First and foremost—thank you for your interest in and support of LGBTQ entrepreneurs. In times like these, it matters.
My work often operates at the intersection of journalism, creatorship, and consulting. As such, it may be helpful for you to know where I stand with regard to values, ethics, and editorial style.
Here are more details on my commitments as a journalist, business owner, and creator, along with what you can expect from me when you read articles on this website or in other media publications.
Statements and Disclosures
The Role of an Editor
My primary vocation for the last several years has been as a writer and editor. Editing transforms “good enough” posts into stories that stick with readers for weeks, months, or longer. Editors must operate with precision, patience, strategy, and up-to-date knowledge of the industry and demographic they are editing for.
As editors, our job is not to “fix” writers’ drafts, but rather ask questions and make suggestions that guide writers towards producing the most expressive and effective version of their own voice.
As a professional journalist, I align my editorial values with the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics. The code of ethics is available here in both web page and downloadable PDF formats for free. Here is a selected passage from the code’s preamble:
“Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.”
Content should be easy to read. It should add value to a reader’s day, whether that be via education, entertainment, or both.
Design and user interface should support this. When necessary, an image, diagram, video, or embed should be included to heighten the comment experience. This is the world wide web, not a print magazine; if an embed or chart would make the content more helpful or easier to understand, that should be pursued.
Blog posts here on nickwolny.com aspire to be succinct, but they are optimized for search engine visibility first, meaning they often include keywords and phrases with a goal to appear more often in search engines. I run a small publication on Medium, The 700-Word Read, that showcases more rigorous editing.
We are committed to accessibility and a great user experience. Pop-ups are kept to a minimum, and we work to make the site’s load speed very fast.
Affiliate Link Disclosures
Some of the services, programs, or product recommendations I make on this website are affiliate links, for which I may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend offers and products I consume or have consumed myself.
Affiliate links are clearly marked for transparency.
At this time, we do not purchase or outsource any editorial, and are not compensated by companies or people to write about topics on this website (outside of affiliate links, as previously disclosed). All content on this website has been written by me.
If and when guest writers are invited to contribute, their bylines will be clearly marked, and their contract agreements will be equitable and fair.
ChatGPT and Other Writing AIs
In the age of ChatGPT, editorial transparency is incredibly important. At this time, we use AI technology in the following ways to assist the creative process.
- Otter.ai. I use Otter.ai for interview notes and video transcriptions. Otter.ai is a machine transcription SaaS that leverages AI technology.
- Surfer. I use Surfer for search engine optimization help. Surfer is a content improvement tool that leverages AI technologies to do audits on existing content and make improvement recommendations.
- Notion AI. I sometimes use Notion’s built-in AI function to see how an AI will write about a topic, so that I can make sure I don’t write about that topic in that way. Notion is a freemium SaaS that recently incorporated OpenAI’s API and technologies.
My perspective is this: I personally don’t need an AI to create content. I already know how to research, report, outline, write, edit, and publish quality editorial, and can do so on deadline. This is thanks to years of experience, plenty of trial and error, and a passion for this work.
In contrast, my clients and readers have expertise and/or interest in other areas, not publishing. So for them, a writing AI is valuable and attractive, and I completely get that.
Therefore, in the interest of market research, I do prefer to keep up on what people are creating and automating with chatbots, as this knowledge is vital to remain at the forefront of the industry.
Signup forms on this website were built on ActiveCampaign, a leading email service provider. Read my review of them here. Data mishandling is not cute, so we strictly adhere to all GDPR requirements.
To confirm that new subscribers actually do want to be added to an email newsletter, we use a “double opt-in,” meaning users must go to their inbox and reconfirm their address from within the inbox to actually be subscribed.
Hefty Media Group and Camp Wordsmith®
Less Noise More Volume dba Hefty Media Group, established in 2016, is my marketing consulting company. Our company is classified as NAICS Code 541613, is a single-member LLC, and is classified as an S-corporation for tax purposes. Hefty Media Group is a remote-first company headquartered in Los Angeles, California that offers consulting services, either privately or through our core program, Camp Wordsmith®.
Camp Wordsmith is a content marketing strategy program for business stakeholders, service providers, and online professionals. It debuted in November 2021, and includes resources on content writing and marketing, swipe files for easy implementation, and a custom-built program portal. Hefty Media Group secured the Camp Wordsmith trademark in March 2023.
Hefty Media Group’s private consulting was downsized when I accepted an editor position with Red Ventures in March 2022, but remains active. Private clients are contingent upon having no conflicts of interest.
This website was built by Civilized Savage, a web development company. Our headline font is Source Serif Pro Black, and our paragraph font is Source Sans Pro. This typography was selected for accessibility and simplicity.
This blog follows AP style, with a few exceptions, as outlined below.
This blog maintains the “Dr.” honorarium. Given that much of my coverage is of non-medical professionals who themselves have years or even decades of research experience, I prefer to express this honorarium throughout a piece.
Example: Dr. Jane Doe, board-certified psychiatrist.
- AP style would be: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, said Jane Doe, a board-certified psychiatrist. “That fox had some energy,” Doe said.
- I prefer: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, said Dr. Jane Doe, a board-certified psychiatrist. “That fox had some energy,” Dr. Doe said.
This blog is serial comma-fluid. AP style prefers the serial comma, the Chicago Manual of Style doesn’t, and, well, I like both options. I use the serial comma about 90% of the time, but exercise the right to forgo it for the sake of creating momentum when appropriate.
More to Come
You can always return to this space to reference disclosures. Thank you for your interest in the editorial process. ⬥