“Peril”

I felt like I found “the One” moments ago.

Reading through a slew of blog posts I overwhelmed my browser with, I came upon a word that caused whiplash in my eye sockets. Well, almost that dramatic. Once I read the word “peril”, my mind’s eye created a quick crack of close thunder in a very dark, scary place. That place was probably my own head, but I digress.

goldfinch

Sometimes a tiny word in the right place can provide very enjoyable communication for the reader. I wish there was a database containing all of these words, but alas, these word preferences really vary from person to person.

Asking one of my sisters what word gave her the “chills”, she told me, “clock”, an everyday noun.

“Clock” is indeed a satisfying word. It really perfectly captures the staccato of the ticking hand. It doesn’t do me any favors when I’m reading, but that’s the ol’ variation from person to person at play.

Dear “peril”…where will you be next? Part of the excitement for me is not seeing you too often. While I hope to be at peace tonight, maybe you will pop up in a future blog post and perfectly convey the dangers of abusing SEO tactics once more.

 

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How to Stop Going on Autopilot

“I’ll bet a fiddle of gold
Against your soul
‘Cause I think I’m better than you”

You had a five-page assignment due and managed to squeeze it in in a solitary day. You feel proud that you’re so efficient and are one click away from turning it in to your professor or employer. You feel as confident as Johnny taking on the devil on the fiddle. You reluctantly give your work a quick skim and even more reluctantly come to the realization that writing has to be original to be impressive, not just speedy.

The paper is full of cliches and fillers and doesn’t even flow smoothly. Looks like you went on autopilot and just thought you were having a creative streak. It’s a great realization right before a deadline.

Satisfying the Word Count VS Writing

There are no less than five paragraphs in your paper that all say the same thing. When a paragraph ends, the small point should be over. If the reader arrives at the same conclusion multiple times, it’s dull and a dead giveaway that the author does not care about the material.

Genuine Interest

This is the key factor in writing well. You have to engross yourself in the writing. Always make sure you are putting effort to feel something, anything about the topic before you begin. If your interest is being shy and you are tempted to expand contractions to meet your word count, there are a couple go-tos to help make yourself interested.

Compare Statistics

Statistics is a magical world. There’s nothing that sparks interest quite like inferring conclusions from numbers. It is difficult to explain, but you know when an article is backed up by real statistics that that article just came to life.

poowpyouw

Relate Personally

Remember something related to the material that personally happened to you so that you can evoke real emotions to use for solid writing. This goes back to the days when you thought your third grade teacher was very interested in your personal life but really just wanted to prompt you to write well.

Add further ideas in the comments!

Libelous Masterpieces (U.S. Guide)

Every writer should be aware of the legality of their pieces and the potential to be sued, not just journalists. Journalists certainly have to be aware of what could be considered slanderous, because they always dealing with real people, but writing about real people is not something only done in journalism. Here are a few topics on libel to consider. (And by the way, slander = spoken word and libel = written word).

Satire & Parody

If you’re writing satire, you are mostly exempt from being sued. Mostly. New laws come about because cases that make it to the Supreme Court and present new issues. The world is constantly changing. If you plan on going high profile with your satirical works, I recommend getting a law book. I am not kidding. It gets complicated.

Your Facebook

You can actually be sued for posting things on your Facebook and other social media accounts. I would really reconsider before you post to Sally’s timeline and try to get everyone to believe she slept with her boss to get a promotion. On the other hand, if you’re talking about public figures (there are criteria to determine what a “public figure” is), then it is unlikely you affect their reputation in any way, so go ahead and let everyone know that you think President Obama himself caused the stock market to crash.

thrasher

Oops!

You submit first-person pieces to a very well-known political website for a living. You finish your article about what everyone was doing outside of your local voting booth when they were waiting to cast their ballot for the next governor. The next day you find out your company is being sued for libel because they published your piece, despite the fact that you had lazily researched some technical information that you didn’t know and made the Democratic candidate look like a fool! Luckily, this was negligence, not actual malice, which are legal terms that determine different consequences.

Don’t lose any sleep over this. Just be aware that your company getting sued over you will probably mean the loss of your job…Be conscious when you write about real people!

Five SEO Tips

      1. Make your most important information in text and HTML.

In other words, describe your videos or anything that is “rich text”. If it’s a picture, a video or something else that uses a lotta bites, type a nice description if you want people to find it.

search_engine

      2. Match your titles to the rest of the content

It’s disorienting for search engines when you have an article about bearded men with long hair and your title is something like, “Stayin Alive”. You might make the connection, but the search engine won’t.

      3. Don’t use old SEO tips.

This field is constantly changing. You know what was different in, say, 2003? Little Nokia phones were the coolest, capri cargo pants were the height of fashion and SEO was a different animal. Businesses have been competing with each other for years to get their search results higher to the top. As search engines and society develops, so do the tricks of the trade.

      4. Link your links

Search engines cannot find other pages on your website without links.

       5. Don’t make a form to access your website.

I have one question for you if you do this and do not intend to be in the Deep Web: Seriously, what the hell? Besides the fact that practically no one is interested in becoming a member to view your website’s mysterious content, search engines cannot access whatever is behind logins. That is, unless your site is Facebook. Is it Facebook?

Types of Typists

There was a point in my life where I looked over a keyboard and slowly pecked the keys with two fingers. Around the age of 16 or so, I gave myself typing lessons. Now I’m an exceptionally fast typist.

The lesson learned here is that I don’t think this is something you have to learn as a very young kid. Take a trip down my typing lesson if you want to get tips on how to go faster. Find your step and move on. Each one should take a day each.

a s d f j k l ;

Ah, the home keys. You can find “f” and “j” automatically after a while because of the ridges on those keys. I’m sure there are other strange ways of learning to type, but memorize these four first by having a day where you click each key from left to right over and over with all of your fingers resting on these and your thumbs on the space bar.

hag lag fad glad gas

Moving along, we’ve incorporated “g” and “h”. Make all the words you want with the ten keys, not looking of course. Don’t leave your forefingers on those keys. Your left one is loyal to “f”, and your right one is loyal to “j”. No matter how much they wander and fondle other keys, remember who your homies are.

q w e r u i o p

Practice these northern neighbors just like your home keys, with the left pinky pressing “q” and the right one on “p”. Don’t touch “t” and “y”.

tag year poop

*Now* touch “t” and “y”.

z x c v b n m ,

Don’t leave any keys in the middle untouched.

zebra sax bird

zebrasaxbird

After you’ve played the zebra sax, you’ve got all the letters. Now you have some numbers and symbols to memorize. My advice for this is to transcribe some books. Hopefully, at this point you will have a habit of using the finger closest to the key to press it.

Here is where it gets weird. The best thing for my typing speed has been writing replies on Reddit. I’m usually very passionate about whatever idiot I am futilely trying to prove wrong. I strongly believe that arguing with Internet strangers helps you build typing speed. Take that how you will…

A Day in the Life of ‘The Wrong Fit’

You wake up early and get some coffee before opening up your laptop. You read your company’s emails and sigh importantly. You think to yourself, Its a great day too get there act together. (These things can physically hurt me to write. But just bare with me.)

Moving on, you read today’s assignment. It’s too easy. You just need to write about texting and driving. You crack your finger joints and begin.

Lots of people text and drive these days.

A word comes to your mind. Two words come to mind, in fact. They are “research” and “statistics”. You can’t remember how the first one is relevant, and isn’t statistics that math class you failed in college?

Texting and driving is bad, you continue. Texting and driving can get you into an accident. Texting and driving isn’t the only option on the road. Driving can be done without texting. Texting and driving–don’t do it.

traffic

Oh yeah, now you’ve got those keywords in. This assignment is coming along beautifully.

Two months down the road, your boss reviews your work and tells you that you are probably not the right fit. Surprise.

Based on this article by Chris Goddard on SERPs. It’s from an employer’s point of view.

Ever Written an eBook?

I know somewhere there is someone who just snorted very sharply. Of course, you’ve written 12 1/2 eBooks. You’re a writer.

This has been my personal experience with the ebook world, and if you can excuse my naivete, I have only written one that I think others would enjoy reading, and I have only published on one site.

Where is this book now? It is still available. I can make the changes if I feel like, and I hated the ending of that story, so I will get around to it. Making people get married at the end a work of fiction makes me cringe, and I did it. I’ll fix that eventually.

verycliche

The site I used was Smashwords. My old profile is still up with me posing with the late and great Plumpkin the rooster. Anyway, like most eBooks, it has not really been marketed, and the tags have been swallowed up in the tag ocean. As a side note, the cover art is atrocious, but I’m no graphic designer.

So what can you do to make your book sell? Obviously not what I’m doing. I am not going to pretend to be an expert. (I sold two or three copies). It’s a combination of hot keywords (tags) that are still popular by the time you get done writing, the skill of your writing, the quality and eye-catching nature of your cover art and taking advantage of appropriate marketing platforms.

It’s basically luck though. One popular blogger might find your book, and the next morning you’re upgrading everything in your life. This scenario is fairly unlikely, so I like to recommend writing eBooks for other reasons. It’s a good way to make a positive online presence, and that is extremely important.