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Copy and Content for Tradespeople

copywriter, writer, content writerWith my background in the service trades, I understand that each tradesperson brings something unique to their field, and that’s why my writing process always starts with a personal interview. I’ll thoroughly research your industry, then we’ll spend an hour or so together (or on the phone), working out what it is that distinguishes your work from the rest, and get that written down.

After I turn our conversation into a lively series of pages, you’ll have the chance to review my work and let me know about anything I’ve missed, downplayed, or gotten wrong. That will send me to the revision process. You’ll have a second chance to review the work before it goes live. This collaborative process produces a document that is genuine, personal, and sparkles with clarity. Your clients wouldn’t expect any less.

Even if your business grows by word-of-mouth, a website is a mark of legitimacy. It’s indispensable. Whether you dig ditches or draw plans, correct form or survey routes, pull wire or pool data, you need a website. Potential customers expect a web presence that’s smart, attractive, and useful, but most importantly they expect to learn something about you, before they’ve even met you. I will put your best foot forward.

Here’s a selection from my profiles and interviews:


Old School Stationers is one Brian Reed, who operates three large and dangerous-looking pieces of machinery in the basement of the Ford building, on the same concrete floor where Model T’s were once assembled. Brian’s main machine, a Chandler and Price (C&P) 10 x 15 old-series platen press, was built before the Model T was invented….

His printing plates, manufactured at Oregon Engraving right across the street, are photosensitive polymer rather than the acid-engraved copper of yesteryear’s press imagery. The old method of acid engraving metal plates was known for being expensive and toxic. Sure, he draws by hand. But creating vintage outdoor scenes (inspired by back issues of Outdoor Life and the salmon fishing trips of Reed’s own youth) with the assistance of Artrage software would hew too close to cynical irony for these sentiments.

– From “Love is the Medium,” an exploration of the art of letterpress through the work of one Brian Reed, in Pdx Magazine.


Buck O’Kelly is wizened and his hands are dominated by knuckles, betraying years of hard work. But his spirit rivals that of artists decades his junior. The veteran furniture builder at Inventia Design talks about wood species, design philosophy, and finishes with a philosophical intensity that borders on mysticism. He and his partner Suzanne Bonham created the elegant wood tables that, night after night, endure the onslaught of steel, ceramic, and glass wrought by the hungry hordes of Le Pigeon.

– From my piece on Northwest woodworkers, titled “On the Table, Beneath the surface,”  in PDX Magazine.


Ned Jaquith’s Bamboo Garden Nursery is an emerald grove of gently nodding exotic grasses that stretch up to 40 feet tall.

Despite their foreign origins, the bamboo look right at home amid the stands of Douglas-fir, western red cedar, elm and maple trees that accent the 20-acre property. Jaquith purchased the plot of woodland just north of North Plains 28 years ago, and has been selecting and propagating varieties from at least three continents ever since.

– Excerpt from “Be Like Bamboo…,”  in The Portland State Vanguard.


Eliot Treichel is from small-town Wisconsin, and he’s not trying to hide it. His short stories and essays inhabit, nay, breathe a world of rushing rivers, fishing holes, desert highway expanses, and guns and pickup trucks. His characters are laconic, solitary and tough, even while the author tenderly and quietly exposes their vulnerability.

Treichel has been publishing short form fiction and freelance magazine pieces for years. His first book-length project, a short story collection called Close Is Fine, will be released at the end of this month by PSU’s Ooligan Press.

– From “Stories from an ‘Outsider’,” published in The Portland State Vanguard.


Per Henningsgaard’s resume is impressive. Originally from Minnesota, Henningsgaard graduated from Vassar College in upstate New York. He worked at Pearson imprint Longman in New York before going to Western Australia on a Fulbright grant to study print history and culture.

The Aussies, apparently charmed by his genteel Yankee manner and capacious mind, extended him an invitation to pursue his doctoral degree at the University of Western Australia in Perth. From there, Henningsgaard returned to the Midwest to work on the student-run publishing house at the University of Wisconsin at Steven’s Point.

– Excerpt from a Q&A with the director of the Masters in Publishing program at Portland State University titled “The Future of Print.