Our Ideal Customer

My ideal customer needs help telling their story in words. It might be an awesome small business with a not-so-awesome website (misspellings, shaky grammar, outdated references). It might be someone who doesn't have the time or inclination to devote to social media --- not a luxury in today's world if you want to stand out. Perhaps a speech or script needs to be drafted, or a white paper or case study. Maybe the first draft is finished but a fresh set of eyes is needed to check the facts and clean up the inevitable little glitches that somehow become invisible to the author during the grueling drafting process. Let's talk.

About Us

I write and edit stories and other content that connects readers to businesses and other organizations. Marketing copy, blog posts, social media, case studies, news, research-based white papers, profiles and much more. Versatile; match tone and content to intended audience. As a former reporter and editor with a strong background in public issues, I know how to make a complex subject relevant and easy for nonexperts to understand.

How We Got Started

I've been happily and successfully writing and editing for my entire career. Until last year, I was an editorial staff member for market-leading general news organizations, including the San Jose Mercury News. Since then, after surviving many rounds of layoffs and seeing little hope of newspapers making a strong comeback, I decided to take a buyout and strike out on my own as a freelance writer and editor. I love being my own boss, but I'd consider the right full-time position.

I've learned a lot (network, network, network!), and am learning more every day. I'm copy-editing for a weekly alternative newspaper, writing blog posts for an exciting Silicon Valley digital agency and a local downtown association.

Branding stories

Engage your clients or customers with your personal story. That will leave a more lasting impression than a mere sales pitch.

Website touch-up

If your website is littered with jargon, misspellings and clunky wording, the message you're sending may be worse than none at all. I can straighten it out for you.
Businesses We Recommend
PR expertise with integrity
Nonprofit trying to make Silicon Valley (and SF) a more livable place through urban policy research and advocacy.
Dan Vado runs a great all-ages music venue with style and class (and cool comics and cold beer!)
Much more than swimming lessons and workouts
I've known Tom for many years, from we both worked as copy editors at the San Jose Mercury News. Not only is Tom one of the Verb Nerdiest people I know, but he also has a wide range of knowledge, the ability to tackle practically any subject and serious research chops. Moreover, Tom was the first guy I ever worked with in the news business to see how the communications world was changing and to teach himself the skills needed to make a smooth transition. You won't go wrong putting a guy with that sort of vision in charge of your communications project.
In addition to making great gourmet pies, Mari-Lyn is committed to strengthening her community. You might say that's baked into her business model.
Cubamex Sandwich, San Jose CA
Cubamex Sandwich
San Jose CA • 7.2 mi away • Restaurant
Super-tasty sammies on to-die-for fresh rolls.
Alternative weekly that gets plenty of news scoops and offers up sophisticated coverage arts and entertainment in Silicon Valley.
Christine can get your social networking plan up and running -- essential in today's business world -- or supercharge the one you've got. You'll know you're in good hands when you meet her.
I've come to know Jeff as a conscientious, reliable and talented graphic artist. I recommend him without reservation.
Invests in San Jose and other cities where the Knight brothers once owned newspapers, supporting both authentically local and relevant national ideas.
Comprehensive coverage of Silicon Valley
Laura's got a wonderful business model, She's justifiably proud of what she can do for military spouses, who often struggle to find and keep work because of employers' ever-looming worry that the military member might be transferred at any time. If you work with Laura, you can even take the job with you when that transfer comes.
Steve, Vlad and the crew run a top-notch, cutting-edge, full-service digital agency out of Silicon Valley. If you want a website that *sparkles*, you want a firm that can make prestige clients such as Stanford University, as well as smaller organizations, sing their praises. They care, they're responsive, and they love to work with San Jose State grads like me.
I met Brian right here on Alignable when he responded to a question I posted. He offered some great insights, and we discussed helping each other out on an exchange basis. After checking out his portfolio and seeing how thoughtful and talented he is, I agreed, and I recommend him without qualification. Brian responds quickly, and I can tell he "gets it."
You'll never go wrong when you trust your pr to a former newspaper reporter. They know lots of people on both sides of the communications fence and now how to get to the heart of the matter in a hurry. Marcos is no exception.
Michele is not just about making beautiful graphics, though they certainly are. Underneath it all, she's a design *strategist* who will help you connect viscerally with your customers and prospects. Check it out: http://visualdesignur.com/
Lynne and her team are setting up a groundbreaking one-stop shop online for people living in chronic pain -- with no quackery. Products, community, knowledge.
Top Forum Activity
Chuck Carroll answered What Sites Do You Recommend for Finding Writing Work...
2 months ago • 3 Likes
I'm not aware of any such sites that consistently offer good work. I find it much much more productive to spend my time trying to tap my network, especially people I've known for years. But I've... (more)
Chuck Carroll answered What Is the Best Way for a Freelance Writer to Market to...
13 days ago
Cold calls and emails may be effective sometimes, but building a steady, reliable client base is a time-consuming process that involves building trust. Start by try to network with people in the... (more)
Chuck Carroll answered Why Do People Choose to Not Detail Their Cars?
2 months ago
My car is a beater, so I have better things to do with my time and money. If a clean car were important to my image in a customer's mind, that would be different. (more)
Chuck Carroll asked Writers and Editors, Any Advice on Creating a Website?
2 months ago • 35 Likes • 18 Replies
I'm just starting an independent writing/editing business after years in journalism. Any advice on creating a website? (more)
Chuck Carroll asked Do Unclear Writing, Misspellings and Poor Grammar on...
2 months ago • 100 Likes • 63 Replies
When you see unclear writing, misspellings and poor grammar on others' websites, does that affect your opinion of the businesses? Please explain. I'm launching an independent writing and editing... (more)

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