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B UZZ , B UZZ , B UZZ What’s Branding? And Why Should I Care? There‘s a lot of buzz in advertizing about the power of a brand. It‘s obvious that people buy a product like Crest White Strips® because they like Crest toothpaste—they trust the brand. But what about our writing? Can people trust our brand? The big picture is that we wear God‘s label—He‘s our Crest. People judge His brand by what‘s in us. So, I want to be sure I don‘t sour His brand reputation by what pours out of my package (Luke 6:45). In His creative genius, God put inside each of us the makings of personal brands. The ingredients are there: gifts, talents, interests and training; open doors of opportunity; and a healthy helping of conflict to shake things up. Sometimes, though, we‘re so scattered in trying to find our way that we ignore how those ingredients combine to create our brands. Recently, I heard a seminar speaker ask, ―What do people come to you for? What do they know you can do?‖ As I worked toward answering, I realized I have within me a unique value to the marketplace. My brand, it turns out is this: I‘m a journalist with a passion to tell the story of how a relationship with God and His Word have a practical impact on real life. That flows out in my Bible reference software package (The Julie-Allyson Ieron Bible Reference Collection) and my books on Bible study, time management, workplace integrity

and honoring aging parents. I‘m also passionate about coaching others to be true to their brands. I do that as a Guild mentor and a speaker at women‘s and writers‘ conferences. Now … it‘s your turn! Have you thought about your brand? what God wired you to do? what your label looks like? Once you learn to recognize them, your brand ingredients can play starring roles as you establish a cohesive market presence to cause a buzz. I‘ve always been consistent with logo and letterhead. But branding to create buzz is more about content than graphics. That content needs to be consistent across our web presence, Facebook fan page, YouTube videos ... you get the idea. Check out the links below, and let me know whether my brand is evident across them all. And remember, if you can answer the branding questions for yourself, you‘ll be primed to create a buzz about your writing in all the right places. Website Blog Facebook fan page YouTube channel Are you buzzing with ideas? I’d love to hear about your brand. Email me at

This Joy Media Publication © 2012 by Julie-Allyson Ieron. Direct inquiries or reprint requests to To order products mentioned here, visit

In this issue Buzz, Buzz, Buzz Put Time in Order Writing Business Book Review Are You Serious?

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Julie recommends or endorses the following sites for writers: The Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Julie was lead writer for the Guild's Apprentice and Writing Essentials curricula. She is a mentor for both programs, and for the articles and journeyman courses. When enrolling, please request her as your mentor. Write-to-Publish Conference, Wheaton, Ill. On this site, check out the conference recordings order forms from 2006 and 2007 to purchase recordings of eight of Julie's writing presentations. Evangelical Church Libraries Association On this site, check out the ECLA 2009 conference keynote recording by Julie: "How Books Can Carry God's Blessing."



Put Time In Order Adjusting your schedule to include writing time takes planning Do you ever wonder why God made only 24 hours in a

runner cited in the Book of Hebrews (12:1-2), I need to

day? I can‘t tell you how many times I‘ve begged for

fix my eyes on the goal and throw off every hindrance.

more hours ... more time so I could fit all the things I

Notice, the phrase is ―throw off‖ not ―brush over.‖ It

want to do into my jammed schedule. If you‘re reading

takes effort to say no.

this article, you‘ve probably offered that same prayer. Only once in recorded history did God extend a day

We‘ve all seen businesses that distinguish themselves as leaders in one arena. They are good at the

beyond 24 hours (Joshua 10:13), and I doubt He would

one thing they do. They grow and flourish. Suddenly,

do it again for you or me. That leaves us with a di-

they have enough cash to make forays into unrelated

lemma: how can we maximize the time we do have?

businesses. They begin investing their resources on

How can we make the most efficient, effective use of

tangents. Invariably, they fail. Why? Because they

each moment?

have deviated from their primary focus. So in our lives,

This question is especially relevant for those of us who are working to include a regular writing regimen in our weekly routines.

tangents and interruptions can become hindrances that may keep us from winning the race. To put it in modern-day language, we need to streamline our schedules -- eliminate extra-

Priorities Are Job One Effective time management, at its most

neous items. Sometimes that means I need to say ―No‖ to good things—things that need to

basic level, can be summed up in one word:

be done—nonetheless, things God has not

―choices.‖ Whether we think so or not, most

called me to do. Our ―every choice‖ then is

of the choices we make are within our power

often between good, better, and best. I

to control.

have trouble saying no to good and better,

For example, you have chosen to pursue

but I must do that if I am to have enough

your writing goal, perhaps in addition to your

time for best, which for me quite often is

current career in another field. That career

the opportunity to write an article or book,

probably pays the bills for you just now. But

or to speak to a group or a retreat audi-

writing is important to you, as well. You hope that one day you‘ll be able to trade your salaried position to focus full-time on your writing goals. If I asked you, ―What has guided the choices you‘ve

ence about something I‘ve written. In Conquering the Time Factor, I tell the story of a time when I was a full-time graduate student and I needed a wake-up call. I was holding down a 30-hour a

made to this point?‖ your answer would reveal some-

week job at the university; writing nearly 100 articles

thing about your priorities. Quite possibly, you‘ve cho-

for three national magazines, working as a stringer for

sen to take the step toward making your writing more

the city‘s daily newspaper, researching and writing my

than a hobby because you‘ve felt God leading you. Your

thesis; and serving as publicist and administrative as-

first priority, then, is to serve Christ, to find and carry

sistant for a writer‘s workshop. Since I had grown ac-

out His will for your life.

customed to eating and having a roof over my head, the 30-hour job and writing work were necessary for

What Comes Next? Once we‘ve made the foundational decision to put

survival. The thesis was necessary for my degree. The work for the retreat was exposing me to professional

the Master‘s will ahead of our own, we‘ve set our pri-

writers. So, my tough choice had to be to curtail most

mary guiding objective. Every choice we make there-

social activities to fit in more time for writing and other

after is a natural outgrowth of that decision.

necessities. I dropped out of choir and orchestra (I play

It‘s the ―every choice‖ that often gets me into trouble. More specifically, the ―everyday choice.‖ Like the

violin). I didn‘t go to many singles socials at church during those months, and I seldom dated.



These were difficult choices. But in the long term they were worthwhile. My degree prepared me to become a professional writer—which was God‘s big picture calling for my life. Hire’ an Assistant Whenever I sign a book contract or agree to a large writing project, I am reminded that one tool above all others is critical to my reaching that long-term goal while maintaining that balance: my day planner. It‘s really become my personal assistant—

From Plan to

keeping me on task and on schedule. I‘ve carried a


paper version since high school days. About a dozen years ago, I converted to an even more helpful version, a Windows™-based PDA. Then last year I went to a full-fledged netbook computer that I carry everywhere. It‘s heavy—but oh, so worth having with me. As great as ―sticky notes‖ are, I have a hard time

Julie goes into greater detail on all these concepts in her calendar offers comes practical book, Conquering The Time Factor: Twelve when I record how I Myths That Steal Life’s Preactually spend my time cious Moments. (as opposed to how I One more help my

The book is available in three formats:

scheduled it). Then,

remembering where I ―stick‖ them, and an even

I‘m better equipped to

harder time finding the right note when I need it.

evaluate progress and

That‘s where my netbook comes in. Once I key in a

assess how well my

speaking engagement, sermon notes, etc., I no

  time choices align with  my priorities. This can

longer need to hold that item in my short-term mem-

serve as a mid-term

ory bank. But it is always available to me when I

report card—and often

need it.

a much-needed wake-

detail—an appointment, arrangements for my next

I carry not only appointments and address lists, but also project notes, an idea file, a deadline list,

Trade Paperback MP3 Audio eBook editions for Kindle, ePub, PDF

Find ordering info online:

up call. It all comes full circle, you see. Effective time

copies of research notes and rough drafts, and more.

management (actually, I prefer to call it ―time order-

I have all my Powerpoint presentations, speaking

ing‖) begins with setting priorities, works only as we

notes, even a full version of my Bible software pack-

make difficult choices, and is made possible when we

age with WORDsearch—complete with my nine books

use all the tools and crutches we can find to assist us

and the rest of my 75-volume reference library. This

in meeting our ultimate goals.

isn‘t just for demo purposes; it‘s a reflection of my highest priority—that of building a deeper relationship

Julie-Allyson Ieron

with God through Christ. This article is adapted from a version that first appeared in The Christian Communicator. For permission to reprint for your writing retreat, seminar or critique buddies, write Let us know you read it first in Write for Joy.



The Writing Business Recordkeeping for Creative Types A freelance writer’s records can quickly become a jum-

confirmation numbers, maybe even a copy of an email

ble of query letters, rewrites, deadlines, payment

confirmation sheet from the airline or hotel.

stubs, and business receipts. But with a few simple techniques your writing ministry can become a stream-

Maintain Logs

lined (even profitable) business venture.

I keep separate log files for mileage and for:

If we‘re serious about making writing a profitable en-

Writing projects assigned. I have a color coding system

terprise, we need to leave behind the undergrad men-

that‘s easy to follow. Blue is a project assigned but not

tality of play until you have to cram. We need to be

received (as in a book editing project whose manu-

more intentional about our business practices.

script is not yet in my office); red is a project received and in process; green is a project completed and sent

Keeping Records that Make Sense

(but not yet paid); gray is a project completed and

Here‘s how I organize the business aspect of my work:

paid. I also track invoice numbers and due dates. I create a new log for each calendar year and carry forward

Client Profiles I have a separate folder on my computer where I keep comments on each client and project. I review these client profiles whenever I begin a previously contracted project—just to be sure I‘m working in the way we‘ve agreed and on the same track as originally planned. I also review these profiles before I agree to another project with a particular client, to remind myself of issues like do I work hourly or on a flat fee? Do I contact the client/editor by phone or email? Who‘s the current client contact person? With one client the contact per-

unpaid or uncompleted projects from the previous year. Speaking engagements booked (similar format). These include contact phone numbers, arrangements for book table (will I need someone to help me man the table if I‘m traveling alone?), driving directions, mileage reimbursement arrangements, whether we‘re sending publicity materials, press releases, etc., Books sold at speaking engagements or other places. Helps with doing physical inventory. Also helps me know how many books to bring to my next speaking

son has changed four times in five years. Each new

engagement—so I‘m neither under- nor overstocked.

person in the position has her own way of operating,

These logs duplicate the financial logs I keep in a

and I note these things in the client profile log. One

QuickBooks accounting file where I also log expenses

wants me to write the piece long so she can cut it. An-

and income, print invoices, keep track of credit card

other sets a concrete word limit. One provides me with

statements, print checks, create balance sheets and

all the background I need. Another needs me to re-

income statements, and transferring data into my tax

search background on the web. It‘s too much to com-

software. This format allows me to create balance

mit to memory – as it changes too frequently.

sheets and profit/loss statements, track expenses, etc.

Keep a Calendar Updated I use my computer‘s calendar to schedule projects, track tasks, and maintain mileage logs. I open it when I turn on my computer. And I don‘t shut it down until my work day is over (often at 11 p.m.). And I link it to my Google calendar so it tracks with me to my netbook and to my assistant‘s tablet PC. An entry for a speaking engagement will include contact phone number, driving directions, and any special instructions I‘ll need to know as I‘m on my way. An entry for travel will include

It makes things so easy come tax time. Build in redundancy Also, I build in redundancy. In case I can‘t access Quickbooks for some reason, I still have neat folders containing hard copy and documentation for income, expenses, projects, etc. And the Excel logs duplicate much of what‘s in Quickbooks. I like the Excel logs, because I can access them from my netbook and my laptop. I only have Quickbooks on my main computer. If this is all Greek to you, why not try bartering your



skills as a writer against the skills of a friend or family

able (and doable). As long as I remember to treat edi-

member who‘s great in business? Task bartering—

tors as clients and keep clear records, I‘m in business

trading your strengths for someone else‘s can get you

wherever I go. You can be, too!

the help you need to set up your writing system as a real business.

Helpful Resource

You‘d be surprised at how often I find myself in the

A colleague suggested I get a copy of Bernard B. Ka-

middle of Home Depot with my netbook in one hand

moroff‘s Small Time Operator. It‘s updated periodi-

and mobile phone in the other, deciding on the fly with

cally, and I highly recommend it. It‘s published by

a client whether a due date for a new project is accept-

Bell Springs Publishing, Box 1240, Willits, CA 95490.

 

Where in the past Bible software was often the domain of professional preachers, its usefulness goes so much farther. This WORDsearch Package is amazing for personal quiet times and digging into God’s Word. It’s unmatched as a tool to help us prepare to teach, write or create Bible Studies.—Julie-Allyson Ieron, author/Bible teacher

VIEW PRODUCT DEMO VIDEO ON YOUTUBE! This uniquely powerful CD-ROM collection, includes 75 reference books that are interconnected, cross-referenced and optimized for PC or MAC: --7 Bible translations including ESV, KJV, + more --8 Bible commentaries --5 Bible dictionaries --Strong’s Greek and Hebrew word studies --maps --photos --sermon helps --study notes --topical studies --devotionals --and updated editions of Julie’s well-loved Bible-based books: Prayer: Praying Like Jesus Devotional: Names of Women of the Bible Christian Living: Staying True in a World of Lies Conquering the Time Factor Pearls to Treasure (a new book for 2010) New! Bible Studies for Groups or Individuals: Praying Like Jesus Names of Women of the Bible Staying True in a World of Lies Conquering the Time Factor

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Julie, I just downloaded your program and barely started checking it out, and I cannot BELIEVE it! I have never had so many tools at my fingertips, without having to lug around my huge concordances and commentaries! Oh my goodness – I am so impressed! Congrats on “giving birth” to such a great resource! Patty Kennedy Associate Web Content Editor National Women's Department General Council of the Assemblies of God



Book Review Get Into Bed With Google by John Smith

Top ranking search optimisation techniques (New Edition) Infinite Ideas Company Limited, 2008, 2010; Amazon Kindle Edition, $9.99

My dad, who recently joined the cyber world when I set

(topical summaries of content containing search terms

him up on my old laptop, asked a salient question at

people use to look for material) to drive users to our

dinner, ―With all that information clogging the Internet,

sites. He does explain a bit about how other search en-

how is anyone going to find your writing?‖

gines make their decisions (remember, they account for

Author Smith puts it another way: ―There was no point in having a website unless people were going to

28 percent), but the focus is Google. I gleaned priceless pointers. For example, I

find it.‖ The answer has to do with making our material

learned the ―three-click rule‖: don‘t make the user click

prominently visible in search engines. Which search en-

more than three times to purchase product or contact

gines? And how does a little old writer go about it?

you. The easier we make it for users, the more likely

On the question of which engine, there‘s Google,

they are to do what we want them to do (buy our books,

and there‘s a cluster of also-rans. Google accounts for

invite us to speak at their conferences, write to us)—and

slightly over 50 percent of the traffic driven to my sites.

the higher Google will rank us.

This is fairly typical. According to Smith, Google is ―the

My favorite elements of Smith‘s one- and two-

starting point for just over 72 percent of searches in the

page chapters are the ―Here‘s an idea for you‖ boxes.


He gives 52 of these practical suggestions. For example, He begins with how to name a site to maximize

―Type in your domain name on a Google search (less the

search hits, something I wish I‘d known before I chose

‗www‘ and the ‗ Are you on page 1? 2? 3?‖

my domain name. He goes on to show how to choose

Then he offers ways to raise our sites to the top and fill

Google-preferred key words and prepare metadata

the pages with links to individual places on our sites, giving users many points of entry. After several years of making do with a boiler-plate template, I spent last summer building a custom website for my publishing and conference ministry. Smith‘s book became a go-to source throughout the process, rather like hiring a consultant. Some details were over my head or beyond my scope, but dozens of practical suggestions made this an invaluable read. Read the table of contents and first chapter free here



A RE Y OU S ERIOUS A BOUT T HIS W RITING G IG ? One question that changed a destiny Helen Newell, scrawled this command—in red—across the top of my term paper for my junior-year ―Faith Development & the Individual‖ course at

you think it‘s God who‘s placed this idea in your head?‖ In that moment, I decided to follow through on the lark and let her

Anderson University. I wasn‘t used to such an omi-

have a good guffaw over the whole

nous ―invitation‖ from a professor. And it terrified me.


The paper‘s assignment had been to forecast our

Except, when I nodded – too

three– five- and 10-year plan. At the time I was a

scared to speak the words, she beamed: ―If you‘re

business management major and had just dropped

serious, my husband Dr. Arlo Newell is editor and

my accounting double major (two courses from com-

chief of Warner Press across the street. You go see

pletion) to pick up an English minor—which my father

Caroline Smith, one the editors on his staff. Tell her I

thought was the dumbest idea he‘d ever heard. What

sent you. She‘ll put you to work.‖

does one do with an English minor?

I took the business card Dr. Newell offered and

But I‘d always loved writing and reading, and when I took a creative writing course I was so fascinated by the prof and the subject, that I decided there could be a career in this.

sailed out of the classroom. The rest is history. Within a few months I had published articles in the three Warner Press magazines, an internship in the editorial news department, and a collection of little,

Besides, numbers have never been my thing. I

tiny paychecks (it was, after all Christian publishing)

was always transposing them! There‘s not much mar-

to prove that this idea of becoming a professional

ket for a functionally-dyslexic accountant. One of the

writer wasn‘t quite so silly after all.

few lessons I remember from accounting classes is that if your error divides evenly by nine, chances are you‘ve transposed something. (Next time you‘re balancing your checkbook, remember that! Trust me—it works.)

I tell you all this to ask: what silly-sounding notion has God placed on your heart. Are you serious about following Him? Then, what‘re you going

Anyway, in Dr. Newell‘s term paper, I dared (with

to do about it?

fear and trembling) to forecast what life could be like as a professional writer. I did it as a lark, not at all taking the idea seriously. So that‘s how I ended up sweaty and flushed, gathering my books in slow motion, waiting for the classroom to clear so no one would hear Dr. Newell laugh at my silly notion. Sure enough, she looked me in the eye and asked, ―Are you serious?‖ My heart pounded. My eyes blurred. I won’t cry. Here it comes. I won’t cry. Only Dr. Newell didn‘t laugh. She just kept on talking. ―Do you really want to be a writer? Do

Julie-Allyson Ieron is excited about her newest book: The God Interviews: Questions You Would Ask; Answers God Gives, scheduled to release from Leafwood Publishing in Autumn 2012. Julie is a perceptive journalist who investigates God‘s truth and crafts her discoveries in ways that engage your mind and resonate with your heart. Her passion is to open God‘s Word alongside you to equip you to apply its riches to your daily joys, questions, and challenges. She recently celebrated 25 years as an author, writing coach, editor, and conference speaker. Order her eBooks through Amazon (Kindle) or Joy Media (epub/PDF). To preorder The GOD Interviews, write to

This Joy Media Publication Š 2012 by Julie-Allyson Ieron. Direct inquiries or reprint requests to To order products mentioned here, visit

Write for Joy Volume 2  

An e-zine packed with writing tips from 25-year industry veteran Julie-Allyson Ieron. Page upon page of inspiration, challenge, tips on eBoo...

Write for Joy Volume 2  

An e-zine packed with writing tips from 25-year industry veteran Julie-Allyson Ieron. Page upon page of inspiration, challenge, tips on eBoo...