Make sure your referrals don’t backfire

I recently scoured the web trying to find resources that would help me improve my skills in running my copywriting business.

I found X who makes a living by educating others on how to become better, more persuasive, results-providing writers. X’s site contained some useful information and I even learned something. Encouraged by this, I went one level deeper and visited the site of Y, whom X seems to look up to in certain areas of marketing.

And then it all started to fall apart.

Y lists a long series of articles on her site. Hey, great, this person seems to know about the subject, you think. You click on the first headline and what do you get? A Word document that starts with lengthy reprint instructions.

Once you scroll down to the actual content, you find that it consists of 190 words. This is an “article”? My old-fashioned mind considers an “article” something with enough depth and length to fill up at least one page in a magazine.

Besides, there was no indication that your innocent click on the headline link won’t open another web page, but instead fires up Word and gives you a word processing document. What the heck for? If I’m surfing the net, I naturally expect to keep working in my browser, not wait for an assortment of programs to open.

And the content? Yes, it basically told you how important it is to use compelling headlines. Period. Now this must be a great help to the world’s copywriters…

It’s amazing that people—even if they are acknowledged “gurus” in their field—give you such rubbish.

So, what is the moral of the story?

Before you recommend someone, do a little background check on where he or she may lead. It may save your face. And if you’re being recommended, please don’t let people down.

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