First, write your copy (Article, Blog Post, Essay, Manuscript, Speech…etc.).

You know what you want to say, did you say it so that the reader comprehends your meaning?

As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

Many people use different software packages to check spelling and grammar.

No program can beat the eyes of someone that knows grammar, punctuation, and spelling because the author’s mind knows what is meant. The question is, did the author say it concisely and logically written for the lowest common denominator?

Is the copy readable? Is any jargon or legalize easily understood by the reader without having to use some lexicon?

When writing copy, use the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) method without insulting the reader’s intelligence. This is not as easy as it sounds for some copy.

Writing copy that is meant to inform or educate the reader is difficult to make certain the reader understands the point and the copy is interesting enough to finish reading to the end because the copy holds their interest. If your copy is boring, the reader will not read the copy but put it down and walk away.

You only have a few seconds to grab the reader’s attention and the context must fill the promise of the headline and sub-headlines.

Second, when writing copy, who is your audience? How knowledgeable are they about the subject? Is your copy good enough to hold their interest? Is your punctuation consistent? Are there any typos, misspellings, wrong word choices, overused words, and references used that are fact-checked?

Third, if you plan on editing the copy yourself be careful to read the copy as a reader and not an author. The author’s mind might read what isn’t there because the mind knows what should be said and miss what is there, hence the second pair of eyes. This is a reason some authors use beta readers.

Forth, any errors will make the copy amateurish, and the writer will lose credibility as being knowledgeable about the subject and losing trust while boring the reader.

Fifth, consider using a copy editor and/or a proofreader to enhance your copy. Prices may vary from a few cents per word to more depending on the copy editor. Any investment in making your copy the best it can be is worth the cost.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Copy Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer

Anyone writing copy at any level needs to have their composition edited for clarity, grammar, and punctuation.

The writer knows what they want to say, but did they?

Is the meaning clear to the reader?

Is the copy bringing home the point?

Will the reader be bored?

Will the reader get the point and understand the writer’s, point of view?

Is the information written in a logical manner?

Is the copy written for the correct audience?

Will the reader need a lexicon to understand any jargon or legalize in the copy?

Is the copy written for the lowest dividend reader while not insulting their intelligence?

All copy written must answer the above questions at a minimum to be effective in imparting information or education about the context of the copy.

Any copy with poor grammar and punctuation will turn the reader off and they will not be willing to continue to the end of the copy until the end.

This is also true of readers trying to read any article, book, proposal, or report created and not edited and proofread by someone other than the author.

Who will take something serious when the author has blatant errors?

Authors know what they want to say and the mind will fill in the blanks with the right word, which may not be the right word but spell checkers can only tell if the author spelled it right or corrected the spelling but not if it is the right word and consistent with the tense and the correct verb.

This is the job of an editor. To make sure that there are no mistakes and there is clarity in the sentences without changing the author’s meaning.

A second pair of qualified eyes to look over the copy and make any changes so there is clarity and ease of reading of the finished product from the author.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Copy Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer

It has been some time since I posted because I followed my advice about culling email accounts.

I spent the month of January and February 2021 doing just that.

I have cleaned out my email accounts and unsubscribing from numerous email lists that are no longer relevant to me.

There are still a few left to unsubscribe from but that will take some time to clean out everything.

The trick is to keep up with it and not let it get out of hand as I did because my hardware couldn’t keep up with it.

Thanks to a personal loan, I purchased a new desktop that is a beast and not filled it with things that are unnecessary for working from home.

I still need a webcam and a quality headset but that will come a bit later.

Staying ahead of the curve with what emails are relevant and keeping accounts clean allows more time for the important tasks of running a business from home.

Most of January and February have been a time for clearing out junk emails, unsubscribing, medical appointments, and trying to find work.

There have been some people that have asked for critiques and help with their writing.

I have had my Facebook and PayPal accounts hacked and am working on getting them back under my control.

There are many things that need action to get back to networking and job searching for the future.

I have set up a profile at Upwork and bid on a job there.

I have applied for jobs on LinkedIn and waiting to see what happens.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Copy Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer

If you’re anything like me it has been some time since you have gone through your eMail and culled it by which ones you need and unsubscribe from ones that are no longer relevant.

For months I have had problems with hardware and time because of medical issues to keep up with my eMail load.

Since today is December 17, 2020, it is time to finish the year 2020 out by culling the junk that is or perhaps never was relevant to my freelancing from home.

Too many newsletters and just garbage that is no longer worth spending my time on, which will allow me to be more productive and work on my business instead of wasting time on busy work instead of working on learning and improving my skill set through practice.

I managed to get a new desktop, monitor, and printer that I will keep free of programs other than ones that help my productivity as a gift to myself.

Everything is from the same manufacturer HP.

Amazing what a clean computer can do for a business and overall feeling that things can be accomplished faster than before with older hardware even though I am using the same OS.

I have spent the past couple of days downloading the latest versions of utility programs that I use for writing, blogging, copy editing, proofreading, and reviews.

Programs that are resting in my taskbar that allow me to double-check items with a single mouse click.

The month of December during a pandemic is the perfect time to clean up your eMail to begin fresh come January 2021 so you have time to run your business and not have your business run you because you are wound up with not enough time to handle eMail because of overload causing overwhelm.

Depending on how much time you can allot to the task will be made up with less stress in the future and like me, when I can cull mine to the point of keeping ahead of the game with only pertinent and relevant emails.

This is going to be an ongoing concern for me but one that needs to be done.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Copy Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer

As of December 7, 2020, the casualty count is higher than those killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor per day that brought the United States into World War II. A day that will live in infamy, said Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States.

Meanwhile, our current president is trying to undermine the 20202 election and subvert democracy and the will of the people and the Congress is deafening in their silence.

When the FDA certifies the vaccine for special use there is only enough for about one in 10 healthcare workers in the country because of manufacturing and logistical problems meaning that the high-risk groups will have to wait until there is enough for those groups before others will be considered.

Since emergency authorization has not been granted and there is knowledge if people who receive the vaccine can still spread the virus. Only after people receive the vaccine and followed will we know the question if the virus can still spread after the vaccine until every person receives the vaccine. The space for new patients is losing ground to the virus. We could have 300,000 deaths by the week of December 14, 2020.

There are still millions that believe this virus is a hoax because they follow misinformation and conspiracy theorists rather than epidemiologists and scientists and also many who do not believe in any type of vaccination.

Because of people who do not believe in vaccinations because of misinformation that has be rebuked diseases than were long ago removed from concern are making their return to the present.

At this time what is referred to as the Novel Corona Virus is still not known if it will become endemic like other strains of influenza that people are warned about every fall.

The current Administration and Congress are more concerned about politics than the pandemic.

There is no national consensus or plan of action since the pandemic began,

Until everyone takes this virus seriously and follows the CDC protocols there is no end to this pandemic and needless deaths will continue to mount as will infections.

Only a quack doctor or someone from Q-Anon will tell you that masks don’t work. It has been proven the multilayered cloth mask do work on controlling the spread of COVID. So does social distancing.

The increase of cases and deaths are tied to those that traveled for Thanksgiving, and Christmas is coming up in a few weeks.

Stay socially distanced, wear a mask, do not gather in groups outside your living bubble, and practice personal hygiene.

The world depends on every person, city, state, and country to do what they must to stop this virus and stop what has become a pandemic/depression the likes of which have not be seen in a century.

As this pandemic continues, the world as we know it could be doomed both socially and economically forever.

The populace must push their elected representatives to do their jobs and bite the bullet now or all could be lost for generations to come.

The economy is not Wall Street but the people who have no jobs, no place to live, cannot afford life saving medications or food for the table.

The projection is for a dark period until enough vaccine is available for people to get back to what jobs might be there for people if are any businesses who might be looking for workers since any will not be left unless Governments help unlike the Congress of the United States that is only concerned about big businesses and the wealthy, not the common person or small businesses that hire more people per capita than big business for starting workers.

Governments need to get their priorities straight.

We do not need another 1930s type depression because politicians are content to do nothing except politicize everything and destroying democracy.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Copy Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer

When speaking about the digital divide in the U.S. is t real or hyperbole?

Rural areas are hard hit when it comes to broadband internet than metropolitan areas while are subject to only certain venders, can only to connect through limited choices, and weather conditions.

Rural areas are more likely to requires the use of satellite connections because there are not local cable providers.

Satellite internet is dependent of good atmospheric conditions while cable or wiring is not.

Highspeed over phone lines depends on distance and resistance of the wiring to your location.

Cable connections are not subject to the same restrictions and physical wiring from the telephone companies,

Federal, State, and Local governments are unwilling to take the necessary steps for highspeed broadband for all citizens with true competition not just geographic choices of a few companies creating a Monopolistic market from which to choose usually only one cable company.

What is required is Fiber Optic to every home and a multitude of internet provides to create a real choice of carriers for internet.

When there are any choices, the companies will have to increase customer service, innovations, up time through creating backup equipment and routes to homes that can be used in case the main feed is damaged from accident or equipment failure.

The other cause of the digital divide is that not everyone can afford the cost of the internet because the prices are always going up. There is no lifetime pricing and he monthly cost is too high for many low wage earners.

Not only is the cost of internet service expensive, so it the cost of the home hardware for connecting and use of the internet.

This divide is exacerbated by the Corona virus because not every student or workers that might be able to work from home can do so because they lack the infrastructure to wok from home in every state.

It will take money and a commitment for federal, state, and local government officials to make this happen. Are they willing to spend the money? Most do not have the money.

There are ways this could happen, but it takes the moral high ground to make it happen.

Over the decades the companies have become all about their stock shareholder’s greed of wanting more and more money to the detriment of century old companies disappearing from the landscape because hedge fund people by their debt and pit store and employee against another store in a chain and employee against employee in different departments losing contact with customer paradigm and demographics all so that shareholders can make more money making companies’ focus on profits and return for shareholders and not the needs of employees and customers that built many companies into large employers and places to shop for your needs.

Now that many companies are filing for bankruptcy or going out of business, what good are high dividends to the shareholders when profits have ben lost?

Businesses did not set themselves up to be digital when other started eCommerce  and are losing business because the internet is not equal to everyone as it should be universal across the country allowing people from all walks of life to interact and use the internet to better themselves through affordable online classes and other options to improve their lives through education.

The constituents of both parties in government need to hold the representatives feet t the fire and demand that internet for all no matter the economic status of rural or metropolitan, even something in between have quality highspeed internet into every home at a reasonable price affordable to all.

It just takes a commitment of country over political party for the good of the country not a few super wealthy that are not content with their billions but want to run roughshod over everyone with their idea of what over ninety percent of the country should have and think.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Copy Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer

The pandemic has exacerbated the fact that many people were working on jobs that didn’t pay enough for them to build a small nest egg for emergencies such as losing their job through no fault of their own.

For many, wages have not increased as fast as the cost of living.

Since the 1980’s the middle class has bared the brunt of the cost of programs that are the safety net for the poorer and unemployed f the country while CEOs have seen their pay rise exponentially during the same period.

During the 1980’s there was a war against unions and ways to bypass collective bargaining that kept the middle class from falling lower in the economy.

Since WWII, union workers and trade unions were the engine that ran the economy until politicians felt that unions were a problem and not the greed of the rich that wanted even more wealth and to subjugate the workers and give them a lesser voice in the companies about working conditions and pay raises while prices for cheaper materials and automation was killing jobs.

Productivity was increased with fewer workers and yet the employees left did not get any benefit from their increased productivity but expected to rise overall production with fewer people and no company loyalty or a true cost of living not tied to a new math using the GDP and not the true cost of living that is higher than the GDP.

It was unions that got the 40-hour week, overtime pay, and benefits for workers, also working conditions with each new contract and a grievance procedure for when seniority or other contracted item was ignored by management.

By eliminating unions came the end of negotiated workers rights that were replaced with whatever the company decided to do and left the workers with nothing to fall back on.

In 2020, the President and Congress took it a step further by changing the rules byn trying to eliminating class actins against companies by the workers and want it replaced with each employee having to file separately further enabling the companies to rules like oligarchs over their employees like kings over their subjects.

The current administration through the Supreme court also decided that corporations are people and not subject to the rules of law but by beliefs of their religion further discriminating against their employees that may not hold the same beliefs trying to turn into a theocracy not following the law of the land.

For this and many other reasons the growth of Work From home is the choice for many people so that they can make choices for their family and work environment for themselves.

The pandemic has caused more people to look for opportunities that will allow them to work from home for myriad reasons.

Working From Home

First, allows individuals to accept or reject any assignment.

Second, no commute during a pandemic.

Third, more time with the family.

Forth, healthier eating.

Fifth, fewer miles driven and someone home for deliveries.

Sixth, can help children with homework.

Seventh, set their own schedule depending on time zones.

Eighth, ability to plan for medical appointments without having to worry about time off from the office.

You can probably think of more.

Working from home will be a part of the new normal as more people consider working from home tat this pandemic has caused for some businesses. Workers might think about continuing to work remotely.

For some working remotely is less stressful then working in an office building with questionable safety for health concerns and from some co-workers. They can concentrate of the job at hand with less pressure from management.

With software and cell phones employees and those working from home can still have face to face and conferences without having to be at a physical location within a group environment brick and mortar building as the pandemic will be here for months to come while the ability to get a vaccination depends on the manufactures speed of getting it to the public the earliest will be the summer of 2021 because everyone will need two doses so that will cut the total doses in half.

There won’t be enough this year to cover the frontline workers in the hospitals taking care of the COVID patients today if the injections begin in 2020.

Working from home is not easy but can be beneficial for companies and employees with some give and take from both if the work can be done remotely.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Copy Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer

November 27, 2020, the news is projecting a six percent increase in sales on Black Friday over the previous year.

Will it happen?

The reality:

Many businesses have closed or filed for bankruptcy protection this year because the pandemic exacerbated their decline because of changing demographics and millions unemployed.

While most countries have been giving their population monthly assistance the Congress controlled by one person begrudgingly offered a one time payment of Twelve-hundred dollars and allowed those that needed the least help to use of the money earmarked for small businesses and workers who lost their jobs because of the pandemic seem not to care as the country is looking at any benefits running out around Christmas.

The Christmas season may see mass evictions, more homeless, more hungry needing assistance, and fewer resources for the unemployed for a roof over their heads or food on the table.

Who will have money for shopping?

This year retail will see the income inequality displayed because those that have will shop while a vast majority of the have-nots won’t because they are more concerned with survival.

It will be interesting to see how Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season and credit usage fares for the retail industry survives during this pandemic.

Expect the online shopping to be higher this year than ever before to the detriment of the local retailers because of the virus spikes throughout the country and some states not willing to take proper safety precautions for the citizens.

Florida for example, Governor DeSantis is not allowing cities to require masks to stop the spread of the virus. There are also other states the don’t seem to take this virus serious since they have done nothing to slow it down while hospitalizations and deaths rise.

Unless the Republican controlled Congress does something before going on vacation again there will not be as many retail outlets as there are today.

Retail must prove that they are safe for both employees and customers with options for online shopping and curb pickup or delivery to survive if there are enough people able to spend money on shopping.

As this pandemic continues to spread, the question becomes how safe is it to leave your house?

There are many elderly people and people with underlying conditions that are at risk of contracting this virus that may not survive it. There are current over 263,00 plus deaths recorded and we can expect it to go much higher before any possible vaccine can be distributed to the general public before the summer of 2021 and wearing masks until 2022 as the new normal.

Retail will have to adapt to this normal because this virus will be with us for the future just like other endemic flus.

Is your retail business ready for what is to come?

What can your business do to increase or maintain sales to survive?

First, deep disinfecting.

Second, maintain a stockpile of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment.

Third, clean and disinfect after each customer   

Forth, require al customers wear a mask.

Fifth, all employees practice social distancing.

Sixth, all employees must practice personal hygiene by washing their hands often.

Seventh, have a mask and require customers to wear it if they don’t have one with them.

Eighth, limit the number of customers in the retail location at a time while shopping.

Prepare for the worse and hope for the best during this upcoming shopping season.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Copy Editor,Proofreader, and Reviewer

The COVID-19 has disrupted many local businesses and forced some to close or file for bankruptcy.

What are these businesses supposed to do since many can’t get PPC loan from the SBA?

During this pandemic more people are relying on online shopping or using services that shop for you and home deliver. These services will continue to grow as the elderly and people with mobility issues or fear of going out will grow.

Businesses will have to adapt to the new shopping normal with curbside pick up, total online shopping for items, and become more customer centered than ever before.

While many businesses operate and a slim profit margin, they will out of necessity have to offer online and pick up or delivery to add to their overhead costs while staying competitive with other retailers.

This may mean readjusting the workforce to fulfillment and less pre-pandemic duties since there will be less in-store sopping.

A full website set up for shopping or an App that leads the customer to online ordering will become a must not a luxury for businesses. The virus has exacerbated the need for businesses to join the digital world.

Now that the digital Genie is out of the bottle, putting it back into the bottle will be difficult at beast and impossible at the worse. Businesses must plan for the worse and hope for he best.

This health crisis has shown us that there are millions of people who only care about themselves and have regard for others. Businesses need to adapt to the post-pandemic that is likely to become endemic in the future. Are businesses willing to acclimate to the new normal whatever that conceivable future through innovation and flexibility to draw the customer to their business.

Now, more than ever e-Commerce is the future of retail.

People today can bur or sell their car online, shop for groceries, do banking, and more all onoline without having to leave the safety of their home.

People that can afford to do sio have the option of calling a service like DoorDash, GrubHub, PostMates, and UerEats to have food delivered also there are meal prep companies that send meals that can be prepared at home or come to you already prepared that you can just heat and eat. Everyday there are more of these companies cropping up.

Some fast-food places have their own delivery personnel.

Smaller local businesses will have to join in the other businesses that have joined the list of getting the customer to shop online and either pickup or delivery to remain in business in the years to come.

Can all local businesses perform for the digital shopper?

There may not be other options since the work from home population is growing. Many work from home employees may choose not to return to the office if given a choice.

Many older employees are choosing to retire as employment prospects are slim. The federal government has done nothing except for big business and the rich; not the average person trying to keep a roof over their head and food on the table.

Businesses will have to be innovative and flexible to the needs of their customers with new ways to market, products, customer responsive, and offer a winning customer experience.

We must all face the fact that a new normal is coming and we must all learn to live with it.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Copy Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer

With the pandemic raging and the current administration MIA and trying to subvert the election this virus is not going to be slowing down any time soon.

There are two vaccines currently that may help but the number of does required may be deplorably inadequately lower than required and many people not trusting the government and unwilling to take the vaccines this virus will continue to spread whiling killing untold millions of people.

Congress is doing nothing to help because of unmitigated tribalism and cultism on the part of one party while one person with control of the senate is not willing to show any courage or willingness to do his job or have the integrity to adhere to his oath of office millions have died and millions more have become unemployed, businesses are filing for bankruptcy, business closures, evictions, schools closing,  online classes where people don’t have the required broadband facilities and equipment, states with shortfalls when it comes to the ability to adequately plan for mass vaccination businesses must plan and budget for the future.

Every business owner busy examine their accounts and plan new and innovative ways to budget for the future.

Revisit their accounts receivable.

While all businesses are experiencing financial woes, is their some way to collect even a partial payment or set up a payment plan?

Revisit their accounts payable.

Work with creditors and see if they will extend a payment plan.

Check your inventory of physical products that may be reduced with a sale or some way wo move inventory that has been on the shelves too long.

Look for ways to reduce marketing costs, utility costs, possible loans from the small business administration (SBA), and possible reduce overhead. Can your business work on curbside pickup?

Businesses must remail flexible for any opportunity to work with the new normal and review their accounting books more often than ever before to remain in business for the long haul.

Business can’t survive with out customers and businesses more present a business that is proven safe and customer centered for the future while working hard on customer experience and customer satisfaction more than ever to remain open and viable for the future, which no one knows when or what the future will be until everyone does their part in controlling this virus from personal, local government, state government, and the federal government.

Some businesses may not survive because of their business model and how they operate like salons, buffets, restaurants, movie theaters, bars, and ones that don’t get some kind of help from government agencies with Congress doing their job and working across the aisles.

It is up to WE The People to hold them accountable for their lack of action since day one when they knew of this virus instead of letting one person downplay it and enabling him to spread misinformation and untruths. Unfortunately, in America, we seem to have many people that believe politicians and social media over epidemiologists and scientists or it appears to think for themselves.

Each business is different as is every business owner. It is up to them to find new and creative ways to budget that works for them and continue to work around whatever is thrown at them to remain in business for their community, customers, and employees.

What can you as a business owner do to keep from going under?

Take time to review your budget. If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to start one and keep a close eye on it while remaining flexible to changing circumstances.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Copy Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer

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