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Do you Care for an Aging Parent?

Ten thousand boomers turn 65 years old every day in America. We’ve been talking about this coming crisis for decades, and now it is here. So 1 in every 3 employees holds down a job and volunteers for an average of 5 1/2 years to assist their loved ones.

CareWise(tm) Solutions help employee-caregivers stay productive on the job while providing superior care for aging or disabled family members. 

Right now, we are soon launching a Crowdfunding effort to develop a smartphone APP for working carers. This APP frees up employee-caregivers using remote technology, collaborative schedules, customized organizational tools, and access to resources. 

As our crowdfunding efforts move forward, I’ll update you on how to pre-purchase the APP for your family or your organization. Companies purchase the APPs as part of an employee benefits package because of the increase in productivity seen by employee-caregivers and their teams. 

In the meantime, check out the Lifeworkx website to learn more about CareWise Solutions. 

Instructional Design, Anti-Money Laundering!

If you’ve known me for some time, you know I have an instructional design (ID) background. I studied instructional design at UBC back when we handed papers in, on paper. Then, I also spent over 25 years working as an instructor for Dale Carnegie Training in BC. Most of the courses I taught I did not design, but I did create many company workshops and conference type meetings.

What Is Instructional Design?

It may seem obvious, but basically instructional design is the process of presenting information in an order and manner that make it memorable for the learner.

Poor design leaves the learner:

  • sitting through a lecture that is all over the place
  • wondering what the teacher is getting at
  • walking away learning nothing
  • not remembering what the lesson covered
  • bored

So, I am thrilled to say that the first phase of the Anti-Money Laundering Course through Innova Learning is complete. If you require Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance training, be sure to register to be sure you are notified when the course is available.

Other Applications

Innova is clearly an application for ID. There are many online courses available now. Some are required by governments, like this one. Others are offered by companies as employee training. Some are available to the general public to learn new skills, especially in the high tech field.

In addition, I write for school teachers, a Singapore public speaker and a series for a US government department. I am also helping develop a series of courses for energy work and self-healing.

Instructional design is an increasingly large portion of the work I do. Mostly though, I still write the words on the internet.

Lifeworkx, an employee caregiver support organization, has offered me the opportunity to write many of their internet and non-internet words. I even wrote the scripts for these videos. If you are caregiving, or know someone who is, the resources there are incredible. Also, they have resources for employers because employee caregivers are now creating a labour market crisis.

Instructional design and writing the internet. So, that’s some of what I have been up to lately.

Greetings from Ecuador!

Melody

My Life as a Content and Copywriter in Ecuador

 

My Life as a Content and Copywriter in Ecuador

Another exciting few weeks in the life of a content and copywriter! I am especially excited about a couple of projects that I am even allowed to share with you.

The first is a blog for people with diabetes on the website Sell Test Strips Here. Why am I so excited? My first byline! Yep. Check the top and it says “melody”. That’s me! I’m usually adding 4 blogs every week, so if you have diabetes or know someone who does, be sure to follow along!

The second is The Construction Channel’s big reveal for the first episode of Six Figures, No Suits. What do I do there? I write those blurbs under the videos on YouTube (and some other stuff). I love watching the construction videos. Anyone who knows me knows I have lived in a reno for many years, and now we are building another house here in Ecuador! If you find a 4 foot auger digging a hole 200 feet deep holds the same fascination as it does for me, subscribe!

Otherwise, there is no shortage of writing tasks! I am writing every day, and enjoying every minute.

News on the Finca (Farm)

As for the finca news… we are in the rainy season so we are getting evening and overnight rains. Nothing loud enough that we can’t watch TV yet, but that’s more likely in the next few months. We had some tools stolen from the back 40, so the team has been busy building a bodega (storage shed) back there to keep everything secure. More distractions from the actual house building, but we hope to be back to that very shortly.

The mare is pregnant (again). Apparently it is the natural order of things. Could be we will have another October baby. Luz is turning colour, and our expert neighbours tell us that it means she will eventually be grey, like her mother Paloma. Right now she just looks dirty.

Bitter Seville oranges are a plenty (20 trees or more on the property), but the orchard we planted 2 1/2 years ago has started to produce, too. A few Meyers lemons and a mandarin have already been picked. Lots of coffee. Kumquats and sweet oranges are beginning. The coconut trees are growing, but like most of the trees, no signs of fruit yet. Papayas show up about once a week, and I have a volunteer cucumber plant that produces a couple a week, too!

They finally opened the new Parque Central (Central Park) in town, and in a couple of months there will be an election for a new mayor. Things are hopping here!

25C every day, and things are good. My health is stable, as long as I don’t do anything I know I shouldn’t do. Good thing I’m not even slightly tempted, eh?

Greetings for 2019 from the equator!

Leave the Copywriting to me,

Melody

Merry Christmas from Ecuador

 

Merry Christmas from Ecuador

Christmas here is very quiet. Not even any real traffic on the road. One insistent bird that sounds much like a rusty swing set echoes in the background. A few stores, and the bank, were closed this morning.

The rush, the decorating, and the consumerism, are all completely absent. Christmas is just not a big holiday here in Ecuador.

New Years, on the other hand, is. Watch for next week’s post to really see some cultural differences!

Melody

Readability Scores

Readability Scores

Choose Your Level

This week readability scores came up more than once. A few complex topics needed simplifying. My clients want to simply inform their current customers about complicated topics, without condescension. So, we discussed the concept of “Readability Scores” and what that really means.

Some of what goes into web content or blog readability is about image placement, subheadings, bullet points and other things on a page that make it easier to read. That’s not what I am talking about here.

The Flesch Readability Scores Test

People mostly scan content on the web. Posts that are easy to read and scan make sense. The Flesch Reading Ease test scores the complexity of copy and rates it on a scale of 0 to 100 (see below). Generally, a score between 60 and 70 (8th to 9th grade) is considered typical for most industries.

Then again, many industries easily support more difficult text. A government website I worked with this week scored at a 20 to 30 level. The client preferred that the information from that website be rewritten for his customers in that 60 to 70 range.

 

Score

School level

Notes

100.00-90.00

5th grade

Very easy to read. Easily understood by an average 11-year-old student.

90.0–80.0

6th grade

Easy to read. Conversational English for consumers.

80.0–70.0

7th grade

Fairly easy to read.

70.0–60.0

8th & 9th grade

Plain English. Easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students.

60.0–50.0

10th to 12th grade

Fairly difficult to read.

50.0–30.0

College

Difficult to read.

30.0–0.0

College graduate

Very difficult to read. Best understood by university graduates.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Why Readability Scores Matter

Your readability scores influence how much time your visitors spend on your website. It may seem counterintuitive, but the easier readability scores tend to keep website visitors for longer. Readers bore easily. (Thanks for staying with me here!)

When your visitors stay on your website longer, your SEO ranking goes up. Google watches how long people stay on your site. If your nearest competitor engages readers for longer than you do, they are ranked above you.

Deliberate Choice is the Key

If you know me at all (and if you don’t, here’s a clue) you know how strongly I believe in deliberate choice. So, just like anything else, choose your readability score to fit with your audience, your subject and who you are. It is that combination that will make for successful web content.

Melody

P.S. The Flesch Readability Score of this post is 71.1

The picture is the view out my window. The mare’s name is Paloma (Dove), and the colt is Luz (or often Lucita, which means “Little Light”). The bushes are a salak (snake fruit) and mangosteen in my tropical fruit orchard here in Ecuador. 

Big Machines and Blogs

Big Machines And Blogs

Big machines. I mean really, really big machines. The kind that makes roads, and my 750m long driveway, were here this week. I hide away and write blogs, as the machines make the driveway.

The Big Machines

There were at least a dozen dump trucks full of what is locally referred to as “lastre”. This is a terra cotta coloured pre-marble material used for gravel roads and driveways, very nearby. Drive for less than an hour in any direction, and no more lastre.

The other big machines were here to move the lastre around. We get about 4 times as much rain as Vancouver or Seattle, so we have to be conscious of erosion. The under footing is mostly a clay mix that makes most everything amazingly stable.

In fact, this well was dug by hand. blogs wellNary a stone to be found. And that Byron does dig a nice hole.

The Blogs and Such

This week I have been working on a book. Not mine, that’s another project. This is a book by a respected psychologist on the east coast of the US. It is yet in the early stages, but I am interested to read it when it is finished!

There have been more dental blogs for Dr. J, in the UK, and a rewrite of a Miami Daycare’s website. I have an ongoing blog project with an amazing health supplement that required some proofreading of their brochures. If you know me, you know I don’t say this lightly… when this supplement is in production, I am “getting me some”!

I finished a couple of proofreads for some academic projects, and a CV cover letter just to round out the week.

Oh, it’s only Tuesday!

Step-by-step the house is being built, and the finca (farm) is taking shape. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

If you know someone who could use some blogs or other writing, please ask them to contact me.

Leave the Copywriting to Me.

Melody

SEO Content Writing This Week

SEO Content Writing This Week

One of the best things about SEO content writing is the variety of topics I encounter every week. This week included everything from peridontal research studies to Christmas. There was more ongoing work in the financial industry, and even some on interior design and alternative medicine.

The SEO Content Writing Niche

One of the most common pieces of advice a freelance writer will receive is to “find your niche”. They choose narrow subject areas like “cryptocurrency” <blech>, or “fashion”, or “travel”. Seldom do these niche writers venture forth to write outside of their niche.

My niche is business. My talent/skill is seeing what your client needs to take action.

How I Developed That Talent/Skill

For more than 2 decades, I instructed an internationally acclaimed sales course. There were 55 professional B2B sales reps in each class. In each of the 12 sessions of the course, I had to fine-tune the sales concept to every product/service. That meant that, on the fly, I was developing examples for hundreds of products.

If you have ever worked with professional B2B sales reps, you probably know they can be rather tough minded. I had the ability to quickly adapt the material to their unique situations. This was the foundation for my award-winning sales and graduation levels.

What Does That Have to Do With SEO Content Writing?

SEO content writing is much easier. This same skill, adapting sales/marketing techniques to unique situations, is required. Now, I can sit behind my computer and do these adaptations at my leisure. I can revise and rework each line. When instructing the classes, I was public speaking, and had to do it all at light speed. No revisions.

So, that’s why SEO content writing for business is my niche. I have written for accountants, and funeral homes, on the same day. From my point of view, the same principles apply. Solid SEO content writing requires convincing, persuasive language, on informative topics. You give me your topics, and leave the copywriting to me.

Melody

They are More Than Just Sunglasses

Just over 13 years ago, I was a passenger in a stopped car that was rear-ended by a truck. My brain was smashed up inside my head in such as way that now I have photosensitive epilepsy. You can stop reading now, except as a client, this is the reason I ask you not to send me excel spreadsheets. The lines and columns trigger the wrong part of my brain.

For the most part, I am mostly fine. I live on this lovely chocolate farm in South America. Here I can avoid the lights and sounds and smells that are a problem for me.

So, What Are the Sunglasses?

They are visual therapy glasses in the colour (color) called “Deep Blue Zee”.

This is the colour specifically designed for those with photo sensitivity, or brain injuries. You may have also seen some glasses with a light amber tint, which are helpful for some concussions.

If you have trouble with headaches or migraines, tinted lenses can be a terrific help.

For me, they improve my balance, my vision and even make it so I can catch a ball.

What Difference Does it Make to My Clients?

Most of my clients, before now, have not even had any clue about any of this.

Communications

Dealing with me by telephone, Skype or chat means you probably couldn’t tell anything. On the other hand, if there is noise in the background, or static on the line, it can be difficult for me. So, nice quiet chats are a must.

Spreadsheets

I mentioned the excel problem. Just copy and paste your spreadsheet into a word document, and then export it as a PDF, and all the lines disappear like magic! I can usually tolerate a table in a Word document okay.

Otherwise, it doesn’t seem to come up. But, I had to come clean about the glasses because they are a huge part of my identity.

Living on the equator means this redhead wears a big sun hat all the time, too.Melody S Wright Writer

So, this picture of me, even with the touch of sunburn, is pretty much what I really look like all the time.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my life. I will continue to post blogs here. Some will be specifically SEO friendly, and about copywriting. Others will just be about my life.

Welcome here.

Leave the Copywriting to Me

Melody

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