ABOUT US

Here at R&J Creative Services we strive to provide you the highest quality on every project. We provide a variety of creative services including but not limited news articles, blog posts, eBooks, audiobooks and voice overs. If you would like to hear about how we got where we are today, feel free to read more about us here.

OUR TEAM

The awesome people behind our business.

  • Robert Johnson

    Co-Founder

  • Julia Granowicz

    Co-Founder

OUR SKILLS

We pride ourselves with strong, flexible and top notch skills.

Writing

Research 90%
Planning 80%
Creating 100%

Blog Posts

Content Curation 90%
Keyword Research 80%
Original Content 100%

SEO

Keywords 90%
Tags 80%
Marketing 70%

ACHIEVEMENTS

We help our clients create memorable content, whether it's a blog post that goes viral, an eBook that people love, or the resume that landed your dream job.

150

GREAT PROJECTS

75

HAPPY CLIENTS

650

COFFEES DRUNK

1024

BLOGS WRITTEN

RESEARCH & CREATIVITY

Together, skilled research and creative thinking will provide you with high quality, original and interesting content time after time.

Writers Corner

Our blog will be a mixture of tips for freelancers, and soon updates about any upcoming projects we may have going on. I hope you enjoy your stay in my writer's corner!

  • Is it Possible to Procrastinate and still be Productive?


    If you're anything like me, then you are probably a self-admitted procrastinator - but you know what? That's okay! You can still be a successful freelancer and I'm here to help you figure out how.

     Don't Let Your Procrastination Be Your Downfall as a Freelancer


    Being a procrastinator is going to be one of the biggest hurdles for you to overcome as a freelancer of any sort - but especially as a freelance writer. It seems to me that many creative types (but certainly writers) have a tendency to put things off more than the average individual. While this can get you into trouble, if you're smart about it, procrastination doesn't have to keep you from having a successful freelance writing career.

    You may have read somewhere that procrastination and freelancing don't mix - and I'm not here to tell you that they necessarily should or do - but I am here to tell you that it is entirely possible. If you learn how to manipulate your own bad habits to work in your favor, and have the will power to keep working on things no matter how many roadblocks you come across, then you can have the capability to be your own boss (with a little patience, practice and dedication that is).


    Learning the Art of Productive Procrastination


    Eventually, I'm going to have an entire "Procrastinator's Guide to Productivity" for all you, who like me, are ADD as can be and have a hard time focusing for long periods sometimes and other times zone in on what you're doing (and become lost to the outside world) for hours at a time.

    Until then, I want to be able to bring you some hope - and a couple quick tips that help me get through my distraction filled days while still getting things done. In the future, I'll be linking you to posts that have motivated me, freelancers with amazing tips, as well as apps - all with the hopes of helping you find the techniques that work best for you, because we all work, learn and live differently.

    Maybe what works for me doesn't work for you - but some of it might and a different combination of the thousands of productivity tips on the internet may work for you where they didn't work for me. In the end, the goal of this is to help you learn how to turn your bad habits into good ones (without causing a mental burnout over your mile long to-do list).

    My Biggest Secret to Getting Stuff Done While Procrastinating is...

     

     

    that when I'm feeling stuck on a blog post, a chapter of an eBook or searching for a topic, I stop trying. I take a break - I allow myself 10-15 minutes of internet surfing or Facebook scrolling on my phone - and then I move on to a different task.

    If it was a blog post that I was having a fit of writers block with, or not being able to find a source for, or whatever the case may be, I stop working on that blog post for a little while. I'll take that short break - let my mind wander like it so desperately wants to - and then I move on to something else - researching topics for the next day or work on social media stuff.

    When I'm feeling restless and sitting still at the computer is becoming difficult to do without fidgeting with everything nearby (grabbing a new cup of coffee, going to re-heat said cup of coffee later, looking at my phone, checking e-mails, writing in a notebook, anything but trying to focus on the task at hand) I turn to household tasks that I would normally put off - dishes, wiping down the bathroom, picking up my bedroom or folding laundry for example.

    Even though I'm still putting off one thing, I'm still working one of the many tasks on my seemingly endless "to-do" list. Then, when I start feeling too easily distracted, I repeat the process and then attempt to jump back into whatever I was putting off the first time. I'll go into better detail on this strategy in a future post - but hopefully this gives you a little bit of an idea on how you can turn your procrastination into productivity!




  • Why Becoming a Freelance Writer was the Best Decision I Ever Made


    There are just so, so many benefits to being a freelancer - from being able to work when you want and being able to schedule yourself around important life events to choosing your own rates - but there is so much more to it than that alone.

    Being a freelancer gives you the freedom of being your own boss - but it comes with the responsibility of being a boss to yourself as well. This means that not only can you decide you need time to recharge and give yourself the day off once in a while, but also, that on occasion, you have to be able to tell yourself no, and work even when you don't want to.

    That last part is probably the hardest part for me still - there are plenty of times when I think to myself that I can do one thing or another a little bit later than I originally planned - but that never, ever works out for me (I definitely don’t recommend taking action on thoughts like this one!).

    There are other downsides to being your own boss too - like having to keep track of invoicing, and taxes, tracking expenses, coordinating work and clients, keeping your blog/website and social media up to date, sending proposals, answering inquiries and just so much more that you wouldn't be in charge of if you worked a traditional job.

    While these things are not the most fun parts of the life of a freelancer, they are necessary in order to keep your business going - but despite all the things I thought I would never have to handle directly (paying the IRS for example), I would never go back on my decision to be a freelancer. It has taken a while, and I still don't have everything down pat the way I probably should - but every small accomplishment along the way has made it all worth it.

    Having already been a writer for years (albeit mostly fiction, with a lot of fan fiction over the years as well - and yes, I'm one of those people! Don't judge!) it made sense to lean in the direction of writing. Choosing resumes as a starting point was simply to bring in sales and build up a reputation of some sort - but I quickly added short stories and PowerPoint presentations to my gig’s on Fiverr and within a couple short months I took a leap of faith and quit my job.

    I’ll admit it – that was probably one of the most terrifying moments in my life.

    It left me with two weeks of working in a kitchen, behind a register and covered in grease and oil from head to toe, chatting with the co-workers I was guaranteed to miss (at least a couple of which I still talk to occasionally) and feeling terribly awkward around the ones I knew were judging, jealous or angry that I was leaving.

    When the end of that two weeks finally came – on December 19th, 2014 – I left after closing with a group that I had always enjoyed working with, said my good-byes and have never turned back (for anything other than the occasional dinner!).

    Have there been times when I wished I would have waited just a little bit longer? Of course.

    Have there been times when I’ve considered asking for my job back (which I was told would be open to me should I need it) or thought about taking another “regular” job? Absolutely not.

    Since then it’s been on hell of an exciting journey – from working on Fiverr to my first job on oDesk – my first on-going client and then my first high paying gig (which happens to be my main writing gig to this day) – creating this website, the transition from oDesk to Upwork, joining the Freelance Writers Den and finding other high-paying clients and best of all finding my favorite niche in the cannabis industry.

    My days start late and end in the earliest hours of the morning – I’ve always been a night owl and now I’ve been able to fully embrace that and I’m finding myself more productive than ever. I write about subjects I enjoy like cannabis, essential oils and I get to look for writing projects that allow me to expand my knowledge and expertise by writing in various niches.

    I never did well in college – but writing for my clients I’ve learned more in the last two years than I ever did in a classroom (my focus just isn’t good enough for a lecture…). I can take breaks as needed – get out of the house for a cup of coffee or run errands when I’m feeling overloaded – and then come back to my work feeling refreshed and ready to go. It’s actually easier to focus when I know I can walk away for a bit if I find myself completely unable to focus.

    Even though I have to do all the things I don’t like to do – writing up dozens of proposals, keeping track of taxes, expenses and invoices, answering e-mails and all the editing – there are still way more benefits to this gig than there are downsides. It may not be the easiest job in the world, but it certainly is the perfect job for me.
  • Welcome to the Improved Home of R&J Creative Services


    "Anyone who has been following us since the beginning, we thank you for continuing to support our dreams and we encourage you to always keep reaching for your own! Let nothing stand in the way of the life you want to live!" - Julia

    As the post is titled, we want to welcome you to the new, improved home of R&J Creative Services! It's been quite some time since we've updated anything - and the updates have probably been confusing and for that we do apologize.

    The hardest part of starting your own ventures is deciding where to put your focus when you have a lot of ideas you want to pursue - and we jumped all in a couple years ago with only a small idea of what we were really capable of.

    Things have changed quite a bit once again - but we are extremely happy with the direction things are headed! We have expanded the services we offer from basic blogging, eBooks and voice overs - and have added information pertaining to cannabis industry niche writing, eBooks, reviews, resumes and the biggest achievement so far is the launch of our new side business - Small Biz Blogging!

    What is Small Biz Blogging?


    Small Biz Blogging is a subscription blogging service - we can come up with content ideas and keywords for you based on your niche, write articles of varying lengths and send them off to you to be posted - or we can set them up to be posted on your WordPress or Blogger blog for you if you want!

    Once you sign up for weekly or monthly blog posts and pay the initial week or month, you will be billed automatically through PayPal and as long as your subscription stays active you will continue to get articles regularly. This service is available to all kinds of blogs, but is mostly meant for small businesses looking to use a blog as a tool for SEO.

    The idea came to us after seeing how many people go through content mills to get average content that is often stuffed with keywords - or on the occasion that you come across a great writer, they're really not being paid what they're worth to keep article costs low. With Small Biz Blogging you will be paying professional rates, but will have a professional writer to create a strategy with, including keywords, number of posts per week and more!

    Looking for More Cannabis Content?

     

    If you're looking for more cannabis news, studies, articles and more then keep on the look out! We're preparing to launch a blog, authored by Julia Granowicz of The Marijuana Times that will cover all sorts of cannabis related things! We don't have a lot more on this just yet - we're trying to launch one new venture at a time, so all of our recent efforts have been put into setting up Small Biz Blogging lately.

    I wish there were more I could tell you about this project now - but it's just not quite in the right phase to provide more details. As things unfold on our end, we will be updating you here with the details!

    Thank you again for your continued support!

  • How to Get Focused and Actually Work Less


    Hey there. Roy Furr here, at the reins of The Writer's Life again, with a secret I just recently discovered to help me use my time smarter.

    The big benefit to this – to using my time smarter – is that I can spend fewer hours of my day focused on work while earning more.

    That's something you want, I'd guess.

    I mean, who doesn't want to work less and earn more?!

    In order for this to make sense, though, I have to reveal a dirty little secret about my past.

    You see, in 7th grade, I failed my first class.

    I was used to getting pretty good grades all through elementary school. Most of the teachers considered me a "smart kid."

    But I failed 7th grade Spanish. Mind you, it's not because I couldn't learn Spanish. I didn't have a language deficiency that prevented me from picking up anything besides English. I even went to class all the time.

    But there was a problem.

    I wasn't excited about it. I don't know what it was that made me not excited, but I sure wasn't. So I didn't get into it. I didn't do my homework. I didn't pay as much attention in class. I didn't do what it took to pass – much less get a good grade.

    And this was the start of a pattern.

    Just about every semester, I failed a class. Even when I got B's and A's in my other classes. It was almost like I sat down at the beginning of each semester and said, "I'm going to do well in all my classes, except I'm going to fail this one."

    This went on until my freshman year of college. I did well in just about everything except that one class per semester.

    Then my tuition bill shocked me into reality. I'd have to get this in check. I'd have to learn how to pass and even excel at those classes I'd been previously failing.

    So I got better organized. I learned what it took to make sure I didn't fail. I put in the time and effort to make sure I passed – and often with flying colors.

    And all that while I still, admittedly, spent a lot of my time in college partying. Slacking off. Not doing much.

    But I still managed to get all my work done on time and well.

    So I got good grades. I graduated.

    My failed classes were resigned to the pages of history.

    It wasn't until later that I realized I actually have ADHD, Inattentive subtype. Which means it's hard to keep my attention (even if I'm not bouncing off the walls). What this meant in school was that as soon as I decided a class was "boring," it'd lose my attention. And the teacher probably couldn't win it back.

    You see, most people's brains are wired to be able to focus even on things they think are boring. My brain fogs out things that don't hold my attention and moves on to things that do.

    That's why I'd do great in subjects that interested me … And horrible in subjects that didn't.
    But this poses a big problem as a freelancer.

    And while I think it's an especially big problem for me because of my ADHD, I also believe it's a problem for all freelancers.

    We all have trouble focusing and getting the things done that need to be done.

    There are all the convenient distractions of email, the internet, making a snack or lunch, calling up a friend because you know there's no boss over your shoulder telling you not to make personal calls …

    You know your own distractions.

    When you let these distractions take hold, it eats up your workday.

    Just a minute of focusing somewhere other than work often takes 15 or 20 minutes of valuable time because of how long it takes to get your momentum back.

    This eats up hours.

    Well, here's a simple solution.

    Get a kitchen timer. Set it for 30 minutes. Open up whatever it is you're supposed to be working on.

    Press start on the timer. And don't look at anything else until your 30 minutes are up. Focus exclusively on that one task.

    Do this a few times in your day and you'll be amazed how quickly you start getting things done.

    Better still, if you have focus problems like I do, this will help you get through all those boring tasks quickly.

    This makes you use your time smarter so you devote less hours of your day to working. And it makes you more productive – which as a freelancer means you make more.

    I have one other addition to this technique I've added recently to get even more done in a short workday. You should read my article, Easy Time Management for Copywriters and Other Freelancers, to find out what it's all about.

    Do you already use the kitchen timer technique? Do you have a variation on it that can help me focus better? Let me know by commenting below.
  • Ten Minutes to Better, Faster Writing

    Cindy Cyr here. This week, I’m excited to reveal some ways to write better and faster that I discovered this summer.

    Have you ever witnessed an athlete in training? Athletes build muscles to get stronger, faster, and better. This helps them be competitive. Win more. And dig deep when they’re tired, sore, and need to pull through.

    As a freelancer, building your “writing muscles” will help you in many ways. You’ll become more confident in your writing. Win more assignments. Push through “writer’s block.” And meet tough deadlines even when you're exhausted from working your day job.

    This week, I’m going to give you some “push-ups” to build your “writer muscles.”

    Don’t worry. They’re fun. And for the most part, you’ll spend no more than 10 minutes a day on them. But they’re effective.

    Your “writing push-ups” are adapted from pro–songwriter techniques I picked up when my songwriter son, Dalton, asked me to join him and my husband in their morning songwriting exercises.

    They recently attended an International Songwriter Conference taught by hit songwriters, so I was eager to learn what the pros had taught them.

    I noticed how much good songwriting parallels good copywriting. And when I applied these strategies to my own writing, I immediately saw results. For example, one technique I’ll share has sliced my writing time by 75 percent. I NEVER struggle for ideas—instead, they instantly and constantly appear. And clients comment on the emotional connection to my writing. One even said she cried.

    Like me, I think you’ll find they help you write spicier copy. Create an avalanche of ideas. Write faster. Help you tap into people’s emotions better and build more confidence in your writing.
    Ready to get started? Here we go with “Writing Push-up #1.”

    Writing Push-up #1: Object Writing

    Do you ever wonder how people like Matt Furey and Jay White can write an email in 10 minutes … and generate thousands in sales?

    It used to take me more time just to come up with ideas. And even more time to massage the piece to get it just right.

    Then I discovered the key to writing fast …

    You see, the reason Matt and Jay can write so fast is because they have trained themselves to immediately tap into their best stories.

    Here’s how you can train yourself to instantly access your best ideas:

    Use a songwriting technique called “object writing.” (Find out how to use object writing to create more compelling copy in my article How to Liven Up Your Copy and Connect with Your Reader On a Deeper Emotional Level.”)

    With this technique, you randomly pick an object, emotion, or event and focus on using all of your senses. Then you write about it. The key to using it to write faster is to:

    Do it first thing in the morning: Berklee College professor and author Pat Pattison says, “Two beings inhabit your body”—you and “your writer”—and if you’re like most people, your writer is “lazy” and “could remain blissfully asleep.”

    His advice is to “wake up your writer early so you can spend the day together.”

    To wake up your writer, set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and do 10 minutes of object writing first thing in the morning.

    Stop writing precisely at the 10-minute mark: You may be tempted to do more than 10 minutes. However, if you go over your 10 minutes, you’ll not only find it difficult to consistently block out that time, but you’ll also be tempted to use a longer session one day as an excuse not to do it the next.

    So set a timer and stop promptly at 10 minutes. Even if you are in the middle of a great idea … stop.

    This exercise will help you:

    Learn to write faster. At first, you’ll find you won’t get to your best ideas until the timer goes off. This frustrates your inner writer. But this also trains your writer to get to the “good stuff” faster because your writer doesn’t want to get cut off. Gradually, you’ll get to your best stuff faster and faster until you’re able to instantly tap into your well of good ideas.

    Create better copy. Because you “wake up” your writer early, your writer will be working all day creating a pool of ideas.

    Do this religiously and you’ll find this eliminates your “writer’s block.” Plus, it gives you the ability to tap into copy ideas for things like headlines and leads and autoresponders much quicker than you ever did before. This translates to writing and completing projects faster.

    Your writing push-up for today is to pick a random object and write about it. Use all seven senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste, organic (sensation from internal organs), and kinesthetic (sensory input from the actions of your body). Don’t worry about writing in complete sentences. Just have fun with it. Then let me know how it goes by commenting below.

    Do this every day for six weeks and watch how you start writing better and faster!
  • Make Each Day Count When You Face These Two Truths

    How do you really make each day count?

    I mean, beyond the cliché stuff, like “stopping to smell the roses” or “dancing like no one is watching.”

    But do you really know how to apply that stuff? How to translate it to everyday life?

    I can certainly tell you what not to do (speaking from experience). But I also want to share two practical ways you can really make each day count. Pay attention because this is especially relevant to us freelancers.

    Here’s What Doesn’t Work

    Total control of your schedule is one of the ultimate freelancing perks … but it also paves the road to some mighty temptation.

    My first year as a freelancer, I learned this the hard way. Whenever I was flummoxed by a project or had even the slightest trace of writer’s block, I’d head out – usually to a cafe with my husband.

    I justified it by telling myself, “This is exactly why I’m living the writer’s life – so I can enjoy green chile burritos and piñon candy at the drop of a hat!”

    To say the least, I never went hungry that first year. I also didn’t get a lot of work done. I used my freedom to the max, justifying each outing as quality time with my hubby.

    Those jaunts of pleasure were short-lived. Though pleasant, they didn’t contribute much to my long-term life goals. They certainly didn’t contribute to my short-term income goals.

    After getting intensely frustrated that my career wasn’t moving forward, it hit me. This unproductive spontaneity was my real weakness, especially since I misinterpreted it as making each day count.

    The Most Detrimental Temptation to Freelancers

    It comes down to this: though it’s a gift to be in charge of our time, it’s a waste to not make optimal use of that time. Our blessing as freelancers is that we have the option to take off when necessary and appropriate — not that we should whenever we want just because we can.

    My first real lesson in this came during a conference put on by million-dollar copywriter Dan Kennedy. He was the first person I met who considered spontaneity a bad thing. My previous perception was that it made you fun and exciting as a freelancer … creative, even.

    During the conference, Dan Kennedy shared a copy of his grueling daily schedule. It was something like 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. five days of the week, with only a quick half-hour daily break.

    The guy is a machine.

    After seeing his schedule and feeling like sloths, the other attendees and I got to talking. One fellow copywriter made a couple of good points: for one, Dan probably doesn’t do any laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, etc. The point is, Dan Kennedy’s time goes to writing copy, not running a household.

    With that revelation, several of us chimed in with the obligations we all shoulder. A lot of the copywriters I know can’t outsource all their daily chores. Most are parents, juggling the daily demands of kids. Those who don’t have kids face other duties, like caring for aging parents.

    The point is, most of us have something that saps our time and energy, whether it’s willingly or unwillingly. Plus, none of us got into this field to put in those kinds of hours.

    But what if, just for a moment, we canceled out our excuses (i.e., the things that drain our time and energy)? What if they just didn’t matter anymore?

    Let’s Be Realistic Here … How Much More Time CAN You Spare?

    Let me get one thing straight. I am NOT saying you should sacrifice whatever family or other obligation it is that tethers your time. You can’t give up time with your kids. You can’t start giving less in your role as caretaker.

    But, you can change your other habits. All of us have something that saps our time. For some, it’s television. For others, it’s social outings. Or just plain procrastinating on the Internet.

    I’ve already given up television. I only head out with my friends once a month (if that). But I do spend a lot of leisurely time with my husband and small children. I love and treasure that time.

    Should I give it up? No.

    What I should do is plan for it.

    Temptations Are HUGE Unless You Do This …

    Look at your life. Think about the people who matter most … the activities you most enjoy … the things that make you comfortable.

    If you get rid of all the excess stuff that pollutes your life – from television to junk food to lazing around in bed … will that free you up to embrace the things that matter?

    The trick is to separate temptation from obligation. I think when you feel obligated to sit in your chair and “work,” then temptations become greater and harder to resist. But when you see the payoff at the end, it ceases to be an obligation.

    For me, that payoff is that I can adjust my schedule every day as I see fit. If one of the kids has a doctor’s appointment, I’m there in a heartbeat. My only requirement is that I still put in a set amount of writing time every day.

    If you build up a freelance career that you truly enjoy, which demands the best you have to give, then you won’t feel obligated to put time in at all. You’ll want to do it, just as much as you’ll want to leave your computer behind when you’re done with your work and head out for an afternoon of sunshine.

    The Two Truths You Must Accept

    Here are the two truths that will help you make each day count:
    1. Plan your work and life most of the time and be spontaneous only some of the time.
    2. Replace temptations and obligations with activities/people/experiences you truly enjoy and benefit your life.
    Put these two truths into practice and you’re likely to enjoy your freelance writer’s life a lot more.

    Even better than that, the things that you most want – like a successful, freedom-filled career – will come easier and be more rewarding.
  • Looking for some Feedback - Give Us Your Opinion !

     We've undergone a lot of changes since the beginning of the year - one major one being this new website design! I have a favor to ask of all of you who visit our site, whether you've been frequenting in hopes of new content (which we're working on) or are a first time visitor, we would greatly appreciate if you would take a short survey for us - and maybe even reach out via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter with some advice for us if you have it! As a thank you, we are putting your name in a drawing to win either one free blog post of up to 500 words or a free eBook depending on why you follow us at R&J Creative Services.

    Click Here to Take a Quick Multiple Choice Survey

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