’ve been glad I did.
    For writers who want to write for law firms or the companies that provide services to law firms, I recommend the law marketing discussion list. You sign up at http://www.lawmarketing.com, and there’s a fee to join the listserve, but I think it’s worth it because it can save so much time. By following the discussions you get great insights into what’s going on in legal marketing, you learn the identities of the marketing directors at firms all over the country, you find out which offices and practice areas are expanding and contracting, etc. This information can make your own efforts to market to law firms much more specific and efficient. Plus, law firm marketing directors and marketing consultants sometimes post asking advice from colleagues about marketing projects they’re considering–if it seems like it may require a writer, you have the poster’s contact info, and if it interests you, you can approach him or her directly to make a pitch for the project.
    Also for those writing for the legal industry, the Legal Marketing Association offers great networking opportunities for those live near or in an urban area.

  3. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    I found Michelle Goodman’s book, The Anti 9-to-5 Guide, to be very helpful for general stuff when getting started in a freelance (or otherwise nontraditional) career … and I’ve just started reading her follow-up, My So-Called Freelance Life. Good stuff! She also has a companion blog, http://www.anti9to5guide.com. The books are written with a female audience in mind but I think the advice would apply equally well for dudes, too …

  4. Michael Kelberer
    Michael Kelberer says:

    Hi Peter,
    The absolute best, most useful, most-bang-for-the-buck tool I use as a FLCW is LinkedIn. And I say that even though I only use it as a market research tool so far – I haven’t even plumbed the depth of possibility as an actual marketing tool. The trick is to build a very large network (doesn’t have to be personal connections, at the third level is fine) so that when you do searches you get full profiles back. Great source of info on who does what in a company, and something about them so that when you call you call the right person and have something to say. Not only that, but having a LinkedIn profile raises your biz-cred as a CW.
    Michael Kelberer

  5. tom
    tom says:

    Hi Peter,

    Here are some of the sites that I bookmarked as a regular read in addition to yours (of course)

    – Copyblogger (http://www.copyblogger.com/)
    – Men With Pens (http://menwithpens.ca/)
    – Tom Chandler’s Copywriter Underground (http://copywriterunderground.com/)
    – Writer’s Tech is another good one (http://www.writerstechnology.com/)
    – and of course AWAI’s Golden Thread (http://www.awaionline.com/articles/)

    I am eagerly awaiting your next release of TWFW.

  6. Michael
    Michael says:

    Writing Copy for Dummies by Jonathan Kranz is an excellent book for teaching the essential elements of brochures, sales letters and a lot of other collateral (mostly print). Compared to Bob Bly’s Copywriting Handbook, I found Kranz’s book more accessible, concise and fun to read. Plus he has great examples all throughout to illustrate his points. I think he has a blog and newsletter too.

  7. Kristen King
    Kristen King says:

    I’m with Debbie — American Independent Writers is an awesome resource. I never miss the annual conference (every June) or the annual Going Freelance seminar (every fall). Disclosure: I’m an AIW board member. I also like Anne Wayman’s About Freelance Writing (www.aboutfreelancewriting.com and Deb Ng’s Freelance Writing Jobs (www.freelancewritinggigs.com).

    Also, I recently posted a list of professional organizations and discussion lists I like at Inkthinker (http://tinyurl.com/3h8aj6).


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