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  • Where to Use Keywords To Gain More Traffic

    Posted on September 20th, 2012 jean 5 comments

    I’ve shared some simple, basic, super-easy tips on how to increase the ranking of your blog in search engines (SEO tips for writers who could care less about the magic that happens behind the scenes) over on From The Write Angle today. Since I had a ton to share and the tip cup runneth over, this post is sort of the bonus features on the SEO DVD. I’m going to make you a SEO expert lickety split.

    I promised to touch upon how photos and video can help increase your blog’s SEO as well as a bit more on keyword usage. If you haven’t read the From the Write Angle Post yet, you might want to start there. Then again, you might want to dive right into this stuff. Your call. I’ll be here.

     

    Screenshot of Google Keyword Tool in action

    A visual preview of what’s going on in my From the Write Angle post. I’ll share tools and tips! You don’t want to miss it.

     

    Where to Use Keywords for SEO

    • Use several keywords on your site when appropriate. People have different ways of phrasing the same thing–try to work the variety in if you can.
    • Headings. Search engines like headings. Place keywords there when you can.
    • Use your keywords in the FIRST SENTENCE of your post if you can swing it–the first paragraph if not–and again in closing when you can.
    • Use keywords in your image descriptions. Tag them. Use alt text. Keywords are your friend. You’ll be amazed what image searches can do for your stats. (I had one day on my It’s All Kid’s Play blog not too long ago where one image received 500 hits. It was a fluke, but one I am happy with–now to repeat that!) Just make sure your images are copyright safe, okay?
    • Links should have keywords. I know I haven’t been great at this in this post–but if you can, have the linked text be describing. For example: To learn more about SEO for blogs, pop over to From the Write Angle today. That right there, was using a keyword phrase in the link. Better than linking the word “click here.”
    • Use keywords in your post title. There is a reason this post is not called “Get Your Geek On.” The trick though is balancing that title with something interesting and intriguing and SEO friendly.
    • ┬áVideos. Google apparently looooves videos. So if you have a video on your blog, make sure you use good keywords to describe it, keywords in its title, etc. Embed those videos in your blog and get folks to subscribe to your channel if you post them on YouTube. (Ask them to subscribe right at the end of your video! And don’t forget a link to your blog.) Google likes subscribers. (Did you know videos are 50% more likely to hit the first page in Google? Weird huh?) Oh, and videos make people stay longer on your site… and if you read the From the Write Angle article… you’ll know that means a boost in your site’s ranking in the eyes of search engines.

    Rule of Thumb: Use GOOD keywords that apply to your content. Don’t overuse them. Write good tags, good summaries, and good headlines that make use of keywords. But, make it interesting. And since you guys are writers, I know you’ll do well!

    So? What do you think? What has helped you gain traffic to your site? Or is it all still a fuzzy mystery?

    Further reading on this blog: 4 Easy Ways to Increase Your Blog’s SEO (More on keywords, slugs/permalinks, nofollow attributes, and pictures.) Quick and Dirty Social Media for Writers: SEO (Lots of quick tips to get your motor primed and ready.)

  • Writing Contests for Flash Fiction and Black Moments

    Posted on April 12th, 2012 jean 2 comments

    Do you write romance?

    Do you write flash fiction? (Want to try?)

    Do you have a black moment that makes you tear up every time you read it in edits?

    Do you want to try writing a story of 500 words or less that includes the words “paper, crew, callipygian, angle, and novel?”

    Do you want to swing your dead cat at winning a critique from a New York Times Bestselling author? (OMG, yes!!)

    Do you want to win free books? (Free books! Best ever.)

    If you answered yes to any of those questions, I’ve got two great contests for you:

    AKRWA Breakup Contest

    **Permission to Forward**

    The AKRWA Breakup Contest is open for entries!

    Tired of submitting your first pages to contests? Want some feedback on a different section of your manuscript? Then this contest is for you!

    We want to see your best black moment or break-up scene. We want to watch your characters face their darkest fear, lose all hope, dig deep, chew the scenery, let it all hang out … Thrill us. Make us cry. Make us long for your characters to find their happy ending.

    Go to http://www.akrwa.ala….com/about.html for details on how to enter.

    The final judge will be Liz Pelletier at Entangled Publishing.

    The first place winner will receive a critique from NYT-bestselling author Cherry Adair.

    The entry deadline is May 1. We can’t wait to read your black moment or break-up scene!

     

    From The Write Angle’s Blogiversary Flash Fiction Contest

    A Blogiversary Contest!

    From the Write Angle is one year old! We can’t believe it has been a year already. To celebrate our birthday month, and to thank you, our loyal fans and readers, we’re having a contest!
    • What: Flash fiction, maximum 500 words
    • Requirements: You must use each of the following words in your entry: paper, crew, callipygian, angle, novel. Other than that, there’s no specific theme. It’s up to you. Have fun with it!
    • Deadline: Entries must be received by midnight (EDT) on Wednesday, April 18th 2012
    • Method of entry: email your entry to fromthewriteangle@gmail.com with your flash fiction pasted in the body of the email. Please don’t send any attachments.
    • Results: the Write Angle Crew will read and collectively decide on two winners, which will be announced here on the blog on Friday, April 27th.

    Important: By entering, you agree to let us publish your flash fiction on this web site if you’re one of the winners.

    We would love if you would tweet or otherwise share this post and spread the word about the contest. We’d also love for you to subscribe to our blog. However, these are not requirements for contest entry.

    One last thing… PRIZES! Two lucky winners will receive book by Write Angle crew members.

    1st Place: 2 Print books

    The Sister Queens, by our own Sophie Perinot

    Spring Fevers short story anthology edited by our own Matt Sinclair, with stories from FTWA writers Cat Woods, J. Lea Lopez, R.S. Mellette and Mindy McGinnis. (Cover design by our amazing Calista Taylor, and interior design by R.C. Lewis) Currently only available in eBook format, you’ll be one of the first to get your hands on a paperback copy!

    2nd Place: 2 eBooks

    Devil on a Sparrow’s Wing, by Calista Taylor. This is the second in a series. You can get the first book, Viridis, free here so when you win this prize, you’ll be ready for the sequel!

    The Watchtower, by Darke Conteur

     

    Good luck!

  • Gimme Five Reasons: Writing Prompts

    Posted on March 30th, 2012 jean 2 comments

    Today I’m over at From The Write Angle talking about 5 great places to find writing prompts. But why do we need writing prompts? Aren’t they just for when you are stumped or in a creative writing class?

    Nope. Here are 5 reasons writing prompts are great for writers:

    1. They build creative muscle
      Writing regularly and thinking about different stories is great for building those writing neurons and stretching your imagination.
    2. They stretch your skills
      Writing prompts make us think outside our genre and common story ideas–stretching our skills in a good way. (Makes you more diverse.)
    3. They induce creativity
      Writing prompts get us thinking, get us imagining, and get us creating!
    4. They keep us writing
      It’s easy to fall into a rut of “I’ll write tomorrow” or “That’s enough for today” and get complacent about writing often enough to keep our skills lubed. If you use writing prompts it inspires you to the point where you are wanting to write lots and lots. It keeps that creative part of the brain lubed and churning along at a great rate.
    5. It’s fun!
      Writing prompts are a fun challenge that can be done anywhere and anytime. So next time you are hitting a slump in your writing, try picking up a writing prompt to perk you up and put the fun back in your writing.

    Would you like some writing prompt ideas? Pop over to From The Write Angle and check out my 5 writing prompts as well as the ideas in the comment section.

    Have you used writing prompts? Why do you use them?