Someone recently sent me a private message. They had noticed my peculiar tags on my blog posts. Their message:
I have noticed some of the tags you use on your blog and I don’t think you are using them correctly. Most people are not using Google to look up “I was an asshat.” If you want help optimizing your SEO stuff, let me know.
That’s very kind of them. I don’t know them. They aren’t HJ Facebook fans (good grief, I hate that word). They don’t follow me on Twitter. I’m not even sure they follow my blog. They may have just searched for “accidentally a writer,” “shitty blog tags,” or something equally strange and found me.
Unfortunately, I know Google isn’t getting a lot of requests for searches on “I was an asshat”. Here’s the thing; when it’s an important post like a book release or talking about an author I love or something serious, I put in tags that mean something. Tags like the title of the book, the author, the event, whatever I can think of. Some of my most common tags are “writing woes,” “advice for authors,” and “indie author help.”
However, when it’s a post like yesterday’s, there really aren’t a lot of optimized tags to place on it. I guess I could have included “don’t be a jerk,” but I didn’t think of it until today… So, I just add the tags that came to mind and meant very little. The only people I even suspect might read those particular posts are people that actually want to read my somewhat weird blog posts and watch for them.
And I’m okay with that. I don’t need every post to be read by 10,000 people. I’m happy when 6 people read it. I’m also happy when a person comments on that weird blog post, even if it is to say “that was weird.”
My blog is important, to me. It allows me to write without forcing me to confirm to a logical narrative, like a book. I can ramble, rant, whine, or dole out opinions. I can use it to caution against mistakes I’ve made or I can complain about my health insurance company. I can talk about migraines or I can wax poetic about being a jerk. When people read it, they read it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sad on days that nobody reads my blog. Readers are important, after all, I’m a writer at heart and all writers want people to read their stuff. But I know there are going to be times when not everyone wants to read what I’ve written. I subscribe to 40+ blogs and I don’t read everyone of them, every day. I’m really great at skipping the ones that are reviewing books with half naked people embracing people on the cover (Sorry, Maria, I try every day to read your bog, but if you give a book less than 5 stars and it has some variation of said cover, I tend to just gloss over the preview in my email and then delete it).
Then there’s the flip side. I once got sucked into what appeared to be a very important blog post on the indie book market that really turned out to be rant on how indies suck because of the optimized tags; one of which was “How to make money as an indie” (the advice was get a day job and leave writing to the real authors).
So, yes, sometimes my tags are silly or ridiculous, and they definitely aren’t being Googled by the masses, but I’m good with that. Thanks for the offer though!