It’s Aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!

18 Feb

wickedcopy-copywriterWhew – hi everybody. Sorry I’ve been AWOL for so long!

The bad news: I haven’t updated my blog in foreeeever!

The good news: I’ve been too busy to update my blog, thanks to… well, thanks to my blog. 🙂

This simple website of mine is proof positive that a blog gets you the exposure you need to grow your business. I’ve been so busy with the new clients my site has generated over the past year that I haven’t needed to update my site – and so I haven’t bothered.

Now, I do think that growing my traffic and my online presence is a good thing, obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing you now. Aside from being search engine fodder, blog posts are important because they tell your potential customers that you are still in the picture. In other words, not having a new post up since the summer when it is now February is a bad thing <blush!>.

However, my website has gotten enough Google traction that it’s still getting page views and it’s still generating leads for me from my contact form. How? In a word (or an acronym):

SEO.

Yes, blogs are important to tell Google you’ve got regular content going up all the time, but SEO is still important, albeit different from days of yore. You need to have the right SEO in the right places. It helps to have your whole site’s framework set up correctly, but then within each post there are things you can do, as well.

If you need help with your blog, let me know. This one is kicking ass for me and I would love to make yours do the same for you. I am available for consults as well as actually writing your posts.

Happy 2013 everyone – sorry for the belated wishes! 🙂

Photo Credit: alamodestuff via Flickr

How to Get Started as a Ghostwriter

27 Aug

Last week, I was celebrating landing a new ghostwriting project when a fellow writer-friend of mine asked me how to get started as a ghostwriter.

I thought back to years ago when I’d started ghostwriting – it took a lot of time and a lot of clients before I got my first ghostwriting gig. But looking back on it all now, I thought I’d share the tips I learned along the way to hopefully expedite anyone else wants to know how to get started as a ghostwriter.

1) Collect positive client testimonials.

Websites like ifreelance.com and Elance.com are great for getting work and then getting reviews. Reviews are really important for ghostwriting clients because they want to know how other people liked working with you. Reviews are especially important because you can’t really have a ghostwriting portfolio since ghostwriting is, by definition, secretive.

2) Build up your public portfolio.

Remember that you can’t include ghostwriting samples in your portfolio because doing so violates the confidentiality part of a ghostwriting agreement. Instead, build up your regular writing portfolio so that potential clients can see that you actually know how to write well.

3) Be willing to do a free sample.

Ghostwriting contracts typically pay a lot more than an average writing job, so if you want to get one, you should be willing to do a free writing sample for the prospective client. A few pages won’t take up too much of your time and will be worth it in the long run if they’re good enough to get you the gig.

4) Be patient.

Things like this do take time. It’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be an overnight success story. Don’t give up!

Google Penguin? But I’d just figured out Panda!

30 Jul

Google’s newest major update, Penguin, rolled out at the end of April and it’s managed to create a bit of a stir since then.

Of course, by “stir,” I mean crying and gnashing of teeth for people with crappy websites.

Sure, it sounds a little harsh, but you have to remember that the point of Google’s constantly updating algorithms is not to evilly punish everyone who’s trying to make a little living on the Internet.  The point is to weed out the bad seeds so that users can actually find your awesome content and not their sketchy content.

The lesson is simple: Keep your content fresh and your SEO honest.

Don’t try to “trick” Google into finding you. Don’t try to find sneaky ways around their very complicated, very top secret Penguin algorithm. Don’t stuff your site with keywords. Google is on to you – and they are going to make you pay for your dirty tricks.

Simply do what you can to make good content that people will want to read. Ensure you have a visually appealing website. Update your site frequently (something that I myself have been guilty of not doing as of late!). Try to find a niche that isn’t already hella-overpopulated. That’s how you get noticed on Google – I promise.

And if you’re moaning and groaning and saying, “But I was relying on keyword stuffing/link cloaking/insert-your-yucky-tactic-here, what can I do NOW?” well, please see above. I know it sucks to have to rethink your web strategy, but unless you run an online business where you don’t need Google on your side (rare to say the least!), then it’s in your best interests to play by Google’s rules – whether that’s Penguin or whatever animal comes next.

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