The frequently asked questions below are essential to help clients in their process to hire a professional writer. You may also watch the following video.
What is professional writing?
Professional writing is an occupation that requires prolonged training, after which the practitioner uses standard prerequisites to effectively communicate information for audiences to make informed decisions.
What defines well-written content?
Aside from grammatically correct language, strong content performs several functions. First and foremost, the message must engage your audience. Without engagement, customer relationships evaporate. The content must inform the audience about the identifiable benefits of your services. That gives customers a reason to continue the relationship. Your message must also advance the plot of your long-term goals. A clear call to action guides customers through the next steps on the path to investment.
What's the difference between technical writing and copywriting?
There are vast differences and simultaneously large overlaps in these types of communications methods. In short, technical writing is instructional and helps end users achieve the best results from a product or service. Copywriting is persuasion, a marketing function to build investment among target audiences. While information gathering techniques are similar for both types of writing, the differences are in their styles and usage.
How do you gather information for a project?
I conduct a series of interviews with one or more subject matter experts (SMEs). We begin with conceptual questions, the answers to which allow me to build an outline of a document. From there, SMEs and I explore the who, what, when, where, why, and how of each portion of the project. I also perform independent research. These comprehensive information gathering techniques are proven methods to collect the full scope of details for a project.
What style guides do you use?
I rely on the Associated Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style. Audiences in the U.S. are already familiar with those usage and grammar standards found in other business communications, newspapers, and magazines. It's important that we help readers identify with your technical or marketing content. That begins with a familiar language structure.
How do you proofread/edit written content?
I employ a trusted editor who has worked with me for years. Together, she and I ensure client projects are prepared for optimal performance. When completing projects where an editor is not required, I self-proof the content. Those techniques include reading content aloud (in a private space) and reverse-reading.
How do you handle deadlines?
We will set deadlines during the initial meeting of a project while defining the scope of work. Based on your needs, I'll provide an estimate of hours to complete an assignment that align with your due dates. I also prefer to set expectations with SMEs to gather necessary information in a timely manner. To be honest, I don't miss deadlines. That's because I believe in setting attainable goals and then devote myself to a project's success.
How do you choose the tone for a project?
That is completely dependent on the document. In technical writing, the tone is almost always instructional. In copywriting, the tone varies based on the target audiences and the goals of the organization. In some cases, we may choose to convey excitement. In other materials, we can choose thoughtfulness or a sense of confidence. No matter the tone, we must ensure every project advances the plot of your long-term goals.
Can you duplicate an organization's voice?
Common themes and key phrases are found by reading an organization's materials. That research is then used to develop future documents. I have also assembled vocabulary and usage guidelines for smaller organizations and startups.
What defines “best SEO practices?”
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to employ proven methods to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to a web property from search engines such as Google or Bing. This topic is vast, but in short, my role is to research the best keywords (phrases) that search engines use to rank web content as relevant and important for target audiences. Those keywords are built into the website and into the written content to advance the plot of your long-term goals.
How do I know I can trust you?
My career would be destroyed by underperforming or otherwise failing my clients. I'm devoted to the success of each assigned project. Furthermore, I've collected multiple recommendations from local organizations over the years.
What the heck is word painting?
Word painting is the act of providing a sensory experience that helps readers identify with an organization on an emotional level. Those writing techniques are not usually employed, because most professional writers do not possess those skills. Word painting techniques are used primarily by authors of fiction and creative nonfiction stories. As an award-winning author and writer, I occasionally sow that kind of descriptive language into written content to provide a visceral reading experience, which increases emotional investment in an organization's products or services.