I truly believe that writers make amazing teachers. I could not have gotten this far in my writing journey without my wonderful writer friends teaching me what they know.
When I first started, I had no idea how much tie in there was between writing and teaching. Well, I sort of did. I remember sitting at my first OCCRWA meeting and taking in everything the speakers were saying. I had so much to learn. And these speakers were experts. I remember thinking to myself, “I would love to someday know as much as them, so I could share like they do, but I know nothing about this industry and writing a novel.” And I felt like I would never know what I needed to know.
Fast forward eight years later and I’m now the one in front of a room and teaching. Who knew! And who knew how valuable us writers are to teach what we’ve learned and share it with our fellow writers.
Wikipedia defines a teacher as the following: A teacher (also called a school teacher or, in some contexts, an educator) is a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone (e.g. when showing a colleague how to perform a specific task).
We, my dear writer friends, are all colleagues showing one another how to perform tasks!
1. To other writers.
2. To our readers.
Let’s talk about other writers. If you are part of a critique group or have ever judged a contest, you are in some form or fashion, teaching. You provide feedback and make suggestions. You are helping another writer learn how to make their manuscript better. You are taking your experiences and sharing them with other writers.
This is yet another way writers make amazing teachers.
I have been blessed with so many writers who have offered their input and suggestions throughout the years, either through contests or from the many different organizations I’m a part of. This is either by being the main speaker at meetings or conferences, or in a table discussion during the lunch break. I have learned many, many, many things from all of it.
This is another way writers are amazing teachers.
And to all my writer friends, you have taught me much!
Again, taking me back to my first meeting, I thought I had to keep my story ideas close to the vest. But that’s not the case. Writers love to talk about stories and there are so many stories out there waiting to still be made up there are not enough days in a year to write them all.
So, as writers, we share. We share ideas, concepts we’ve learned or tried, information we’ve gleaned from a conference, meeting, or blog post. We share encouragement. And we celebrate every single milestone hit by fellow authors. We motivate, innovate, and believe in one another just like the t-shirt says in the photo at the top of this blog!
This is yet another way writers are amazing teachers.
As writers, we also teach our readers. We research specific locations, jobs, diseases, and disabilities, and we incorporate that research into our books. We look at cultures, relationships, and history and add that in as well. Sometimes readers will not be aware of any of the things we write about and so we are teaching our readers about how other people might live.
Writers are amazing teachers.
We also might inspire our readers to make better choices, be kinder, open their heart to love, or any number of ways people can be inspired. That counts as teaching too.
Just like the t-shirt I recently bought says:
We, as writers, are all those things and so much more!
Write-on….amazing teachers, write-on!
I love to encourage and motivate others. Check out a recent blog post here titled Find Motivation to Accomplish Goals, and Hang On To It.
I teach Author Brand and SEO at conferences and meetings. If you’d like to find out more you can go to my Marketing for Authors page on my website.
Ever have non-existent ideas or too many that they are over-whelming?
Never fear, my brain can think of plenty of ideas when I have no time to flush them out but when I finally schedule time to write this blog post, they all have escaped my brain.
Anyone else have this problem?
Sometimes the blog creation process can be easy or hard. In searching for a topic to write about this month, I asked myself the question ‘what is the point of a blog post?’ and then decided to google it.
Here’s what popped up…
I love how google also provides similar questions on the same topic. Notice the different choices in words, but they all fit within the same topic. Obviously, people have searched this topic before.
And this is why SEO and keywords matter. Someone may not google your name or book directly, but they may google something you’ve answered in a blog post or on your web page.
All of these thoughts should go into your blog creation process.
These are all the pages that show up on the search’s first page. Notice all the different page titles. Those matter too.
So this leads me to more questions as I ponder my why about my blog creation process. (Yes, my family calls me the Question Queen)
As I formulate this into something someone would actually read, I’m asking the question ‘what would you like to read?’
Even though I picked a topic out of thin air to write about, as I asked questions and googled one, I was able to create something. It all connects. And that’s what it’s all about.
So, in essence, if we have a topic for a blog post, performing a search about it may wield ideas of phrasing or additional keywords to use so that your post would appear in these searches too.
As I wrap up this post, I now realize I have to figure out a keyword that fits the topic in order for me to have strong SEO. Why I make stuff challenging for myself, I’ll have to cover in an entirely different blog post in the future.
It’s much more fun creating content people enjoy. Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.
On a side note…I’m teaching on the subject of SEO during the month of July!
SEO Marketing for Authors in the ACFW course loop in July. If you are a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), these courses each month are FREE!
I’m also teaching a course on Branding, SEO, & Content, at the Virtual SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference July 9-11. Here’s the link to the conference website.
If you’d like to take a peek at some of my other blog posts, here is a link to my archive on this blog.
There are several reasons why, as an author, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should matter.
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.
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”).
Here are some questions to ask and ponder when creating a website page or blog post:
Think about how you go looking for something on the internet.
Do you type just one word? a phrase? or a sentence?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Before I get into my post, I have to apologize for not posting last month. I completely forgot. I took a much-needed break and my mind was elsewhere. I think it must have been the 111 degree temperature I was sitting in. Here’s the funny part, I took my iPad and laptop on holiday with the intention of writing. I figured, with the few days away from everything, I’d write a novella. That never happened. I take that back. I did write a couple of pages, but can’t find them. No biggie. I had started this book a while back, but couldn’t find it. When I returned home, I dug deep into my hard drive and found the original pages. I was able to recall some of what I’d written on holiday and included it in the new book.
Now to this month’s post.
I mentioned in my last post that I was working on my upcoming release, A Southern Gentleman Vol 2. I was going to hire a publicist to help with the release, but changed my mind. I’m not saying I’ll never use a publicist, but right now isn’t the time. I paid a lot of money on a course to teach me to market my books and I need to make sure I’ve given it a fair chance to work. I tried the techniques twice. Once with some success and the second with very little success. I need to make sure I can do this before I can tell someone what I want them to do.
So, what’s my plan. PRAY. Smile. Okay, I need to do a little more. I’ve learned a lot about marketing since I released my first book five years ago. My very first release, consisted of me accidentally pushing the Publish Button and hoping. I didn’t know about Facebook or newsletter ads. I did book a blog tour, which earned me a few reviews, but few sales. I decided to go wide, so I burned or used a lot of ISBNs because I thought you needed one for every platform. I sold quite a few print copies to family and friends. Unfortunately, those are one-time sales, which I’m grateful. However, I need and want fans, avid readers and followers of my stories.
I have a plan. Now I sound like a politician. SMILE.
I am going to take what I learned in the course, plus what I’ve learned from the various Facebook groups, blog posts and authors I’ve met and formulate a strategy. Will it be my road map from here on out? Maybe, maybe not. Every book is different and what works for one book, may not work for another. Now I should a little confused. Let me clarify. I’m building a basic plan which I will tweak with each release as needed.
Here we go. I’ve given myself approximately 30 days in the Pre-Order period. During this time, I’ll send the book out to my ARC Readers and people in my various groups to read and post reviews on release day. Next, Take Overs. I’ve been doing a few of these for other authors with pretty good results. So now it’s my turn. ADS. I’ve made a list of sites and a posting schedule. Not only do I need ads for release day, I need them for afterwards as well. I’m considering doing ads prior to the release day for A Southern Gentleman Vol 1 in order to draw attention the duet with new readers.
Where it gets a little tricky is Facebook. FB ads can be tricky, so I’m going to start testing graphics a couple of weeks prior to release. I know I’m going to do BookBub Ads, I would love to do a feature ad, but I think I waited too late to apply for one. I am going to try for a paid new release ad, but it might be a little late for that one as well.
All of that will be moot if I don’t do one thing…select a cover. I hear you cringing now, but let me explain. I had a cover, then I went into rebranding mode and it didn’t work. I have two covers and have done a soft test. Before I commit to a cover, I need to do a little more testing. So far, the one I like is winning. However, I don’t need the cover to do pre-marketing, although it would help, a lot. Right now, I’m as busy as a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest. [That statement reminds me of one of the characters in A Southern Gentleman Vol 2]. But it’s the truth. There’s quite a bit to do prior to release. Grant it, I could do nothing or the minimum and see what happens, but I want to make this my best release to date.
So here’s the plan:
I almost forgot. I have a new release date, October 8th, which means I have a few days before the plan goes into play.
I’ll update you next month.
Happy end of summer. Tracy.
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