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In this issue:

* is growing, and getting more international
* Article: Standards for online content authors
* Freelance Work

================ is growing, and getting more international is currently attracting over 7000 visitors a week, and
traffic is steadily growing. Keywords commonly used to find the site
include: "freelance jobs","freelance public relations","freelance copy
editor","freelance writers","corporate writers", "copywriter", and "finding
freelance writers".

Much of this traffic is repeat traffic, coming from writers and editors
looking for work and from clients who have had good results in the past
with the site who come back to post new jobs or search for writers. is also attracting an international audience.
For instance, a sample of recent job postings includes
requests for Chinese and Japanese writers, Indian writers, and writers
based in the US, New Zealand and Bangkok.

This international scope has much to do with the fact that the service is
based in New Zealand. New Zealand, with a population of approx. 4 million,
has a limited domestic market, so New Zealanders tend to be very
extroverted economy-wise, always looking outside our own country for
new markets for our services and products.


Article: Standards for Online Content Authors

The article for this newsletter, on writing online content, is by Rachel
McAlpine, a New Zealander who is is known internationally for her work in
promoting quality web content. Since 1996, Rachel has been an independent
consultant in all aspects of online content. You can find out more about
Rachel at her website,


The standards on this page include non-technical standards relevant to all
web authors and technical standards relevant to some web authors.

I suggest you pick and choose from the long list, adapting it to your


*Be very concise: aim to reduce text by at least 50%
*Use plain English.
*Frontload headlines, paragraphs, links and lists.
*Use short sentences (21 words maximum).
*Use short paragraphs (65 words maximum).
*Use "you" and "we" whenever appropriate.


*Don't underline text for emphasis (underlining is reserved for links).
*Don't use solid caps, italics or bold for emphasis.

Use capital letters only for:

* initial letter of sentence or heading
* name or title of a specific person or entity, e.g. Chief Executive
Jane Smith, Ministry of Social Stability
* acronyms and abbreviations, e.g. UNICEF.
*Don't capitalise any other words.


*Start every page with a unique, precise, explanatory headline.
*Follow with summary, description or key message of the page.
*Use frequent subheadings; write them like headlines.
*Limit page size to the equivalent of 5 A4 pages.
*On long pages, list subheadings at the top and bookmark them.
*On long pages, provide frequent links to the top.
*Restrict every page to a single topic and purpose.

Redundant, outdated and trivial content

*Remove all redundant, outdated or trivial content (ROT).
*Do not duplicate information that is already on another page: link to it.
*Include a date on every page that needs it, within the text.
*Use dates instead of relative expressions of time such as "now", "in the
next six months", "shortly".
*Where possible, refer to offices or roles, not individuals.
*Don't use the future tense except in clearly dated news stories.
*Give generic contact details, not personal names.


*Make link-text self-explanatory, so people know exactly what they will
find when they click.
*Links must stand alone or be an item in a list. (Don't embed links in
*If a link is to a page on another web site, say so.
*If a link opens a different type of file, state the type and size (e.g.
PDF, 54 mb, 70 pages).


*List items in the logical order for user.
*Limit number of items on a list to 7 maximum.
*Subdivide long lists into short lists of related items.
*Provide descriptive headings.

Instructions and procedures

*Separate procedures from other types of content, e.g. background
information and policy.
*List steps in sequential order and number them.
*Use simple sentence structure: ?A does B? or "Do this".
*Place links to necessary forms close to steps that require them.


*Use tables only for data, not for text display.
*Keep tables short enough to show on a screen without scrolling.
*Keep tables narrow enough to fit easily on a screen.
*Don't use tables if text wraps to next line.

Searchable content

*Use keywords (words used by people searching for this page) in the content .
*Use keywords in the headline. Example: not "When will this happen?" but
"Performance appraisal July 2005" or "Sunday service schedule".

Metadata that are the author's responsibility

*Provide a unique search results title for every page.
*Search results title: put specific keywords first, followed by general ones.
*Search results title must tell people exactly which page they will find.
*Summary metatag must describe or summarise the exact web page.


*Restrict image size.
*Provide alt-text for all images.
*Provide a long description for all complex images (e.g. charts and graphs).

Use of Word, Excel and PDF files

*Publish all important information as HTML.
*Don't use PDF, Excel or Word files without clear justification.
*Bookmark all PDFs and make them searchable.

Multi-page documents

*Subdivide long documents into pages (guideline for maximum length:
equivalent of 5xA4 pages.)
*Make every page self-sufficient: it must make sense in isolation.
*Provide a printable version of the entire document and of each section.
*Include the name of the entire document on every page.


Freelance Work

Work currently posted on our public job board,, includes:

Wanted: Underwater sports writing submissions. Will also consider articles
on other outdoor activities if they are in proximity to area where
underwater sports are practiced.
(Posted to job board, 13 June. Location anywhere.)

Elsevier Seeks Freelance Senior Editor for Japanese Drug Pipeline Coverage.
Native Japanese speakers with excellent command of English language.
(Posted to job board, 9 June. Location: Anywhere)

Senior Editor is responsible for overall coverage and quality of content of
drug development activities in the Chinese market. That includes tracking
both domestic and international companies operating in China. Furthermore,
the successful candidate should have continuous access to broadband
internet and be able to read Chinese language websites.
(Posted to job board, 9 June. Location: Anywhere)

Blue Mountain Arts is interested in reviewing writings for publication on
greeting cards.
(Posted to job board, 6 June. Location: Anywhere.)

Freelance Writer - Game/Web-Friendly
(Posted to job board, 6 June. Location: Anywhere.) is looking for a number of Bangkok reporters to write
about the better things in life to be experienced in Bangkok.
(Posted to job board, 1 June. Location Bangkok.)

Creative writers for interior design magazines, press releases, marketing
strategies, annual reports, website writing, copywriting for advertisements
(Posted to job board, 20 May. Location anywhere.)

Writers and editors: Please remember to check the job board regularly, and
note also that to get timely access the full range of jobs posted at
Writerfind you will need to sign up for our fee-based mailing list service.
Jobs are posted to members of this mailing list immediately they come in.
can sign up at


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