Damn Fine Words is a cross between a professional writing course and a business course. It’s perfect for:
- Business owners who need professional writing skills to write website copy, sales letters and articles for their business.
- Bloggers and professional-level writers who want to learn how to improve their writing skills so they land better projects that pay well.
- Freelancers (from any industry) who want better writing skills so they can compel and convince new customers through newsletters and content marketing.
In short, it’s perfect for you.
Damn Fine Words is a professional writing course that helps you learn how to write effectively, in a way that reaches your ideal customers with a message they want to hear. It teaches you writing techniques that bring you business results.
It’s designed to change your business – and your life.
And it works. Here’s what past students have said about the Damn Fine Words writing course:
4 reasons: Integrity, intent, capability, and results
Integrity: Unlike most courses, DFW doesn’t exist to make James passive income. It exists because it’s that thing James can’t not do. She wants this course to make you the writer you crave to be.
Intent: You have passion and value to share to the world. And it hurts - HURTS - James that you don’t, or can't, just because nobody taught you how.
Capability: James can and will. In fact, she invests A LOT of time and energy into coaxing you to do what you have to. And she’s damned good at it. Before Damn Fine Words, I would have been thrilled to get paid $25 for an article. James helped me write words that deserve more. And she made me believe it.
Results: Seriously, just check out this page.
This course has done more for my writing than any other resource. Maybe even all of them combined. But more importantly, it has done more for my psyche and confidence than my writing. That's really saying a lot :) Highly, highly recommended.
Surprising (to me anyway) was the impact the 3-sentence minis and the creative staff combo had on my mental health. Not that I was on the brink of breakdown or tempted by open windows in high rise buildings…but once I met my staff and knew their roles in creating minis, drafts and completed copy, I was a new woman.
Most of all, DFW and these two lessons in particular, have made me see myself as a writer. I’m not just a speaker who also writes pretty well. I’m not just writing so that I can get more speaking engagements. Yes, that will happen. Yes, that’s how I justified the investment. But now writing is more than a means to greater end.
Writing is no longer a “need” or “should” do activity. Now writing is a “want to do” and “love to do” part of my day.
And when you love what you do for a living, life will love you back.
Here endeth my lesson to new DFW students: The world needs to hear you.
The price point was the only block I had. It was the most expensive online training I'd ever considered. Since I don't make that much money from internet marketing, and since I write mostly in my native language (Romanian), it looked like a huge investment.
I decided to join the course because the curriculum promised what I was looking for: a step by step framework for writing. That and my intuition. Gut feeling, you know.
Did the course meet my expectations? Hell, yes! In fact, the course exceeded my expectations in many ways. It's THE course I'd recommend for everyone who's serious about writing for business or internet marketing. This course goes before any other marketing training, in my opinion.
I learned a step by step process for writing, and I received a lot of value from the interaction with James and other students. I feel like I'm a writer now. I know how to think and what to do when it comes to writing. I am confident that I can write good content and get better at it even more by applying what I've learned in the DFW course. And I gained confidence that I can write both in my native language and in English, too.
I can't wait to share my message to the world through my writing. I now have a list of 64 articles ready to be put in my Editorial calendar, and I know how to write in much less time than I used to. I'm ready to start doing, in my business, rather than keeping learning (without much doing).
I'd recommend anyone who wants to make a living sharing his/her message to take the DFW course before any other courses. That way, you will start with the most important task for your business: actually writing good content and thus providing value to your readers.
All the other courses on marketing come after DFW. DFW is a course on writing for business, so it will give you a lot of marketing-related insights, too: how to find your ideal reader, how to find the pain points and write with benefits, to mention just a few. DFW is a foundation for a solid online business for someone who wants to write his/her own content.
I wasn't sure if I was a good enough writer, but having read James' emails over a long period of time and through corresponding with her, it made me realize the course would be good, so I took the plunge.
The course met my expectations. I got practice at writing in certain styles, and it's a great way to connect with other writers/people online. There is a good sense of camaraderie, and your peers give feedback and support.
James is a fantastic writing mentor. She is always there for you and will definitely give you the feedback you need, but also the space to explore. No fluff! No nonsense.
The course helped me to look at how I get validation, how to look at more appropriate titles for my blog posts and write ones that would capture the right audience. I also fine-tuned my target audience and ideal reader.
I recommend this course. It's a great way to improve your writing and business skills, and I really appreciated all the feedback from James and my fellow writers.
But I got so much from your course. The confidence in my writing skills skyrocketed. These skills are something that no one can ever take away from me. It was one of the best investments that I have ever made in my personal and professional development. I love writing now.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how active the forums were. Using the forums helped my get the most from the course. And your individual attention and feedback were priceless – a real plus.
I learned how to use a repeatable system for creating the best content possible using my ‘voice’. I gained confidence in my writing. It feels great to know that I’ve been able to overcome my business writing fears. I felt that the pace of the lessons were just right. I had to work hard but was not overwhelmed.
I have no reservations about recommending your course to others. The improvement in my writing skills is a testament that your course works.
I miss the camaraderie of being a part of the classes. And I miss your feedback, James. I think that we all develop a special bond with each other during these courses.
By the way – I’m working on my ebook, every morning from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. I’m doing the first edit (lesson 15) and it’s turning out great. I can’t wait to share some of it with you.
I also needed to learn how to be more concise and clear about exactly what I wanted my reader to get from what I wrote. And more importantly, what action I wanted them to take.
I'm also am very interested in starting a blog to develop an online community for my business. to further serve my existing clients as well as start leveraging my knowledge to sell audio products online to a broader community.
The cost of the course was substantial, but in comparing Damn Fine Words cost other online business writing courses, I found James' fee actually very reasonable.
The format of the course really made sense to me. Other courses are intensive weekends or not live. I believe that having live, real-time feedback is extremely important.
The other very significant aspect was having the course spread over many weeks. Learning anything is much more effective and easily consolidated when done often over time. Intensive weekend workshops are more like "cramming for an exam". You may do well on the exam, but then you forget it all in no time.
The other thing that made me choose Damn Fine Words was in fact reading James' writing. I really appreciated James' style. One of the other courses I was considering had a good "syllabus" but honestly, when reading the teacher's copy, I really didn't like his style.
Damn Fine Words exceeded my expectations. I have to admit that for the first few lessons, I had my doubts. I didn't feel like we were getting to the heart of the matter quickly enough. But in considering how the course progressed and where we got to by the end, it is clear that James put much thought into each lesson, as well as the progression of lessons. Those first lessons laid a foundation for success.
In no time at all, the course got much more demanding. I can't stress enough how much I learned. There were many ideas/concepts I'd come across before. But the clarity James brought to these concepts and the exercises she put forth for us made everything come into sharp focus. Then there were many ideas/concepts that were new to me -- and absolutely invaluable to improving my writing.
But what really made the course stand out as exceptional was the constant feedback James gave us students in the forum. She was always there guiding, giving feedback and supporting us. And her feedback was great. It was always honest and useful. It is obvious she cares about her students and that we learn.
The forum was surprisingly fun to be a part of. I'm a bit of a nut for learning, so the whole course was great. But as one who does not spend time on Facebook or twitter or chat rooms or forums, I really was surprised at what an awesome space that was.
It was fun. People were awesome. Supportive. Funny. Honest. And, having the chance to read others work and James' comments on others work as well as my own made the course so much richer.
After writing my first really significant sales email near the end of the course, I had a longtime client of mine read it. Her first comment was something like: "Wow! You are really communicating with so much more clarity! Well done….." To me -- this says it all.
I've really improved my writing. This course has not only got me on the right path, it will continue to help me as I develop by blogging skills and eventually, rewrite all my web copy.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone serious about improving their writing skills. It exceeded my expectations. It was effective in improving my and my classmates writing skills. James' constant feedback is specific, honest and useful. The forum offers a much richer learning experience as one learns from others as well and it made the process much more fun. The lessons are very well laid out. Its a great course.
I just want to say thanks. I found the course so good, that in spite of the significant cost, I'm considering taking it again!
I discovered that while I thought I could write pretty well, there was an awful lot I didn’t know, and an awful lot I needed to know. That convinced me to find the cash to do DFW on its next run.
The disciple and focus the course demanded made me stay on track and prioritize homework over other distractions to make sure I could get it in on time and make use of James’ feedback
Shitty first drafts were a learning curve, but one I am so glad I went on, as it was amazing how much that helped – I had always tried to perfect when writing so this was a revelation.
I learnt new writing techniques, and I learnt a lot – a lot – about writing in general. But the bottom line is that I achieved a dream – I wrote a book. Yay!
You bet your life I absolutely would recommend this course. I work with guys and girls who need to grab attention. They run blogs, write proposals, pitches and marketing bumph. The stuff they would learn in this course, even if their end goal is not to write a book, would move them forward massively. While they may wince at the cost, I can show them how the course pays them back many times over in terms of what they will generate from what they learn and what they will save by not hiring stuff in.
This course does what it says on the tin. Everything James promised, she delivered. And then some. I will be using the lessons for everything I write until it is so ingrained I don’t need the lessons anymore.
Now I earn more money than I've ever earned and I'm a contributing author to Chris Brogan's Owner Magazine to boot.
I also struggled with the fact that other students had businesses/passions they blogged about. I write on behalf of other people – their businesses and passions – so was unaccustomed to using my voice.
My discovery: that it’s OK to write business copy as myself instead of trying to master “corporate-speak”. That I need to switch off my meddling Editor when I am writing.
Your considerate and often funny feedback topped my list, as did viewing the Forums to benefit from reading other students homework. The curriculum itself felt like a natural progression, and being able to access it online was a biggie.
My achievement? A complete change in my business writing style. The content is no longer all about me – it’s all focused on my reader. And as a result of the course, I was given the opportunity to write a sponsorship proposal for an Olympic gold-winning athlete.
I would recommend Damn Fine Words in a heartbeat.
Damn Fine Words gave me a lifetime vacation from all of that. I walked away with a systematic approach I can use at any time I need to produce quality content on demand.
Every lesson, I learned something I could immediately apply to my business. Each “Use it Now” exercise provided with the lesson helped me apply what I learned to the “real world.” One technique allowed me to easily come up with more blog post ideas than I could use in a year. I also learned how to get in the “zone” so writing becomes effortless. I could get out of my own way and fly through any writing I need to do for my business.
I saw immediate results. too. My blog posts got comments. One person was so surprised at the change in my writing that he asked, “Did you write this?”
And after a single Facebook post using a simple strategy I learned, an organization approached me requesting I write for them weekly.
Now, I use the techniques I learned in Damn Fine Words every day to make my life easier and my clients’ writing more profitable. I love what I do, because James taught me the process that makes writing easy. This course is the best investment I’ve ever made in my business.
It just feels good to know I made a good investment.
I still use the minis, my editorial checklist, and the wash, rinse, repeat checklist you gave us at the end. I’ve really gotten clear on my ideal reader and I’m getting better a highlighting the benefits. I read everything I write out loud and my writing flows as a result, with rarely any typos.
I always knew I had ideas in my head but now I’m able to express them. The more I use what you taught me the easier and more enjoyable it is to write.
The results from what you taught me just keep coming. People are loving my writing! I get compliments all the time and my message is really resonating with people. I’m getting 100+ Facebook shares and Likes on my blog posts. And as my Twitter following grows, so do the Tweet shares. I’m also getting a decent amount of comments on pretty much every post. Plus, the subscribers are coming in as well.
Just feels damn good and wanted to thank you again.
I don’t think you understand how important writing is to me. Then again, uhm, you probably do.
What I discovered as a result of joining the course is that I knew I was going to get to the next level in my writing. I have read so many books, article and courses on writing, but this one is tops. This is college-level teaching.
The lessons were wonderful, each one meaty and building on the one before. Not only that, they were fun too. Bright and sparkly. I knew exactly when the next lesson would arrive in my inbox, and I was ready. I looked forward to each one!
I have to mention my favorite lesson of all was the one on minis. Oh, that one sent me to the moon! It was exactly what I needed. I have used that method over and over as I write my articles.
And James is available to all of her students. Not only available but willing and able to check the work we turn in and give us wonderful critiques. Those critiques were extremely helpful. I could build on them.
This is not your quickie writing course. This is in-depth and covers every possible area of writing online. What I have achieved as a result of the course is a much more organized approach as I write each article. I am not an organized person normally, but now my writing flows better and better. If I could just transfer that organization to my office and my house, I would be thrilled!
Would I recommend this course? Definitely and absolutely. In fact, I took the course twice, right after the first time. And the second time opened my eyes even more. I just felt so good being back. I’d still take it again, and probably again. I always know I can get better and better.
I only have only complaint: It is so tough when it’s over. I feel like a tiny bird who has been tossed out of the nest.
I’d still be doodling ideas in my head. I’d have maybe written an intro, but I’d have been changing my mind 10 times over about how to structure it. And it would have taken me a week just to get out 500 words. Instead, I have written and submitted a first draft of 8,000 words written over the course of 3 weeks! Thanks!
Today, I'm sitting here reading my client's book on Kindle - the one I started ghost writing in your Damn Fine Ebooks class. Damn, it's good! I'm proud to say it reached #1 on Kindle business books.
The thing that really clicked for me in your class was how to finish a paragraph so that it flows into the next paragraph. That and adding personal reflections have made what could have been a dry topic actually sizzle.
My client is proud of the work I've done for her; she's even commissioned me to do a follow-up workbook, and I've had 3-4 other potential prospects calling for help on books.
A thousand 'thank you's' for your damn fine teaching, James.
“I have enjoyed reading your newsletters, especially the coverage on ManMachine which seems to be a very interestingly run business to say the least. All the best with that!”
“I thought the newsletter amply demonstrated your unique ethos as well as setting out what you can do very clearly. Congratulations. I have passed it on to a few people I know. It certainly merits a wide circulation.”
“I usually read client’s newsletters out of courtesy; but I actually really like reading yours.”
Thanks for all your teaching.
I like to say I’m in the disaster business. I am a crisis manager, I help companies plan for the worst, do what they can to prevent disasters, and then manage a crisis when it happens. The subject matter can be tough to pitch, tougher to sell… who wants to think about the worst?
I spent the summer strategizing with James, working with language. I had hope but no real idea how I would find the language for what was in my head. I thought I would need to pay someone like James to craft the base content for my website.
Then in the fall, DFW came around.
The DFW lessons were, are, tough. They stretched my brains. Forced me to keep digging, keep at it, wrestle, be brave enough to put the content out there, and to do the work. The forum community was also important, in some ways as important, as the lessons.
Then something happened. Content. Clarity. Voice. Focus. More speed.
My humble site came into the open today. The learning, the work, the process – it works… and for that I am deeply grateful.
I finally wrote a non-fiction book that has been sitting in my mind for last 15 years. I am in the process of outlining a novel that should be complete by January. And I am going to apply this to my screencast videos and my podcast.
DFW turned my life around and I enjoy writing now with my new skill set. 2013 will be an awesome year, thanks to you James!
The things I have learnt, I put to use – and to my surprise, the products I actually wrote the descriptions for in my own tone and own words are the ones for which sales are skyrocketing.
Does that feel good? It feels awesome. Does that give me confidence to write more for my biz? Abso’freakin’lutely!!!!
You have lit a fire in my writing belly that I cannot describe. So thank you. Damn Fine Words is one awesome writing course. And you are one damn fine teacher.
Having access to the forum means I can learn from what everyone else has said, and the feedback everyone has given. (Trouble is there’s so much good stuff in there!)
Just like last time, this class has been a blast. The lessons were fun (even the ones I struggled with), and you’ve all been great classmates. And James, I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing my teachers at school were all as good as you.
I have a few things I want to share – both have happened since I took DFW and since I started using several of the writing techniques you taught in class.
The article you encouraged me to publish with Natural Horse Magazine is now in print. It’s my first publication in a “real” magazine. And last week another major horse publication contacted me. It’s called Equine Wellness. They’re a competitor of Natural Horse Magazine. They asked if I would be interested in doing an article related to horsemanship. That’s one of my favorite subjects, so it will be a breeze to write.
Thanks again for everything you do for those of us who strive to become a great writers.
Editor’s Note: Click here to read more on Elizabeth’s personal journey in the course.
I especially appreciated your way of participating and interacting with us that seemed wonderfully encouraging and playful without lowering your accountability expectations. You managed to convey a genuine “I believe in you” attitude.
As one of the older members of the class, this was just what I needed. There are still waves of goodness rippling out of that wonderful course, and they go far beyond the excellent instruction. I've kept up with a few of my classmates and we have supported each other. Interesting and valuable how paths can cross and re-cross. Even after almost two years, I continue to be grateful for the Damn Fine Words experience.
Your class flowed. Each lesson built on the ones before. We used work from several weeks ago and then developed it farther.
I loved that you didn’t have any damn videos. What business person has time to sit in front of the computer and watch someone talk? I loved that the lessons built on each other. I loved that there were themes running through the course. I loved that the lessons had a pleasing layout.
I really see how masterfully you understand designing a class.
The final lesson became really important to finishing the process. And writing it put everything together. It made me realize how far I had come. What I learned coalesced.
The depth of information, the way it was organized, and the forum have been outstanding. Your teaching, coaching, and interaction has been stellar. I have felt your presence throughout the course.
You care. About the quality of the course. About your students. It’s rare to come across an individual with your integrity.
The effect that the course has already had on me is significant. It changed my feelings about writing.
It changed my feelings about myself as a writer.
And much more.
None of this would have happened without you. Thank you.
The MORE IMPORTANT stuff that I'm learning here (and didn't think about at all before) is the pscholology around what I'm writing, why I'm writing it, and how to get inside people's heads to figure out whether they'll understand the message that I'm trying to convey.
But most importantly, I’m writing with more confidence and fun that even my clients can sense. Needless to say, this has helped boost my copywriting business a lot.
Mostly I want to say a big thank you. You’re terrific, your writing is great, and I salute what you are doing.
Last year I did her private writing coach program and in addition to helping me get some clarity on various topics, pointing out the error of my optimistic ways and lighting a fire under my butt, she also taught me some of the most valuable writing tricks ever. By the end of our time together I whipped out what I call my “tricked out editorial calendar” for the entire year…and I did it for some of my clients as well.
That alone would have been enough to get me to keep going with James but all of the other strategies and tools I learned just sealed the deal. Writing for me began to feel like art and it just doesn’t get much better than that.
So, when I found out she had created a new writing/business course called Damn Fine Words it took me less than 10 seconds to decide hell yes.
I have worked with James personally, I have bought her programs and products and I can say without question that I have earned more than my investment back every single time.
The results have been excellent. I developed a core marketing piece that has been advertised on Twitter by industry thought leaders and I got a new client less than twenty four hours after publishing.
Oh and the client I got during Damn Fine Words from a report I wrote just hired me again. A 200% monetary return on what I learned is pretty good!
Then Damn Fine Words fell from the heavens – and thank you God!
James hired me as an educational consultant for Damn Fine Words and asked me to critique each lesson and suggest ideas to make the course more engaging. So before I offered a critique, I read each lesson and carried out the exercises to test them.
I’d make my recommendations, James implemented them, and I went through lessons again until we were both happy. For six straight months, I was in a constant state of working, writing and reflecting.
And as I worked, I noticed my writing voice became clearer. My blog posts improved. I developed strict criteria for every piece of writing I produced, as well as what it must include and achieve before it ever gets published.
Then it hit me – this course wasn’t just about writing; it was about business too. As I learned how to write more effectively, I was also learning how to pitch and connect with potential clients. As I learned how to edit my work, I was also learning how to design a business strategy built just for me.
And I didn’t just find my writing voice. I found my business voice.
I have the award badge to prove it, too. My business, Courses that Matter, just won an International Award for Best Learning Leader Blog, and I’ve been asked to prepare a seminar as well.
Not bad for a business that’s just six months old!
Damn Fine Words came to me at a pivotal moment in my career. You won’t just find your writing voice – you’ll find your business voice.
Which, quite frankly, is the only one that matters.
But I believed that I could grow into a gifted blogger myself. What one man can do, another man can too, right?
So I decided to invest in my writing skills. I bought a month of writing coaching from one of the best coaches out there – James Chartrand.
She promised to change my life and believe me, she did!
Shortly after that month’s coaching, I signed up for the Damn Fine Words writing course. It accelerated my learning, and gave me numerous indispensable skills:
- I learned exactly what I want to write about, I got to know my ideal reader and all my writing is now aimed at solving his problems.
- I learned the secrets of creating a tight outline for whatever I write, and I know it’ll withstand the scrutiny of my toughest critics.
- I learned how to get in the right zone to create my first draft, edit my work, improve readability and remain productive through the whole writing process.
In addition, I’ve learned how to handle anxiety – something that plagues most writers.
Writing well is the most-important skill an online entrepreneur can master. You can skimp on the rest, but if you can’t write well, you won’t be able to convince people to like and trust you – let alone sell your services.
I am thankful to James because Damn Fine Words has given me the confidence, ability and inspiration to finally craft my message and build my online business. I will be using the techniques I’ve learned in Damn Fine Words for years, if not for decades.
This is really freaking cool. I’m starting to feel calm and relaxed about my writing. That feeling of panic is fading and is being replaced with confidence.
Best thing about this whole process is that is makes the writing process simple, fun and organized. I feel like a personal organizer walked into my brain and whipped everything into shape.