October 3 2018

Working with a freelance writer

Freelance writing can be a successful endeavor for both the writer and the client. Outsourcing writing to a skilled professional can benefit the client in many ways, allowing him or her to entrust content development to someone capable of developing engaging, effective, SEO-driven content.

But, what does the relationship between the freelance writer and the client look like? How can it succeed?

Recently, I participated in a Scripted survey to discuss ways to maximize success as a freelance writer. Check out the blog post, which includes my input as well as ideas from other freelancers!

October 23 2014

Retail websites: Editors needed

Much of Carpenter Doc’s writing workload is for retail websites, writing product descriptions and informational/advertorial blog posts. Our product descriptions are reviewed by in-house editors before they go live on the site.

Unfortunately, not all retailers are as detail focused and, instead, post product descriptions and ads chock full of errors. Here are a few we have spotted recently.

August 16 2013

A UPS mess

Editors are important for businesses, even for small tasks. Mailers that go out to hundreds or thousands of potential customers should feature clean copy. Check out these two mailers that a friend in Orlando sent us. Clearly, this UPS Store does not have an editor on hand to check out its marketing materials before they land in your mailbox.

Mailer 1:

Here, we have the obvious typo “the your” in large, bold font. However, we have some other issues as well. Item 4 in the numbered list does not flow with the stem “you get.” Remember, lists should always be in parallel structure.

Mailer 2:

In this mailer, “the your” is, once again, displayed prominently. In Item 1, “24-hour” should be hyphenated as a compound modifier. Again, Item 4 fails to flow with the stem and remain parallel with other items in the numbered list.

August 2 2013

Marketing mess

Editors aren’t just for publications or academic writing. Time and again, we have discussed how important editors are for businesses. Before spending thousands of dollars on marketing materials, these pieces should go through rigorous editorial review to ensure that the final product is error free.

A friend sent us this sign — and it’s a perfect example of why editors are important for businesses. Check it out, and then we will break down the errors.

 

  1. “Its” should be “It’s” — that is, the contraction of “it is.”
  2. The quotation marks should be removed around “instructional.” They leave us wondering whether, in fact, the DVD is actually instructional.
  3. This testimonial is a mess. “Everyday” should be two words and should be followed by a comma. “I” should be capitalized. There’s a comma splice after “rod” — these independent clauses should be separated by a semicolon. Finally, we have another “its” error — “it’s” is correct.
  4. Again in this testimonial, “I’m” should be initial capped with an apostrophe.

…and these are just the major errors. It appears that there are not any spaces between 1, 2, and 3. This format was probably selected so the content could fit on one line — but we’d prefer a smaller font with appropriate spacing between the numbers.

Simply put, this display needed some serious editing before going to print.

April 5 2012

Poorly written product descriptions

by Barbie in Business Writing

With more and more people relying on online shopping for all of their needs, well-written retail websites are increasingly important for businesses. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t make much of an effort when it comes to writing product descriptions. Without the ability to see the product before ordering, consumers want effective product descriptions that offer specific information in a clear, error-free manner.

You can find bad product descriptions all over the web. Here’s one example we caught this week, with our markups in red:

Well-written product descriptions can increase sales. We can help! Contact us about our web-writing services!

April 4 2012

Increasing website traffic with useful content

by Barbie in Business Writing

Businesses rely on regular website traffic to increase visibility and, in turn, their customer base. The more useful content you have on your website, the more traffic it will receive. If you aren’t sure what content to add to your site, turn to Carpenter Document Consulting for your web-writing needs. Having a business blog, just like this one, can provide current and potential customers with relevant information about your company and industry. You can answer frequently asked questions, provide some insight into your business, or offer informational articles related to the product or service you provide.

Chances are you don’t have a dedicated staff that works on your website, much less one that generates all of its content. So, let Carpenter Doc do it for you. This cost-effective approach allows you to provide rich, interesting content without the work. Here’s just some of the content we can offer:

  • SEO blog posts and articles
  • FAQs about your product or service
  • Product and service descriptions
  • Employee biographies

Contact us to see writing samples and learn more about web-writing packages available for your business.

October 22 2011

Business websites…again

In February, we shared some business websites don’ts with you. Well, I keep coming across business websites in desperate need of an editor, so I thought I’d discuss this topic again. If you follow us on Facebook (and if you don’t, please start!), you know that we often share some of the typo-ridden, offensively phrased items we find on the web. My current favorite is actually a local editing service, just like Carpenter Doc, except its website features some serious issues:

This website is a perfect example of why businesses should use an editor for their website text. Now, in this case, the blatant typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors are particularly disturbing since this company is touting itself as a professional editing service. Ha! But, looking beyond that, a typo-ridden website is simply sloppy. If you don’t take the time to present yourself professionally on your website, why would I want to do business with you?

Web editing is something that I really enjoy, and it’s typically a fast and easy editing job, meaning it is budget friendly! If your site is already published, just send me the link, and I’ll go through the site page by page. I’ll send you detailed suggestions for text revisions, and I can also address the site’s functionality and readability as well. Contact me today!

June 6 2011

The trouble with advertisements

by Barbie in Business Writing

Lately, we’ve noticed some poorly written newspaper and magazine advertisements that pose as articles. So, you start reading the “article,” only to realize halfway through that you’re actually reading an advertisement for a product or service. The ads that we’ve come across have been so ridden with grammatical and typographical errors that they are downright laughable. We couldn’t help but bring out our pink pen for these disasters.

Check out our Facebook album featuring bad ads.

Do these ads posing as articles hurt the reputation of the publication? After all, some people might read through the “article” only to realize that it’s promoting a product or service at the very end. Because it’s written in a journalistic style rather than featured as an outright advertisement, readers might associate these horribly written ads with the publication. Granted, it doesn’t exactly give the business much legitimacy either, but the publication might end up being judged based on the quality — or lack thereof — of its advertisements.