Latest Google update changes SEO keyword positioning strategy for writers

30 April 2012 Comments
kitties in a rowGoogle did it again.

It wiped out a lot of sites from the organic search results just a couple of days ago. 

If you're a freelance writer who mainly crafts web content for a living, here's a heads up for you: You can cut some slack on canned content and exact keyword positioning, and give natural writing a big welcome hug. Hurray!

The Old Way

For quite a while, search engine optimization (SEO) specialists managed to game the system and manipulate search results by:

  • using key phrases in the exact same order -- even if they do not make sense
  • using formatting techniques (bold, italics, underlines) to emphasize the key words
  • positioning the key phrases "strategically" so that they appear in the title, in the body, and in the last paragraph

That was how things used to work.

Why Canned Content Sells

25 March 2012 Comments
Is creativity underrated?
Writing, fine arts, and music belong to the realm of creatives, and typically, many creative people spend hours just brainstorming how to produce their next masterpieces.

Does this sound just like you? If it does, then you're probably not going to like the current landscape. Imagine pumping articles, videos, and logo designs under time pressure just to meet weekly or monthly quotas.

Very few creatives actually get to enjoy the opportunity of working in an environment that truly promotes careful thought processing. These days, the demand for canned content has overtaken the need for well-conceived output. Here's why:

Product vs. Process

Writing and related activities are theoretically both a product and a process, but most people fail to realize this. Even though you're a fast worker, you don't just spend 100 percent of the shift on actual writing. Part of the work involves research and organization too.  

So, between product and process, employers would rather see tangible proof and pay for the product only rather than spend their cash so you can brainstorm the hours away. The rare exception would be consultancies where businesses give you money for your professional opinion.

Blogging Hiatus - How Come?

17 February 2012 Comments
surprise, cat and dog
Year 2011 was a prolific year for Teecup Limited. After 140 posts, great friends, a nice page rank boost and steady payments from the blog advertising network, who wouldn't be in a roll?

This year, the blog didn't exactly begin with a bang. However, Teecup intends to get back in the game -- but not without touching a bit on blogging hiatuses.

A hiatus is synonymous to a break or an interruption. Sometimes, long hiatuses can lead to the death of a blog site. Sometimes, they are so short that you won't even notice a blogger's absence.

Call them excuses, alibis or justifications if you like. There are plenty of reasons that bloggers go on a hiatus.

The whys range from the most mundane such as forgetting passwords and finding yourself too sleepy to write because of medications to the most serious such spending time in the hospital and surviving a tragedy.

By far and as experience goes to show, the most common causes are:

Blog advertising network Adgitize closes

07 January 2012 Comments
Following the demise of CMF ads, Adgitize is the next blog advertising network to bite the dust.

"Costs to run the business were more than the revenues generated," explained the founder, Ken Brown, in his December 27 announcement.

photo credit: vdaiga
As such, all types of Adgitize members would stop receiving points (converted to cash) after January 1st this year, and by January 10th, payouts and refunds will have been sent to those who indicated valid PayPal addresses.

Adgitize had been in business for 3 years and was lauded by blog advertisers for the network's ability to deliver world-class advertising on a blogger's budget.

For a flat fee of $14 a month,  advertisers enjoyed instant traffic correction and rebates for page views and blog visits. Publishers who did not spend on advertising were also given point incentives for updating their blog, visiting other member's sites, referring advertisers and posting on the forum.

The shut-down of Adgitize is sad news for the owners behind the 17,000 registered blogs in the network, but it did not come as a surprise. Keeping the fees low and the incentives generous was simply not feasible for the long-term survival of Adgitize as a business entity, pointed out Plin, an Adgitize member and the author behind My Frugal Ways.
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