Hi. This is an old, unmaintained blog. You may find these sites more to your liking:

Carson Brackney: This is my primary site.

Ad Astra Traffic: Content production/article writing service.

Ad Astra Traffic Team: For those who'd like to get writing gigs with Ad Astra.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Thumbs up...Recognizing your limitations...Facelift for Content Done Better...

The Content Done Better website was a do-it-yourself project. I found a seemingly tolerable (and free) template. I acquired a few graphics. I struggled through coding a contact form.

The result? Well, in a word, disappointing.

It works, but it certainly could be much, much better.

The gap between the reality of my site and my aspirations for it has grated on me for awhile. So has my hypocrisy.

I've written about how designers shouldn't assume they can serve as great content writers (see: Designers and writers...). I've lambasted those who claim writing great copy is easy and that anyone can do it (see: "Am I better than you?"and "Good 'timings' is everything"). Yet, at the very same time, I have been using a self-created site that would make a design guru wince.

Time to take some of my own medicine! I enjoyed putting the site together. Every time I build a webpage, I learn more about HTML, design, etc. It's fun. However, it's not my area of expertise and it certainly isn't something I should entrust to an amateur--even if that amateur is me!

How many times have you seen a content writer telling people about how smart it is to hire an expert to put words on the page because it will produce better results and allow one to focus on their own strengths instead of becoming mired in a process for which they are ill-suited? In one way or another, every web content writer out there has made those arguments. I know I have! And guess what--they are true.

They also cut both ways.

I see writer after writer making their "use an expert" arguments from self-constructed sites that don't measure up to today's visitor expectations and standards. If I want a customer to abandon the "do it yourself" mentality when it makes good business sense to turn matters over to a pro, I should do likewise. I don't know how many visitors to my site have connected those dots, but any who did probably clicked away.

I'm a professional writer, not a professional designer. I've recognized my limitations and have hired a design pro to do a re-work on my main site. I am excited about the improved quality, functionality and appearance that will result. It should be good for business, and it is definitely good in terms of consistency with my message.

My thumbs up today goes for practicing what we preach. As a content writer, that means I should be showing customers that I believe in the written word. That's why I update this blog regularly. That's why I am kicking off a large article marketing campaign as of September 1. It's also why I have decided to shed some hypocrisy and hire a pro to build my new site.

This might be a rather self-congratulatory "thumbs up." Sorry if that's the case. However, I do feel good about the decision and I think that it's something all writers should consider.

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