Your knowledge level within almost any area of expertise follows three stages.
1. You dont know enough, and feel inadequate to the task.
2. You know too much, and feel overwhelmed by the knowledge.
3. You know even more, but feel just right.
Heres how these three stages unfold in the area of search engine copywriting.
1. When you dont know enough
As a writer of copy or content online, knowledge of search engine optimization is fast becoming a basic requirement.
When a client or manager hands you a briefing sheet which includes a list of three keywords and phrases, its no longer good enough to look confused and say, Keywords? What am I supposed to do with these?
Then comes that awkward moment when your client or manager realizes you dont know a thing about writing search engine friendly copy, and you realize that your lack of knowledge is making you look very bad indeed.
So you quickly say, Just kidding! I live and breathe keywords! Then you settle down to scale that steep, steep learning curve before anyone realizes youre not being entirely honest.
You now enter a bad and scary stage during which you pretend to know what youre doing, but actually dont.
Related to this is the even worse stage during which you yourself believe you have an adequate level of expertise, but dont.
This stage is characterized by feelings of inappropriate self-confidence and the liberal sharing of really bad advice with anyone unfortunate enough to listen to you.
2. When you know too much
Time passes and you really do get to understand what is happening when search engine spiders crawl through billions of pages of information and decide on the value and relevance of each.
By now you subscribe to a number of SEO newsletters, follow five different discussion forums, are scared to calculate how much you have spent on ebooks...but do wish Wordtracker offered a lifetime membership option.
Your brain is super-saturated with gigabytes of information on keyword saturation, meta tags, Keyword Effective Index ratings and more. This is a strange time for a copywriter or writer of web content.
One day that client or manager will walk up and ask you what the heck happened to the talented writer he used to know and admire. Your writing used to flow like honey. And now it shudders along like lumpy oatmeal. What happened to you?
You look up at him, feeling immeasurably wounded. Does this guy have no idea how hard it is to aim for a top ten listing for these competitive keywords?
This middle stage is best described as, well, lumpy.
Big lumps of new knowledge and information are getting in the way of the smooth and natural flow of your copy and content. Youre overwhelmed. You are trying to carry and make sense of more information than your mind can absorb.
3. When you know even more, but feel fine
In time, those ugly lumps of knowledge are digested, and all you have learned over the previous few months becomes part of the natural flow of your thought processes.
In short, you have become an expert.
All the knowledge you need is there in your mind, and you are able to learn more and absorb more on a daily basis.
Best of all, you are back on form, writing beautifully and finding that you are writing search engine friendly copy on an almost subconscious level now. It just comes naturally. Its second nature. It has become part of what you do.
Sure, you still use Wordtracker for your keyword research. But now, writing for the search engines no longer gets in the way of writing great content and copy for your readers.
If you write for the web, you have to understand SEO. If you are getting away without that knowledge today, it wont be long before your ignorance of this aspect of online writing becomes a problem for you.
If you havent done so already, get learning.
And get past lumpy.
This is a 'How To' kit from Marketing Sherpa - on how to optimize your site pages with the best keywords and phrases. It comprises two reports and one interview transcript. It's great stuff. A report each from Jill Whalen and Karon Thackston. And the transcript of an interview with Jill Whalen. Plenty of examples and screenshots. Lots to learn. For the full review, click here
2. For help in finding the best high-demand/low-supply keywords, read my review of WordTracker
3. For help with writing web page copy with a simple focus, read my review of Ken Evoy's "Make Your Content PRE-Sell"
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