A Brief Overview of What I Do

As The Proof Fairy, I am best known for working with self-publishing authors, ensuring their manuscripts are word-perfect before publication. However, I actually offer a much wider range of services revolving around WORDS – including copywriting, proofreading, newsletter design and WordPress website build and maintenance (see what I did there?!).

To give you an idea of what I’m doing these days, last year I:

  • edited, proofread and/or formatted 10 books, including three related to the 1950s nuclear tests on Christmas Island, three business books and two personal memoirs;
  • ran several mentoring and ad hoc coaching sessions with aspiring authors;
  • built or rebuilt four WordPress websites and continue to do regular monthly maintenance for two of them, uploading new content and updating plugins;
  • became THE official proofreader for the Association of Neuro Linguistic Practitioners, working alongside the team there to edit their quarterly magazine Rapport;
  • did regular or ad hoc proofreading with people from all walks of life;
  • wrote several articles and blog posts for, among others, an education consultancy, a software developer and a garden design company;
  • and, for the same garden designer, I started uploading their social media posts, as well as designing and distributing their monthly newsletter (which I have done since 2013!).

And guess what, I can do any or all of that for you! If you have any requirements involving words, please get in touch and find out how we can work together.

I look forward to hearing from you 🙂 

How to refresh a dated WordPress website

Many years ago I was approached by Steve Shaw of Bishopsgate Copywriting. He wanted a simple website to help him promote his copywriting business and where he could share his articles on all aspects of copywriting. I put together a website that he was very pleased with, and away he went.

Ten years later and Steve got in touch again. He’d been busy working on a long-term contract but now wanted to resurrect his freelance copywriting business and wanted to make a few changes to his website. Could I help him out?

Of course I could!

Over the ten years since I built Steve’s website, web design has moved on and while his current site was serviceable and the content was still relevant, it just looked – well, a bit old-fashioned really. I suggested that I give the site a complete refresh to make it look more modern, and he agreed.

The first step was to update the WordPress installation. I knew the theme I’d used was not compatible with the latest version of WordPress, which uses “block editing” tools rather than the old “visual editor” system, so I first needed to switch to one of the default WP themes. Then I updated the PHP (the scripting language WordPress uses) – the site was running version 5.6, but the latest WordPress requires 7.0 to operate. Finally, I was able to update the WordPress installation itself, and also update all the plugins the site uses.

Then I looked around for a theme that would work well for Steve’s business. I’m a big fan of the themes created by Rara Themes, as they are very professional and modern, and offer enough flexibility to make your site unique. I chose a theme and then spent some time setting up the home page to give the site a fresh new feel.

A few tweaks later and the site was finished. Steve’s feedback?

Wow! Thanks so much. It looks completely different. I love it! Definitely looks more “2020”. 

Steve Shaw, Bishopsgate Copy

Below you can see the homepage for the old “2010” website, and the new 2020 version. I hope you can see the difference!

If you have an old WordPress website that you would like to have refreshed, find out more about my low cost WordPress websites service, or get in touch!

Three Reasons to Write a Book About Your Business

It’s now easier than ever to write and self-publish a book. You only need to take a look at the Amazon Kindle store to see that people are churning out novels in every genre – romance, sci-fi, erotica and crime, especially – at an astounding rate. But what’s really taken off is books in the business category. Seems like savvy business owners are realising that writing a book is a great way to promote their business, and that it’s not nearly as difficult as they thought to do, either. Not convinced? In this blog post I’m going to give you five reasons to write a book about your business – hopefully by the end you’ll be raring to go!

1. Prove you know your stuff

So how do you go about proving you are the accountant/ architect/ acupuncturist (insert your business here!) that everyone should use? You could take out advertising, you could go to networking meetings, or you could demonstrate your expertise by publishing your knowledge in book format. Worried that people will use what they learn from the book rather than come to you for your services? Worry not. However much we read about accountancy/ architecture/ acupuncture etc., it’s not going to make us an expert; we are still going to need to employ a specialist for those year end accounts, building design or migraine treatment. By sharing your knowledge so freely, you prove you know your stuff and that will give people the confidence to approach you when they need what you’re offering.

2. Establish your credentials as THE expert in your field

For some reason, writing a book about your business has the added benefit of establishing you as an expert. You’re not just any old bookkeeper/ barber/ beauty therapist, you’re the bookkeeper/ barber/ beauty therapist who wrote a book – and that elevates you way above everyone else in your industry. Because if you wrote a book about it, surely you must be REALLY good at what you do! And that will bring people to your door. What’s more, you can use your book as an advertising opportunity – give away your knowledge for free, but make sure you include your contact details so people can get in touch when they realise you’re the expert, not them. You could even direct them to a landing page specially designed for readers of the book.

3. Use your book as a marketing tool

When you write a book about your business, you suddenly have a fantastic marketing tool available for you to use, and there are so many ways you can use it. You can make it available for sale on your website, perhaps as part of a sales funnel (you could offer the book for free, or for postage only, and then send details of another offer with the book); organise author events where you read extracts from your book, meet your “fans” and sell signed copies; post a copy of your book to prospective clients; you could even use it as a business card and give it away at networking meetings!

So now you know some of the reasons why you should write a book about your business, what are you waiting for? Writing a book isn’t as daunting as you may think – look out for a future blog post where I’ll give you some tips about creating content. It doesn’t have to be especially long either – while some people write their magnum opus, other books are as short as 10,000 or even 5,000 words. In other words, you can put the content of a book together in a very short space of time.

If you’re interested in finding out more, why not book me for a free half hour chat where we can talk about the next steps. I’d love to help you promote your business!