By Clayton Makepeace
Publisher & Editor,
THE TOTAL PACKAGE
Dear Business Builder,
Seems like only yesterday I was writing the very first post on this blog. Actually, it was the end of June in 2005; five years and seven months ago.
Since then, we’ve …
- Attracted nearly 40,000 regular readers …
- Published 1,110 issues …
- Hosted well over 100 marketers and copywriters at our “Power Marketing Summit” at $5,000 per seat …
- Held dozens of webinars and teleseminars and created dozens of products to help you succeed …
- Received more than 1,500 pages of “Thank-You” letters and testimonials for our efforts …
- And learned one heck of a lot about the nuts and bolts of online publishing(!).
And the one thing this experience has made me absolutely sure of is that I always want to have an e-letter and a website that keep you and me in touch with each other.
But now, I find myself at a very different place in life than when I launched this blog in 2005. And far greater changes lie ahead.
For one, I’m turning 59 this year – nearly six years closer to the time when, as my friend Gary Bencivenga so eloquently phrased it, I will “lay down my pen.”
No, I am NOT planning to retire anytime soon – in fact, I still get bored over long weekends. But the fact that my 60s are just over one year away calls for some significant changes.
For instance: I’ve often told you that one of the greatest benefits this copywriter’s lifestyle affords me is that I get to decide how much money I want to make. If I want or need more, I simply accept additional clients and work additional hours.
So, with my 60s rushing at me like a run-away freight train, I’ve chosen to spend the next several years fattening the kitty for my eventual retirement. I’ve already added one additional client and plan to accept one; maybe two more in the weeks ahead. And of course, that means I’ll have significantly less time to spend on The Total Package.
Another big development for The Redhead and me: Our kids are grown up! Our younger daughter goes away to college this year. Our son, who is about one year younger will follow her soon.
That means we no longer need to brave the frigid North Carolina mountain winters. But before we can remove to warmer climes (most likely, to Prescott, Arizona), there are the little matters of selling our 25-acre estate here in the Smokies and doing some serious down-sizing.
With me putting the pedal to the metal at work, supervising all that remodeling and other projects is falling into The Redhead’s lap – a fact that means she will also have significantly less time to spend on running this e-letter.
… So we’re simplifying
this blog in several ways:
First, as you know, we have now closed our online store. If we introduce new products in the future, they will be offered via e-mail and in our regular issues. That alone vastly simplifies our operation.
Second, you are now viewing the new, simplified version of this blog. It still contains all the things you’ve come to value most here – including all of my back-issues, free copywriting and marketing tools, the opportunity for you to comment on articles, etc.
Third, we will no longer publish articles by other authors. So, to keep up with any of our contributing editors, you’ll need to subscribe to their free ezines and/or visit their websites by clicking the appropriate links below:
- Gary Bencivenga
- Michael Masterson
- Drayton Bird
- Daniel Levis
- Troy White
- John Forde
- Carline Anglade-Cole
Fourth, instead of publishing my articles on a regular schedule (every Monday, come hell or high water,) I will publish articles when I have a new idea or technique that’s just too good to keep to myself – kind of like Gary Bencivenga and others do now.
The best way to be notified when a new article is available will be to use an RSS feed to send each article directly to your computer’s home page. The link is below:
Fifth, we’re keeping the e-mail address for customer care active; you can still send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, sincere “Thank-Yous”
are in order …
I don’t mind admitting that I’m extremely, unabashedly proud of everything we’ve accomplished in The Total Package since we published our first issue way back in June of 2005.
As I’ve often said, our greatest rewards are the thousands of notes from readers who’ve thanked us for helping them.
So now, it’s my turn to give thanks – first, for the wonderful people who have helped us publish this e-letter nearly every day for all these years … who helped develop our products … and who single-handedly untangled the inevitable customer service SNAFUs that all marketers are heir to – particularly to Jill, Martha and Pete, who will soon be leaving us.
And secondly, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Daniel Levis, Troy White and all of our contributing editors for the wealth of direct response wisdom they have provided in these pages. Without you guys, this rag could never even have begun to enjoy the success that it has.
Finally, thank YOU, dear reader, for your friendship and loyalty over the years. I can’t begin to count how many times your blog posts and e-mails have touched our hearts and made us grateful for the opportunity to help you in some small way.
You also have my word that we will continue to be here for you, publishing special issues when time permits and most importantly, when we have something we’re sure can make a big difference for you.
Until then, I am … sincerely, with all my heart …
Yours for Bigger Winners, More Often,