… helped me land my dream job and will get YOU noticed by the right people too.
In December 2012 I found myself in a massive funk.
I’d been writing online for three years and had hit a wall. My blog readership wasn’t growing and every guest post I submitted to big sites was getting silence. Not even a polite rejection.
It was really depressing.
I knew my writing had stagnated, but I didn’t know what do about it.
Like anyone in my situation, I felt there was some kind of secret sauce I was missing out on. But I’d also heard the mantra: there’s no magic bullet when it comes to success, just hard work and perseverance.
Clearly it was time to pull my head in and just get back to work.
Well, as it turns out … wrong!
There was a secret sauce for my writing woes.
I came across it when I signed up for a five-day intensive writing course.
Was it the course itself that changed everything for me? Nope. It was something specific that happened both during, and after.
The challenge that changed everything
During the course, our instructor threw out a challenge:
“Send me a favourite piece of your writing and I’ll critique it; I’ll tell you whether it’s any good or not. The only catch is, I’ll be critiquing it in front of the entire class.”
A surprising number of us took up the offer and I have to admit, having my own piece assessed as “Completely vanilla. If you have nothing new to bring to this topic, don’t add to the noise out there in the world about it.” … well, that stung.
But as I watched our instructor go through everyone else’s work something became very clear.
- She cared deeply about the ideas we were trying to communicate.
- She was desperate for our words to surprise people and challenge them to think outside the box.
- She cared about those things much more than she cared about our precious writer feelings!
Those of us who were willing to set aside our precious writer feelings? We learned more about the craft of writing in a day than in all our previous years of writing combined.
The point where my writing really went ‘next level’
At the end of the course our instructor made another offer. She said:
“For $299 you can send me as many pieces as you like over the next month and I will critique them for you.”
I was so scared she’d realise what a ridiculous price that was and retract the offer, I signed up before she finished speaking.
Years of studying other people’s writing and trying to figure out where they were going right had taught me a lot. But having someone study my writing for a full month and tell me where I was going wrong?
That accelerated my development unbelievably.
Suddenly my writing was being noticed by more people.
Most importantly, it was being noticed by more of the right people.
I’ve been able to write regularly for Copyblogger, Problogger; and have also contributed to huge online sites like News.com.au, Mamamia and Kidspot as well as print magazines like Marie Claire and Mindfood. I’ve been asked to speak at conferences, business boot camps and networking events.
Most importantly, however, I landed my dream job as Editor of Flying Solo – Australia’s largest website and online community for solo and micro businesses.
Now I get to work with smart and motivated writers every single day. Articles I’ve edited in the past 20 months have been viewed by over 300,000 people and shared over 50,000 times.
Here’s what some of the writers I’ve worked with have said:
“Love LOVE working with you Kel – thank you for being so supportive and accessible. Learning lots (and have a long way to go!).”
“I can see your outstanding editing in every single piece I read. You need to be congratulated.”
“It’s fascinating to see the changes between what I wrote initially and how it is now and great for me to bear those changes in mind when I write other things – putting in a structure that makes sense to the reader.”
“Kelly is a stellar editor. One of the things I love best about working with her is that she has a real knack for creating an attention-grabbing headline, one that alway ensures I get more eyes on my writing!”
And now I want to work with YOU
Over the past few years, I’ve had any number of people ask if I offer coaching services that will help them become better writers.
Until now, the answer to that has always been ‘No’. Mainly because:
- While I have a knack for providing easy-to-action feedback …
- And while my feedback has helped writers take their writing from good to great …
- I’ve never been able to deliver that feedback in a way that is economical – both for the writer (from a cost point of view), and for me (from a time point of view).
Recently, however, I’ve been able to develop a feedback system that greatly reduces the time it takes me to provide feedback … and thus makes things more affordable for the writer.
Today, I’m thrilled to roll out the first of three levels of services designed to help you take your writing from good to great:
What is the first level service?
It’s a one-on-one article assessment/critique service.
What does it cost?
For now – $79 per article.
What do I need to do?
Simply send me a piece of writing you’re a bit stuck with, something you’d like to be better but you’re not sure where it’s going wrong. You can send me either a Word Document or a Google Doc link.
So you’ll take my words and make them sound amazing right?
No, this is not an editing/ghostwriting service. This is an article assessment/critique service. I will show you where you’re going wrong, and tell you how to make it right.
Oh, ok. What can I expect to get back from you then?
It depends on how good the article is.
If it’s pretty close to the mark, I will actually do what I call a ‘fine-tuning’ edit. I’ll tighten things up for better clarity, remove repetition, check grammar and spelling and remove anything from your piece that fails to deliver on the promise the headline is making.
From experience, however, most articles aren’t close to the mark so it’s more likely you’re going to get one of these:
- A marked up document which indicates where certain ideas need to be clarified and/or fleshed out a bit more.
- A marked up document with suggestions for restructuring your article to deliver your idea more clearly and logically.
- A marked up document with a combination of 1 and 2 above.
- Advice to start again from scratch: I will take the brilliant idea that’s buried deep in the words you’ve submitted to me, extract it, and then provide you with both a new article hook and a new article outline to write to.
Do I get to clarify the feedback you provide to me?
Yes, you can send me one email seeking clarification on the feedback I’ve provided if you’re not sure what I mean. I am unable to go back and forth with you over multiple emails, however.
Do I get to send the piece back to you for another look once I’ve made your changes?
Yes, but an additional fee of $59 will apply.
Do you provide any kind of guarantee?
Yes. If you feel the feedback I have provided is not worth the $79 you paid, I will refund your money, no questions asked.
Once I’ve submitted my article, how quickly will I get the feedback?
Within five (5) working days (Perth, Australia time: GMT +8).
Can I pay to speed up this process?
Yes, you can pay a rush fee of $59 to have your article feedback returned within one (1) working day.
Is there a word limit on articles you will critique?
Yes. 2000 words max.
Will you critique sales letters?
I believe sales letters are a specialised field of writing. While they do share many of the same principles of a great article or blog post, and while I’m sure I’ll be able to help you make your sales letter 100% better, I don’t want to pretend I am a specialist in that field.
Will you critique emails and/or email newsletters?
I’m quite precious about my writing and don’t take on feedback very well, will your service help me?
No. I’m very direct with my feedback. While I do care about people’s feelings (I’m an INFJ after all), when I’m editing/assessing a piece of writing, I only care about the idea in the piece, and ensuring what you’ve written communicates that idea perfectly. If you find it difficult to hear very direct feedback, you won’t enjoy working with me.
I’m a complete beginner. Will this service teach me how to write?
No. In order to process and understand some of the feedback I give, you need to be currently producing work you know is solid, but can go to another level.
What are people saying about this service?
“Thank you so much! I feel so much better having your feedback – also it’s good to see your notes as to why you recommended those edits. That helps me understand writing structure more which is where I really struggle.”
“This year I set a goal to create great quality content. I’m pretty good at research and my writing is improving, but effective editing is elusive. I really wanted to streamline my writing, improve the structure and punch up my headlines and introductions, but wasn’t sure how.
Having a professional editor like Kelly return my posts with a metaphorical “red pen” has been brilliant. She has provided suggestions for better headlines, introductions and structure that are simple to implement and has added layers of polish to my writing.
Kelly, I’m hooked! I’m more than happy for you to use me as a reference to sing your praises far and wide.”
Ok! I have an article/blog post I want you to critique, what do I do?
Click here to submit your article.
Not ready to submit an article yet but want all my best tips? Jump on my list here.