Roast Me, Please!

Here is your chance to roast me. :)

I just did a pretty big update to SEO Book, and am having a guy who goes by the nickname the grammar hammer edit my ebook at the moment. What parts of it could use some improvement? The feedback I have been getting covers a wide range, but usually it is biased toward being positive. In fact, so much so, that I was recently criticised for not having enough easily accessible negative feedback.

I was stoked when I was recently carbon copied on this email from one of my friends who recently purchased my ebook for a friend of his:

Merry Christmas ____,
SEO Book download link

My advice: don't read it on the clock while working for me :-)

Here are the steps:

1) Read the book, straight through
2) Make a web site, rank it, and make $100
3) Read the book again

Then talk to me, and we make a site together. That's when you get rich. Do 1, 2 and 3 first though.

But it is much harder to get negative feedback outside of grammar criticisms (which hopefully the grammar hammer will fix and help prevent me from making going forward). Rarely do people who ask for refunds want to give any feedback. And while I have been trying to keep up with email, I still have to mix it up now and then to prevent getting burned out, and most of my email feedback has been positive.

If you have read the newest version of SEO Book what parts of it do you think could use some improvement? What parts could use some contraction or expansion?

Also many customers have asked me about shifting to a business model where I offered something like a monthly newsletter for a recurring subscription fee. Does that sound like a good or bad call?

Brian Clark helped me rewrite my salesletter. The new salesletter will be published on Thursday, and the old sales letter will be placed on a different URL so people can see a before and after of the sales letter. In the near future I will also interview him about copywriting, and he will use my salesletter as a before and after test case on his blog. His readers have been critiquing my current sales letter.

Published: December 6, 2006 by Aaron Wall in aaron matthew wall


December 6, 2006 - 6:56pm

The RSS feed summaries are really lame. I am *very* rarely enticed to read and article by a summary that reads "Blog post about ".

Full article feeds would be best. Short of that, you need to learn to write better microcontent.

December 6, 2006 - 9:09pm


I disagree. Many people come to the site to read the blog post if the summary is interesting enough. In fact, you came and posted a comment.

Also, by "forcing" people to come to the site, Aaron can expose them to his marketing message (see banner on top right corner of every page).

Just basic marketing sense.

December 7, 2006 - 6:20am

Also many customers have asked me about shifting to a business model where I offered something like a monthly newsletter for a recurring subscription fee. Does that sound like a good or bad call?

I don't know why any sane person would ask you to stop giving all your good insights away for free... unless they think you are holding something back.

If that's the case, and you're going to do all the thinking for us, then fire away. I'll be first in line :)

December 7, 2006 - 8:00am

I'm just reading the latest version now so my thoughts about where I'd like to see more or less will have to wait till I'm done reading.

One thing. Instead of asking for negative feedback maybe asking for constructive criticism.

Keep in mind we all like you and read the ebook while holding you in a positive frame of mind. I can't speak for anyone else, but if I didn't hold you in high regard my money would still be in my bank account instead of yours.

I think it's hard for a lot of your reader to want to be negative towards you, but we all might be willing to offer up criticism if we think we're being constructive.

Anyway I'll try to get some thoughts together after I finish this latest revision.

December 7, 2006 - 11:52pm

I think that in a high percentage what attracks customers to Aaron's book are his blog posts, that gives him credibility and permanent presence and branding opportunities . I personally bought the book after reading his blog for a few days.

I don't like the idea of a monthly newsletter either, as Brian B mentioned, I am susbcribed to a bunch of newsletters and just don`t get the time to read them all.

So what's wrong with the present business model, isn't it showing us to be a successful one? Of course some changes can be made to improve it, but I wouldn't change the basics of it.

December 8, 2006 - 5:28pm

I LOVE the new letter. Hmmm..... seems like the first testimonial is pretty high on the trustrank scale.

It made me want to pull out my credit card and order it all over again - almost

I am super curious to see how it impacts conversions. I've sent some well-qualified friends over and none of them bought. My sense was that the letter was too spammy, get-rich-quick & over-hyped. It turned people off.

December 6, 2006 - 7:23am

i find that, the more you know about SEO, the more complicated and abstract it gets. in terms of link building, when i read it, i wish there had been more tips in terms of what a good link is - is it on a forum, or is something like that useless? what defines a good link, and how do i get one? you wrote about a lot of things, but i'm still wondering about what the value of a certain link is, compared to others. why is yahoo worth 299$ but joeant only worth 40$?

other than stuff like that, i was pretty impressed with it.

Brian B
December 6, 2006 - 7:41am

I don't like the idea of a monthly newsletter. I already get a bunch of newsletters and RSS feeds that I'm months behind in my reading. All I have to do is quit my job to be able to actually read all this stuff. I like the idea of being able to wait until I have a nice block of time allocated and then being able to download the latest version and put the proper amount of time into.

December 6, 2006 - 8:01am

You're writing is crisp and clear and to the point, which works really well on this topic. The constant typos and grammatical errors muddy up the print. Still, it just doesn't matter, really, because the ideas are what people pay for and they're indispensable. People find value in great info /knowledge not great writing, for the most part. Especially your target audience.

As for the newsletter, you'll do what you're gonna do. I don't actually own a copy of your ebook but I will soon. If I have to pay monthly or once it won't really matter much, because I want the ebook. Hopefully that tells you something. :-)

December 6, 2006 - 12:04pm

How about a regular (monthly?) feature where you put some of your excellent tips into action? You could get people to submit their sites or just choose one at random, and do a sort of before and after on one of their pages on how you would optimise, explaining each step?

December 6, 2006 - 12:06pm

Aaron, you give away so much free content and are still perceived as an individual (not sure you have other people helping you or employees, but it seems to me people flame passionate individuals less than corporations). This makes negative feedback almost disappear. Say I spent 50% of my life giving away the information in my head, as long as everything is written objectively - how negative can you really be towards me?

As far as a free idea which could make you mroe money - Your rankings are outstanding and you have enough ongoing link bait, so if you wanted to make something available that would be unique and paid only consider consolidating all your seo tools with some new ones into an online service available to subscribers which referenced seo advice on specific tasks while you w ere using them (IE if your site is brand new start by ____ or first step of competitive research for me is _______ ) You're already considered an industry leader, I bet you could get 1,000 - $10 or $20 per month subscribers to your toolset within 60 days after launch. Then you would be making another $20,000 per month and actually helping people out.

Now with this model you'd experience a lot mroe flame though - People that spent $20 per month, used your tools, but didn't rank because of XYZ may choose to flame you.

December 6, 2006 - 3:23pm

My 2c:

I assume that you want to make more book sales then services sales (according to some of your previous posts). If this is true then...

2. Change the banner that appears on every page to sell your ebook and not the services. This along with Brian's new copy can make a real difference.

3. Replace the services banner with a services entry on the site's main bar.

3. Make the whole banner clickable and not just the clickhere text.

Do you agree?

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.