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Thread: Okay Rip Me Apart!

  1. #1
    Snarke is offline Unknown Net Builder
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    Okay Rip Me Apart!

    As you can tell from my post count (this post makes 3!) I'm new here (even though I signed up months ago).

    I figured I'd post this here in a community of freelancers because I, too, am a freelancer and my well of work has run dry. So dry it makes the Sahara look like the Pacific.

    So I thought I would put it to you. I have a website, it has samples, testimonials, etc. I've been applying for jobs left and right and am offering an extremely low (for me) rate on my work in a couple of other forums and still: nothing.

    What am I doing wrong? What am I doing right? Where should I improve? Feel free to visit my website, it is linked in my signature, and rip it apart with suggestions for how to make it better.

    At this point I'll take all of the advice I can get! Besides, we're trying to build a community here right? Where else can you go for "wow that sucks, but here let me help you" than a community of freelancers who have all either been there already or are still there now?

  2. #2
    Snak3's Avatar
    Snak3 is offline Moderator
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    Hey snarke, Welcome to NB
    Its quite late and i have to go to bed so i didn't have much time to check your sites.
    I checked your personal blog :
    Being a SEO the first thing i noticed is you have a 3+ year old PR3 dofollow blog running on wordpress.

    Ok, the look of your blog says you are a girl. The design is quite nice but as far as optimization and ease-of-use is concerned, its not upto the mark.
    #Sidebars are not properly segregated, so it looks like one big single sidebar.
    #There's no title tag in your header (Add the following to your header file before the </head> section
    Code:
    <title>Snarke's Blog OR any thing</title>
    )
    #No Favicon
    #No Navigation(there's no suitable place i can click to back to the mainpage from an article-page) - add a link leading to your homepage from your logo.

    Well, i know you wanted help in something else, i.e. freelancing, sorry for going off-topic here. Above are just my suggestions

    As far as freelancing is concerned, i'll be honest : sticking to one forum will never help.
    Be a part of atleast 2 of the top forums.
    I'd suggest :
    Digitalpoint
    Netbuilders
    Warrior Forum
    Not too sure about V7N and Sitepoint(haven't been there)

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    Will.Spencer (23 October, 2009)

  4. #3
    Snarke is offline Unknown Net Builder
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    Actually, all of your notes on my blog are quite helpful. I've been searching for a new template that will allow me to turn my blog header into a big ol' button people can click to go back to the main page and one that will allow me to differentiate my sidebars a little more (I'm hoping to find one that will allow me to place some things on the bottom). The not having an easily clickable thing to go back to the home page bugs me too.

    I am, actually a member of DP and WF--I've asked for help on Warrior Forum and gotten some great suggestions there as well.

    I'm going to be working on my page all day so keep the notes coming people And to the others who aren't quite as ready to say "okay help me!" take notes--what people offer me could be helpful to you too!

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    tmongy is offline Net Builder
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    Hi Snarke,

    I was checking out your content services site and have a few comments:

    - At first glance, it is not at all clear what this page is about. The first thing I notice is "Erin Farley" which really tells me nothing still. While on the other hand, the useful bubble on the right saying "Writing and Information Marketing Services" is in such a small font that it is barely noticeable. My suggestion would be to place the text in the bubble in place of where you have "Erin Farley" and make it a larger font so that it is the first thing a visitor sees.

    - I would move the orange bullet point list at the bottom along with the three links at the bottom to the top of the page. In addition I would highlight the bullets outlining the services you offer. Make them stand out more (colour, bold, etc...) and make sure they are also at the top of the page. This is the most important piece of information on the page and it is barely noticeable at the moment.

    These are my 2 cents on the design of your page. Hopefully you find them useful

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    Will.Spencer (23 October, 2009)

  7. #5
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    bogart is offline Super Moderator
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    I would split your project into two. 1) Update website and 2) find freelance work.

    #1) Why not start a thread in the site review forum and get some more suggestions?

    #2) Freelance work

    Have you tried some of the freelance sites like guru, elance and findafreelancer?

    Another suggestion is to write some article packs and sell them on the forum circuit. Point a link back to your freelance site and content sales thread in your signature. The article packs are a great way to find new clients once they like your work.

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    Will.Spencer (23 October, 2009)

  9. #6
    Menard's Avatar
    Menard is offline Easter Bunny
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snak3 View Post
    Ok, the look of your blog says you are a girl.
    And the name 'Erin' wasn't a clue?



    Erin, let me make a few constructive criticisms of the actual content on your site, as you have received plenty of useful suggestions for seo and marketing already.


    In you 'what makes me so special' section, where I am concentrating, the first thing I want to point out is the use of the phrase 'what makes me so special'.

    Remember, your clients are primarily interested in one thing: themselves; and not you.

    Don't sell yourself solely as you; sell yourself as your value to the client.

    A more appropriate heading would be: what makes my services more valuable to you. (sell the value of your services to the client, not your opinions of yourself; they can get that free all day)


    1. Unlike most of my competition, I spent years in the retail trenches, learning sales the hard way. I know how to sell to real people–people who are cautious about spending money in a terrible economy.
    Have you met most of your competition?

    What is it they do which you don't?

    Telling me that you spent 'years in the retail trenches' is the equivalent of telling me that you worked at Kmart; and that doesn't impress me.


    Try something along these lines:

    What distinguishes my services among many competent in this field is years learning sales the tried and true way: person to person. My ability to communicate effectively with people is something I am able to put into writing, and this translates into professionalism and customers for you.

    *Don't speak down about your competition; actually build them up, then sell what you have to offer above that. Leave the 'retail' out of sales. Don't mention the economy; it has become an overused catchphrase, and cliches and catchphrases are poor selling points.


    My theater background allows me to be as flamboyant or as down to earth as you need. If you want to “dress up” your content or copy, I can do that without turning it into the drag queen of your world.
    Try:

    With a background in theatre and drama, your content can be as dressed up or down to Earth as you desire; without turning it into written histrionics.

    *At this point, use a language which already makes the copy belong to the reader: 'your content'. You don't have to sell something they already own.

    Seriously try to avoid language like comparing content to drag queens; I am turned off by that and others may take offense to it. Don't use stereotypes in your sales copy.

    Also try to avoid starting so many sentences with 'I' and 'my'. Unfortunately, employers and clients alike don't want to look at people as people, but as third person services.


    I truly love writing and marketing. I often get a little carried away with “you should try this!” suggestions, and I’m quick to share my ideas which means that you get my years of marketing, writing and selling expertise for free!
    Try:

    Writing, marketing and sales are passions for me. I excel in these areas with many years of experience behind me, which means effectively communicating ideas to your customers (*or readers), which benefit you.

    *Take the ownership away from you and give it to your client; don't communicate your ideas to their customers, but ideas in general.

    "you should try this!" suggestions is something anybody can do and is just rambling in your copy, effectively not appealing to your potential client.


    Sell yourself by:

    1) Making the product belong to the client.

    2) By being positive and pointing out your strengths, not anybody else's perceived weaknesses.

    3) Don't oversell. Too much selling gives the client the opportunity to ask questions; questions are doubts and being that you are not there to handle those doubts you will lose potential clients that way.

    4) Don't sell what you want to sell but what a potential client wants to buy. It is easy to get into a habit of being a used car salesman (my apologies to used car salesmen everywhere).

    5) Provide useful answers up front, and respectfully; what you answer up front is something you don't have to answer later, and, in a sales sense, makes for a more effective close.



    Just some suggestions. The copy I have provided are just examples and not intended to be cut and paste. If something is useful to you, reword it into something you would be comfortable saying (i.e. make it yours).

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    Charles (23 October, 2009), Will.Spencer (23 October, 2009)

  11. #7
    Snarke is offline Unknown Net Builder
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    Thanks for your suggestions everybody! I really am trying to take everyone's suggestions to heart (and am learning a lot, which I love to do so it's a double bonus for me)!

    Incidentally, it wasn't K-mart, it was Borders (And I single handedly built their regular customer base in the Children's Department and Cafes at all three stores I worked at, but I can't quite figure out how to work that into my landing page without using too many words or get sued by the company lol)

  12. #8
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    CoreyFreeman is offline Experienced Net Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snarke View Post
    As you can tell from my post count (this post makes 3!) I'm new here (even though I signed up months ago).

    I figured I'd post this here in a community of freelancers because I, too, am a freelancer and my well of work has run dry. So dry it makes the Sahara look like the Pacific.

    So I thought I would put it to you. I have a website, it has samples, testimonials, etc. I've been applying for jobs left and right and am offering an extremely low (for me) rate on my work in a couple of other forums and still: nothing.

    What am I doing wrong? What am I doing right? Where should I improve? Feel free to visit my website, it is linked in my signature, and rip it apart with suggestions for how to make it better.

    At this point I'll take all of the advice I can get! Besides, we're trying to build a community here right? Where else can you go for "wow that sucks, but here let me help you" than a community of freelancers who have all either been there already or are still there now?

    It's very early in the morning, so my "nice filter" is not fully functioning. Fair warning. Also please understand that I promise I've been freelancing for years and I still make mistakes. This advice is based off of what works for me. Now, here's what you're doing wrong...

    I've been applying for jobs left and right
    Well, stop it! This makes you look desperate for work (and I understand that you are, but clients should think that you're always in high demand) and you're not taking the time to consider the value of each job. Take a breather, assess each job, and apply only if you think you can deliver insanely amazing quality on time and with a smile on your face.

    ...offering an extremely low (for me) rate on my work in a couple of other forums
    Low rate = low quality. Almost always. Dude if you don't even value yourself then why should your customer? Raise. Your. Rates. End of advice.

    What am I doing right?
    You have testimonials. Awesome. =) Too bad you have to click a link to see them on your portfolio...It's also good that you have a healthy list of samples, but you probably only need a couple.

    When displaying "blogs," link to specific posts and clarify the topic. This will give the client more information. A potential client is not really going to go through 30 links. They'll maybe click one. Make sure it's a good one.

    On Your Website

    Your website gets it's own little sub-heading because we need to have a little chat..I don't understand why copywriters left and right are using that blog template...but it sucks.

    The typography is not nice, there is zero personality, and it's kind of majorly turning me off. In addition, there are just too many pages. My point is...consolidate!

    You should have your testimonials on your homepage. At least one, with a link to the rest. In addition, you should combine your previous clients list and your testimonials onto one page. And use a bulleted list. People like those.

    Instead of a link to the "contact form," you should have the actual contact form.

    Also, name your homepage "home." The long little question thingy is not good for usability. Speaking of your homepage, you need to swap around the "about you" ("if you want content...") information with your four "benefits and sales" ("The best copy...") paragraphs. Nobody is going to care about you after two sentences. No offense.

    Finally, find a new theme. If you have the money, buy one. I recommend http://www.headwaythemes.com. Please read the review on my blog at http://www.writerseven.com/headway-for-wordpress-a-freelance-writers-best-friend/

    Oh, and if you want to see an example freelance writer's website, check out http://www.writerseven.com/hire-a-freelance-writer for my own portfolio. I will tell you that I constantly (at least once per week) get contacted for writing jobs. =)

    Okay I hope that helped. Back to bed now...



  13. #9
    Snarke is offline Unknown Net Builder
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    Thanks for the advice

    I like the contact form placed in your sidebar

  14. #10
    Snak3's Avatar
    Snak3 is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menard View Post
    And the name 'Erin' wasn't a clue?
    Actually i had then checked her personal blog(2nd in sig) and not her professional one(1st in sig), so her personal blog is pink but has no sign of her name. I assumed it because of the color

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