A Little Background
So I was at Linked In... (you know how these stories go, don't you?) and got caught up on a thread that by the LEAD IN, I thought was all gung ho blogging (and yibus KNOW how I love this blogging stuff and all my bloggie friends, yeh?)
Well it turned out the lead in the convo was all over SEARCHABILITY. You know... having people plug stuff into search engines and finding YOU!!!
|Death Eaters feeling pretty (source)|
I ALSO am almost the whole first page for Hart Johnson. I even make the first page for Kahlotus, and that's a real live PLACE (albeit, a place without much happening...)
The conversation got a little heated... and it took a little while to figure out we were sort of talking about different stuff.
At the Crux of the Discussion?
SEOs. To the uninitiated, Search Engine Optimizers... Are WORDS people SEARCH FOR that you hope leads them to YOU.
|I hear the Naked Cowboy seeks World Domination|
<--I could totally take that guy...).
But I ALSO would love people to find me if they want to... Network with writers... talk about writing... talk about Cozy Mystery... talk about YA books... Engage in silliness...
Do you think I have a chance in Kansas of popping up under any of those searches? NO SIRREE BOB!
Oh, but what's this?
NON-Fiction? Oh, well, yeah. I see where it might apply THERE! If I were to write a non-fiction book, it would maybe be... Tartish Life Advice... (Sassy self help?) or... erm... yeah, that's what I got. Any other topic sounds like a lot of work. In fact THAT one sounds like a lot of work. I don't want to write non-fiction. Heck, I don't even READ non-fiction. My life has ENOUGH reality, thank you very much.
But it's TRUE that if you write non-fiction, it would be REALLY NICE to have your name pop up for your topic... and if you WRITE non-fiction, it is probably worth figuring out what kinds of things people would search that would lead to you.
|As close as I get to Cozy Mystery Page 1|
Let's think about this problem. Do people 'search' fiction on sites that aren't book sites? I think they DO, but from my own experience, I think they do it when they are searching for books that meet this or that criteria. My Cozy mysteries are a good example. I should probably start tagging blog posts for those with 'gardening themed mystery' and 'Roanoke fiction' (or some combo thereof) because in fact, those are fields that are small enough I might make it high on the list, but topics people might search. In fact I half suspect those Berkley editors THOUGHT of all this (waves at Emily)... I won't top a list like 'Cozy mystery' as there are too many of us, but there certainly is a chance the smaller category will be searched.
For Blogs with No Product (whether there should be a 'yet' added or not)
There was an example of a blogger who is African American and writes Science Fiction—a rare combo, apparently... she made a theme of it—pulling African American readers to sci-fi by writing stories that included more diverse characters. Her tags and themes earned her a big following (possibly because she got a fair bit of press) well before she had books to sell.
For the MOST Part, I felt the marketing gurus were missing part of the point of blogging... missing that BLOGGING is not about reaching readers to nearly the degree it was about networking with a system of compatriots, all ready to help each other out when the time arrives... The person who SEARCHES me and arrives once, is less likely to STAY than somebody invested in all of this as PROCESS. A relationship is not built in a hit... SURE, there is probably love at first visit... I've had people say that... I've fallen in love with blogs first visit... it happens. But it is the repeat visits that build the relationships. I'd never be deluded enough to think I could make somebody ACT on a first visit.
So I think we are doing okay, even if we don't have any idea about SEOs... That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
If you NEED it, how do you DO it? What do I look like? An expert? I really don't know. I think tags help, but I think here is also something more complex you can do... Maybe Hiveword has advice. HA! yes... just checked, there are several blogs. Go THERE. They know more than me. [for anyone who doesn't know, Hiveword is a writer's blog database--you can find ANYTHING there]