Writer #8534
Wyalusing, PA
4 Star Rating
12 Love Lists
2 Clients
0 Words
Wes embarked into the world of freelance copywriting in 2011 at the age of 63. Prior to that you might say that virtually every week of his working life he wrote the following for the edification of several thousand readers: human-interest stories ranging from lighthearted to poignant; accounts of governance, politics and bureaucracy; true stories of crime and punishment; public service announcements; community news; career and educational accomplishments; homage to the dearly departed, and humorous and occasionally heartfelt opinion pieces.
Beyond that array of wordage, as an editor he rewrote, edited, proofed and/or tweaked hundreds of submissions from the literate and semi-literate alike to make them fit for the consumption of his publication's readers.
Between 1997 and 2011 Wes received sixteen Pennsylvania Newspaper Association (PNA) awards -- half of them first places--for reporting and writing in virtually every category, including straight news, personality profiles, investigative series, ongoing news coverage and commentary. In 2010, his last full year as a journalist and editor of a weekly newspaper, his columns were adjudged the best in the state among weekly newspapers in the most competitive (largest number of participants) category.
After over three decades as the editor of two community newspapers, he retired in the spring of 2011 and, as a copywriter, he specialized mostly in website content and, along the way, authored one book and edited the manuscript of another. Over the span of barely 36 months he has written copy for a law firm's website, developed web content for a group of insurance underwriting firms, written blogs and news releases for a large independent insurance agency, written case studies for a top innovation consulting firm, written instructional articles and blogs for an award-winning interactive career coaching website, written content for a website outlining discrepancies in evidence in a complex murder case, and provided website content as a subcontractor for a search engine optimization specialist.
In short, the combination of his experience as a journalist and copywriter has strengthened his skills as a writer, making him a formidable talent for any client who requires quality, accurate writing in a timely fashion. He is familiar with the basics of SEO, notably keywords and meta tags, and is particularly adept at rewriting existing copy to enhance its internet profile and readability.
Wes regards writing as both an innate talent and a learned skill that must be regularly exercised. He is open to any writing challenge and continues to expand areas of expertise.
His years as a journalist for daily and weekly newspapers honed his ability to write quality copy on deadline, as well as being an adept interviewer and researcher. In a few short years, he has, among other things, enjoyed some of the following experiences:
* written blogs and articles for a career coaching website that trains people in all aspects of landing the job of their dreams-- from the cover letter to the job interview;
* written content, from the ground up, for the websites of three insurance underwriting companies;
* written the content for an innovative website outlining discrepancies in a murder case, including evidence, testimony and witness affidavits, which casts doubt on the conviction. The case in currently being evaluated by the Duquesne University Innocence Project due to the impact of the website;
* written a book on commission about a young man's journey back from massive traumatic brain injury that is currently seeking a publisher, and
* learned the fundamentals of SEO by rewriting web content for two companies specializing in damage restoration and teaming with an experienced SEO copywriter on websites for a chain of luxury car dealerships.
Aside from a BA in English and training and experience in the U.S. Army as an intelligence analyst, Wes has benefitted from professional development through the American Press Institute, the Associated Press and Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, as well as online training in copywriting and attending two annual Boot Camps offered by the American Writers & Artists, Inc.



Highlights

Endorsements
2
Orders
2
Last Login
2/22/16
Samples
9

Wes S's Other Industry Experience

2 Projects Completed

If there was a category for this, it would probably be Crime & Punishment. There are probably few, if any, websites similar to this. Wes, a former journalist who has covered many crimes and court cases over the years, was asked by a man convicted of murdering a young girl some 40 years before, to detail testimony and evidence used against him to gain a conviction. The site has attracted a lot of attention and interest, including several law firms interested in representing him in a civil action. The convicted man was released from prison after 10 years and is currently dealing with the Duquesne University Innocence Project, which is investigating his case with great interest.

Industry Projects

  • Career10+
  • Insurance6
  • Other2
  • Government1
  • Legal1
  • Hospitality1

Summary of Industry Experience

Career

The Big Interview (biginterview.com) is an interactive career coaching site which offers advice on all aspects of job interviewing from the cover letter and resume to the dos and don'ts of the job interview itself. Wes wrote various informational articles, as well as a number of blogs, for this source as it was establishing itself as an online credible career coaching program and has gone on to become a leader in that field. Among those who have contracted The Big Interview are NYU, the University of Texas and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Although much of the company's writing needs have been met, Wes remains on call for any content needs. Wes hasn't had a job interview himself in more than 30 years, and much of his writing was based on research in the field and occasional interviews of career coaching professionals.

Insurance

Wes's reputation as a writer preceded him and one of the first people to contact him for his services after his retirement as a newspaper editor was the President and CEO of the Tuscarora Wayne Group of Companies. This is the corporate parent of three insurance underwriting companies in Pennsylvania and Ohio: Tuscarora Wayne Insurance, Keystone National Insurance and Lebanon Valley Insurance. Wes was hired to write the content for all three company websites, as well as provide news and personnel items for the internal employees' site, along with news releases about hirings, promotions and accomplishments.

Other

If there was a category for this, it would probably be Crime & Punishment. There are probably few, if any, websites similar to this. Wes, a former journalist who has covered many crimes and court cases over the years, was asked by a man convicted of murdering a young girl some 40 years before, to detail testimony and evidence used against him to gain a conviction. The site has attracted a lot of attention and interest, including several law firms interested in representing him in a civil action. The convicted man was released from prison after 10 years and is currently dealing with the Duquesne University Innocence Project, which is investigating his case with great interest.

Government

Septic systems still reign supreme in rural Pennsylvania. Bradford County, as is the case with a surprising number of counties in the state, has more residents served by on-lot septic tanks than by municipal sewer systems. It is the job of the Bradford County Sanitation Committee (BCSC) to approve and monitor all such septic systems in accordance with Pennsylvania law, The procedure can be complicated for a new homeowner, and Wes's challenge was to write content for the agency's website to make it more understandable and user-friendly, with links to required forms and FAQ. The content, though delivered and approved months ago, is still in limbo with the web designer.

Legal

One of Wes's first clients after becoming a copywriter in 2011 was an attorney seeking more internet visibility for his website. The SEO Help Desk, which specializes in working with small businesses, asked Wes to evaluate the content on the site and make a proposal to the attorney. The result was an ongoing theme that the attorney's life experience, outside of the legal arena, was invaluable in to his clients.

Hospitality

The Wyalusing Hotel is an iconic landmark steeped in history and remains the dominant presence on the main street of a once bustling small town that has lost most of its retail trade in recent years. Specialty stores and businesses offices are the prevailing tenants. The hotel is known for its cuisine, rustic dining room and bar. In the wake of the recent natural gas boom, rooms in the building have been remodeled, with a recently constructed hotel just a block away. Wes was hired to write new website content, including photos and descriptive captions, to accentuate both the historic and modern positives of the business.

Product Projects

  • Blog Post10+
  • Press Release10+
  • Book1

Summary of Product Experience

Blog Post

Wes has contributed blogs to a number of business websites, as well as his own blog on his business website as a copywriter. On one insurance company website, he is currently doing a series of blogs entitled "Journeys," which is about the divergent paths people working for the company have taken to get where they are. He contributed a number of blogs to a career coaching website about job interviews and his own blogs tend to be observational with an emphasis on humor.

Press Release

Wes is essentially on retainer to write press releases and web content, including blogs, for a large insurance agency that serves clients in New York and Pennsylvania. Press releases often apply to new hires, accomplishments and continuing education of staffers and involvement in community projects. The sample is from a 2013 news release on a team from the agency receiving the required training to advise clients on the Affordable Care Act-- at the same time educating the public about changes in health care with how their agents will be up to the task.

Book

Wes was commissioned to write a book about a man who, as a college student, destroyed 40 percent of his brain in a fall from third-story balcony and miraculously survived. Some 20 years after the accident, he speaks to groups about his condition, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and tells his story to motivate at-risk youngsters and classes of college students intending to work with the brain injured as teachers or therapists. He can barely read or write due to the injuries, but he is able to learn orally and his memory is sharp, allowing him to earn a college degree using special scanning software and oral testing.The project started out as marketing material to promote the subject as a motivational speaker and evolved into a book-length manuscript. A publisher is currently being sought.

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