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Why SEO Should Matter To An Author

November 12, 2019 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,
Blog post title Why SEO Should Matter To An Author by Denise M. Colby. Brown background with three scrabble tiles spelling out SEO

There are several reasons why, as an author, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should matter.

SEO What? You ask?

According to Wikipedia, Search engine optimization is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. 

Quote from blog post by Denise M. Colby - how SEO works

Basically when someone types in a set of words in their search bar, SEO is what determines which website pages get shown first. SEO is the unpaid results (not the paid ads we see that state clearly “paid ad”).

So what can SEO do for you as an Author?

  • Make it easier for people to find your content, which in turn they find you and your books. 
  • Teach you to think about your posts and your website differently. 
  • Tie your writing and your graphics together. 
  • Give direction as to what type of graphics to create. 
  • Direct you to write blog posts that fit into a content strategy based on your SEO goals.
  • Help you name your pages with urls that are SEO specific.

Here are some questions to ask and ponder when creating a website page or blog post:

  • Do you know your target audience?
  • Do you know the people you are trying to reach?
  • Do you know what you want to reach them with?
  • Why would someone want to read your article, book, post?

How do you find things on the internet?

Think about how you go looking for something on the internet.

Do you type just one word? a phrase? or a sentence?

scrabble tiles spelling out SEO and then a Blog Post Quote by Denise M. Colby

When you think about your overall brand, how would you look for something you write? What would the one word? one phrase? or one sentence be?  

As I’ve focused on SEO more, I feel it has helped me become a better writer. 

When I have to select just one keyword or keyword phrase to fit a blog post, my post is more focused and succint. When I had too many choices to pick just one, it made it harder to figure out the goal of my piece. If I can’t figure it out, how would I expect someone else to figure out the purpose of my writing?

What are some other things I feel SEO has helped me with?

Organizing my website, blog posts, and files.

I’ve developed a category and tag strategy that has given me ample blog post ideas. All which tie into my brand. It’s not perfect, but I feel like I’m going in the right direction. And that peace has been transforming.

Some other things to note about SEO:

Graphically SEO matters as well.

The algorithms look at sub-heads, which are used to break up the flow of reading, and images that match the written content which helps make your content more compelling. Faster website loading, and ease of use to find your content matter too. 

Keep in mind, being creative is great, but having something so obscure for page names won’t help your target audience find you.

There needs to be a purpose/strategy to everything you do.

The more thorough you are with SEO strategies, both with the things I’ve mentioned above, as well as ALT text, meta data, and so much more, the better indexed your pages will be for all the different search engines, allowing your pages and posts to index better. 

The goal is to land on the first page of a search - blog post quote by Denise M. Colby SEO goals for authors

The goal is to land on the first page of a search. That way any person can find you, easily.

So, as I’ve mentioned above, SEO should be an important component to your marketing strategy as an author. If you’d like to find out more, you can sign up for my free Marketing for Authors newsletter. When you sign up, you’ll receive a free PDF on how to improve your image SEO. I walk you through how to do ALT Text, captions, and file naming. Future newsletters will include other tips and suggestions.

You could also look back at a few past posts of mine on this blog, here, here, and here.

I enjoy sharing what I have learned with other authors. Let me know if this has been helpful and what, if any, questions you may have.

Blessings,

Denise

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Figuring Out What Our Characters Want

October 12, 2019 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,
Blog title page Figuring Out What Our Characters Want by Denise M. Colby. Black and white background faded photo of people walking around

When writing a story, writers need to ask the question “What do we think our characters want?”

On the surface that may sound like an easy question, but when I was a new writer, I found it very challenging. Probably because I had a hard time knowing what I wanted for myself. 

Never one to make decisions quickly, choosing what to wear or what I wanted to eat for dinner was not always simple. Deciding on what restaurant to go to or what movie to watch was a loaded question in our house, since my husband and I usually came from opposite ends and had to find a compromise. For some reason, as a younger me, I would discount my own desires or not really care. I even had a ex-boyfriend ask me what I wanted once, and even though I had basic goals and dreams, things I liked to do and be a part of, I was unsure how to answer specifically. 

Maybe I was too afraid to be so definitive. Or I wanted to make sure I would be really happy with my decision. Or I liked to blend in with whomever I was hanging out with. Who knows. All that’s to say, asking “What does our Hero want? What does our Heroine want?” over and over made me realize I had to dig deeper in defining myself as well as my characters if I wanted to write a story.

So how do we get inside our characters head and ask what they want?

Background pic of helping hands with words overlaid saying Five Different Techniques to Help You Dive Deep in figuring out what your characters want. Blog post by Denise M. Colby

I worked on five different techniques to help me dive deep:

1. Pay attention to the world around you. Not just in general, but to each individual.

I started paying deeper attention to the different nuances in my friends and family. Never wanting to judge, I purposely didn’t focus on differences or quirks, but as a writer, that’s what makes our characters unique and special. And it’s those quirks that we love in our friends and family, isn’t it?

2. People watch.

Take a look and watch people’s faces for reactions and try and guess what they are thinking. My husband and I love to do our date nights at Disneyland. It’s a great place to people watch. There are so many different personalities to watch and observe and try and figure out a background story for them.

3. Pay attention to what vehicle someone drives. 

I don’t know why, but I love trucks. And when I see a vehicle I like I tend to look at who is driving it and what their story is. I probably could make up a lot of stories this way, but right now I’m focusing on time periods without vehicles, so I’m packing away these observances for a later time. But the exercise has helped me practice defining characters. If it’s not a vehicle, you could pick some other item such as a house, a pet, or clothes. What type of person would choose…

4. Make a decision and stick with it. 

I don’t know why, but this has been difficult for me. I ask too many ‘what ifs’. Just pick one and write from that perspective. If you need to change it later, that’s okay. Decisiveness helps you move forward. Originally, I couldn’t decide on any particular personality and so my heroine was everything. There was no uniqueness that I could specifically use to forward her story. I had to go back and be more clear-cut and unambiguous. Which leads me to my last point.

5. Be more specific with the smaller details.

In the beginning I was really vague with what I thought my characters wanted. It made it harder to write a scene. When I started my second book’s draft, I had defined my characters more before I wrote and had a stronger idea who they were and what they wanted. I found it was so much easier to write from their point of view that way. All those decisions made a difference!

faded picture of people standing in circle with different shoes and title overlay It's All In The Details Blog post by Denise M. Colby

So as you work on your first book or your twentieth, I hope this gives you some fresh perspective in helping you flush out your characters. I had jotted notes down about this blog topic early on in my writing journey. It was one of those aha moments that really helped me break through a hurdle I had in flushing out my story.

Since then I’ve learned more about myself, too. 

Thanks for reading,

Denise

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June Featured Author: Denise M. Colby

June 29, 2019 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,


Denise Colby |The Writing Journey

Denise M. Colby loves to write words that encourage, enrich, and engage whether it’s in her blog, social media, magazine articles, or devotions. With over 20+ years’ experience in marketing, she enjoys using her skills to help other authors. She treasures the written word and the messages that can be conveyed when certain words are strung together. An avid journal writer, she usually can be found with a pen and notepad whenever she’s reading God’s word. Denise is writing her first novel, a Christian Historical Romance and can be found at www.denisemcolby.com

She’s a member of RWA, OCC/RWA, Faith, Hope & Love Chapter of RWA, ACFW (where she is a semi-finalist in the Genesis contest Historical Romance Category), OC Chapter of ACFW, and SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference (where she will be teaching two workshops in June – Brand and SEO Marketing for Your Website).

 

In addition to Denise’s column The Writing Journey on A Slice of Orange, you can read some of her magazine article here.

 


 Denise M. Colby’s Books

 

 


 

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June Author: Denise M. Colby

June 21, 2019 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,

Denise Colby |The Writing Journey

Denise M. Colby loves to write words that encourage, enrich, and engage whether it’s in her blog, social media, magazine articles, or devotions. With over 20+ years’ experience in marketing, she enjoys using her skills to help other authors. She treasures the written word and the messages that can be conveyed when certain words are strung together. An avid journal writer, she usually can be found with a pen and notepad whenever she’s reading God’s word. Denise is writing her first novel, a Christian Historical Romance and can be found at www.denisemcolby.com

She’s a member of RWA, OCC/RWA, Faith, Hope & Love Chapter of RWA, ACFW (where she is a semi-finalist in the Genesis contest Historical Romance Category), OC Chapter of ACFW, and SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference (where she will be teaching two workshops in June – Brand and SEO Marketing for Your Website).

 

In addition to Denise’s column The Writing Journey on A Slice of Orange, you can read some of her magazine article here.

 


 Denise M. Colby’s Books

 

 


 

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June Featured Author: Denise M. Colby

June 14, 2019 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,

 

Denise Colby |The Writing Journey

Denise M. Colby loves to write words that encourage, enrich, and engage whether it’s in her blog, social media, magazine articles, or devotions. With over 20+ years’ experience in marketing, she enjoys using her skills to help other authors. She treasures the written word and the messages that can be conveyed when certain words are strung together. An avid journal writer, she usually can be found with a pen and notepad whenever she’s reading God’s word. Denise is writing her first novel, a Christian Historical Romance and can be found at www.denisemcolby.com

She’s a member of RWA, OCC/RWA, Faith, Hope & Love Chapter of RWA, ACFW (where she is a semi-finalist in the Genesis contest Historical Romance Category), OC Chapter of ACFW, and SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference (where she will be teaching two workshops in June – Brand and SEO Marketing for Your Website).

 

In addition to Denise’s column The Writing Journey on A Slice of Orange, you can read some of her magazine article here.

 


 Denise M. Colby’s Books

 

 


 

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