SEO Writing Basics

SEO Writing. What exactly is it? Simply put: SEO writing is the art of inserting key words and phrases into an article. And by ‘key words and phrases’, I mean the words typed into the Google search engine. Google uses algorithms to determine your content and it’s relevance on whatever the subject may be. These key words and phrases have the ability to optimize your site and give it higher rankings within a search engine.

For instance  if I’m looking for information on my cat’s health, my search phrase would be ‘cat health’. When I type in my phrase, Google will show me a list of sites on proper cat care and how to keep track of my pets overall health. Proper SEO writing,  would have included the phrase ‘cat health’ throughout their article.

In some situations, the phrase may not flow. Let’s say a person is looking for a heart doctor in Cleveland. They may type in (cardiologist Cleveland). And inserting that phrase into an article  repeatedly, can sound rather off-putting. In this case, realize that Google doesn’t always look at the punctuation in the article. So you could phrase (cardiologist Cleveland) in several ways, still combining the words as a phrase. For instance: “If you’re looking for  a   well skilled (cardiologist, Cleveland) is well known for…..” 

At the same time,you can bog down the article with ‘too much’ SEO writing. It’s called over-optimizing. More then 10 times, is too much. And it may drop you in the rankings.

Tips for SEO writing:

  • Consider your audience
  • Create a flow. Don’t just pop the phrase in there.
  • Reread your article several times. How does it sound?
  • Add your keywords and phrases as you go along, or after. It’s like Lego building. Which block goes best and where?
  • Practice your key phrases. Insert random keywords into Google and see what pops up. And when reading your article, try to imagine which words you would type in to find it.
  • Include the key phrase in the title and html.
  • Interview experts. Being able to direct quote experts on the topic  is extremely helping at driving traffic to your site.
  • Try to get at least 300-500 words in the article.
  • Advertise your article. Put your link up on as many blog friendly sites as possible. LinkedIn, Reddit and StumbleUpon are well known for this. And they work!

In closing, SEO writing is a way to optimize your site in the search engines, driving more traffic in your direction.

If you liked this article, feel free to leave me a comment or a link-back. Both are always appreciated. And stay tuned for an upcoming article on:  ‘the basics of HTML coding’.

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SEO Writing Basics

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Lorain, Ohio : Let’s Play the Blame Game

Lorain, Ohio

The city of Lorain is in a $3 million dollar deficit. Yesterday 20 police and firefighter jobs were on the line. Last night the city came to an agreement  which will allow  the police and firefighters  of Lorain, to keep their jobs. However, the real problem is far from over. So let’s play the blame game. Who is at fault for the fragile state of Lorain’s economy? What does the future hold for Lorain?

Just last month I wrote an article on the lack of jobs in America: Where did all the people go?  For the photos, I didn’t need too look far. To be honest, the photos were initially intended to show the beauty in Lorain. But after about three photos, I realized the town center was deserted.  Mind you, there is still a powerful beauty beneath the emptiness. And on the outskirts, there’s no shortage of people in the suburbs. They just aren’t shopping in Lorain. There are a few exceptions, such as: Fligner’s . Their meat and produce draw plenty of traffic.

 

I hear a lot of folks passing around blame directed at local government officials, welfare recipients, the IRS, etc…

How about we look at the blatantly obvious, just for giggles. A majority of Lorain’s  original business and factory owners are long gone.

Let me explain what I mean.

I was around 9 years old when my father was laid off from the shipyard.

“Cleveland Shipbuilding was started in 1886 by Henry Coffinberry and Robert Wallace on the site of the Cuyahoga Steam Furnace Company, which was roughly where Detroit Avenue meets Center Street.  In 1897 they built a new shipyard in Lorain and relocated there, closing the Cleveland yard.  The company was acquired by The American Ship Building Company in 1899 and eventually became their Lorain Division.  It continued as a leading builder of lakers until the late 1970s but closed in 1983.  The site was sold to Spitzers as a steel scrap processing facility but is now a marina: see it from the air on Google here.  shipbuildinghistory.com

I’ll never forget that day. He looked as if he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. It took four long years for him to find another job. My father was/is a Navy man. He’s worked hard all of his life. An electrician by trade, he’s a true blue hardworking American. As a matter of fact, most of the folks around here are! The problem arises, when these hardworking men and women have nowhere to work.

So who do we blame? The mayor? That’s absurd! I’m fairly certain he’s my age or even younger. So I’m going to go out on a limb and bet my life savings that he did not close the shipyard.

How about the retired folks? Must have been them right? Except, most of them were blue collar workers like my dad. Now in their old age, they’re fighting to get by just like the rest of us.

And what about the rest of us? Do me a favor. It’s just a quick test. You don’t have to tell me the answer. Take a look around your house. Pick up a few items and make a mental note of where those things are made.

How many of those items say: Made In The USA? 

I know what you’re thinking. I’m guilty of it to. It’s virtually impossible not to be guilty of owning outsourced products. Fact is: the products outsourced from China are cheaper!  Given the lack of decent jobs, it’s all any of us can afford. The Dollar Tree is completely outsourced. Given the choice between a plate for $1 or a plate for $5 (and they are identicalmost will go for the $1.  The other problem is a humanitarian one: Who is building all of that stuff in China? And how many hours are they being forced to work. It’s everywhere, not just in China. They’re working 60-70 hour work weeks,  for pennies on the dollar.   I recently had reason to look into it and quickly became jaded. Once I really started digging, I did manage to find a few US suppliers. So if you look, they do exist.

Moving onto those with a college career, the problem stays the same.

Let’s say we manage to squeeze out enough for a college degree in medicine. We will spend years paying back those loans and the rest of our career paying an insanely high medical malpractice insurance. We are after all, a nation of sue crazy individuals. We can’t wipe our own rears without a lawyer these days. (Our outsourced/rebranded toilet paper may cause a rash). 

Maybe a teaching degree is the way to go? If we love the Common Core  <- insert sarcasm here, then we’ll go for it. Just know that anything we say to delicate little Johnny, may result in job loss or a lawsuit or both. So let’s leave those poor little kids be. They’re always truthful and teachers are  just mean. 

Small business owners are suffering as well. Given the choice between a McDonald’s $1 rubber patty, or the local ‘mom and pop’ shop’s homemade one; we go for the rubber. Ironically, in order to save a buck on a burger, we will spend thousands in medical costs down the road. Yes…I know…right?!?!  

Here’s the thing though: If we go ahead and spend that extra buck on our local businesses, we are putting money back into our city. Imagine that? You don’t say??? And small business owners will be able to employ more locals. Wow!  And pay them more! Wow….really?!?!?! 

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Or we could just keep feeding the McDonalds CEOs. It’s entirely up to you and me. In the case that we do continue feeding the McDonalds Corporation, I suppose we really have nobody to blame then do we? I sure hope we have decent health insurance. (I don’t know about you, but my deductibles are insane!)

Here’s the reality: Yeah, currently things suck a little.

Can we fix it? The good news is YES!

Instead of taking daily trips to McDonalds, we can eat at home and save up for a nice meal at one of the family owned diners. Stop being all consuming. Let’s face it, we all buy a whole lot of crap we don’t need! If the demand is gone, so is the supply. Start DEMANDING American made products. March into Walmart and ask them for their made in the USA products. If they don’t have any then leave. Do it everywhere and do it often!

Trust me, we can all live without that $1 pink plastic storage container. Part of the problem is that we’ve become a nation of instant gratification addicts.   It’s become so easy to go for the quicker option.

And it shows in our children. They’re entitled now. We break our backs to pay in the hundreds for some stupid shoes. SHOES!  We are buying a NAME! Some of the shoes are the cost of a house payment. But children have learned from us that we should hide our real ‘status’. Nobody wants to admit they’re struggling. Nobody wants to admit their total debt. ( Just because you are not in default, does not mean you are not in debt. If you have a credit card…guess what? You’re in debt! ) But we do it anyway! Why?

Because “Mom…all my friends have them! Do you want me to get picked on?” 

    Well…no…of course not.

We don’t want our kids to have to deal with adversity…cuz…wait…

   WHY THE HECK NOT?

The real world will tell them NO! The real world will chew them up and spit them out! And when they find out it’s not as easy as ‘the mommy who always said yes’, said it was…well…I suppose there’s always Prozac. There are plenty of ‘Big Pharma’ companies ready and willing to parent our kids for us.

In the end, who should we blame?

Us…we  should blame us…as a whole…as a unit. We should blame ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

Where did all the people go?

Somewhere between the rich and the poor, there was once a group of humans known as the middle. They were the balance between the other two, often feeding both.  But still …there was a balance. And as a general rule, they would fly their children off to faraway states. Occasionally   they took long trips traveling the country while their  children boxed it out in the backseat of the family station wagon. Think…Chevy Chase.

Education was largely coveted and revered. It wasn’t ruled by the ‘pay me for the ignorant ramblings’ group up on Capital Hill. You know….the arseholes who blather on and on about bill changes, policies, test scores and blah blah …vomit.

The government didn’t parent the children…or attempt to drug them in hopes of bringing  up those highly prized  test scores…(Ironically, creating a generation bent on substance addiction, because their little brains no longer produce what they need…without a damn drug).   The teachers having paid for and attended college, were presumed to already know what the hell they were doing…so it was a non-issue. Play was a given. Recess gave teachers a much needed time out, while the children got to run and stretch their little legs.

Guns were for cops, the free folk and the assorted bad guys. Problems between kids however, were solved with a boxing match behind the school. Zero bullets required, and  the children lived to see round two the following morning.

Food was actually …food. It could be easily pronounced. Human immune systems were pretty  decent…mainly because antibiotics…worked. They worked because people were not being fed antibiotic loaded meat. Antibiotic resistance, was almost unheard of. Actually….people didn’t take antibiotics for every little NAMBY PAMBY BOOHOO illness! Docs didn’t pass out drugs like candy, in hopes of competing with the madness of today’s giant clinics.

There was no excuse for bad behavior. A brat was a brat. They weren’t drugged and told it wasn’t their fault. They weren’t given free run out of pity for their mental conditions. (Which oddly enough… have grown exponentially with the growth of Big Pharma, single family homes, increased divorce rates, the need of some parents to work multiple jobs….ironically…to be able to afford the daycare…so they can work multiple jobs...which …probably contributes to the increased divorce rate...go figure).

People actually had decent paying jobs, paid by companies who actually built decent products. Of course, this also meant that stuff held up better. Oak was oak…not prefabricated half plastic/ half wood shavings….well….garbage. Dressers and tables were built to last. Unlike the Walmart specials of today with cardboard backing. Workers now are  being paid less or entirely outsourced, in order to build product quicker for the all consuming American public….. just to see it fall apart. At which point, a phone call is usually made to the company…and surprise surprise…the operator is located somewhere on a faraway continent and you have no idea ...I mean none...as to what they are saying. Of course, it would be NON PC of me, if I didn’t finish that sentence with….”It’s not their fault, they just needed a job” and “It’s the lazy Americans fault for not being willing to work for 3$ a day”…oh and “We surely can’t blame the CEO’s…because who doesn’t need a swimming pool in their living room?”

I’m sure I was going somewhere with this…oh right…..

Where did all the people go?

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Photo by homefreekids.com

 

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His Painting

He finally finished. I posted last week about giving him his first large canvas. It took him a bit. But he has poured his heart, soul and mind into this lovely picture.

Initially, it started with the birds. Then the shark. Followed by  the abstract idea of a brilliant red tunnel slide, jetting into the ocean. To add emotion, he created a storm.

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His painting is very thought provoking. There are multiple ways to interpret the grand design. Two simple birds, sitting on a perch, surrounded by an ocean. They’re seemingly oblivious to the danger below. With a storm kicking up, the eager predator is circling beneath….waiting to swallow them whole. And what of the tunnel? Humans sliding elegantly between both worlds.   Walking a line between eminent thrilling danger and a brilliant soulful beauty.

Again… his painting  could be interpreted in so many ways. But if you ask him….“I just like sharks and birds”.

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The Art Studio …Thanks Grandpa

We have been having a lot of fun in this little room in the basement….


And since we technically don’t have to cleanup …. I’ve decided this messy little corner of the world, is my new favorite space. When we originally left this room in the basement unfinished, the plan was to use it for storage. However, I then later realized…. I hate messes and therefore don’t keep anything!?!

Last week , I was able to take some photos in a beautiful spot  downtown. And one kind of stood out. Maybe it was the conversation with my grandfather a few weeks before he died. He died this past December 2015. One of his favorite things to speak of, was his youth. My town is rather small, and my family was part of the group of original families to take part in making the town what it is. So when my grandfather would tell me his stories, I hung on to every word.

One of his last stories, involved the town hall. Which, as luck would have it, can be viewed from this upstairs room.


And the decor up there… Well… It’s right up his alley….


Called “the Sinatra Room”, it intrigued me from the start. But what really hit close to home, was the realization of where I was standing.

According to grandpa, this place used to be an old warehouse. They used it as storage. Sometimes it was a go between space for the extra stuff from the Town Hall. And my grandfather liked to tell me about how ringing the bell in that old building, was equivelent to taking your life in your hands and chucking it out a window, in hopes that you could fly. And the kids who made it up the staircase, were mighty brave indeed.

But here’s the irony… The day we said goodbye forever ? We came here, to this old warehouse. It’s a restaurant now. Well, technically 1/2 is. While they’re joined, one part is a casual pub and the other is on the higher end with a large wine selection. It’s a wrap around, joined by the kitchen in the center, both sides owned by one person. And the upstairs  from the photo also has a banquet hall. The bonus is, one of the original doors from the warehouse is still in use.

So somewhere between taking the photos and finishing the editing… I found this one to be my favorite….


And then, I sort of thought… How can I stick that spot… That spot that my grandfather probably stood while moving things about ( he was also a police officer , a mason, tool and die maker and on the town council)… How could I stick that spot in my living room?

We’d just built and art studio in that stole little space, in our basement.. That tiny little waste of space…that is now….my heaven….

  
And pulling elements from the photo onto a canvas was probably the most fun I’ve had swimming about in my own brain, than I’ve had in over a decade.



So I guess for now… I’ll sit right here and glance towards that old town hall. Maybe I’ll even hear that old bell.

I really hope  you’re watching back…

May your dream explode on canvas…or socks

For Corky and Lil T, with love…Use what you have… even if it’s just an old pair of socks. 

I sincerely hope you love this space. It’s the one part of the house, that’s been untouched … Until now. You asked me for a studio… A place to be messy and carefree…a place to feel…. 

   
    
  

   

  

 

   

  
I can’t wait to see what you do with the floor!

             Love, Mom

Taking the bus? A voting headache…

Does my vote count? Does yours?

I’ve been mulling over the topics of late and while on one of my recent ‘information gathering escapades’ , I began to wonder if any of it even mattered….

Let’s say you are an educated voter….I don’t mean Ivy League….simply educated about the topic at hand. You’ve done your homework…you have seriously weighed all outcomes and considered the complete follow through of each proposal….And you have done this...right?!

My issue has been the pot ballot. So of course…I’m weighing the options. It has it’s pros when it comes to treating epilepsy and other disorders. I’m painfully aware, that a once simple drug, can quickly become a chemical nightmare,  once Big Bro stakes it’s claim. But we have to start somewhere right? Or do we? Are we caving in if we vote yes to the dual ballot? (And the idiot that thought that scheme up…may giant carrots sprout from his ears….)

However, in the end...will my vote count? 

I’ve heard the stories…buses loaded with folks, who know nothing about the candidates or the principles, being brought in to cast their vote…undoubtedly swayed by whoever is driving the damned bus.

So let’s see….5 educated (as in they actually did the research) voters…walk into a bar…stop me if you’ve heard this one….Just Kidding.

But seriously…. 5 educated voters head to the polls. They cast their votes based on informed decisions. An entire Greyhound bus…let’s say 60…yeah…60 UN-informed voters head to the polls…..hmmmm…..

And we complain about the end result.

We say we want to see an end to homelessness…poverty….the piss poor common core….and yet, if you don’t even bother to research the issue, how the hell do you know what you’re voting for? And if you’re doing the research, but fighting a bus load of “Why read the book, when I can watch the movie?” …how can you win?

How does the book vs the movie analogy fit in here? Well….

When you read the book….you get to create the scene, the characters and the result. Your brain actually has to do the work! Imagine that…thinking for yourself..YOU DON’T SAY?

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In this.. the age of ‘No Thought Required’?!?!? 

But when you watch the movie….you take on the complete persona of another individual’s mind. No imagination…no thinking….just…following….THIS by definition…is the opposite of critical thinking. (I know….The common core instantly popped into my head as well….don’t feel bad..we’ll have a Suds later and forget about that trauma all together).

And while trying to do the math in my head;ie – Does the ratio of educated vs uneducated voters, match up with the proportion of unhappy humans…when the polls close? (A proportion is a name we give to a statement that two ratios are equal). Correct? And yet the ratios in this case are unequal. 

Here….let me simplify…..

If you’re voting for someone because they’re cute….or your friend likes them…or because of  race…or religion…or because mom and dad are….or because some dude gave you a cool t-shirt…if you’re voting based on anything, other then the issue or the firm belief in what the person behind the issue stands for….then please…Get off the Damned Bus! 

You aren’t helping! You aren’t awesome because you’re sportin’ an “I VOTED” sticker. You’re an idiot! And honestly…just listening to you as you drone on and on about a candidate’s facial features or about their race,  in relation to why you are voting or are not voting for them….it makes me..well….sort of throw up in mouth…..

Yes….you should vote….but read the damned book first!

And if you’re driving the bus…the word is :

un·bi·ased
ˌənˈbīəst/
adjective
  1. showing no prejudice for or against something; impartial.
    Simply Put: Give them ALL of the information, otherwise…you’re lying to them when you say their vote counts….You’re  hypocrisy in the flesh.You’re insulting their intelligence….and mine.

For Corky…I know I promised you a day….

I know I promised you a day…I know I have to work tonight….and my schedule last week was rather hectic….I know I stayed home for fourteen years and the change has been a little hard….I know we used to have all the time in world…and I probably squandered a majority…as they say, the grass is always greener…I know that now I have to try my best to squeeze in the time that I used to have in spades.

So here’s what we did today…

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We went to the craftstore…as we usually do….

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We played in the jewelry isle…(after I made you dig through everything blue in Christmas isle…thank you for that)

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We found some nifty beads and kits….

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We even found music note charms….

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Then we had sandwiches…which you refused to eat, but you did like the Cool Ranch Doritos…And then we tinkered with the beads….

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And while I have to work now…I think the coolest thing about the craft of the day, you chose…is knowing that every time you wear them….you’re wearing ‘our time’….Thanks for hanging out with me today….Love Mom

Taking the new oven for a test drive: Red Velvet and Ambrosia

My husband found a deal for WhirlPool applances. At first, I was iffy on the stainless steel….simply due to the fact, that it’s next to impossible to keep fingerprint free. And since I photograph food…well…you get where that may be a tad annoying.

However, one week in…and minus the endless bottles of stainless steel cleaner, I honestly do love the look and feel of the appliances.  (Albeit..if anyone can suggest a good cleaner, I’d appreciate it). And with fall promptly at my doorstep, red velvet came to mind!

So how did it go,  you ask?

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Well….my cakes cooked evenly, the color stayed in tact, the aroma is fantastic and the applainces look great….

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But for the love of all that’s HOLY.….somebody please tell me how to keep it spotless?!?!?!?!?!

Note: Don’t forget the Ambrosia Chocolate and Strawberries…..