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Old 05-03-2020, 09:42 PM
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Interweb Professional Writing

I just realized we don't have a forum for occupational discussions, which seems weird to me; ergo my thread about professional writing has come here to the "Lifestyle" forum. Be gentle with it, please.

So, I recently stumbled into a professional writing gig (as a side job) and I'm interested in any anecdotes, advice, etc. from anyone else who has done professional writing :cough: lisarea :cough:

I've committed to writing three ~1500 word articles a month and adhoc reviews of content written by others (a wild guess as to what I'm capable of) in exchange for a monthly retainer. The client makes software for developers, so the content will be articles about software development (agile, devops, etc.) and they will provide the specific topics they want me to write about.
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Old 05-03-2020, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Professional Writing

U wd br gr8 at prfoesional writing lol
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Professional Writing

For the reviewing of content by others, I was taught a thing (back in the days of cuneiform, of course) about reviewing on three different levels:
- the flow of the overall piece (beginning, middle, end, continuity, development of arguments)
- the structure of paragraphs and sentences - style and reading level comes in here
- spelling, punctuation and typography.

There's no point in putting a lot of effort into correcting punctuation when the overall flow is messed up, because then (if the author cares at all) it may all change. Etc. Also, it helps to know if you're being asked to review for flow vs for style vs proofread for spelling.

For the articles you're going to create yourself, where they'll provide the specific topics - will they suggest a structure and/or message you need to argue for? Or is it just the typical "we need to fill a web page"?
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Old 05-04-2020, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Professional Writing

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeP
For the articles you're going to create yourself, where they'll provide the specific topics - will they suggest a structure and/or message you need to argue for? Or is it just the typical "we need to fill a web page"?
I'm not sure how much guidance they'll provide, but their comments lead me to believe I'll be responsible for crafting interesting content from fairly broad headers. I'm also expecting them to do some fluffing for purposes of SEO and brand promotion.
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Old 05-04-2020, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Professional Writing

When you think you're done with it, have caught all the typos, and are ready to tap "send," read it through one more time.

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Old 05-04-2020, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Professional Writing

Reading it out loud will help you spot the flaws better than reading it silently.

Even after that, there will probably be some mistakes that you, as the author, are blind to - because you're just too familiar with it. Getting at least one other person to give it a check over is therefore recommended.
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Professional Writing

Be very very clear about the scope. Since you're on retainer, you should figure out how many hours you're going to devote to their projects and stick with that. If you don't, these things can start sucking up all your time and you won't even notice it at first.

Rather than telling them how many hours you're working, though, try to manage that yourself and just give them an idea about the scope of work you're going to do. They're paying for work, not hours, and it's none of their business how many hours it takes you. You keep track of it, though, or you might realize after the fact that you just made $3 an hour on a project.

So three 1500 word articles, but how many revisions or rewrites? What if they change their minds about something you've already written and want you to start over from scratch, to change topics entirely or rewrite in a different style? Since you're doing SEO/marketing crap, what if they learn a new buzzword or new hotness and ask you to shoehorn it into an article you've already written?

What about formatting and stuff? Is that your job too? Are you being paid enough for that?

Oh, and last one: If you want writing samples for future work, use your originals or at least an archived version, just in case they do anything fucky on their site.
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