Who ARE you, Julia?
Before starting spacebarpress media, I was a technical writer and manager at various software companies in the Toronto area, using my Geek powers for good, instead of evil. My parents always hoped I’d use my smarts and Geekiness to become an engineer or something, but I preferred building with words, rather than things. I thought technical writer was close enough, don’t you? (Secretly, I think my mother was pleased I ended up being a professional writer. [She always appreciated the arts more than my dad.])
I Really AM a Geek
I have been passionate about computers and technology for over 30 years. I wrote my first program in 1988 (in BASIC no less), and my beloved Atari 2600 still holds fond memories for me (and shelf space in my closet.) Little did I know how much of an impact it would have on me, even though I wasn’t directly involved in computer sciences, coding, engineering, or anything like that.
In 1996, my last year of university at Queen’s, I remember a bunch of us crowded around one of the shared computers in the library, staring at the first incarnation of Yahoo’s search engine. The conversation went something like this:
“It’s a search engine,” I replied. “You search websites with it.”
“What’s a website?”
We were mesmerized and had no idea where the technology would take us in the next 2 decades. But I was smitten. The Internet fascinated me and I knew then that I’d have to be a part of it somehow (hence the technical writer jobs).
Throughout my years in the tech industry, I’ve worked with some brilliant people at some amazing companies, and seen the flip side of that when the dot.com bubble burst in the early aughts. Which might explain why I ended up as a senior manager of a team of awesome technical writers at a bank. But in those intervening years I was exposed to some interesting tech languages and environments, saw how creatively programmers and developers solved problems and delivered products to customers and worked some long nights (& early mornings) with them all. And I loved every minute of it (even if you heard me complaining about it.) I loved the camaraderie, the collaboration, and creativity that sprouted around me. So fascinating and exciting.
Why spacebarpress media?
Well, I liked the play on words of “spacebarpress”, since I “press” the spacebar so often in my daily life. Secondly, after my years in the trenches as a technical writer, I longed for something more creative. As the technical writer, I was always producing the same type of content. Release notes, administration manuals, online help….lather, rinse, repeat. The software these were attached to may be different, but the work I was producing was essentially the same.
The frustrated novelist in me longed to do something more creative in the tech space. Something that would allow me to still get my fill of tech info and helping people discover the wonder and magic of technology, but in a more creative way.
Enter AWAI and their copywriting courses. From these humble beginnings in copywriting with AWAI, I moved into B2B copywriting and studied courses by Steve Slaunwhite and Ed Gandia. Until I discovered Brian Clark and Copyblogger. At that time, content marketing was still in its infancy, but it sang to me. The idea of creating valuable and helpful content for readers was exactly what I’d been doing as a technical writer, but Brian Clark and the rest of the content marketing pros out there like Ann Handley and Joe Pulizzi put a name to it for me.
“Yes!” I thought to myself about 5 or 6 years ago. “THIS is what I need to be doing.” Creating content in a variety of formats for an audience hungry to learn more about the wonders of technology. Helping clients really connect with their audience, increase their website traffic, and build a community for their content.
That’s why I…
Specialize in content marketing
More specifically, content regeneration for large, enterprise companies. While I have mainly worked with tech companies in the past (B2B and SaaSh tech companies mainly), my work and strategy can be applied to any large company that sells to other companies.
Many of these companies dove into content marketing 5-7 years ago and created a boatload of amazing content that now sits idle. With my help, my clients dust off that content and regenerate it into something that’s relevant and useful to their audiences today. We work together to ensure it fits into their current marketing strategies and help them reap the rewards of that initial investment.
That’s why I love content marketing in general and content regeneration specifically. It allows me to flex my creative muscles as we sort out how to regenerate something into a new asset. Want to know more about how we could work together? Check out this page and decide for yourself.
The nitty gritty
All right, you’re looking for even more info about me? Here you are.
Julia’s tech credentials
- 18+: The number of different Technology companies I’ve written for.
- 30+: The number of software and hardware products I’ve written content & copy for.
- 18: The number of years I’ve worked as a technical writer for tech companies around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
- 13+: The number of different industries I’ve written about.
- 20+: The number of years I’ve spent as a webmaster and amateur web designer. Working mainly in WordPress, I have used and modified themes and websites for myself and a small number of clients.
- 1: The number of programming languages I “speak” (HTML) fluently, though I have a working knowledge of others, such as, like Java, PHP, and XML.
Julia’s writing credentials
- 18: The number of years I’ve worked as a professional writer, first as a technical writer, then a copywriter.
- 30,000: The number of words I wrote in a month while working on a white paper draft two years ago. (Please, don’t ask me to do it again. White papers are NOT my thing.)
- 95: The number of words per minute I can type in English; it drops to about 65-70 when I try to write in French or Italian, but thankfully I only have to do that when writing to family, so they don’t mind the delay in getting my emails.
- 200+: The number of blog posts I’ve written on the spacebarpress blog (though don’t go looking for them all, as I lost some in a web host transfer a few years ago. *sigh*)
- 5: The number of countries my clients have come from, which are (so far): Canada, USA, Spain, France, and Sweden.
Julia’s other interests
- Worked as a tennis line umpire at the Rogers Cup and 2015 PanAm & ParaPanAm Games in Toronto.
- Attending the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games as a spectator. I spent over $13,000 in tickets with a couple of friends to go see everything from the gold medal women’s hockey game to a ton of men’s & women’s curling to short track speed skating, cross-country skiing, and men’s hockey.
- I am a long-suffering Detroit Lions fan, having grown up in the Detroit TV station viewing area, though now I’m die-hard Green Bay Packers fan.
- I am a massive fan of the Montreal Canadiens specifically, and the NHL in general. I’ll watch any good hockey game, regardless of who’s playing. (Go Habs Go!)
- I’ve played sports all my life, including basketball, volleyball, tennis, and ultimate frisbee.
- I’ve recently gotten back into running and try to make it out to at least two races per year.
- Food, wine, and craft beer — not necessarily in that order.
- Sci-fi books and movies
- Trivia and Jeopardy!
Professional Writers Association of Canada
Copyblogger Authority Member and Certified Content Marketer (pending)
The Professional Writer’s Alliance
Circle of Success Member, AWAI