Photo by dan freedigitalphotos.net
Someone just emailed a very valid question. It seems they were wanting to trim back their WordPress database to only the virgin install state and wanted to make sure they backed up only the data tables they needed to accomplish this. There could be arguments that not all of the virgin install data tables need to be restored but the question, verbatim, was, “how many data tables does WordPress use when you first install it?”
The answer is 11.
The same spirit that drives us to become independent professionals often is our own worst enemy when it comes to task performance. Our ambition and our recognition “if anything is going to get done I’m going to have to do it myself” leads us to take on important functions we are neither qualified for nor prepared to handle. In the end it may, put some emphasis on may, turn out fine but even then at what cost?
Are you really the super hero you’re trying to be? Probably not but don’t sweat it – you don’t need to be!
My First Audit
Back in 1985 I had my first IRS audit of a business. I had done all of my own bookkeeping and taxes throughout the years and kept my own record. The visit from the agent was not as frightening as I had expected but the follow up was quite intense. In the end it did turn out fine but the very real stress and anxiety I faced as we went through to process was in no way worth the $750 it would have cost me (back then) to have had the part I did done by a professional. From that point on I never did my own.
Tasks Like SEO or Web Content
Or maybe they are not really less crucial but less well know. At that same business I took quotes on having a 4′x32′ sign painted with my logo and some text. The total cost would have been $900 not including installation. Of course I could do it myself and I sat out to prove it. My final cash investment was $230 including installation. How’d the sign look? Well, it wasn’t bad as they say. It also wasn’t the professional, sleek look I wanted for my business.
Things We Never Think of Doing
Most of us never think of installing our own alarm system, doing our own electrical work or building our own office furniture. What is the difference between the two functions I mentioned performing on my own earlier and these? Why not just go ahead and build my own executive chairs? If you answered like I did, “because I can buy one already professionally built that looks and works much better than mine”, you’d be on the thought track I was searching for.
So if there are things we simply never consider doing what is the line and how do we cross it to do things we “can” do but should not? I mean it’s almost common place for people to take on their own taxes, bookkeeping, advertising, web mastering, and other functions. Trust me, I’ve seen the websites that look like they came with the server for free and have all those free themes and plugins. Your clients and competitors see them too.
I suppose this is a common question for ghost writers, content creators and contract employees who create content for their clients. I get it all the time from my web content and blog content clients. The answer, for my services, is simple: If you buy ready made or generic content my name goes on it. If you retain my services (that means pay me to work for you) then your name goes on the content.
When You Buy Articles Who Is The Author?
You may or may not be aware than many “authors” actually give their writers the idea they want portrayed whether it’s for books, movies or blog articles and that’s the end of their involvement. In other words many “authors” do not actually write their own content. I know, right? Because I cannot speak on behalf of the many content writers out there who choose to write content on which others place their names I will use my services as an example to give you an understanding of how it works. With that said know when I am writing about services or fees I am writing about my services and my fees which may, or may not, be the general rule.
If a client comes to me with a very specific idea of what they want written and my services will mostly be research and assembly of data followed by a corrective re-write or less I generally charge $100 or more for a blog style article giving all rights to the client. On the other hand if someone simply wants 200 words give or take a dozen on the keyword topic of their choice and my name will stay on the blurb it’s literally only five bucks. Now bear in mind this is partially for my publicity so I do not release the full license for use of the content – this is a one off content license for the single purpose and it does not allow for the removal of the author’s information.
What happens when a client needs several pages of web content or blog content created? That’s where content packages come in. Perhaps my most popular package is one month of blog or web content written around a single keyphrase with 8 articles of approximately 500-700 words delivered throughout the month along with tracking through keyword tools (Google) on the performance of those phrases.
Points To Consider When You Want to Buy Content
As terrible as this may sound to my wonderful sister and multi-degreed Dr. Northcutt, the lifelong educator, grammar and sentence structure truly are not the primary consideration where SEO is concerned. Is it important? Oh, you bet – it’s just not the most important. My intent by beginning this section with this slap from a wet trout is to say hiring a writer fresh out of journalism school is not guaranteed to return the advancements you need. In fact this world is all about appeasing the reader with relevant information and that being picked up by Google’s ever changing algorithms as they seek (so they claim) to provide only the best, most relevant information to their search customers.