Hi. I’m Ian Muehlenhaus.

I Write for Diverse Audiences Across Media

I have over a decade of experience publishing and editing across different genres, mediums, and for varying audiences. My writing portfolio includes content-marketing, curriculum design, SEO copy, web copy, print ad copy, a K12 textbook, a higher-ed textbook, technical articles involving coding, technical blogs, medical blogs, eLearning articles, peer-reviewed research on geopolitics and GIS, and many book reviews written on contract.

In my spare time I also write feature-length screenplays and blog reviews of household technology and video games. (Salary be damned. Writing is fun!)

I’m a Scientist Who Knows How to Communicate

I’m passionate about explaining complicated things as clearly as possible. The key to good scientific writing is empathy for the reader. On a superficial level, this requires stripping things down – Strunk & White 101. Beyond that, it’s crucial to build a rapport with the reader right from the start. (Hopefully we have one going…) Competent and clear communication with personality retains attention and helps readers absorb what you’re writing, no matter how complicated it might be.

I Create Copy That Converts

When I began at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, I was tasked with creating a new, revenue-generating online master’s program from scratch. I had one year and no budget. I knew the only way to make the situation work was by not approaching marketing like scientists do. My first two months I became a student of copywriting and SEO best practices – poring over books, blogs, and journal articles on persuasive writing like a mad man.

I took what I learned and crafted drip campaigns and landing pages with irresistible click-bait. Once on our site, leads were ours. The website copy pulled them in – most leads skipped the prospect phase altogether and went straight to applicant.

Elbow grease and copy took the program from nothing to nearly a $1 million in revenue its first year. It also helped advance my career; I now oversee the development of all revenue-generating programs at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Researcher of Persuasive Visualization

I have a Ph.D. in Geography, but that glosses over my research specialty – persuasive visualization. My doctorate research resulted in the development of a new taxonomy of persuasive map design. Several of my research articles demonstrate how varying map visuals can literally change what people believe – e.g., turns out visual messaging on a map can convince people that whale hunting isn’t “that” bad!

As a geographer, I know how and when to use both quantitative and qualitative research methods. I’ve interviewed fascist and Marxist extremist groups in Hungary; I’ve also conducted quantitative content analysis and user-impact studies. In my current position, I do market research for the university.

I know how to collaborate and build research networks too! I am currently the Chair of the Commission on Map Design for the International Cartographic Association (ICA). In this position, I collaborate with visualization experts around the world on big-data visualization research.

Coding and Writing for the Internet

In addition to Adobe Creative Suite, I am proficient in a variety of technical and coding skills (please see resume for a full list). I’m comfortable in Python 3 and web development, as well as Bash scripting and Linux-based servers. I also like to build and experiment with Internet of Things (IoT) Raspberry Pi devices and Arduinos. Finally, I love writing in Markdown, and I have experience writing scripts for vlogs and podcasts using FinalDraft 10.