Monday, April 30, 2007

Are You Carrying Buckets?

By Yanik Silver (Guest blogger)

I let my personal trainer, Jeff, borrow a copy of "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki. A few weeks later during our workout session he blurts out, "You know what -- I'm carrying buckets!"

"Huh?" I replied.

Jeff reminded me in the "Rich Dad" book Kiyosaki gives the example of someone carrying buckets to supply a town with a water and another person building a water pipe line to carry the water. It took longer for the pipeline to be built but once it was done - the money would continue to come in with or without him.

What are you doing?

Sadly most people are carrying buckets. They are getting paid based on the hours they work. Even if you are a highly paid surgeon or attorney your income is still limited by the hours you can work. Everybody has been taught to think the harder you work the more money you make. What if that's completely wrong? What if it's the smarter the work, the more money you make?

Personally, I prefer to work once and get paid over and over and over again. And there are lots of ways you can create recurring revenue for yourself. It could be via royalties from an invention, a song, or a book. It could be from network marketing. It could be from real estate. It could be dividends from investments. Or it could be from a multitude of other ways aside from the typical 9-to-5 grind.

The majority of my income day-in and day-out is a direct result of work I did 1, 2, 3...even 6+ years ago or more. For instance, if you create an information product to sell (like a report, ebook, software, video, etc) you only have to do the work once of creating it and once to write the sales letter.

Then if you set up some automatic promotion avenues like an affiliate program or autoresponder messages - you can continue to get paid for that product indefinitely. One of biggest income streams is a product I created 5 years ago and still makes me a nice six-figure income each year.

Frankly, I couldn't turn off my recurring revenue streams right now if I tried. That's because much of what I've created has fed on itself. One product refers people to another. Our affiliate network (over 35,000) refer people to our sites. Some of our sites cross-promote our other sites, etc. etc.

When you keep working on activities that have recurring value you'll create a momentum that's tough to stop. But the truth is -- it IS hard work in the beginning. It's like a rocket taking off in which it burns most of its fuel on lift off.

You need to put in the hours and effort upfront and then you can ease off the throttle. But if you don't put in the extra effort upfront you'll never achieve lift off and get that momentum you need.

The more you think about doing the work once and being paid multiple times the more creative your mind will become. Ask yourself the right questions and you'll get the right answers.

In fact, even this article, if I'm lucky, will become a recurring income producing activity. I wrote this material
once and the publicity from it will hopefully get a few people to my websites and into my marketing funnel.

Now of course, I'm not saying that every activity I do each day is highly leveraged because I still do some "dumb
stuff" like checking email or filling out tax forms. But I'm working on outsourcing as much as I can and focusing
just on income producing activities (just like you should). (c) Surefire Marketing, Inc.

Yanik Silver is recognized as the leading expert on creating automatic, moneymaking websites...and he still doesn't know how to put up a website. He is the author, co-author or creator of several best-selling online marketing books and tools, including his newest resource for "not carrying buckets" -

Friday, April 27, 2007

A 4-hour Workweek?

It's hard to believe that someone can work only 4 hours a week and be rich. But Timothy Ferriss, the author of The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich says it is possible. In fact, he does it.

I was in a conference call with Mr. Ferriss and Yanik Silver last night and have to admit that I'm really impressed. Ferris is not promoting a "get rich quick scheme" or anything like that. Instead, Ferriss advocates for a lifestyle design. In other words, your work has to serve your ideal lifestyle, not the other way around.

Some of the tips Ferriss offers in his book are very cool:
He even shows in his book how to get housing and airfares around the world at 50%-80% off.

You must read this book and implement some of his ideas: you'll see a great difference in your workstyle right away. Click here to read more about The 4-hour workweek.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Physician Career Expansion

In the past, I have talked about medical writing as an option for physicians looking for a career change. However, physicians do not necessarily have to leave their practices to become medical writers. They just need to expand their careers.

I learned the concept of career expansion from Francine Gaillour, a career and executive coach for physicians, who founded the Daring Doctors.

In an audio interview with me, Dr. Gaillour explains the concept of career expansion, the things physicians can do to expand their careers (not only medical writing), how to create an "expansion plan," and more.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Contract Research Organizations (CROs)

Contract Research Organizations (CROs) are independent contractors that offer their services to pharmaceutical companies, including medical writing—usually the preparation of regulatory documents, and clinical trial protocols.

Many biotech and pharma companies are now outsourcing all their medical writing instead of doing it in-house. See for example this news article about the giant Pharma company, Pfizer:

"All of Pfizer's data management is now outsourced, along with many other related functions such as data entry, monitoring, statistics and medical writing, said Thomas Verish, Pfizer's senior director of Development Operations, revealed at the recent Drug Information Association conference in Vienna."

No wonder CROs are hiring so many medical writers. If you are just launching your medical writing career, a CRO is a good place to start. There you can be exposed to different types of writing and obtain valuable experience.

See a list of CROs here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How To Become A Full-Time Grantwriter

By Katie Krueger (Guest blogger)

Most people learn grant writing accidentally; their employer needs funding and there is no one else to tackle the grant applications. This learning involves a lot of trial and error – mostly error in the beginning. Get a head start and teach yourself grant writing. By taking the steps below, I went from knowing nothing about grant writing to becoming a full-time grant writer.

Improve Your Writing Skills

Grant writing will be easier if you already enjoy writing, but that doesn’t guarantee you will good at this form of writing. You must be able to write persuasively and in a detailed, yet concise, manner. If you are not confident in your writing skills, take a writing course at your local community college or online.

Research the Craft of Grant Writing

Read as many “How To” grant writing books as your brain can hold. The two books that I found to be the most helpful are Grant Writing for Dummies by Bev Browning and Writing for a Good Cause by Joseph Barbato and Danielle Furlich.

You can find all the books, grant listings and information you need at your nearest Grant Information Center, which is a free funding information center provided by the Foundation Center. Find the closest Cooperative Collection in your State at visit the Foundation Center’s website.

If, after reading several books, they all start to sound the same - this is good! It means the grant writing process is getting etched in your mind.

Read Grants

Get ahold of some grants from friends, colleagues or a quick Google search. There are successful sample proposals available online at School Grants.

Read these and take notes on the similarities: what kind of writing is effective in presenting a clear project? What makes the Objectives section work? What elements of an Evaluation section have you believing in the project’s success, which cause doubt? Which budgets would you give your money to?

Have you noticed a feeling that you are reading the same thing repeatedly? That is because most grant applications ask the same fundamental questions, just in a different order or with a focus specific to their group’s mission. Become familiar with this application and understand the best way to address each section. Check out a common application forms available here.

Volunteer To Write Grants

There is no shortage of under funded non-profits strapped for cash and time that would love you to write and research grants for them, despite your utter lack of experience. Ask everyone in your social, professional, and family networks if they know of an organization fitting that description.

Bring to this position the knowledge you have amassed from your reading and a strong desire to learn and help. If you start to feel like an indentured servant, remind yourself that the experience you are gaining is the reward. Meanwhile, do your best work and keep track of what grants you research, identify, and write. These are all the first seeds to plant in your grant-writing portfolio.

Find a Good Editor

Find a strong writer (preferably someone with experience writing grants) to look over your work and offer honest feedback. The Executive Director, Director of Programs or even a friend will do. You do not have to always follow their advice, but begin to look for patterns. Do your objectives always score high marks while your evaluation plans confuse people? Focus on improving the areas that constantly come up as needing improvement.

Apply for Grant Writing Jobs

When you have succeeded in researching and writing grants that have been funded - you have arrived! Now go out and apply for full-time grant writing jobs. List your volunteer experience under relevant work experience and highlight not only the grants you wrote, but also the research and planning that you did.

Be sure to quantify your success – this is a skill needed in writing grants. Plus, if you can quantify your own success, any employer will be confident that you can quantify theirs.


You are well on your way to becoming a full-time grant writer, leaving only one thing left to do. Start at your printer and time exactly how long it takes you to get to Fed Ex. This information will be very handy in future deadline planning!

You can find grant writer job listings on

Katie Krueger is the editor of Find Funding, a FREE Grant Writing Newsletter. Subscribe online at Article Source.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Editing Journal Articles

I was reading this letter to the editor in Nature (446, 725, 12 April 2007) and just HAD to share it with you. Good for her!

Increasing prose quality by decreasing word repetition
Cheryl Strauss1

Department of Human Genetics, Emory University School of Medicine, 301 Whitehead Biomedical Research Building, 615 Michael Street, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA

'Increase' and 'decrease' are serviceable English words, so why is it my mission to winnow them from the prose that I edit daily? As a technical editor in a university department, I do not demand poetry from my writers; scientific accuracy and logical flow are paramount. Nevertheless, I long for an occasional fresh alternative to 'increasing' and 'decreasing' quantities, measurements and all manner of other too-familiar turns of phrase.

Must mice always have 'a decreased tail length'? I admire the professionalism that refrains from a description of 'adorable, stumpy little mouse tails', but what is wrong with 'shorter tails'? It saves two words for writers tearing their hair out over journals' word counts, and is no less precise. 'Fluoresce' is a lovely word, so why ruin its inherent lyricism with a dull 'increase'? Try 'brighter' fluorescence occasionally, or even 'more intense'.

I challenge all scientific authors: search your documents and count how often you use these two simple words, not forgetting permutations such as 'increasing' and 'increased'. You may be surprised at how frequently they rear their heads.

If so, I urge you to seek a remedy. There are times when only an increase or a decrease will do. Make those times count, and use the full expanse of the English language to broaden your prose elsewhere. Sheer repetition is anaesthetizing, and the aim (one hopes) is to keep the reader awake as well as informed. Strive for accuracy, logic and truth; but in matters of style, simple variety is a welcome spice.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Practically Perfect Proofreading and Other Editing Myths

By Scott Lindsay (Guest blogger)

One of the difficulties a writer faces is reviewing their work in an attempt to locate all errors. There are generally two forces that work against a writer who attempts to ensure their work is error-free.

1. Being too close to the work you have difficulty concentrating on the writing.

2. You know what you want to say so it is possible you read over mistakes simply because your mind only sees your impression of the article.

In order to be effective in proofreading your own material you have to work hard at reading every word…

Refuse to speed through simply because you know what the writing says.

Consider each word, then each phrase and then the context of the thought.

Does the article flow or are there phrases that bog it down?

Check punctuation and grammar.

Look at the headline and make sure it is correct.

Do the above all over again.

Most often the best personal proofing requires multiple readings and ongoing edits. The key to the entire process is discipline – personal and professional discipline.

Check and recheck the facts in your story and when possible allow another set of eyes to proofread your writing. They will likely see things that you missed.

There is another myth that is closely linked to proofreading and that is the myth of the perfect story. Anything we write will either have a shelf life because styles and accepted practices change or we have missed something in the arena of consistency, grammar, spelling or word use.

If we keep a piece of writing under lock and key until such time as we think it’s perfect we will likely find that the article will never see publication. You can go over your article with a fine tooth comb and you are likely to see some error when it is finally published.

Writing should be taken seriously, yet not so seriously that the stress of word crafting removes the joy that caused you to become a writer in the first place.

The best advice may be to simply write your story first and worry about fixing any problems afterward. If you stop writing in the midst of your story in order to correct trouble spots you are likely to lose the spontaneity of the storyline. This can ultimately have a detrimental effect on the overall reading satisfaction of the consumer.

If you have to be a perfectionist wait until the story is complete and then get out your red pen and make a few alterations.

Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of FaithWriters ( and many other web projects. FaithWriters has grown to become one of the largest online destinations for Christian writers. Members include writers from all around the world. Please visit the website at: See article Source.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Technical Writing

I know several technical writers who are AMWA members--they work for companies that develop medical devices, equipment or software. I thought I might post an interesting article about technical writing by David Odell (remember I said I would have guest bloggers).

Technical Writing

The educational background required in technical writing is demanding, because of the inherent difficulty of the job. It can be quite difficult to write a technical report, but with the right research and knowledge of basic report formats, you should be on your way to writing a good one. If you enjoy reading and writing, an education in Technical Writing can prepare you for an exciting career as a proof-reader, editor, or technical writer.

Online Technical Writing training may be provided by accredited and non-accredited career education schools and technical writing courses prescribe a dominant format and organization to make information readable, available, and accessible. These programs may include courses in prose, technical disciplines, advanced technical skills, and documentation, among others.If you like explaining hard-to-understand processes and concepts in a plain language and with a consistent vocabulary, and like simplifying complex processes and make them easily accessible, then you’ll enjoy technical writing while saying goodbye to your financial worries. Unless you are already an expert in a technical field and limit the scope of your writing to that, you will probably be required to quickly learn the details of certain processes - even entire industries. Depending on where you live and the local economic conditions, you’d be surprised at the number of employers who would be willing to give a novice with no track record a head start in technical writing.

If you are the type of writer who is more creative than systemic, you will find it hard to succeed in a technical writing job. In other words, the job profile of a technical writer involves writing and designing user guides, brochures and white papers for a plethora of products.

Business plans, technical report writing, grant writing, instruction manuals, and business correspondence are just a few of the more common types of technical writing jobs available. So, in the present world of complicated gadgets, technical documentations require more than just writing. This trend, may give the Technical Writing profession the impetus it requires.Substance is, of course, ever the more important part of technical writing. Accuracy in technical writing means that the technical writer puts out the effort to ensure that the information provided in the document is accurate. Translation in this context means that a technical writer should have the ability to gather technical information and translate it into language at the level of the intended audience.

Do not overuse humour, better still do not use it at all - People do not read technical documents to be entertained, they read them in the hopes of successfully completing a process, or extracting information. By the end of creating a piece of technical documentation, you will probably be sick of the sight of it but it has to be proof read, did you give the same screen, action part a different names in different parts of the document, all important not to do this as it confuses the reader and they are probably confused by the technology already.

To get a technical writing job you have to prove you are accurate and organized in everything you do. When you apply for a job ensure that your resume scrupulously accurate, down to the smallest details, and organized in a clear and logical way?A tech writing manager I know developed a 30-column spreadsheet to assess technical writing candidates. Officially, I can say that technical writing has no beginning because any person could conclude “the hieroglyphics” were writings of technical calibre to communicate to an audience. All writing styles evolve over time; technical writing is no exception.

Freelance technical writers find themselves in different jobs, from the fields of healthcare, to engineering, to consumer manufacturing, to business, and then back again. Believe me I have done it, but as a job to be involved in a variety of fields and work in varied situations you cannot beat it.

Dave Odell has been a freelance technical writer for over 20 years and and is now also exploring different writing genres and related topics. Visit his sites here and here.
See this article's source here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Invest in your Medical Writing Career

"Don't be cheap!" was the advice of a marketing specialist to new marketers in an interview I just read. The marketer suggested spending money on good resources (books, software, etc.), even if they are expensive--because you get what you pay for.

I believe there is a lot of truth in that. I used to cut corners on everything, signing up only for freebies or just buying the basic packages. In some instances I still do, but in regards to my career and passion (writing) I am no longer cheap.

In my first AMWA conference, for example, I only attended open sessions (which are included in the registration fee) but no workshops (which you have to pay for above the registration fee). The next year I tried a workshop and realized how much I was missing.

Oh, and don't ask me how much I spend in writing books every month! I can only tell you that my Border Rewards account looks like a bank account. I try to get the most out of all those books, taking notes and putting words into practice on any project I am working on at the time.

What about you? How can you invest in your career to be a better writer or editor (or even get more money)?

Perhaps you need more clients for your freelance writing business--buy some books on marketing freelance services. Or maybe you need to keep better track of your clients' payments--invest in a solid financial software.

And please, above all, don't be cheap!