Building an online presence to BOOST your SEO

ball-142738_1280~This week I’ve really been focusing on building an online presence and let me tell you, it’s a job!

I have spent countless hours following pages on Twitter and Facebook, reading a ton of great material, connecting with a lot of talented writers and entrepreneurs… and of course, commenting on posts and having discussions with people about writing.

Here is my new confession: I am a bit obsessed with social media right now!!

It really sucks you in once you get momentum going on multiple social networking sites, but it is definitely an essential tool when building your business. It’s also incredibly exciting hearing feedback, gathering followers and gaining knowledge on many subjects. I’ve met some really interesting people and they are all on their own journeys, which is a wonderful way to learn the ins and outs of networking. You must follow and connect with like-minded people to grow, and the experience is really fun once you really dive into it.

Sharing is caring ❤

Now, this is just my own opinion as I am diving into a few different writing outlets including novel-writing, copy writing and freelance journalism. In all the research I’ve done, I’ve found that most agents will look for a strong online presence when working with writers. It’s the best way to promote ones self when your publishing a book, building your portfolio or for any kind of web writing. Social media sites are a fabulous source for finding publications and clients.

Some people don’t agree though and it’s really up to you how far you want to take it. It can be overwhelming and time-consuming which some people don’t like. I’ve had a few friends say, “I could never do something like that….” and that’s fair enough. This magical world of social media is not for everyone. I have to step away sometimes and remember that there is a real world out there that needs to be cherished and loved. The best way to do that is make a social media schedule.

social-media-400854_1280Greg Pratt, my instructor at Uvic, doesn’t really use social media to build his freelance business. In Freelance Journalism it’s not always necessary to have a huge following online because most of the time freelancers are communicating with specific editors and using the perfect pitch to land a publication. Also, Greg works as an Editor himself so he has an actual “day job” taking up a lot of his time. He’s been quite successful without using a large amount of social media.

It really depends on what you want to do with your writing.

Do you want to publish ebooks?
Would you like to build a travel blog?
Will it benefit your website to link it to another social networking site like Twitter?

I have answered YES to these questions so now it’s time to take my SEO to the next level. Following the most popular trends, I’ve learned that Twitter and Linkedin are the two major social networking sites most people use to connect. Link ’em all together and BAM!!

SEO at full throttle! 🙂

Here are some great links I’ve found that cover SEO information quite extensively:

http://www.acronym.com/bebrilliant/seo/5-ways-you-need-to-use-social-media-to-boost-your-seo/

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-seo/

http://blog.sumall.com/journal/8-ways-social-media-affects-seo.html

and if you work with WordPress.org and use plugins you can really optimize your site:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-social-seo-booster/

Thanks Google!

Certain plugins aren’t available for WordPress.com users apparently, which I just found out through… you guessed it, Social Networking 🙂

Thank you to my fellow bloggers who have helped me out with optimizing my website. I am very much enjoying this whole process.

The internet is a wonderful thing isn’t it?

How about you? Is their anything about SEO I’ve missed that you have learned about in your journey?

What are your thoughts on Social Media?

I would love to hear from you! I am just learning all of this myself so any feedback would be great. Let’s connect!

Happy writing xo

Freelance Journalism Class #3

I was so excited to attend this weeks Freelance Journalism Class because it was about how to write the perfect pitch when sending out queries to magazine publications. Researching on the internet  can be helpful but it is really overwhelming at times and can make for “lazy” mass pitching.

Our instructor, Greg Pratt, gave us some great pitch examples from one of his colleagues and mentors: John Threlfall, who is also a Journalist himself and an Instructor at The University of Victoria. Check out Johns profile here.
John is the ex-Monday Magazine editor-in-chief so he has a lot of experience in pitching and what the perfect pitch should look like.

In the examples of good work and bad work, John made some very important points about pitching:

-Know your market- finding the magazine you want to write for and knowing that publication in and out. Reading it cover to cover is the best way to find the tone of the articles and how you should structure your writing. Even reading a few of their past issues will give you some great insight into the writers who consistently write for the magazine.

-Never underestimate the power of politeness- when addressing an editor you should be casual but not too casual in your first inquiry. Also if you say you’re going to get back to an editor with something like an article example, than do so even if you haven’t heard back from your first letter.

-Never bother an editor with obvious questions-before you pitch a magazine you should already know if they actually hire freelancers or if they only have staff writers. How often does the publication go out? What are the writers guidelines?
Do the research and already know the answers to these kinds of questions. Which brings us to the next point:

-Do your research and prove you’re worth their time!

and lastly…

-Pitch first, write later- Greg says this is the most common way freelancers write, but not in ALL cases. Interviewing usually comes after you’ve sealed the deal with a magazine to write an article for them. It’s not likely you will interview someone first in hopes you get the job, but some publications do take articles that are already written. Again, this is something you should know from the writers guidelines.

A great pitch should always be short, specific and to the point and informative. Having a proven track record does help, but you can leave that out if you’re a newby like me 😉 Make sure to include your contact info as well since you want that editor to get in touch with you.

Apparently some people don’t include stuff like that… so don’t be one of those
“lazy pitchers”.

softball-422331_1280You want to pitch all the way to the mound and strike ’em out!!

Stay tuned for next weeks class details and I hope you enjoy!

Happy writing! xo