The Web Explored. One of my major pastimes is scouring the web for information, all that bit faster with my new PC. I often have an idea or two that I am researching, or am simply browsing, looking for things of interest. I read a lot of pieces where I stay for only a few seconds, not a page to be recommended. The opposite are some of the items listed here. Good advice is always worth sharing.
Hmmm… Great Opening Thoughts
Marcy Kirkton brings the first of our contributions to this edition of the Web Explored in Writing for your Life. Mentally exhausted from a communications job demanding more than 60 hours per week? I thought the way she describes the struggle in her own life is interesting. The eternal question of whether writing would be a fun way to make a living? She was “dreaming of any job where I could simply talk and not have to commit a word to paper”, hmm… there’s a thought. Its how she began her journey with a crazy idea and learned many lessons along the way.
I am thinking of that job where I can simply talk. For me that probably starts by talking to my computer and have is take some of the load. Reminding me once again to re-investigate the world of speech recognition and artificial intelligence, but that is a subject for another day.
Do you really know how to maximise Hashtag effectiveness? This is the topic of discussion by Tereza Litsa on Search Engine Watch. Each social site has its own rules about hashtag usage. If you are seeking to publicise your work then knowledge of how to use them is vital. On Facebook and Twitter using just one hashtag will increase engagement with your contacts. Combine this with an image and your post will become more popular. Information we should all know.
“Finding the time to write is a universal struggle for writers” Says Chuck Sambuchino in Train Your Brain and Make Writing a Priority. I agree it is all too easy to give up. In part the reason for developing this section, Web Explored, is to break away from the normal post. Bring useful content authored by other great writers to my readers.
Kristi Kellogg in 13 Headline Writing Hacks You HAVEN’T Heard says “A great headline can mean the difference between a click and an impression — that’s why it’s so important to create them strategically.” Many writers forget the importance of a good headline. Many fail to challenge the mind, fail to excite readers, or fail to provide a reason to read on. I have failed in this area as well.
Did you know that professional columnists write as many as 25 headlines for the stories they submit? Is it time to try a different headline?
Ever thought about how fear affects you? then you should read Do What Excites You: How to Push Through Fear & Make Bold Choices by Miranda Hill from Tiny Buddha. “Fear works in two ways: it will make you run or it will paralyze you.” I think we have all heard this before. Now it is time to take action. In this piece Hill looks at other ways fear may impact what you do in any given situation. I agree that “every fear conquered today makes tomorrow easier.”
There are some I should have conquered long ago, but that is the way life happens.
Concepts and Links
“Writing a clean, lean, simple story is one of the hardest things in the world to do,” Says Matt Bird in How to Attract a Readership Based on Concept Alone. He urges us to think of Blaise Pascal’s famous postscript: “I’m sorry for writing such a long letter, but I didn’t have the time to write a shorter one.” All people have a tendency to enhance our prowess when we write, in many environments editors chop contributions down to size, but for the blog writer this can be a bit of a challenge. Concept is something we explore a lot through blogging, hence the value of this post, albeit it being focused on the art of fictional writing.
Creating engaging content s more vital than ever before. Nothing we produce as writers should be created just for the link alone, says Julia McCoy in Why Just Building Links Doesn’t Work Anymore, & 8 Types of Content to Create that Will Grow Your Online Presence. For those readers engaged in the field of content marketing this represents a massive change in thinking.
McCoy’s words also impact the blogger. She believes in using longer posts, in excess of 2,000 words.
Many bloggers today stick with the short form of less than one thousand words, often between 350 and 500 words believing short and sweet is best. But is it? A topic I intend to revisit in the near future. I have often considered creating longer articles, they are a good idea when explaining concepts that have a lot of detail.
In general over the past few years SEO experts tend to agree posts should be 800 to 1,200 words in length. I must test this theory (whether longer is better) and know this is a page I will return to in the future and potentially add more comments to Web Explored.
A Work of Fiction?
Jeff Goins asks the question Are You a True Writer If You Don’t Write Fiction? This is a question I have heard many times, yet the majority of people who write never write fiction. In fact the majority of writers probably don’t consider themselves writers at all, given they simply spend their days writing business reports. As Goins points out “writing is a challenge regardless of whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.” This article is a pod-cast and it is worth listening to all of it. It covers what makes writing powerful, how it can endure, where the best stories come from, and how to become a better storyteller.
In this regard I once spoke with one of Britain’s best lawyers and he told me that one of the greatest skills a lawyer can have is how to tell a story, cases are won by how the story of factual events is told, often the decision comes down to which story is more acceptable, reliable, believable etc.