I’ve been writing freelance for a couple of years now, and I’ve gone through more learning experiences than I can even think of in that time. I’ve also seen that there is more out there than can ever be mastered by on person, even someone as awesome as me 🙂
I’ve also struggled with, tried, and railed against a number of tactics and regular practices in the wonderful world of online existence and working. I may be wrong, I may be right, but either way I pretty much know where I stand for the moment.
Straddling the Line
As I mentioned in another post, SEO is a strategy that I struggle with. I don’t mean that I have a hard time with the mechanics of it, I mean that its use borders on a questionable tactic for me. I definitely see the benefits, and to a degree the necessity of it. There are more websites than there are people on the planet as of last year, so trying to get traffic to your site in that huge sea definitely takes some effort. the problem for me is that SEO is overused and relied on as THE driver of traffic by way too many people and companies. Thankfully, Google is trying to correct this with their algorithm updates, and I hope they continue to do so.
That being said, I do think that it is a good practice to use keywords and meta data in extreme moderation, but only because of the current climate. This site, for example, and most sites which I have set up for myself over time, don’t have any of either, or at least not enough to be considered. Sure, I link to my other posts and other sites that I write for, but my primary motivation is not to get more clicks. I’m always linking to things that I honestly think you would want to read.
Social Media, Guest Posts, Backlinking, etc
That’s a hodgepodge of a subtitle, but it was the first three things that came to mind. What I’m trying to convey is that there are so many channels and strategies that people use that it’s mind boggling. And to me it’s silly, but that’s because of the reason in the next paragraph. I love social media. I love using it for personal and family connections, for business connections, for sharing interesting things, and for learning from others. I write about using it regularly here. I’m not opposed to the idea of guest posts, either, or posting links like I just did. What bothers me is when these things are used for strictly monetary or traffic purposes and not for honest informational purposes.
Again, I keep having to walk a fine line here because I have nothing against money or traffic. I live off of them. I guess I just take cues or share mindsets with the likes of Chris Brogan, people who understand that the human connection and the desire to help others needs to come first. It’s just more important than money or fame.
Writing vs Business
One more straddle before I leave you. All this straddling is hurting me in unpleasant places. I’m a writer. I’m also a businessman. I write for money because it allows me to write. If it were only about money, I could go back the business world I left and make more, but I’m doing what I love now. I also get to share with people more and learn from others more, which makes my life so much better than it was before. Getting to the title of this post, I want to remain as organic as possible, meaning I want to succeed based primarily on what I write and on people reading, enjoying, and sharing what I write. If I’m writing crap but getting a million hits a day, that’s losing to me. If I have ten people who really enjoy what I write and let me know it, that’s winning.
So I continue to learn about the dark side, the business side of writing and blogging, because there is always something to glean and use in moderation. My goal remains, however, to write quality content and write it as well as I can. I can do better, I know. I rarely even go back and edit anything like this before I publish it, and it probably shows. I just hope that whoever reads it enjoys it, learns something from it, or is able to teach me something. But that’s just me.
As always, I beg for your comments. Not so that my site looks better (look at it after all, it’s kind of sad), but so that I will know that someone enjoyed it or so that someone smarter than me will perhaps leave something I can learn from. Thanks for reading.