SEO? Platform Building?
It can seem like I choose off-beat topics for a writer, but I sometimes travel roads others authors do not bother with ;-). For example, when Dave Gaughran speaks about platform building in his Book: Let’s Get Digital, he suggests avoiding it unless you enjoy it or have extra time. I enjoy it and I like to make time. Naturally this means I deal with issues many authors avoid.
While I was writing Toys In The Attic I was also trying to run an article directory at articlesandsuccess. com.
As far as platform building goes, it started out as amazing. Now This domain is defunct and the directory is gone. When Google changed their algorithms it targeted sites like my hard-built directory as “content-farms.” Yes, it was a content farm, but the articles themselves were worth reading in many cases. As for the spam articles? There were protections against them.
In Google’s eyes, sites like A&S were only out there to gather SEO traffic. It had nothing to do with platform building, even though it WAS a platform by definition. In my eyes it was more about starting a small media empire. I did enjoy the SEO traffic, but it wasn’t as though I was suddenly getting more hits than Facebook, or Google, the KING of content farms.
About the book: TITA is a psychological thriller based on a compilation of real events, just renamed and relocated. It follows the story of Sara Stewart who is brutally attacked by her own father and has to live with it and its consequences. She rebuilds her life, then meets a unique man. Here is where the story seems to start over again.
Platform building and the related SEO is now a uniquely hand-made affair. There are tools which help, but basically your job is to out keyword other sites, then prove your worth to Google through link exchanges and quality content. Keyword heavy content is frowned upon, but there are ways to scatter it throughout an article so it is natural and still SEO useful.
As an author of nine books, three published and several in the wings, I consider myself an artist. If SEO is an art, then I am up to the task. This is especially true when I choose to study the myriad guides and information on Google and other sites like Alexa and Yahoo. I am still learning and have had a restart lately. Changing web hosts meant a new blog and a new website.
As for the new blog, here it is. It will be tweaked and modded over time so it is as SEO friendly as it can get. I don’t much care what Google thinks in their back offices, but I do care what my front page readers think. I like to write interesting content. I know it’s quirky and off the wall at times, but so am I. I like to make people laugh and I want them to experience the full range of human emotions when they read my books.
SEO is just a term. The right words here, plus the right tags, plus the right links, plus the right content… It is a fruited Jell-o, in a way. Getting it to set up just right can be tricky. But writing a novel can be tricky. So is SEO harder? Not in any way, shape or form. It’s just more – specialized. I bother because I like it. I bother because I have a computer literate brain that is willing to tolerate the sometimes immutable and childish behavior of algorithms and bots.
I do it because I know there is great content out there to be found and shared. Learning what I like and want to share is an enjoyable process. Even though I have been writing for a long time, building a readership is a challenge I have yet to master. So along the way, platform building seems to be a reasonable addition to my limited but growing marketing toolbox. Over time I expect to both love the experience and gain loyal readers.
If you are going to go this route, some tips for SEO and platform building. I had a huge blog before the shift to the new web host, but it had slipped and I wasn’t doing much with it. Consistency is key and was the first lesson I learned. So:
- Three posts a week minimum.
- YOAST – use it and learn from it.
- Post content you like. If you are using a guest post, tweak it for keywords. This helps both you and your guest.
- Good content only. Spun articles and drivel are bot-killers.
- Get regular sleep and eat well. SEO can be tricky and platform building can be frustrating at times.
- Encourage discussion. So please, comment on my posts!
Your platform should be about you and your SEO should be about how people will find you. Separating the two is key. Content rules and SEO ties it to the search engines. Natural keyword placement and a personal touch combine to make the best results.
Enjoy platform building? Congratulations. You are in it for the long haul. Prefer to avoid it? Good for you. There are easier and quicker promotion methods. Either way you go, however, SEO is going to be part of the game. If your platform is Amazon, for example, your platform building should direct everyone to that spot. SEO and your web presence will accomplish this when combined correctly.
Either way, learning the process is a good way to make sure all your marketing bases are covered!