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Janet M. Atwell

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The Expert
By Janet M. Atwell   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Posted: Monday, January 22, 2007

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I had just logged online and an alert popped up that I had an important private message...Following a link that he found in that reply he was directed to my business Website where he found several examples of my work...Who am I to think that I know more than someone with an extensive marketing degree? I’ll tell you who I am.

The Expert

I had just logged online and an alert popped up that I had an important private message. These messages tend to always get my immediate attention when I receive them right away. I don’t want to be interrupted while I am working later. So I opened my messenger service to read it.

I had been a member of a writer’s group for quite some time and the message was from one of the members of that group. He had gotten my name after I answered a post of his asking for help with his work, earlier that day. Following a link that he found in that reply he was directed to my business Website where he found several examples of my work.

A freelance writer’s Website is a necessary evil. It is necessary to show your prospective clients your work. It is evil because when a prospective client stumbles upon the site they often do not understand the form of the writing or the reason behind it. This can, at times cost you a client. Many freelance writers‘, I among them, don’t actually consider this problem until someone like my Internet colleague comes along.

This man, in his genuine concern for my success had taken two of the examples that he found on my site and rewritten them. While what he had done was, with one exception, grammatically and structurally correct, his revisions were written in his voice, not mine. The structure of it no longer suited to my purposes.

After reading his efforts, giving his suggestions careful consideration, and pointing out to him the one exception, which was redundancy, I tried to gently explain the form of my work. After rewriting the first piece he restructured the form, turning the sixteen paragraphs of Website content into six long paragraphs.

My explanation of the work was met with this response, as copied from my history files. Colleague: “Even in web content you need to keep things flowing,”

Janet: “In this case you don’t, not in the normal sense of the word anyway. My work flows with the rest of the content but each paragraph still, in its own way, carries a new idea or thought”

Colleague: “even in web content you need to keep things moving and flowing eveningly”

Janet: “Perhaps in the blogs but most of my stuff goes into a marketing format. This one is already sold to a mold resolution marketer and the EPA.

Colleague: “even in marketing format its ok”

Janet: “Now that’s where I am the expert, in marketing web content and it isn’t okay, I guarantee you that. I have researched it with identical sites. The only difference was the layout of the paragraphs. The site with the longer form did only 27% of the business that the site with the shorter paragraphs did.”

Colleague: “longer form doesn’t translate to longer paragraphs even in marketing formats you have to maintain a readablity of your story if you fail to do that the customer will wonder if they misread something and will have to re-read it. Some will forget about it and move on. complexity in marketing is something that will ruin a business as much as poor management. I had lots of business classes in colleges LOL”

Janet: “Well I am self-educated; I have never been to any school of any kind.”

It was at this juncture that I gave up. I felt insulted and stupid. I logged off the Internet and instead of working that night as I normally do I went to bed. The next morning I had every intention of rewriting everything that was on my Website. “After all” I thought, “who am I to judge. This man has a college education and must know something I don’t.”

My husband was on the telephone when I got up. We have a dial-up Internet connection so I would have to wait. Looking at my files the whole conversation and the way I felt about it haunted me. I knew that something about all this just wasn’t right. I had actually deleted two files when John got off the telephone and I connected to the Internet. I had just finished an eBook a few days before and was about to delete it. As I opened my browser I realized that I was getting angry.

Yes this man is educated and I am not. The fact is that most of the work I do is rewriting the content of websites that were originally written by writers with a college education in marketing. Yet the sites were creating no income, even the sites that had a large hit average on the search engines were not making profits.

Who am I to think that I know more than someone with an extensive marketing degree? I’ll tell you who I am. I am the representative of the non-college educated CONSUMER! That’s who I am. It dawned on me that this person was just like the media today. Always trying to ram down our throats their idea of what WE need and what WE want. I am sick of it.

Let me set a few of you people straight. I am talking to those of you that market but don’t buy and those of you in the media that writes but don’t read. None of you know how to LISTEN! If you did your websites and your magazines and newspapers would sell themselves better.

Marketers, when you post that Website that has paragraphs of nine and ten lines we don’t usually read more than one line or sentence of each after the first paragraph. By the time we have read the first line of seven or eight paragraphs we run to the end to find out how much you are charging for this thing we don’t know if we want or not. Then when we see that you are asking $19.95 or $29.95 we click on that little x that is located on the right corner of our browser or tab. Not only do we have no idea what exactly you were selling but also we don’t care.

Many of these sites begin by you telling us how poor and despondent you were and then you learned the secret. Now you are a millionaire. Hoopla! (Yes dear colleague, it is a word.) Our well wishes to you all but when you have 3-6, 000 words on one page for us to read, even when half of them are testimonials, we simply do not read it! It is doing you no good! Ask your web content writer to read the thing to you aloud. Bet he/she won’t do it. It’s boring!

Media: We don’t give a flying .... in .... who President Clinton exposed himself to, or who Angelina Jolee is living with or that Rosy O’Donnell is gay. Jane Fonda can protest anything she wants. Many of us remember that John Carey was one of the first people to scream ‘Baby Killer’ to the returning Vietnam veterans even though you did not mention it during the campaign. (Why do you think he didn’t win.)?

The exposure of Janet Jackson’s breast was only a big deal because you made it one and we all know that anyone that allows their child to live with or stay with her brother is out for the money.

The majority of us, you know, those of us in the REAL world, don’t care what color you are if we are mad at you. Hillary Clinton will never be president because most of us think that if a person cannot demand and acquire the respect and decency of their spouse they are ill suited to run a country.

Tony the Tiger is cute and funny but if we don’t like corn flakes we don’t think they are Greaaat! The beautiful girl that gets out of the minivan half dressed is not the reason this vehicle is widely popular with mothers of school age children and Nike is a well made product, that’s the reason we spend that kind of money and let our children wear them.

Get a grip people!

Web Site: Janet's Den

Reader Reviews for "The Expert"

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Reviewed by Janet Atwell 7/3/2007
No Jerry, I am sorry but I did not get any message from you. I have been very ill and was also without my computer for a couple of months. I am sorry. Actually, I was not aware of the fact that the entire article had not been posted. I have no idea what I could have done wrong.

I will repost it and see what happens.
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 1/22/2007
I wait with baited breath . . . LOL . . .Did you get my response to your email? . . .

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