1. Tell us about your current level of writing/marketing expertise.
No, I did not go to J school. I didn’t go to college at all. Shortly after high school, I started working for Digital Equipment. If you know who they were, then you know how that went. After DEC, I got a sweet gig as an IT consultant to several major Pharma companies. I was a network and systems administrator in the 90s. In the 2000s, I started doing technical writing because I was the kind of administrator who loved documenting the network. I know, weird. Then I took a break from that for a while and got into the conference and trade show game. I wrote a book that was published by Pearson, and that got me back into freelance writing full time almost 20 years ago now. Anyway, that’s more about my past…what about now.
I invest in myself by going to industry conferences. Not writing conferences, but manufacturing, engineering, and robotics conferences. That’s what you get when you pay top dollar for a writer. You get someone who keeps up with your customers’ industries by hanging out with them a few times a year to stay current on what they are struggling with and get to know who is solving their problems. (You’re not going to get that on Fiverr!) I go to IMTS in Chicago every two years and try to get to whatever relevant conferences are within driving distance from Philadelphia. (I went to a robotics conference at Carnegie once. It was amazing! I slept through almost all the presentations on algorithms the second day because that is way, way, WAY over my head and well, math…).
I also take marketing courses, and I do get certifications when needed. I did HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Certification a couple years back. I might take it again, but honestly, not much has changed fundamentally since then as far as writing goes.
I’ve taken an AI course through the University of Helsinki, a MOZ SEO course, and I hang out at relevant lectures at the University of Penn, Drexel, and the Science History Institute. But then, who doesn’t?
I am also a voracious reader. Here are the books I am currently reading or planning to read soon. (I change these pictures every couple of months, so be sure to check back!)
2. What is your specialization?
I write about all the stuff no one else wants to. For example, I literally squealed with delight when Municipal Sewer and Water Magazine called and asked if I could write for them. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to know the inner workings of your sewer and water systems?! (Hint: You can always get me to say yes to your project if there is a plant tour thrown into the deal.)
My areas of expertise are engineered systems, advanced materials, robotics, manufacturing, water and waste treatment, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, (all the aaSes), particularly if you are marketing your systems to the above industries.
And, if you couldn’t tell by now, I specialize in longform content. If you’re looking for a tag line or brochure copy, I’m not the person for the job.
3. Where has your work been published/featured in the past?
In the past few years, I’ve written for Mouser Electronics, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Washington Post BrandStudio, IEEE Global Spec, Morris Group International, Ferrovial, and Dar Group. I’ve had pieces published in Professional Mariner, Compoundings Magazine, Municipal Sewer and Water Magazine, Treatment Plant Operator Magazine, Inflow and Infiltration Magazine, Plumbing Engineer, Medical Construction and Design Magazine, and many others.
4. Which piece are you most proud to have written to this point in your career?
It’s so hard to choose, but I will narrow it down to two pieces. (Technically three, but who’s counting?)
A series of eBooks for AWS – I am really proud of those two eBooks because AWS pretty much gave me free rein. They relied on my expertise in the manufacturing industry to come up with the right material.
This piece demonstrates how far I’ve come in my career. I pitched this idea to Mouser, and they gave me the thumbs up. I then reached out to the engineer in charge of the Airbus project and set up the interview. That’s what comes with experience. The ability to know who to call and then the courage to pick up the phone and dial the number. My street cred in the engineering community helps, as did Mouser’s.
5. What are your rates and average turnaround times for content?
I price by the project. This way, you know exactly what the assignment will cost without any surprises. My project pricing is based on the amount of work required, my expertise, and the value the piece brings to you.
Can you find cheaper writers? Yes, you can. And good luck with that. My clients hire me and stick with me because they trust me. They trust I will deliver work when I say I will. They trust I know what I’m talking about. They trust I know their audience. And let’s not discount my Rolodex, my skills, and the energy I put into my work. I love this stuff!
Turnaround times and like prices…it depends on the work you want done. I will tell you that I don’t like to rush projects out the door because I want it to be something I’m proud enough to use in my portfolio.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. Cheap—Fast—Good
You can have two of those, but you can never have three.
6. Tell us about your writing process.
I lie around in my hammock all day and wait for my muse to show up…okay…seriously…
Once I get your writing brief (either one you’ve created, or my template that you’ve filled out) and you have paid your deposit, I start doing some basic background research. I’m looking for credible studies that may come in handy as third party confirmation on what we are saying. I’m also looking for holes in my current knowledge and figuring out what it’s going to take to fill them.
My next step is to create an outline for the piece, which I will send to you for approval before I start writing. This is so we’re all on the same page as to content before we get too far.
Once the outline is approved, I get to work. I may do more research, I may do interviews, depending on the piece. Questions for you may come up while I’m writing, and I will email those to you. If the article is short and will only take a week to get you a draft, I’ll keep my head down and work. If it’s a longer piece, I will check in with you every week to let you know how things are going. Short and sweet, and mainly so you don’t wonder if I’m still working or if I’ve taken your deposit and fled the country. Who are we kidding, I’m not getting paid that much…maybe a ranch in Montana? Or an Airbnb in the Blue Ridge Mountains?
Once I’m finished with the draft (And please, remember it is a draft. I’m not going to fret over every word until I know you like what you see as far as content.) I’ll drop it in Google Docs and send you a link so you can review it. Once you are done commenting, let me know, and I will get started on the revisions.
At this point, we should be about finished. The second draft is looked over by my editor (you don’t pay extra for that). By this point, I have indeed fretted over each and every word. If there were interviews as part of the process, I will have fact-checked any quotes or attributions with the interviewee.
Unless you have a tweak here or there you need me to take care of, I will send you the final invoice, which is payable upon receipt.
7. How soon are you available to begin a project?
I am generally booked a month in advance, so 3-4 weeks lead time is ideal. There’s upfront work that needs to happen before I can begin writing—contracts, writing briefs, onboarding calls, deposit payments, and gathering relevant materials—and that will keep you busy during that time.
Should you require something urgently, I can probably squeeze you in, but there will be a 25 percent rush fee applied.
8. I noticed a few typos on this page and a grammatical error. Does this mean you can’t spell or are lacking a basic understanding of proper grammar?
No, it doesn’t. It means it’s tough to edit your own work. It also means that editing is a very different skill than writing. That’s why I engage an editor at no cost to you. See #6 above.