SA Writers’ College offers a fantastic course called Writing for the Web. Being relatively new to the world of blogging, I jumped at the opportunity to take it.
Search Engine Optimization
Before I started the course, I already started this blog. Like every other blogger around the world, I wanted my blog to get noticed. I wanted my readers to sift through the maze that is the blogosphere and find me!
That’s exactly what my tutor, Karen Lotter, taught me during the course. Basically, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique in which a writer carefully crafts his/her words to enhance its chances of being ranked in the top results of a search engine like Google. This involves using keywords or key phrases. Karen calls it writing “keyword rich content.”
I’m still mastering this technique and Karen says practice makes perfect, but I’ve already seen a good improvement in the traffic coming to my blog.
A chef has to appeal to a person’s eyes before a person’s appetite and web writers have to do the same.
One of the most interesting things I learnt is that web users are different to people who read physical books or newspapers. Surprisingly, web users scan pages and don’t actually read posts/articles word for word. This actually means one has to write less (thank the heavens), keep paragraphs short and use a simple font.
The course also provides a lesson on writing fiction for the net. Because the net allows people to instantly access content, writing fiction (well, most writing for that matter) is no longer done in solitude. In fact, I was part of a few collaborative pieces that I enjoyed thoroughly.
Perhaps, what I appreciate most from the course is that I feel that I’m part of a community. Through the course, I was introduced to many support groups and social networking sites that (so far) have answers to all my questions.
All in all, a thoroughly informative and insightful course, delivered by an equally inspiring tutor. Kudos to you, Karen!