Providing Professional IT & Writing Services Since 1990
Your Message . . . My Words . . . Combined Success


FAQ

Answering questions is what my business is all about.

The Questions

Why is there no phone number listed on this site?

Will a contract be required?

Who will own the copyright?

Why so vague on pricing?

What is expected of a client?

What can clients expect?

Is there a minimum project size?

Does Your Message Consultant do Corporate Communications?

Where is the work done?

Does Your Message Consultant take non-local clients?

Does Your Message Consultant write or speak in any languages other than English?

Why would a content writer care how files are named?

How does a content writer coordinate their efforts with a web developer?

What is cross-linking?

What is so special about writing for the web?

Why do so many websites not use good grammar?

The Answers

Why is there no phone number listed on this site? 
By the nature of what I do, I spend a great deal of time on the phone. And, there are times when I am busy writing for other clients and don’t want to be interrupted. The best way to reach me is by email. I will be glad to call you or email you back as soon as I receive your message. If you would prefer a phone call, please tell me the best times to call. I am in North Carolina and that is in the Eastern Standard Time zone (EST).[Return to Questions]
Will a contract be required?
Yes. A contract protects both of us. I generally send a PayPal Invoice for the deposit which identifies all of the deliverables and expectations. Your payment of that invoice serves as a legal signature and acceptance of a contract between us. (In the unlikely event that PayPal is not available in your location, special arrangements can be discussed for both contract signing and payments.)[Return to Questions]
Who will own the copyright? 
You, the client. This is part of the reason why I require a contract. Without putting it in writing, any content I write would legally belong to both of us. This would allow a third party to file for copyright protection on the material. My fees reflect the fact that you will fully own the copyrights to anything I write for you under “work for hire” aspect of United States copyright law.[Return to Questions]
Why so vague on pricing? 
Work of this nature will vary greatly by project. Factors will include, who does the keyword research (online projects), how much research about the topic is required, length of project, and the condition of the existing materials (mainly a factor in proofreading, editing, rewrites, and website critiques).[Return to Questions]
What is expected of a client?
Once we have a signed contract, I will immediately begin working on your project, unless we have agreed otherwise. You will be expected to provide me with any information I need to complete the work as it is requested. Requests for additional information or clarifications will be kept to a minimum, but such requests will require a timely response to keep the project on schedule. If the response is so late in coming that the project delivery date becomes in question, I will give the client the option of extending the delivery date accordingly or tabling the project (with payment of all work done coming due immediately and the project being resumed as my schedule allows).[Return to Questions]
What can clients expect? 
Clients can expect nothing less than my best work.
No where on this site will you find overblown hype about my past successes. However, be assured that every company I have worked for or with has seen cost savings, increased sales, and/or increased production because of my efforts.[Return to Questions]
Is there a minimum project size?
No. However, smaller projects will still require a signed contract and initial deposit.[Return to Questions]
Does Your Message Consultant do Corporate Communications? 
Yes. Prior to starting Your Message Consultant, I was a MIS director and a technical writer. I wrote policy statements, procedural statements and corporate systems user guides. However, I do not have formal legal or finance training and do not have Sarbanes Oxley expertise.[Return to Questions]
Where is the work done?
All of the writing will be done in my office. If the secure nature of the materials I am working on will require my work to be done at the client’s location, arrangements can be made. However, such an arrangement will require additional fees to cover my travel and commuting costs.[Return to Questions]
Does Your Message Consultant take non-local clients?
Yes. The vast majority of my clients have been out of the state of North Carolina or in other countries.[Return to Questions]
Does Your Message Consultant write or speak in any languages other than English?
Sorry, but no. I only know English.[Return to Questions]
Why would a content writer care how files are named?
There are many factors that can influence how a site is ranked by search engines. While somewhat unproven, it is common consensus that file names and URLs that contain keywords can help increase a website’s search engine ranking for those keywords. All of my website content is designed to help the clients’ site’s ranking. If I coordinate my efforts with your web developer, you will benefit from our combined knowledge and skills.[Return to Questions]
How does a content writer coordinate their efforts with a web developer?
My background includes IT support. I am quite familiar with technology and can communicate well with your web team. Particularly if the work is destined to be used on a new website, I would hope to be able to work directly with your developer. By working together, we can ensure a coordinated approach to cross-linking, internal navigation, and general SEO. [Return to Questions]
What is cross-linking?
Cross-linking is when one page of a website links to another. This link to my article Link Building Strategies is an example of cross-linking with a link that is contained within a body of text rather than as part of the navigation/menu of the site. Links such as this one are thought to be more highly effective for SEO and page rank.[Return to Questions]
What is so special about writing for the web?
Traditional advertising pieces are constrained by size and price. How many column inches can you afford? Can you afford a quarter-page or full-page ad? The Internet, while not limitless, certainly breaks free of those constraints. That said; those who read materials on the Internet tend to scan rather than read the content.Writing for the web is often more spread out to allow for scanning. A list that typically would be written within a sentence suddenly becomes a bullet list.

  • Bullet lists are easy to read.
  • Bullet lists can highlight terms.
  • Bullet lists can create white space while highlighting specific points.[Return to Questions]
Why do so many websites not use good grammar?
Uhm…because they did not use a writer who knows how to write using proper English. (Sorry, couldn’t help it; on to the serious answer.)
Poor grammar and spelling are always unacceptable in a marketing piece. Many websites have content that was thrown together and does more to harm the website rather than enhance it. I have seen some websites where the information is presented in a clever and interesting way, but the grammatical mistakes are numerous and make the page virtually unreadable. There’s that old saying, “You have to know the rules before you can break them.”On the Internet, most writers use a more conversational style where the rules of grammar are somewhat relaxed. For example, our English teachers would have corrected any sentence that started with AND or BUT. But, that is how we speak, and has also become acceptable sentence structure on the Internet. Well written online content may also include a sentence fragment or two, but when read these fragments should appear to fit in naturally as they do when we speak.

I have noticed on some other writer’s websites that they take this a step further and espouse the breaking of additional grammar rules depending upon the audience. One in particular mentioned breaking even more grammatical rules if the content is designed for young people. I do not agree. I change my word choices and sentence structure when writing for different audiences. Young people are smart and while I might use smaller, more common words when I write for them; they are going to notice badly formed sentences.[Return to Questions]

Real Time Analytics