Best SEO Practices for Creative Writers

by Jan Geronimo on September 7, 2009

SEO for creative writers

Jan has challenged me to write a  guest post on the best SEO practices for bloggers who are into creative writing. This could be complicated  so I will use a more general approach. Before I begin, let me thank Jan for giving me this opportunity to guest post for his blog.

Let us start first by trying to understand why people want to rank well on search engines. There is a general perception that when your site ranks high in search engine results, there’s a strong case for “implied endorsement.” With organic SEO, the user will likely believe in the ability of the search engine indexing to deliver relevant results. Therefore,  if a search engine ranks your site as relevant you must be a leader, an expert, or highly reputable in your field.

Creative writing and SEO

As a general rule,  people do SEO because they have  specific objectives.  Some of these objectives can be, but are not limited to:

  • Site monetization
  • Branding
  • Increasing your readers base
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Or all of the above

Regardless of what your motivation is, SEO is SEO. You will have to follow certain and minimal criteria to get your pages up there.    It does not matter if the purpose of your writing is about expressing your thoughts, feelings or anything else within this line of thinking. There are  common rules that you must implement if you want to rank well.

Proper use of keywords in creative blogs

Let me give you an example, and please note that this is purely on a SEO perspective. I will use Elmot’s recent blog post for this. “PinoySoundingBoard Sings Jai Ho!“  Now let us tackle this one for a moment. People search for keywords or terms. With all due respect, do you think that someone will actually look for this term on a search engine? Maybe not.

Now, what about “creative writing” or “poetry”? Take for example the keyword “poetry,” which returns well over 100 million results on Google. How’s that for competition? Now we can narrow this down to say, love poems. We can go deeper with short love poems. Even deeper with short love poems for him/her. I think you get the picture.

Here’s an one example of a keyword I optimized for in my blog.  What do you think of Google Affiliate Program as a keyword?  Go ahead and google this term – you do not even have to use the quotes. Of almost 18 million results, you should see me there on the first page hanging within the 3rd or 4th place, right under Google’s own website. How’s that for SEO? Proper use of keywords is what I am trying to tell you here and I am not even using WordPress which is excellent for SEO.

Best SEO ranking factors for  creative writers

So with this in mind, the best advice I can give bloggers who are into creative writing  are the following:

  • Keyword usage – anywhere in the title tag, and on internal or external links (anchor text) – do not worry too much about keyword density and keywords on images as they are of minimal importance (although it does not hurt if you use them). Use keyword research tools if possible before writing your post (there are many out there).
  • Link building – Try to get as much quality backlinks as possible. You can achieve this by guest posting to blogs within your same niche or by commenting meaningfully where eventually people will link to you.
  • Post – uniqueness of the content on a page, recency of page creation, historical content changes (get those comments pumping in)
  • Sitewide – site architecture needs to be intelligent and easy for users to navigate.  There are other white hat link building tactics that you can deploy, but the best are those that I have mentioned here.

You need to watch out for also for negative ranking factors that can negate your SEO efforts.  Avoid these things at all cost -

  • Cloaking links
  • Link acquisition from known link farms
  • Links pointing to banned domain names.
  • Frequent server downtime and site inaccessibility (choose a good host)

There you have it – your  basic  SEO practices for creative writers. At the end of the day, and as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, SEO is SEO and there is unfortunately no way around it.

FranciscoAbout the Author: Ditesco is the blog owner of IBlogZone where he made his mark as internet business entrepreneur. Please check out his blog – a resource laden site in internet marketing, SEO, and anything related to cutting edge trends in blogging. For starters, you might find these articles useful: The most important SEO factors and Three- step guide to simple SEO writing.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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  • Okay, it's doable, something we can all adapt. now I know what to do with the title tag. Thanks again.
  • Wow Jan! This is very impressive SEO for Creative Writers. I told you I will learn a lot from you. This is very useful for a newbie blogger like me. I'll gonna make this comment a little longer so that you can't deny me a backlink from you. Hehehe

    Meantime, thanks for sharing this very informative post (Jan & DiTesco). I will try this at my blog. Can you give links for your preferred keyword research tools.

  • Hi jhongmed. Thanks for leaving your long comment. I'm sure Jan would not deny you a backlink after this:)

    Anyway, aside from Jan's suggestion, my preferred free keywords research tools are:

    From Google:
    AdWords Tool:
    Insights for search (you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties - I like this a lot)

    From WordTracker: http://freekeywords.wordtracke...

    SEO Chat Keyword Difficulty Checker (Use the Keyword Difficulty Check Tool to see how difficult it would be to rank for specific keywords or keyword phrases.) They also have a great list of other SEO Tools.

    Hope this helps:)
  • Thanks guys!
  • Perhaps you might find this link useful. It has some free keyword tools: Let's wait for Ditesco though. He
    might have something other than my suggestion. :)
  • Wow my post is actually in here, Jai ho diTesco!

    Wow, just as I needed: how can a creative writer use SEO? This post is the answer.

    Galing! :D

    I have been trying to learn SEO on my writing my posts. And this is an added useful resource.
  • Hi Elmot. I am so glad you left your comment here. I was beginning to worry that you did not like my example:) Anyway, I used it because it was perfect. In that particular post I would have either do two of the following.

    First: Given it a more "searchable term on the title of the post itself" and used the the Jai lo as a sub-heading inside the body of the article


    Provided a good search term (keyword or phrase) on the title of the all-in-one SEO pack plugin and added some related keywords too. Which reminds that if you do not have it installed, you should.

  • Wow! great tips! really great tips! :D
  • Thanks, Jehz. Ang tipid naman. lols
  • JenIsle
    This is all Greek to me, but now I understand , thanks DiTesco. I'm too lazy though to be constantly aware of these pointers. The explanation was so crystal, this SEO thing is no longer a "mystery" to me.

    Like Holly, I can find now my name through google and yahoo than a year ago, not one of my posts ever appeared in any of the search engines.
  • Hello JenIsle. Greek indeed is a very complicated language and I can understand why it could be a mystery for some:) Anyway, I am glad that your post appears now on the search engines, although I am convinced that they were there most of the time. They were probably just too far behind. Now and with this new found knowledge, I am convinced that once applied, you should see more of your posts up there. Good luck and thanks for leaving your comment. Appreciate it
  • What a great post on SEO. I have a reader who wants me to explain SEO in greater detail. You've done it so well here, this will definitely be a post I link to when I write the article.

    Thank you.
  • Thank you Barbara. The above are obviously just pointers and a solid basics for getting started. There are more information about this and quite frankly it is not a mystery. I agree that it can be somewhat complicated, but I do try to make it as easy as possible for everyone to understand. You see, I do not have any SEO background, everything I know, I learned by reading many articles about this and several trial and errors. Fortunately, I have gathered facts that are important and got rid of all the garbage. If you want, I welcome you to read some of my post and I am sure you will find them useful. In any event, if I can be of assistance in any way, do let me know.
  • Great post you have here! My site is SEO'd but I'm not maximizing its full potential. some of my keywords are in page 1 of google. it's the long-tailed keywords that i target.

    as to creative writing, i guess one has to use the same rules and wear the searchers hat. Correct me if I'm wrong DiTesco, if you target, say, "Short Love poems", which produces 12.5 M results once has to:
    1. include the keyword in the domain name
    2. include in the site title or subtitle
    3. include in the post title (e.g. Short Love Poems #1: For Maria, whose face I searched all over the world)
    4. link-building using appropriate anchor text (e.g. Short love poems by Z)

    Of course, one has to promote also by means other than SEO.
  • Hi Ceblogger. You are spot on for maximizing this example you have given, although I would not worry too much about #1. Having a domain name as a keyword in itself is perfect, but not cost effective. In this case a broader name (related preferably) should do just fine and pumping content with steps #2 to #4 will definitely help. Now when building links and using anchor text or keywords in the body of your content, use different variations (related keywords), so as to avoid the search engine thinking that it is keyword stuffing. That my friend will have a negative impact rather than positive. The more natural they are, the better.
  • In my WP dashboard it has this section for each blog post that I have to
    fill in. There's meta keywords, meta description, and there's title tag. I
    know the first two, but I can't grasp the concept of title tag. Can you
    guys explain that to me?

    What is it for? My post has a title already, right? So why the title tag?
    Can you give a specific example how to craft one?
  • Hi Jan. The section your are talking about is probably the all-in-one SEO pack. Use this everytime your post a new article. The title tag differs from the title because it is for SEO purposes. Say your original title is too long, the search engine will only read the first 70 characters or so and ignore the rest. The title tag allows you to tweak this for SEO purposes (sort of anchor text). Example: "Everything you wanted to know about doing SEO for creative writing and more." That's a long title. On that title tag you can type this instead: "SEO For Creative Writing". Basically your are providing an additional long term keyword for search engines to understand better what the post is about. Hope this helps. If you are still confused, let me know and I will provide you with additional resources.
  • Yes Jan. You got that right. The "keywords on the title tag" is one of the major and single most important ranking factor for Google. While meta description and keywords are not as important as they used to be, it does not hurt using them - don't forget we still have Bing and others. You never know how things may change. It is a weird internet out there, lol
  • So if I provide a title tag for every post, what will the result be? My
    title tag will supersede the title of my post as it appears on the search
    engine results page? Did I get that correctly?
    I read a lot about Google giving less importance to meta keywords. But this
    title tag - it's as important as ever to optimize?

    It's not the all-in-one-SEO pack. This part of it is integrated with the
    Thesis theme. I just don't bother to fill in the section about title tag
    because I don't know what to make of it. lols
  • Roy
    I haven't quite digested "SEO" yet, and now here comes "Cloaking"

    Here's the post I've been waiting for. Thanks DiTesco!

    I'll keep this tips in mind, and hopefully I would know how to apply them :)

  • Hahaha, you guys should understand better about what "cloaking" is considering you being part of the "Jedi Council". If you remember Star Trek, the enemy Klingons had the capability of cloaking their vessel (make it disappear) and that was a disadvantage for Captain Kirk. You can see Google as Captain Kirk and they hate links being cloaked as this is a maneuver to lure the robots to manipulate rankings and page rank. Generally, cloakers will stuff the same keywords in the body of a content several times using the text color the same as the background (so you won't see it - that's cloaking). Anyway, I'm glad you found this useful and do act on it as this is the only way to get results for SEO
  • Roy
    so it came from the word 'cloak'

    I still don't see why they want to hide it... I need to re-read :)

  • Well, sometimes good things come to those who lie in wait. Ahehehe. Gives
    you the upperhand. Well, of course, I'm talking about the cloak and dagger
    business. As to how it applies in blogging, we will have to wait for
    Ditesco. lols
  • I'm such a sore loser when it comes to SEO. I don't know why. Maybe I'm too lazy for it. But this is a very helpful post, indeed. Try my best to follow.
  • Hi Badongskie. I have visited your website, home of badong:), and I can understand why you are lazy about SEO. Perhaps, not having too much time, will be a btter fit for your little efforts on working on your sites SEO. Nontheless, if you do have time and spend some hours optimizing for search engines, your website might just be a blast. There are factual information and excellent research there that you have made, that need to be spread... Keep it up and as Jan said, time to dominate, and don't procrastinate, lol Thanks.
  • That's nice. Time to dominate Google, Badongskie. :)
  • Thanks for sharing. A very helpful tips about SEO. Will follow your advise! More power to both of you guys!
  • Thanks. I hope you do find some of these tips useful and worth your efforts. Good luck.
  • You're welcome, Ambo. Thanks for dropping by. :)
  • Hi Jan. Once again, thanks for giving me the opportunity to guest post for your blog. I hope your readers can find these tips useful and learn something from it. More important than knowing this is acting on it. That by far is the single most important requirement to achieve good rankings. Of course these are SEO tips and not about changing peoples way of writing and having fun, which is what blogging is about. Nevertheless, and as I said, if you want to SEO, then you must SEO:)
  • Good article. I'd never heard of "cloaking," and now that I have, my only reaction to it is "Holy cats, life's too short for this kind of nonsense." I'm not even sure I'm up to "doing SEO". I seem to rank okay, for what it's worth... well, really well, in fact, if you're searching for my NAME. ;)
  • Hi Holly. Indeed, searching for your name will rank you number one on Google. Not everyone is lucky as you having a natural keyword made for you only, hahaha. It is also curious that searching for just "Jahangiri" will return an interesting - "The Jahangiris were well known as the Jahangiri chain of Sultans in the history of Pakistan. ". Where you aware of this? I'm sure you were:) Thanks for taking the time to leave your comment.
  • Of course!

    I asked my husband, once, where were my diamond windows and ruby-encrusted floors. He reminded me that the Taj Mahal was a memorial to a DEAD wife. I'll settle for the lovely house we live in... ;)

    If you're interested:

    But note (according to Wikipedia):
    "Surname in Iran
    There are many persons bearing the surname Jahangiri in different parts of Iran (Mainly in Tabriz and Esfahan). This surname doesn't derive from affiliation to this tribe but from the Zoroastrian name of "Jaha va giri")."
  • Thanks, Ditesco. It's fun working with you. And this sense of fun if brought to bear on our SEO efforts can make blogging less of a drudgery.

    And that's a helpful tip you brought up - actually applying the tips on one's blog. It's time to shake off the analysis paralysis and actually do something about it. :)
  • Yeah Jan. Acting on something, is what get things done, and applying some of these tips for better rankings, is no exception.
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