Copy editing vs Copywriting

If you’ve been looking for a writing job online, you’ve probably come across the terms copy editing and copywriting. Though similar by name, the titles of copywriter and copy editor hold very different responsibilities. A copywriter primarily focuses on writing, while a copy editor edits what someone else has already written.

Copywriters

A copywriter composes the text placed on or with print advertisements, billboard signs, posters, television and radio commercials. His gift is using words with powers of persuasion to capture consumers’ interests toward any given product.

Internet copywriting is the process of developing the text for the pages of your website. Usually, the web development company will obtain information about the products and services your company offers before creating content that is interesting and informative for your website visitors. Your content should not only be well written and clean, but should also successfully draw visitors to your website. In order to make your web pages stand out among the millions of others, any copywriter you hire should know how to:

  • Use keywords and keyword phrases that direct internet traffic to your company by increasing your website’s presence on search engine results pages
  • Create clean copy that informs readers rather than distracts them
  • Write for internet readers. This means using fewer words and clearer sentences than they might use with print media.
  • Listen to your vision for your website copy; after all, nobody understands your company better than you do.

Copy editors

Duties for a copy editor include correcting spelling, typing and grammar errors. A copy editor ensures the accuracy of all portrayed and reported facts. Copy editors must have a keen eye for small details. There is a wide range of what is necessary for copyediting, reviewing the text that is already present on your webpage. Some pages are already well-written and will only require simple proofreading for spelling, grammatical or punctuation errors. Other pages will require an editor who understands about syntax and word usage and who can rewrite portions of the text that maybe confusing to readers. There are times when a copywriter will need to almost completely rewrite a page, making such improvements as:

  • Correcting the writing style to be more appropriate for the internet
  • Refining the page’s presentation so that it has a stronger call to customer action
  • Closing informational and logical gaps to increase the accuracy of product or service claims

Similarities

Both copywriters and copy editors must be diligent about meeting predetermined deadlines. No matter how skilled each is, if he can not efficiently submit assignments by stated deadlines, on a regular basis, he will not be successful in his respective career.

Even though copywriters and copy editors generally work separately, occasionally each may be asked to work together on a single campaign or publication. For example, copywriters may be assigned to submit a slogan for a new product while the copy editor must edit a feature article written about the forthcoming launch of the same product.

Finally – A Triond Payment!

 

Today, I met two milestones with Triond. The first is that I got my first payment, and the second is that I finished my first 100 articles there.

When I started in 2009 with Triond, I wasn’t very serious, but I have met people who make good supplemental income with Triond. It takes a while to get money coming in, but with Triond you don’t have to be accepted to write, you join for free and begin writing. You can write on any subject, too. So, I don’t have to stick to one topic. If something random comes to mind, I can publish it on Triond with no problem.

If you’d like to start writing for Triond, you can follow this link and get started today.

My goal for this month is to reach 120 articles on Triond by the end of the month, but with my plan, I should actually exceed that by 40 or so, we will see. If I do exceed it, I will treat myself to something special.

Maybe a much needed vacation….

Types of Journalism

Journalism is no longer restricted to the ‘breaking news’ varieties. Get an in-depth look on different types of journalism that form a part of our daily life through various media.

Each journalistic form and style uses different techniques and writes for different purposes and audiences and helps to explain the events that impact our lives and is developed in a number of forms and styles.

What is journalism?

Journalism is a form of writing in which a journalist researches and brings information to readers. The main purpose of a journalist is to report news with accurate facts. However, throughout the years, there have been different types of journalism developed that have given different dimensions to the field of mass media.

Types of journalism

Investigative. Investigative journalism aims to uncover the truth about a particular subject, person, or event. While investigative journalism is based on the basic principle underlying all journalism-verification and accurate presentation of facts-investigative reporters must often work with uncooperative or recalcitrant sources who do not wish to divulge information.

News. News journalism is straightforward. Facts are relayed without flourishes or interpretation. News stories lack the depth of the questioning approach of an investigative story. Rather, they relay facts, events and information to society in a straightforward, accurate and unbiased manner.

Reviews. Reviews are partly opinion and partly fact based. The review needs to accomplish two things: one, accurately describe or identify the subject being reviewed, and two, provide an intelligent and informed opinion of the subject, based on research and experience.

Columns. Columns are based primarily on the personality of the author, allowing him or her to write about subjects in a personal style. Column writers can take a humorous approach, or specialise in a particular subject area or topic.

Feature Writing. Feature writing provides scope, depth, and interpretation of trends, events, topics or people. Features aim not only to thoroughly explore a topic by conducting interviews with numerous experts or the key people involved, but to offer a previously unseen perspective on an event, issue, or person.

These types of journalism are not limited to print journalists. The internet has provided a medium for people to voice their opinions online. News written for the web is updated minute-by-minute which is referred to as online journalism, but usually takes the form of one of the above topics.

The great thing about certain types of journalism is that they don’t require you to have a degree in journalism to be considered a credentialed journalist. As a writer or reporter without formal education in journalism and mass communications, you can be considered a citizen journalist.

Wanted: New Friends

Come on over to Facebook and add me as a friend, or simply “like” my page.

My Facebook Page URL is: https://www.facebook.com/emilyfreelancer

My facebook URL is: https://www.facebook.com/emsuth

I’m looking to grow my number of writer friends. Sometimes I need encourage from non-writers and inspiration from others.

I am a huge believer in Facebook and I know that it has helped me become closer with people I never would have been brave enough to befriend in the real world before. It has helped me become more tolerant and more open, too.

Now that I’m done shameless plugging myself into the internet…

3 of the several (maybe 10? and counting) books I have on my summer reading list came today. I’m going to start reading the Shades of Grey series by E L James, after an overwhelming amount of people on Facebook were talking about it. I’m not one to jump on a bandwagon or conform, but when doing so with books, it’s okay.

Tomorrow I will begin 50 Shades of Grey, after I finish The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, by Kim Edwards (author of Secret Life of Bees).

The one thing I have to say about myself is though, I’m not very good at book reviews. I don’t think I have ever read a book I didn’t like for it’s story. I don’t like to judge people’s books. It is something they wrote out of the heart, and who am I to say it was terrible? They are passionate about it! So, although I will share with you what I thought about it, don’t look to me to point out the character flaws or story plot fallacies.

Tax Information for Freelance Writers

To all independent freelance writers, tax time may strike fear, or certainly dread, in their hearts.

Last year was the first year I filed as a self-employed 1099 employee as a freelance writer. Here are some tips and strategies for thinking about your taxes.

When you have a job with a W-2, you have a steady income, your taxes are taken out, and you know when that income is coming in. When you’re a freelancer, whether you’re an artist, a designer, or a writer, you may know when a project is going to actually happen but then again you may not and you may hope you know when you’re going to be paid but that’s often not sure either these days.

As a freelancer, you’re responsible for running a business, your business. As a self-employed person, you’re not only responsible for paying your own income taxes but you’re responsible for paying your own self-employment taxes. On top of that, you have to keep all the records for your business including your freelance income and your freelance expenses. Many freelancers encounter a cash flow issue when your bills come in before the payments for your work.

The IRS is undeniably suspicious of self-employed persons. The IRS routinely audits freelancers, often looking for unreported income or overstated deductions. The IRS seems to be particularly on the lookout for individuals who (1) have high wages, and a correspondingly high business loss, or (2) have business losses year after year, or (3) self-employed persons whose income seems low in comparison to similar professionals. If you are in one of these situations, you need to start thinking about how to protect yourself in case the IRS audits your tax return.

The first step to getting organized is to separate your freelance income from other types of income. Keep a record of all your business-related income. Your clients may send you a Form 1099-MISC in January or February to report total payments for the previous year. Form 1099-MISC is used to report income you received. The IRS also gets a copy of any 1099s. Your total business income on Schedule C Line 1 should be greater than or equal to the total amount of income reported on your 1099-MISC forms. If you report less income on your Schedule C than reported on your 1099s, you will get a computer-generated audit notice from the IRS asking you to explain the discrepancy.

The most relevant categories of expenses for freelance writers include:

  • Advertising – this includes business cards and web-marketing
  • Insurance – for life, property & casualty, or business insurance. Do not include health insurance under this category.
  • Other interest – credit card or loan interest, such as interest paid on your computer loan.
  • Legal and professional services – such as fees your accountant will charge
  • Office expense – anything other than routine supplies.
  • Rent or lease other business property – rent paid on a writer’s studio, for example
  • Repairs and maintenance – repairing your computer, for example
  • Supplies – routine office supplies like paper, toner, pens, pencils, notepads, etc.
  • Travel – the cost of traveling to a convention, meeting, or business trip
  • Meals and entertainment – the cost of business meals, but be careful not to go overboard here as this is a common target in an IRS audit.
  • Utilities –electricity, gas
  • Other expenses – such as Dues & Subscriptions, Web development, and Business telephone expenses.

Keep track of computer equipment, software, furniture and other fixed assets in a separate expense category. When it comes time to work on depreciation expenses, you’ll need to know when a particular piece of equipment was purchased as well as its cost and the type of equipment that was purchased.


Estimated tax payments. Be sure to keep track of estimated tax payments to federal and state governments.

Taking a deduction for a home office is one of the best things about being self-employed. You get to convert a portion of your personal expenses into a tax-deductible business expense. Do be aware that the home office deduction has limitations: you cannot deduct more than your net business profit. Home office expenses include rent, mortgage interest, property tax, renters or homeowners insurance, utilities, and repairs. Homeowners can also depreciate a portion of the cost of their house. But be aware, that any depreciation taken on the house will produce taxable gains when the house is sold through depreciation recapture.

The best advice there is, is to get an accountant and work closely with a tax specialist. If you have any questions, you can ask them and they will help you get on the right track.

 

Books That Have Inspired Me: Ronia the Robber’s Daughter

I know what you’re thinking. Really?

Well, yeah. If you consider that the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium changed my perspective on how I thought about life, this wouldn’t suprise you. 

Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter was given to me in Christmas of 1999 by my Aunt Abbie. Actually, every book I’ve ever gotten from Christmas came from her, my Aunt Marie or my cousin Guin. I need to remember to thank them for building my library.

The book, written by Astrid Lindgren (you know, the mother of Pippi Longstocking), is about Ronia, a girl who lives with her father and his band of robbers in a castle in the woods. You guess it, it’s fairy tale. I have always been inspired by fairy tales and courageous young women. Ronia befriends Birk, her father’s enemy’s son. Because of their friendship, a war between their families start, in a Romeo and Juliet way, only less tragic and depressing. Ronia runs away with Birk to live in the forest. Ultimately, the families end their feuding and everyone is reunited.

But, why was this book so inspiring to me? Why do I still have the same copy with the torn cover and ‘Emily Brooks’ written in 9-year old handwriting? As I look over at my bookshelf and I see the dirty bind, I can’t wait to pull it off the shelf to give to my little red-headed warrior princess. The same little quote that got me at 9 years old gets me as an adult today:

“Life is something you have to take care of-don’t you realize that?”

It’s something I live with everyday, and I have lived with. From my mom and aunt being sick, to me being sick, to bringing my two children into this world and loving them beyond any capacity I could have ever imagined being able to love someone.

This book changed me because Ronia was lonely, she made a friend with whom everyone she knew despised. When I read this book the first time, I was lonely and my only friends were those every one else despised. But I loved my friends. I took care of them.

I love my husband, I take care of him.

I love my girls, and I want them to know that girl power goes way beyond nail polish and pretty make up. It’s braving the unknown and accomplishing a goal. It’s befriending people. It’s loving people. It’s praying for people. It’s standing up for what you believe in, even if it means having to run away from what it wrong.

 

How to Promote Your Online Content

It’s one thing to write your articles on the web, but it’s a whole new thing learning how to promote your content where it will attract readers. There are endless ways to promote yourself on the web without selling out, so we’re going to take a look at the easiest ways to get traffic to your blog, website or article.

Your Social Media

If you have Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, StumbleUpon, and other social networking sites, use them as a way to promote your articles. Use keywords, hashtags and professionalism to build your credit. Create a Facebook page for writing, and invite your readers to join you so they can stay updated on your activity. Digg is a great link sharing social network, You can ‘thumbs up’ articles, and the more popular the links the higher they will be on digg.

You can use a sharing platform that many article websites, such as Examiner.com already have. You register, get the code for your website and use Addthis to share the page on the social networking sites that you already use.

Use Links and Backlinks

Links are already important for an article or any kind of online content, but linking to your other stuff helps guide readers from one topic on to another related topic. Using back links helps to promote your articles because it creates more of your content online, easy to find.

Blog

If you are a blogger, share extracts of your articles in your blog. That way, they will be indexed twice and potential readers will be able to find you more easily. Also allow visitors to subscribe to your blog with a service like Feedburner: Every time you update your blog with new content, subscribers will receive a notice.

Finally, if you use WordPress, install Old Post Promoter. This plugin chooses old posts randomly and repost them as new content, pushing them to the first page of your blog.

Ask for help in spreading the word.

If you have written an important article, one that you think will be quite popular, don’t be afraid to ask some of your peers to share it with their followers. For example, send an email or direct message to people that you know well enough to ask a for a favor, asking them to share your article on their social networks and also promote on StumbleUpon or similar services that they use. Make it easy by including the exact text you want the person to share, including a shortned link to the article. Be sure to offer to promote one of their articles in return.

Motivational Monday: Writing Prompts

I have never been a huge fan of writing prompts. Every time I think of the term “writing prompt” automatically standardized testing comes to mind. Thank you, public education!

Seriously though, writing prompts strengthen and refine our talents, as well as help us develop as a writer. For someone who doesn’t do much with a poetry, a poetry prompt may help a writer create a piece of work worth pride. Writing prompts force us to get out of our comfort zone and just like with improvisation in theatrics, don’t allow yourself to say “no”. Just go with flow, and if you give yourself 15 minutes with a writing prompt, you may find yourself at the end after 45 minutes.

Start a writing prompt by telling a story of this little girl.

Keep your writing prompts in a special folder or notebook. Don’t ever get rid of them, no matter how bad you think the piece is. When you suffer from writer’s block, refer back to a writing prompt that could use more work or elaboration, and fix it up. Keep the original so you can see the differences.

There are hundreds of great writing prompt websites and books. Build your bookmarks folder and library with some of these writing prompt sites and books:

Make it a goal to write at least one writing prompt a week for the next month. Expand your journal, and at the end of the month decide if you think it is worth it to continue, write more, or stop. All writers are different. Don’t feel like a terrible writer if you don’t get inspiration from writing prompts.

A New Chapter – literally!

Yesterday I decided to take a leap in my writing career. I am going to write two books by the end of this year.

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The first one is the most important, and it is the one I promised my aunt Sissy. She wanted a book about her life written and I was given the wonderful opportunity. I have some of it finished, but we have a long way to go. This book chronicles her life with Rheumatoid Arthritis and the pain and problems she has suffered with it. It is important to me because I have RA as well and I have always considered her a second mother.

Second, is my own fantasy novel. The only thing I am disclosing at this moment is the title and a short sentence. Don’t feel left out, not even my husband knows what this book is about. The book will be titled The Sanctuary of Dark Magic, with fairies, evil kings, overthrown queens and magic. I was going to this book last November as part of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, but I had way too much going on.

Basics of Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, commonly abbreviated as SEO, is an Internet marketing strategy that utilizes key words to obtain higher placement by the natural (aka unpaid) in search engine search results.

SEO helps improve the visibility of a website or webpage when filled with keywords that searchers looking for your kind of information or content would use. Businesses, organizations, content writers and blog/site owners use search engine optimization to help promote themselves. For freelance writers who accumulate income by revenue share, SEO is extremely important. Revenue share is a type of income that is earned typically by viewers clicking on ads by partners on a website. For example, Google Adwords can be placed on a Blogger website and the owner can gain income from their viewers clicking on relevant ads.

Without Search Engine Optimization, search engine bots can’t “crawl” a site – because they don’t know what they are looking for. There are billions of webpages, and in order for a site to be found, it must be filled with valuable, relevant and qualitative keywords that will bring viewers searching for the information to that particular webpage. Keywords are index terms that include significant words that pertain to a certain subject that are emphasized as a code to find or attain certain information. The best way to obtain this is to stay on topic. If a website is titled niftyknittycrafts.com and is about knitted and crocheted crafts, the site should stay relevant to that information and content, rather than including things about outdoor activities.

If you were going to search your information in a search engine, think about the words you would use. Write them down and use them as often as possible in your content without keyword stuffing - an unethical SEO technique that uses a load of keywords, often annoyingly, to gain a higher position on a search engine webpage. If there are too many keywords on a webpage, a search engine bot is likely to deem the content as spam and skip it when collecting sites related to keywords.

There are helpful websites that create keywords for specific topics. You can enter one word related to relevent content and these tools will create other keywords that may (or may not) be relevant to your content, but you can choose the keywords that do relate to your content. Google Adwords Keyword Tool is one of the most used and most accurate when generating relevant words.