February 3, 2012

Online Writing Too Competitive

It’s a dog eat dog world out here in the land of blogging and some take it so seriously they stand alone.

Some writers have had bad experiences giving tips and now they are hesitant to do it again. They have helped someone who sold their secrets or moved ahead in the ranks, so they have decided they will go it on their own not lending a hand to another soul. That is a shame.

Writing is constantly changing

I’ve learned a lot over the years about SEO: search engine optimization, keywords and working social networking groups. I try to share my knowledge when I can.

Information and techniques change all the time. What works today may not work tomorrow and the ideas we implemented yesterday may work better next week. It’s an ongoing learning experience and you must be good at research in order to succeed in this business.

There is a lot of competition out there and the better you get the more you have to watch your back mostly for copycats stealing our work but there are also some who fear being left behind in the pack. You also can’t trust everyone who gives advice, some will steer you in the wrong direction to better help their lead⎯terrible, but true.

The race is on

Think of it as a marathon, there’s always a guy or group of people in the lead and the rest are following behind. We try to watch and see what he does differently; maybe it’s his stride, brand of shoes or the way he stretches before and after each run. Other runners emulate his every move, hang on each word and study his technique.

It’s not easy being at the top, not that I know what it’s like but you can just imagine the stress and long hours they put in trying to keep that level of greatness. While I wouldn’t mind having a fraction of the money they make the worry and health issues that goes along with it would be terrible.

Helping out

Maybe it’s the mother in me or the fact I’m not terribly ambitious, but if I am able, I will do it. When I get jobs in my inbox that don’t suit me but I know another writer that might be interested I pass it along. Websites that I find useful, I pass along to others.

There are blogger websites set up for writers to help each other advertise their work. You can do the same thing with a Facebook group, Google+ circle or other sites you frequent. Help your friends by posting a link on your Twitter feed, Facebook page or Google+ stream.

The Internet is a huge place with billions of readers. If we are writing well-written articles and blogs we shouldn’t have a problem with a little competition.

The competition

I read stories that are very similar to mine on a regular basis but most of the time I don’t worry because they aren’t written very well. I’m not trying to say my work is perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I constantly read my competition and analyze their style, structure and content. Reading helps keep us abreast of what is out there as well as helping us improve our own work.

Don’t copy

It may be due to the years of writing classes I’ve taken but to this day I have to write in my own words.

There are websites with free blogs and articles you can post but I never use them. Partly because of SEO ranking (copied stories have poor pagerank) and also because I want my own work on my websites. It's my home, I don't want another person's handwork on my walls.


I don’t want y’all to inundate my email with requests for assistance but if you follow my blogs or comments on social networking sites and I know you well, I’ll help if I can. I often post links to articles and stories on my Twitter feed of writer friends but they have to be good. It is a waste of time as well as making my credibility look bad if I recommend inferior work.

In closing

Good things come back to those who send out good karma. Not everyone believes that but it has worked for me all these years and I will continue to do so.

Don’t step on the little guy on your way to the top, he may bypass you later and remember your actions.


MissOlive said...

Pamela, you hit this out of the park. I've been wanting to write a similar article in one of my blogs. There really are evil people out there and it saddens me every time they prove it. I tend to write a lot of tutorials that are intended in helping others. I'm more of the 'pay-forward good karma' kind of writer/promoter. It's the teacher in me. I don't want to be pushy either. On the backside - It's kind of scary to get a message from someone reprimanding you for not having read and commenting on their hubs/articles. yikes!

It seems that when it comes to marketing our work it is similar to financial investments. We need to diversify and spread out our back-links accordingly. It also seems that creating back-links includes watching our 'back'. In a recent disagreement I was told not to share (promote) hubs through the various social networks and that just reading each others' work would suffice. I was also told I was a 'scammer' by promoting fellow hubbers in my blog.

Things that make you go hmmmmm.

Thank you for sharing your views on this issue. Best wishes on your online endeavors. Marisa/MissOlive

PS - sorry for the long comment :)

Rory said...

Hi Pam,
Enjoyed the read. I have seen what you're pointing out here. I only compete against myself. Trying to become a more refined writer each time. I'm also more concerned about my own books sales and I do believe writer should openly support each other.

Rob Palulis said...

Very well said Pamela- so true in so many ways.

I know that I still have a lot to learn, and am very grateful for the many helpful online writer friends I have met along the way thus far.

For me I just love writing and sharing what I am passionate about, and if it makes any money and gets tons of traffic- even better.

I do realize there are amazing opportunities to make a great living doing this and maybe some day I will be able to make it work, but until then I do not get discourage and just keep on doing what I love to do.

Thanks for the great read, best wishes to you.

Pamela N Red said...

Miss Olive, I get the same comments sometimes but just ignore those people. There is plenty of revenue out there and if we are good writers and marketing our craft we should all see enough income.

Thanks for reading and commenting. No comment is too long, especially when it's as informative as yours. :o)

Pamela N Red said...

Rory, I go back and look at my older work editing and refining it every once in a while. It's amazing how much better I am now compared to several years a go. We are always learning and growing.

Pamela N Red said...

Rob, I wrote blogs for years before knowing how to make money doing it. I recently read a great book that will help anyone trying to make money or increase their current revenue. It's called Search Engine Optimization Secrets by Danny Dover. He also has a website dannydover.com.

If you love to write no matter if you make money or not you are well on your way. Enjoying what you do is the most important thing, in my opinion.