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Thursday, November 24, 2022

This Is What I Learned After Writing 100 Blog Posts

    I read somewhere that a blog’s traffic would grow exponentially after posting 100 articles of quality and substance, so I decided to put that theory to the test. When I reached 100 posts on my blog after a year and some change of writing, nothing significant happened. In fact, I had started to see a gradual increase in people visiting my blog once I achieved eighty-eight completed articles back in August of 2022, but I had to take a break from writing after catching COVID-19. I also had a spike in traffic from various countries during my two-week hiatus, but things leveled off shortly afterward.

    I had come to the conclusion that reaching the milestone of 100 posts on a blog may trigger exponential growth, but this algorithmic phenomenon didn’t happen in my case. My guess is I don’t have enough articles that consist of 1500-2000 words as the majority of the posts I write fall into the range of 400-600 words. Blog posts of that length don’t seem to rank well with search engines because word count directly affects organic SEO. My style of writing centers around getting directly to the point in terms of sharing my knowledge of writing and marketing techniques with my audience, and I can usually accomplish this goal in 500 words. I specialize in posting tidbits of information on various topics, but Google won’t rank these articles because of the stiffness of competition. And I totally agree with their criteria of ranking posts because too many content creators have tried to game the system in the past. However, I’m not good at adding words to an article in order to gain favor with the search engines and rank better because it feels like I’m adding fluff when I’ve already made my key points to it.

    Another conclusion that I’ve drawn was my niche may not be as popular as other niches―more people are searching for cooking recipes or dating advice than people who are searching for creative writing tips or marketing a self-published book, for example. Perhaps it’ll take a little longer for my blog to catch on, but who knows?

    In closing, I know that time will ultimately tell if my blog goes viral as I will continue to post articles geared toward my style and expertise in the writing and marketing of self-published fiction books. Even if I don’t accomplish this goal, I’ll be content in knowing that I’ve given everything I have to making my blog a success.

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Saturday, November 12, 2022

Terror Dome: A Short Story (Part 6)

    Jake’s deposition with his client went well, and it lasted a little over three hours before he and his team wrapped things up. He swung by Courtney Bradley’s office to see if she had lunch yet, but she appeared to have stepped out. He looked at his watch that read five minutes to one, and then he went to his office to grab his now fully charged phone and left out for lunch alone.

    There was a Potbelly’s a block or so down near Adams Street on Wacker Drive, so he decided to go there for the chicken salad sandwich that he liked to order. He saw Courtney eating alone and waved at her before he got in line to order his food. She was still eating when he joined her for lunch in the booth that she was sitting in.

    “How did your deposition go?” she asked.

    “Well, I think,” he answered. “I believe that this case probably won’t go to trial because the plaintiff is leaning toward taking our client’s first offer and settling early.”

    “That’s great for the firm, I suppose.”

    “Yeah, I agree.”

    Jake paused briefly and asked, “So, how do you feel about the direction that the firm is going in, Courtney?”

    “I can’t do it, Jake…it’s as plain as day what’s going on here.”

    “I can’t do it, either. What are you going to tell them?”

    “I’m going to put in my resignation at the end of the week.”

    “Damn, I hate the fact that I have to leave the firm with all this debt.”

    “I don’t want to leave, either, but what choice do I have?”

    “We have no choice. I think I’m going to give George my resignation at the end of the week as well.”

    “Merging man with machine…that shit sounds so crazy to me.”

    “Yes, Revelation 13:16.”

    “I know, but I never thought we’d see this in our lifetime though.”

    “Me neither, but here it is right at the front door. World War III is in full bloom, and now this. Our faith is about to be tested on another level.”

    “No doubt that it is.”

    Courtney sighed and said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do because I have no savings and a mountain of student loan debt.”

    “I’m in the exact same boat that you’re in, but student loan debt is the least of our worries.”

    “How do you figure that, Jake?”

    “The powers that be are about to reset the economy on a mass scale, and all hell is about to break loose. I’ve thought this shit through, Courtney, and our only option is to get the hell out of America somehow.”

    “And go where exactly?”

    “I don’t know, but do you honestly want to be here when the power grid fails completely with no food or water? I was just in Jewel yesterday, and they literally have no food on the shelves right now.”

    “I hear you, and to answer your question, no, it won’t be safe anywhere in Chicago once the shit hits the fan.”

    “Do you have your passport ready?” Jake finally took a bite of his chicken salad sandwich and took a sip of Arizona tea.

    “Yes, I do, but that’s not my issue. I only have about ten grand in the bank right now as of today.”

    “I don’t have too much more than that, but what I’m trying to say is all we need is a one-way ticket out of here. We can figure out the rest when we land somewhere.”

    “But what about my family?”

Courtney Bradley

    “Make them understand what’s at stake here and convince them to leave with you. Otherwise, shit is going to get really bad for you and them.”

    “What about your family?”

    “I don’t have anyone keeping me here anymore. Technically, I’ve been all alone ever since my mom passed away four years ago.”

    Courtney took a sip of her bottled water and asked, “If you left the country today, where would you go? I sincerely want to know because the chip will be implanted in everyone all over the world, so there’s nowhere to hide.”

    “This is true, but I believe that America is marked for destruction.”

    “I’ve heard the Profits preach that message before, but why do you personally believe America will be destroyed?”

    Jake sighed and answered, “I had this crazy ass dream the other day, and it was very graphic. I was walking aimlessly for miles on end in total desolation…nothing but ruins as far as the eyes could see. Everyone and everything were gone, and I was the only living thing still standing. I believe that what I had witnessed was the annihilation of the U.S. after a nuclear bomb explosion.”

    “You’re right, your dream sounds absolutely crazy.”

    “So, is it safe to say that you believe the world as we know it is about to end?”

    “Yes, we’re definitely on the same page. However, I didn’t want to believe it before now. I would dismiss everything my brother would try to tell me―that the elites want to enslave most of the people on the entire planet, but I would never listen to what he was saying.”

    “Is he one of the Profits?”

    “Yes, he’s been in the truth since 2009.”

    “Well, it’s not too late to repent, Courtney. Hopefully, we’re of that great multitude who will be saved from destruction by the Lord.”

    “I know, and I have, Jake.”

    They finished eating and left Potbelly’s a few minutes later. Neither one of them was in a hurry to get back to the firm as they still had fifteen minutes left before having to get back to work. There was a slight breeze, and the temperature was a comfortable seventy-one degrees. The building was a block away from the restaurant, and they strolled back to kill time.

    “Do you have a lot of work to do today?” she asked.

    “No, my slate is almost clean as of this afternoon. I’m thinking about taking off a little early today…maybe around three.”

    “Do you want to continue our conversation over a few drinks at the bar down the street?”

    “Sure, that sounds good.”

    “I should be done by three as well, so I’ll swing by your office afterward.”

    “Okay.”

<BACK

Friday, November 4, 2022

Is SEO Important for a Blog to Rank on Google?

    In a nutshell, yes. Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial in order for a blog or any website to rank on Google and gaining quality backlinks are the key to a profitable site receiving tons of traffic. However, ranking high on Google is an arduous task, but writing valuable content is a start in the right direction.

 Writing Quality Content.

    There’s a saying that has been floating around the Internet for quite some time―content is king. A blog is useless unless visitors stick around long enough to actually read what a writer is posting. If visitors don’t value the subject matter of a blog, they will never revisit that site again. In short, writing interesting articles rich in keywords equal repeat visitors.

 Backlinks Boost Google Ranking.

    One of the results of writing good content is accumulating backlinks on a consistent basis. Once a blogger has posted on average 4-10 articles per month for about a year, he or she will begin to see a number of posts rank in Google’s search results. I personally began to see the content on my blog rank on Google and other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo after eleven months and 60 articles posted.

 Posts Must Be Shared in Order to Rank on Search Engines.

    I’m not registered on any social media platforms by choice, but that doesn’t mean my blog posts aren’t being shared on outlets like Facebook or Twitter, for example. I’ve added the AddToAny share button to my blog, and it has made a world of difference in terms of collecting backlinks and attracting visitors daily. In turn, more organic searches coupled with Google Ads has led to a higher PageRank and more book sales.

    In conclusion, SEO is an important part of maintaining the popularity of a blog, and a writer must post articles frequently in order to garner traffic, increase backlinks, and boost sales. The success of a blog hinges on writing meaningful articles that inform and inspire readers regularly over a period time as the fruits of one’s labor doesn’t happen overnight.

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Five Things I Learned After Self-Publishing My First Book

     I can remember how excited I was like it were yesterday when my first book titled What Happened to Little League Baseball in the Inner ...