*Yes, I’m referring to myself in this title.
In an effort to get more done in my workday, I’ve spent most of the afternoon reading articles on time management. As Alanis Morissette famously sang – Isn’t it ironic? But it’s true; in order to do something well, you do have to spend some time learning about that skill and how to hone it, even if that time is spent learning how to use your time more efficiently. The problem is — as with everything nowadays — there’s so much conflicting information! I know this may seem to have very little to do with editing (wait for it, I’ll tie it in), but it’s a problem that everyone struggles with in some way, no matter how organised we may be. Actually, it’s two problems:
1. So much to do, so little time.
2. Information overload, and none of it is consistent.
In this information-at-our-fingertips age, it’s easy to get bogged down. This afternoon, for each article I read on time management, I opened 2 or 3 more from links on that page. Most of the information you read on the subject will tell you two things: don’t multitask and keep your focus (in other words, don’t get distracted by other tasks). However, almost every article will also give you these golden rules: don’t procrastinate and write everything down so that it’s out of your head.
Of course I’ve read articles on man’s other great problem: procrastination. These undoubtedly regurgitate Thomas Jefferson’s famous words; “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”. Some time ago, inspired by his words, I resolved to do just that. Every time I thought of something, I would do it then and there — no procrastinating! And what did that lead to? Multitasking, on a massive scale. I’d have so many tasks popping into my head I’d be running around like a headless chicken.
It also meant that while reading email newsletters or articles about business practices I’d have an idea and, in order to implement that idea ‘today’, I’d switch focus, and all of this ‘action’ (good thing) meant my original task of ‘clearing my inbox’ would take 10 times longer (bad thing).
The system of writing things down solves this problem, but it still requires a certain amount of multitasking and varied focus — especially when every ‘goal setting’ article will tell you to spend the time to write tasks as a set of specific, detailed steps in order to help you complete it more efficiently.
In business we’re supposed to ‘be flexible’, so what’s the solution to this perpetual cycle of contradiction?
Another big time management tip is to outsource the tasks that you can pay someone to do for less than your time is worth, or that someone else can do quicker and better. So (here comes the tie-in), next time you can’t find the time to proofread the report sitting on your desk, or have to throw away the 1000 business cards you just ordered because of an annoying typo, send me an email. A few minutes of editing could save you a lot of time.
You may be wondering what the difference is between editing, copyediting and proofreading. The terms can be confusing because they are often used interchangeably. What do all these words mean exactly?
You’ve probably heard of video or film editing, where the editor cuts, pastes, chops and changes film or images to make them fit together in the best way possible, to give the audience the best possible viewing experience. Video editors sometimes have to cut footage to make it fit into a certain length of time, or swap it around to invoke a certain tone or meaning.
Editors do the same thing with words. We correct mistakes, change sentence structure and add or remove words to present the content to the reader in the best possible way. We can edit text to get the message across in the simplest way, the most creative way or the most attention grabbing way. We can make sure the writing has the right tone, is written in the correct tense and that the words flow in a way that is easy to absorb.
This can also be referred to as a structural editing or substantive editing, because it can affect the structure or substance of the entire text. It’s usually what people mean when they refer to ‘editing’.
Copyeditors and proofreaders traditionally have different functions. A copyeditor edits the text on a surface level, correcting mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation (but generally doesn’t look at tone, flow, tense or sentence structure). This can be done before or after structural editing. Traditionally, a copyeditor will mark up a document using proofreading marks (like a language system), then a typesetter will make the changes and produce a new copy of the document, called a proof. A proofreader compares the proof to the marked-up copy (dead copy) and ensures that all the changes have been made correctly. During this process, he or she may spot some other errors that were missed by the copyeditor.
Over time these roles have widened and overlapped, adapting to the changes in technology, the publishing industry and the business world. In today’s freelance environment, it’s likely that the entire editing job will be outsourced. Working on a computer, we can simply make the changes on the screen, encompassing the job of editor, copyeditor, typesetter and proofreader. This is what I do at www.editing.net.au, making the whole process quicker, cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
Any job can be catered to your specific needs. Just tell us what you want, how in-depth you want the editing to be and how quickly you need it done!
Have a comment or question about this article? Leave it below.
Google + what?: Google +1 — What’s all the fuss about?
Many SEO experts have been throwing around the cliche ‘game changer’ and I’ve received many an email from Internet marketers dubbing Google +1 the ‘Facebook killer’. Cliches and predictions aside, what is Google +1 and what can it do for your business? Here’s what I’ve gleaned so far from the information overload.
Adwords advertisements will now have a +1 button next to them (I’m not sure if all search results will have one or just the paid ones, but it seems logical that they will). You will also be able to add a +1 button to your website. Much like a Facebook ‘Like’, if people recommend a website or a company, they can click the +1 button and it will be added to their Google social network. No, not Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn, but Google (I’ll explain this later*). As with Facebook share, like, retweet and many other social bookmarking buttons, the number of ‘+1s’ given to each ad or business will be shown next to the button.
As we’ve learned from using Facebook, we are much more likely to ‘like’, use or buy something that people in our network have also ‘liked’. A Google +1 will act like a seal of approval from our friends, family or other connections. This may give some businesses an edge over competitors who have less ‘+1s’.
You’ll be able to see how many people in your network ‘+1′ each listing in Google search results. But the big change will be that Google will automatically place results related to items we have previously ‘+1-ed’ at the top of the page of our returned search results, making search results much more intuitive and personalised (meaning not at all objective, which worries me a little).
This is the SEO ‘game changer’ people are talking about, the premise being that the more ‘+1s’ you have, the more likely it is that your website will rank higher on more searches. The way we search the Internet will become much more intertwined with word-of-mouth and referral marketing.
*To +1 a page you will need to be part of Google’s social network. The site seems like it will function in a similar way to Facebook, the major difference being that you will be able to create ‘circles’ so that you can post something to a particular segment of your connections (say, just your family members, or just your close girlfriends) — functionality that has been severely lacking on Facebook. (Frankly, I’m surprised Zuckerberg and Co. didn’t think of it first!) There’s also a very cool video chat feature called ‘hangout’.
At the moment, Google +1 is in rollout stage and you can only join by invitation (you can get on the list here). It’s hard to say whether people will jump on board straight away. Facebook took years to become a well-known social networking site and another few to develop the depth of marketing intelligence and capability it has today. Google have learned from Facebook’s journey and will start at a much higher level. Add to that the fact that social networking is a part of our everyday life nowadays and that Google is a household name and maybe you will see people migrating to Google +1 in droves. As for killing Facebook, I’m not sure. A lot of us have put many many hours of time and effort into learning how to use it properly and are not likely to abandon it lightly. I think the two will co-exist, at least for the foreseeable future. Google will need some time to iron out the creases and I would expect Facebook to go down without a fight (or a long drawn-out battle).
To learn more about Google +1 – there is some helpful information here about the +1 button, this is a good video teaser for the social networking side of things. Otherwise, there are hundreds of videos on YouTube at your disposal.
If you have more info, questions or opinions on Google +1, leave a comment below or email me. Stay tuned for updates or subscribe to our RSS feed. Once I’m ‘in’ and figure out how it all works I’ll tell you more.
P.S. Yes, ‘plus one’ is really the terminology they are using — a bit less comprehensive than ‘like’. But, like many strange terms before it, I have a feeling +1 will become part of our lexicon. Now instead of saying ‘I ♥ that’ will we say ‘I +1 that’?
I’m very proud to be participating in the MS Australia Walk and Fun Run this year for the fourth year in a row. This year I am taking part from Hong Kong: On Sunday 5th June I will be walking the same distance at the same time as my team ‘Lord Roberts’ (this is 8am for me!). This is the route I will be walking on the day.
I’ll be raising money to help MS Australia to provide and subsidise counselling services for suffers and their families, medical advice and health care, equipment (such as wheelchairs and ramps) for those who need it, preventive medication and, most importantly, research into finding a cure.
This is a cause very close to my heart. Any help is appreciated. Donations are tax deductible. Please give whatever you can. As little as $2 is a welcome donation.
You can sponsor me by clicking on the widget on the right, or using this link:
Thank you for your support!
Talk of Google’s recent algorithm update might have you thinking that ‘Panda’ is synonymous with destruction.*
But if you have a genuine website advertisting your products or services, you’re not spammy and you don’t use any black hat techniques, such as keyword stuffing, you have nothing to worry about. The recent changes shouldn’t affect your position too much, but if trying to understand Google’s new algorithms has got your head spinning — relax. The only thing you need to remember is that it’s more important than ever to have fresh, relevant, original content on your site.
If you’re not a confident writer, put it off because you hate it, or just don’t have the time, let www.editing.net.au do it for you!
All you need to do is send an email explaining what you want the writing to be about, the main points you want to include and your keywords. An average article takes less than an hour to write, so for the price of a pizza at the local pub, you could have new content for your site! At $20 per hour for the first hour for new customers, there’s nothing to lose.
* ‘Never Say No to Panda!’ — An ad campaign for Egyptian cheese products, based on the idea that if you don’t like Panda products, eat Panda products, or refuse a Panda product, the Panda will kick your butt!
As we say goodbye to the year of the tiger and welcome the year of the rabbit, I got to wondering – How many trees are chopped down for this age-old tradition? Think about it. Every year the Chinese exchange dozens of notes amongst family, friends, co-workers, employees and helpers as ‘lucky money’. According to tradition, each note, given in a lucky red envelope, has to be newly printed, acquired from the bank fresh, crisp and flat. So, with an estimated 1.3 billion people living in China, and an extra 7.5 million in the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, that’s A LOT of money printed every year to prepare for Chinese New Year. And that’s not including the red envelopes that cover every news stall like a blanket or the paper lanterns and decorations that take over whole stores, most of which need to be changed every year because they refer to the new period’s zodiac animal.
But what can be done? You can’t really stomp on thousands of years of tradition and submit 20% of the world’s population to bad luck, just for the sake of a few trees, a few inches of ozone layer and a melted ice cap, can you? It would be like trying to get the Western world to stop using toilet paper or decorating Christmas trees. But you can do something …
To reduce your own carbon footprint, visit www.carbonneutral.com.au
If you have time, have a read through this article:
I don’t know who wrote this blog or what they are an expert in the field of, but it clearly isn’t copywriting.
However, he or she does give excellent advice. After reading the first few sentences I was tempted to give up but I forced myself onwards to find out whether the writer was making the point I thought; that is, you should be using a professional copywriter for your articles, newsletters, blogs, advertising and general communication.
Ironically this article is the best example I have ever seen of why that is true. If you can manage to read it, you will see why copywriting (and getting it right) is so important. If your customers, or more importantly your potential customers, can’t finish reading an article you’ve written, they won’t get your message.
Good copywriting is all about readability, not complicated words and sentence structures, and humour often walks the fine line between offense and bewilderment. Most of us don’t have the confidence, time or skill to write content, or know how to present information in the best way. Hire a professional editor or copywriter to do it for you.
Email [email protected] today to find out how to improve your copy.
It’s that time of year again folks, when most of us want to hide under the table clutching our hair at the thought of doing our tax return. At tax time, we hire an accountant to do it for us and limit the pain. We do this for a number of reasons:
We should think of all our other business process in the same way, including client communication and written material. By outsourcing all your business’s copywriting, editing and proofreading to a professional editor at www.editing.net.au, you are:
And just like an accountant, the service is tax deductible.
Don’t risk grammatical mistakes or waste time frustratingly flipping through dictionaries – leave it to the experts. Email [email protected] to discuss your business’s editing needs.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system. It is extremely unpredictable and can have devastating affects. Around 2.5 million people suffer from MS worldwide, and this does not include family and friends who are also affected.
A good friend of mine has been dealing with MS for almost 4 years and, perhaps thanks to preventive medicine, has not experienced any attacks since her diagnosis. This year I am entering the MS Walk and Fun Run for the 3rd year and raising money to help the MS Society support people with MS through counselling, advice, medical care and research.
Until 6th June 2010, I will donate 5% from all work to the MS Society. You can show your further support by making a donation or registering to walk yourself. Please give whatever you can – no amount is too small.
For more information about MS:
Chinese New Year – Fun Facts
How much do you know about Chinese New Year traditions and superstitions?
Sunday 14th February 2010 marks the start of
the Year of the Golden Tiger.
New Year Decorations:
~ Anything bright red (happiness), yellow or orange (wealth)
~ Circular candy trays (togetherness)
~ Flowers – particularly plum and peach blossoms and water lilies.
(If these bloom on New Year’s Day it symbolises prosperity)
~ Tangerines and oranges, as well as tangerine trees (abundant happiness)
~ Red lanterns and banners with wishes of good fortune.
On New Year’s Eve:
~ Put away all brooms and brushes and clear the house of anything representing the old
year. Sweep dirt inwards through the door, not out, otherwise you will sweep your good
~ Resolve all differences with family and friends.
~ At midnight, open all doors and windows to let the old year out.
On New Year’s Day:
~ Visit family and friends.
~ Hand out red envelopes filled with ‘lucky money’. These are called ‘lai see’ and
contain new bank notes for luck. They are given by the older and senior to the
younger and subordinate. You might give lucky money to people who help you
during the year, such as your gardener or housekeeper.
~ Wear new clothes (particularly red).
~ Do not sweep or dust today – this symbolises sweeping away wealth and good fortune.
~ Do not wash your hair, as it is seen to be washing away good fortune.
~ Do not use scissors or knives as this may cut off your fortune.
Other interesting facts about CNY
Always present chicken and fish whole, symbolising completeness.
Married daughters should not visit their parents on Chinese New Year or this will bring very bad luck to the parents.
Tangerines or oranges with leaves attached represent long lasting relationships and when presented to newlywed couples bring good luck for producing many children.
Don’t expect to be visited if you are in the hospital at Chinese New Year, as this brings illness upon the person doing the visiting!
Did You Know?
The Sumatran Tiger is a critically endangered.
To find out more about what you can do to help save these magnificent animals, visit www.taronga.org.au or www.wwf.org
Now let’s get serious…
As the hangover wears off we realise it’s that time of the year when we turn around and ask, “Where did January go?” You haven’t started anything you vowed to in your new year’s resolutions and already things are getting on top of you, instead of you getting on top of things … sound familiar?
At this time of year the quiet period begins to fade away as people everywhere wake up from their Christmas cocoon and emerge ready to go.
Suddenly new business is banging at your door – are you ready for it?
In an interview with Nett magazine, George Bekris, Dell’s brand marketing manager said “The best devices give back time to users”. This is also true of the services you choose to invest in. An investment, by definition, gives you a return; and that’s what I can give you. Outsourcing offers relief in times of rapid growth and demand.
With the economy revving up it’s engine again, ensure you are getting the right message to potential customers and spending your time where it is most needed – generating and maintaining new business.
Get relief today!
Email me at [email protected] to discuss your editing, proofreading or copy writing needs or click here to discover why editing is an essential investment for your business.
In language clarity is everything – Confucius
Language is the first thing we really learn in life. Body language, facial expressions, gestures, sounds and spoken words are all ways of communicating. Without this we, as human beings, have nothing. Before we learn to communicate properly, we are helpless because we can’t express our needs.
In business, communication is key. Clear communication with your employees, superiors, suppliers and customers is essential to the smooth running of a company of any size.
Sometimes it can be difficult to communicate our message because we lack the proper tools, or perhaps just the time, to express ourselves clearly. If you feel you are too time poor or textually challenged to say what you want to say effectively, or just want someone to check you are getting your message across, contact me for professional, affordable proofreading and writing services.
Email [email protected] to discuss your individual needs.
Don’t risk sending your customers the wrong message!
TIME … we all want more of it but we can never seem to find it.
Do you feel flooded by paperwork and wish you could offload it onto someone else? Good news – you can! It’s called ‘outsourcing’ and many businesses are moving towards outsourcing more and more of their day-to-day business tasks.
The benefits of outsourcing:
You save TIME to spend on other tasks or at home with your family.
It helps you to PRIORITISE tasks that need your immediate attention.
You are free to UTILISE YOUR SKILLS to their full potential, focusing on tasks that require your expertise.
It gives you access to PROFESSIONAL HELP in areas you may not be confident or skilled in.
It’s AFFORDABLE. You are not paying staff for quiet periods, holidays, sick days or coffee breaks and there’s no outlay for equipment, resources or maintenance.
Proofreading is essential to business success but most people don’t like to do it. It’s monotonous, time consuming and often not done properly. Mistakes can be damaging, costing your business time, money and even customers.
Contact me to talk about outsourcing your editing, proofreading and copy writing. [email protected]
I can cater to your needs and budget. There’s no minimum spend and no job is too big or small.
PS – Don’t forget that new customers pay only $20 for the first hour! You’ve got nothing to lose. Discover the benefits of outsourcing today!
Time is ticking!
Welcome to the first www.editing.net.au blog post.
So, to kick things off I’d like to introduce myself and my business.
I believe the foundations of any good business practice are built on integrity, honesty and humility. In my business, integrity is the most important of these three (which I suppose also encompasses honesty). Something that is also very important to me is communication.
If at any time you are not happy with something, have any questions about my service or suggestions for improvement, please contact me and let me know. My number one business goal is to make the whole editing process quicker, easier and better for you, the customer.
Now, I could talk about language until the proverbial cows come home, and, while I would find it entertaining, I doubt many of you would be too enthralled. After all, I get paid to find this stuff exciting so you don’t have to. My livelihood, and yours, depends on me being an expert in the inner-workings of language.
However, if there is a topic you often wonder about or have trouble with, please email me with your questions or any suggestions you may have for future newsletter or blog topics. firstname.lastname@example.org
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