Websites

Review of Content Gather Writing Website

Perhaps the worst experience I’ve had with a website of any type, my experience in trying to place articles on Content Gather really is far and away my worst customer service experience online.

If you read other reviews, you’ll see many that state that writers uploaded articles only to find their site blocked with an “Account Suspended” message.  I assumed that some people may have had a bad experience, but that the site should want new writers.

I’m already placing spec articles on two other sites, but decided to pull down some older articles listed on another site and place them on Content Gather to see if a different audience would find them of interest.

That was Sunday morning, this morning.  It’s now Sunday night and I just checked the site to find my account suspended without explanation.  This site is a trap and should be avoided at all cost if you’re a writer who wants to sell their work on article sites.  I suggest you use Constant-Content and Dot Writer.  They’re reputable and you will not be abused as I and many others have been by Content Gather.

**UPDATE:  The articles were uploaded to a different site this morning (Monday July 29), and all have been approved and are up for sale.**

Ghost Writing Book Projects

I’ve been busy since the first week of February in writing four books as ghost writer.  They are real estate investing and Internet marketing books.

It’s hard work to create 25,000+ words/week, but it keeps the doors open!  If you’re looking for fast quality writing of marketing or business books on any topic, email me.

Copywriting for Biggest Losers Event

I just finished a project for the “New Year, New You Retreat With The Biggest Losers” in Las Vegas, to be held in January 2011. Their site isn’t up yet, and I’ll update this blog with a link when it is. Copywriting is selling with words and images, and this is an interesting project. Unlike other copywriting projects with long term Web exposure, this one has a finite amount of time in which to generate registrations for the event.

Getting people to register to attend is the focus of the material, and I believe that this is going to be a really big event, with past season Biggest Losers and the show’s producers there. It should max out at the 5000 attendees they’ve limited the event to as well. I wrote Web page text, video scripts and order page material for this project.

Ghost Book Project – Internet Marketing

In mid-2009, I completed a ghost writing project, a book about Internet marketing for a company I can’t name here, but I do a lot of writing for this company about real estate investing as well.  Blog posts and website articles, as well as training materials keep me fairly busy with this group.

Copywriting for Biggest Losers Event

My most recent copywriting project was for a major event in Las Vegas, March 2011.  They are shooting for several thousand attendees, and I wrote a large part to the website copy to get those registrations.

Business Management and Growth Articles

When it comes to entrepreneurship, starting, growing and managing a business, I’ve done it several times.  I’ve been my own boss my entire adult life.  Writing about business and how make it successfully are my specialty.

Whether it’s starting up, customer development, marketing, advertising, technology, and so much more, get a thorough look at my knowledge and writing ability by checking out the many articles I’ve placed (all are mine) at the About.com site.

Writing About Blogging and Marketing with Blogs

Dozens of articles about blogging and using it effectively illustrate my expertise on the subject and my ability to write about it both conversationally and as instruction.

When you visit the link above, you’ll find a huge amount of information about how blogs can be utilized to build a business, communicate with customers, and build community good will.

Writing About Marketing with Websites and Email

In more than 40 articles at this link, you’ll be able to evaluate my marketing expertise, internet and web design knowledge, and my ability to write about email and its use as a marketing tool.  I’ve utilized practices and written extensively on:

  • Web site design for maximum business potential
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Adwords and Click Marketing
  • Writing web content for maximum visitor conversions
  • Using email as a marketing tool – drip email
  • Email newsletters

Marketing and Customer Service Articles

Though directed to Realtors, my articles on general marketing topics at About.com will give you an idea of my knowledge and ability to write about marketing to those in any business.

My expertise goes back many years through many entrepreneurial endeavors.  I’ve worked with the public, Realtors, contractors and other business owners in developing effective marketing efforts.  Coupling my experience with my research abilities assures the highest quality writing for my clients.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization Sales Text

In my ongoing website content creation for Netprofession.com, I was asked to write the text for their web page introducing the power of their SEO tools in their web design solution.  This company designs websites for attorneys, doctors, accountants, etc.  They are experts at website design and SEO.  I am pleased that they found my abilities suitable to their project.

At their SEO introductory page, my text is written to point out their content management system, its features that make it easy to self-manage one’s content and to maximize the SEO potential.  I was also tasked to be “real” without hype or any tactics for SEO.  It’s all about the content and the meta.

Real Estate Investing Articles for Print and Web

Dean Graziosi, a real estate investment guru,  has been working with investors for many years.  He has multiple books and websites with detailed information about buying and selling real estate as an investment.  I have written some background articles for his organization.  I don’t know where they ended up, but here are some excerpts:

It’s Not About Motivation – It’s Mindset and Knowledge

Most of us know someone who just seems to be successful, no matter what they try to do. They can start a business and make it grow into something bigger than themselves, realizing wealth along the way. These same people can hit a snag, or a large setback can befall them. Perhaps their business even fails completely. Then, a little while later, they have bounced back. Another successful enterprise is up and running, and they’re financially well-off again.

One might assume that they’re just lucky, or perhaps they have been to numerous motivational seminars on being successful in business. The problem with motivation for motivation’s sake is that it works for a tiny minority of seminar attendees, and the rest try and fail yet again. Why is that? Dean Graziosi, the author of Totally Fulfilled doesn’t want to pump you up with pure motivation. These successful people, even after previous failures in business, are that way because their mindset simply will not accept any other outcome. And it isn’t about being motivated as much as it is about confidence and knowledge.

Real Estate Investment – Don’t Discount the Simple Solutions

When real estate was appreciating at a rapid rate everywhere, investment gurus popped up almost daily. And, this being America, there seems to be a need to come up with a newer and better mousetrap to prove value. The problem comes when the fundamentals of investment are ignored or replaced by so-called sophisticated strategies that multiply risk to achieve dubious rewards.

The funny thing is, now that appreciation has stopped or dramatically slowed in many markets, the gurus still keep popping up. And, the better and newer methods some are pushing are just new packaging on old ideas that didn’t work in the first place.Sometimes getting back to the simple is the solution.

An investment story that illustrates complexity and risk is a very true experience of a stock market options trader. He studied options trading and read books until he knew more than most stock brokers. There wasn’t a sophisticated strategy that he hadn’t used multiple times….though results weren’t always as planned. One day, one of his market tracking software packages produced an alert on a well known bank stock. There was a heavy spike in the purchase of options, possibly indicating something in the wind for this stock.

Technology Articles for Realtors

Agent Direct News, a print publication with more than 100,000 Realtor subscribers, also has a subscription only online version of their articles.  I am a regular monthly contributor to this newspaper.  Articles are around 800 words and are intended to help Realtors to embrace new technology and use it to help them be more successful.

E-Marketing – Email or Blog

Realtor Magazine, with a circulation of more than 1.2 million Realtor readers, asked me to do an article for both print and online concerning the decision of whether to use email and newsletters or a blog for real estate marketing and ongoing client communication.

I have extensive experience doing both, and tried to present a balanced analysis, though I am very much in favor of the blogging method, with an email newsletter created from the blog’s posts.

My Own Technology Blog – Finding Tech Gems

Though I ran out of time and I finally just had to quit posting to Functional Technology.com, I leave it up for the purpose of showing my tech writing skills, as well as my knowledge in the implementation of technology in business.

As you’ll see in my posts, the purpose of the site is to demystify technology, as well as to point out free or low cost solutions for business. Though the target audience was originally Realtors, the tools and instruction are applicable to any business.

If your writing project involves technology, you can get a good feel for my style at that blog. You can also experience my tone as an online instructional resource. My style tends toward the informal, with a little humor thrown in when appropriate.

Another skill illustrated by this blog is my ability to ferret out the latest in information on any topic on the Web. I set up alerts and RSS feeds with the appropriate key words and phrases to bring me the most up-to-date information on a daily basis.

Road Trip

I’m in Toronto, Canada last week through this week working with a major writing client.  WebsiteBox.com and I have a 3+ year relationship, and I’m working with them in rolling out a new vertical product line with major writing requirements.

I appreciate clients who need regular work, as it helps to smooth the sometimes roller coaster income of a freelance writer.  I just finished one book as a ghost writer for another client and starting another soon.  Work is good for you.

Ghost Writing Book Projects

I’ve been busy since the first week of February in writing four books as ghost writer.  They are real estate investing and Internet marketing books.

It’s hard work to create 25,000+ words/week, but it keeps the doors open!  If you’re looking for fast quality writing of marketing or business books on any topic, email me.

Copywriting for Biggest Losers Event

I just finished a project for the “New Year, New You Retreat With The Biggest Losers” in Las Vegas, to be held in January 2011. Their site isn’t up yet, and I’ll update this blog with a link when it is. Copywriting is selling with words and images, and this is an interesting project. Unlike other copywriting projects with long term Web exposure, this one has a finite amount of time in which to generate registrations for the event.

Getting people to register to attend is the focus of the material, and I believe that this is going to be a really big event, with past season Biggest Losers and the show’s producers there. It should max out at the 5000 attendees they’ve limited the event to as well. I wrote Web page text, video scripts and order page material for this project.

Copywriting for Biggest Losers Event

My most recent copywriting project was for a major event in Las Vegas, March 2011.  They are shooting for several thousand attendees, and I wrote a large part to the website copy to get those registrations.

Business Management and Growth Articles

When it comes to entrepreneurship, starting, growing and managing a business, I’ve done it several times.  I’ve been my own boss my entire adult life.  Writing about business and how make it successfully are my specialty.

Whether it’s starting up, customer development, marketing, advertising, technology, and so much more, get a thorough look at my knowledge and writing ability by checking out the many articles I’ve placed (most are mine) at the About.com site.

Basic Real Estate Business and Startup Articles

I do a huge amount of instructional writing for Realtors just starting in the business.  Subjects range from basic property and ownership information to developing a business plan, financial planning, marketing budgeting and more.

Here is a link to a full section of my new real estate agent articles.

Writing About Marketing with Websites and Email

In more than 40 articles at this link, you’ll be able to evaluate my marketing expertise, internet and web design knowledge, and my ability to write about email and its use as a marketing tool.  I’ve utilized practices and written extensively on:

  • Web site design for maximum business potential
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Adwords and Click Marketing
  • Writing web content for maximum visitor conversions
  • Using email as a marketing tool – drip email
  • Email newsletters

Marketing and Customer Service Articles

Though directed to Realtors, my articles on general marketing topics at About.com will give you an idea of my knowledge and ability to write about marketing to those in any business.

My expertise goes back many years through many entrepreneurial endeavors.  I’ve worked with the public, Realtors, contractors and other business owners in developing effective marketing efforts.  Coupling my experience with my research abilities assures the highest quality writing for my clients.

Software and Online Services Writer

My articles at RealEstate.About.com have instructed thousands in the use of all types of software and online services in their business.  With technology evolving at such a rapid rate, a technology writer needs to have the interest and resources to keep pace.  Otherwise, articles will be old or out of date before they ever hit print or the web.

More than 40 articles at this link will illustrate, not only my technology knowledge, but also my ability to articulate tech subjects for the average person.

Technology Hardware Writer

I’ve written a huge amount on technology hardware, particularly on the effective use of tech hardware in business.  I’m either reviewing or instructing on all types of hardware from GPS to Cell phones, computers, camcorders, printers, and headsets.

Here’s a link to a series of these hardware articles.

Review of the Flip Video Camcorder

In my job as the Real Estate Business Guide writer for the New York Times website at About.com, I write about all aspects of the real estate business.  Part of that is the use of technology hardware in an efficient way for marketing and business management.

Real Estate Investment Articles

A website with thousands of real estate investor subscribers commissioned me to write some basic real estate investing articles.  I wrote a short series, and an excerpt from a credit article follows:

Credit History and the Successful Real Estate Investor

Real estate investing is a business. No matter what your goals, property types, or investing strategies, investing in real estate is a game of numbers. It’s return on investment, and your profitability in the business will involve one or more of these factors:

  • buying right;
  • efficient and cost effective renovation and improvements;
  • effective management;
  • proven marketing and rental techniques; and/or
  • selling right.

We didn’t start with “buying right” without good reason. All of the rest of the items on the list can enhance your return on investment, but they’ll be playing catch-up if you didn’t make the best deal on the front end.

Too many new real estate investors place all their efforts into finding and negotiating the best price. Buying below market is quite important, but a real estate investor can give back much of the price advantage in the financing. Unless flipping a property very quickly, the financing costs of holding properties are eating away at total return from the day the deal closes.

HTML Articles

I am not an HTML expert, nor do I build web sites with HTML.  However, I am proficient in the basic HTML to lay out a text article if it’s being uploaded with some type of FTP or content management system.  Normally, the article would be delivered to the buyer as a text file, example excerpt:

<title>Investing in Rental Property – What are the Benefits?</title>

<description>Investing in rental property brings returns in multiple ways. It’s not just buy low and sell high. You can still make money, even if you don’t.</description>

<keywords>investing in rental property, benefits, income, appreciation, improvements, investment, inflation, cash flow</keywords>

<body>

Getting excited about the benefits of investing in rental property isn’t hard. When compared to stocks, bonds, commodities and other common investments, investing in rental property provides returns in more ways. It isn’t necessary to “call the market” as far as direction. Though it helps, “buying low and selling high” isn’t necessary in order to realize handsome returns from your rental property investment. Let’s look at how the benefits stack up.

<b>Positive cash flow from rents</b>, or your “rental yield” is a great draw for those investing in rental property. Rental yield, expressed as a percentage, represents the cash left over after the mortgage payment, taxes, and operational expenses like management and repair costs. It’s not uncommon for a rental property to have a 4% to 10% or higher rental yield after expenses.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization Sales Text

In my ongoing website content creation for Netprofession.com, I was asked to write the text for their web page introducing the power of their SEO tools in their web design solution.  This company designs websites for attorneys, doctors, accountants, etc.  They are experts at website design and SEO.  I am pleased that they found my abilities suitable to their project.

At their SEO introductory page, my text is written to point out their content management system, its features that make it easy to self-manage one’s content and to maximize the SEO potential.  I was also tasked to be “real” without hype or any tactics for SEO.  It’s all about the content and the meta.

Website Content Management and SEO

Netprofession.com commissions me to create content for their website.  Their business is in website design for professionals, including attorneys, doctors, realtors, etc.  This is a new account, but one article is already up on the site at this link.

This is a good account to illustrate my knowledge in website design and search engine optimization.  These are the experts, selling these services to others.  They carefully evaluated my qualifications and are using me for more content in the future.

Movie Scripts for Realtor Web Sites

If you go to http://www.movoxo.com, you’ll find some movie previews at the Realtor Videos tab.  I was hired to write the scripts for some of these videos.  There was some editing after I delivered the text, and their people placed all the images.

If you need scripting for videos or speeches, I’m here to help.  I can provide scripting from formal through educational to light and fun on topics related to my experience in:

  • Real Estate
  • Construction
  • HVAC Contracting
  • Internet Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Adwords and Yahoo Marketing
  • Web Site Design
  • Blogs and Blogging
  • WordPress
  • Technology Solutions
  • Business Management
  • Entrepreneurial Topics

Water Rights in New Mexico

LandReport.com, the online version of the upscale magazine of the same name, commissioned me to write a piece about water rights in New Mexico.  It involved my own knowledge, research and an interview with a water rights attorney.

Water Rights Article Link.

Consumer Home Sale Articles

One client who would never divulge their company, nor where they intended to use the 100+ pages of web material I wrote for them, wanted extensive detail to instruct homeowners in every facet of the home sale process.

I wrote about everything from choosing a Realtor to preparation of the home, marketing, contracts, negotiations, and closing.  Here’s one short excerpt:

Condition and Home Preparation

Selling your home can be an exciting and profitable process. Or it can be disappointing when you see the bottom line on the settlement statement at closing. You have some control over that bottom line. Selling a home is a competitive process. There are other homes out there, possibly even on your street, that want those buyers as much as you do. If you can make your home more desireable than others around you, it’s possible to generate better offers or possibly even competition among buyers.

Marketing, web sites, and advertisement is important. But they won’t help a bit if buyers arrive and are turned off by the condition of your home. Consider the preparation for sale a three step process:

  • The Plan – Gather information and compare your home to the competition.
  • The Inspection – You or professionals determine what the problems are.
  • Getting it Done – Get repairs and improvements done well and economically.

Real Estate Investing Articles for Print and Web

Dean Graziosi, a real estate investment guru,  has been working with investors for many years.  He has multiple books and websites with detailed information about buying and selling real estate as an investment.  I have written some background articles for his organization.  I don’t know where they ended up, but here are some excerpts:

It’s Not About Motivation – It’s Mindset and Knowledge

Most of us know someone who just seems to be successful, no matter what they try to do. They can start a business and make it grow into something bigger than themselves, realizing wealth along the way. These same people can hit a snag, or a large setback can befall them. Perhaps their business even fails completely. Then, a little while later, they have bounced back. Another successful enterprise is up and running, and they’re financially well-off again.

One might assume that they’re just lucky, or perhaps they have been to numerous motivational seminars on being successful in business. The problem with motivation for motivation’s sake is that it works for a tiny minority of seminar attendees, and the rest try and fail yet again. Why is that? Dean Graziosi, the author of Totally Fulfilled doesn’t want to pump you up with pure motivation. These successful people, even after previous failures in business, are that way because their mindset simply will not accept any other outcome. And it isn’t about being motivated as much as it is about confidence and knowledge.

Real Estate Investment – Don’t Discount the Simple Solutions

When real estate was appreciating at a rapid rate everywhere, investment gurus popped up almost daily. And, this being America, there seems to be a need to come up with a newer and better mousetrap to prove value. The problem comes when the fundamentals of investment are ignored or replaced by so-called sophisticated strategies that multiply risk to achieve dubious rewards.

The funny thing is, now that appreciation has stopped or dramatically slowed in many markets, the gurus still keep popping up. And, the better and newer methods some are pushing are just new packaging on old ideas that didn’t work in the first place. Sometimes getting back to the simple is the solution.

An investment story that illustrates complexity and risk is a very true experience of a stock market options trader. He studied options trading and read books until he knew more than most stock brokers. There wasn’t a sophisticated strategy that he hadn’t used multiple times….though results weren’t always as planned. One day, one of his market tracking software packages produced an alert on a well known bank stock. There was a heavy spike in the purchase of options, possibly indicating something in the wind for this stock.

Technology Articles for Realtors

Agent Direct News, a print publication with more than 100,000 Realtor subscribers, also has a subscription only online version of their articles.  I am a regular monthly contributor to this newspaper.  Articles are around 800 words and are intended to help Realtors to embrace new technology and use it to help them be more successful.

E-Marketing – Email or Blog

Realtor Magazine, with a circulation of more than 1.2 million Realtor readers, asked me to do an article for both print and online concerning the decision of whether to use email and newsletters or a blog for real estate marketing and ongoing client communication.

I have extensive experience doing both, and tried to present a balanced analysis, though I am very much in favor of the blogging method, with an email newsletter created from the blog’s posts.

Here’s the link to the story.

Technology and Real Estate – Intranets for Real Estate

With a circulation of more than 1.2 million readers, Realtor Magazine is quite careful in their editorial acceptance and writing policy. I am gratified to have been asked to contribute two articles to their Tech@Work feature column in the past. One is the use of an intranet in the management of a real estate brokerage.

Here’s the link to the online version.

Consumer Real Estate Articles for Realtor Sites

A Canadian consulting and web design company hired me to do 1000 word articles for the websites of their Realtor clients. As they resell these articles, I cannot place links or content here, as I’m not sure where they ended up. Titles were as follows:

Here are some titles and excerpts:

Why Buyers Need a Real Estate Professional

With the Internet providing huge amounts of information about homes listed for sale, it is easy to get the idea that an enterprising person can go it alone in locating and purchasing a home. Let’s work our way through some information and situations and see what a buyer will encounter in the real estate market.

The Internet is a great tool for home buyers. There are not only a great number of sites with home listings, some of them even offer valuation estimates and comparisons. What could be the problem with this information glut? Briefly, there is just too much, and much of it cannot be verified for accuracy.

  • A real estate professional will help you to weed through the massive data available out there.
  • Your real estate professional will have access to some resources not available to you.
  • Sold property data is just one small piece of the valuation puzzle.
  • Experience in the local market adds invaluable insight into hard numbers from a computer.

How Do Real Estate Pros Price a Listing?

A very accurate saying is that “Any home will sell once you get the price right.” Of course, this is usually said from the perspective of dropping a price until it’s too attractive to pass up. Actually, the accurate pricing of your home prior to listing is as much an art as it is a science.

The Science:

Computers have helped a lot in the data and science aspects of pricing homes for sale. The real estate professional looks at many data sets in the process, including:

  • Records of recent sales in the neighborhood or area.
  • Currently listed comparable homes.
  • Historical trends in price appreciation.
  • Feature comparisons for mechanical value adjustments for differences.

Real Estate Consumer and Investment Articles

Though this client at http://acepropertyinvestments.com is in site redesign, with my content not yet up, I have done multiple small writing projects for them. The general focus is on Rent to Own and Lease Purchase as a viable option for all involved, Buyers, Sellers and Realtors.

Here are a couple of titles and excerpts:

The Buyer’s Guide to Home Purchase Negotiations

Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines “negotiation” as “a conferring, discussing or bargaining for an agreement.” Turning a negotiation into a battle of wills is rarely a strategy of value.

As a buyer in a real estate negotiation, you are making the first contact with the seller via your purchase offer. This is a defining moment, and how you craft your offer often sets the tone of the entire negotiation process. The most successful negotiations almost always end with all parties feeling like winners. Don’t let your offer create ill will with a seller, as this will usually result in a difficult proces

Does this mean that a buyer shouldn’t make an offer significantly lower than the asking price? This will depend on the current market, as well as property condition and perceived seller motivation.

Understanding Title Insurance

Most homeowners are quite careful to examine their homeowner insurance policy for the dollar amounts of coverage, as well as the damage and events that are covered and which aren’t. There should be even more attention focused on the coverage provided by title insurance.

In most real estate purchase transactions, a document called a “title insurance binder” is issued to the buyer. This document “binds” the insurer to the issuance of a policy of title insurance with certain exceptions and requirements.

Title insurance provides protection to a property owner for possible future actions of others, or information discovered, that damages the property owner’s benefits of ownership. It does not cover restrictions or other limits on use that already exist

My Own Technology Blog – Finding Tech Gems

Though I ran out of time and I finally just had to quit posting to Functional Technology.com, I leave it up for the purpose of showing my tech writing skills, as well as my knowledge in the implementation of technology in business.

As you’ll see in my posts, the purpose of the site is to demystify technology, as well as to point out free or low cost solutions for business. Though the target audience was originally Realtors, the tools and instruction are applicable to any business.

If your writing project involves technology, you can get a good feel for my style at that blog. You can also experience my tone as an online instructional resource. My style tends toward the informal, with a little humor thrown in when appropriate.

Another skill illustrated by this blog is my ability to ferret out the latest in information on any topic on the Web. I set up alerts and RSS feeds with the appropriate key words and phrases to bring me the most up-to-date information on a daily basis.