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December 27, 2006

Women of Internet Marketing Wednesdays Part 3

By Li Evans

Womenofinternetmarketing_2 Its that time of the week again, where Search Marketing Gurus brings you the inside information about some great professionals in the search industry.  If you know of a women in the search industry who you'd like to see featured - please leave a comment here, we're always open to suggestions, don't be shy - tell us who you want.  We want to make sure we're bringing you the inside scoop on the women you'd like to know the most about!

To see our prior featured Women of Internet Marketing, please check out the that category on the right, or feel free to check out our two individual posts from Week 1( Kim Krause Berg & Rebecca Kelley) and Week 2 (Christine Churchill & Rae "SugarRae" Hoffman).

So with that little introduction, let me introduce you to our first lady, Karon Thackston.

Karon Thackston
Karonthackston Karon has been a professional copywriter for over 20 years with the last 7 specializing in writing great copy for websites.  Karon has always been fascinated by the way words can cause people to respond.  Whether in writing or verbally, words are very powerful.  Copywriting is an industry where Karon gets to play and be paid for it.   

Karon also loves the industry because she can test and track different ways of writing and see how they make others respond.  She told me that with SEO copywriting, it's a dual rush because what is written for any given web page now has the potential to affect people and the search engines.

If you also didn't know Karon is an author of a book, "How To Increase Keyword Saturation Without Destroying the Flow of Your Copy" and a copywriting course, "The Step by Step Copywriting Course".  Along with being an author Karon's also a speaker at Search Engine Strategies and is actively involved with Jill Whalen's High Rankings Seminar.  She is also a moderator at High Rankings forums, known there as "copywriter".

Ktlogo_med Now for some Q&A with Karon:
Q:  What made you get involved in this industry?
A:  Curiosity!  As I said earlier, I have always been fascinated with how words affect people.  When I began to learn about writing with keywords, I also saw how words can affect the search engines.  Not so much what you say, but how you say it, where words are positioned, how they are formatted and several other factors.  It's amazing to me to watch all the pieces of the puzzle come together.
Q: Where do you see this industry going in the next 5 years?
A:  For SEO copy writing, I think a lot of writers are going to be weeded out as the general population grasps the fact that SEO copy does not have to sound forced.  After years of writers shoving keywords into copy any ole where and calling it SEO copywriting, I think webmasters and business owners are going to demand better.  I think the bad reputation that SEO copywriting has received in the past is going to fade and people will begin to recognize that keyword stuffing is not equivalent to SEO writing.  Writers will have to develop their skills and talents to master writing naturally for the user first and the engines second.
Q:  Who’s your favorite blogger to read? 
A:  Matt Cutts
Q:  Who do you feel is a leader in this industry and why?
A:  Jill Whalen, without a doubt.  She is a pioneer in developing the entire concept of SEO copywriting. I appreciate the fact that Jill teaches proven methods that offer long-standing results instead of short-term tricks that will likely lose their magic after the next Google update.

And that leads us nicely into our next Internet Marketing Expert, Jill Whalen.

Jill Whalen
Jillwhalenhighrankingsadmin_1 Jill's probably one of the most well known faces in the Search Marketing Industry, and has always been one of the most approachable.  I know from first hand experience, Jill a wonderful person and very patient with "newbees" to search, as demonstrated in her High Rankings Forum.

Jill's been in this industry professionally for over 10 years, and considers her biggest accomplishment is her newsletter with a subscription base of well over 25,000.  There's probably a lot of other things professionals in this industry know her for like her High Rankings website & forum, her High Rankings Seminar series, her newsletter and even her special report "The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines", there's no doubt that Jill's a well known industry expert.  If you've been to an Search Engine Strategies Conference, Jill's also one of the mainstays on the "Writing for Search Engines" panel.

HighrankingslogoNow for Jill's Q&A:
Q:  What made you get involved in this industry?
A:  Well, since I've been in it before it actually was an industry, it's difficult to answer. I was basically just looking to figure out how to get my parenting website to rank highly back in 1993-1994 or so and had to figure it out on my own.  We didn't have the resources we do today, which his actually a good thing. When you have to figure stuff out for yourself, you'll always do a better job than when someone spoon feeds it to you, imo.
Q:  Who’s your favorite blogger to read?
My favorite SEO-type blogs are In Search of Stuff (isos) and Gray Hat News. I like these because they are satires on our silly industry which tends to take itself way too seriously.  I have also recently been enjoying John Andrew's blog a lot.  I like people like John who think creatively and don't follow the crowd. I actually enjoy a few non-seo-type blogs such as Steve Pavlina and that of his wife Erin Pavlina.  At the end of the day I'm usually sick of SEO and like to read about stuff that really matters!
Q:  What aggravates you most about this industry?
A:  I try not to be aggravated about anything these days as it's unhealthy!  But I suppose I do get annoyed at how so many in the industry never seem to "get it" completely.  They mistakenly believe that SEO is all about the search engines, when it's not even close.  If you can't think deeply or creatively (like 90% of the world) that's exactly what you'd think, however.
Q:  Right now, how many women bloggers/writers/journalists do you read blogs/columns from?
A:  I have a number of blog feeds that I give a quick peek at most nights.  Let's see it looks like about 6 are written by women.  But again, these aren't always SEO-related. In our industry, it seems that the blogs do tend to be dominated by men. However, there are many that have women contributors as well which is nice to see.
Q:  Who do you feel is a leader in this industry and why?
Danny [Sullivan] is definitely the one and only industry leader.  There are many Danny "wannabees" out there, but they are not nor will they ever be Danny.  If Danny ever got out of the field all together, I don't believe there would be any one person who could take his place. There would simply be the rest of us 2nd tier voices.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm glad we do have Danny!

That's it for this week's edition of the "Women of Internet Marketing" series.  Please - don't be shy - leave some suggestions of who Search Marketing Gurus should interview in the future!


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With reference to Karon Thackston' interview, her point is interesting to note how the arrangment of words affects people and SEs.

I have just come across this site and this post.

Thanks for this Q & A interview.

As a copywriting, I am always learning, and looking for ways to improve my copywriting skills.

I have read several books/guides/courses by Karon Thackston. In my view, she is the best teacher for copywriting.

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