Web Explored — Hashtags, Write for your Life, Etc.

Web Explored

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

Web Explored all you need to knowMar­cy 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.


Universal Struggle?

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?

Web Explored fear/knowledgeEver 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.


Longer Articles 

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?

female-face-clipart-dreamstimefree_3033714Jeff 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.

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