Paper is Sexy

I have a letter sent in the mail from a corporation. The paper is sexy. It feels smooth, silky even. The envelope was the same quality of paper. It feels like luxury, decadence and lust all on a page, blank on one side. How can you resist doing something with such marvelous paper? I saved it a few days. Just enjoying having it around. Today I made my first drawing on it.

It’s a shame I’m not a better artist. Someone who could draw something truly amazing. But, isn’t part of art just showing your emotions, your feelings, expression at heart? So that is what I did. I still have room to draw more. There is even some space on the front, the letter side, that I can use.

A Testimonial

A testimonial is given as acknowledgment of quality service or product. A testimonial is given by someone who has benefited from the service/ product and is willing to write (and have it published) a tribute to the quality of the product or service which they received. A testimonial needs to be sincere/ genuine and written clearly. Testimonials are valuable as word of mouth marketing.

If you write a testimonial, be honest and sincere and use your own words. Think of specifics rather than generic or multi purpose meanings. Don’t try to be too kind or flattering. You shouldn’t try to sell the product or service, instead, write as if you were telling a friend what you found useful, good or above your expectations about the service or product.

Keep the testimonial short, sometimes a sentence is just fine. It shouldn’t go beyond a paragraph. That’s enough to write and enough for someone else to give a quick read.

When a testimonial is published the person who gave it should have credit for it. Link to their site, or write the name of their own business, something that turns them into a creditable source and gives a point of reference. Also, if you wrote the testimonial you should ask where it will be published and check it once it does become available.

When you are actually asked to write a testimonial the simplest thing is to speak it out loud and write down what you said. If that doesn’t work for you try a structured approach:

  • Why did you need the product/ service?
  • Why did you choose that product or service?
  • What were your concerns as you began using the product/ service? What did you think might not work, or might not work for you?
  • What were the results that you did get from the product/ service?
  • What did you especially like about the product or service, was there a feature that really stood out or an extra benefit which you had not expected?
  • Who would you tell about this product/ service and what would you want them to know?
  • Will you use the product/ service again? Why?

An effective testimonial is in the customer’s own words but may have edits (which should be approved by the customer) to make the meaning clear or to add the name of the product or service. You want the testimonial to be sincere but you want it to be clear as well. Also, specifics are important, rather than something ambiguous like “the service was great!”.

Don’t write your own faked testimonials. You will end up sounding phony and insincere. In the end you will lose more than you will gain. When someone else writes a testimonial their perspective is not the same as your own, it will have more truth than advertising.

Don’t be shy about asking for a testimonial from someone who lets you know they are pleased with your service. People like to be asked for their opinion, to feel important. Also, as bloggers, they may be glad to have a link back to their own site.

Extra Resource:
WikiHow: How to Write a Personal Testimonial About Yourself?

A real testimonial as an example and an actual testimonial:

UP to the DL has a fresh, new white paper for sale, written as a guide to new and not so new bloggers who are getting into running and accepting ads on their sites.

“I’ve read the ProBlogger book, from the perspective of a long time blogger I didn’t learn many new things. However, reading “Passive Income” an article from Deanna I found at least two new things which I had never thought of before. I was impressed and I came away with something new to try in my own advertising and money making efforts online. Yay me!”

Testimonial by Laura, of ThatGrrl.ca and Word Grrls.com.

Invisible Desk Merit Badge for Writers

If you were only able to see the top of my desk you would consider me a great candidate for Hoarders. I have various pens, a highlighter, one still unused straw in it’s paper wrapper, the USB cable for my digi camera, the battery charger for the digi camera, a Christmas angel, hand sanitizer, a chocolate truffle recipe, tiny flower beads, travel sized toothpaste, a pink shoe keychain, a few business cards, a few bits of sparkly glass/crystals/rhinestones, a few colours of thread, poppies from Remembrance Day, a bookmark, one necklace with a polished jasper rock, face cream, vitamins, Midol, hair clips, coupons, Chinese cookie fortunes, 2 packages of buttons to be sewn on, scissors, vanilla lip balm, computer games I played and did not put away (yet), an elastic from the newspaper, 2 small Bratz dolls, one pink ribbon, my extra glasses case, USB ports, my hair brush, paper I have scribbled notes and drawings on, a rock I liked and other assorted debris, flotsam and jetsam. I have earned the merit badge for Invisible Desk and then some.

You can find your own merit badges for writers, readers and assorted others at Merit Badger.  Have fun.

How to Start People Watching

You can’t write about people if you’ve never watched people, random people in random settings. I like getting a coffee, sitting by a window on along a busy street with a lot of foot traffic going by. I like to watch the people. Seldom does anyone look up and see me watching. That is something interesting. Am I hiding from them or are they hiding from me?

Supplies needed for people watching are few. Binoculars are not at all recommended. If you need glasses, they you should have them with you. Keep a low profile, don’t make the people nervous or suspect you of something more complicated than amusing yourself. Some may like to have paper and pencil handy to take notes. Keep track of stray thoughts and ideas. Snacks and coffee are optional.

Location is the more interesting part of a people watching hobbyist. A busy city street could be in the financial area of a big city or in the shopping mall lost in the suburban sprawl. Try watching people in nature, like a park, at a lake on vacation or while they watch a parade or another local event. As long as there are enough people to watch and you can find a place to seclude yourself a little, any location can work for people watching. However, use your discretion, there is a fine line between people watching and being a peeping tom.

Time spent on people watching should be leisurely, give yourself time to find a spot for the viewing, settle in to the place and the patterns of traffic going by. I don’t think less than an hour will work for people watching. Part of the exercise is to take time to let your mind wander and you can’t do that very quickly.

As you can see, people watching is not a very complicated hobby. It’s fairly easy to pick up and something you can do on vacation as well as at home. It is interesting to take note of which people you tend to watch most? What age groups? How do they tend to be dressed? What makes you like or identify with one person over another? Do you make up possible stories for the people or do you take them more at face value and try to pick up on who they are from the facts you can see?

Flickr: People Watching – Have a look at photos from people watchers.
Not So Boring Life.com: People Watching – A Hobby for Everyone

Half Sleeping Inspiration

Most of the time I only remember a dream for a few minutes once I wake up. A lot of the time I don’t think I even dream at all. But, the most unusual things are the thought splurges I have when my brain is coming awake. I think they are leftover traces of a dream. I can count on them always being unusual, off the wall and completely illogical. But, if I write them down, quickly, they are great inspiration for a real idea.

Keep a pen and paper by your bed and write down your first thoughts every morning. See what comes along for you. What inspiration you give yourself when you’re not quite awake.

Punky Moods

My Unkymood Punkymood (Unkymoods)

Get out the paper and pens and draw your mood. See if you can fit the style of Punky Moods. Or just go with your own happy face type of thing and add your current mood to it. Draw a few and submit them to the site to be included. Different artists/ cartoonists have drawn for Punky Moods since it began years ago. Looks like they need a fresh cartoonist as there haven’t been new drawings since 2009 now.

Today’s post is dedicated to my Grandmother Violet. Happy Birthday Grandma. I miss you.