The subject matter was highly technical and fairly abstruse (for me anyway) and was going to require a lot of reading and research, which meant, of course, that my hourly rate wouldn’t be all that great till I got up to speed. But I dove in . . . eager and ready to learn and write. It wasn’t long, though, before I was utterly overwhelmed.
So I fell back into old habits.
Because the material was tough to master and time was getting short, I leaned on good writing alone to get me through—you know, image conjuring adjectives, carefully crafted sentences, pleasing rhythms, and an unexpected twist. It was all very entertaining writing, but without a lot of meat. So I sent the first article off . . . with some genuine misgivings.
Then I got a response from my contact person that I had pretty much expected.
She said that while this article would be an excellent article Ezine Articles, it wasn’t what they needed. They wanted more solid information—more meat—and less fluff and filler. She was kinder in her email than she had to be. But it was evident she was clearly disappointed.
And I almost gave up at that point.
But instead I stepped back, gave it some thought, and decided to be completely candid and thoroughly honest. So I emailed her back, explained my situation, and asked for an extension of three days to do the requisite research and reading. At the end of that time, I said, I would present her with two articles, and if they weren’t up to snuff, then we’d just cut our losses and move on. I also told her that I really thought I could do this and would like the opportunity to try. I also added that, in all honesty, there was the possibility that I couldn’t pull it off.
She emailed me back. And the first thing she said was that she really appreciated my openness and honesty. She suggested that I write her three articles instead of my suggested two, and then we would take it from there. Naturally, I agreed.
So I Googled and read and Googled and read. And then did it some more . . . until I felt as though could write convincingly in this area. I wrote the articles and sent them.
The new articles turned out to be exactly what she wanted. She ordered seven more, and now it looks like we’re on our way to a long-term writer-client relationship for a monthly batch of SEO articles.
So here’s the lesson I learned: simply be honest. Be confident and don’t be afraid to stretch yourself, but also be honest with yourself and your client about what you can and can’t do. Dishonesty and cant and bluster can be smelled from a long way off.
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