We Still Accept Bitcoin for Proof Reading and English Corrections - UKcopy Copywriting and Corrections

Archive for the ‘Copywriting’ Category

We Still Accept Bitcoin for Proof Reading and English Corrections

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

We previously mentioned that we accept Bitcoins as payment for our Proof Reading, English Correction and Copywriting services. We’ve also had a few people take us up on the offer too.

Last year there was quite a dip in the price of Bitcoins and due to some bad press there was a lot of speculation over whether Bitcoin would survive as a viable currency. Well, here we are at the tail end of 2012 and I am happy to say that the price has rallied noticeably and things are looking up. Bitcoin has more than doubled in value from the dark days of last year and is still, in our opinion, a stable currency.

With that in mind we would like to remind everyone that we are still happy to accept Bitcoins for payment and look forward to a long future using them. Our Bitcoin Offers page lists a few special deals that we are offering in exchange for bitcoins.

For an up to date price (based on the current exchange rate) please Contact Us for a quote and we’ll give you a special deal just for using Bitcoin.

Affiliates

We have also signed up to a number of interesting Bitcoin services. These include:

Bitcoin Pyramid

and

BTC Matrix

Check them out, you may find them useful too!

Beware of Non-native speakers offering English services

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Recently we have been redesigning our website. During the process we started looking at the websites of other people offering English Correction and Copywriting services.

What struck us most (apart from how dated some of the sites looked) is that so many of these services are run by non-native speakers. The problem with this is that how can you be sure that your English is being corrected properly if it is being done by someone who doesn’t speak English as a first language?

English Correction and Copywriting

A lifetime of experience

It seems unfair to suggest that non-native speakers can’t do a good job but the websites we looked at were littered with small errors. Simple nuances can make a huge difference and it takes a lifetime of experience and exposure to English to get things right.

Our Copywriters use English every day of their lives. They are constantly exposed to it in many different settings. From casual conversations to formal written work they are familiar with the conventions that are expected.

However good a non-native speaker is they cannot match this level of exposure and competence.

Don’t risk your livelihood on bad English Copywriting

If you need to communicate in English for your business then please don’t think that just any English Copywriters will do. Poor copy will put off your potential customers. It looks unprofessional and sometimes can even cause confusion.

Non-native speakers cannot match true native English speakers for subtlety and accuracy. If you want to be taken seriously make sure you get native English speakers to do your Copywriting and English Correction.

The documentation is as important as the product

Monday, February 14th, 2011

It doesn’t matter whether you are producing a physical product for commercial gain or writing Open Source software; the documentation is still essential. For a physical product the quality of the instructions on how to use it could mean the difference between a happy customer and a returned product. With software, both commercial and Open Source, good documentation is key to rapid adoption.

For too many projects documentation seems to be an after thought but it is still part of the product and it gives customers an impression about the company that produced it. Good documentation is actually a promotional feature. It should be celebrated and announced to anyone who will listen and as much care should be taken over the documentation as the advertising copy.

With software projects the problem is down to who produces the documentation. It is often left to the developers themselves to create it. Developers don’t want to write documentation, they want to code. Also, they may not have the skills to write good documentation. Often the best person to write the documentation is someone new to the project but skilled at explaining things. If they can explore the software and ask the developers any questions they have then they will be able to produce documentation that is valuable to the user. A developer is not a user. They have different needs and expectations.

Many manufacturers, especially in the Far East, are now able to take advantage of the Internet and sell directly to customers would wide. This is either through their own website or via auction and merchant services like Ebay. It is an unfortunate fact that poor English on websites and Ebay adverts severely harms customer confidence and trust. This is especially true on Ebay where customers worry about being ripped off by foreign merchants and being unable to get their money back. To reassure potential customers and to build a professional online presence it is essential that English copy is correct and reads in a professional and appropriate way.

This may sound like it is going to cause a large increase in cost but if you already have your documentation, website, adverts translated into English UKcopy can quickly and cost effectively check and correct your English for you.

We also now offer a $5 Ebay advert correction service so if you are using the same advert multiple times then it is definitely worth getting it checked and corrected.

Contact Us
for more information or look at our Prices page.

Article Directories and Promotion

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

There are now a slew of article directories on the web that will publish your articles either for free or a fee. The idea is that you write the copy and get to link back to your website in the byline. The site gets free content which can then generate advertising revenue or subscription fees for the paid directories.

In addition to standard article promotion like this the directories are also often used by affiliate marketers to drive people to their own ad laden sites or their affiliate adverts on sites like USfreeAds.com.

Content Aggregation

Lately a number of directories have begun cropping up that call themselves Content Aggregators. They not only publish text articles but also audio and video content as well. The real twist is that they offer a proportion of the advertising revenue to the author.

One of our Copywriters. James Elliot, has been trying out a couple of these services recently. You can read a few of his articles about guitar playing here:

All of these articles are on Wikinut.com. Why don’t you Sign up and give it a go too?

Copy For Sale

There are also a few sites that allow you to sell your articles to other website owners who are looking for content. www.Constant-Content.com is and good example. They require a high standard of written English along with quality content. Buyers are able to buy the articles on either an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.

So article writing has gone from a means to generate extra traffic to actually generating income directly. The jury is still out on which of the services are the best and whether they can produce a sustainable income for a writer but for the moment they are an interesting side project.

Why does speaking and writing English matter?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

This is a Guest Post by Aleks Ozolins BA

Do you speak or read English?

Silly question really – you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t read English.

English is the most widely spoken and understood language in the world with 43% of people speaking it fluently every day as a first or second language.

Many more people have some knowledge of English, whether from entertainment and news media, the Internet, business, or travel.

When you speak to someone they hear your voice, and see your expression and body language. Surprisingly only nine percent of your message is the words; the rest is sound and vision. When you write, the words are all you have to work with – content is everything. So when you write, the style needs to be compelling; the meaning of your words must be clear and relevant to your audience’s needs.

Sometimes when you write you want people to take note and be motivated to do something. Perhaps you’re asking them to buy a product or service, or to take social action. You could be writing detailed information to guide others. In all cases, your message must be clear and easily understood.

No matter how you learned to speak English, everyone one has to learn how to write it. You speak English daily, but mostly no one has criticised or corrected your writing since you left school or university. Whatever your level of competence, you may not have used the best choice of words, or there is an error of construction, style, spelling, or punctuation.

There are at least a quarter of a million distinct English words, excluding technical words. Choosing the right word is a challenge. Spelling checkers are unreliable as they often substitute alternative spellings as you type. This is particularly true when British spellings differ from American ones. Further problems can arise from matters of idiom, cultural, and gender sensitivity, or knowledge of social customs.

A professional English correction service, where dedicated editors and proofreaders use their detailed and specialised knowledge, can help you produce the best work for your purpose. They can work with you at any point from design through first draft to the finished product. Everyone can also benefit from professional proofreading to find errors in their copy. When you proofread your own work, you see the words you intended to write, rather than the ones on the paper.

Roughly half a million new English books are published each year. Numbers of magazine articles are probably about the same. Google indexes around two billion new web pages in English every month. To attract, hold, and retain an audience in this mass of information, your words need to be clear, concise, and correct. Increasingly, time-poor and fickle audiences will turn away from anything they cannot understand and act on quickly. You can not let spelling or grammatical errors affect the flow of your message. The cost of a professional correction service is a small price to pay to ensure this doesn’t happen.

9 suggestions for non-native speakers of English

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

If English is your second language here’s a little advice for when you write it. English is the main language in use on the internet so if you’re writing online or for print publications here are a few things to consider.

1. Never use an automated online translator

Online translators are great for translating things back into your own language so that you can understand them. They aren’t fantastically accurate but they give you a good idea what the writer is trying to say. However, if you use it to translate your words into English the results may be misleading, insulting or just plain unprofessional. None of these will make you look good. Furthermore, you know what you were trying to say but you have no idea if that is what it does say.

2. Proof read carefully – then get someone else to do the same

Simple errors look bad and don’t inspire confidence but are easy to overlook when we read our own work. Our brains see what we think should be there and not what is there. Get someone else to read it and they will be better able to spot errors that you have missed.

3. Use short simple sentences.

There is less to go wrong in a short sentence and you are more likely to be understood. Remember, your readers wont all be native speakers and may struggle with complicated sentences. Also, this is in keeping with good web writing practice where the amount of text should be only 10% of what you would put in a printed document.

4. Use either US spellings or UK – not both

There are many words (like colour / color ) that are spelt differently in the UK from the US. There are also idiomatic phrases that are unique to one or the other. Don’t mix and match these words and phrases as it becomes confusing. Think about who your target audience is and choose spellings and idiom that are appropriate.

5.Be careful with numbers

Many European countries use the comma and period (point) in the opposite way to English speaking countries. For example one thousand would be 1.000 instead of 1,000. So, when writing in English be sure to separate the thousands with a comma and use a period for decimal places. E.g. 23,056.45.

6. Don’t try and translate idiomatic phrases from your own language directly

All languages have their own different idiomatic quirks. If you translate them directly at best you end up with something confusing and at worst you have something rude or insulting.

7. Be careful about the tone of your writing

Don’t use colloquial phrases, slang, street talk or culturally specific references in professional writing. It is easy to come across as ignorant, poorly educated or stupid instead of how you intended to appear.

8. Be extra specially careful of words that sound the same but are spelt differently

This is often a problem for people who hear and speak a language much more than they read it. Words like there, their and they’re all sound the same but have distinctly different meanings. Other examples include: two, to and too; yore, your, you’re and yaw; weave and we’ve; so, sew and sow. Again, if you use the wrong one you will be understood but look unprofessional.

9. Check agreements

Is the subject of the sentence singular or plural. We say I WAS going and not I WERE going. There ARE fifty people here not there IS fifty people here. Watch out for some of the tricky ones. The people ARE singing but the data IS correct.