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Web Proofing

 
 
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject: Web Proofing Reply with quote

Hi

I'm interested in testing a niche market idea - and perhaps you geniuses out there could tell me what you think! I see so many websites with spelling and grammatical typo-errors - that may or may not be deliberate!

I have a sound marketing background and good knowledge of the English Language, and I feel I could not only point out the spelling and grammatical errors - but offer suggestions as to how the website could be made so much more effective and eye-catching.

Everyone's aware that poor presentation and grammatical errors can "kill" a website and quickly turn potential customers off. But it's very difficult for people making their own websites to pick up on these things - simply because they are too close to the project themselves.

Also, I've done a count on 50 websites looking for typo-errors and weak content, and unfortunately about 70% suffered from these errors; amazingly, some of the most eloborate and expensive websites are included in this percentage.

So, if you have a website that you would like me to look over with a fresh pair of eyes - I would be happy to do so free-of-charge to test the idea out. Your comments would be appreciated.
Best regards
Henry Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Henry

Two problems I can foresee...

1. this isn't something new, and will already be a service that is available from many companies. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean you can't make a go of it, but perhaps you need some kind of USP to set you aside from the crowd

2. I think there are a lot of people out there with websites with errors that simply don't care. Sad though that is, they perhaps don't appreciate the importance of an error-free website.

Paul
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Web Proofing Reply with quote

Hi Paul

Thanks so much for the feedback.

I have seen a few sites that offer this kind of service - one of them even has 2 spelling mistakes on one page!

I do want to offer something different and more special. I am at the moment working on an e-book about the art of persuasion, and that's why this really came about. I'm finding it difficult to integrate one with the other - although that's really what I'd love to do. When you're in business - whether it's on or offline - the principles remain the same, as you are well aware.

Thank you once again.
All the best, Henry
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose if I was to be an arse I'd say that you should be able to pursuade people of your talents without our help Smile

Alas this sort of thing is easily available via crowdsourcing, as indeed is quite extensive usability testing.

That's not to say you can't do it, just that your usp will have to be good as these guys are decent and cheap.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
Thanks for taking the trouble to reply, although I must say the logic of your arguments escapes me. I can only think that the Internet has a few high flyers and everyone else treats it like a hobby!

I reasoned that - mistakenly it seems - a few entrepreneurs would jump at the chance to have someone look over their websites, correct any spelling or grammar errors, and possibly suggest further ways they could get a visitor to stay longer - or click through. I certainly don't claim to have all the answers, but I am willing to offer an opinion.

The recipient would also know that what they are putting out is perhaps a more finished product, and that would give them personal satisfaction. My gain would be twofold; I would have the experience of doing the job - and the joy of helping someone.

If proofreading is as readily available, and cheap, as you say, then why are so many websites suffering from the same problem? It's a lot of work to create and maintain a website and I would have thought maximising the monetisation of it ,would be a priority. Moreover, I come from the school of thinking that believes interaction of ideas can only lead to a positive outcome.

I hope I don't come across as argumentative - when the opposite is the case.
Best regards, Henry
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's nothing argumentative in your response. This is just a healthy discussion IMO.

fotofast wrote:
I can only think that the Internet has a few high flyers and everyone else treats it like a hobby!


Actually, I think I would agree with that statement, if talking in % terms. There is a mass of people out there trying to make a quick buck, and I would think a relative minority doing something much more substantial than 'dabbling' online.

fotofast wrote:
I reasoned that - mistakenly it seems - a few entrepreneurs would jump at the chance to have someone look over their websites, correct any spelling or grammar errors, and possibly suggest further ways they could get a visitor to stay longer - or click through. I certainly don't claim to have all the answers, but I am willing to offer an opinion.


I would agree that it's a service that many need, even if they don't realise it. However, it's true also that many people out there that are willing to work for small sums. Because they can be based in other countries where the cost of living is lower, because they want to choose when/where they work, because they just want a supplemental income, because they are SAHMs, etc. etc.

In addition to that, there are also many opportunities for people to get feedback for free (eg. the website review forum here on Aardvark Business and many other similar places). Of course, that might not stack up against a paid service, but it is something that you are 'in competition' with to some extent.

fotofast wrote:
The recipient would also know that what they are putting out is perhaps a more finished product, and that would give them personal satisfaction. My gain would be twofold; I would have the experience of doing the job - and the joy of helping someone.


You don't mention financial gain. Are you talking about offering this service for free initially to get a toe in the water?

fotofast wrote:
If proofreading is as readily available, and cheap, as you say, then why are so many websites suffering from the same problem?


Because these people don't know that they need the service...? I wonder if one of your best means of getting business would be to email those you think you could help with a 'snapshot' of what's wrong with their site, and a note to say "there's lots more like this and I can help you further if you would be interested in paying for my time..." (or something more eloquently put!).

fotofast wrote:
It's a lot of work to create and maintain a website and I would have thought maximising the monetisation of it ,would be a priority.


Yes, but you'll have to convince the webmasters out there that 1) they need the service, 2) your fees will be more than outweighed by the gains made by the improvements, and 3) that you're the best person to go with. That's where your challenge stands, I think.

Keep us posted with how you get on...

Paul
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/05/rough-edges-and.html

Seth Godin suggests that a bit of rough is actually beneficial, and indeed in many cases there by design as it gets one noticed.

Of course the other thing with usability testing is that you probably won't reflect the sites userbase. I'm sure I browse differently to my mother so my advice on usability would be useless to a site targeting my mum. That's why things like Google Optimizer or indeed some of the crowdsourced usability testing are so useful because they are likely to reflect your own userbase rather than the opinion of an expert.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adigaskell wrote:
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/05/rough-edges-and.html

Seth Godin suggests that a bit of rough is actually beneficial, and indeed in many cases there by design as it gets one noticed.


I would have to agree with Adi here

I believe that if you assume that every person using the Internet can spell perfectly then you probably alienate 95% of the users. If you look at Google Labs top searches it is littered with spelling mistakes that people have made when searching and thats why some rough edges are important.

Also, unless you are a big business, then your website should have your personal influence stamped all over it as in some cases that personal touch is the only thing that sets your site apart from the others in your interest category.

But - I am by no means saying dont go ahead with your idea and like any new business, if you can find the customers then you have a good start.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulMac wrote:
I believe that if you assume that every person using the Internet can spell perfectly then you probably alienate 95% of the users.


The SEO benefits of mis-spellings aside, I'm not too sure this is true. Users who care little about spelling/grammar will probably not notice errors. Those that do care about things like this, on the other hand, will probably be grossly put off. The latter camp may be a minority but I think you're far more likely to alienate them with bad spelling than you are to alienate the 'non-carers' with good spelling.

Paul
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: Web Proofing Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone for your comments about the proposition I put to you. As you know, I feel quite strongly that forums like this one with highly active, intelligent people, like yourselves, is very important to keep some balance in what's going terribly wrong with the Internet.

I thank you very much for all your help - and for taking the time to respond as you have. I feel now is the time for me to get my teeth into a major Internet project and I will come back to you with some results in a month or two.

Warmest regards
Henry
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck, Henry... keep us posted. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck Henry, do keep us informed of how your project goes Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel now is the time for me to get my teeth into a major Internet project and I will come back to you with some results in a month or two.
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