portfolio | copywriting

My portfolio showcases various projects and will be updated monthly. This page highlights my copywriting and blog entries.


A five hundred word post on how the development of Construction Estimating Software is changing the construction industry. SEO keywords were to be placed within the post.

How Construction Estimation Software is Changing the Construction Industry

With the advance of technology in all fields, the advance of estimating software in the construction industry is not at all surprising. For even the smallest of businesses, it is no longer prudent to rely on Microsoft spreadsheets for the data accuracy to compete for contracts. Today’s construction estimating software is computer software designed exclusively for the construction industry, specifically contractors, to estimate and bid on projects. This estimate, generated by the software, often becomes part of the resulting contract. Use of estimating software is changing the business, no doubt. Here’s a few of the ways it can alter the business practices of a general contractor:

Time Saving:

Creating an estimate is a tedious, time consuming process. Entering items into a spreadsheet, while ensuring the bid was an accurate, comprehensive estimate, was critical to securing the bid, and then to the success of the project. Estimating software has progressed over time to incorporate intuitive processes allowing the user to navigate quickly through the process and complete the estimate in a timely manner.

Accuracy:

Inaccurate estimates can reduce the amount of contracts you are able to secure. Accurate estimates are vital to the business of a contractor, and estimation software  is designed to do all the calculations, including material costs, take-offs, labor cost estimates, etc. 

Sorting:

Productivity can be affected by lack of organization. Having all of your data neatly sorted where you can access it and monitor is another way the estimating software is changing contractor workflow.

MarkUps:

Adding in the costs that include your margins is important for every bid to continue profit and growth. Construction estimation software will continually add this margin, or markUp, along the way, reducing the time that it would take doing a traditional bid.

Reporting:

Having a reporting function allows the contractor to run reports directly from the estimating software, saving time trying to figure out which data is needed to compile. The reporting function also reduces inaccuracies as you’re not migrating data from one system, or program to another to compile reports. 

Think of estimation software as the newest high tech tool. It is definitely changing the way things are done in the trade, and will most definitely develop and become better as the years go by. As contractors learn and use this tool, they will understand that it is there to help them make their business more money, more profits and they can use it in a way to help them get those jobs that they may not have felt comfortable bidding on previously. Like with any new tool, there is a learning curve and an adaptation period for the contractor who is used to doing things ‘the old way.’ 

Remember, there are many benefits to the ever changing world of cost estimating software in the contractor industry when creating a bid package. And, while a software package or user interface can never replace the human expertise that is needed to create an accurate bid for a project, be it small or large, it never hurts to have another tool in the toolbox to get the job done.


A Five Hundred word post about Tampa Bay Redfish Charter travel packages that required research about the local redfish spawning season, what gear is needed, and the best times to plan a fishing vacation.

Tampa Bay Redfish Charters: A Great Vacation Option

The Gulf of Mexico and the Tampa Bay in Florida have become one of the most popular destinations for year round fishing. Redfish, one of Florida’s most abundant fish, are a favorite of charter fishing expeditions as they are fun to catch.  Redfish are also known as RedDrums as they make a drumming noise during spawning season. Other names include channel bass, red bass or spot tail bass. When booking your Tampa Bay Fl redfish charter,  there are many options for chartering trips all year long, although fall through spring are the ideal seasons. 

Redfish can be found in many different waterways in the Tampa Bay area. Some popular charters involve fishing in canals or rivers for juvenile Redfish; a four, six or eight hour guided fishing charter is recommended.  To fish for mature Redfish, charter a guide who can take you to the more open waters of the Tampa Bay, or the Gulf of Mexico. These trips involve different logistics and a larger boat with different tackle. 

Gear to Bring on Your Charter Fishing Trip:

  • live bait such as shrimp, crab, cigar minnows, or what the Redfish is used to eating
  • eight foot rods
  • eight to ten pound test line
  • saltwater fishing license from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • drinks and snacks
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • hat
  • camera
  • proper shoes that won’t mark up the boat

Note: if the captain of the charter has a Florida saltwater fishing license (and he typically will) you may not need one—be sure to check the charter company’s policies on their website information page ahead of your scheduled departure for what you need to bring on your trip. 

Current Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Regulations indicate that Redfish/RedDrums of all sizes are on catch and release permit only. This is due to the massive red tide* that impacted southwest Florida in late 2017 through early 2019. The catch and release is expected to be lifted at the end of May, 2020.

Booking a Redfish Charter fishing trip can be done online or by phone. The price for a four hour trip starts at around $350 for three guests and can go up to over $800 depending on the length of the trip and number of anglers. Group packages are a great deal for family or corporate outings and typically offer a discount rate. 

Travel to the Tampa Bay, Florida area is seasonal year round due to the subtropical climate. The mildest, dry season is the months between November and April, which also coincides with the best time to go charter fishing for Redfish. There are many sights and attractions to visit while you are in the Tampa Bay area, including amusement parks, aquariums and museums. The Tampa area is also known for its miles of beautiful beaches and parks, as well as an abundance of restaurants and nightclubs to unwind at after a long day of fishing. 

*Red tide is a harmful algae bloom that produces toxic chemicals that can effect local wildlife.


Travel blog post with tips for enjoying your time on the road as a full time traveler. From my personal blog, with photography.

MONTHS AND MILES

today marks the day. the sixth month anniversary of loading up the car, waving goodbye to lake erie, cleveland, ohio…..and heading out on the great adventure. 

we honestly had no idea what we were doing. like, no clue. 

I mean, sure we’d plotted out a general course…looked at a million blogs about how to do what we were doing, but, seriously. 

not a clue. 

so here’s a bit of what we’ve learned: 

–you’re going to need half of what you think you’ll need. we made so many packing mistakes and ended up tossing or donating a lot of things along the way. the essentials are called essential for a reason; only pack what you know you’ll use daily.

–travel slow, and if you find a spot that looks good, stay there. we spent a lot of time chasing good weather mainly because we weren’t equipped to live comfortably for long stays in rain or high winds. but if the weather was good, having enough supplies (read: coffee) to stay in one spot for five or more days will definitely save money and stress)

–always stop for the brown signs on the highway exits: they mean good things: national parks or monuments, state parks or really fun touristy stuff! some of our best adventures were “oh hey what’s that sign?!” trips off the beaten path.

–buy a national parks pass. just do it. the national parks are the best idea the US has ever had, and getting in free across the country saved us so much financial worry and, wow was it worth it. 

–if you find a spot you like, stay there! bonus tip: free camping is abundant, you just have to know how and where to look for it. there are multiple apps to help with that; we used one called Allstays. we spent a total of $16 on camping in 6 months, all of that in Texas. and if all else fails, most walmarts, and some other retail stores (camping world, cabella’s) allow overnight camping. just ask 🙂 

–adapting to your environment is key. travel bloggers on instagram are not showing you everything (like where do they poop?) the sooner you realize that you’re now technically homeless and relying on your current, constantly changing, environment for all your needs, the sooner you’ll be able to adjust to your newfound freedom!

–you’re much tougher than you think. I never thought I’d be able to hike to the top of the santa elena canyon trail…or sleep in my car in a dark forest in the rain….or survive a windstorm in new mexico. I didn’t know how tough I really was.

–time is a social construct. (think about that one….I must ask at least once a week, “wait, what day is it?” because we don’t have to be anywhere, do anything, on anyone else’s time….weekdays or weekends don’t matter. it’s weird and takes time to get used to.) 

–this country is huge, beautiful and is so vastly different if you just travel more than 300 miles outside of your comfort zone. if you don’t like where you are: move! there is so much out there to see and experience. 

–people out there are surprisingly kind once you are away from the city, and honestly the social media! disconnect and reconnect.

don’t wait. honestly. 

where we go from here: 

today we are in yakima, washington, on our way to a town north of seattle for the week. we are then boarding a plane, friday, for anchorage, alaska. 

yes, alaska. eep!! we’ll be working up there for the summer outside of denali national park. I can say this: we are excited to be off the road for a while, but last night, as we spent our final night sleeping in the car (fittingly in a walmart, just like our first night in new jersey) we were talking about how we are actually going to miss the freedom we’ve had, the autonomy, the rising with the sun, going to bed when it gets dark, and the general not-seeing-any-other-humans that has been so great. we’re going to have a bit of a time adjusting. 

but it will also be nice to have showers, and meals, and a bed whenever we want. that will be nice.

so, stay tuned from alaska! 

xoxo, j 

All images © 2013-2019 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life 


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