Received an interesting email response...

by NBSEO
29 replies
I'm an SEO content writer (I keep hearing I should stop marketing myself as an SEO content writer and a writer instead).

I continue to offer SEO writing services because I still feel SEO writing is different than just simply writing, regardless of what people say.

I should actually start marketing myself as a writer with a splash of SEO...

Anyways, I've been emailing companies directly, as I do.

I received a response from a very grumpy internet marketer claiming that I must not be very skilled if my website doesn't rank on page one for search terms. However, I'm not trying to rank my site atm. I'm simply using my site as a domain where I can refer people for further information. I'm marketing myself through other means than the SERPs.

Anyways, his response to me when I explained that I wasn't focusing on SEO on my own site was the following:

Such an odd reply.

Your choice, but to tout yourself as an SEO writing professional and then say that you marketed your self differently prior.... well those two things are simply not aligned.

I say that as in my many years as a professional, if you want to be considered a pro, that means you have all your back-end work done and lead by example. That is what "professional" refers to... and for the record, "professional" means that you have a certification designation e.g. PhD., Dr., MBA tied with a legal designation (certificate to operate e.g. a 'therapist/counselor') in your field of expertise.

Further, the "I will work on my own site when I find the time..." is probably one of the silliest responses (and a sign of inexperience that) I hear all the time. It must be a misguided mindset of a younger generation. That is like me selling cell phones, but only using a land-line to sell them - and then saying that I do not have time to get a cell phone.

To us long-time professionals of marketing and business development, that is:
1. ... backwards from the way you should be setting up your business;
2. ... a typical response when one lacks experience, but is trying to establish themselves; and
3. ... shows an inability to 'practice what you preach' (like I eluded to above)
I suggest that you...
• find a mentor to guide you;
• "make the time" to correct your own site
If you are looking for a mentor, I am available at $73.50 per hour.


Now am I wrong here? I'm just a writer marketing my services...he seems like he might be on a high horse for being a long-term professional, but you still can't blame someone for getting out there and contacting people, right?

Or is he right?

I know there are a lot of scammers out there and there are people who offer services and can't back them up, but I really feel that the services I offer are higher quality than a lot of what's out there in the price range that I offer.

What do you guys think?
#email #interesting #received #response
  • Profile picture of the author Igman
    Hey Nicole,
    This is indeed a very odd reply to your email. :confused:
    I've just checked your website and read several articles on your blog.
    I like the style as well as the content. It is great!

    I read these words on your website.

    "...because writing is my passion
    and business is my pleasure"

    I think you just need to keep on doing what you can do the best - writing!

    Forget about that grumpy internet marketer and move on.

    You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. So be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

    Good Luck,

    Igman
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    • Profile picture of the author NBSEO
      Originally Posted by Igman View Post

      Hey Nicole,
      This is indeed a very odd reply to your email. :confused:
      I've just checked your website and read several articles on your blog.
      I like the style as well as the content. It is great!

      I read these words on your website.

      "...because writing is my passion
      and business is my pleasure"

      I think you just need to keep on doing what you can do the best - writing!

      Forget about that grumpy internet marketer and move on.

      You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. So be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

      Good Luck,

      Igman
      Thanks, I needed to hear that.

      I feel that it's definitely a different generation.

      Certifications are money grabs and many people can be relative experts in most areas. Businesses that fail to realize this won't do so well.
      Signature

      Professional SEO Content Writer

      Warrior for Hire! Premium Content

      Contact me through website as PM inbox is usually full.

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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Scott Jr
    The thing about SEO writing is that people want testimonials and evidence from other sites that you may have written for, and be able to see how they rank for specific terms. You stated that you are using your website as a way for people to get additional information. Do you have testimonials and a portfolio? Because if you don't, people will view your website as the sample, even though that isn't the purpose of your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I rather agree with him. If I were calling myself a SEO "anything," my site would be at the top of page one of Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Call me grumpy but I agree with your prospect. If you solicit me and
    identify yourself as an SEO writer I expect to see evidence of your skills.

    The best evidence is your own site... I think your excuse is lame. It's
    perfectly fine to market yourself in a variety of ways... everyone should...
    but when you claim to specialize in something you should certainly be an
    example of it yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author katrim
    I think that he has a point, I wouldn't go to a dentist with bad breath either. Of course it's a different thing but I think you need to take care of yourself if you're going to sell "a brand".
    I'm not saying you should be right up there, but rather the best you can to show your skills and put yourself out there in any way you can.

    But the reply itself is a bit mean, especially bringing the remuneration into the pot.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I'm always suspicious of anyone who has the time to write such long
    emails in response to a marketing message. I mean, if I'm not interested
    in your service then I just delete your email. Why take all that time to
    write you a response? As if I don't have anything better to do in
    my own business.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author gixxer
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      I'm always suspicious of anyone who has the time to write such long
      emails in response to a marketing message. I mean, if I'm not interested
      in your service then I just delete your email. Why take all that time to
      write you a response? As if I don't have anything better to do in
      my own business.

      -Ray Edwards
      Yes! Ray nailed it for sure!

      Of course, I'm sure this guy is a master of time management also, so he has time to rock his business as well as send you nasty replies.

      Adam
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      • Profile picture of the author gixxer
        NB,

        I think can actually give you a pretty thoughtful perspective on this type of thing. My early efforts as a solo entrepreneur were as as a freelance business and technical writer targeting corporations. That branched off into some internet marketing services for clients also. I eventually followed my passion for health and fitness, started my own blog, got a book published, etc., etc. in large part because I couldn't stand dealing with the types of emails you received.

        I'm very much not a corporate type, which was part of my problem, but I found that serving corporate clients meant a lot of replies like the one you got and even worse stuff once I got the clients/contract and had to navigate their organization and deal with the internal politics. It's really what drove me to go 100% into blogging and take full creative control of my content.

        There are a lot of people who work for companies at the higher levels who are stressed out of their minds as the economy changes and have no idea what to do about it or what all the "technology stuff" is even all about. They have very limited understanding and everything they do comes from that group think "for the record, 'professional' means that you have a certification designation e.g. PhD., Dr., MBA tied with a legal designation (certificate to operate e.g. a 'therapist/counselor') in your field of expertise" paradigm.

        These people are dinosaurs and they just can't get their head around the idea that the world is changing so fast, by the time there was a "PhD in SEO" program even approved by a major university, the curriculum would be obsolete. They're stuck in an obsolete world view and will never change. If they're old enough and have achieved enough success in the old economy, they can still pretend they know what they're talking about and be OK financially though. What scares these people most is that a kid working off a laptop from Starbucks can rock the world without "climbing the corporate ladder" or slaving away for years and years in college and taking on a mountain of debt.

        It's also my experience that people who write replies like that are a million times worse to work for. I worked as a freelancer for a university and it was an incredible nightmare. Some corporate cultures just thrive on that kind of negativity and probably everyone he works with communicates like that on a daily basis. Those are old economy environments and they thrive on fear and negativity.

        One suggestion I'd make is to check out "Book Yourself Solid" by Michael Port. I worked with Michael one on one and in a group online intensive program back before he was as big as he is now. His system is designed around marketing yourself in such a was as to allow yourself to be found and approached by prospective clients. It's kind of an "Inbound Marketing" approach for service professionals. Very good stuff and it led to my current level of success - virtually all of which was achieved by a lot of back end work on my part, but with people ultimately coming to me as opposed to me chasing and cold calling or showing up with an "empty cup" in need of help or clients, etc.

        And, to everyone's point about how your own site ranks, etc., etc. there is some validity, but I don't totally agree. I turned into an out of shape fat ass while writing my book - about diet, health and fitness. Too much pressure and too many aggressive deadlines and I had to focus on the book. Now I'm more balanced, but if you had a video camera on me during the final few months of editing I would not have been the model of health, wellness and low stress.

        Back to Michael Port and BYS, you do need SOME credibility indicators. Testimonials from clients and at least CLIENT sites that rock for designated keywords. If you're too new to have a lot of client work to point to then you SHOULD have a site that ranks well for certain keywords.

        The last bit I'll give you here is that you're always growing - or should be - even if your site isn't as good as it can be, your sales funnel receives replies like the above, your experience isn't where it could be, etc., etc. it's OK. I still suck at A LOT of things. As long as you keep improving you're doing fine. Think about what you can change or improve and keep growing.

        Adam
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    • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      I'm always suspicious of anyone who has the time to write such long
      emails in response to a marketing message. I mean, if I'm not interested
      in your service then I just delete your email. Why take all that time to
      write you a response? As if I don't have anything better to do in
      my own business.

      -Ray Edwards
      Maybe this guy felt compelled to try and help someone and took the time to explain. You know, good deeds, pay it forward, etc. You've done plenty of that here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joan Altz
    I wouldn't get hung up on it. I'm sure several people you contact feel the same way as he does and they just delete your message. He wanted to reply for whatever reason known only to himself. Some will like you and some won't (even with a pro degree and proof galore). He's not the right match for your services, that's all.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Sorry. I also agree with the prospect. You need to either pick that site up or stop marketing yourself as a SEO expert.
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    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
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  • Profile picture of the author Theo A
    He sounds like a grumpy old fart, your site is there to showcase you work. If I was serious about hiring you I would head over to your site and look over your work and ask you a couple of questions to qualify you. Ranking your website and providing an SEO writing service are two different things in my opinion. He's obviously selling something and I'm not buying.
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  • Profile picture of the author JRJWrites
    Originally Posted by NBSEO View Post

    Or is he right?
    I would say he is. He has every right to question your own abilities if he doesn't see them on your own website. Especially since you have a density of 7.6% for the keyword "SEO" in your latest post....

    Originally Posted by NBSEO View Post


    I know there are a lot of scammers out there and there are people who offer services and can't back them up, but I really feel that the services I offer are higher quality than a lot of what's out there in the price range that I offer.

    What do you guys think?
    Considering that you're a writer, and you've just wrote such an extensive post about your business, and you just summed up stating that you offer high-quality services...I'm starting to think that this thread is a bit of self-promotion, maybe?

    Of course, I could be wrong, in which case you are definitely entitled to virtually bash me.
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    • Profile picture of the author nrupen
      Originally Posted by jrjohn View Post

      Considering that you're a writer, and you've just wrote such an extensive post about your business, and you just summed up stating that you offer high-quality services...I'm starting to think that this thread is a bit of self-promotion, maybe?

      Of course, I could be wrong, in which case you are definitely entitled to virtually bash me.
      You are not the only one who feels like that. I am also feeling like this thread is nothing more than self promotion.
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  • Profile picture of the author datingworld
    @NBSEO,
    the lesson you learnt from all this is................

    It's time to give some attention to your own site as well, better to rank it in top searches, at the end of the day it will give you more and more clients and you will never hear from such a grumpy marketer in the future.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bjarne Eldhuset
      I personally want people-optimized content, but I took a minute to check out your website.

      If you really want to go for the SEO content angle, it might be a good idea to explain on your website:

      1. Why someone would need SEO content
      2. What characterizes the best SEO content. If it is different from "regular" content, explain what is different.
      3. Why you are the best person under the sun to create this content
      4. What separates your service from other (perhaps cheaper) services that also claim to write SEO content? Possible answer: You write for people too, not only for the search engines. etc.

      Also, if you could get to the top of Google search results for your name (or for SEO content, but that's probably harder), that would certainly be positive for credibility.
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  • Profile picture of the author fated82
    He has a point.

    In fact, you should thank him.

    Why?

    Because he took the time to write back to you and tell you what you did wrong (most people just delete your email, yet he took the time to response).

    If you market yourself as an SEO writer, you need to show proof that your writing can rank on serp.

    Does it have to be your website? Maybe not...it could be your client's. But the best proof is that you have done it on your own site.

    Think about this, if I tell you I write great copy but my website isn't compelling, would you hire me?
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    He probably is not the first person who asked that silly question, people often want proof of what you claim to be. So bottom line is that he was a clever person and he really has a point, if you want to be successful you need not to ignore your own site because this is the way you can impress the prospect.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyt
    I too agree with the prospect. Your work speaks for yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    Originally Posted by NBSEO View Post

    However, I'm not trying to rank my site atm. I'm simply using my site as a domain where I can refer people for further information. I'm marketing myself through other means than the SERPs.
    This is what every SEO person I have ever talked to says about their site being on page 10 of the SERPS

    al
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I agree with the people telling you to just be a writer and stop the SEO nonsense. When your goal is to work a certain number of keywords into an piece, your writing, the info you deliver, your style and level of engagement with the reader all suffer.

    I agree in principle with the response as well. You can't fly in different directions at the same time. It's like people here claiming to have all the goodies on SEO in their sig, yet they're asking questions about how to drive traffic to their pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
    Originally Posted by NBSEO View Post

    ...
    I say that as in my many years as a professional, if you want to be considered a pro, that means you have all your back-end work done and lead by example. That is what "professional" refers to... and for the record, "professional" means that you have a certification designation e.g. PhD., Dr., MBA tied with a legal designation (certificate to operate e.g. a 'therapist/counselor') in your field of expertise.
    ...

    To us long-time professionals of marketing and business development, ...
    ...
    If you are looking for a mentor, I am available at $73.50 per hour.
    The underlining is mine. Apparently/obviously, I have missed something major. What is the legal designation for an internet marketeer and what government entity issues a certificate to operate as a internet marketeer? Absolutely none that I know of.

    I think Grumpy is just that - grumpy - and full of hot air. He is trying to claim to be that which he is not - a professional. He is trying to turn your email into a solicitation for his so called mentor services.

    Relative to your web site and seo content writing, they are actually 2 different things. You can be a GREAT seo content writer and easily have a web site full of great examples, but the site doesn't rank or doesn't rank well. Content is ONLY A PART OF SEO. Go over to the SEO sub-forum and you will see that there are a lot of factors, and I mean a lot, that affect SEO.

    Forget about Grumpy and his worthless solicitation.
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  • Profile picture of the author wordpressmania
    Why not take some part of his reply as some valuable suggestions?

    Give some time to do some SEO for your site. I believed he has a strong point. Your site may not looks good as you are not a designer but your website should be ranked on search engine using your article. I think this can be your best portfolio site as well.

    It is up to you, whether you need a mentor or not, but I think you do not need a mentor.


    Thanks
    Sabbir
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Hi NBSEO,

    Originally Posted by NBSEO View Post

    I'm marketing myself through other means than the SERPs.
    Like in forums, for example?

    Sure it was a pompous response, but you did rather set yourself up for it, especially if you're emailing companies directly.

    Just curious - if you saw someone on this forum offering proofreading services and there were typos in his post, would that inspire you with confidence in his ability? If not, how is your situation any different?


    Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author kingde
    If people knew what they were doing, (assuming your work is solid) then they would recognize the value of your service, how much time and money it saves them vs the competition and doing it themselves and you having repeat customers is probably a good enough sign that you are providing value to people.

    For those who don't really know what they are doing, they are just looking for something to put their faith into, and those little loaded buzzwords like SEO, ranking, placement etc get them excited that they have found a long sought out 'answer'...

    You are not claiming to be a SEO specialist, but just to provide some tools that assist in that process. To come across as legit, you could just ask some known and respected people about the quality of your work (by them just reading it per their own specs). But actually proving it and testing it out is a long drawn out process and probably hard to prove it was your articles that got them ranked anyway (since so many other factors come into play - especially how Google feels on any given day)

    Stop listening to whiners.. as long as you can get some clients who recognize the value you provide, trying to please everyone is a losing proposition :-)

    Whether you know how to improve the rankings yourself for your site or you have someone else do it, it probably is an investment of time and money that should pay back for itself. Any business owner has to deal with uncertainties and taking small gambles and have to go with their gut on certain decisions. Having to judge your work by the probability that they will get ranked is putting to much faith outside their own decision making process. They have the freedom to shop around but to know they have found the 'best' may never happen with SEO. What works for one may not work for the other.
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  • Profile picture of the author WritingReflex
    I agree with Ken.

    If you were selling SEO as a service, then obviously it would look better if your site ranked high in the SERPs, but as you are not, I don't see what difference it makes where your site ranks. You're selling SEO'd articles, not a ranking service.
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  • Profile picture of the author WriterWahm
    If you're just offering writing services...then there's no big deal. You just need to make sure your writing is above board and you're good. However, if you say you are an SEO Professional, then you need to step up your game. Saying you didn't have time to work on your website was unprofessional. I don't agree with his statement that you need a certification or anything like that, but you do need to have respect for what you do and be professional about it.

    My 2 cents.
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