Day 24 of the 2015 October Platform Challenge: write a blog post.
Really, Mr. Brewer? Didn’t you assign us that task before? All the way back on day 4?
Oh, I see…the blog post for today’s task is supposed to build on what we learned yesterday about SEO! Let’s see…what was SEO again? Wait, I remember – it stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it basically means using the right keywords to ensure the writer’s blog post will rise to the top of any searches done for these keywords.
Yesterday, the challenge participants were instructed to make a list of keywords we want our website or blog to be known for. This was probably the most difficult part of yesterday’s task for me. What do I want my blog to be known for?
Right now, I am just blogging about the challenge, and how I approach or complete each day’s task. Once the challenge ends at the end of October, I will change my blog from a daily post to a weekly post, and I will be forced to find a new source of topics. I confess that my editorial calendar for November and going forward looks a tad sparse!
What will I want my blog to be known for then? As an as-yet unpublished author, I don’t have a lot of advice to share on how to be a successful author. I don’t have a lot of anecdotes with which to regal my blog readers, about my first agent, or first publisher, or first book-signing. So I don’t want my blog to be the go-to spot for instruction on success, and I don’t want people to seek out my blog for inspiration for their own writing career.
I suppose I could share tidbits about my WIPs (works in progress) in my blog. I could tell about the characters, or share a favorite scene. I just have to be careful not to give away too many details! Once the novels are actually published, I do want people to have to read the books to discover the stories. What’s the old expression? Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free? Well, I imagine I can offer a sip or two, but not a full glass…just enough to whet the readers’ appetite. But, on the whole, I don’t want my blog to be seen as nothing more than a marketing site for my books…until after they are published. Then, marketing my books will definitely be a part of my blog, and something I would want my blog to be known for.
Until then, I could share “the writer’s life” and give my readers a glimpse into my daily routine. But “write for two hours, research agents and markets, craft a query letter and contact a new agent or publisher, then write for another two hours” basically tells the whole story. There’s nothing glamorous or mysterious to share there, nothing blog-worthy.
I could share other parts of my life with my readers – chronicle the two-hour bird-watching hike I took, describe the graceful hummingbird I saw at my feeders, brag on my husband’s grandsons when they achieve something special in school or sports, review a movie or book, complain about the lousy customer service at some store I shopped…
But what do I really want my blog to be known for? I guess, for now, I just want my blog to entertain my readers. That’s one of the main reasons I am writing my series of novels – to entertain people. (That, and to keep my characters from murdering me in the dead of night, as I sleep. I find that as long as I keep writing about them, they remain non-threatening.)
But, getting back to the challenge – what “keywords” do I need to use to achieve the duel purpose of entertaining my readers and keeping my blog posts at the top of search-engine results? To quote Yul Brenner’s character in The King and I, “Is a puzzlement!”
What do you think?
Feel free to stop back from time to time. I’ll keep the porch light on for you.