Melanie Brooks
Melanie Brooks has written for newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites, covering topics from weddings to WiFi. She is currently the editor of Bangor Metro magazine and co-owner of Real Maine Weddings magazine.
  • Business
    How to Get Your Freelance Business News Successfully PublishedPreview photodune 3538096 megaphone xs
    Your freelance business is doing something great—no, colossal—and you want to share the news with the world! Before you start emailing your press release and calling every newspaper, magazine, blogger, radio and TV station in the tri-state area, take a deep breath and make a plan. As the editor of two glossy magazines, I know a thing or two about how to pitch someone like me. There is a right way to do it, and a wrong way to do it. You don’t want to alienate the people who have the power to give you press, so here are some suggestions on how to make a great first impression:Read More…
  • Business
    Color Psychology: What Color Says About YouColor psychology what color says about you
    There’s a reason you see a smattering of women in red business suits in the crowd when you watch the State of the Union address on TV. Red is a power color, and these are powerful women! The colors you choose to wear and even brand yourself with say a lot about you—individually and as a business. I have very few business suits. My absolute favorite one is a gorgeous tangerine and hot pink brocade with a mandarin collar. It’s hot. It stands out from the crowd. It is not conservative. Whenever I wear it, I get lots of compliments. It’s sooooooo me! But I’m not trying to blend in with everyone else around me. That’s not my M.O. I’m a freelance writer, editor, and entrepreneur. I like to have fun with color. I know what colors look good on me and I wear them as often as possible. Does that mean I have an abnormally large collection of bright green shirts? Yes, it does. I really enjoyed reading this article on about being color conscious. Wearing bold, brash colors might not be a great idea for someone who makes a living managing other peoples’ money. You don’t want your financial adviser to look quirky and brash. You want someone who presents themselves in a polished, even conservative manner. That’s why black, gray, and khaki are such popular, classic colors. But what if you were creating an ad marketing campaign from scratch, or designing a new website? What would you want your designer to look like? I’m guessing the word “boring” doesn’t instantly come to mind. Which is why creative professionals need to be cognizant of color, whether it’s what they wear on their bodies or what is used on their websites. Take a peek into your closet and at your website or marketing materials and notice what colors are most prevalent. Lets take a look at what those colors might say about you, according to the psychology of color:Read More…
  • Business
    How to Make the Most Out of a Conference or ExpoHow make most out  conference or expo
    An expo or a conference is a great way to network with other people who work in your industry, as well as a great place to reach a target market. I co-own and edit a wedding magazine, so I’ve been to my fair share of bridal expos. And I’ve learned a lot from being surrounded by other vendors as well as dealing with attendees. I found some excellent blog posts written by professional who have great advice on how to make the most of your time at a conference or expo. I've used some of their tips to illustrate my thoughts. If you'll be attending a conference soon, then these tips are assembled just for you. Do Your Research Before You Go You might have to sign up to attend sessions in advance, so make sure to look up the topics and speakers ahead of time. The most popular sessions will fill up fast, so don’t wait to decide on what you want to attend on the day of the event—you might not get a seat! A good strategy before conferences once you've seen the speaker and attendee list is to select the people you'd like to connect with. If you're well established in the topic, perhaps you want to focus on making a few really strong and solid connections. If you're just getting started and want to use the conference to get to know people, aim for a higher number. — Think about what you want to learn and take away from the conference, and plan your agenda accordingly. You aren’t going to be able to go to every session and meet every speaker—so make sure to make a list of priorities.Read More…
  • Business
    11 AP Style Guide Rules That Are Easy to Mess Up11 ap style guide rules that%20are easy mess up
    When I was in journalism school (in both the late 1990s and mid 2000s), the AP Stylebook was our bible. We didn’t go to class without it and frequently had quizzes and assignments built around it. I recently wrote a blog post about the future of journalism and how astonished I was to learn that my undergraduate journalism students were never made to even purchase their own copy of the AP Stylebook, let alone use it. If you are going to write for a newspaper (even some magazines) you need to have your AP Style Guide handy. And the more current the style guide the better. So when I found this article at about frequently botched AP style points, I thought I’d share them.Read More…