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In 2003, I was in my thirty-seventh year with SBC (Originally Pacific Telephone & Telegraph that was a subsidiary of American Telephone & Telegraph known as ATT. In 1984 The Bell System was divested into Baby Bells. PT&P became Pacific Bell or PacBell. SBC bought out PacBell and later bought the name ATT. I offer this history as a side note to bring together what follows.)

While working for PacBell, I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Syndrome and some other medical conditions. The most important one is the Meniere’s.

There are four symptoms to Meniere’s.

  1. Hearing Loss
  2. Fullness in the Ear
  3. Tinnitus (Ringing in the ear.)
  4. Vertigo + Nausea (Spinning world and sometimes vomiting)

I was blessed with all four symptoms. This is something one just learns to live with like taking B12 Injections for pernicious anemia You get used to it because there is no viable alternative.

In 2003, thanks to the Meniere’s, and unseen and less understood condition was not doing my attendance was less than exemplary. Fortunately, the company was offering an early retirement package to employees with enough time and age. I was lucky enough to be offered such a package. With termination because of attendance issues, this was a no brainer, I took the package in December of 2003.

After three years of retirement, I wanted something to do that keeps my mind active. I did a lot of volunteering. Friends of the Library, Citizens on Patrol, Worked in the Senior Citizens Thrift Store, Treasurer of Serenity Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, Parliamentarian of the Citizens Club, President of the Fire Safety Council, events coordinator, publicist, and PR person for Serenity Haven. While I kept busy, there was still something missing.

In 2006, I began reviewing books. Having been an avid reader for over half a century by that time I noticed that the books I was reviewing could do with some proofreading if not large-scale editing.

Later began my career as an online copywriter of various subjects and interning as an online copy editor. My reviews offered me the opportunity to edit manuscripts and do some PR for the author of a book.

Since I am on a fixed income with a scant budget I have had to wear many hats.

I am a CEO, CFO, CMO, COO, CCO, Editor at Large, Content Creator, Publicist, and PR Department, which means always something new to learn and practice on a DIY basis.

MY WHY

I have thought about this question from the first time I heard it.

For me, it is not about the money, but helping people, small businesses, entrepreneurs, authors, unpublished authors, or anyone who needs the services of a proofreader or editor with a limited budget and can’t afford the services that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Because of a litany of medical conditions and medications that require a regulated schedule I work from home that requires little to no overhead and able to work inexpensively passing savings onto the client.

I have read Asimov to Zola, Classics, Romance, Business, Medical Texts, Fiction, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy, and just about any genre there is.

I have had discussions about various authors with people.

I was fortunate to meet and have two books autographed after a talk at Southwest Manuscriptors Torrance, CA by Ray Bradbury.

As Mr. Bradbury explained it, his writing teachers were the tomes he found in the library.

His advice was invaluable. By reading everything one can learn to write, but only if they write something every day. One’s first work may be horrendous but should improve as time goes along. Very few people are born writers without some work before.

It usually takes time and hard work to become an overnight success.

My main drive is to help writing become better by eliminating clichés, redundant words, spelling, punctuation, passive sentences, and any other items from a reader’s viewpoint.

As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” Ask any author if they agree and most will.

It a form of paying it forward. It is all about the copy and making it the best possible for the reader.

I have been chastised for the prices I charge causing others to not make as much for their work.

I don’t care. I charge what I do because I know that many authors can’t afford an expensive editor or proofreader when they self-publish.

I believe that there should be an editor for every author that the author can afford to work with without having to take out a home mortgage to pay for.

Does this “MY WHY” make sense?

Talk to me about it. I love discussions and helping people where and when I can.

I also deliver honest unbiased reviews and have been known to call out authors when there is something amiss for the reader. An Example is non-consistency of terms or in one case of a new writer the protagonist leaves in a truck to go to town and then gets into a car to come home but it is meant to be the same vehicle. If it starts a truck it stays a truck unless it is sold and a car is bought.

This sounds simple but can through the reader off and screams amateur.

Authors want to be taken seriously for their work and have readers. When a reader reads a book that hasn’t been properly edited they either stop reading or never read that author again. Readers who spend money for a book have an expectation of quality. An editor helps with the quality.

NOTE: I would appreciate comments you may have about this post.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing

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If you work in any capacity of freelancing, do you have a contract in place for any work performed for your clients?

Why or Why Not?

Do you need a freelance contract signed by your client for your records?

Has a client ever requested that you sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) for work you have performed?

Why all Freelancers need to have a “Freelance Contract” in place before beginning any work for a client.

  • Do you like getting paid for your work?
  • Before you begin work, shouldn’t you know what the client is expecting?
  • Shouldn’t you know what the project entails and any required research?
  • Does the client know what much the completed project will cost?
  • Are there expectations when and how are you to keep the client updated on the project?
  • Are there designated payment milestones on the project?
  • Is there an expected due date for completion?
  • Are there provisions for any editing of the project or extra research costs?

There may be more that may come up when consulting with any client about an upcoming project.

You Need a “Freelance Contract”.

The free-lance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”  — Robert Benchley

Ask any freelancer, what happens if a client doesn’t pay them? Without a “Freelance Contract”, not much.

With a Freelance Contract in place, a non-paying client can be taken to claims court and forced to pay the amount within the contract.

Why Freelancers should always establish payment milestones in the contract.

  1. The Freelancer can receive a certain percentage of the total amount to check out how the client pays, Check, PayPal or some other form agreed upon.
  2. As the Freelancer completes a portion of the project he/she will receive another percentage of the project established in the contract.
  3. Any extras if research is required.
  4. Both client and Freelancer can follow the progress of the project.
  5. Offers the client and Freelancer deadlines.
  6. Assurance the both client and Freelancer are on the same page.
  7. A legal agreement that can be used in a court of law for non-payment.
  8. Protects the Freelancer.

8 clauses every Freelance Contract should include:

  1. Pricing/Rates
  2. Payment/Invoicing
  3. Single Point of Contact
  4. Kill Fee
  5. Revision and Rewrites
  6. “Scope Creep” The project is good but would be better if A, B, and C were added.
  7. Copyrights: For freelance writers and web designers.
  8. Deadline

There is no, one contract fits all. Therefore, create a basic template that is easily adjustable to the current client’s needs and project.

Freelancers do the work but may not be able to talk about it; always ask for referrals and a testimonial.

NOTE: Testimonials are good for branding.

Author:

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, Reviewer

One-third of a year gone as of April 27, 2015 bm-4

This year is the year of change. I have lived in two centuries, eight different decades, cease being a sexagenarian and become a septuagenarian.

I have been a reader, learner, and driver for over half a century.

After retiring in December 2013, I began writing reviews and web content in February 2006.

It is definitely time, to begin thinking about what I want to be when I grow up, and quit being my own worst enemy.

Why did I want to be a writer?

  • I have always thought different than other people
  • I feel as though I have something to impart to readers
  • I wrote How-Tos while working and edited notes written by one of my supervisors (Pacific Telephone and Telegraph, PacBell, SBC, which is now ATT)
  • While acting as Parliamentarian for Crestline Senior Citizens Club, rewrote the bylaws
  • Wrote the job description manuals for Serenity Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary
  • I have edited manuscripts
  • Written Poems and Prose while taking courses online at Writers’ Village University
  • Created a writing workshop at WVU
  • Facilitated courses at WVU
  • Created a course at WVU
  • Critiqued poems and prose
  • Read from Asimov to Zola
  • Worked as an Intern copy editor for Celebrity Café
  • Built an online presence for Allbook Reviews International
  • Written and edited press releases
  • While living in Osborne, Kansas, helped a High School writing prodigy with her stories after meeting her in an authors’ group and asked to help her.
  • Wrote a letter of recommendation for a young writer for a position at a local press
  • A local magazine, Osborne Joy contacted me for a short story to be included in an upcoming issue while living in Kansas.

The question remains, what have I accomplished.

  • I began earning money at the age of around nine and a half as a paperboy delivering the News Pilot.
  • Next was working at San Pedro Marine through High School into college
  • I spent from 1965 until 1971 as an ARMY Reservist working my way to E6 and acting First Sargent over two platoons of forty troops each in Psychological Warfare Company.
  • From September 1966 until December of 2003 worked from PacBell on everything from POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) to Fiber Optic equipment as the technology changed and updated.
  • Created a trouble shooting guide for M1C equipment

What have I accomplished or learned?

Over the years, I learned much, which a good deal is of no use since I retired from PacBell.

  • I have been blogging about writing and freelancing.
  • I share what I consider interesting items
  • I try to answer question that people online may have
  • I have been working on a manuscript “Taming the Freelance Market”.
  • I have stories and poems, written or started, and some still in my head.
  • I am a freelancer who because of finances must wear many hats while trying to learn marking and converting visitors to my blog and social media accounts despite a litany of medical conditions that require daily medications. I say this not for pity but as one ages things begin to happen from a medical perspective. For some, “the golden years” are more like trips to doctors, specialists, and the hospital.
  • I enjoy reading and love editing
  • When working DIY, getting clients is difficult when competing with others from around the world.

Following some of my own advice

It is time for me to change my daily routine and make more time for writing and devote less time to that which is a time waster like Email, social media, and complete some courses I have waiting for me.

It is finally time to inhibit the procrastination bug from invading my life and work on what makes me fulfilled. Back to learning, reading, and writing is the mantra I should be living.

It is time to cull things that are not as important as what I should be doing, writing because writers write. I do consider myself a writer, 2015 is the year I should prove it.

Since money for traditional publishing is nonexistent unless I win the LOTTO, I must work on getting my ducks in a row, dot all Is and cross all Ts to get my manuscript turned into a finished book.

If I want to write, I must prove that to myself by writing and finishing my first book while continuing to hone the craft into readable content for any potential readers.

Has Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” I believe it.

It will take me months to whittle down the stealers of time so that I can devote more time to education and putting words on my computer’s monitor.

Be well!

Author

Robert Medak

  • Freelance writer
  • Blogger
  • Editor
  • Proofreader
  • Reviewer learning marketing, and much more

“Every day is an opportunity to learn something new”. ©RJM

This is the working title of a book about the good, bad, and ugly of being a freelancer from inside the world of freelancing by a freelancer that has and still is learning via the school of hard knocks about being an entrepreneur.

At present, the book has slipped on to the back burner because of other writing, like a blog challenge, reading, learning, marketing, and more.

Finally being caught up on the challenge of a post a day for the month of October 2013, and contemplating a newsletter, but having some problems with the subscription form coming outright on the page of this blog, it’s time to get back to finishing chapters three and four of “Taming the Freelance Market”.

The book is a project to help others learn some of the intricacies of being a freelancer (entrepreneur), from the information, which learning the hard way has taught that would have been nice to know up front.

If you would like to contribute questions about freelancing, perhaps they may end up in the book.

” Taming the Freelance Market” is about paying it forward to help anyone considering entering the world of freelancing as a way of making money and quitting his or her day job, which isn’t recommended for some time. The book will explain why.

If you have a question about writing, business, freelancing, or working as an entrepreneur, please feel free to use the contact form on this blog.

Answers to questions may end up as a post, personal Email, and as a section or chapter of “Taming the Freelance Market”.

Keep reading this blog, and check for the addition of a newsletter subscription form.

Looking forward to the comments, questions, and likes from readers.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning Marketing

Follow the author: http://xeeme.com/RobertMedak

 

English: A business ideally is continually see...

English: A business ideally is continually seeking feedback from customers: are the products helpful? are their needs being met? Constructive criticism helps marketers adjust offerings to meet customer needs. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A call to action phrase

A call to action phrase is a statement to entice your reader into subscribing to your blog, newsletter, requesting a white paper, even a freebie to turn them into a loyal customer.

Websites are not just about the call to action, the content should be like having a conversation with your reader, not about getting them to purchase on first visit, it won’t happen.

When readers, potential customers, you must build a level of trust with them by engaging them with content relevant to the site. For example, if you sell plumbing supplies, you wouldn’t have ads for consumer electronics. A far stretch, but you get the idea.

Tell your story, be a friend, consider the fact that readers may become your loyal customers, and spread the word about your service or product. Build a friendly honest relationship with your readers.

Try using a conversational tone, not a hard sell attitude. Sales come when people trust a business, not because someone tries to sell them something through pushy tactics.

The main reason for a call to action statement is to build a list of potential customers. Once you have a list, you can keep in contact with them through Email for offers, or new products and services you have.

Unfortunately, there is a caveat to this. Before you send Emails make sure that your visitors have signed up on your site stating they would like to receive such Emails, and don’t send so many Emails that you appear to be a spammer.

Let people visiting know the frequency of your newsletter, or new offers. Putting offers and up in a newsletter. Talk about what is important to your customers in your newsletter.

Newsletters are a good way to keep your readers informed and in their minds.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning Marketing

Follow the author: http://xeeme.com/RobertMedak

Many people are willing to sell followers, and Facebook likes for a price, but is it a good practice?

 

English: The three biggest web search engines

English: The three biggest web search engines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

With major search engines like Google and Bing changing their algorithms, search engines base ratings on authentic organic followers, not just numbers.

 

 

 

What does this mean for the future?

 

 

 

Purchase followers if you think it will help, but it could also hurt your ratings more than it helps.

 

 

 

I receive offers from people selling followers and likes almost daily. I haven’t spent money because I have no idea who the followers and likes would come from. I believe in integrity, honesty, and quality. I also believe the “social media” is social. That means building relationships by following people who have some relation to your product or services.

 

 

 

You may have followers on social sites like Facebook, Google +, Myspace, and Twitter; they may not have anything to do with your products of services, are they a good prospect? No; then why follow back?

 

 

 

You might hurt your ratings with search engines if you do since the recent algorithm changes like Panda, and Penguin. The entire area of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has changed its emphasis. What SEO specialists did may not work with these systems in place.

 

 

 

If you have a WordPress site, there are people selling plug-ins to optimize your site and more. Ask yourself if the various plug-ins really work, or could they possibly hurt your ratings. Furthermore, how deep are your pockets? There is no free ride.

 

 

 

Think about who is going to install them. Are you capable, or will you have to outsource it?

 

 

 

 

 

Think well before you leap into purchasing followers and likes.

 

 

 

About the author.

 

 

 

Robert Medak is a retired Communications Technician turned freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing.

 

 

 

He was born in southern California, and lived in Kansas until moving to southern West Virginia with his wife and their cats and dogs. While in California, he and his wife Connie ran an animal rescue where Robert wrote job descriptions, flyers, and was treasurer.

 

 

 

Contact me for services or questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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