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Profile Summary
Star Rating
Completed Orders 321
Revisions/Order 0.22
Repeat Clients 39%
Last Login 9/29/2016
Location Woodridge, IL
Education College Diploma
Status Available
Endorsements
Blog Post5
Article3
Press Release3
Web Page2
Education2
Health2
Brochure1
Copywriting1
Industry
Asset Type
Expertise
Experience
Summary of Experience
Mary's professional (paid) writing career began at the age of ten when she was assigned to cover her grade school's activities in her own weekly column "It's Elementary" of the local newspaper. Each week, she turned in a neatly-typed column (always on time, of course) and received from the editor $1.00 for each submission. She has been writing ever since, (and she is happy to report that the pay has improved.)
For more than 25 years Mary has researched and written articles, interviews, essays, short stories, ad copy and publicity/ press releases on a wide range of topics for both print and electronic media. Her clients include numerous professional and civic organizations as well as private individuals and businesses. Her concentration is currently in healthcare, nutrition, consumer finances, social justice, environmental and green living issues, gardening and pet health.
One of her largest and most rewarding projects was utilizing her knowledge of medical insurance, health care billing procedures and medical terminology in editing and updating the durable medical equipment (DME) billing procedure manual for the home health care division of a large consumer-services company. This resulted in faster, more accurate billing with fewer declines from insurers and other payers for billing mistakes and missed deadlines.
Mary is experienced with social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Etsy and is listed as a 'top commenter' on her Facebook page. She has also completed courses, seminars and webinars on the finer points of SEO, quality-driven content, marketing, web analytics and email outreach.
Mary's background includes a BA degree in Organizational Behavioral Science, with additional professional experience in business and retail management, writing and blogging, real estate, insurance and consumer finance, traditional and alternative health care, teaching, giftware, gardening, horticulture, and nutrition.
When not working with clients, Mary blogs about environmental issues, healthy lifestyles and gardening on her blog site, and has guest-blogged for several bloggers.
Because she will be moving over the 2015-2016 winter holiday season, please confirm her availability before requesting any Solo or direct orders, thanks!
Specialties
Most of Mary's work has centered on career and instructional articles as she enjoys the challenge of making often-dry material readable and relevant. Blogs are quickly becoming Mary's specialty in sharing information aimed at reinforcing company branding on a diverse range of topics as needed by her clients. Mary also specializes in the short essay, a format that works extremely well for web content, now that search engines are placing more emphasis on quality content over simply stuffing a mediocre article with search words.
Her fine-art and graphics training also helps with visualizing and suggesting effective placement of copy for brochures, flyers, instructional and other kinds of print materials as well as online content design.
Thanks to her marketing and business education and experience, she understands the challenges faced by many business owners today, especially that of time-management for busy people. She has a creative and fun approach to life and this is reflected in much of her writing. Give her an idea and watch her run with it!
Interests
Mary has been writing and drawing for as long as she could hold a pencil and spell. In her 'free' time she enjoys creative writing and is currently working on both an herbal guide as well as a children's gardening book. She also hikes, kayaks and otherwise works at keeping fit - not easy when sitting much of the day! Mary loves gardening, raising herbs and perennials, and enjoys the antics of her resident 'wild pets' (as well as the challenge of keeping them out of her prized vegetables). Her favorite recent books include the acclaimed 'Three Cups of Tea' and its sequel 'Stones into Schools' by Greg Mortenson, both of which detail the challenges and successes of bringing educational opportunities for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 'Half the Sky' by Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn profiles several Third World women and their triumphs over discrimination, poverty, sexual slavery and educational repression.
Education
College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL Design/ Education, AA

As a young Army wife, Mary earned her Associate's degree just before the birth of her first child and being relocated by the Army to California. She planned at the time to return to school in a few years and become certified for teaching but those plans were derailed by the need to return to work to support herself and her 2 children after the end of her marriage.
After several years, she was able to fulfill her dream of a BA from a nearby university and progress in the corporate world.


National-Louis University Organizational Behavioral Science, BA

Mary earned her BA in 1989 concentrating in Organizational (Applied) Behavioral Science from the Lombard campus of National-Louis University, based in Evanston, IL.


Certificates
Certificate of Completion for HIAA Examination - Parts l/ ll Health Insurance Association of America (now America's Health Insurance Plans)
Currently involved in lobbying and promoting private health insurance coverage, organization's examination at that time covered a wide range of insurance-related questions and issues.

Projects by Industry
Education

Mary has researched and written numerous articles for educational and other websites offering career and training advice. Her career guides and job-hunting tips for students and other jobseekers give readers lively updates on the best career choices for today's workforce. Career fields including health care, finance, education, management and retail are discussed and evaluated, with the latest salary and employment data and trends available, to enable prospective students to choose the best career path.
As a journalist, Mary has also covered topics currently in the news, including the potential impact of the' Dreamers' on post-secondary schools and an evaluation and 'report card' of the 'No Child Left Behind' legislation.

Food

Since 2011, Mary has written a monthly online food column offering healthy and delicious seasonal recipes, buying tips, finding the best local farmers' markets - and good food deals - as well as growing and storing food. Her emphasis is on using fresh foods, especially herbs, that are locally-grown, when possible as well as what's in season.

Garden

As an avid gardener for many years, Mary enjoys sharing gardening advice and developments, including discovering new seed and supply sources. her emphasis is on organic gardening methods, as well as showcasing and linking with the best organic and non-GMO seed companies and nurseries. She has recently begun to review gardening and related green lifestyle books in her blog.

Green Living

Mary has blogged and written numerous articles about the benefits of living 'green': including keeping the use of and exposure to chemical cleaners, garden products and other possible contaminants to a safer level as well as offering safer alternatives.
Among the topics she has covered are pet health concerns from toxic household cleaning products, garbage reduction and recycling efforts in several communities and the toxic effects of sewage sludge in agricultural composting.

Health

Mary's background in home health care, health insurance, physicians' offices, medical billing and equipment qualify her to write about a variety of health-related topics, whether about a recent salmonella outbreak or money-saving medical insurance tips and ideas.
Her personal interests are in maternal and child health issues, as well as the role of nutrition in maintaining health. She has recently begun to explore veterinary health topics, offering how-to articles and tips for keeping pets healthy.

Fitness

Mary has long been interested in fitness and healthy lifestyles, and has written more than dozen how-to and general-interest article on pilates, yoga, weight training for women and seniors, as well as health facility operations. Her work appeals to industry professionals as well general readers wanting to learn new techniques or tips on becoming and staying fit.

Science

Mary has blogged and written articles about the latest scientific developments on topics as diverse as global warming, GMO foods, and the Mars Rover expedition. Her articles, blogs and essays are well-researched and written with an objective reporter's viewpoint - 'just the facts' - not an easy task when controversy surrounds some of the subjects at hand.

Staffing

Mary has collaborated with the human resource departments of large corporations as well as owners and managers of small local businesses to research and offer solutions to common staffing issues.
She has worked for several large, well-known corporations in the medical insurance and home health industries and is familiar with the often-complex challenges and needs faced by human resource professionals, especially in this current rapidly-changing work environment.

Beauty

Mary has written brochure advertising copy and web content for several commercial cosmetic and personal-care retail websites across the country. She also enjoys discovering and blogging about new skin care, fragrances, cosmetics and other beauty products that are made with organic and other chemical-free ingredients and are not tested on animals.

Career

Mary has researched and written articles covering a variety of career options and related topics for educational, career, and general-interest websites. Her articles have discussed preparing for various health care careers, education, management, finance, and retailing, as well as the latest salary and employment statistics. Mary is focused on finding and sharing the latest information on the best career options, whether for mid-life career changes or high school students planning their career paths.

Projects by SEO Skill
SEO Keyword Requirements

Mary has written numerous articles and blogs utilizing SEO, including a series of articles for a health and wellness website, as well as on law enforcement and other careers. She is aware of the move by most search engines toward emphasizing content quality rather than simply 'stuffing' an article with keywords. This is reflected in the quality of her work and the satisfaction of her clients.

Projects by Asset Type
Article

Since late 2010, Mary has researched and written more than 80 web-based articles covering dozens of topics. Prior to this, she has also written over a dozen general-interest articles for print publication.
Having taken additional seminars and coursework in marketing - especially that of SEO - she is well-qualified to assist her clients by offering quality content, thereby enhancing their SEO experience.

Blog Post

Mary has blogged on current topics ranging from environmental issues to tropical plants, both on her own blog site as well as a paid blogger for several commercial sites. Her blogs, usually between 250 - 350 words, entertain as well as inform. Mary encourages blogging as an excellent way for website owners to promote themselves by personalizing connections with their customers.

Copywriting

Mary has written advertising copy for beauty, retail, staffing, and alternative health websites. Accurate and entertaining, her work is crafted to each client's needs and specifications, resulting in increased sales for her satisfied clients. Mary understands that businesses need copy with that extra 'zing' to compete in today's sales climate: her experience in marketing, SEO and copywriting help promote her clients’ products or services to their best advantage.

Press Release

Mary has written press releases for numerous civic, private and public organizations as well as most recently for commercial (paying) clients. These were done as part of a package including print brochure copy, as well as web content articles and blogs. Mary understands the importance of coordinating all of a client's promotional materials for a first-impression best possible impact.

Web Page

Mary helps clients set up simple but eye-catching, easily-navigated websites designed to showcase the client's products or services for sale.
She helps with image selection, editing and positioning as well as plans the site's overall design. This includes font, advertising copy, advice on making the best shopping cart and payment-option choices, conducting promotional and marketing campaigns, analytics and SEO. best-practices.

Projects By Expertise
Research Writer

Mary has researched and written numerous articles for a well-known educational and career website as well as for smaller companies and entrepreneurs looking for well-researched articles on subjects as diverse as physical fitness training, law enforcement careers and cord-blood storage information. Her specialties include health care, nutrition and healthy lifestyles, as well as earth science and the environment.

Creative Writer

Mary has written several short stories and essays both for her own pleasure as well as commissioned works. When not writing for her clients, she is working on a children's gardening book - complete with an opinionated little gourd fairy - and an herbal/novel.

Copywriter

As a copywriter for several websites, a number of Mary's contributions have also overlapped with research writing. Additonally, she has written pieces expressly for the Internet highlighting clients' SEO content, as well as PR and other copy for newspapers nad other print media. Her topics have included beauty products, retail pharmacies, alternative health and staffing.

Journalist

Mary's recent journalism pieces have appeared in blogs and online content, as well as in various print media, including newspapers, magazines and newsletters. Having begun her writing career as a journalist, she is always on the lookout for a great story to share with her readers.
Mary prides herself on providing factual, relevant and up-to-the minute reporting and coverage of local and national issues and events. She admits she's stepped on more than a few political and celebrity toes in the process of finding her material but considers it the price of bringing out the truth for the greater good.

Projects by Writing Style
Authoritative

Mary has written for several websites that require carefully-researched and well-written articles that are timely and 'evergreen'. Some of these clients include a respected educational/ career website, as well as various smaller independent clients and websites. All required well-documented information - in most cases, at least three verifiable references - from sources including professional and trade journals, white papers, and websites, usually ending in '.edu' or '.org.'

Conversational

Mary has a pleasant, friendly tone when writing blogs, essays or how-to articles. Her goal is to inform but do so in an engaging, down-to-earth style as if she were speaking directly to the reader, without the use of jargon or pretense. Her personal and guest blogs and essays are timely, thoughtful and to the point.

Journalistic

In writing articles from a journalist's approach, Mary's style has also overlapped with 'authoritative' for those works requiring research and expertise.
These have included general-interest, consumer, financial, health care information updates and directives, interviews, product reviews, and other works requiring well-researched and substantiated information.
Mary's experience and credentials in the heath care, retail and insurance industries, as well as her passion for the social and environmental issues of the day, are evident in her writing.

Promotional

Mary has written promotional ad copy for print and online media for various clients; for over 20 years she has also handled public relations - some as a volunteer with some paid - for a number of civic and professional organizations, including writing press releases, event and ad copy, as well as informational articles.

Projects by Company Size
Medium Business

Mary researched and wrote over 50 articles on subjects that included information about careers in clinical research, health information technology, operations managment, retail management and financial planning for this medium-sized company's educational and career-information website.
This company requires adherence to specific research, style and content guidelines as well as a minimum required weekly output.

Small Business

Mary was asked by the owner of a small local business to research and write a series of informative articles for his two websites. The subjects were as diverse as umbilical cord blood storage, law enforcement careers, and fitness training. The emphasis was on informative, easily-to-read articles that would attract new viewers to his sites and products by using the latest SEO guidelines.

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