Friday, October 1, 2010

Personal Name vs Business Name

I have been thinking on this topic for a while now. I freelance under my personal name and have a website too for it. But I have personally come across many people who freelance under a business name. So which choice seems apt? I think it is more of a personal decision and depends on what you perceive your business to be.

Let us take it up one by one. I chose to work under my personal name because since I was starting out as a fresher I wanted to concentrate more on acquiring clients rather than entangling myself in the intricacies involved in branding a start up. Also, to be frank, I wanted to initially test the waters and see as to if I can establish myself successfully in this field. Apart from this, I feel there are several other factors too which can make the choice of using your personal name as your brand name a better option.

To start with, it allows you to convey a sense of personal involvement to your client. In a way it provides to the client a belief that the work delivered by you will bear your personal stamp and signify your true capabilities. But all this does not take away the disadvantages that are associated with using your personal name. To some clients, the use of your personal name as your business name might make it sound too casual and non professional. Also, it might get a bit difficult for you if you wish to sell the USP of your business by using your personal name. Pronouncing your name and remembering the same for future references too might be an issue for some clients living in other countries.

So does that make a business name a better option? Well, I see some disadvantages here too. Not only is the job of branding your business expensive but at the same time it needs to capture the true essence of your business too. The process of registering your business name to is a bit lengthy and involves a lot of paper work. What is also important is the fact that with a business name once in place it would get difficult for you to re invent or start something new under the same brand name. This is because the existing business name might not capture the true feel of the new business that you want to start.

So what should one do? I say go with your heart! If you are starting out afresh it is a sensible thought to start with your personal name. Once you see your business grooming according to your expectations you can then switch over to acquire a more professional sounding business name.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

SEO Articles That Can Earn Their Worth

Many a times have I got assignments which have required me to write SEO optimized articles. The clients have sent the keywords that they wish me to work around and incorporate in the article. The basic aim of these SEO articles is to allow the client to get a favorable rank for a particular keyword on major search engines. This in turn would help them get more traffic to their website who seek information regarding that particular keyword.

So how does one approach with the task of writing for these SEO articles and most importantly make them successful towards delivering the desired result. Each one of us might be having their own approach here. I would like to share as to how I go about when presented with this task.

1. Research
I enter the primary keyword provided to me by the client in Google and see the kind of results that come my way. I read the top listings from the results and try to get an idea on what kind of content is generally posted. This also allows me to analyze what is NOT present already and therefore gives me some points to work on. Further, it also allows me to analyze the kind of content people like to read on that particular keyword.

2. Secondary Keywords
Even if the client may have provided me with 1 primary keyword I try to look around for some secondary keywords too. These secondary keywords provide the article with certainty and reliability that search engines generally look for when indexing an article. This strategy would also help rope in more visitors to your article as all readers might not use just the primary keyword for their searches. If there are sufficient related words in your article then the reading audience would increase.

3. Positioning Keywords
When starting to write the content, it is very important to know as to where you should insert the primary keywords so as to get the maximum SEO value from them. Ideally, your primary keywords should certainly figure in
• The title
• The Meta Tag
• The first 2 lines of the first paragraph
• In all the heading and sub headings
• Evenly dispersed throughout the content
• In the anchor text for the links made in the article

It is always a good idea to provide your client with something extra. Not only will it make him realise your expertise on that particular area but at the same time maximize your chances of getting more work from him in the future.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Contract For Freelancers – A Necessary Evil?

There is nothing like the independence that comes with the job of working as a freelancer. You not only have control over the kind of work you do and your work schedule but at the same time are not answerable to anyone except your client. This does make this field of freelancing very attractive and fetch able. But then working as a freelancer does involve its own share of risks and issues.

The biggest being the scare of your clients not paying up for the work that you did for them. The other issue may involve the client deciding to change the deliverable initially agreed upon during the course of the project. So is there a particular umbrella of protection that a freelancer can make use of in such a situation? Well yes, there is the option of using a contract.

There are many of us who are usually not that comfortable with the option of putting forward a contract to their clients. The sense that the freelancer does not trust the prospective client tends to loom at large. But then there are situations which are best presented under the protective shade of a contract. This brings us to the next question; when does a contract become necessary?

The situations here would generally depend on a case to case basis but generally there are a few situations which can be generalized here.

  • To begin with, writing a single 400 word article does not need to come with a contract but yes, writing 200 of such articles for a single project would suffice the needs of having a contract.
  • The second case would be involving projects which are associated with large sums of payments. Having a contractual binding here would make the client liable to pay for the services that you would be in turn delivering.
  • Most of us depend a lot on the trust factor and might not go in for a contract with an individual whom we might trust. But it is a good idea to be fair in your dealings with your clients and come up with a contract irrespective of your trust factor with the client. Not only does it convey your professionalism but at the same time takes it in writing that both you as well as your client are serious regarding the project.
  • A long term project which might include yearly renewals too is best suited under the gambit of a contract.
  • A pro bono project or a project done as a favor for a relative or a friend too does not necessarily need a contractual agreement.
Ok, so with the necessity of a contract being clear we now come to the point as to how to come up with a contract. You need not be a lawyer to draft a contract. All that you need is to be clear as to what terms and conditions you wish to put for the particular project. A good contract must ensure that:
  • It is stated in simple and easy to understand language;
  • The content must not be ambiguous;
  • The relevant facts regarding the project should be included in it.
So what are the points that generally all contracts must include?

  • Deliverables/ Services Offered: The contract should clearly state what is expected from this project and what all will be delivered by the freelancer towards the same.
  • Time Frame/Schedule: The time frame expected towards completion of the project too must be clearly stated in the contract.
  • Payment Terms: This ideally includes the total agreed payment for the project as well as the payment cycle decided upon. If there are any chances wherein a renewal of the pricing terms in the middle of the project might be sought either by the client or the freelancer then that too needs to be mentioned here. Any advance payments, charges for delayed payment etc should be clearly stated.
  • Termination Clause : This should include that under what conditions can the project be terminated mid way and as to what will be the compensation plan in light of such a termination.
  • Arbitration and Jurisdiction: This clause is all about providing information that in case of a dispute “how” and “where” will the case be taken up.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

American English vs British English: Which Is Your Pick?

Recently I got a mail from a friend who wanted some information regarding the British style of writing. He was in the process of drafting an article for a UK based magazine and had to stick to their style of writing. Though I consider myself as no expert here but whatever information and knowledge I had on it I shared it with him. This made me realise that why not share the same information here too. I am sure that there are many people out there with the same issue at hand. It becomes all the more important when we have to decide which one of these to use for drafting content of our websites.

When trying to differentiate the British English from the American English, there are a few aspects where they differ. Let us start with the spellings.

Most of us are aware that there are certain words which the American and the British spell differently.
British English ; American English
centre ; center
theatre ; theater
colour ; color
catalogue ; catalog
programme ; program
neighbour ; neighbor

The next point differentiating them would be the vocabulary. There are some words and terms that are either used only in British or American English.
British English ; American English
lift ; elevator
boot ; trunk
autumn ; fall
litter ; garbage
crossroad ; crossing
trousers ; pants

Then we have plurals. There are a number of nouns that don’t have a plural form in British English while they do have a plural form in American English.
British English ; American English
types of accommodation ; accommodation
types of food ; foods
a lot of fruit ; many foods
strands of hair ; hairs

The next big difference which creeps is the way that the British use their grammar. It includes how they use their “present perfects” and “adverbs” in their sentence formations.

So which version of these two languages should one use on their website?

  • If you wish your website to cater to a local population then the best way ahead would be to use the English language variant used there. This will make the readers there to accept your style of writing much easily.
  • This means that if you have a US based website then you should use American English and likewise for a UK based website the best pick would be British English.

But what do you do if you wish your website to be viewed as a website catering to the international clientele?

The solution for this would depend on your main target audience. If your prospective clients are primarily from Europe then the website content should be written in British English. On the other hand if you wish to target the American and Asian community, then the preferred pick would be American English.

Whatever be your pick regarding the variant of the English language the golden rule to follow is to stick to any one form of the language and stick to it while drafting the content of the entire website.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lists And A Little Bit More....

Aloha! It is again the time of the year for self review of my work, and to seek control over my TO DO list which I fear has now garnered more items than what I was hoping to see there!

After quite some deliberation I have decided to add my pricing in INR too on my website. I had till now mentioned my content writing prices only in USD. This was because 90% of the assignments which came my way were from clients abroad. I would respond to any price queries sent by Indians wanting to know about the same in INR via emails. But lately these kind of enquires became a little too many therefore frankly speaking, in order to lessen my burden I am putting up my price list in INR too.

Also up for some fresh lease of life is the portfolio section on my website. This work has been lurking on the list for quite some time now. I need to add some of my latest work there and sort out some of the older websites that are there in the list.

This reminds me that I also need to update the blog too with my new projects. My my, I really need to take control on this list now. The only question is WHEN??????

Ok, so let me do a small bit and write something about my latest project. This one is different. Yes, I know I say the same for all my projects!! But what to do, this too is different and that too in two perspectives. 1. I am doing it for a friend and 2. It is a website dedicated for pets, something which again is new for me.

The website is still in its building stages and so is its final name. It is supposed to be a one stop solution to take care of all your needs regarding your pets. It includes information on their diet, their style trends, their health and other aspects. It also prospects to have a section on their day care support near to your place, a DIY section for projects that you can do for your pets as well as other small nuggets of information related to your pets. Something new for sure but yes, interesting too! One thing would have surely helped, It would have been easier had I been a pet lover! :)


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Business Cards - Ayes or Noes?

For quite some time now I have been contemplating on the idea of having business cards designed for myself. The point which has kept me off till now is to decide whether I want it or I need it.

As a freelancer web content writer a big chunk of my business came online via referrals. This in a way negated any need of having a business card for my line of work. Therefore it was the “want” which was the over powering emotion here. The justification of the “need” came with some careful analysis.

I realized that a business card is the perfect brand identity that my freelance work could need. It would sum up my work and details on a small piece of paper what I would otherwise have to spend 2 minutes describing. In a world where business is driven by contacts, my business card would be the perfect leave-behind-imprint for my freelancing work.

In my line of work I have seen that good work can come from unexpected avenues too. So you never know that the person standing ahead of you in a queue on the coffee shop might be on the lookout for a writer himself. A business card given to him then and there might just land you your next project!

Since most of my work come as referrals from my old clients I feel that it is a good idea if I would go ahead and leave some business card with my clients who can then on inquiry from others regarding my work pass on my card to them. A pretty neat way of getting referrals huh!

Ok. So the business cards are final then. The next task would be to look around for designs and ideas for the same. Seems like a long way ahead here.. !!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Make Currency Fluctuations Work Your Way

It has been really long since I sat down and wrote a blog post. Well it was a combination of laziness and the absence of any good issue which really motivated me to write and entry. Well today, I got rid of the former and had a good latter which made me sit down and write. Group effort I say!

It makes me wonder as to how many new roles have I started to play since I went out working as a freelance writer. It has made me my own personal organizer, a creative thinker and at the same time a financial analyst. The first two can be related but what about the third? Well, this is where the fluctuating economic conditions come into play! No, I have not started writing articles on the global financial economy but I am gravely affected by the fluctuating currency denominations when it comes to asking for payments for my projects.

When I started out I did not bother much about it and was OK with the rate I got after the currency conversion rates. But lately with experience (and maybe the greed to get some more!) this has become a very important point for me when I quote rates for my projects. There are two currency related factors that I need to keep in mind before I go ahead and quote my price; the current currency conversion rate and, since I use PayPal for my payments therefore the fee that PayPal deducts for the payments.

Apart from INR, the other currency that I regularly deal with is the US Dollar. When the economy was hitting rock bottom it was booming times for me. Instead of the regular INR 38-43 against a Dollar, I got incredible conversion rates which went up to INR 50-51, good times I say! But since this does not happen all that frequently there comes the need to safeguard my interest. I recommend the following:

1. If you are starting out as a freelancer, you can afford to bear some of the fluctuations. After all this might result in a lower final amount that you quote to the client and make it work in your favor.

2. The other thing that I have constantly done is to leave my money in my PayPal account when the rates are too low. I have often experienced that these currency fluctuations are quite temporary and your patience might prevent you from bearing a loss. So if you can afford to leave your funds as it is for some time then this might work!

3. If you are using the services of payment gateways like PayPal then it is suggested that you go ahead and check with all the kind of accounts that they offer. You need to select the one which best fits your need as all of them have different rates which they charge.

4. The fourth and the most effective way to beat the currency punches is to go ahead and increase your rates. You need to convince your clients that the final quoted rate allows you to cushion your loss as well as justifies the efforts needed in the project too.

But what to do if you are getting into a long term contract?
I suggest that if you are getting into a contract with your client then you can go ahead and suggest adding a clause to it that the price will be reviewed after say a period of 5 months and based on the currency conversion rate at that point consequent changed would be made to the price. This will not only cushion your cause but at the same time put you forward as a good professional too.

Currency can surely be tricky but it is very important that you manage your finances well and charge an amount which is not only justifiable but at the same time allows you to make a decent profit too.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Realistic Blueprint For Fresher's To Help Build Their Portfolio

Just like in any other field of work, fresher’s starting out as freelancers too have to face their share of difficulty trying to convince clients of their capability and competence. The most important fact that works against them here is the absence of any prior experience in the field which could strengthen their credentials. So what does one do? This is a realistic situation as everyone who is someone today was at some point of time a pure fresher himself. So what did he do differently that made him sit where he is today? The answer is in the approach.

Any individual who is really serious about excelling in his field will be careful enough to scan his target market and chalk out his game plan before he would think of getting clients. It is usually seen that fresher’s are more than eager to start working and for the same they get ready to work for rock bottom prices. This is surely not the right way ahead. By this I do not mean that an individual should start quoting sky high and illogical price quotes but yes, the figure quotes should amply justify the hard work that you would be putting in towards the project. There are some simple steps that you can do here towards building your portfolio:

Blogs– An excellent way to start building your portfolio would be to straightaway go ahead and launch your own blog. Your personal blog will not only provide you the perfect chance to showcase your work but at the same time allow you to get live feedback from readers in the form of comments which could further help you refine your skills.

Working For Non-Profits – Though writing for free is never advised but this is surely one area where writing for free would not hurt. The reason is that if the nonprofit is a big name then it could be the perfect image building chance that you could want. A good PR move it could work as a perfect reference for you and lend a big help towards your credibility and image. On the other hand, writing for free for a normal webmaster whom no one would have heard of just to gain experience would be of no good.

Article Marketing – The main purpose of availing the services of article websites on the internet is to try and get some marketing value out of your articles. These articles could act as samples which you can send to prospective clients. But there is a catch here too. It is usually seen that many freelance writers write and submit articles to large, non specific and general article directories. Instead, I have always felt that it a good idea to write and submit your articles to niche article sites or to blogs which cater to your specific domain and specialty area. The reason for this is that these specific and niche websites and blogs carry more credibility and come with a built-in audience than the general non specific article directories do. They provide you a chance to link to prospective clients easily thereby allowing you easy and quick access to future assignments.

Websites For Freelancers – When staring out as a freelancer one can also make use of several websites which allow you look for freelance projects posted on their forums and allow you to try and bid for the same. Some of these websites are good starting places for beginning writers while others will help you build a network or even outsource some of your work. But freelancers need to beware as most of these websites need you to become their member for a fee in order to access their entire gamut of projects. Also it is seen that on most of these websites it is very difficult to get paid decent amounts for your work as most of the clients here are on the lookout for freelancers who can deliver the work at rock bottom prices. But yes, with patience and careful segregation it is possible to land up with some good options here.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

How Genuine Is That New Prospective Lead?

For all freelancers, any kind of incoming client lead is good. But not always do these leads transcribe into actual clients. In my case, I have had so many leads lose their shine when they turn out to be in quest of one single aim- free advice. I have had this happening quite often especially when I started out as a freelancer. It is not that I am against providing advice but you shouldn't’t add all that value for free — whether for a client who wants more than they’re willing to pay, or one who isn’t really serious about the project in the first place.

There have been times when I was contacted by prospects expecting me to do all their marketing panning as well as suggestions towards structuring the content of their websites for free. Scheduled meetings to ‘discuss’ the projects have often turned into the same.

So how does one differentiate as to if this new lead you are in touch with is another of these free advice seeker or is a genuine prospective client?

Imagine a situation wherein you get in touch with a new prospect and start talking with him regarding the project. The client seems genuine and you share with him some good conversations and laughs. Conversations with that client leave you on a high and you simply feel the rush to start to work for him. But when you start discussing the actual modalities of the project including the budget and the deadline, the client seems to be at his indecisive best. My advice here, BACK OFF!

In 95% of the situations I have seen that such clients do not end up giving any work and all they seek is an estimate for the project and like in the previous case, free advice!

So this leaves us with the same question. How does a freelancer decide if the client is really just another pretender? The following rules that I always abide by work for me:

Enquire about the project budget: If the prospective lead is serious about the project and are actually on the lookout for a specialist then they’ll have a budget. On the other hand, the pretenders will either completely try to skirt this topic or else will start tossing out unrealistically low figures.

Ask for the project deadline: An inconclusive and sketchy answer here simply spells trouble. If they don’t value a project enough to schedule it, then don’t expect to get paid for it too!

Ask for mutual contracts to be signed: There is nothing more that pretenders get scared from than legal bindings on paper.

Insist for an advance payment: Prospective clients meaning business would understand your need of saving your interest with an initial payment and very often agree for the same. Pretenders on the other hand would stop their communication right there!

As a freelancer you really need to start understanding that there is truly nothing called as "free lunches". The lunch meeting that you might have to go for right now with a lead just might not be the expected free lunch offered by him but one of the tricks up his sleeves to try and play around with your experience. BEWARE!


Monday, March 1, 2010

An Inspired Entry

It is very rare that you will find me inserting actual scripts from a blog that I would have read. But this is one instance when I just could not hold myself from doing it. The blog was written in such an inspiring way that i thought of sharing it with everyone here.

The blog was about how freelancers should price their work. The article says: " A person’s willingness to pay for something is directly related to the value they see in it. And like it or not, that value may be as fluffy as “a better life”. Or it may be something quite straight-forward that you just don’t realise. Either way, if you don’t charge correctly for that value, you lose." Rightly said!

The article goes on to say that " frequently freelancers and young agencies in the web industry lose business because they over-value their work. Be honest, how often have you cursed the other guys that won the job on price? The cowboys. The jokers that couldn’t mark up a holding page. Idiots. Their own site doesn’t even validate! But all that happened was that you tried to sell your expertise to someone that just didn’t value it. And can you blame them? Maybe their site needs to describe their business and provide contact details, but doesn’t need the latest, greatest HTML 5 tricks? They don’t give a damn about “perfect” markup and neither do their customers. So why would they pay for it? Would you pay €20 for a pint if the barman told you he’s serving it in his favourite glass, made by a famous, naked, dancing, glass-blowing tribe from Brazil?"

What stands out here is the fact that the freelancer needs to understand the requirement of the client. It is OK to try and sell your services to him but this should not overshadow the basic requirement that the client seeks. Accordingly, this should form the basis as to how you would charge the client. Charge him for what he wants and not for all that, that you can offer! PERIOD.

Rightly stated in the article is "nine times out of ten, your clients value only your availability, flexibility and malleability, not your sweet Javascript skills. Price downwards accordingly."

The entire article is available here.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Taste Of Fashion Writing

Sometimes there are some projects which come your way which you think you would not be able to handle. I have had one similar experience lately. I got in touch with a gentlemen via one of the social networking websites that I frequent on when I he enquired if I was up for another assignment. I requested him to send me details for the assignment and that I would get in touch with him after I go through the same.

The gentleman was kind enough to send me an elaborate description of what he exactly wanted. In his words... "We are creating a portal for branded fashion in India.This is fashion which middle and upper middle class can afford, and is a step below the designer fashion which only ultra rich and Page3 personalities wear. We want to target the fashion which common youngster can wear to college or office." They wanted content for articles in content of the same. It was not a one time assignment and it required a regular relay of articles on the desired requirement. This had me thinking for a moment. The hesitation was not because of the time commitment but mostly because fashion was one domain where i was completely naive. I was not sure if I could do justice to the articles and if I had it in me to bring out the desired elements that would have the fashion conscious readers hooked and interested. It had me thinking hard. I spoke to the people involved in the project and this made me a little more comfortable as I liked the people I would be working with.

I was required to submit a sample article initially following the guidelines provided to me by the client. This was going to be the acid test for me. I decided that if this article met my satisfaction and if I liked the process I would seriously give this assignment a thought. And as it turned out that i really liked the whole process of digging into this new territory. The people in the team were eager to help out and provided me with candid feedback regarding the sample. This further cemented my decision and now I am on with this team writing for them good about 4 articles per week.

Clients brief: The language has to be simple, something that the young kids could connect you and enjoy reading it. The content should be informative and at the same time not boring. Short punchy lines would be apt.

Find below one of the articles that was submitted by me to towards this assignment:

In this movie besides his super smooth dance moves, grabbing attention is Shahid’s chic yet casual attire. It is worth noticing that taking his relaxed look to a new level are his uber cool pair of Aviator sunglasses. There is no denying the fact that Aviator’s have always been in fashion and worn by generations alike. What works in the favor of Aviator sunglasses are that not only do they help shield your eyes, but they do it stylishly! They are very versatile and can be worn just about anywhere as they are extremely comfortable..... These sunglasses are ideal for everyday eyewear both for men and women. In the case of women they can so easily toughen up a feminine frock and for men they go ahead and provide a touch of street style chic to the normal pair of jeans and a jacket.

With large rectangular frames and metal rims, these glasses are available in several different colour tints for people to choose from and to team them with their dresses.

When shopping for sunglasses it is important that you try on several pairs so that you end up with the one which you feel most comfortable wearing. There are some tips which can help you zero down on that perfect pair which would suit your face the best....


Monday, February 15, 2010

Payment Options Beyond PayPal

For any service provider it is very important that they have in place the right kind of payment machinery to facilitate easy and safe payment towards their services. As a freelance writer I had till now made use of the services of PayPal to receive payment for my overseas assignments. But due to the recent developments at PayPal as a result of which they temporarily suspended their India operations I was left looking for option. It was then that I realised that there might be some others like me who too would be looking for alternative options to receive their payments from abroad. Listed below are some of the major options that you can consider:

1. By cheque: Your client can mail you the cheque for the required amount. Once you get the cheque you can deposit the same in your bank and get the amount credited in your account. The biggest pitfall for this mode of payment is the time duration. The time taken by the cheque to get cleared by your bank is usually very long and if you are in need of funds immediately then surely this method would not work well for you.

2. Wire Transfer: If waiting for your cheque to get credited is not what you would ideally want then the next best option here would be to opt for a wire transfer. You would be required to share your bank information(including your bank account number) with your client who can then make the payment. This method also entitles a fee in order to get the money through.

3. Credit card: If you have in place a merchant account then you can go ahead and ask your clients to pay with a credit card too. Not only is this convenient in today's time but also appeals to most clients. is one such website which allows you to open a merchant account and move ahead smoothly.

4. XOOM: This online payment option allows you to send and receive funds from any country to any country in the world. Albeit coming with a small fee to send money this online payment option has recently caught the liking of many. All that you need to do here is to to create an account with xoom and then send your details to your payer. He will then use your details and send across the money either using his credit card or directly from his bank account. The money then reaches the bank partner in your country from where you can have access to the same.

5. Moneybookers: Another good option to have access to your online payments. Working on the lines of PayPal, moneybookers requires you to open an account with it and send/ receive funds. The major drawback here is that owing to legal restrictions the services of this website are not extended to the United States Of America.

6. Western Union: This is another very popular means to have access to your funds from abroad. You can send and receive money from any part of the world using Western Union. The major drawback here is that you need to personally go and collect funds from the Western Union agent near you.

7. Payooner: A relatively new concept, Payooner provides you with a debit card through which you can send money abroad or receive money on it.

These were some of the major options which I had listed out when I was weighing my options. Though I am yet to finalize on one of them but at least I am a little less anxious now knowing that there ARE options available.

Would love to hear from you all too if I have missed out on some other options and as to what is your preferred mode of receiving payments.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Research On A SuperBowl Advertisement. Super Cool!

Work with iTrip is going on well. Am already done writing 5 blog posts for them and each of them were unique in a different way. Like I always say that what I like the best about my job is that I get to learn and know so many new things. Something on the same lines happened with iTrip too. I was to write a blog entry for them wherein their competitor (lets say company X) would be putting forward their advertisement during the Super Bowl!

My task here was to research on this very advertisement that company X plans to launch, bring in the advantages of advertising during the Superbowl and then link company X with iTrip! Interesting I say!

What I loved doing the most here was to research on the super bowl advertisements. With a sports crazy dad and husband here with me I had to know what super bowl was all about but never realised the potential that it could hold. Anyways, this assignment was a true blessing in disguise coz I could now understand the financial implications behind having the chance to air your promotions during that valuable time space of the super bowl.

Clients Brief: write me a blog on the super bowl advertisement that company X is doing during the super bowl. And how both them and iTrip is riding the same wave. Research on the up coming ad and tie iTrip into the blog in a positive way.

Neat I say!

With my job pretty much chalked out I knew what all I needed to focus on. I wanted to introduce iTrip in the article in a very subtle way so that it does not overpower the article. The article had to be based on company X but what i wanted the content to do was to make the reader leave the article with a clear recognition of iTrip.

Here is what parts of the final approved article looked like:

Drawing millions of viewers from around the world, the Super Bowl has produced some of the most memorable and effective commercials in the history of television. Interestingly, such is the craze of these super bowl commercials that a large chunk of its viewers tune in to watch Super Bowl just to catch these commercials. Producing an ad for Game Day is a huge strategic marketing task for any big company that can manage to afford the price tag associated with it......

......Hoping to reap similar benefit is the Austin based vacation rental company X. This company is making its first foray into Super Bowl advertising during CBS telecast of the February 7 game and aims towards successfully engaging people by means of their commercial to want them to see more. By means of this commercial, X wishes to capture the essence and need of proper accommodation while on a vacation and ..... Vacation Rental Companies like X and iTrip wish to serve the generation of ....What makes these vacation rentals all the more popular and interesting and finds a mention in this X commercial too, is the fact that this facility of vacation rentals can be availed at a cost which is far less than what you would end up paying for a hotel accommodation.

So when you go ahead and opt for vacation rentals offered by companies like iTrip and X, not only do you end up enjoying your holiday but at the same time you end up saving your money too! An exposure into the world of Super Bowl commercials will prove out to be good for vacation rental companies like X and iTrip. It will help them to take care of the low consumer awareness towards vacation rentals and will provide potential travelers with an additional accommodation option to consider when they plan their next vacation. ...


Friday, January 15, 2010

New Projects, New Waters To be Tested.. Bring Them On!

Personally this new year has begun with a mixed bag of goodies. I may have had to take it slow owing to some bad eating episodes which landed me with strange sounding medical issues but then what is important is making the most of what you have. I too made the most of this rest time which does show now on my reduced typing speed! ;) Too much of everything is bad they say huh... yeah yeah ok!

Anyways, speaking on the work front, things have started to look interesting here.. I was in talks with a few individuals regarding writing assignments and from the bunch a few of them do look to be turning positive. I have been asked by a travel website- itrip to write a couple of blog posts for their blog each week. A travel and a vacation rental website, the blog posts here have to be centered around a few specific keywords.

Client: itrip

Client Brief: A good write up centered around the provided keywords. A check on the keyword density is required and the language needs to be attractive yet persuasive to enable customers and readers to give the services of itrip a try.

After analyzing the content of the clients website and reading the previous blog posts as well as the range of services offered by itrip I made a brief for myself wherein I realized that ideally the content for the blog posts should:

1. Have a good description of the destination from a tourist's point of view.
2. The rental services offered by itrip should be mentioned clearly.
3. And lastly a connection between the above two should be created as to how itrip could help make a vacation to this place all the more better.

Following this I sent my first article last night to the client and got his approval too.

A couple of sections from this write up is pasted below for you guys to have a look.

There are some beach destinations which provide guests with serene scenic beauty and then there are some which appeal to party hoppers and crowd seekers. But if you are one of those who seek a bigger bite then welcome aboard! Forming a third different category are those beach destinations which choose to deliver a bit more.. a bit more of natural beauty coupled with a bit more of entertainment options. Welcome to fun unlimited. Welcome to the Panama City Beach.

A favorite vacation destination throughout the year, Panama City Beach offers around 27 miles of uninterrupted, charming and beautiful starchy white beaches shimmering against the emerald blue of the water.......... be your age or source of fun and entertainment Panama City Beach is bound to have something to suit your needs. It offers championship golf, great casual and fine dining, lifestyle shopping excursions, water sport options, amusement parks, electrifying nightlife and the good old-fashion entertainment under the sun......

We believe that a good and a comfortable place to stay form’s a very integral part of having a good relaxed vacation. Ideally your accommodation should allow you to experience your holiday destination and to feel a part of it without bringing you too close to the crowd. The Panama City Beach vacation rentals offered by itrip qualify to be your perfect home-away-from-home! .....

What works best in this assignment is that the number of articles expected to be delivered by me each month is not only easily manageable but at the same time would not affect my other regular assignments too...

Am in talks with another similar assignment... details when i manage to nail that too!! fingers crossed for sure! :)


Friday, January 8, 2010

The Anatomy Of Medical/Scientific Articles

Dear readers,

Before I begin, here's wishing the all of you a very happy, healthy and a prosperous new year! The year 2009 provided me the chance to try out different genres of projects. Some of them were technical and completely new to me. One similar category was that of medical writing, or simply said, article pertaining to diseases or medicine. There are some points which are required to be kept in mind when writing the content for these medical articles.

1. Since these are medical articles therefore it is very important to get the facts correct and verified. If the internet is used to carry out research then it is extremely important to validate the website that you are using to source the data/information for your article. There are several reputed medical websites that you can use for your research. These include; and

2. There is very little scope of playing around with the content here as most of these articles have a strict vocabulary that they need to adhere too.

3. It is generally preferred that these kind of articles have with them the list of references that were used/ consulted while drafting its content. This would make it easy for the readers to go back and consult the original paper if they seek any further clarifications.

4. There are strict principles to be followed when one goes ahead and writes the references. There is a fixed pattern to be followed while doing so. Ideally the reference should include; the authors name, the title of the work, a sub title if any, the publisher and the date when it was published. An example here world be Tierney, John (2006) Criminology: Theory and Context. 2nd Ed. Harlow:
Pearson/Longman. It is very important to remain consistent with the pattern that you follow.

5. Most of these medical articles include in them several definitions. It is very important not to alter the terms and language of these definitions and to try and use them as they are. It would be just like trying to formulate Newtons Law Of Motion in your own words! Pure catastrophe.

Keep these tips in mind and writing medical essays will no longer be a dreaded nightmare. Believe me.. I am the perfect case of been there seen all!! :)