Posts Tagged content writing

Writing for Your Business: Get Tips from Writers, Editors, and Publishers!

Writing and Web Content

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A few months ago, I was invited to participate in a Business Writer’s Workshop in the Denver, CO area on Meetup.com. I thought it was a fabulous idea to gather entrepreneurs and individuals needing to create content for their websites, blogs, educational or informational downloads for clients, and fun custom projects.

Not only do those who write their own business or project content get advice from professional writers, editors, and publishers, but they share what they look for on other business or hobby websites in different industries, which provides valuable research for the writing professionals.

The host of the group is a real estate agent, Victoria Fitch, who has been in the Denver area her whole life. Conversation in her industry centers around real estate and how to optimize landing pages or create an informative blog article for all the different localities in the Denver area. I am now co-hosting the group and share digital content writing and editing tips that may be helpful for everyone, whether you are writing on your own because you enjoy it or simply have budget constraints.

Other writers in the group work in very different areas of the industry and share experiences in business such as developing competitive rates, marketing their skills, learning about other areas of interest, and finding time to maintain our own content as we write and edit for others. All are open to suggestions on new processes to improve and expand business. We all have unique perspectives!

Victoria originally described her new meetup as “an opportunity for local professionals to meet bi-monthly and share their business writing.” Members discuss their current projects, such as building a website, starting a blog, or publishing a book, to share and receive support from a collaborative environment. We invite speakers to present information on business writing and related resources.

Once you’ve visited the meetup site, you can request to join our Business Writer’s Workshop Facebook Group for more information and additional resources.

If this sounds like a great opportunity to you, please go to the meetup site to let us know

you’d like to attend. 

The Next Business Writer’s Workshop Meeting

Friday, July 27, 2018
9:30 AM to 11:00 AM

Every 2 weeks on Friday – next 2 dates are August 10th and 24th

Location:

Columbine Library – Jefferson County Public Library

7706 W. Bowles Ave. · Littleton, CO

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     ScribeSyndicate@gmail.com                 704-223-7722

 

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How to Work with Scribe Syndicate

copywriting, digital content        contact for scribe syndicate

 

See this PowerPoint on How to Work with Scribe Syndicate

Whatever your business writing project is, Scribe Syndicate can help: Website landing pages, blog articles, text for social media posts, downloadable brochures, white papers, eBooks, and more. We can write it or edit existing information so you look professional.

 

 

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Remote Content Writing/Editing Job Available

Hello everyone! Scribe Syndicate is now located in Denver, CO and we’ve expanded…calling all content writers who work remotely by 1099 contract. I am taking applications for those who have 2-5 years experience in digital content for blogging/social media articles and posts. Ongoing work for the right candidate. Please reply by sending me your online portfolio and resume with your hourly rate requirements to see if you qualify:) Fill out the form below or email to:

Scribesyndicate@gmail.com

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The Secret for a Successful Life and Business in 2017

personal and business developmentWe live in an age that loves the peculiar and the original evidenced by reality shows, presidential elections, and entrepreneurial creativity. If ever there was a time to let your unique personality gleam, it is 2017. Your business image can be carried through your exclusive life story to connect with the public on a whole new level of rationale.

Your business identity is securely connected to characteristics of your personality. Think about how you arrived at your current profession and where your passion first derived. Start with the details of what you do and why it is important to your clients.

What led you to develop your expertise and share it with your clients?

What makes you remarkable?

The answers will lead you to the niche that takes the most advantage of your unique personality traits, skills, and innate abilities. Act on this.

Believing in Success

Your customers know why they chose you and you need to listen to the positive comments and feedback as you discuss business. Believe in the image you project to them and repeat it to new clients with confidence. This is how others feel about you and it may be more accurate than your internal view which you have carried with you for most of your life and likely needs an overhaul.

Talk about what you have learned and know about your industry. Make a list of your successes, awards, and achievements and prepare to be amazed. Convey your passion to the media by taking advantage of opportunities to share your story. Thank people who share your praise with friends, co-workers, and clients by maintaining relationships and returning the favor.

Strengthen your story by revisiting it weekly or monthly and watch it evolve with new perceptions as you fine-tune your vision of your business acumen and character. A fresh look keeps it compelling.

Disregard the notion of stepping out of your comfort zone and embrace what comes naturally. Whether attending events, networking in-person, or using social media. Make sure you are relaxed in your environment so others feel at ease with you. Choose the venues that make the most sense and that you are familiar with, using them as often as possible. People simply need to know where to find you. Your social networks are necessary, but you don’t need all of them if you are consistently present and focused in one business initiative at a time.

Everyone is capable of following a pattern, trend, or recipe for success. Dare to determine your own personal direction and see where it takes you. There is an element of fear for many of us in exposing who we are and making changes. Many times, we know what to do but don’t act on it. A new year brings us opportunities to evaluate the best way to make decisions in our life and business image. Take you first step by taking inventory of your special talents, dig deep, and share them with others. There is no one else who can do exactly what you can do…believe it.

happiness in life and business

 

Sources:

Zetlin, M., 2016. 9 Surprising Ways Just Being Yourself Can Make You Remarkably Successful, http://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/9-surprising-ways-just-being-yourself-can-make-you-remarkably-successful.html

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The Controversial 2016 Presidential Election is Upon Us

political electionI try to stay away from touchy subjects, willing to listen, but not interject a strong opinion either way as I find it counterproductive to most relationships. I’m not particularly interested in politics either, but recently, clients have hired me for writing projects requiring me to research both candidates in the last few months. The articles written were a lesson on being unbiased while uncovering helpful information and statistics, however, it has caused me to perk up when coverage of the election emanates from the television while cooking dinner at night or brushing my teeth in the morning.

The media has captured my attention more than once with unbelievable statements, images, and wild accusations from both sides. This isn’t new behavior, it just seems to get more and more exaggerated as each decade passes. Change happens and technology enables us all to feel more involved and affected by decisions being made by the small portion of society that manipulates our collective interests. This article is simply my observations. How our government operates is a part of life I have no real control over and I have learned to pick my battles based on things I believe are within my personal power to change.

Comments on Clinton

A few months ago, I was hired to write several articles on Obamacare and the changes that may happen in the health care system as a result of the upcoming election; whether the Affordable Care Act law is revised or replaced. I learned quite a bit about the many presidential hopefuls in both parties, especially the history of Hillary Clinton. She has been heavily involved in health care reform since her days in Arkansas when she was an attorney and ended up playing a large role in the current legislation. I was impressed with her initiative and intelligence, however, her motives after decades of questionable decision-making have led to a fairly regular stream of scandal.

No one is perfect, we all make poor decisions here and there, but those decisions don’t repeatedly effect the welfare of the entire country. Clinton has a talent for bending the rules, being very aware of the legal ramifications of her activities upfront. She was determined to be a big player in politics despite the fact that women typically had a much harder time entering politics during her generation. It seems she always had designs on the White House specifically, her relationship with Bill being a beneficial contract toward a single-minded goal. Generous health care programs offered to the general public and a focus on global women’s issue have established the trust needed to gain her ultimate achievement and bolster her own economic status.

Remarks on Trump

A couple months ago, I was asked to work on editing a manuscript regarding valuation of high-quality real estate; largely hotels, condominium complexes, and golf courses, built and managed by Donald Trump. The author is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) expert and he wanted to explain how large real estate deals are negotiated and the skills that are involved. Over the three years of intensive research to create the outline of the book, Trump decided to run for president and the author got serious about getting the manuscript published in 2016. The book doesn’t get into politics, just the man, what drives him, and his knowledge as an investor.

I still managed a complete history on Donald Trump while working on this project. He has a natural gift for finding ailing properties, renovating or rebuilding them, and finally branding them as very high-luxury, high-dollar resorts where the ultra-rich can live, work, and play. He rode a bit of a rollercoaster until reaching his forties when he learned to use other people’s money to leverage assets, debt, and his own name to create a recognizable empire around the world. His personality is geared toward negotiation and getting the job done. He is blunt and brutally honest about his beliefs in business and what he feels epitomizes the American dream; using capitalism to generate wealth. It is clear that whether Trump wins the election or not, he has accomplished his goal of getting the nation’s attention focused on him, his business, and net worth.

We would all like to be able to say what we really feel and mean, unfortunately, some of us learn that at least 50 percent of the population will be alienated by this tactic. Trump simply doesn’t care if he eliminates people from his life that don’t subscribe to his theories. He is not the only person I’ve met who lives by this way of thinking. He is one of the few that can afford to do it, though.

Observation on Capitalism

I did a little investigating on economics and capitalism just for giggles. Politics is more about money as it takes lots of it to develop enough power to smother opponents and sway large corporations along with the media. Our constitution was written by the country’s elite initially because the masses weren’t educated enough to understand the fine details of the laws that would govern them. This set up a system of wealth distribution that was unequal from the start and success of the system is determined by balancing it so the masses stay content with their role in the arrangement. This is a basic interpretation coming from a middle-class writer’s perspective.

politics electionThis election has pointed out that the balance has shifted power and wealth too far toward the elite and they are now able to act any way they want because the general population can’t really affect them anymore. The only way to fix this situation historically is mass uprising and the late 60’s and 70’s were the last time this country voiced a collective opinion with vehemence. Maybe the outcome of this coming election will impact us enough to call for a major overhaul as our country moves forward. I hope so, not just for our nation’s sake, but for the global implications as well.

 

Due to client privilege, specific articles written by me on the client’s behalf cannot be shared. However, the lists of sources used that inspired this article can be viewed. They are extensive.

The book regarding Trump’s real estate dealings is being published (as of 8/2016), the source information can be viewed below.

 

 

Sources and links:

Sources for Hillary Clinton’s articles: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2YCESOOtekxd2NpUmJ5aFN2M2s/view?usp=sharing

Sources for real estate background and personal details on Donald Trump: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2YCESOOtekxdndFNktKYVBrWXM/view?usp=sharing

Biography/Documentary, 2015. Requiem for the American Dream Noam Chomsky, discusses the deliberate concentration of wealth and power found in the hands of a select few.

How to find the book mentioned in this article and information on the author:

Book being released by Brad Thomas on Amazon in the next few days: http://www.thetrumpfactor.com/

Article written about Brad Thomas:

Wittenberg, D., 2016. The Man Who Knows Trump’s Business Better Than Anyone Else, http://www.benzinga.com/news/16/08/8306820/the-man-who-knows-trumps-business-better-than-anyone-else

 

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Global Tax Evasion and Money Laundering

Road to nowhere.deathtostock image croppedTo the next President of the United States of America, please find a way to level the playing field economically and financially for all citizens. Not only do Americans suffer and struggle in a country that has considerable wealth, but the rest of the developed countries around the world are experiencing the same. While the average American lives with the knowledge that there is a class of people who feel their needs are above the majority of the rest of the planet, it is a bitter pill that gets harder and harder for the working middle-class society to keep swallowing. The blood recently drained out of my face reading the news regarding the Panama Papers. What gives the elite the right to hoard billions and trillions of dollars in attempts to evade taxes when millions of other people in the world watch their lifestyles diminish each decade?

A Gross Need for Greed

A report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists recently describes a yearlong investigation in cooperation with more than 100 other media organizations, including the BBC, The Guardian, Univision, and McClatchy. Some documents came to light by an anonymous source who went to a German newspaper who then shared it with the ICIJ.  They reference decades worth of information regarding 12 current or former world leaders and 128 other politicians and public officials, include over 11 million emails, documents, and client records allegedly leaked from Mossack Fonseca, a law firm based in Panama.

Big banks and financial companies based in the U.K. including UBS, Credit Suisse, and HSBC used the law firm to help clients hide cash in offshore shell companies. As usual, the banks and the law firm deny the allegations. This law firm also helped create more than 1,000 companies in the United States, through a Las Vegas subsidiary.

The ICIJ reports already ignited a government crisis in Iceland and the Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned on Tuesday as alleged links related to holdings in Iceland’s collapsed banks and triggered mass protests in the country’s capital. China has been restricting search results and discussions on social media using the terms “Panama Papers” and “Panama” and blocking the use of names of relatives of current and former Chinese leaders. This smacks of guilt, but will somehow get swept under the rug if past history of accountability gives any indication.

More allegations are directed at associates of Vladimir Putin, FIFA, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri, the father of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and others, each one outraged about the accusations as expected.

panama papers, money laundering, tax evasionThe ICIJ reports claim that Mossack Fonseca’s clients included at least 33 people and companies blacklisted by the U.S. government because of links to drug trafficking and terrorism. That means that these are people already suspected of criminal activity who have reason to hide the real origin of their money through money laundering.

Thankfully, governments in the U.K., France, Belgium, Australia and Mexico have pledged to investigate the leaks for possible cases of tax evasion. Even if it’s a false front, it looks better than immediate denial and depending on what results, possible points for creativity.

Two years ago, the International Monetary Fund stated that “Panama’s open economy, strategic location, and developed offshore financial services sector put the country at a high risk of being used for money laundering”. It has been on an international watch list due to weak anti-money laundering laws and blacklisted in Europe for being a non-cooperative jurisdiction and tax haven.

The Finances of the Average Citizen, US and Abroad

The fact that seventy-one percent of the world’s population remain low-income or poor, living on $10 or less a day is both devastating and embarrassing to consider from a middle-class perspective, let alone from the upper class. While middle America and middle-class citizens around the world continue to lose what little money they have and face serious concerns about their futures, the wealthiest have seen their net worth soar since 2000. They sailed through any hiccups or repercussions during the US historical downturn of 2008, untouched by the concept of morals or laws. Back in 2010, it took 388 mega-rich people to own half the world. Today it only takes 62. The top 1% own more than everyone else combined according to an Oxfam annual report based on Forbes annual list of billionaires and Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Databook .

For many of us, that seems inconceivable, similar to imagining the size of the galaxy or knowing what infinity looks like. “The top 62 saw their net worth rise by more half a trillion dollars between 2010 and 2015 while the 3.6 billion people in the bottom half of the heap lost a trillion dollars. Each group has $1.76 trillion”.

Tax Laws Considered and in Existence in the US:

The Buffett Rule, named after legendary investor Warren Buffett, is a consideration designed to ensure those with net incomes of more than $1 million pay a tax rate of at least 30%, after allowing for charitable contributions.

Beyond the Buffett Rule, Clinton is currently proposing a 4% surcharge on income over $5 million creating a new tax bracket with a top income tax rate of 43.6%, up from 39.6% today. The surcharge would hit 0.02% of filers.

Ways of reducing higher income tax liability come in the form of estate taxes exempting the first 5.45 million of an estate and investment taxes to lower the income tax rate from 39.6% to 23.8% . There are still legal loopholes to shelter additional millions offshore and in IRAs.

Currently, those making more than $1 million will pay about 28% of their earnings in federal income and payroll taxes for 2015, according to estimates from the Tax Policy Center. By contrast, those making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 11% while households with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 will pay 13.4% on average.

So, dear future President of the United States, please put this in perspective for the rest of us. I’ve been writing articles for the past few weeks for different political websites. I think my grasp of our political system and it’s process is pretty up to date with regard to the upcoming elections. No matter who gets elected, I am non-biased due to having equally low expectations for all candidates. There seems to be a choice between a lack of experience or trustworthy behavior, some having neither. I would welcome the chance to be proven wrong in the next 4-8 years. Economic gaps are widening as we speak and the middle class has less and less to show for their efforts; they are scrambling for creative ways to sustain themselves and preserve happiness. Putting a few trillion dollars back into circulation could do wonders.

beach sunset.walking   If you would care to comment, please feel free to leave one below.

Resources and links:

LinkedIn Pulse’s series for #nextpresident 

Kottasova, I., CNNMoney US, 2016. Mosssack Fonseca: The Law Firm at the Heart of the Panama Papers Scandal, http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/04/news/mossack-fonseca-panama-papers/index.html?iid=EL

CNNMoney US, 2016. The publication of the Panama Papers sent shock waves around the world. http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/05/news/panama-papers-things-to-know/index.html?iid=EL

CNNMoney US, 2016. How Hillary Clinton Wants to Make Rich Pay Their ‘Fair Share’, http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/12/pf/taxes/hillary-clinton-taxes-rich/index.html?iid=EL

CNNMoney US, 2016. Luhby, T., The 62 Richest People Have as Much Wealth as Half the World, http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/17/news/economy/oxfam-wealth/?iid=EL

Mullen, J. CNNMoney US, 2016. Panama Papers: Rich and Powerful Respond to Claims they Hid Billions Offshore, http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/04/news/panama-papers-offshore-accounts-investigation/index.html?iid=EL

Kottasova I., CNNMoney US, 2016. British Banks Forced to Disclose Links to Panama Papers Firm, http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/07/news/panama-papers-banks-uk/index.html

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How to Turn Writing into a Career

the content writers toolsI just read an article posted in Forbes Magazine by author, Kevin Kruse that cracked me up. As a writer, I can totally appreciate his list of recommendations to budding authors. Most of what I publish for myself and others is online, small writing projects, not actual books or novels. I’ve gone through several phases of learning while writing to be able to work for several hours at a stretch, recognize my avoidance tactics and disable them, and research material and images effectively. While Kruse directs his piece toward authors attempting to write books, this article is aimed more at today’s freelance writer segment and per-job contracts that are increasingly available due to the explosion of social media visibility.

What Makes a Good Writer

It is true that now is the best time to decide to be an author. Freelance writing is going through the roof. Many jobs being offered require no experience. Technology features can do basic editing for spelling and grammar if that is not your strong suit. There is more to copyediting than that, of course, but it is a start. You need to have an idea of what you would like to write about or, at least, an insatiable urge to write for your own entertainment or knowledge.

Kevin talks about how giving advice, teaching someone a task, or relating an event that happened to others, are tools for determining whether you can write. I wholeheartedly agree. If you can say it with authority and hold a person’s attention while painting a mental image of what to do, how to do it, and deliver a result or message, you just wrote something. You do need to know how to read and write, but your skill level will determine how much editing will be necessary when you are done.

Getting Started

There are online opportunities to write articles for websites and blogs, descriptions, profiles, and short stories. It does require some research to look for writing prospects, but a quick start for me was using content writing services like Textbroker and WriterAccess wordpress logo.pixabay free imageto get your feet wet and build a portfolio and skills. Once you feel confident, remove the training wheels by having your own website, blogging about different aspects of writing and working online to share your experiences and let potential clients find you directly. This is not your main source for new clients…read further.

Finding Clients

The way I personally get new clients is with face-to-face networking with people in business. These people need writers for websites, documents, emails, articles, and subject matter research, in all industries. No business is exempt from an online presence if they want to exist and grow in the next few years. Despite the social media marketing takeover, when people and businesses want to hire a creative person, they want to meet them for coffee, check out their personality, and get a feel for what a writer does. Your website comes in handy for specifics.

private business consultationKnow your intended audience to whom your words are directed. Imagine their likes, dislikes, needs, wants, and personality. You will have to keep your client in mind and their target customer as well, but you will learn to make effective suggestions. Your personal style will likely reflect the type of reading you enjoy, but don’t be afraid to dabble as you talk to your prospective clients and other writers with different styles and talent. Be the sponge that absorbs new techniques and ideas within your peer group. Challenge yourself through your work.

Your Online Portfolio

Be prepared for people to ask to see your work, explain the circumstances of the assignment and whether you prepare text only as opposed to having other online computer skills in SEO, keyword or link use, design and coding, creating or curating images, and embedding video. I recommend starting with text only at least in the beginning. Pricing can get more complicated and the more you offer, the longer it takes to complete the project. Have a list of other people you know who have these related skills you can recommend that don’t conflict with what your writing business offers.

Your Purpose

Published writing, no matter what form, is the gift of legacy. You are forever documented in hard copy or digital print. The story of “you” as you write can be found and referenced forever. This should sound exciting, not daunting. The purpose of writing is not perfection, but creativity that inspires emotion and understanding. Throw your “stories” out there and wait for feedback, both good and bad. You will learn every time. Learning is growth and that is exciting. Eventually, you will write about who you are and what you have learned with real enthusiasm.

key to success is your keyboardBe warned that you will often read more than you actually write. Good writing ideas come from reading and researching about everything related to your intended text. This ensures details will be authentic in both fiction and non-fiction writing. You need to love what you do for a living and the passion for doing it will come. “Life is about making an impact, not an income. And writers who know what they’re doing make both,” explains Kruse.

The following is a list of writing advice and tips from Kruse:

  • Have a great title to grab curiosity immediately
  • Create a wonderful cover or header image for visual interest
  • Generate and share a large number of positive reviews online through various media platforms
  • The description of your article, especially larger projects is critical and the first step in engaging your reader for longer than the quick title and cover ‘scan’.
  • Your front matter or first few lines of the first chapter are the clip of text or ‘quick view’ in searches
  • Focus on the quality of your writing, always improving and learning
  • Your larger works will publish with at least one typo regardless of the number of times it is copyedited
  • Writer’s block is laziness and avoidance
  • One book Kevin recommends on writing is “On Writing”, by Stephen King
  • Keep writing

Using Social Media

Interestingly enough, social media is not the best way to find readers, but it is a good way to keep current fans of your work connected as you publish more new material. It is also a good place to connect with peers and influencers in the writing community. 20-social-media-icons

On your professional writing website (the one you put together with your portfolio and blog roll as you were writing for a service or broker), you have activity dashboards displaying the sites analytics on the site or through Google. Take a look at the numbers of visitors, likes, shares, and comments to the blog articles you’ve been posting and boost your day. Your talent is valuable. Many people are amazed to know someone can write for a living. You have a skill they don’t have. Make sure your ‘About’ page tells who you are and how your passion for writing developed. Give visitors a day in your life as a writer.

Making a Living

While making a living full-time writing a book is difficult, it is much easier to write for several small clients and evolve into a niche that you find you are specifically drawn to and skilled at over time. Your income will start out small, but if you continue toward your goal, it will steadily increase until you wake up one day and realize you have the ultimate job for mobility and flexibility in a time where our experience in life and work are quickly going global.

In the beginning, you may need to supplement your income with other small income streams. Take a look at these flexible options than can be done from home, online, and only requiring a laptop or smartphone: Gig and Share Economy Opportunities, Direct Selling Opportunities.

If you are a budding writer or just curious about additional part time income, contact me at ScribeSyndicate@gmail.com and I will help you get started. Visit my website at ScribeSyndicate.com for a simple example of what a writing website might look like and the content it provides.

sharing economy image  direct sales image  Mini scribe logo

Resource:

Kruse, K., 2016, 50 Writing Tips From My 15 Years As An Author, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2016/03/22/50-writing-tips-from-my-15-years-as-an-author/#332d51613904

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