Shakespeare’s Monkey

Shakespeare’s MonkeyThey say if you put an infinite number of monkeys in a room with an infinite number of typewriters they will, eventually, write the complete works of Shakespeare.  Personally, I think you’d probably get a bad smell and a lot of smashed typewriters, but you never know.  Reading some of the web content and copy that is available on the internet today, I am beginning to wonder if someone has been trying the experiment, then posting the results on some well known article marketing sites.  No names mentioned of course, but remove the ‘maga’ from magazine and say ‘vowel please, Carole’ and you’ll get the idea. 

Who you calling a Monkey?

Before we go any further let’s clear one thing up.  The term monkey is not meant to be pejorative in any way.  There are a lot of people out there who write for the internet who don’t live in Western countries.  On the websites where we copywriters market our wares we face competition from all over the world.  People living in the so-called ‘Third-World’ can offer to work for rates that UK copywriters can’t match – you can tell this from the outraged messages on the forums where some copywriters waste their time posting messages about how it’s just not fair.  Rubbish, of course it’s fair; it’s called a global market place.  A lot of writers based in the Philippines, for example, seem to have a remarkable standard of English and can compete at lower rates than US or UK based copywriters.  However, finding good ones, for those unfamiliar with the vagaries of hiring online copywriters, can be a risky business. 

The Evidence

There is a chance that a regular contributor to the particular source of articles which I’m talking about may be reading this.  So I’d better substantiate myself.  A quick trawl of the site should be enough, but if not here’s an example.  It took less than twenty seconds to find this one:

“People tend to make if even more difficult by reading many websites which suggest to look for statistics over statistics, resulting in hours and hours of research for that optimal time in which to purchase an automobile”.

As an opening paragraph there is not much to say for it.  The mistaken ‘if’ instead of ‘it’ suggests a spell check may have been used, but not much else by the way of editing or proof-reading.  Editing and proofreading are the professional copywriter’s key tools.  As for the rest of the sentence it doesn’t make masses of sense; producing copy that makes sense is important for both copywriters and website owners!  Finally, can anyone tell me what the “optimal time in which to purchase an automobile’’ is?  Is it Midnight? Midday? Or half three on a Monday afternoon?  Maybe I would have found out if I’d bothered to read the rest of the article, but my interest had already wandered to my ‘Back Button’.      

Too Judgemental?

Now I feel all mean.  You see some poor writer somewhere put some time and effort into that piece, and I’m not having a go at their efforts.  I might just be having a go at the person who employed them, and I could be suggesting the site that publishes this kind of copywriting might need to make some ‘quality adjustments’ to its publishing standards.  I’m not alone there, because the recent changes to Google hit this website hard.  Google’s ‘Farmer’ update caused a reported 35% drop in its web traffic.  The update targeted poor quality web copy, marketing articles and ‘content farms’.  There were rumours it was aimed quite specifically at a certain content farm known as, shall we say a ‘Demanding’ Studio.  This rumour was denied, and the effect on that particular web copy producer was minimal.  Good reason too, you may not like the sites they produce web copy for, but read a few of them and you can’t deny the standard of writing is high, if a bit samey.

Waterloo for Web Writers?

Article marketing, web copywriting and Blog posting have taken over the world of internet marketing it seems.  Finding a copywriter isn’t difficult and filling the web with content is easy.   But finding a good copywriter is more essential than ever.  Not only are the search engines consistently targeting poor content, internet uses are bored with being marketed at.  There was a time, I can just remember it now, when a search didn’t present you with masses of PPC adverts and irrelevant entries.  You could search for just about any subject without feeling the pressure to buy something!  Oh, Halcyon days.  These days the safest thing to do is go to page two of the results – until SEO experts work out that page two is the new page one.  However, there is some hope for internet users, marketers and copywriters.  For users, the search engines are targeting better quality sites, with relevant, original and informative content.  So by the time the SEO experts have worked out that page two is the new page one, it’ll be safe to go back to page one.  For marketers and SEO professionals alike, if this is the kind of content you supply, then you have little to worry about.  For writers, the poor quality competition is facing a Waterloo this year, if you’re good at your job, stick at it and you’ll be in demand.

  • Andy

    Loved the post, agreed with all of it… apart from that monkey typewriter phrase you referred to at the beginning. Apparently the odds would be very likely that they would but they might not definitely do it. But thats irrelevant!