MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Copy Editing Services Are Available

While in the pursuit of my MFA in Screenwriting and Playwriting full-time, while completing two novels, I no longer offer freelance copywriting, ghost writing, or blogging services.

BUT, I do still offer copy editing services for thesis/dissertations, screenplays, non-fiction books, and novels.

My services range from 8 cents to 12 cents per word depending on if you are in need of proofreading or full-service copy editing.

My clients have included:
Ph.D students
Life Coaches
Motivational Speakers

I use Paypal for invoicing and require a $50 deposit to begin your project (I subtract that from your word count in order to complete your project fee balance).

I provide a quick turn-around time.

To get your book or academic project polished with my Terrific Type touch, contact me at: 

CJ Johnson

To discover more about my creative writing journey, feel free to visit my author blog:

Affordable Art from an Emerging Creative Entrepreneur via Etsy

I am beyond excited to announce:

Etsy Edition! 

My little sister runs the decor blog, 
and has finally opened a shop selling her snappy photo prints on Etsy
(the painting above of the sizzlin' blue Lady is by yours truly)

Her prints are printed on poster paper and come in the following sizes:

18X24 or 24X36

They range in price from $56 to $72 bucks

She is an interior design student and will be launching her e-decor services soon!

I will keep you posted...

PS. Follow her blog and Twitter to get her best promo codes, starting next week :) 

Etsy Shop Link:

She is definitely a creative entrepreneur to watch! 

6 Questions to ask yourself before launching your creative business

I am going to keep it real with you. 

Launching a creative business is a toughie. 

However, there is no need to throw up your hands and table the idea altogether. 

If your heart is a burnin' for that entrepreneurial glow, then you've got to go for it!

Yet, you must do so with a roadmap. 

You need to get serious and honest with yourself and ask the hard questions. 

I just recently wrote and published a little mini-biz guide titled; Your Saucy Terrific Biz Lady Odyssey

In this little e-book I provide 32 questions to ask yourself before launching your creative business. 

To kick things off and to make its debut, I want to share 6 of those 32 questions to ask yourself before launching your creative business. 

1. Who is apart of my support network?

2. What is my mindset for handling business setbacks?

3. Can my services/packages/products be broken up even further to serve a true niche market? If so, how? If not, why?

4. What does my target audience want from my industry?

5. What tasks can I outsource from the very beginning of my business launch?

6. What will be three areas of focus for my email newsletters? 

These questions are designed to get you thinking. 

Of course I could elaborate and provide examples of where I am going with each question, but that would be doing the work for you, which in the long run, won't help you. 

Only you can answer these questions. 

Well Loves, if you would like a FREE copy of my little e-book, then click HERE

I have it for sale for only $0.49 cents at select online marketplaces, but for my regular readers and supporters, I wanted to make it complimentary :) 

If you find yourself diggin' my mini-guide, please let me know. Feedback is greatly appreciated. 

PLUS, if you really are diggin' it, sign up to get my posts by email. I share "how-to" guides, timeless advice, industry trends, deep resources, and customer/client winning strategies for creative entrepreneurs. 

I post roughly 3 times a week, so nothing crazy! 

Go out there and CRUSH it with your creative biz! 

My quest to pay for my MFA out of pocket as a freelancer

It's been a couple of weeks and I am so happy to be jumping back into blogging. 

Well, I was away for damn good of a reason too. 

I spent 9 days at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania for their Masters in creative writing program and spent last week revising my first portfolio for the program. 

The program requires that you spend 2 residencies on campus a year, one in the summer, one in the winter. 

This June was my first. 

Let me tell you...

I was blown away by the talent of my cohorts (fellow writers) and discovered some unexpected strengths of my own as a writer. 

My concentration is screenwriting and playwriting. Even though I entered into the program on the grace of my poetry and prose. 

But to get to the meat and potatoes of this post. 

I've got to find a way to pay for it. 

Which means, I've got to make more dollar, dollar, bills yall'

I refuse take out additional student loans. I am saddled with enough debt from undergrad (still). 

As a 33 year old woman, the last thing I want to do is tack on close to 30K in student loan debt, right when I may want to buy a home in a couple of years. 


What is a freelancer like me to do? 

Make more cheese, that's what! 


How am I going to do it?

Well, really quickly, let's take a look at the facts:

Tuition is $6,500 per semester. The program is for 2 years. 

When I throw in an additional 2K for air travel for the on campus residencies, I am looking at a grand total of:
$28K over the course of two years. 

I got this! 

I think!

Now to be fair, for this first semester, I am going to dip into my savings and pay my tuition out of that, but for the rest ($21.5K) I am going to have to hustle to pay for it without using my savings. 

So how am I am going to do this?

I simply must live within my means and make more money, and this is how I am going to do it. 

The Savings...

1. I am not going to get a new car until I complete the program. 

2. My partner is going to now pay the lion's share of the rent (she got a fancy new job with a lovely bump in pay). 

3. I am going to put my trip to Paris on hold until summer 2015 versus summer 2014. 

4. I am going to thrift more (I am naturally a vintage girl anyways, but in 2013 I've noticed that I am buying a lot more shiny new things, than in years past). 

5. I am going to become a better vegetarian cook (meat is costly, even when dining out). 

6. Continue to order water when I dine out :) 

7. Go to matinee movies, instead of at 11:45pm. 

8. Keep a spending journal. 

9. Give myself a weekly allowance of $80 for groceries, dining, entertainment, and stick to it. (Lately I've been spending close to $120-$150 a week on these things like a crazy woman). 

10. And oh, I've already cancelled my gym membership. I run outside and do yoga in my living room most days anyways. 

The Making...

1. I have been writing blog posts and advertisements for small business owners, as well as copy editing manuscripts for indie authors. 

But I've decided to nix blogging for money. The time spent to write a truly SEO focused blog post in exchange for the rate I was getting is not hitting the $30 per hour mark that I like to net. 

2. I will give myself a 25% raise for my copy editing and advertisement services (believe me, I have the portfolio to back up such a mandate). 

3. I will become more aggressive in pitching myself as a scriptwriter for hire. I have done a few for small businesses that wanted commercials for their You Tube channels and really enjoyed it (plus I want to transition into being a bona-fide screenwriter with an agent anyways).The money was REALLY good too (like $50 -$60 per hour net). I just didn't make it a focus in my service offerings in the past, but screw that, I am now. 

4. Last but not least! 
I will PUBLISH, PUBLISH, PUBLISH more books! 
I have one indie book to my credit, which has made me some money, but now I am ready to really market my books. 

I currently have the following e-books on deck:

No Such Luck: 59 Mistakes I Made As a First Year Copywriter (non-fiction)

Growth Ink! 149 Resources for Aspiring Indie Authors (non-fiction)

The Goalie and The Barbie (a novella)

Tales of the Chic (a novella)

As well as a re-launch of my first book, Woman Steps in Poetry and Prose, at the end of this month. I am adding four more poems, three more short stories, and enhancing five existing poems that are currently in the book. 

I truly believe that if I can watch over my spending with a close eye, hold off on a few extravagances, give myself a raise, and turn it up like 200 notches on marketing myself as an author, I can truly meet the demands of my tuition. 

I will keep you posted on my progress! 

If you were in this position, what would you do? 

This week is grad school week folks! Creative Writing Bootcamp

Hello Lovelies!

Just so you won't think that I have fallen off of the face of the earth. I just wanted to share that this week I am in Pennsylvania at Wilkes University for my Summer Residency in Creative Writing. 

I aspire to one day be a screenwriter and play wright with a few books of fiction to my name :) 

This week is going to be killer, but worth it! 


Book Review: The Zen of Social Media Marketing

Want to know surefire ways to grow your brand through Facebook?

In need of tips for creating a loyal Twitter following?

Could you use a primer on how to use LinkedIn for business?

Are you mystified on the ins and outs of video marketing? 

If so, then you will want to grab a copy of, The Zen of Social Media Marketing. 

It's safe to say that it is a comprehensive guidebook for how to do business on the most popular social networks. 

I bought this book back in March. I was in the process of re-vamping my brand and needed a little (really a ton) of help. 

This book by social media marketing maven, Shama Hyder Kabani, oozes with directives on how to launch or re-ignite your brand through the engine of social media. 

To stick to the nature of a true book review. 

I will share the book's successes and the book's opportunities:

The Zen of Social Media Marketing Success Points:

1. The book divides equal weight to the big "four" for social media; Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn. 

2. Kabani begins the book with a shining definition of the purpose of social media marketing.


She then breaks down the three in terms anyone can grasp. 

3. Her best two soundbites from this section is this:
*The best conversion tool is your website! Not social media
*Primarily because social media profiles are too limiting.

4. The following section of the book explains how every brand needs a robust website, well before diving head first into social media. 

Her philosophy is that your website should:
Educate, Market, and Sell

This section goes on to explain the seven elements of a great website:

1. Design 
2. Lead Capture Mechanism with a Free Giveaway 
3. Structure 
4. Content 
5. Social Media Integration 
6. Optimization 
7. Maintenance 

5. Her section on SEO (search engine optimization) is to the point and relatable. 

She stresses the importance of doing your "keyword research" when you are designing your online marketing strategy. 

6. When Kabani jumps into the meat and potatoes of the book (the top four social networks) she gives step by step directions for executing common social media tasks such as; 
For Facebook:
how to promote your Facebook business page with ease 
how to run viral worthy contests and promotions on Facebook
how to set-up events on Facebook for optimal turn out

For Twitter:
how to discover who you should be following
what apps you can use to make using Twitter more automated
the proper etiquette for using Twitter
content ideas of what to share in your stream

For LinkedIn:
discover if your audience spends time on LinkedIn before diving in
how to set-up a profile that yields connections
how to manage your contacts for business networking
why you should become active in LinkedIn groups
common LinkedIn don'ts 

For Google +:
the benefits of establishing yourself as an influencer on Google +
how to add contacts to your "circles"
additional Google + tricks and shortcuts for brand building

7. She has a brief chapter on social advertising sites such as; Groupon and Living Social. She shares their benefits and drawbacks.  

The highlight I enjoyed the most of the chapter is where she provides a solid Q&A on whether your company should invest in deal sites (believe me, they are not for every brand).

8. The final section of the book is on video marketing. 

It goes fairly in-depth on how to use video to grow your brand. It shares how just posting any and everything on You Tube will not cut it and that a strategy must be involved. Along with having professional equipment in order to really shine and make it work to your brand's advantage. 

The Zen of Social Media Marketing Opportunity Points:

1. If Kabani would have also included Pinterest and even Instagram into the mix, it would have made the book a more refreshing read. 

Primarily because those two social networks are witnessing explosive growth and can really drive traffic to your conversion machine (your website) and in some cases at rates higher than Google + or Twitter or LinkedIn (Facebook does brands well in the conversion department). 

I suspect that she did not include them because those two networks don't not have as wide of appeal across all business niche markets. They are ideally suited for lifestyle brands. 

2. I also would say that the chapter on video marketing was a tad bit intimidating. If you want to start implementing video into your marketing mix then this chapter might overwhelm you versus calming your fears, especially if you are a non-techie. 

3. The only other opportunity that I see with the book is that it can easily become dated. Social media and its algorithms change at lightening speed. 

She mentions LinkedIn Answers as an area to build your thought leadership, and LinkedIn Answers is no longer active. Plus deal sites have taken a hard beating in 2013 as far as their popularity goes. 

It would be ideal to slim down the content (the book is 234 pages) and create yearly editions with updated resources, tips, and strategies. 


I would give, The Zen of Social Media Marketing 4 out of 5 stars! 

It's resourceful and speaks to a new generation of entrepreneurs! 

3 Major Social Media Etiquette Don'ts for Creative Entrepreneurs

Image via: Media Bistro

Your running a business, remember...

A creative one at that. 

How do you build a business?

With customers/clients. Duh. 

In saying that, the internet has spawned a new layer of interaction and marketing, it's called social media. 

I know you've met. 

I know. For some of you social media is the bane of your existence. You would rather be designing jewelry or writing a novel. Non-stop. 

However, that mentality (and hands-off approach) is just not going to cut it anymore. 

Since you do loathe social media, I know your slacking in the following three ways. 

And guess what?

They are costing you business, honey bunches. 

1. Letting your @ mentions go un-noticed on Twitter, FB, and Instagram

If you have managed to receive the virtual equivalent of a shout out with an @ mention. 

Then for Heavens sake, acknowledge that person. 

Say hello. 

Thank them for following you or re-tweeting you. 

Send them a little DM with appreciation for making you in their Friday Follow. 

This is crucial in the early stages of your social media profile's lifespan. Or if your follower count is on the low-end. 

Doing so says your not all about yourself. People appreciate non-self absorbed folks. Makes you relatable and approachable. 

2. Letting questions go unanswered on Twitter, FB, and Instagram, your blog

Nothing annoys me more than when I ask an amazing artist a question on a social network or on their blog, and they never answer my question, especially if they are not flushed with over 500 followers or more. 

I think to myself, "what the hell are they doing to where they can't take the time to respond to an inquiry?"

This is a serious no-no folks. 

Doing so shows that you could care less and to be more frank, are not serious about your business. 

If that is the case, then call yourself a hobbyist. 

But if want to build a business, then engagement is how it happens. 

3. Just promoting your own products and services on social networks

There is nothing more boring than to read someone's timeline only to see "buy my..." "visit my Etsy..." "read my..."

Snoozefest and doing so is kind of douchy too. 

It's too self-interested to work to your advantage in the "SOCIAL" media world. 

I believe creative entrepreneurs tend to forget that these networks are designed to be interactive, not one sided. 

Think about it. Would you want to be chums with someone that just talked about themselves all of the time? 

Nope. No one does. 

So why are you doing that in social media circles? 

The bottom line is this...

Be realistic about what social media really is. 

Have a strategy. 

Reach out to people and interact with them. Be genuine in your efforts (forced actions shows). 

Show who you really are and let people fall in love with you (considering that you are actually a lovable person). 

This folks, is all apart of brand building 101. 

Schools out...