What a Blog Without Comments Can Teach You About Managing Your Workload

Before I published content on this site, the concept of adding a “blog” to my workload was daunting.

Responding to reader comments and filtering spam is time consuming. I didn’t know if I could commit to it.

So, I created an outlet for my writing that is more like a traditional newspaper or magazine. I don’t have a comments section following my articles.

In the days of old media, you didn’t have the chance to sound off right away. If you wanted to comment on an article or feature, you had to write a Letter to the Editor.

And only a few select letters were published in the next edition.

What part of this process appeals to me? [Read more…]

5 Shortcuts for Proofreading Documents in Record Time

Proofreading Documents. Photo Credit – Flickr: jayneanddIn the past, I’ve provoked some outraged responses when I’ve written tips about proofreading your own documents.

Variations of “You simply can’t find your own writing mistakes! You need someone else to proofread your work for you!” have echoed through blog comments when I’ve addressed this apparently taboo topic.

I understand the sentiment, but I think that the benefits of working with a freelance copy editor or proofreader are obvious.

When a writer can also proofread like a professional proofreader, she is in a unique position to create a product that communicates her exact intentions. [Read more…]

12 Editing Solutions When Your Writing Isn’t Good Enough

Editing Solutions. Photo Credit – Flickr: Sharon DrummondDoubt.

If you’re a writer, the d-word plagues you daily.

Is your writing good enough? Is your writing ever going to be good enough?

Writing confidently is more than just feeling good about the thoughts that exit your brain and form neatly arranged words in a document.

To remove doubt, old-fashioned TLC has to be an integral part of your artistic lifestyle.

Here are 12 editing solutions that help you care for yourself and your writing. [Read more…]

Need to Hire a Small Business Writer? Start Here.

Small Business Writer. Photo Credit – Flickr: Artois BibliothèquesIf you need to hire a small business writer, there are a number of prerequisites that you should figure out before you approach candidates.

It’s not all about the writer’s qualifications.

Communication is key when forming a new business relationship.

Once you establish guidelines for your writer, it’s also easier to find the perfect person for the job.

Here’s a 20-point checklist to review as you search for a small business writer. [Read more…]

Introducing Free Proofreading Services: Get a Sample Today!

Free Proofreading Services. Photo Credit – Flickr: ElectraSteph

UPDATED APRIL 25, 2012 —

Free samples are no longer available. Please refer to my Proofreading Service Menu for standard prices.

I don’t offer free proofreading services.

Proofreading is not a hobby for me. It’s not a complimentary service that I help you with in my spare time.

Proofreading is what I do.

But a free proofreading sample?

That’s a different story.

It’s my business to help you with your business. [Read more…]

Your Ultimate Online Proofreading Guide for Better Writing

Online Proofreading Guide. Photo Credit – Flickr: tonx

The Second Edition of Your Ultimate Online Proofreading Guide for Better Writing is now available.

Click here to download the new 2013 version.

Writing, editing, and proofreading are interconnected activities in the web of transcribed communication.

You can overcome creative standstills if you look at editing and proofreading as a safety net.

Feel free to write absurd, nonsensical musings and tangents. Don’t worry—it can all be fixed later.

However, many writers feel overwhelmed when they have to resolve rough drafts.

It’s a pain to review text that already makes sense to you.

My new free ebook, Revision Fairy Tales: Your Ultimate Online Proofreading Guide for Better Writing, covers low-stress ways to revise and correct your work. Ensure concepts that you take for granted also make sense to your audience.

You improve your writing skills when you proofread strategically.

After reading the ebook, you won’t look at proofreading the same way again.

The 30-page PDF is Edition I of a new series. [Read more…]

Professional Proofreading Help: 21 Writing Mistakes You’ll Never Make Again

21 Writing Mistakes You'll Never Make AgainOnce upon a time, I decided to write an ebook. It was almost a year since I began my adventures as a freelance proofreader, and I wanted to create a product that would help my clients.

I spent the summer writing Revision Fairy Tales: 21 Writing Mistakes You’ll Never Make Again, and I released it on September 15, 2009—two years ago today!

If you want to improve your writing skills and learn how to stop making the same writing mistakes over and over again, help me celebrate the book’s two-year anniversary by downloading a copy.

I call the content “anti-grammar” because I think standard language rules are boring, confusing, and difficult to remember. Revision Fairy Tales contains straightforward, practical tips that help you write correctly without memorizing any grammar rules. [Read more…]

Power Proofreading: The #1 Writing Tip When You Don’t Have Time to Proofread

Power Proofreading. Photo Credit – Flickr: purplemattfishThe writing process is an artistic balance of raw text and meticulous proofreading, copy editing, and revising. Your initial thoughts need to be crafted into clear language that your target audience understands.

Since school starts back up this month, I decided to dedicate each Thursday in September to copy editing and proofreading tips for specific writing situations.

Here’s the first installment of my Proofreading 101 series.

People like instant gratification and the accelerated versions of activities: power napping, power workouts, power lunches, etc. It’s only natural that you’ll find yourself in a situation where you need a power proofreading.

Sometimes you know that your writing is not up to par, but the clock is ticking and you need a complete draft fast. For example, you need to dramatically improve your copy within the hour, and you don’t have time to hire a freelance proofreader. [Read more…]

Free Ebook to Help Your Small Business: ‘The Art of Blogging Debunked’ (from E-Junkie.info)

Small Business Ebook: The Art of Blogging Debunked. Photo Credit – Flickr: wicckedE-junkie is a popular tool for selling products online, but did you know that the company also has a blog about small business, self-publishing, and eCommerce?

E-junkie.info provides helpful resources and announcements for both online and offline entrepreneurs, and I wrote a guest post about writing online content for the blog in June.

Since I often discuss the importance of small business blogs, I was pleased to discover that the articles in E-junkie’s new free ebook, The Art of Blogging Debunked, support my belief that a blog isn’t necessarily a site for breaking news or a place to rant about what you ate for breakfast.

Consistently maintaining a small business blog adds a new dimension to your organization and can help you attract customers. [Read more…]

Create a Custom Editorial Calendar for Your Small Business Blog in 3 Steps

Editorial Calendar, Small Business Blog. Photo Credit – Flickr: danaberlithWhat value does your small business blog offer potential customers?

It’s easy to create a blog for your small business, but its mere existence is not enough.

Your blog needs to be a regularly updated resource that gives insight into your business. Demonstrate that you have a solution that will help readers solve their problems.

The best way to manage your small business blog is to create an editorial calendar. WordPress has an Editorial Calendar plugin that can help you, but writing effective blog posts requires a special technique.

In three steps, you can transform your small business blog from a string of unfocused posts into a platform that will grow your business. [Read more…]

20 Small Business Blog Ideas that Attract Customers

Small Business Blog Ideas. Photo Credit – Flickr: faith gobleIf you’ve started a blog for your small business but have trouble thinking of ideas to write about, it’s helpful to look at the blog like one of your favorite TV shows.

The show’s episodes could be scheduled daily, such as CONAN, or once a week, such as Glee. Either way, the series unfolds gradually. Between episodes, you chat with your friends about the show’s plot and/or content.

Keep readers engaged with your blog in the same way. Give them incentives to visit frequently, find out what’s new, and spread the word about you.

There are many topics to write about regarding your business, but many small business blog topics are too narrow. As a result, the blog is not regularly maintained and becomes outdated.

Don’t miss the opportunity to attract customers and show them what you have to offer.

To prevent “cancellation,” here are 20 small business blog ideas that reveal unique information about your business. Each idea can be used multiple times, in different ways, to make your blog a fresh and valuable resource in your industry. [Read more…]

The Easy Way to Hire a Freelance Copy Editor

Hire a Freelance Copy Editor or Proofreader. Photo Credit – Flickr: Thomas Hawk The variety of businesses looking to hire a freelance copy editor or freelance proofreader is a lot like the different types of people who enter hardware stores.

Some hardware store customers know exactly what they need and go to the retail outlet to purchase the proper tools, accessories, or materials.

Other shoppers have projects or problems, but they don’t know what they need to complete their tasks. They need help.

Let me rephrase that: they need a solution.

They don’t want to learn about every drill or wrench for sale. They want the single product that will get the job done. [Read more…]

Best Business Writing Tips on Revision Fairy: Summer 2011

Business Writing Tips. Photo Credit – Flickr: petter palanderFavorites.

They seem to be a staple on every social media site, Web browser, and smartphone.

Since it’s unwise to dive into any project without a healthy review of its early stages, I want to list my favorite business writing tips on Revision Fairy from the last few months.

I look forward to writing about more specific topics that answer your questions about how to produce the best business writing possible.

Summer is a time for reflection and relaxation (although I’ll likely also write a similar post in the fall), so take a look at these helpful business writing posts in case you missed them earlier in the year.

Happy Reading! [Read more…]

Proofread Your Business Blog Posts and Get More Subscribers in 5 Steps

Many bloggers’ goal is to get more subscribers.Photo Credit – Flickr: Brero

You want to communicate your message to a large audience and attract readers to what you have to offer.

In order to gain readers’ trust so that they have a consistent interest in your writing, you need to make every blog post unforgettable.

Mediocre posts perpetuate the notion that blogs are still LiveJournal musings about the incredible English muffin that you had for breakfast, rather than a serious medium for self-publishing.

A thoughtful, complete blog post has certain characteristics regardless of its length (which will vary depending on your topic).

Even if you don’t have a lot of time to proofread your business blog posts, here are five questions to ask yourself before you publish. Satisfy each of these elements to bridge the gap between writing that makes an impact and text that gets ignored. [Read more…]

The Hall & Oates Guide to Small Business Writing

Small Business Writing. Photo Credit – Flickr: Old Lucky DuckWhen Hall & Oates play a concert in town, I’m there. No questions asked.

The transformation from college kids playing soul music in Philadelphia to one of America’s biggest pop duos is a lot like growing a small business.

You put in countless hours and effort in hope to one day become a profitable enterprise that pays it forward and provides opportunities for others.

There’s not enough room on my server for a rant about how much I enjoy Daryl Hall & John Oates, but if you’re building a small business, you’re probably looking for the same type of love from your clients and customers.

You want them to adore you because what you offer is so simply incredible.

Here are 10 small business writing tips from Hall & Oates songs to help you clearly communicate your unique selling proposition and turn your small business into a fan-crazed phenomenon. [Read more…]

20 Fears that a Freelance Proofreader Kills to Help You Sleep at Night

Freelance Proofreader. Photo Credit: HikingArtist.com“I’m so glad you caught that!” is a familiar remark to a freelance proofreader.

After you and/or your team of writers create multiple drafts, you don’t always have the time to check that your documents make sense to someone who isn’t part of your company’s inner circle.

How will your target audience interpret your copy? Did you fail to communicate your point? Will your writing make you look unprofessional?

Even though many small businesses don’t employ full-time proofreaders, the luxury of having a professional catch your mistakes and improve the clarity of your writing is not reserved for the big guys.

Instead of losing sleep over potential business writing blunders, a reliable online proofreader is just a few clicks away.

Hire a freelance proofreader to correct your writing and remove the 20 fears that make up the Four M’s of Small Business Document Anxiety. [Read more…]

Small Business Productivity Tips: A 3-Course Meal

When you’re hungry, there’s nothing like a satisfying meal.

In business, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing results from your efforts.

The foundation of my secret to a small business plan that works is self-motivation.

If that’s not one of your strengths, my advice is as effective as a love guru telling you that to find true love you must convince Prince William to ditch Kate Middleton at the alter. It’s not going to happen.

You need realistic practices that will give you an immediate sense of satisfaction. Then, you can build on that feeling to heighten your level of self-motivation.

Here are three small business productivity tips that complement each other and help you accomplish your goals.  [Read more…]