Why a website? Highlights of conference session

By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, Communication Central owner and
NAIWE Board of Experts member for Networking

I’m looking forward to talking about websites for freelancers at “Gateway to Success,” this year’s “Be a Better Freelancer® conference, coming up October 11–13, 2019, in St. Louis. This topic is always fun to discuss because there’s always something new in the world of creating and managing websites, and because it lends itself so well to graphics and illustrations. It’s also kind of fun to share what doesn’t work in a website, alongside what does make an effective site to promote your freelance business.

It’s become common knowledge that freelancers in any skill set need websites to build and support our business efforts. Sure, you can promote your business at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, but a website is important because:

  • It’s all yours; no one else controls or limits how it looks and what it presents.
  • It helps you be found — it comes up when someone searches for the skills and services you provide. That’s especially important for anyone starting out, because unknown freelancers won’t be found by their names.
  • It gives you a permanent e-mail address.
  • It’s flexible — you can choose what to post, what and when to update it, the amount of information you provide, etc.
  • It speaks for you with clients who aren’t local; it’s your portfolio in an era when you probably will work with more clients who aren’t in your geographic area than ones who are, and you aren’t likely to meet them in person to show your work samples.

Even if you already have a website for your freelance services, it can probably benefit from insights at this session. You might gain new resources for making it look or read better, and more effective at getting you business and educating prospective clients about who you are and how you work.

Think of your website as the base and office of your freelance business. It’s your showroom. It’s your path to being a better freelancer!

To benefit from this session — and many other ones — by registering for the conference, go to https://naiwe.com/conference/. This is the 14th offering of the conference, and the first-ever partnership between Communication Central and NAIWE. We hope to see you there!

Freelancing and freedom

Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

The 4th of July celebrations this past week, along with a prompt from NAIWE executive director April Michelle Davis, got me thinking about the connection between freelancing and freedom.

The link between my areas of expertise — writing, editing and proofreading — and our country’s role as an exemplar of freedom is easy to make: I live in a country where I can express what I believe and want to say, and edit or proofread materials that relate to my beliefs and perspectives. I can accept assignments that are consistent with those beliefs and perspectives, or turn down assignments that go against my principles and beliefs. I can even use my skills, as well as the income those skills generate, to support causes I believe in. I can set my own schedule and fees. I am not just a freelancer; I am free.

That freedom is invaluable, and not something I take for granted. I’m the daughter of Holocaust survivors (yeah, it happened). I’m a member by birth of a religion that is still stigmatized and under constant attack even these days — and sadly, even in my own country — and by choice of one founded on principles of freedom. I see examples of the lack of freedom in the headlines every day. Both in the USA and beyond, there are many, many people who cannot claim the luxury of living in a country or community where they are free to do the work they love, be with the people they love, or simply enjoy comfort and peace on a daily basis.

I am very lucky.

My country is not perfect, and certainly is seeing an unprecedented level of hostility and threats to our freedom in the current political realm. But it is still a, if not the, leader of the free world. Most of us are still free to express our beliefs and advocate for what we think is right and fair. We owe it to ourselves, our families, our histories, our futures to use our communications skills to keep it that way, for all of us.

Registration open for freelancing conference

Registration is open for “Be a Better Freelancer”® – Profiting in Publishing,” the 11th annual Communication Central conference, Oct. 28-29, 2016, in Rochester, NY, with a special extra session on Oct. 30.

The conference offers a stellar line-up of speakers – including NAIWE’s Janet Campbell! – and topics of interest to a wide range of colleagues, both new to and established in freelancing in general and editing, proofreading, writing and other areas of the publishing world in particular.

Rooms in the conference hotel are eminently shareable and many colleagues will be looking for roommates. There also may be opportunities to share rides from the DC area to Rochester. To share a ride or room, send a message to conference@communication-central.com.

The hotel is part of a new complex with a Barnes & Noble, several restaurants and shops, and easy access to parks, the Genesee River and the University of Rochester. Partners, spouses and offspring will find plenty to do while participants are conferencing.

For program, speaker and registration info, go to:

Webinar on working with nonprofits

Hi, all. If you’re interested in writing or editing for not-for-profit organizations or charitable agencies, I have a resource for you! I’m presenting a webinar/audioconference for copyediting.com Copyediting.com on “Editing for Nonprofits and Agencies” on July 16. Details at: http://www.copyediting.com/buyproduct/editing-nonprofits-and-agencies

3 Communication Central workshops in Chicago on May 23

Communication Central will present three workshops in the Chicago area on May 23 when owner Ruth E. Thaler-Carter – an NAIWE member – and colleague Judith Shenouda are in town to present a session at the Society for Technical Communication (STC) Tech Summit. Workshop topics are Websites that Work for You (Thaler-Carter), Career Success in 12 Easy Steps (Shenouda) and Getting Started as a Freelancer (both). Cost is $50/person/workshop, with a 10% discount for NAIWE members and participants in past Communication Central events. Registration may be made with check or by PayPal.

To register for any or all of the workshops:


Early bird deadline approaching for 2012 conference for freelancers!

The deadline for the best rate to attend “Be a Better Freelancer: Resources for a Successful Editorial Business,” the 7th annual Build Your Business conference of Communication Central (www.communication-central.com), October 12-13, 2012, at the Marriott Suites in the Harbor East area of Baltimore, MD, is fast approaching. You have until August 30 to register at the best rate!

2012 C-C Conf Registration Form3

Speakers include NAIWE founder/executive director Janice Campbell, and NAIWE members are entitled to a colleagues’ discount on registration. Session and speaker details are available at:


This unique conference for freelance writers, editors, proofreaders, etc., is aimed at launching, building up and enhancing your business success.

Conference attendees get a discount on registration for an offering of the Editorial Bootcamp on October 14 at the same location.

Why attend a conference?

Every time I turn around, I see or hear from colleagues who are having trouble succeeding in their freelance businesses, yet only a couple of dozen have signed up to attend an event designed to help freelancers make their businesses (yes, writing and editing is a business!) do better. Granted, this event isn’t free, but it has to generate enough income to cover its costs, including travel and accommodations for speakers.

Details are are:

See you there!

Early-bird deadline extended for Communication Central conference

To accommodate colleagues awaiting project payments, the early-bird deadline for registration for “Editorial Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century,” the sixth annual Build Your Business conference of Communication Central, has been extended to August 31. Details are at:

This event is a unique opportunity to meet and learn from colleagues from the U.S., UK and Canada with amazing insights into what it takes to succeed as a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, graphic artist, indexer, etc.!

Workshops on websites, freelancing in Atlanta on July 18

NAIWE members are eligible for a discounted rate on two workshops from Communication Central in Atlanta, GA, on July 18: “Make a Website Work for You,” 2-4:30 p.m., and “Getting Started in Freelancing,” 6-8:30 p.m., at the Hampton Inn Northlake. For details and registration, to go: