ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group #IWSG post--my special guest Ann Best is back to say hello and share her take on SEOs!

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and today I'd like to thank Alex J Cavanaugh and his trusty co-hosts who will do the rounds, making sure everyone's post gets a look in.

Co-hosts! Please visit:


Today I invited a long-time blogger friend from back in the day when blogging seemed so much simpler and yes, friendlier. I was sorry when my friend Ann Best, known to many of you, decided twice that she could no longer handle blogging. Thankfully, this successful memoir author is back with a WordPress blog where she hopes to garner new readers. 

Ever wonder about SEO? Well today Ann is sharing with us what she's hoping to achieve. At the moment she's feeling somewhat insecure as she builds her audience. I hope by putting Ann front and centre on my blog today, a little of her insecurity will float away as you make her welcome.


Over to you , Ann...


It’s wonderful to be blogging again. 

It really is. 

I’ve missed you, “Old Friend from Far Away.”

That’s the title of a wonderful memoir I just bought by Natalie Goldberg, and it reminds me of “old” blogger friends. Of so many of you who are still “out there.” I hope you’ll stay around for a while because it’s so true what Ms. Goldberg says in her almost-haiku introduction:

To have an old friend visit
    from far away—
      what a delight!

Memoir is the genre that life led me to, culminating, when I was 58, in a rough draft of my published memoir, my first and probably only published memoir, In the Mirror. A Memoir of Shattered Secrets, published by WiDo Publishing.

Though you never know. I didn’t know about two years ago, at age 73+, feeling overwhelmed from over 28 years of caring for my disabled daughter, that I would ever come back to blogging.

Why am I back?

Because I like people, and I like to write.

Because I thought, I’ve written a memoir that I’d like some more people to read. We're all insecure about finding new readers – aren’t we? We all would like to make some money with our writing – wouldn’t we? And even if we get a traditional publisher, we still have to do our own marketing, something that most of us are insecure about.

And so . . .

I was browsing the Internet. I think I was on Facebook when I saw the advertisement: Join Wealthy Affiliate. Turn Any Passion Into a Successful Marketing Business. This is where you promote other’s products. But I soon decided, after joining, that I’d set up a site to promote my own product – my book. And with Wordpress you can monetize (mine isn’t a free one).

I’ve been walked through building the site, the basics. I’ve learned about keywords (extremely important) and search engine optimization. And more.

Still learning. I don’t intend to be a marketing guru. Mainly just a blogger. And a writer. You write copy, or in my case it’s more personal essay.

I know the unspoken rule these days in blogging is to be short and sweet, but you need at least 1500 words for the search engines to notice you they say. And at least five posts. And more. And more. 

I’ve managed two posts so far.

I’m having a wonderful time.

I feel energized.

Ideas are everywhere. 

As a personal blogger, I stroll through my childhood, teen years, marriage, divorce, disasters. And research what others have written. IMO there’s always something to write about.

It won’t be exactly like the good ol’ blogger days – the world has changed. But I’m so happy to be back, and look forward to reconnecting with “old” friends “far away.”

Thank you Ann.


You can find Ann's new WordPress blog HERE. Please visit and say hello and check out her latest post, The Walking Wounded!

Ann didn't ask me to promote her book, but it can't hurt if you like to read memoir.


179 reviews!!
  • Have you ever taken a long blogging break?
  • How difficult was it to return to regular blogging and find readers?
  • Are you on WordPress or do you find blogspot satisfactory? Or are you on both (like me).

After you leave a comment for Ann, please click HERE and read more IWSG posts.

And the Write...Edit...Publish (WEP) winners are announced today! Please visit and congratulate three clever authors if you have the time!






82 comments:

  1. And we are so happy to have Ann back!! Yes, some of us are still around.
    Need to find your new site. Posts need to be 1500 words? Mine are long enough, but not because of words. Bummer.

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    1. I've linked Ann's site, Alex.

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    3. I can also count on you, Alex, to be here. You are both an amazing blogger AND writer.

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    4. Denise, thanks so much for hosting me today. I feel like I'm in premium company...of great writers, and great friends. Sadly, it is true that blogging is less "friendly". Not sure why. Maybe because there's just so much out there in cyberspace, it can be difficult to connect on a personal level with others. It was a great time when you and I and Alex and all those wonderful "old" friends far away were truly connecting. Anyway, I'm looking forward to reconnecting with some of them. Thanks to you for bringing writers and bloggers together, Denise.

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    5. I love bringing writers and bloggers together Ann. It's great to have you here!

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  2. Glad you're back, Ann. Hope you continue to enjoy blogging. I never heard that posts have to be 1500 words. A web marketing firm I work for definitely does not follow that rule. I think long posts make people skim over them.

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    1. Hi, Natalie. It is good to be back and see your smiling face. I'm going to enjoy blogging where bloggers are truly connecting with each other. I did research the 1500+ words. According to my source, it seems that search engines are impressed with a "longer" post--but it does involve quality content, good linking, etc. Each organization/company it seems--as per your comment--deciding for themselves, making their own rules. I guess. Sigh. I'm still learning the ins and outs of all this. But again, thanks for stopping by. I'll drop by to see you.

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  3. Keywords and SEO are both important for a site. So is CDO - Content Discovery Optimization. That's Google looking for quality content as opposed to keywords. If you're writing 1500 word, quality posts, you're doing it.

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    1. Nice to see you again, Diane. I have missed you. I know I can learn much from you. CDO must be in one of the Wealthy Affiliate lessons I haven't gotten to yet. It's taken me SO long just to get the basics of Wordpress, I still have so much to learn. But from your comment here, I think I'm doing it with posts. And yes, KWs are significant; it's important to get some good KWs before you start writing to guide you. Isn't easy. Time consuming. Thanks for your helpful comment. Now I'm heading over to see YOU....

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  4. I took a year off from blogging to write a historical novel and don't regret it a bit. The blogoverse was here when I returned and I'm getting much more followers and comments by sticking to blog hops.

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    1. It IS comforting to know the blogoverse is still here. And blog hops are indeed a great way to meet new people. Enjoy the journey, Tamara. And all the best with your historical novel.

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  5. I took a year off from blogging to write a historical novel and don't regret it a bit. The blogoverse was here when I returned and I'm getting much more followers and comments by sticking to blog hops.

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  6. Usually everyone says to keep their posts short. Short-short. But because I tend to write complicated posts, they are longer. I just don't think they're 1,500 words long....

    I'm taking a blogging break next month. But I still will be posting on 3 A to Z days (each) for two blogs I co-host.

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  7. Hi, Chrys. Thanks for stopping by Denise's place. Isn't she great?! I just left a comment on your blog, wishing you well with your Seismic Crimes. Nothing like book promotion to make a writer feel insecure, but you have a good plan. Cheers!

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  8. Welcome back, Ann! I love blogging and the people I meet through the community too. Such awesome folks. :)

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    1. Thanks, Christine. Great to see you, too. It's true these folks ARE awesome.

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  9. Hello Ann and Denise
    Welcome back. I only blog twice a month. I can't get much more involved than that or my writing suffers. I do miss everyone. Good luck.
    Nancy

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    1. You do have to learn to balance your writing time versus your life. Nice to see you again, Nancy!

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    2. Nancy, I'm so looking forward to taking all of April off blogging so I can write, write, write...

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  10. Welcome back to blogging, Ann! There's a great community here, and I'd miss it, too, if I took a really long blogging break.

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    1. I've connected with you on Google+...which is confusing me right now, but I'll probably "get" it like I've gotten wordpress....inch by inch.

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  11. Welcome back to blogging, Ann. You're so right, so many things change. However, with persistence and perseverance the door will open.
    All the best.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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    1. Don't know what happened yesterday, Pat. I'm (fairly) certain I commented because I remember your persistence and perseverance. Anyway, again, all the best to you, too. Shalom.

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  12. Welcome back, Ann! I am just returning from about a year off as well, and it's a little hard to get back in the swing of things, but I'm enjoying visiting everyone again! I love the quote about old friends visiting, it is wonderful!

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    1. It can be difficult to get going again. I think we just do what we can. Nice to see you again.

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  13. I haven't taken more than a week off from blogging. I'm satisfied with blogger though a lot of my friends use Wordpress or have switched to it. I guess it depends on what you want your blog to do.

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    1. Exactly, Susan. You do what works best for you and your interests/circumstances.

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  14. Hi Ann - so good to have you back blogging ... and excellent to find you here - I've subscribed to your blog via Feedly.

    I definitely don't like being away ... and I've met some amazing people over the years and love keeping in touch ... Your Memoir was excellent - albeit it was a very difficult story ... it's the kind of thing I enjoy finding on the net - via our blogging fraternity ... as it teaches much.

    I just seem to get on with blogging and post when I can ... I've never much liked rules, though I do conform!!

    I admire you with the learning process ... it's now something I must do here with my blogspot ...

    Still for now take care and look after yourself and Jen - all the very best - cheers Hilary

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  16. I'm waving at you, Ann! Missed you a lot, and am so glad to read this today. I'll find you and follow.

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    1. I know I left you a reply somewhere yesterday. Not a good day for me, but today I finally found a follow me via email widget that really works. Had a few subscriptions with it. If I remember correctly, you were the one who told me for my info, which I really appreciated.

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  17. Welcome back, Ann!
    I LOVE my blogging.
    I've met wonderful people via blogging, including Denise, and many others too, who have enriched my life and also helped me to grow as a writer.
    You are having a wonderful time and feel energized...which means you're on the right track!
    Keep at it!

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    1. Mwahwah, Michelle! You're such a doll. I'm so blessed to have so many lovely blogger friends in my life such as you...and Ann...and so many more...

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    2. Thanks, Michelle. We have both indeed met so many great bloggers. It's such a supportive community. And I'm so glad you love blogging.

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  18. Welcome back, Ann! When I stopped blogging, I missed my fellow bloggers so much, I started blogging again. Even though I only post twice a month now, it helps me to feel connected.

    VR Barkowski

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Then I hope to see you again occasionally!

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  19. Welcome back Ann! And you have a great post here, I learned so much. Thanks Denise.

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    1. Olivia, thank you for thanking me. Ann knows how to write an informative post!

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    2. Glad it was helpful, Olivia. And of course I'm grateful to Denise, as I know all of her wonderful followers are!

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  20. Hi Ann! It's me, waving like crazy!
    I take a month off ever 3 months and it works for me. I have used Blogger, Wordpress.com, and Wordpress.org. They are all good and all have pros and cons.

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    1. It's nice to see you too, H.R. I'm waving like crazy too. And tomorrow when I've hopefully had a good night's sleep, I'll stop by to see what you've been doing.

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    2. That's a good idea Holly - after the A-Z and then May I may do that ... a month each quarter seems a very good idea .. cheers Hilary

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  21. I only take time off when absolutely necessary, but then I only blog once a month right now anyway! So nice to give your friend Ann this time on your blog Denise. Hope all is well...

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    1. I really enjoyed stopping by your blog this afternoon, Lisa. Good luck with the move.

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    2. Lovely of you to visit Lisa.

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  22. Welcome back, Ann. It's great you feel energized again.

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    1. It's great to see your smiling face again, Lynda!!

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  23. I can only imagine how hard Ann's life has been with her daughter and family difficulties. I guess it's pretty much a toss-up between the effort that goes into writing a post when you really don't want any more on your plate and the pleasure you get from being one of a supportive group like IWSG. Wishing Ann much luck on her new ventures!

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    1. Thank you, Lexa. I wish you luck with yours too.

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  24. Ann, great to see you again! Welcome back. Best wishes to you and yours!

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    1. It's great to see you again too, Stephen. I do remember what a great story teller you are from your first published book. I'll stop by soon to see what you've been doing while I've been away....Best wishes to you and your family also.

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  25. Thank you for the info re search engines. Not long ago I began the task of better understanding what it takes to get search engines to eyeball my blog. After two months of study, I gave up. The lingo was a challenge and it seemed I was going to have to invest more time and money than I had. Yep, I declared 'surrender' and returned to being just another amateur blogger. I returned to what I understood and loved - writing.

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    1. SEO is a challenge, and I think after two months I've finally mastered the basics. But I know how you feel. Yesterday I was ready to give up! Love of writing does keep us going. And I'm going to stop by to see what YOU have written. Nice to meet you.

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  26. I'm running behind, but it's great to see Ann back.

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    1. Don't know how I hit the wrong reply button! I seem to be doing all kinds of things like this lately. Sigh. And yes, as I said, I WILL keep in touch.

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  27. Great to see you too, Mason. You are a VERY familiar face. I have popped in occasionally to see if you're still here. And there you are, still writing wonderful reviews. You're awesome, and I intend to keep in touch.

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  28. Welcome back, Ann! I had quite a long break after my stepson died, but I was still in touch with supportive friends and missed the connection. I should consider SEO, but I'm not keen on having to strategically insert certain words.

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  29. Hi, Nick. Sorry about the death of your stepson. That's a tough one. I'll stop by your place shortly to say hello there. As for SEO, I'm finding it quite fun because my host has an awesome keyword tool, and it can generate a lot of ideas. For me it's kind of like piecing together a puzzle...sometimes it really IS puzzling! Take care.

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  30. In last seven years I think I only took a two day blogging break once when I had a surgery but even then I had scheduled posts :) I need a medal for bloggings business

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    1. You do indeed deserve a medal, Dezmond. That is amazing.

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  31. SEO sure has a few rules to follow if you want to win, but I tend to just write what I want mostly.

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    1. I'd say that's the perfect thing to do, Pat!

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  32. Hi Denise *waves*

    Hey Ann, glad to see you're giving this blogging thing a try again. Hope it all works out with SEO.

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    1. Hi, Donna. It's great to see you again. As for SEO, I'm really having a great time with it. I find it all very fascinating, and challenging.

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  33. Hi Ann, welcome back. I've taken quite a few blogging breaks, but they've usually been because of work or a family crisis or emergency. I wasn't aware of the 1500 word requirement, then again I didn't know about Content Discovery Optimization until Diane mentioned it. She's the expert so if she says you're doing it right then I certainly trust her opinion. I'm just glad you came back and it sounds like you have a good marketing plan and you obviously have someone you can trust and rely on advising you. I wish you all the best and I look forward to reconnecting with you. A death in the family is always hard and I know from experience that losing a child is a tragedy that feels like no other. I've thought about you over the years and I'm glad you're back. I'm truly hoping we can talk sometime. Take care.

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    1. Yes, I think this is a very good marketing plan. Wish I'd had it over four years ago when my memoir was released. But that's okay. This rattled my brain to start with, but now I feel like I've really accomplished something.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. As for reconnecting...yes. I just left a comment on your blog...what a difficult trial you and your family have been through.

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  34. Congratulations on the memoir, and on the return to blogging!

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  35. I didn't every actively decide to take a blogging break, but in 2014 I pulled back a lot due to my life taking a big turn for the worse.

    When I came back, it did feel like something about blogging changed, but now I'm trying to get it back on track in some way by being the blogging friend I want other people to be. We'll see how that works out.

    Good to see you around again, Ann. :-)

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    1. Great to see you again, Misha. A lot of my old friends are still blogging which makes me happy.

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  36. This was a really inspirational post for me. Thank you for sharing this, Ann. I've had more than a few starts and stops in my blogging/writing career. I'm hoping in the next few months, I can keep the ball rolling. But more over, I just want to enjoy life doing something I love. Thanks for giving me hope and motivation.

    www.smpace.com

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    1. I'm glad it was inspiring. That warms my heart. I hope you can keep the ball rolling. It isn't always easy. We often lose hope, in ourselves, sometimes in others. I've had to realize that I'm not a failure if I sometimes stumble and fall. Or if I get a "bad" review. It's all very humbling. Now I'm heading over to see you....

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  37. Ann, I really like your new site and think you're on track with it, posting about memoir-related subjects. Your voice is too good to be silent!

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  38. Thank you, Karen. Though I'm not sure my voice is so "good." Loud sometimes, especially when Jen tries my patience to the limit ha ha. I've also got another website up, tomorrow or the next day with one or two posts--called The Mormon Bests. I'll send you the link when it's done.

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