John M. Wills

Books and blog



Search Engine Optimization

isAll of us with websites and blogs constantly try to devise ways to drive traffic to our sites. Good writing, coupled with keywords, are a part of that strategy. However, the game keeps changing and what worked yesterday may not work as well today. There is a new technique known as “The Long Tail Keyword.” I stumbled upon this concept as I searched for ways to optimize my blog. I give full attribution to the website, eHow, for the following information:

The Long Tail Keyword is King

Optimizing your website with a high-ranking, generic keyword will do little to generate traffic. A generic keyword such as “tablet computer” will simply have too much competition for you to have a shot at getting into the first page of search engine results. Instead, the so-called “long tail” strategy works best — and that is to focus on longer key phrases, written in natural speech, which will be used to guide users to specific and often localized information. Of course, there is a place for the shorter keywords in each page’s metadata, although Google now puts more emphasis on actual, visible content than those invisible indicators.


Your Web page that includes the word “tablet computer” may come in on page 25 of the search engine results, but you’ll have a better chance of getting to page one if you optimize on something more specific, like “How do I fix my tablet computer,” or “tablet computer won’t boot,” or “adding games to a tablet computer.” Search engine optimization has changed significantly over the last few years, and SEO experts have to think less like a machine, and more like a human. And that’s the key to good writing.

To read the entire article, How to Use SEO Keywords, copy and paste this link in your browser:


Writing a novel is easy. You heard right. Many people are fearful about the writing process. They know they have a great story just waiting to be read, but they’ve heard, or perhaps they have preconceived ideas about how difficult the writing process can be. I submit that more often than not, writing is the easiest part of the journey to becoming a published author.resume-writer-edit

If you’re driven to write a novel, chances are the words will flow easily. If you have access to a critique group, and you should strive to belong to one, the journey will become easier. Feedback during this time is essential. Unless you’re a seasoned writer, you should be sharing your work and accepting criticism and suggestions on how to write better.

Once you’ve completed the book, the hard work begins. What’s next? Here’s a list I recommend:

  • First, find an editor that has either been recommended or one who has a proven record of accomplishment. Having a book published with substantial errors is embarrassing.
  • Submit the edited manuscript to a publisher, or go the self-publishing route, which by the way, many writers are choosing.
  • Before the book is set for release, arrange for book signings, virtual blog tours, and even a launch party at a local café or library.
  • Once the book is out, do the book signings and even read excerpts at them. These events do not necessarily have to be at bookstores. They can be at coffee shops, churches,  and libraries. Be creative. I had a signing at a casino in Las Vegas.
  • Work the social media to death: FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Create a website for your book and/or yourself. Start a blog. The idea is to get your name and your book out to the public. When people Google your name or book, you want numerous results to appear.
  • The excitement and sales begin to taper after the first couple of weeks after publication. It’s your job to keep your work out front. Keep copies of your book with you in your car; pass out bookmarks and business cards. Remember, you are your own PR and marketing person.


Sound like a lot of work? It is. Once you’ve written your book, the real work begins. Be prepared to put your best foot forward and expose your book to as many people as possible, otherwise you and your family may be the only people who ever read your story. Write your story and then prepare to get busy.

How To Be A Successful Blogger


blogging (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I recently returned from a writers’ conference where I learned a great many valuable tips from fellow writers. One of the ways by which writers can get their work “out there,” is to use social media and blogs. That said, my friend and fellow author, Marilyn Meredith*, shared her insights on blogging.

  • Keep it short, use keywords and photos
  • Add links (particularly those that direct readers to buy your books)
  • If you’re a guest on another’s blog, follow their directions, and include your bio, book blurb and links in the post, rather than sending them separately
  • If you are a guest blogger, invite the host to be a guest on your blog
  • If you have a blog, follow some type of schedule for posting, e.g., every Tuesday. That way your followers know when to expect a post from you
  • If you have a book coming out soon, set up a blog tour. Find authors who write what you write
  • Captcha codes are a hindrance and keep people from commenting
  • Remind the host blog they can post ahead of time, and email them the day before
  • Promote each blog frequently on social media on the day your post appears
  • Thank the host in the comment box and check periodically for readers’ comments and respond to them

*Marylyn Meredith, is the author of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series under the name F.M. Meredith, and the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. Visit her at: 

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