24 04 12




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11 06 09

As a writer, you need to acquire a readership, whether you write articles, advertising, fiction, and/or nonfiction. You’ve probably heard that you need a website to help promote your writing and start building that readership.

It’s true. The Web is a fabulous means to build a writing biz. You can connect with like minded individuals, you can present opinions, you can experiment with your writing (beyond what our predecessors could ever imagine), you can interact with your readers… you can have fun.

The thing nobody tells you about this process is that once you’ve got the website up, you have to generate traffic to start this incredible web adventure.

That can be an interesting task.

In fact, lately this “web traffic” situation seems to be on more minds than mine. I get e-mails (nearly) daily promising me that (for a hefty price) some company or another will get one of my sites “to the top of the major search engines.”

Yeah. Right.

There are effective ways to get your website listed in the major search engines. There are also some not effective ways as well.

This article outlines one ineffective way to get web traffic.

I’ve coached a few writers, so-called professional communicators, this past month who were discouraged because although their websites were rising through the Google ranks and were receiving a good amount of organic traffic, they weren’t making any book sales.

I had a hunch I knew what was going on.

When a well-written book doesn’t sell, it’s usually for a number of reasons, the most probable being that there isn’t a large enough market for the topic, the price point is too high (or too low), or the web page doesn’t properly sell the title.

One look at the site confirmed my suspicions. In all the instances brought to my attention, the problem was with the website. Every single writer was more concerned about web site optimization rather than properly describing and selling their book.

It’s one thing to make your website favorable to search engines, in fact Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of building a website, but it’s quite another to engage in clumsy tactics to make your site climb up the ranks.

Disclaimer: I’m not, nor do I pretend to be an SEO expert. The following is pure opinion based on my web adventures.

What each of these people did was, as they built their website text, they inserted copious numbers of “keywords” to the point that they were literally “keyword packing.”

Keyword Packing occurs when you take a particular keyword and pack that keyword into a keyword sentence as many times as possible so that when the search engines spider your site they’ll see your keyword and assume that keyword accurately represents your “keyword” website and will appear when someone inserts that keyword into the engine. (Note: this sentence is packed with a keyword.

Betcha you’ll never guess which one it is.) 🙂

As you can see, keyword packing makes for some very awkward writing. Combine keyword packing with keyword placement on menus, subheads, and titles and you’ve got one, big keyword, mess.

Here’s the problem. When you receive good search engine rankings, you will receive traffic. Problem is when you do receive that traffic, you’ll quickly discover it evaporates once your visitors experience your awkward writing style.

It takes a writer with the skill of a master to elegantly weave keywords into a website while maintaining flow and sales effectiveness.

Very difficult.

So, suppose you’re not an SEO expert (like me). What can you do to get website traffic without sacrificing content?

There are multiple ways to generate some website traffic including writing articles, article distribution sites, creating videos, visiting forums, blogs, zines, Google Adwords, and much more. I’ll discuss these more in upcoming issues of Writing Etc.

You’ve got options, many of them not costing one red cent, to generate web traffic. Approach SEO carefully, never sacrificing content for keywords.

Remember, a site receiving a few relevant, smart, interesting, and engaged visitors is far more powerful than a bunch of people who visit and leave thinking you’ve got an awkward, repetitive, unnatural writing style.

My two (very opinionated and probably antiquated) cents.

Got a comment? Head on over to my blog. 🙂

Beth Ann Erickson is the “Queen Bee” of Filbert Publishing. She’s also the author of numerous titles including “101 No Cost and Low Cost Secrets To Turbo Charge Your Freelance Income.” Pick up your copy today at http://filbertpublishing.com/101.html She’s also a busy copywriter, speaker, and publisher of Writing Etc., the free e-mag for writers.

3 06 09

Spend the day at the beach if you want, go on a vacation, or take an extra long lunch break with your kids at the park! It’s no secret that working from home gives entrepreneurs the freedom to choose their own hours, avoid commuting each day, and have the potential to make more income than a “9 to 5” job. But one of the greatest risks with operating an online business is that your income can greatly fluctuate, especially if you are unfamiliar with search engine optimization. When there’s not enough time or expertise to market your business online, outsourcing is the very best option! Contracting out SEO experts brings you the best of both worlds:

  • No training to worry about which keeps you doing what you do best
  • High-quality services that are guaranteed to promote your business

First, let’s look at one major expense of running an online business: search engine optimization. You may all of the motivation in the world to learn what you can about good SEO and how to get your site to the top of the search engine rankings. But managing this takes you away from running your business. However, with outsourcing you eliminate the learning curve involved in getting up to speed with link building, social networking, and keyword optimization. Your team of qualified SEO people can handle it efficiently, effectively, and with the best results because that’s what they’re good at! Look for providers that have had years of experience (and the positive feedback to prove it) so you’re sure they provide superior services to their clients.

The next advantage to outsourcing is that you can choose exactly the services you need to build your traffic. Take, for example, an online store with 3 employees: the owner, his wife, and a stock person. The owner of this company may be an expert at establishing vendor relations and controlling the financial aspects of the business, while his wife handles customer service and their stock person packs and ships the products out. But how about marketing their business online? With an online-based outsourcing service, SEO professionals are standing by to provide these valuable services. People like SEO marketing experts, social media professionals, and webmasters can be hired “by-the-project” or on an on-going basis.

When an SEO professional is needed to get more exposure for your Web site, why not outsource? You’ll gain the best reward for running an online business… more traffic to your site and more sales! With outsourcing, no matter what type of SEO improvements you need, you can hire the same quality services without having to hire your employees in-house. Now, your business can be even more profitable from home while outsourced SEO specialists are working hard for you from the comfort of their homes!

About the author: Nicole Munoz is the owner of Start Ranking Now. She is an SEO Outsourcing, Link Building, and Social Media Expert. She also conducts SEO training in San Diego to other entrepreneurs and Internet marketing professionals.