How I Give My Freelance Clients More Bang for Their Buck

As a consultant for small and mid-sized companies, updating website content is usually the gateway drug to me doing other projects for them, ones that they might not even know need doing. Once I’m inside a company, I usually notice opportunities for standardizing content, making UX improvements, and even making suggestions to improve their business in ways that only an outsider with fresh eyes could do. Read this blog post that describes how I did this for two of my clients.

How I Give My Freelance Clients More Bang for Their Buck

Onboarding | Operations | Process

This is my favorite thing! When I get into a company, I always find there’s a need to document processes or to pull down tribal knowledge, especially in small companies. Capturing information about business processes, where the files live, or who to contact make getting work done easier for everyone. And if “Bill’s the only one who knows how to do [that thing].” I talk to Bill and document what he knows, and now if Bill leaves, his knowledge doesn’t go with him.

Onboarding for Copy Editors

The title “copy editor” can mean completely different work tasks at different publishers and jobs. I worked at a fledgling publisher that hadn’t yet worked out all the kinks in their process, such as setting expectations for their copy editors. After asking a LOT of questions, I wrote up this onboarding document to explain their expectations to new copy editors (so THEY didn’t have to keep asking questions like I did).

Contractor Onboarding

While at a client, I noticed their contractor onboarding manual needed some reorganization and editing. When you’re a contractor, the most important things you want to know are: 1) How do I submit my time and 2) How do I get paid. I made sure their manual put that information front and center (as well as clarifying some other information). This is a before and after document, the original is first, with my edited version following. But you can also see the kind of questions I ask when I’m editing a document (in comments).

Contractor Onboarding Guide Improvement

Publishing | Editing

I’m a copy and developmental editor for non-fiction books.

Copy Editing for Chronicle Books

Some of the books I’ve edited for Chronicle Books (the Pop Culture division):

Samples of manuscripts with edits and inline comments available upon request so you can see my thinking.

Copy Editing for Scribe Media

Some of the books I edited for Scribe Media:

Content Writing

The Most Complete Apartment Ad Ever

One of my credos as a writer is to “write content that answers questions before they’re asked.” As a person who rents, I find apartment ads woefully inadequate in this regard. So when I was trying to find a subletter for one of my apartments, I decided to write the best apartment ad in the history of apartment ads.

The most complete apartment ad ever

Friendly Writing Guidelines

It’s a focus of my career to develop friendly and effective content for humans, and teach others to do it too. After working with a team to audit and condense an 1800-page legacy website for a power company (seriously this thing was from the late 90s), I authored a “friendly writing” guide to teach the company’s writers to update the site content to be friendlier (both to readers and to SEO).

Friendly Writing Guidelines for Web Content Writers

Case Studies

Recent sample: These narrative-style case studies were written on behalf of the CEO of a web development agency

Blog Posts

Posts for a Web Agency

These blog posts were written on behalf of the CEO of a web development agency.

SEO/Social Media Topics

These articles were written for AIMCLEAR, a Minnesota SEO firm during the great SEO/Social Media explosions of 2008 and 2009. The info in some articles is obviously dated (i.e. early iPhone apps), but surprisingly some of it still holds up rather well.

My social media/SEO coverage

Good Post Titles Are The New Black (old, but still relevant!)

Travel Writing

These are from a series of travel tips for the now defunct blog. (These links go to the They removed bylines in a site redesign, but as soon as you start reading you can tell by the humor it’s me (and you can see me replying to comments).

The Slow Travel Movement: Pretending to Be a Local

Japanese Customs, Quirks and Other Fascinating Oddities

Tipping & Gratuity Guidelines For International Travel

Italian Blog Scene: Rubber Slippers & Bleeding Espresso

Wine and Hiking, the Perfect Pairing of Virtue and Vice

Ecommerce Product Copy and Informational Content

I was hired to do some light product copy updates for a billiards company. I standardized the product descriptions for their pool tables and furniture, then moved on to improve their supplemental content (how to buy a table, warranty information, pool table installation, etc.)

Datasheets | Sales Sheets

These data sheets were written to support a company selling digital ad boards in NYC.

Technical Writing | Instructional Content

Software User Guides

Content Strategy | Standards

Audit Findings

Editorial Style Guide

Simple Branding Guide

This is a simple branding guide and editorial style guide for a small web development agency.


Amateur Screenwriting

I Was So Annoyed by the Writing on And Just Like That That I Wrote Some Scenes Myself

I was an OG Sex and the City watcher, and the new show, And Just Like That is just terrible. They’re butchering my show so I thought I’d see if I could write some scenes that felt more authentic. It went over very well in the AJLT subreddit! And it was super fun to do. I may do more, if the writing continues to be terrible.

Personal Writing, Reviews & Tweets

I don’t do too much personal blogging these days, but here are a few things that are still current. Warning: there might be a few swears.

The following post was selected to be part of the Trips Worth Telling series, put out in conjunction with Michael Pollan’s book, How to Change Your Mind on his research into psychedelics.

How Ayahuasca Helped Me Puke My Way to Better Mental Health

Social Media

Website Design and Production

Website Design and Production

Ah, another life this was. I was building websites way back when they were just HTML.

Since I was building websites in the early 2000s, most of the sites I’ve built are long gone, but I have one legacy client I’m still supporting, and his site is my favorite of them all. Legend of the Mantamaji is a website built to support Eric Dean Seaton’s fantastic graphic novel series.