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Insights from the SES Trade Show

Last week, Textbroker was at the SES Conference, a great trade show that brings together search engine optimization (SEO) firms, web designers, and interactive media companies. All three of these businesses are our target customers and our best customers. If you haven't, take a look at our post on SEO companies and what they want.

Most of the folks we met at the show were potential new clients. We did have a few current clients stop by, who were positive about both our system and our writers. Their suggestions for improvement focused on new capabilities in our system, not for improvements in the writers. In general, you guys are doing a great job for our clients!

There were a things that came up in our conversations that authors could improve on. A few of our clients, including one who places level 5 orders, mentioned that it seemed like some authors were using templates or framework to complete their articles. One client went so far as to blacklist authors who he felt were getting in a rut, closing those authors off from lucrative assignments. He felt bad about it, but he was going to poke his eyes out if he had to see another article that started the same way.

I know that when a large order comes out with similar keywords, you want to complete as many as possible. It makes sense to capitalize on the knowledge that you already have. Since we promise unique content to our clients, we require the articles that you submit to be unique too. Most of you do a great job with this; you're very creative and can write 20 different, unique articles on teen insurance or acai berry diets without ever repeating yourself. So, authors, how do you stop yourself from falling into a rut? Let us know in the comments below. 

Another issue was instructions. When clients said that authors don't follow instructions, we asked them to take an honest look at the instructions they were giving. Some clients may be adding a style guide or extra details to help pinpoint exactly what they need, so be on the lookout for that. Otherwise, we have to work with what's given. Please read the instructions carefully. If they ask for keywords in a specific place in the article, put them there. If they ask for a 150-character description, make sure that it's 150 characters or less. Working offline will let you count characters. If you forget the instructions, they're at the top of your submission page, underneath the basic stats. Just click on the arrow or “show” under “Client Instructions (Important!)” to see the original instructions. If you're working offline, you may want to copy the instructions over to your document.

SondraC brought up articles that ask for perfect grammar. For level 2 and 3 articles, write to the best of your ability. You may be asked for a revision. If the client asks you to review your grammar, please do so. Check your subject-verb agreement and your sentence structure. Make sure your basics are solid. Check for homophone errors, especially they're/there/their and your/you're. We're also working on contacting these clients and either removing that requirement or upgrading their articles. If you have a killer tip for keeping up with instructions, let us know in the comments.

I'll be talking with more clients and getting more insight for you in the next few weeks. Thanks for sticking with us and for your hard work.

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