Jun 14 2017

Everybody Can Write . . . Right?

Books, billboards, news


releases, website content,




magazines and magazine


articles, posters and


displays, newspaper



columns, surveys, signs,


 postcards, brochures, 


commercials, promotional

 emails, direct mail, photo


captions, jingles, branding


themelines, package labels,


training curricula, promo


literature and exhibit

 materials, webinars, sales


presentations, seminars 


lyrics, booklets, speeches,


 ebooks, blog posts, scripts


  business plans, marketing 


 strategies, love letters,  


manuals, greeting cards,


and matchbook covers


Ever write any of these yourself? How’d it come out? Did you get the results you wanted? What happened? Are you a skilled writer? An experienced wordsmith? Probably not. If you’re reading posts on this blog site, it’s because you’re an entrepreneur, a small business or professional practice owner, manager, or principal, a student, or a leader.

If you fit any of those kinds of career descriptions, odds are that you are marketing a product, service, or idea (or some combination) and the daily challenges of keeping your business or organization moving forward leaves little room for you to indulge in fantasy of seeing yourself as a talented writer. And you’re smart enough to know when to get help.

One telling characteristic of successful entrepreneurs, in fact, is that they know how to pull their ideas forward while leaving necessary professional services up to professionals they engage — CPA, attorney, management consultant, and more often than not: creative services, especially writers and designers.

Entrepreneurs, after all, are the catalysts of business and the economy. They are agents of change. They serve as mirrors of society wants and needs. They alone are responsible for new job growth (not corporations, and certainly not government). As a result, entrepreneurs are also the most sensitive of business people, and the quickest to recruit outside expertise when they see the need.

Small business owners are far more in touch with reality than their big business counterparts who are obsessed with analyzing what message content and structure communicates best, and sells.

They recognize that one dot or small sweep of a design line, or one word can make the difference between sale and no sale. (And remember, with online content: WORDS are still King!)

Entrepreneurs respect and appreciate the value of expertise.


So the list above is not just a teaser or composite of writing applications. It is a list of real business-related (yes, even love letters!) writing needs that most entrepreneurs are confronted with at one time or another. It is also a list of writing applications that anyone you hire to write for you should have experience with, at least most of them.

I know. I’ve written all of the above many times over. And I can tell you that a marketing writer who hasn’t written a book doesn’t know how to tell a story, and stories sell. A website content writer who hasn’t written radio and TV commercials has no sense of writing concise, punchy stuff that’s short, sweet, and memorable . . . and “short, sweet, and memorable” sells!

Someone who’s never written a billboard hasn’t even a clue about how to write branding lines because the discipline is the same:  Aim for 7 words or less and tell a story in those 7 words or less that has a beginning, middle, and ending . . . and is persuasive. Ah, then comes the opposite: Direct mail. In direct mail, the more you tell, the more you sell — that means, literally, a blanket of billboards.

Writing emphasis must always be “you” focused (not “we”). It must attract attention, create interest, stimulate desire, bring about action, and deliver satisfaction. It MUST ALWAYS answer the question: “What’s in it for ME?” All writing –even an instruction manual– represents an opportunity to make a sale and/or create a favorable impression.

The writing you have now?

Does it work as hard as you do?


# # #

Hal@Businessworks.US  931.854.0474

Open Minds Open Doors

Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Nov 19 2013

In the Sprit of Thanking . . .

THANK YOU, “BREEZY”! [Hal’s 3 year-old Cavachon]

Hal & Breezy IMAG6266-1

THANK YOU Friends, Family,

Readers, Followers, Connections, 

. . . and Kathy, I’ll miss you forever.



Valerie & Pegi for all the positives

each of you have brought to my life!

And Thank You, Dear Readers, For These

WONDERFUL Book Reviews:

This is blog post number 1,181 and many of you have been with me since day one (April 24, 2008). I am so grateful to each of you! The AMAZON book reviews that follow (for my just-released first novel) are awesome, and I thank each of you as well. Please urge others to read and review, to join you on this list! There cannot be too many favorable reviews on the best-seller path!

I am staggered by the kind and exciting comments about my book, and by the generosity of your time and effort. I consider myself blessed. In the spirit of this season of giving thanks, I am truly appreciative.

For those who haven’t seen the reviews, here are a few:


AMAZON High Tide Reader Reviews



By Dan Duffy (Massachusetts)

“An engaging mystery story set at the Jersey Shore. Enjoyed everything about High Tide…The Jersey Shore setting was quite realistic and engaged me throughout the story. I also enjoyed how Hal incorporated the story within a college environment. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like it.”


By Patrat

“VERY Exciting! Great read! Kept me in suspense the whole time. Sorry to see the story end. I am anxiously awaiting Mr. Alpiar’s next book.”


By Marie A Drayer (Maryland)

“YOU’LL BE HOOKED! As soon as you begin to read HIGH TIDE, you’ll be hooked! The characters really come to life as the fast-paced mystery unfolds. This is a great read!” 


By Beverly Marsh (New Jersey)

“Jersey Shore Whodunit! Couldn’t ask for a better plot and humor (always a key). ! Can’t wait for the sequel with the Professor, Hal!”


By Kelly Trombino (California)

Loved High Tide! Brought me right back to the early 80s. Professor Rick was a hoot. Loved the romance and the intrigue with the drug dealers. Wasn’t sure how he was going to get out of this mess with those Jersey bad guys.”


By Suresh Kodlikar(Delaware)

“Just finished reading High Tide. The book is absolutely amazing! It deserves to go on New York’s Best Seller list! You have done a terrific job of researching the topics, maintaining suspense and presenting it in an enviable style of writing. We are proud to have such an accomplished writer in our midst! I am already looking forward to the sequel!”


By Jo (California)

“High Tide is a riveting story that took me back to my college days where professors looked more like their students and engaged their students like Professor Rick Maddigan, the main character. I was pulled into the story from page one and couldn’t put the book down. With just his first novel, Alpiar showed us his successful transition from writing non-fiction to fiction.” 


By Jim Hall (Delaware)

“Hal’s ability to sketch characters and scenes is outstanding. The book grabbed me from the start and wouldn’t let go until I finished it. Great writing job! And Windy’s Mom thanks you for the exciting diversion into the professor’s life while she was recuperating from her knee surgery. It was wonderful (:”


By Sara G. Kraft (Delaware)

“Just finished High Tide and enjoyed it. I had a slow start but plowed through the ending with all kinds of excitement on the edge of my seat – Loved it!”


By Jim Jordan (New Jersey)

“HIGH TIDE appeals to me for a number of reasons. It is about the area where I live, and it was fascinating to see the story unfolding in the NJ marshes of Little Egg Harbor. The Author raises the level of suspense with each drug deal and manages to discreetly work in some tasteful and amusing sexual fun. He skillfully outlines Professor Maddigan’s relationships and the “smoking faze” of that era. I enjoyed the plot and writing style. Both are outstanding. Hal is a wonderful storyteller and an excellent researcher. I wish him continued success with his future adventures.”


By Susan (Delaware)

“Love the Shore, Loved the book! If you like exciting stories and have memories of your favorite beach town, this book is for you. The characters are colorful and stay with you long after the last page is turned. You’ll be asking for the next installment to come soon…as I did.” 


By M Slosberg (New York City)

“THE HIGHEST OF TIDES. Mr. Alpiar has the ability to pull his reader much as a rip-tide drags a swimmer. I may have lost a night of sleep finishing HIGH TIDE, but I gained HIGH REGARD for a powerful new novelist.”


By Bob Wainwright (New Jersey)

“High Tide is spirited adventure and a real page-turner. This story is a throwback to the Jersey Shore –in the easy living 80’s– when life was experienced by doing things, not just keyboarding them.  A brilliant, blackmailed, pot-smoking professor, soulless gangsters, and an adoring student lover make for an exciting mix in this high seas adventure.  Definitely a must-read book!”


By Bo and Lois Wood (Delaware)

“We are both from the Jersey Shore & this book took us back to our roots. We love the action & story line. Great Book!”


By King of La De Dah (Maryland)

“HIGH TIDE is a fast-paced action-filled adventure with interesting characters, unique plot twists, and tongue-in-cheek humor, all wrapped around a “down the shore” love story. With unique turns of phrase and word play liberally sprinkled throughout, Mr. Alpiar has provided his readers with a rollicking journey that is not only fun and stimulating…it is also a book that is virtually impossible to put down. I just had to see what happened next! Mr. Alpiar is a true talent, and I am eager to get my hands on his next effort. I HIGHly recommend the TIDE.”


By Tennant Barron (New Hampshire/Pennsylvania)

“If you’re looking for an intriguing, fast-paced, fact-based novel you’ll want to tell your friends about, HIGH TIDE is the book for you! It’s as gruesome as it is funny, as thought-provoking as it is flighty, and as romantic as it is mysterious. I’m definitely anxious for the sequel!”


By Donna M. Powell (Maryland)

“Great read! There is suspense, humor, love, and wit in this book. I found it hard to put down. I can’t wait for the next book or even a sequel to see what Madigan will be up to next.”


By Kathy Mcnulty “Kathy M” (Delaware)

“Mr. Alpiar turned the fascinating events of his real life experience into an intriguing story that is sure to keep you wanting more. The attention to detail provides a clear image of life in the 80’s on the Jersey shore.”


By Robin Standlee (Florida)

“I rarely read novels because a good one will keep me from doing anything else. High Tide did that. It’s based on a true story which makes it even more intriguing.”


By Linda Fleetwood (Delaware)

        “I HATE the author! This book kept me up until three in the morning. I couldn’t put it down. A great read!”


By Ken Peach (Florida)

“High praise for HIGH TIDE! What a fun story, and I also got a lot out of Professor Maddigan’s classroom lessons. In fact, I have a bunch of pages turned down for reference . . . now, that doesn’t happen often when reading fiction! I eagerly await the sequel.”


 # # #

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Open Minds Open Doors

   Make today a GREAT day for someone!

  God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

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Dec 24 2008


Not A Cursor Is Stirring . . .


     I started a couple of nights ago with a post of some nostalgic recollections of some Christmas’s past, but then got myself caught into a second-wind rush of business thinking again for the last two nights’ posts.  Is that kind of like going on vacation and taking half a week to unwind and realize you’re on vacation? 

     Anyway, I hope you will take a look at all three of those posts.  They’re certainly two of my writing extremes.  You may like all or neither, but if you prefer one direction over the other, please call or write me and let me know. 

     I continue to straddle the line between literary fiction interests and hard-nosed (but light-hearted if one could possibly have both a hard nose and a light heart?) business teachings. 

     Having been a businessperson, professor, consultant, and author makes it hard to get it out of my system, but I love writing fiction too, and often find myself writing blog posts on a coin toss!. 

     As for this blog site, I have all kinds of analytical stuff to digest, but it rarely helps me know how to most effectively divide my writing pursuits because YOU –you who actually return here without threat of punishment– are really the only ones who can help me do that. 

     So do pass along your thoughts on what you’re more or less interested in.  I may not pay any attention, but I’ll love you for trying.  Seriously, I will greatly value your input. 

     I figure if you’ve read all this, and gotten this far, you either relate to something I’ve written, or you wish me off the planet, or you’re stealing my ideas to start up a new government in Bongo-Bongo (I DO get a lot of regular visits from many foreign countries!), or your tv is broken and you’re ready to join a lonely hearts club, or you’ve got 16 kids with stockings to fill and toys to assemble and you’re doing tasks of avoidance right now by pretending to be engaged in important research as you hover over your screen, or you’re a really sick puppy?!  

     SO:  Tis the night before Christmas, and all through your mouse, not a cursor is stirring, not even the souse who lives next door and pounds on your door when you stomp on the floor and call him a louse . . . whew!  Can you tell I had a glass of Christmas Eve wine? 

     Really, all you dear visitors, I wish for each of you the happiest, healthiest, and Merriest Christmas of all time.  Stay close.  Stay Safe.  Stay warm.  Love Those You’re With and Miss Those You’re Not With.  Relax.  Smile.  Laugh.  See you sometime after a late Christmas brunch (with some fun comments about one very memorable Christmas in Ireland!). 

     Have a great sleep (unless you’re in Bongo-Bongo and just woke up!) and a great day tomorrow!  

# # #

See Nov 29th post (below) for New Year’s contest prize and rules – Then GO FOR IT!  Emails to Hal@TheWriterWorks.com with “SOUNDS OF THE SEASON” in the subject line.          # # #

Check out and contribute to the daily growing 7-Word Story started 106 days ago (inside a coffin).  Click on the link to the right, or go to the “BOOKS” tab at the top of this page, then to the top headline link.

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Dec 13 2008

Some scattered business observations . . .

Dogs, music, and BJ’s


. . . sounds a little raunchy, but remember the source.

       How hard is it to keep your stomach from gurgling with anxiety when you’ve got blog posts to put up and articles that need writing and editing, and the hours tick by, while no one at the cable company knows more than to tell you that your connections are not functioning?  Duh!  Uh, we called you, remember? 

     So me, the great 30-year teacher of stress management needs to . . . well, you know the rest. 

       A little diversionary follow-up report to yesterday’s post, btw, is that the BJ’s I mentioned, that had the gall to charge prospective customers for the privilege to shop in their new (197th) store, opened today.   

     The most telling comment I heard was that there were more people inside the store at any given moment of the day than live in the entire town (and probably four surrounding towns as well).  So that just goes to show you how little I know about what works anymore in retailing.  Who woulda thunk it?  Right, BJ’s! 

       But the good news is that the store is 100% perfect, bright, cheerful, beautifully laid out, lots of quality merchandise at very low prices, and offering a huge selection.  Just too crowded!  Oh, well.  We’ll try it on a weekday.  I’ll let you know.  Humpf!  

     I just wrote a reminder note for Monday Vet checkup appointment for my two dogs and that stool samples are needed.  Best place to put it is with my papers for early morning meeting with clients so I remember to get on the road asap after the meeting.  Hope the note doesn’t fall out.  “Bring poop samples to next meeting!” might be hard to explain.

       It’s weird to be typing this in Word instead of my friendly little blog window. 


I was reminded today of two things you can never get back:

the stones you throw and the words you use.


     Belated Happy Birthday to my son the musician.  We spoke (and I sang!) on his day, 12/11, but I hadn’t yet managed to squeeze Christopher www.alpiar.com into my blog.  Anyway, he sent me the following link that he ran across:  http://video.stumbleupon.com/?p=kkdpiahine . . . a pretty cool solo performance no matter what your level of music interest.

       Oh, right, dogs.  So now you know the slow motion truth of my brain activity.  But since you already know about their poop, you should want to know that one’s an all black 5 year-old cocker spaniel, Tuckerton (he’s named after NJ’s Tuckerton Seaport, a mile from where we once lived), and the other’s an 11½ year-old golden retriever, Barnegat (she’s named after NJ’s Barnegat Bay, where we once welcomed the waves onto our front yard).  Now you know why I’m not moving to Machipongo, VA, anytime soon.  

     I promise more substance tomorrow, assuming the great awakening of my cable company.  In the meantime, have a wonderful night.   halalpiar

 # # #

See Nov 29th post (below) for New Year’s contest prize and rules – Then GO FOR IT!  Emails to Hal@TheWriterWorks.com with “SOUNDS OF THE SEASON” in the subject line.  # # #

Check out and contribute to the daily growing 7-Word Story started 95 days ago (inside a coffin).  Click on the link to the right, or go to the “BOOKS” tab at the top of this page, then to the top headline link.

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