Writing for SEO, or writing the way you want
For those of us writing for money, it can be a hard choice between writing to please Google and writing to please yourself and your readers. Which side of the fence are you on?
For me, I’ve taken the risk, and I’m writing what I want to write, how I want to write it. I write about things I know people want to read, and I just maintain the belief that people will read what I’ve put out, and I will make money from it. I know I could make more by writing SEO style and writing about “hot” topics, but I’ve made the decision not to sell out just to make a buck.
Now, I know a lot of people don’t call it selling out; they call it being professional. I suppose that’s all a matter of perspective. I know I could make more money if I forced myself to write about celebrity gossip and such, but I have no interest in those topics, and I feel my writing would suffer if I wrote only what I thought would be profitable.
I think each writer takes a stance on one side of this issue or the other. Some people will do both, writing what pays for money, and writing what they like just for fun. I’m just not willing to write things I don’t care about just to get paid. I know that my work will pay off in time, even if it doesn’t pay as much as other topics could.
My poetry is a good example of that. I know there are people out there that write poetry to make money, and they force themselves to come up with new work on a schedule. I write when I’m inspired, and I write about what speaks to me. Even my lousy poetry means something to me, and I put it out there for people to read. Interestingly enough, some of the poems I thought were junk touch some people, and that’s always a good thing.
I personally believe that writing, like any art, should be done because you love it, and you should love what you write. However, if you want to turn it into a job and that works for you, then more power to you. It’s just not for me. I’ve tried writing about what’s popular, and unfortunately, my distaste for those topics comes through in my writing. So, I stick to what I know and what I’m good at, and I stay optimistic about it earning enough to be worth the effort.
Whatever your reason for writing is, I do suggest that you do at least a little work that’s purely out of love. Post it on a blog under a pseudonym if you’re afraid it’ll hurt your reputation, but at least from time to time, write what you really think and feel. You might be surprised how well people will react to it.