SEO for writers

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SEO, slowly but surely I’m figuring it out. I’m also learning why it’s so important for writers to know it and how to use it too. For the past two years I’ve just assumed that it was for techy people to use to make their high tech jobs even more high tech. Little did I know, it actually has more to do with me and my wee little blog than a techy programmer squirreled away in his cubical.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is what makes a person’s blog or website findable by the big Internet names like Google and Yahoo!. If the big Internet names can’t find your writer’s blog or website, then it’s very likely that no one can. If no one can find you or your website on the Internet, then your site probably isn’t doing you a whole lot of good.

broken heartBut how does an indie writer improve their search engine find-ability? Well, there are actually lots of different ways. The most common way is to include highly trending words into your blog or website heading. You find these words by going to a website that lists the day’s most heavily searched words. I investigated a little bit and I found quite a few different sites that offered a list of trending words. Unfortunately most of them wanted me to sign-up and pay them a fee. I guess they didn’t understand that writer=poor. I did find one site that offered the top 20 search words for the day for free! That was Google Trends.

It’s quick and easy to give it a check, the page is very simplistic so you won’t get lost in a ton of techy jargon, and there isn’t so much information that you can’t sift through it to get what you want. Today’s most important word is Dallas Green. I’m not really sure how I would use it in a blog post, but it would make me easier to find by more people.

0813161358-01A quick word of warning, don’t over do it with the trending words, or you might get in trouble with the big Internet names and they may block your blog or website from their search engines.

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Why do I write?

WARNING YOU ARE NOW ENTERING GRUMPVILLE, WILD RANTING AHEAD!

Sorry, I wrote this while I was still pretty grumbly, I promise to write something more cheerful next week.broken F

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I recently submitted the first chapter of my novel No place for fairy tales to an online critiquing group.

Well, I finally got a reply back.

Four people critiqued my work and had a wide variety of opinions about the piece. Some said that I didn’t put enough detail into it, some said I put too much detail into it. Some thought my word choice was poor, others thought my word choice was good but my sentence structure was poor. Some didn’t like my main character, others didn’t like my side characters. In fact, the only thing these critiquers agreed on was that no one liked my writing.

Yay!broken F bits4

In the words of one critic, “As for the story itself, it does not hit me as a great opening chapter.”

And she was the nice one.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, I used to submit my work for critique at another (now defunked) website. And then I stopped. Why? Because the feedback I received inspired me to stop writing.

It’s not that I can’t take criticism. Usually I love feedback and tips on how I can do better. What I can’t take is getting conflicting messages. For example, one person says I have too much detail, the next says I have too little, the next says I have the right amount of detail but the wrong kind, the next doesn’t mention detail at all. So, which one is right?

What I hear is DETAIL= BAD!

How is it bad and what can I do to fix it? That information isn’t even hinted at.

At this point you’re probably wondering why I even bothered to have my writing critiqued in the first place (I wonder about that some times too). I honestly wanted fellow writers to look at what I wrote and give me some tips to help me polish it up. Too bad that’s not what I got.broken heart

So, in light of some less than helpful critiques, I thought I would post some helpful tips that critics should keep in mind when they are reviewing other’s work.

  1. Please, please, please, read what other critics have written before you write your own critique! If you write a critique that says the exact opposite of a previous critic, it just makes both critiques worthless to the writer of the work.
  2. If you stink at grammar, do not try to fix someone else’s.
  3. Do not try to make someone else’s writing sound like yours. Every writer has their own voice, and that’s okay. Just because you would have worded something differently does not make it wrong.
  4. Read the entire piece through and then go back and critique it. That way you wont ask questions about a line of writing that are answered in the very next sentence of the piece.
  5. Do not make broad statements about an entire novel based off of 2,000 words! Seriously! The maximum size document that can be submitted for critique is tiny, there’s no way you could make an informed opinion about a whole novel based off of that little document you’re seeing.

broken heart in two 3Okay, I think I’ve ranted enough. I’m going to go binge watch Glee and eat some chocolate. Writing can wait for tomorrow.

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The brighter side of the rejection letter

If only I could be as mature about rejection letters (or e-mails) as this blogger!IMG_0210

After a slew of acceptances, I’ve gotten 3 rejection letters lately. All of them were modified with “good, but not for us,” or some similar comment. But “close” doesn’t make much of a difference to a writer. We still see the word, NO, in blinking letters. Taking off my writer’s hat, and putting on my editor’s […]

via June Rejection Letters — Whimsical Words