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Reposting My Quasi-Bio. . . For the Benefit of All

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("Reprinted from 12/15/2015 with amendments)

I have a sense that we’re all at different junctures, but in a way, perhaps this can work to our respective advantages.

I’ll start with my own “story.”  I have just about completed the Accelerated Program. . . just short of submitting my Direct Sales package. I opted to attempt the ad for the fictitious Puptastic Natural Dog Treats, which-  for me—was a no-brainer since I’m pretty clear that my niche is the various aspects of the pet industry. I’ve sent my latest draft to a few friends and acquaintances requesting their RUTHLESS critiques. (If any of you have knowledge, interest, or expertise in this area, I’d be happy to send you my draft for your brutally-honest critique.)

AWAI is the first program I’ve attempted, and aside from the constant sales emails from them urging me—using their obvious copywriting skills—to buy more and more programs which I’ve resisted, I believe I’m on the right track. I have also purchased their program on Internet Research, which I’m not sure was worth the $99 I paid: Most of that, with the exception of a couple of printable forms, is common sense. I also bought the “canned” version of their 2015 Boot Camp for $249. I have not explored that yet but believe it will be a useful resource, especially since it may help me generate some more portfolio samples. But I have some financial (and time restrictions) that are causing me to take it slowly, cautiously.

After making any resultant revisions, I’ll submit it to AWAI for evaluation, as I did with my restaurant review. I have few copywriting samples, save a short informational brochure I wrote for our regional Cairn Terrier Club some years back. I have written a number of articles on the gamut of subjects from performance to health, to anecdotal pieces, etc.  for newspapers, newsletter articles and conformation ads in breed newsletters, and magazines in the canine market. I also authored The West Highland White Terrier (Terra-Nova) which came out at the beginning of 2006. It’s on Amazon. Five stars—despite that they apparently outsourced the editing. Probably to China.

My blog is semi-dormant, and I definitely need to pick that up with more regularity. After the death of my two dogs within months of each other in 2008 and some other personal concerns, I didn’t pick it up again until last month, and I have only written two posts: http://holyterrierdog.blogspot.com/

I have an online shop at Café Press: http://www.cafepress.com/holyterrierdog/ . I haven’t worked on it for a while, but I did write all the descriptive copy and would like to do some catalog copywriting along with direct mail, web copy, SEO, and informational material.

Here’s my Linked In page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jill-arnel-06b6bb11
You will see what a dilettante I’ve been throughout my life. I was an English major in college but have also studied music, social services, and am fairly fresh off a five-year stint with the U.S. Census Bureau.

I’ve read David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man, Claude Hopkins’ My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising. These were all fun to read and useful. I’m now reading Robert Bly’s The Copywriter’s Handbook. (I have had that book for years—not sure why I acquired it when I did.) I bought the others on Amazon for a penny—really $4 apiece with shipping and handling. I just found a copy of Bly’s Secrets of a Freelance Writer, which I had no idea I even had! I just noticed that I have another of his books. 

I prefer reading hard copies to reading online. I also bought Pam Foster’s book on successful marketing in the pet industry. I’ve been in sporadic, minimal touch with her; but I get the impression she hasn’t the time or motivation to “mentor” me for free.

Where I’m at now is here: I’m at a crossroads. I have purchased a domain: www.purebredcopywriter.com. I also have k9copywriter, but I believe that may be to restrictive. I’m hoping to concentrate on mostly dogs and cats, although I’m not about to discard the occasional ferret (or meerkat!?!) should it come my way.  I’m leaning toward a “slogan” such as “Every pet has a pedigree.” (I’m wanting to exploit “purebred” to mean a lot of things; and there’s sort of an intrinsic “vanity” quality to it. )   

MY CHALLENGE: setting up my web site, self-promotion materials( logo, business cards) and getting CLIENTS. My first challenge: I CANNOT DECIDE ON A HOSTING COMPANY! I am utterly confused.
NOTE: I have since chosen www.siteground.com as my hosting company and have settled on www.purebredcopywriting.com amd letting k9copywriter expire. One reviewer referred to it as "the hidden gem of the internet." And it's affordable and running a 60% off sale.  I do want to build my own site—and could be more technical. So I’m looking for an intuitive, fair-priced, WYSIWYG- drag-and-drop host. It’s a minefield out there and I’m totally confounded. So any advice I will receive with gratitude! I have a choice between WordPress and Joomla for building my site and currently leaning toward (free) WordPress.

Hope this isn’t too lengthy, but I figure that it might get the proverbial ball rolling. I’m also interested in language and am a bit of an English grammar freak. I am also applying to do some content writing for an educational company that deals with language. I've since been through that hiring process but came up short. However, I got probably the nicest, most encouraging rejection email from them. (They asked permission to keep my info on hand should they gain more bandwidth, etc. And said they literally had hundreds of applicants. I'm choosing to believe them. . . cheers

That’s it for now. I need to apply for that job, go swimming, walk my dog (a Cairn terrier named Audrey), and STUDY! 

One more question: One member just signed on but the screen name doesn't identify who it is. We're 11 out of 12. One invitee has not signed up for this forum and it is either Mella or Oscar! I have no way of knowing since this person's profile doesn't even identify  his/her gender.

Best Regards,
Jill Arnel
(Hopeful that we can spur each other on to unimaginable success!)

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Here's mine!

Hi All!
I'm Jennifer and also looking forward to being apart of this group. I also have an undergraduate degree in Journalism and worked, for a short time, as a reporter. As I quickly discovered, reporters don't make a lot of money and work long hours. I've held several jobs since then and completed my MA in Women's Studies and am currently a doctoral candidate in Sociology.

So, what am I doing here? Well, quite frankly, I'm tired of living near the poverty level and working like a dog. I admire my friends in academia, but I always come back to writing. When I saw the ad for the AWAI Accelerated program, it seemed like a fit and a great way to have the life I want.

Recently, after four years of treatments and surgeries, I also am cancer free! These experiences have pushed me, again, back to writing. I'm still toning up my niche, but I'm thinking women's health and women's issue non-profits. I also purchased the copywriting for non-profits, which I plan to complete after the Accelerated program.

In spring 2016, like many of you, I plan to complete the Accelerated program and land my first client. Oh, and complete my dissertation sometime next year Smile

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Jennifer Earles

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Thanks, Jennifer! You've accomplished quite a lot.

I have just about completed the Accelerated Course-- which I did at a more accelerated pace. All I have left is submitting my letter.

 I'm stymied by WordPress and building my web site. I also SUCK at self-promotion. But I decided on a domain and the hosting company. The recommendation came from Jim Wright. Very reasonable. Good reviews. And if any of you decided to go with them,siteground, I get some free months! 

Actually, this is the addendum to my first post. I'm pasting it here because John Michael, Mella, and Ryan were not part of the group when I posted it to the rest of the list.

I feel compelled to reveal a little more about myself.

 I’ve been married to my second husband for nearly 29 years. He runs the local all-Classical radio station. (Chief Engineer and VP of Technology) He would love to retire, but it will be hard if I don’t start generating some income. He works constantly

  I’m 62 years old. I’m undoubtedly one of our “senior” members.

·        Got a BA in English from Stony Brook University in 1975. Also studied Music, paralegal courses including private investigation. Earned a certificate in a social services program a couple of years ago.


·        I have two sons, aged 34 and 31 respectively, both of whom live on the East Coast. (Baltimore and Raleigh). One’s married, the other engaged and currently visiting Jamaica, where his fiancée’s mother was born. One’s an attorney with the DOJ; the other’s a therapist (LCSW) and assessment coordinator at NC State.
·        I have two stepsons, aged 39 and 34. One is in Portland and the other is on Whidbey Island.  Neither employed.

·        I have one granddaughter with another one due in early February. 

·        I swim and walk my dog regularly

·       My dog, Audrey is a 5 ½ -year-old Cairn terrier. I feel compelled to attach her picture(s). 

·        Love that several of you are “pet parents” (to use part of a possible salutation for one of the sample exercises)

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