Content Polished for Contented People

Alex Gulland of ContentedPeople asked me to proofread her website content before the site went live.

She didn’t want to risk the embarrassment of discovering spelling errors or ambiguities after it had been published, or finding she’d repeated herself here and there – which could have made her website look unprofessional.

Alex is more than competent as a writer, but she knows that when you have been looking at your own writing for hours, even days, tweaking it here and there as you go, there comes a time when you can no longer see it objectively.

She wanted a fresh pair of eyes to give her writing the once-over so that she was confident to go public and celebrate the launch of her new business, not slink away in embarrassment.

Once a website is 99% ready to launch, it can be tempting to hit the “publish” button and sit back and relax, so I did my best to turn this job around for Alex as speedily as possible. I’m pleased to say that she was delighted and gave me a fab testimonial! I made suggestions to enhance the readability of the article, such as adding bullets to break up long blocks of text, and recommended adding hyperlinks where appropriate, to relevant useful external links or to the call-to-action page.

Alex has a very unique therapy service using horses

It was a surprise to me to learn that horses do have an awareness of human emotions and can even read facial expressions. Alex introduces this concept to families of vulnerable adolescents and to those facing life changes or crises; many have found peace and clarity and healing within themselves after a session with Alex and her horses.

I have no personal experience whatsoever with horses, but it was an unexpected pleasure to talk to Alex and discover the benefits to be found in Equine Facilitated Learning. Horses can teach us about emotional intelligence and add a wonderful new dimension into our lives – who knew!!!

Contact me today for a free 500 word sample of how I could enhance your website copy at the eleventh hour.

Freelance Writers Appreciaton Week

Freelance Writers’ Appreciation Week!

There seems to be a national holiday for just about everything – from the bizarre (World Toilet Day in November!) to the inspirational.

Surprisingly, the whole of the second week of February is Freelance Writers’ Appreciation Week, intended to draw attention to just how much content freelance writers are responsible for, and to give them a thank you.

What have you read today?

Do you find it hard to write blogs?

Do you feel self-conscious about putting your “voice” out there?

Blogging is one of many forms of communication, and something that is as much a part of life these days as face-to-face conversation. However, for some, it’s as big a challenge as public speaking, which is something many of us have faced. Although most of us don’t have any trouble talking to family and friends, when it comes to speaking in public, it can be a different matter.

6 DIY tips for proofreading your own blog

Ok, it’s not going to be War & Peace – you just want to get your blog out there! No reason why you shouldn’t proofread your own work before it goes live.  But a word or two of advice:

Interview with an Editor

Thinking about the next step towards publishing your book? 

Probably you’ve been advised to have someone cast a fresh eye over your writing to weed out any typos or smooth your grammar before it goes to print, but you might be hesitating because of the cost.

 

Is it worth it? you ask.

What does a proofreader do that the spellcheck can’t?

I’m going to share with you an interview I participated in a while ago: I was asked by a writer for my thoughts and experiences from this side of the laptop – looking at a new manuscript lovingly created by someone like you, now feeling nervous about entrusting it to a stranger with a red pen! (Well, red font I suppose).

♥ ♥ ♥

Question 1)

I would imagine proofreaders are easily able to put themselves in the shoes of a writer. To help a writer like me to see the process from your point of view, tell me some of the challenges you face as a proofreader.

I resigned from the 9-5 and then changed my mind!

When I first started thinking about setting up a freelance business, I signed up on a course to learn all the ins and outs of being self employed, finding my own clients and making money.

I had met the course tutor, found her to be very charismatic and clearly successful in her own business, and after attending a weekend taster course, I was ready to invest in myself. Parting with over £1000 for a 12 week distance learning course was a risk I was prepared to take, and I felt able to commit to it. Hadn’t I only recently completed a two-year degree course? Done the homework and submitted a lengthy dissertation?

It should have been easy. I connected with others on the course and made friends in the Facebook support group. I started on Module 1.

The first part was simple: it involved visualising and writing down how I saw my future, where I would love to be if money were no object. This was what the course would enable me to achieve.

But I found I had a huge handicap.

Colon or semi-colon: the same or different?

The colon (nothing to do with the bowels) is a useful little creature: 🙄 it introduces an idea or a list. 

In my previous sentence, I could have got away with just using a full stop after the word “creature” (or period, for American readers – again, no reference to biology intended here!)

But that seems boring and unimaginative to me: the colon keeps me interested, it tells me there’s more to come.

Body art – love it or loathe it?

Does it matter what your body language says?

The type of art that uses the body as a canvas to express someone’s feelings about something important in life. Some use it just to adorn themselves, like a permanent necklace or a bracelet. I’m not talking about piercings here, but tattoos, which are by no means a new fad – people have been applying permanent etchings to their skin for thousands of years.

In the past ten or twenty years though, this has become almost a fashion, like the mini skirt of the sixties or the ruffles and bows of the New Romantics in the eighties. But this is a fashion that you can’t discard: you can only embellish, add to or remove painfully.

 

Tattoos for cosmetic purposes

Maybe tattoos are a Marmite thing – love them or hate them. Opinions are definitely divided, and while some regard them as beautiful works of art, others see them as a

Love networking, hate mornings?

I love networking! It gets me out from behind my computer and I meet people – some are old friends, some will become familiar faces the more I network.

Until now, I have veered towards free or cheap networking groups in Essex, for obvious reasons. But after a while I began to realise that the lack of commitment to these regular meetings was not helpful in keeping me structured in my proofreading business. Then a Virtual Assistant friend, Stella, recommended to me 4Networking, which is membership only. She told me that since she had joined 4N four months before, her whole life and business had turned around after nearly two years of hard slog.

 

Your invitation

So let me get straight to the point: I have signed up! Yes, I have had to invest in myself, but if as a direct result of being in this group, I manage to sell just two of my new 2017 packages, I will have re-couped my annual fee with change to spare!

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