Browsing Month October, 2010

Teenage schoolgirls go wild.

October 25th, 2010 // 1:06 pm @ // 2 Comments

Hello there. Long time no read eh? Well stop your fretting and a’worrying, I’m back. Missed me? No? Oh well, suit yourselves. I had a lovely holiday anyway, thanks for asking. Right. Now you may be wondering about the headline and, frankly, I don’t blame you. A few lines in and absolutely no mention of teenage schoolgirls, wild or otherwise. Well there’s a reason for it and that reason is this. Since I got back, ( From Portugal actually. Portimao. Yes, lovely. Oh definitely.), I’ve been thinking long and hard about SEO. ( in fact, I put ‘long and hard’ in there on purpose, apparently that’s pretty big on the ‘keyword’ front. ) and I’ve realised that, by ignoring SEO for some time, I may have been missing a trick or two. ( Key ) word is, it’s the way to get the big hits on your website. Just shove in a few search friendly terms, Katy Perry’s tits, wet ‘ n’ wild, Pussycat Dolls get naked, and you’ll have people beating ( ooer ) a path to your site in their droves.

Now I’ve never really been all that keen on writing specifically to cater for search engines and ‘spiders’ and things, as I feel it can, win a Ferrari now, get bigger, last longer, drive her wild, really spoil the natural flow of your copy and generally, lose weight fast, claim your 50 million dollars, save £££££’s, ruin the ‘feel’ of a piece. However, it seems that it’s the way of today, tomorrow and a brighter future for YOU! And old stick-in-the-muds like me are just clinging to the past. Well written, carefully crafted copy is woefully old hat. No-one’s interested, no-one cares and, lets face it, no-one reads the words. Just ask any Art-Director, ( if he/she’ll listen, between playing with their iPad or hitting the shuffle on their iPod ), or Account Exec, ( if he/she’ll listen, between tweeting or fellating a client ), and they’ll tell you straight. Copy’s dead. Or at least Copywriters are. Anyone who’s ever written a shopping list can write, so why bother paying for a writer? Particularly since the client will want to change every other word anyway. In fact, why not just let the client write it themselves? Happy client, happy suit, shit ad, everyone’s a winner.

Anyway, I’m digressing now. Can you tell I’m feeling slightly bitter? It’s the holiday that’s to blame I reckon. A couple of weeks of an ad free life and one’s perspective changes ever so slightly. Then you get back to the reality of the advertising industry and it all crashes in again.

Meanwhile, back to SEO. Speaking as a Freelance Copywriter, based in The Manchester Area and Specialising In Websites, TV, Radio, Press and Print, you just can’t ignore it. No. Really. Much as you may want to you just can’t. The reason being that it’s the new Big Thing. The new Holy Grail. The thing that’s going to set your site apart from all the rest. That’s right. It’ll set your site apart from all the rest of those sites, by using exactly the same godawful SEO techniques and tricks as all the rest of those sites. Good eh?

Now, call me old fashioned, ( not all at once. Jesus. ), but I can’t help feeling that there’s just a whiff of The Emperor’s New Clothes about it all. Fine, maybe liberally dousing your website in keywords and links and clever HTML code is going to drag the punters to your site but what’s going to keep them there? Not bleeding SEO-tailored copy that’s for sure.

You see, people aren’t stupid, ( Well, ok. No, if that’s the case I can’t explain the X-Factor either ), or shall we say not everyone’s stupid? And surely you don’t really want stupid people coming to your site anyway? They can be terribly difficult to deal with. So how about we just temper the whole SEO thing a little? There are loads of clever SEO tricks that can be incorporated into the building of a website that needn’t encroach on the copy at all. Honest, loads of techniques for making your site come out tops in the search pages and point interested parties in your direction.

But wouldn’t it be nice if, when they got there, they had some really nice words to read? Some clever, considered, crafted copy that treats your potential clients with a little respect and makes the visit worthwhile. Satisfying even. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Just a thought.

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October 2nd, 2010 // 12:32 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Now would you believe it? I’m starting yet another post with an apology. Yes, again. Right, I’m terribly sorry but there will now follow a short break from thatandywhiteblog. Why? Because I’m going on my hols, that’s why. I’m off to Portugal for the next couple of weeks so please talk amongst yourselves for a bit, I’ll try to write something interesting to make up  for it when I get back. Yes, I know that’ll be a first. Thanks for mentioning it. Really, Cheers.

I should also point out that it’s not even going to be a real holiday all the way through. It won’t all be lazing by the pool drinking chilled cocktails and leafing through a summer blockbuster. Oh no, as a freelance copywriter I’m constantly on duty, so there’ll be some copywriting work too. I’ve got to see a man about a website. Or a woman. Or a man and a woman. Or some men and some women. Look, I don’t actually know exactly who I’m seeing yet but I’m seeing someone. Or someones.

So, try to struggle through without me. I’ll try my best to cope without your support and all the lovely comments that you keep sending in. Thanks, both of you.

For now, I’ll leave you with a song. Take care and I’ll see you soon.

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"I was just saying how good it was to work with someone who I knew would nail it. Thanks, Andy"

Steve Byrne, MD, The Gate Films

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