“They say people don’t read on the internet, but people read when they’re interested, right? So if it’s interesting, if it’s applicable to my life and what I need right now, then I’m going to read and continue reading.”—Kelley Gardiner
Website copywriter Kelley Gardiner joins Emily to talk about how the principles of writing a good nonfiction book and good copy overlap.
In this episode, we talk about:
- The importance of knowing your audience. Yes! It’s just as important for books as for conversion!
- How to test whether your work will appeal to the right readers.
- Choosing clarity over cleverness.
- When you know your work is ready to be put out into the world.
Guest Bio — Kelley Gardiner
Kelley Gardiner is a conversion copywriter who’s obsessed with how website copy works. She loves helping solo service providers get better results through website copy audits, website refreshes, coaching, and education.
Where you can find Kelley:
Transcript for this episode below:
Episode 78: What Copywriting Can Teach You About Writing Books with Kelley Gardiner
Emily Einolander, Kelley Gardiner
Kelley Gardiner 00:01
They say people don’t read on the internet. But people read when they’re interested, right? So if it’s interesting to them, if it’s applicable to my life what I need right now then I’m going to read and continue reading. If it’s not, I might stop, I might put it in a tab and forget it ever existed, I might go to another solution
Emily Einolander 00:42
Welcome to the hybrid pub scout podcast with me, Emily Einolander. I’m helping you navigate indie publishing. And today’s guest is Kelley Gardiner who will be chatting with me about how knowing how to write great copy can help you write a great book. Kelley Gardiner is a conversion copywriter who’s obsessed with how website copy works. She loves helping solo service providers get better results through website, copy audits, website refreshes coaching and Education. Welcome, Kelley.
Kelley Gardiner 01:12
Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.
Emily Einolander 01:15
Happy to do it. I’ve been following you on LinkedIn and Instagram for a while now and have been getting a lot of good information from you. A few moments of sugar and new and I realize I’m doing something that you do not recommend.
Kelley Gardiner 01:31
I have the same thing I’ve done things I don’t recommend over the years for sure.
Emily Einolander 01:36
Yeah, I mean, that’s how you learn right? You go back and you go, Hmm, actually, that’s something that I no longer want in my life. I remember specifically you were saying that thing about LinkedIn posts where everybody just writes one line. Do you remember that one? Yeah,
Kelley Gardiner 01:51
I was thinking about this morning, just because I was reading an introduction to a book that was just like that, you know, is one sentence paragraphs. And my brain just doesn’t know what’s important. In empathy, like, if everything’s important than nothing is,
Emily Einolander 02:07
hmm, I think that we’ve kind of gone in the direction of saying, oh, short attention span short paragraphs, but if they’re, if they’re too short, it’s like, they’re all a paragraph to me.
Kelley Gardiner 02:18
And if it’s a whole, a whole, you know, like 12 inches of short paragraphs, I still don’t have the attention span for that. I don’t know what to read.
Emily Einolander 02:29
I remember going back over a post that I just posted, like, right before you posted that and was like, is she talking about me? And then I was like, no, because there’s and then I went through other posts and was like, oh, no, it’s really bad on a lot of posts. Because even just having two sentences together makes such a big difference. But I’m getting kind of hung up on one thing now. So the first thing I wanted to talk to you about this conversation is going to be about kind of finding those points of similarity between copywriting and writing nonfiction books. Because in my experience doing both I’ve realized there’s a lot of things that one should keep in mind that are the same. Where I have seen both you and myself, in my own experience, is that a person should know their target audience? Why is that so important? And how can people do it better?
Kelley Gardiner 03:37
Well, for copywriting, it’s the first thing, it’s the only thing. It’s where you start, it’s where you end, right? Like your customer, is who you’re writing for, because the whole point is to move them to take an action. Right. And if you don’t know who they are, or what they want, or what’s going on, you know, behind the screen, then you won’t know how to do it. Right, you could be guessing. And that’s where a lot of people start with this kind of guests, they see what’s out there, they see what other people do, and they kind of copy that. But if you know, your reader is, then you’ll know what to do, like, the action will go from there will flow from there. So if you’re writing a book, you might start from an empty page. You know, you might do some free writing. Writing is a process of discovery. And that could be that way in copywriting as well. But if you’re sitting down to write some sales copy, if you’re sitting down to write, like a website page or a landing page or a LinkedIn post, you want to have an idea of what the people you’re writing to want, and how you can give it to them. So you’re gonna start with who they are, what they want, and then what you can offer them and then the copy flows from there.
Emily Einolander 04:55
Do you have recommendations on how people can figure out who their time Talking to so they don’t fall into that I’m making this for everybody trap.
Kelley Gardiner 05:07
Well, there’s a research process that can be used for either one for copywriting or for writing a nonfiction book. And one of the best places to start, I’m sorry to say it, but it is useful is Amazon, or another place that has a lot of reviews? Right? So you’re thinking about the book you want to write, then you can go into a place that has reviews. Amazon is obviously a large repository, kind of book you want to write, and then look at what the reviews are saying, not necessarily of the book, but what people wanted from the book, like the questions they had before. And then the questions that were answered the questions that were left unanswered, what they wanted from it, of what they got, what they didn’t get, and that will start to give you an idea of what that kind of audience wants. And obviously, you’re going to put your own spin on it, you’re not going to write the same book, someone else wrote, and you can only write your book. But that’s a place to start as well. And with conversion copywriting, we always test. So you don’t just put live copy, and then say you’re done. You look to see how it does. And then you make changes. And you can do that, too. When you’re writing a book with beta readers. Right? You can say, you know, here’s a section of my book you could put on on social media and see what people think. You can do quick readings of parts, they’re in progress and see how people react. Or you can just put the whole book out and say, Hey, so and so you’re someone who follows me or like, likes my work. You tell me what you think about this chapter or this whole book, right? So you’re always testing your audience. So they can tell you what’s working, what’s not. What really resonates. And I find that really helpful.
Emily Einolander 06:57
Yeah, and I would say probably something similar for titles, because that’s something that people agonize over a lot titles and blurbs. I know that people who have maybe more captive audiences, Patreon, or some other subscription service will have polls, where they ask their favorite followers, like which titles they like the best, or what they think of when they see something, vote on covers, all that kind of stuff. But how do you know whose advice is the right advice? Like who should you be asking? And who shouldn’t you be asking for their input?
Kelley Gardiner 07:40
Well, it kind of depends on who your audience is. The more you can figure out who that is, that’s the person you want to ask, right? The person who’s going to buy your book, or the person who’s going to benefit from your book, that’s the person you want to ask. Not your mom. Sorry, mom have really great opinion about it. But you know, not other people in your life necessarily, it’s going to be the person who’s interested in benefiting from that book.
Emily Einolander 08:07
Your loved ones are there for when you’re having a meltdown. Right? You just need a pat on the back and a hug.
Kelley Gardiner 08:14
Right. But unless that’s the person who is going to be your core audience for the book, yeah, look for feedback from other sources for sure.
Emily Einolander 08:24
I imagine that is going to play a big part in capturing attention as well. But what are some ways that you’ll approach a headline or a header or copy that you really need to grab somebody and keep their attention? And that can be on websites or in books,
Kelley Gardiner 08:43
like knives, and titles are really tricky. People often think they need to be clever. But you don’t really need to make it clever. The most important thing is that it’s clear. So I would approach it. From a standpoint, there’s a saying first to say it straight, then you say it. Great. That’s a Joanna Wiebe thing. She says, Copy Hackers copy school. First you say it straight. So then you just say what you mean. And then from there, you can work on making it better if you want to. But you want people to understand what you’re what you’re talking about. You’re saying what the book is about, especially for a nonfiction book, right? For a fiction book. Now you can be kind of vague and make people curious. For nonfiction book, you want to have the audience then you might even want to think about SEO. So you want to be really clear about what it is. And then if your audience is telling you that there are other words they would use, or things they’re searching for, you can think about that as well. And maybe add that into a subtitle and think about how people are going to be searching for you how people are going to be finding you and how Well, that matches what they’re thinking about in their brains as they’re coming to you for a solution.
Emily Einolander 10:07
How would you say you strike a balance between being boring and being too clever?
Kelley Gardiner 10:13
Well, you always come back to clarity, right? If you’re clear. A lot of the time the writing, quote unquote, writing kind of disappears. People don’t think of you as boring or clever, they’re just taking in the information. And that’s not a bad place to be. Right? A good place to inject personality is in what we call cross hits, or be a subheading. So if you’re writing a book is debit, it could be seven chapter title, maybe you know, subheadings, throughout a Chapter, you can put in more personality. For a website copy, you might put in more personality in those crosshead subheads. That people are scanning, but of course, he still want to keep people moving to the page. And then also personality works great at the end of a paragraph, to kind of remind people that we’re having fun here, or whatever your personality your brand is. So you’re telling them what they need to know you’re giving them the information, they need to move forward. And then you also given them a little personality nugget, right, and then they can remember why they’re engaging with your brand in the first place. And then they can keep going from there.
Emily Einolander 11:27
So you’re saying there might be a little bit more freedom to sort of, like make people curious and more of a nonfiction space. When you’re doing transitions and sub headers, I mean, not going overboard, obviously, by saying something that makes absolutely no sense. But being a little bit more teasing, I guess,
Kelley Gardiner 11:49
thanks. So as something I haven’t thought about for a long time. But I know that when I’m reading a nonfiction book, and there’s a lot of exposition, and a lot of exposition, a lot of exposition, then it gets a little bit tedious at times. So I do look forward to those little breaks from my brain. For you know, Spark personalities, Spark emotions, and things like that, that keeps me tied to the text. And what makes me want to keep going, and come back to it later. Because I am a I’m a do not finish gal. I’m not gonna finish them. I’m not interested.
Emily Einolander 12:28
Yeah, I don’t waste time. I’m not interested either. Or if, well, I’ve been holding these these polls on LinkedIn, where I ask why people aren’t finishing books. And one that I got probably the most on LinkedIn was that there was something off putting about the tone of someone’s writing, which just opens up an entire new set of questions for me. Do you kind of feel that way about tone? And how would you interpret that in terms of like, this will make me put the book down?
Kelley Gardiner 13:03
Do you feel the same way because I feel like when a book is off putting a can be because it’s author focused, or they’re not focusing on the audience to what the audience wants to know, or speaking to them in a way that feels interesting or comfortable or fun, depending on what kind of book it is. So if I’m reading like a self help book, and it’s kind of stodgy or it’s kind of preachy, then maybe I don’t want to continue, because that’s not what I want to feel like when I’m reading that self help book. I want to feel comforted, I want to feel understood. And that’s just me, that’s not everyone. Or maybe if I’m reading a history book, and a lot of information without a lot of context, then I might not feel like my interest and my needs are being served. So really considering the audience throughout, is going to help you with your tone. Thinking About You know, I think about the clarity first and you think about the tone in the voice like who you’re speaking to, and why. What do you want them to feel like as you’re moving through your text.
Emily Einolander 14:17
So as a copywriter, and then also I do ghost writing? So me as a ghost writer, we have to emulate the main author or business owners voice while we’re still trying to communicate clearly with the messages. How do you emulate someone else’s voice while still keeping your like best practices and values there?
Kelley Gardiner 14:43
Yeah, that’s a that’s a lot to work with. We can work with someone had to think about what they mean what a client means when they say their tone or their voice. For a lot of it and means they want to have their personality on the page, I work with a lot of solo service providers. So it’d be different for a bigger business that has its own like brand voice, which is not a person’s voice, right? So brands voice, a brand in person. But I’ve worked with people who work directly with their customers, or their, their clients. And the client wants to know who that person is, they want to know what the personality is, they want to know what the experience will be working with them, they want to give their money to someone who feels good to give their money to right, they want to like I want to support this person with my business. And so it’s really more about getting their personality on the page. And so you already have that connection to the person before someone decides that they want to buy or they want to go to a different way. So it’s really kind of getting to know the person getting to know what they do and what the results are and communicating that. And then that voice kind of comes in. And yeah, I really do want to use like, the customer’s voice as well, especially thinking about now a lot of people think that copywriting is word choice, right, which were shot us and there’s a lot of word choice in it. But that’s it somewhere where it can come in, you know, word choice, like what words would I use for my business, that’s part of it, my tone of part my voice. But it’s more important to think about what my customers what words they use. So it’s a balance of their personality, and then thinking about how their customers talk. So it’s not just your brand voice, that’s also the voice of your customer. Because when you’re reading through you want to be you want to see yourself on the page.
Emily Einolander 16:55
That’s a really interesting tension. And I find that with writing books as well, because people want to know that you know what you’re talking about. They want to know that you have had the experiences that you’re trying to teach or draw information from. But if you talk too much about yourself, it can be really alienating and maybe make you come off in a way that you aren’t. That’s a euphemism for arrogant. But yeah, I have trouble kind of articulating what that line is. For other people. It’s sort of a, I know it, when I see it thing. Do you have a more specific way of recognizing it?
Kelley Gardiner 17:43
I think this is a place where storytelling comes in really well. From an author’s perspective or business’s perspective. You know, you have your bio, people know who you are, what your qualifications are. So they have that already, they can find that easily. And then storytelling about maybe an introduction to a book, you know, something that happened to you. Or if people will do this the beginning of each chapter of a book, right? They’ll have a lead an anecdote, a lot of times, they’re part of the anecdote. And so that gives you the idea that they’re experienced, they know what they’re talking about, maybe they’ve been doing this for a long time. You know, they say, Well, I worked with so and so on, this is what happened, then you’re not feeling you’re being preached to, like I know best because of their story embedded in it. And so then you’re reading the story, and you’re interested in that. But it’s also telling you that this person has experience
Emily Einolander 18:38
near rarely the only character in a story, as well. And I find that the best stories are ones where the reader can sort of make you into their avatar a little bit and sort of empathize with you as you’re going through it.
Kelley Gardiner 18:53
Right. So it’s Authority building, and it’s also empathy building at the same time.
Emily Einolander 19:00
It’s like, I know you have this problem, because I had it too.
Kelley Gardiner 19:04
Right. Yeah, that makes sense. And that helps with you know, not feeling like you’re being spoken down to.
Emily Einolander 19:11
Yeah, agreed. Uh huh. It’s like I have all of these credentials and I am bestowing this upon you plebes. So, shifting gears a little bit, I want to get a little more granular about the actual process of slicing and dicing. So you need to obviously communicate your message and everything that you can do for someone I’m thinking primarily as a business owner with a website. But at the same time, you don’t want to overwhelm everyone with you know, a 12 line paragraph as we were referring to. So how do you differentiate between what’s vital to the customer In order to know, and what is just fluffy and unnecessary,
Kelley Gardiner 20:05
once again, it comes down to what the customer is going to want, right? But people want to see a business website, what you actually do, what the results are. And it seems very obvious, but it gets missed a lot. Because I feel like solo business owners have a deep understanding of what they do in their business every day, obviously, what happens with a client, and they might have testimonials that say, you know, thank you for XYZ, this was my result, but it’s not present in the rest of the copy. So I feel like people really need to be clear about, you know, the steps of a service, or what it’s like to go through that process. And what we talk about copywriting is the transformation we talked about before, what is your life like? And then you receive the service or the even works for a product, you know? And then what is the transformation in your life? Because that’s what the person actually wants? Right? You know, the whole the old marketing thing, you know, people don’t want a hammer, they want their picture hung on the wall, right? Yes. Yeah. So you think about what they want the last look like after? And then you go back from there, right? Are there things you can cut out? Did you say everything you needed to say? Clearly? Do you have specifics? Do you prove what you’re saying. So people will prove it with testimonials? Prove it with I’ve worked with such and such company now like proof bars. It’s a lot like writing a persuasive essay for high school, you know, you need to make your introduction you need to make your case you need to conclude. Of course, for ours, you have to ask for a sale at the end or give your offer, right, have that call to action at the end. But if there’s any fluff in there, if you’ve made your case, and that people have everything they need to know, then you’re done. You can cut things out, you can cut out. It’s hard for writers especially, you know, like you wrote something really clever. But it’s just not necessary, then you can cut it out. I’m sorry. They say people don’t read on the internet. But people read when they’re interested. Right. So if it’s interesting to them, if it’s applicable to my life, what I need right now, then I’m going to read and continue reading. If it’s not, I might stop, I might put it in a tab and forget it ever existed, I might go to another solution.
Emily Einolander 22:40
I would say particularly the anecdotes that we were talking about in books are the best when they show that transformation as well, depending on whether they’re talking about someone who is being taught someone who is going through the steps that are recommended in the book. And mostly I’m talking about prescriptive nonfiction, which is the author trying to teach someone how to do something or how they can make their life better. If I’m not, if I’m looking at a story, and I’m not seeing how it relates to that sort of transformational arc, it might be on the chopping block. This might be belaboring a point, but how do you how do you know when you’re done with a piece of copy in particular, we can start there
Kelley Gardiner 23:28
well, with a book has to be done, because it’s gonna go be published. But a piece of copy is never done. It’s always evolving. I’m so sorry. It’s a cycle, right? With conversion, copywriting, there’s a cycle. So you get, you do your research, and you get customer information, and then you write and then you test it, then you get more customer information. And then you change it based on that. And then you get more information. And so it’s a cycle. And obviously at some point, you can stop messing with it. If it’s working. There’s a point of, you know, was it called diminishing diminishing returns? Thank you so much. The point of diminishing returns, right? But for most of the time, when I’m turning in copy to a client, then I need to make sure of a few things. I need to make sure that everything is clear. As someone’s reading it, they know what I mean. I need to make sure that everything is specific. So there’s no vague language that really kills conversions. When you say something in a vague way, then people can’t really imagine what’s going to be like, I need to make sure that everything has a point. So if you say something you have to ask yourself so what why does this matter why is on the page. If it doesn’t matter, you take it off And then you go back and you do all that you say, Okay, well, is it still clear? Well clear. And then at that point, you have to kind of let it go. Right? If you did the best you could do, and you spent the time with the research. And, you know, you optimize it best, you could send it out to the universe and see how it does, because humans are complex, and you can do the best practices possible. And you have no idea how something’s gonna land until you give it to someone.
Emily Einolander 25:40
Yeah, there’s no guarantees, anybody who tells you that you’re guaranteed 100%, you know, increase in ROI, or something like that is is suspicious to me.
Kelley Gardiner 25:52
Especially with copywriting, there are things you can do that can increase conversions. And that’s the whole point. And that’s what we’re trying to do. But you can’t guarantee it, because there’s a lot going on in the world. And there’s a lot going on in someone’s business, that’s not their website. And there’s a lot going on with a person behind the screen. I can’t make someone click a button, I can try to convince them to click a button. But I can’t make them do it. So
Emily Einolander 26:24
yeah, Lead a Horse to Water and etc, etc. It’s interesting, because you’re saying that people all kind of come from their different backgrounds. I was kind of taught that using very, like US centric language is the most important thing possible. But I’ve also heard and felt that if it gets too over the top with like, it sounds accusatory, almost, or, like you’re being presumptuous about what you know about somebody’s problem. So I don’t know how much hedging can happen in copywriting. But I, there’s a, there’s kind of a delicate balance there in book writing, that I’ve discovered, as I’ve worked over time, I don’t know if you’ve had complaints that sort of reflect that.
Kelley Gardiner 27:16
No, not really complaints, but I do change how I address the audience based on who they are. So I will use you most of the time, like you want to speak like you’re speaking to someone, you’re addressing a person. But not necessarily using you all the time that could come across as like being too seen. Like stop talking to me, I’m just trying to read a book we just met. But there are places where I’ll use less of that kind of language, less direct language, and I’ll use a lot of passive voice when I’m writing for the medical field, because I don’t want people to feel like they are causing their own problems are things like this, right? So, you know, like, illness can occur, right? Yes, it can occur you not you made yourself sick. You want to make people feel like they have agency. But you don’t want to make people feel like that’s, that’s their own fault. So it really depends on what you’re writing what the purpose of it is. And once again, you know how you want people to feel when they’re reading it.
Emily Einolander 28:34
So what are some practices that you see in other people’s writing that are trends, popular words, popular turns of phrase Other than this, like LinkedIn thing we were talking about earlier? That kind of make you want to bash your head against your desk. And I need to I need to preface this with this is this is a matter of personal opinion. This is fine.
Kelley Gardiner 28:58
This just I’m just one person.
Emily Einolander 29:02
Some people might love it. Just ask your audience,
Kelley Gardiner 29:07
right? I guess. No, where I see the writing that turns me off the most is on LinkedIn. So funny, because Instagram can be a little Instagramming. And people can be a little bit of braggy or trying to show what a wonderful life they have. It’s a little bit annoying, but nothing makes me want to just turn off my computer and walk away. Like some of the writing on LinkedIn. Because it is so a lot of it can be so self possessed about trying to be the smartest person in the room. Not sharing expertise, but there’s a lot, a lot of posts that are great sharing expertise and a friendly way and an approachable way and you know, encouraging people to ask questions and then answering the questions. But there’s a lot of people trying to prove something And that’s, that can be a real turnoff. I’m trying to think of maybe a more specific example, but not too specific.
Emily Einolander 30:12
I’m struggling with the word journey, right now. And I’m not saying because I’ve used it quite a bit, but I’m at the point where I’m like, there’s gotta be a better way or another way, at least to kind of thin this out
Kelley Gardiner 30:28
the trip, man. Try that.
Emily Einolander 30:31
Bro. Yeah, especially since like all of my all of my branding is centered on maps, that sort of kind of, maybe that’s why I’m so hung up on.
Kelley Gardiner 30:41
Right? When you still yellow car thing, right? You start this to get a yellow car, you see them everywhere. Words like that will start popping out to you. I don’t think I really have a buzzword that I don’t like right now. I think I’m fairly pretty chill about it. You know, like, if you have an agenda, be open minded and just the people. Yeah, like, what is your intention? Is this intention behind this writing to make me feel good? Or is this a tension behind the writing to make yourself feel good? And you can tell the difference?
Emily Einolander 31:23
So you mentioned that you have written a nonfiction book yourself. And I’m curious first, what is it? If you would like to tell us where we can find it? And secondly, how did you find the experience of writing it to be different than your daily bread website?
Kelley Gardiner 31:42
Right. So this is something I wrote, well, Vish years ago, came out about I self published it about 11 years ago, it’s not in print anymore. It’s called roller derby for beginners. And it was a how to book for basically, how to start playing roller derby because a lot of people weren’t interested at that point. And then there was a lot of information on the internet, I want to create like one place where people could go and say, like, here’s what you buy. This is what you can expect, this is what’s going to happen to you. Because I saw that too. With my coaching people’s had so many questions, their heads were just overbearing with them. I found the process I was not working as a full time freelance writer yet I was still doing a nine to five at that point. So I found it grueling. In a way that I do not find my job today grueling, but only because I had a nine to five, that a nine to five. And so I come home. And I was pregnant. Trying to get the book data before the baby got done. I found it difficult to write that much. So the the overall length was felt really daunting, right? Because I logged I was a writer, I like to write and do this and that, but I’d never written anything that long before. So that felt really daunting until I did it. And then it felt like the biggest accomplishment. I was so proud of myself. And then directly afterward I thought, crap, just anyone can write a book. What if I do do it right? It’s like nothing special about me. But what I felt was most rewarding to me, was the beta reading process, which I hadn’t even really planned for. Then someone suggested it to me. And I thought, well, that’s a good idea. And I had a blog about roller derby. And so you know, I think eight or 10 people said yes. And I found that so helpful. And I was so grateful for it. And I found it. so fulfilling to get their information back because I’d had my own experiences. And they had their experiences, too, that they shared with me. And that was information that I never would have had, you know, I had that reflected back to me. And that really helped me with the editing process because editing process can be pretty grueling. But having that support, I also felt like emotional support at that point. Because I thought that maybe one or two people would say yes to that. But then I had this kind of outpouring of support that didn’t expect. And they were so generous with their time. It also felt like it was a booby for me as I went back through the edits. I wish I had emotional support for the formatting but that’s a whole different story.
Emily Einolander 34:47
And when you when you gave the book to beta readers to make their suggestions, how, what percentage would you say you were done with the writing process and how much Did you have to go back and change after you had them read it?
Kelley Gardiner 35:04
I’d say I had a solid first draft. When I sent it out. And I started thinking about editing. And I did not know one thing about editing, someone asked me, Do you need developmental editing or like proofreading? And I said, oh, there’s a difference. We just need to make this Yeah, something that I teach people all the time now, right. And I think that person made was suggested to me that I should have readers look at it at that point. So then I went back and watched I change, as mostly additions, they really made it more rich. So I didn’t have to really change a lot. But there was a lot that I added at that point. And then I think I went through, you know, maybe another round of edits after that. And then I got proof read.
Then you had to load it up and design it. Oh, yeah.
Kelley Gardiner 36:02
Well, I had the, the jacket done for me, um, Sarah GIF row. Yeah. Did she I was like, Do you want to have input on this? And I said, Please, just take the photo and take the photo and make it happen. I don’t want to have, I do want to think about it. And she does such a great job with it. And that was the inside that I did, which I banged my head against the wall on for a long time.
Emily Einolander 36:33
Well, thanks for sharing that experience. The people who are listening to this are mostly going to be people who are at least thinking about maybe writing a book, would you recommend it? Use it? I know, you said a knee jerk can do it if you can do it. But is it something that you would recommend to people, or some people and not others?
Kelley Gardiner 36:55
Something you want to do? I definitely recommend it. I wouldn’t recommend it as something to tick off your list just to do it. But if there’s a book inside of you, then yes, people, you know, I’m a writer, I’ve been writing for a long time, people often ask me like, we’re going to write a novel, like, because that’s the highest point of writing or something you should aspire to if you’re a writer. And I said, No, I don’t, I don’t have one. Right, there isn’t one in me, I don’t have one that wants to get out. If there’s a book in you, or if you think that you have a kind of experience you want to share with others, and that appeals to you, then yes, go for it. I know I said that it was daunting. You know, maybe don’t do it, when you’re seven months pregnant or whatever. You’re very tired.
I can see,
Emily Einolander 37:44
as someone who’s done it several times, it never stops being daunting. That’s, that’s just been the truth. It, it gets more familiar. And it gets to be something that you you feel more like you know what you’re doing, but it’s the same as basically any project that’s never going to just be a cookie cutter. And if it is, then it’s not really yours. And it’s not unique. But I think it’s impossible to like, have that same thing happen again.
Kelley Gardiner 38:17
And again, it’s, I wouldn’t say it’s easy to write two pages a day. But not necessarily. Not necessarily easy to write two pages a day. But it can feel easy. At certain points. Some
Emily Einolander 38:31
days, it’s easy to write two pages. Some days, it’s impossible to write two paragraphs,
Kelley Gardiner 38:35
one of those things, it’s like putting one foot in front of the other. And then you see how far you’ve come, right?
Emily Einolander 38:43
It’s possible. What do you do when you’re when you feel like you’re out of juice, whether you’re working on a website or any other piece of writing up,
Kelley Gardiner 38:54
I go do something else. I have to be really protective of my energy and my body gives me a lot of information and a lot of clues about what I need to do. And so I give myself a lot of lead time I try to finish things early, so I have lovely time. I’ll often go for a walk, I do a lot of walking. I’d get a lot of ideas while I’m walking so I don’t feel like that’s not work time or wasted time. That is definitely time I need to do my best work as to that. And I just relax and shut down at the end of the day. I don’t try to be productive. After I’ve already produced things all day long. I don’t try to be productive after like nine o’clock at night anymore. Thinking about when my best work gets done. And then doing it and then if the my brains not working, I just stopped. I do something else because it’s not worth forcing it for me at this point in my life,
Emily Einolander 40:02
that’s extremely helpful. I’m not quite there yet, but I worked.
Kelley Gardiner 40:09
Yeah, amazing if there’s a deadline, or if you’re saying like, I’m gonna write 500 words a day, and you’re at 480, so that you can push through. But if it’s me, and it’s 450, and I’m trying to push myself to get something done, and like, no, just turn it off, it’s fine.
Emily Einolander 40:28
Anything else you want to share with us? It’s on your mind.
Kelley Gardiner 40:32
Questions are gold, for copywriting questions are gold for any kind of writer. So if your audience is asking you a question, then they’re giving you a huge gift. They’re telling you exactly what they want to know. So if you have a following on social media, you can ask questions, or let them ask you questions. Do posts that are open mind open ended? And be open minded, I guess. And if people ask you a lot of questions, maybe on a contact form on your website, or maybe they email you, and you’re like, it’s so annoying, because you know, it says on my website, this does just think of it as a gift because the person you’re trying to reach is trying to give you information about what they need. And if it’s not your customer, it’s good to know that too. Right? If someone’s emailing you and they’re not your customer, they’re trying know, for a service business that might be trying to lowball you, then you know, like, that’s something I need to fix my website, I need to show that I don’t have that kind of service. Right. So you know, testimonials are fantastic. Review mining is good. But if your audience or someone adjacent to your audience asking you questions, that is always gold and pay attention to it. Okay,
Emily Einolander 41:59
thank you for that. Sure. When you were about to say open minded, I thought you were going to say open mic. And now I’m thinking about like, what’s it? What would it look like to have a LinkedIn open mic for your customers?
Kelley Gardiner 42:14
I’d say that’d be 90%. Fun.
Emily Einolander 42:20
I’m gonna have to think about that. If that’s something that could be done. Where can people find you online?
Kelley Gardiner 42:29
Well, you can find me at my website, you have to spell it very carefully. It’s Kelleygardiner.com. You have to get all the letters. Because I have a few more extra letters than you might anticipate. And then you can also link in with me at LinkedIn, I try to be helpful. You are.
Emily Einolander 42:46
Kelley Gardiner 42:47
So you can just find me there and send me a request. And then I’ll say yeah.
Emily Einolander 42:57
Great, well, you can find hybrid pub scout on online hybridpubscout.com, and Instagram at hybridpubscoutpod. I am off Twitter now because as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t exist. You can also find me on LinkedIn and add me and follow hybrid pub Scout there. Be sure when I make the post about this to carefully check Kelley’s name spelling. I will share that in the show notes as well. Kelley, thank you so much for coming. Thank you so much. And thanks for listening