June 2007

When you just can’t find the words, hire me.

My name is Miriam Ellis. I grew up in a world of books. I learned to read when I was three.
At the age of five, I began writing and illustrating my first children’s books. My familial best-sellers were entitled Babies Are Like That, Babies Are Like That II, Arthur and the Television Set, and Jim Drives a Cab.
My family’s chief treasure was their library of books. Dickens, Austen, Thurber, Twain, Saki, Tolstoy, and the Brontes were honorary kinsfolk and joined us at the supper table nightly. Growing up in this atmosphere taught me not just to read books, but to consume them.
The defining moment in my public school career occurred when I decided to write my first ‘novel’ instead of studying for my final examinations. I disappeared into a world of gripping drama, dazzling romance, and heartbreaking sorrow, wherein youths undertook the most bewildering deeds. I passed my finals, anyway.
I grew up, got married, and started a web design/SEO firm with my husband. Four unfinished Great American Novels sit on the shelf beside my laptop, but my C drive attests to the more practical application to which I have put my lifelong love of words. I have written thousands of pieces of unique content for my clients over the past few years. I author this blog and my local birding blog. I write guest posts at Cre8asite Forums and 14th Colony. I write a monthly column for a local newspaper, The Coastal Post.

I know the difference between it’s and its, loose and lose, company’s and companies. I don’t write sentences like this:

As a valued customer, our company takes care of you.

I write sentences like this:

Our company takes care of you: our valued customer.

The above are some of the most common mistakes one bumps into on the web. Having errors like these harms the professionalism of the way you are presenting yourself online. As your copywriter, I will not make these kinds of goofs! You have my word on it. I can provide quantity, but vastly prefer to provide quality. With 34 years of zestful absorption of the very best of our native idiom in its written form in my back pocket, and oodles of experience writing for the web right at my fingertips, my words will make you look seriously good. Here is a recent testimonial from a client:

“The article is absolutely incredible! Seriously, you are the most talented writer I know. Not only is it incredibly well-written, but the fact that you could spend a few hours researching and grasp every nuance of the subject is amazing! It is worth every penny!!” – L. Bourne, Montessori for Everyone

When crossed t’s and dotted i’s are important, get in touch with me. When authority quality is a must, please, let me write for you. When other demands are simply too pressing, I’ve got the time to keep your content going strong. When you just can’t find the words, hire me.

Jennifer Convertibles’ Website – Now that’s class!

Greetings from inside the SEOigloo!

A couple of months ago, I happened to notice an announcement on Barry Schwartz’s company site, Rusty Brick, that they had just redesigned the website for the well-known furniture company, Jennifer Convertibles. Since I spent my last post grinding my teeth over horrific SEO company offers in San Francisco, I thought it would be a nice change of topic to applaud the extremely classy job that a trusted New York firm did on designing a website. Take a look at the Jennifer Convertibles site!
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SF Bay Area SEO Company Choices – Read it or Weep!

Greetings from inside the SEOigloo!

We spend the majority of our time around here looking at our clients’ rankings and seeing what we can do to improve them. But, just for fun, we check out our own sometimes. Our firm, Solas Web Design, ranks at the top of Google for SEO, Web Design and Graphic Design in Sonoma County (in various keyword permutations of those phrases). Sonoma County is located about 60 miles north of San Francisco, which puts us in the northern end of the SF Bay Area. We’ve never tried to rank for our services in conjunction with the term SF Bay Area, but I thought it would be fun to see who is ranking. The results of my research have been far from fun. Rather, I’m feeling distressed by what I see being sold as SEO services to my neighbors, and I’m writing this post to attempt to counteract the misinformation being put out by the current choice of SEO service providers in the SF Bay Area. We’re in for a bumpy ride here, but we’ll come out the wiser at journey’s end. Continue Reading »

Now Certified by Search Engine College!

certification from search engine college

Greetings from inside the SEOigloo!

This is just a quick post to followup on the scholarship we were awarded a few months back by Cre8asite Forums.

Thanks to this generous award, we were able to take a Search Engine College course on Usability from Usability Expert, Kim Krause Berg. As you can see from our very nifty certification symbol here, we passed this six part course and final test. Our final score was 28.65 out of 30 points. I think we got an ‘A’!

What is Usability and why should you know about it
Whether your business is big or small, your website needs to treat its users well. This means providing a structure that is easy to navigate, easy to use, and helps your visitors every step of the way to achieve their desired goals (and your desired goals for them!). The basic principles of Usability revolve around making web pages and applications a treat for users to use, and companies hire experts like Krause Berg to conduct research on user behavior and psychology in order to arrive at the very best possible design for a given audience.

It was truly a pleasure to take this course from Kim. Our firm has always been extremely adamant about the absolute neccessity of excellent function for humans in the websites we develop, and this course enabled us to confirm what we already knew, and to learn a few new important things that will help us to deliver even better services to our clients.

Thank you to Kim, Cre8asite and Kalena Jordan of Search Engine College for this very fine opportunity!

My First Post as a Contributor to Cre8tive Flow!!!

Greetings from inside the SEOigloo!

I’m one happy woman this afternoon. I’ve just had the opportunity to put up my very first post as a contributor to the Cre8tive Flow Blog, a division of the Cre8asite Forums. Please, celebrate with me by reading my post: Take the Color Quiz – Diagnose Yourself!

It’s such an honor to be asked to join the company of extremely skilled bloggers who volunteer their time starting discussions and answering questions over at the Cre8asite Forums – Usability Expert Kim Krause Berg’s labor of love. The forum is a place where beginners and experts come to communicate about web industries issues including SEO, design, marketing, usability and accessibility. The associated blog is authored by highly talented members including Bill Slawski, Joe Dolson, Barry Schwartz, Pierre Far, Elizabeth Able, Ammon Johns and founder Kim Krause Berg. What a treat to jump into this party of super smart people. Thanks Cre8asite!

I hope you’ll read my blog post, take the color quiz and see how it diagnoses you. You may be in for some surprises!

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