You’re A Loser! But, There Is Hope (For Your Web Content)

photo of a billboard

According to the Netcraft January 2014 Web Server Survey there are 861,379,152 domain names. Internet users, web superhighway visitors, have no time for bloated, droning content unless you are publishing a detailed research report perhaps.

Web content is plenteous. Web content secrets aren’t really secret. There isn’t any topic which has not been written on. In search it is crucial to catch people’s eye, get them to your page, give them the info they want, and let them get on with what they are doing. Three seconds…that’s all you have.

The Secret of High Speed Marketing

Billboard advertisers learned long ago the secret to high speed advertising is short and pointed.  Just as it is hard to read wordy billboards while blowing down the Interstate so is it to read long posts or even slow down for long titles. Squeeze pages are the billboards of the Internet (when properly designed).

Well formed landing pages yield excellent results.
  • Short titles
  • Concise content
  • Bite size servings
  • Small words
  • Short sentences
  • Short paragraphs
  • Well chosen/created graphics

There you have it. Now how long did it take you to read this and how much value did it bring?

When and Why to Hire a Writer

ken cook content writer
ken cook content writer
Hiring a writer often makes great business sense.

Call me at 678-439-8683 or contact me through this site and let’s see if I am the writer you need to fill some, most or all of your content creation needs.

Of course you can write! And that is not what is in question here. You see ads for people offering writing services, hear about writers for hire and may know someone who has actually hired a writer. Any sensible person who has not done so is likely to begin with the question “why should I hire a writer?” This is a great question and this writer offers his answer, in expected writer fashion.

Begin answering the question with a little exercise by listing all the functions of your company which are critical to satisfying the needs of your client. Now isolate only those functions which you absolutely must perform. Chances are, writing articles for the company blog, creating informational articles, or even writing your own curriculum vitae do not appear on this list. The reason for these not appearing on your list is likely due to the fact that you have many other things to do. Your job, not to downplay the importance of written content, is likely too important and crucial to the function of your small, medium or enterprise business for you to stop and perform all the research, formatting, and assembly of the information required to author the best written content. When the conditions point to needing someone who is familiar with the process and can free you to perform your primary tasks it becomes evident a hired writer is the best solution for developing your content.

In the military we talk continuously about Mission Essential Task Lists (METL) as well as trained and ready troops for each set of functions. Motor pool mechanics, for example, are not called on to serve as mess cooks. Generally the reason for this is because mechanics are not cooks, however, it is also that the mechanic needs to be available to perform their METL and not be tied up in the mess hall when the need for a mechanic arises. Writing content is likely a part of your business METL and likely not a part of your personal METL. Let the writer write so you can continue to perform your METL at the highest level.

Excuses for not hiring a writer

1. It costs too much.

Are you sure it costs to much to hire a writer? Exactly how much does it cost to hire a writer? This author writes well formed and content rich articles beginning from around $50 each. For deep research, rich graphic content, custom maps, and other optional features there is an additional cost, but much more value for the fee than if you take your hands of the wheel for the required hours to try and do it yourself.

2. I don’t need a writer, I can write.

Of course you can can write! I can build houses, rebuild engines, balance wheels, paint signs, and plumb a house. I do not do these because I have other things to do (my personal METL), the professionals have better proficiency through practice (their METL), and I will not be under a vehicle when a client contacts me about my real business. The need for hiring a writer is not about whether or not you can write, it is about leaving you the time to focus on what it is you really do; or what you really *want* to do, your METL.

3. A writer does not know my business like I do.

You are absolutely correct! What a good writer does is begin with a good interview. Once the topic for a writing assignment is known a short interview with you, or the key people in your organization, will provide the writer with invaluable information as well as a feeling for the “personality” of your business. If the writer is creating content about your business and they do not ask for this very important component you are possibly hiring the wrong writer.

4. I need it now and do not have time to wait for an author.

When the time crunch is on and deadlines are tight there is a very strong chance writing an article is not the only thing you are crunching on. Hiring a professional at this important time frees your hands, eyes, and mind to perform more important and/or crucial tasks and meet your overall deadline.

Why hire Ken Cook as a writer?

Believe it or not I may not be the writer for you. However, if you are interested in plain English written on a high school to early college reading level by a 54 year old natural born American (meaning I understand all the nuances of the American English language) and you want to deal directly with the person who will be authoring your content then perhaps I am.  While I do not have a University degree in English or even communications I do have decades of experience in operating small and medium businesses all the way from sales and service, military operations to Chief Operating Officer of a successful real estate mortgage company.

My areas of expertise are customer relations (across industries), business intelligence (I can discover information about your competitors and your own company to help you better recognize avenues for improved performance), marketing and advertising (I have written dozens of radio and cable campaign scripts as well as thousands of web and print articles for clients from around the world), and language use for perception guidance and manipulation (PSYOPS, secret squirrel stuff).

Articles I have written have been for chiropractors, dentists, insurance companies, defense contractors, restaurants, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, plumbing companies, educational institutions, construction companies, and others.

BONUS – I follow, understand and study Search Engine Optimization, Marketing and Science

My first foray into online long predates any search engines. I began in 1988 writing content for Prodigy, AOL and CompuServe. My first client was myself followed quickly by a retail space management company, a commemorative art company, a custom frame company, a nationwide plumbing company, and so it began. By 1995 search engines were beginning to show up and I began following their development and working with my clients to determine how best to have their listing be among the most discoverable.

For some time I was a participant in the Gossamer Threads project and through that association learned a tremendous amount of search science, was introduced to algorithm based filters and valuation, and eventually wrote my first web search spider and indexing engine in 1998. When Google first came onto the scene it was obvious they would eventually dominate the market in the absence of other organizations willing to experiment with algorithm driven indexing. From that time forward I have steadfastly followed Google, taken as many Google classes as possible, and have done my best to have the greatest possible understanding of how to work within the parameters of “good Google etiquette” as possible.

Call me at 678-439-8683 or contact me through this site and let’s see if I am the writer you need to fill some, most or all of your content creation needs.

Who’s Name Goes On The Article?

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.

Image by EloquaCC 2.0

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.

People with SEO skills who have been in business for a few years and who have faced the challenge of creating their own leads often make the best writers. They generally understand the importance of delivering a concise and accurate message while focusing on the points most likely to win the attention of Google. When interviewing your prospective writer ask what they have been doing for the last 10 years.

You can get tons of content from 3rd world countries for pennies. Do I really need to sell our international brothers and sisters down the river? If what you are doing really matters look close to home. This keeps in line with our “perfect grammar does not perfect content create” but adds the unknown factor of “what the heck does this mean” to the outcome. Your site visitors really care when they get content relevant to their search. Your visitors are not always the search engine genius you are so Google does an ever improving job of presenting truly relevant search results to their search customers. In the future they will likely have some mind reading app but it’s not out yet.

How To Buy Web or Blog Content

It should go without saying you need to read what your contractor has written. Furthermore they should be well rounded, experience individuals. Be careful on hiring content companies (content farms) for your personal business if you are an independent professional. Getting your personality across on paper or web page can be a daunting task best not left up to automation, inexperience and shortness of understanding. Be thorough in your appreciation for their talent, skills, experience, and knowledge because you cannot learn most lessons in a classroom or just by Googling the answer!

I will be happy to speak with you about your content needs, provide references and give you an opportunity to experience my abilities without the need for a long-term, heavy obligation through a massive and expensive contract. Just contact me about SEO and custom website content or blog articles for sale.