Category Archives: writing

SEO: A Simple Guide to Getting Started

Many of you may feel overwhelmed. And who could blame you? There are so many factors involved in trying to create a blog and build traffic.

If you are like me, you go online or buy books to try to unravel the mystery of how to make your site the best it can be.

Most of you have heard that SEO is important. You may have even spent a little time trying to figure out how to implement it into your blog.

There are even SEO firms that you can hire to help with your SEO. But, who has thousands of dollars to spend on a blog or website that they haven’t even monetize yet?

So, what can you do?

If you have read any of my previous post, you know I stress writing high quality content. I’m a big advocate of writing content that your audience wants to read.

If you do this, then you are already using SEO without realizing it.

The great thing about high quality content is that it delivers exactly what your audience wants. It provides the answers to questions that people are searching for. Not only that, other websites may link to your blog because your information is a great resource.

This is basic SEO.

A lot of people look at SEO as something they have to do. They think that they have to put certain key phrases in their post. Or, they worry that they will have to go out and try to get links from other sites. But, this isn’t necessarily true.

Creating high quality posts that provides all the answers to your reader’s questions will automatically provide keywords that will help with your site’s ranking.

Plus, the links will develop organically as people read your post. Other blogs and websites will link to your blog as a reference because your information is trustworthy and your content is worth reading.

Obviously, there are more Advanced Techniques in SEO.

But, creating posts that deliver beyond your audience’s expectation is an easy way to start implementing SEO into your blog.

Building a foundation is a necessary step to getting started. As you progress and become more comfortable with writing posts for your blog, you can add more layers of SEO to it.

Concentrate on what the visitor to your blog wants. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Try to imagine what questions they would want to ask you.

If you do this, you are on your way to building a site that could become the go-to resource in your field.

These are a few techniques that will not only help with your SEO, but will help you create better content as well.

Good luck and thanks for reading…

Why Your Blog Needs a Small Following

Have you ever wondered if all this effort is worth it? You work all day at your regular job, come home, and write until 2am. Hit the publish button and…

3 people read your post.

Ahhhhhhhh!!

Or…

Maybe you recieve a lot of views but nobody ever comes back.

Am I crazy?” You ask yourself…

“Why am I doing this?”

There are countless people online that will tell you that they can help grow your traffic and your site can be a success.

They will give you countless tips such as hopping on social media and promoting your site.

But…

I’m personally tired of reading about a man or woman who grew a website to 100,000 views/month in 8 months.

This kind of info seems to permeate every site I read these days. This is not the real world. They talk about how they made $50,000 last month and how their system can work for you.

Sure, there are plenty of people who can do that. But, most of you don’t have years of experience to lean on. You aren’t experts on SEO, CSS, and all the other blogging abbreviations.

You just type your thoughts onto the screen and hope that people will find you and read what you wrote.

Or, maybe you have a solid understanding. But, you are not an expert.

If you are an expert, you can stop reading now and go create a blogging empire.

As for the rest of us, I will continue…

It would be nice if there was a roadmap that you could follow.

The truth is you may spend months writing on your blog or website and have little to show for it.

So, what is the answer? Do you just continue to construct posts day after day hoping that people will find you?

You want to be heard, dang it!! (G rated version)

But, it seems few people are listening.

Here is a thought…

You are exactly where you need to be.

This may be hard to hear. Maybe you don’t want to hear it. But, you may not be quite ready for the big show. There are numerous reasons. None of them are things that you can’t change. Let’s take a look at a few.

Writing Skills

Writing is like most other things in life. It takes time to get better. You must develop as a writer and find your voice.

But…

“I am an excellent writer!” you say.

Let’s inspect deeper…

Various Other Aspects

  • What about your SEO?
  • Is your site easy to navigate?
  • Are you posting regularly?

These are some foundation things you may want to look at. I examined a bunch of blogs that had over 1,000 followers. I noticed that most of them posted consistently. They also had easy to navigate sites.

Most of these things just take time to learn. You should take the time to look at it if you want to be successful.

Structure and Content

  • Have you researched what people are interested in reading?
  • Is there a better way to structure your content?

These are important too. Try to take the time to see if your content is something people are interested in reading. Check out some blogs or social media and see what people are talking about.

Also, make sure it’s structured in a way that it is easy for people to read. Most of us learned in school that you need an outline for a paper. It’s no different when writing online.

These are just a few pointers. There are many more. I am not an expert. I’m still learning. But, I will try to go into more dept in a later post.

So, the next question is…

What is the rush?

Why are you thinking about things like driving traffic from social media to your blog if it is sub par?

Maybe you need a small following right now while you hone in your skills.

Take this opportunity to work on your instabilities. Do it while your traffic is low. As you get better, hopefully your traffic will increase.

If it doesn’t and you have everything laid out perfectly. Then, it may be time to drive some traffic to your site.

Spend this time preparing for when your traffic spikes. You want to take advantage of this situation. Work on pursuing the next level.

How much would you regret if you weren’t ready. You suddenly get 10,000 visitors and you have nothing to write because you haven’t researched. Or, none of your visitors can navigate your site to find articles.

Take this time to prepare and practice. Your time is coming and you want to be ready.

So, how can you prepare?

Content

Well laid out and polished content is king. You want to make sure you are working to get better. I noticed that the all the bigger blogs have excellent content.

I am not going to lie and tell you I have this all figured out. I’m learning right along side you. But, I understand when I visit a site, I want great quality.

Can you remember a time when someone was genuinely interested in you? When someone clicks on your blog or site, this is your chance to show them who you are and what you are about.

Don’t just throw some words on the page. Take some time to think about what your reader would love to learn about you. Make it entertaining.

Your reader’s time is valuable. Don’t waste it! Don’t let them open your About page and it has nothing about you on there (I’m guilty of this).

Short Post

Have you ever read a post that you were very interested in and it ended up only being 300 words. Such a let-down. You wanted more! But, the author just quit writing for whatever reason.

I’m not saying all your posts need to be long. But, if it’s something you know people are interested in. Give them something to read.

Hitting Publish Button too Quickly.

So, you finally created a post that you know people will love. Wait! Don’t hit publish. We are all so excited to get our words onto the internet.

Take a few hours or a day to think about your content. Are you leaving any questions unanswered?

That is how I wrote this post. I typed it out and then stepped back for a day and thought about it. I added a few things and rewrote it. Next, I thought about it some more.

I kept refining the material. Making it better. I didn’t publish my first draft. I crafted and polished it. I didn’t publish my second or third draft either.

You may be reading this and telling yourself this guy’s writing sucks! That is ok because I know that this is my best. I gave it everything I had. I didn’t take any shortcuts.

If you write poetry, write the best poetry you can write.

If you write about your life, make it interesting and fun.

If recipes are your niche, get creative and make me want more.

If you like writing short stories make them amazing.

When I post something, I want people to be excited to read it. I want my readers to know that I spent time considering what they want. Mostly, I want people to know that I value their time.

How do I do this?

I try to lay out the best posts that I can possibly write every time.

My site may not have the best theme. The structure of my posts may not be perfect. My content may pale in comparison to the best bloggers.

But, I gave it my all. I gave my 48 followers the best that I could write.

Maybe you should do the same.

Good luck out there…

Give the World the Gift of Your Writing : A Few Tips That May Help

Have you ever written a post or article that seemed to write itself? You had a clear vision of your objective and the writing just flowed out. What causes this and how can we channel it into future posts?

I think a good place to start is understanding how our mind works. Our writing flows when two things occur.

  • We know what we are writing about
  • We know the questions our reader wants answered

Can you remember how it felt to effortlessly write a post? As you wrote your post or article, did you know what questions your reader had?

Yes, you probably did and you were happy to provide all of the answers. Is this some strange insight that randomly occurs or can we recreate it?

Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Let’s say you are a cat person. You love cats. You could talk about cats all day. Could you write a post about cats? Yes, I’m sure you could.

But…

What if a cat forum or cat blog ask you to write a guest post for their site about cats?

Would this be harder?

Would you take more time and think about your post?

The second example would be harder, but it is where your good writing lies. You would take extra time to research before writing because you would want to show your best qualities as a guest on their site.

You would think about what your audience wants and you would find the answers to those questions.

You don’t want to just write about things you love, you want to reach deep down and connect with the people who are interested in your topic.

How to Start

First, you will need a topic.

Topics are all around you right now. You just may not see them. I will give you a few examples.

  • Do you use Facebook? Why? Does it help with your blog?
  • Should I paint the walls in my house? Why?
  • Do you use paper to write? Why?

The list goes on and on…

Once you have a few topics in your mind, I would take out multiple sheets of paper and put them on your desk or wherever you like to write.

I like to write a different topic on each piece of paper. Then, I jump back and forth writing about each topic. One topic will naturally start to rise to the surface.

Research is Easier Than you Think

This is where you want to start your research. Before you run off at the thought of research, remember that research doesn’t always mean reading through material. Research could mean thinking about things in your mind.

How so? I’m glad you ask.

Let’s say I want to write a post about lemons. I have my topic. But, I want to write my personal experience with lemons, not a research paper. If I spent a couple of hours thinking about lemons, do you think I would come up with some personal examples where lemons affected my day?

I don’t personally have any lemon stories, but a person who is passionate about lemons will probably have lots of memories and thoughts about lemons.

Once you have done your research, it’s time to start writing.

Writing

Pay very close attention to the questions you ask yourself when you’re writing about your topic.

What are things you want to know about your topic?

These are good places to start because your reader will probably have the same questions.

Don’t think about page views or how you can sound smart!

Be authentic and genuine. Let people connect with you. Just let your thoughts flow onto the page.

Don’t worry about how many followers you have or if anyone will read your posts. Just stay connected to your topic and write for that audience.

If you take the time to research your topic and think about what your audience wants to know, then your writing should be fairly easy. Just start writing. Connect dots as you move along and let the writing flow.

My Last Thoughts

I think that it’s human nature to drive ourselves crazy about things we wish we had. Take a minute to step back and enjoy this moment. You have a chance to share your ideas with the world! Don’t worry about things you cannot change. Just write in the moment.

If you feel this post could help someone, feel free to share it with them.

Thanks for your time…

P.S. As a reward for reading the entire length of this post, I will give you a rare insight into my writing. This post took approximately 6 hours to write (and lots of thinking).