RE: How to promote a Web site? (Long)

Subject: RE: How to promote a Web site? (Long)
From: "Steve Schwarzman" <steve -at- writersbookmall -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004 21:21:25 -0500

Darren wrote:
>What do you mean by "mass marketing"? Many local autobody repair shop run
ads in the newspaper and on TV and radio.

You're right. But the auto body repair shop can also make mass sales. It
might have a dozen locations in a metro area, and can handle hundreds of
customers a day. One tech writer can't. So by "mass marketing", I think I
mean both geographic scope, and more importantly, marketing scope. If you
have one "product" to sell (your time as a professional), it's usually going
to be a waste of advertising dollars if you buy ads on the net, in the
paper, or on local TV or radio, or most anywhere else. You're usually going
to be much better off pinpointing your desired market and going after it
with outbound cold calls, letters, and networking.


>Furthermore, if I'm searching for "ottumwa technical writer" and I click on
your link or ad, odds are that I'm not just any old 'cold lead'. I'm looking
to hire a technical writer in Ottumwa, and guess what? The site I've gotten
to provides me with that possibility. After all, every contract or employer
begins as a cold lead, don't they? Can we really afford to ignore the
increasing percentage of possible clients who are searching the Web for your
services? If somebody is that employable, then they shouldn't waste their
time with a Web site at all.

In truth, cold leads do sometimes come in the strangest ways. And of course,
you should have a web site as an independent writer. But I don't think it's
a good strategy for most people to depend on as a significant source for
cold leads. Most clients aren't that well-trained! In your example, the
client already knows he/she needs something called a "technical writer" in
Ottumwa. That would put this client ahead of most, who might not even know
that they need anything. Or if they do, what it's called. Or what you call
someone who produces it. Or what the name of the town next to the town where
the plant is, if they're away in the corporate headquarters. And so on.

Back to the original poster's issue, I'd worry about search engine ranking
for a site selling technical writing services if I were a large body shop
(the human kind, not autos this time) and had a bunch of writers on staff or
on call to handle the mass orders. To be honest, I don't know if that would
be a viable business model ("Tech Writer-Mart"?), but that's another issue.

Steve Schwarzman

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