Archive for April, 2011

Effective, Compelling & Attractive Copywriting

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Tallent Agency VA Services

I recently did two press releases for my client Ann Evanston, AKA The Warrior-Preneur. I was very excited to try my hand at doing these as I had, frankly, never done any before!

The first was announcing Ann’s being named one of the TOP six Marketing Consultants by about.com ! The second was the announcement that Social Networking Coaching Club is now offering Certification and Licensing for Coaches! Not only did I get to write these press releases, I also
get to manage Social Networking Coaching Club as one of my duties as Ann’s assistant.

Here are some of the tips I have picked up about copywriting and writing press releases:

Copywriting is a special technique that allows you to promote companies, individuals
or some special events. Copywriting is one of the most significant elements of advertising.
It should be considered the tool that helps your company promote itself.

Your returning clients already know the quality of the products and service that you provide and reliability of your business, however, most people will find or “discover” your site by the terms they put into search engine boxes.

How is copywriting performed? Whatever company you have and products and services
you provide, you should stick to several important rules. Despite the fact that copywriting has changed during the last decade due to the wide use of the internet, some fundamental rules still apply.

Copywriting might look simple but it should comprise several indispensable elements.

First, it must have an intriguing and appealing headline that induces your visitor to explore your text further. It must contain a subheading where main features of the heading are restated. The most important part of the copywriting copy is certainly the body. This reveals the major points of your text. It should be easy-to-read, logically structured and coherent.
It should contain a number of paragraphs that should restate the major idea of the content.

Ideal copywriting content should emphasize the advantages of the company, its uniqueness and clearly state why visitors should purchase at your company. One should remember that there are plenty of other companies and web sites that might sell identical products and services. In order to be successful you should stand out from the crowd.

This applies in offline and online copywriting. If the technique is performed professionally,
it leads to the increase of traffic on your web site. When writing the copy, remember that
one of the most important elements of the copywriting content is persuasion. One should persuade your visitors to take further actions and purchase some products or services at your company.

If the principles of persuasion, action, desire and motivation are applied in your copywriting copy, one can be sure that it will bring the results.

I hope this post has helped to plainly define what copywriting is and how it is applied.
I checked the pricing structures for press releases and other announcement tasks
and found they seemed to be prohibitive for the average business owner so have made my own Press Release Service at what I feel are excellent rates and also guarantee that they will satisfy the client and the job is not considered complete until the client is happy!

Remember, I am a Virtual Assistant who LOVES to do editing, proofreading
and transcription assignments along with research, blog posts, article submissions
and social media maintenance!

Why not Schedule a Project now?

The Difference Between Copyediting and Proofreading

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Tallent Agency VA Services

Frankly, I have to admit I did not really know the difference between copyediting and proofreading.

When I proofread for my clients, I make the needed changes – be it spelling, grammar or slight revisions to make things sound more clear – and did not realize I was also copyediting! I just called it “editing” and figured that covered it.

One of my very favorite ezines for writers is Daily Writing Tips, and this is their last article, which I just had to share. (Yes, I got permission months ago to share these with the promise to always point back to them.)

The Difference Between Copyediting and Proofreading from Daily Writing Tips

Many people confuse these two distinct editorial skills, but it’s important to recognize
how they differ, and why. The most obvious distinction is the form the medium takes.

Copyediting, once performed by making marks and writing revisions on a typewritten manuscript, is now generally carried out by entering changes in a word-processing program like Microsoft Word.

Proofreading, by contrast, is done on a facsimile of the finished product — a proof, hence
the name. Proofreading is usually still completed on hard copy with a pen or pencil, but it’s sometimes accomplished by electronically marking up a PDF (a file created with Adobe’s Portable Document Format; that’s where the initials come from).

But that’s just the beginning. The copy editor’s task is to finesse a writer’s prose so that
it observes all the conventions of good writing. A writer may be skilled at explaining a procedure or verbally depicting a scene, but the copy editor is the one who makes sure
the manuscript’s syntax is smooth, that the writing adheres to the conventions of grammar,
and that wording is proper and precise and punctuation is appropriate and correctly placed.

The copy editor may also do or suggest some reorganizing, recommend changes to chapter titles and subheadings, and call out lapses in logic or sequential slip-ups. This attention is especially important when the content editor — the person who helps the writers shape their prose — has minimal time (or skill) or is absent altogether.

All the while, if the project is a book manuscript, an extensive report, or something else of significant length, the copy editor compiles a style sheet, a statement of overall editorial policy (serial comma, or no? numbers spelled out, or in numeral form?) and a record of idiosyncratic word usage.

(Just how do you spell fuggedaboudit? According to the style sheet, just like that — every time.) Many style sheets also list all proper nouns to make sure names are always spelled and capitalized consistently, though search functions and spell-checking programs have rendered that usage somewhat superfluous.

The proofreader, by contrast, is assigned to check a reproduction of what the finished product will look like. And the task is not revision, but correction — making sure that no typographical errors remain from the manuscript or were introduced in the production stage.

New text, such as captions, for example, is often entered separately and may not have been edited. Alternatively, an element — anything from a letter to a paragraph or more — may have been inadvertently omitted or repeated, or misplaced. Because most text is copied and pasted directly from an electronic document, this mishap is unlikely but not unknown.

Then there are esthetic issues: too many end-of-line hyphens in a row, or a word broken in half at the end of a column or page, or a widow (a very short final line of a paragraph at the top of a column).

The proofreader is also the main beneficiary of the style sheet’s compilation.
Hey, it’s fuggedaboutit on page 37, and fuggedaboudit on page 59. Which one’s correct?
The second spelling, according to the style sheet.

Proofreaders are also expected to check page numbers or recurring copy at the top or bottom of a page that identifies a section in a periodical or a chapter or book title.

They make sure the font and type size and weight for one text element matches another element of that class.

They double-check that photo captions match the content of the photographs or that when text refers to a table, a chart, or a figure, the graphic element consists of what the text says it does — and they proof that element, too.

Proofreaders may also catch grammatical errors or inconsistency of style, and they are often given some leeway to change or at least call out egregious errors, but they’re generally constrained by not being permitted to revise the text in any way that adds or subtracts the number of lines on a page, because doing so may adversely affect the graphic design.

In summary, copyediting is a more qualitative skill and proofreading is more quantitative, though there’s quite a bit of overlap, and someone who does well at one often succeeds at the other as well. Proofreading usually pays less and is a pathway to copyediting, but many editors (myself included) do both.

To save time or money or both, many print and online publishers alike have curtailed or abandoned either stage (or, worse, both stages) of the editing process — and it’s almost invariably obvious. But there are still enough people out there who value rigorous attention to detail in written expression that the copyediting and proofreading professions aren’t going anywhere, and adept practitioners will remain in demand.

Well, I understand the differences a bit better now. How about you?
I would love to hear your comments!

Spelling & Grammar Errors Are Costing You Business! – I can help and this is what I absolutely LOVE to do!

Remember, I am a Virtual Assistant who LOVES to do editing, proofreading
and transcription assignments along with research, blog posts, article submissions
and social media maintenance!

Why not Schedule a Project now?

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Welcome

Over the past 15 years, Jan Tallent has spent countless hours providing writers and webmasters with free friendly tips on how to correct spelling and grammar errors in their written material.

From the feedback received she decided that since proofreading and editing help was so desperately needed, she should build a business around something she enjoys doing, while at the same time providing a valuable service to business owners and writers.

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Jan Tallent
Tallent Agency
Phone: (636) 451-6213
Email: jantallent@gmail.com
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