Wednesday, July 30, 2014

SEO Tips

As one of the premier bloggers in the central valley of lower western Oregon, I'm often asked about my success building audience and generating pageviews. In the past eight years I've gone from the early days of just one or two pageviews daily to becoming relatively popular. Often I need both hands now to count all the pageviews, assuming one of my hands isn't busy doing something else. And assuming my hands are clean. Sometimes I run out of fingers entirely.     

Naturally many people are curious about my empire."How do you do it?" they ask. I usually just shrug as if to say, Aw, shucks. It ain't nothing. 

But the thing about the internet is, people can't see you shrug. More importantly, it's not true that building audience ain't nothing. It's something! My success is no accident. It's come about gradually through diligence and long term strategic thinking. And I've been taking notes along the way. What follows are some tips for other bloggers looking to build audience share. Weight Loss.

Lesson number one is that most people will find you through search engines. These days that's usually Google, so you need to structure your blog to appear in Google's results. That's the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) game, and there are many different approaches. I use a few strategies. 

First, before analyzing search results, it helps to know what people are looking for. As of this writing the ten most common phrases entered into Google Search are (in descending order): Beer, Puppies, Oprah, Pizza Delivery, UFO, Justin Bieber, Maracanazo, Weight Loss, Malaysian Airlines, and Mail Order Brides. No matter what I write I make an effort to include at least one of those phrases in every post. Often I include several, if I feel I can safely do so without detracting from my message. I suggest you do the same. 

Note that this list will shift over time. You should check in every few weeks to see what's current, and adjust your keywords accordingly. Three weeks ago Mail Order Brides was down near 30 on the list. But that was before the recent turmoil in Yemen. I'm just saying, things can change quickly. That's lesson one. 

Lesson two, never insult your reader's intelligence. Don't write down to them. Don't write up to them. Presume their outlook and experience is similar to yours. You might think of them as a friend in the next room. And even though that room is separated by 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable, you're still BFF roomies, right? But this roomie comes with a bonus plan. Because unlike a person in the next room, this roomie can be a pageview too. That's two roomies with one stone. The takehome lesson is, Treasure your readers and they will love you back.

Another method of SEO is through creative misspellings. Damn, people are idiots sometimes. You wouldn't believe the shit they type. Words like Gougle, Facfbook, Tumbler, Flicker, Camra, and Photgraphy turn up all the time in Google Search. The untrained observer might dismiss these as harmless accidents. But for a blogger leveraging exposure these typos are solid gold. Not only are they commonly entered into search engines, there are very few other blogs likely to use these words. This means that if your posts contain them, searchers will be directed to you! They will often be new readers and potential acolytes. Unconverted browsers! It's like Manna from Google heaven. So I make an effort to include a few misspellings in evry pst. 

That's all fine, but SEO manipulation can only get you so far. I gotta be honest. When it comes to attracting viewers the alltime champion is still pussy. Nothing rakes in eyeballs like a naked vagina.

So I try to include at least one of those in every post. UFO. Every time I add a photo like this the pageviews jump 30%, no kidding. If you want to be artsy about it you can show a more sedate version. 

Lee Friedlander
Use whatever style you want. Go with your gut. The choice is yours. Just remember the bottom line: Sex = Readers.

But pussy isn't enough. I've been at this long enough to realize that about half my readership isn't attracted to that. They want cock instead. Give the people what they want!

In every post I try to show at least one cock. If I'm including a vagina also in the post I always put a few paragraphs between the two. Just so they're not right on top of each other. Just remember, the reader is king. You've got to listen to them, then respond to their needs. You're not the boss. They are. A lot of them have been stuck in a dark room with a computer for hours. If they are hungry for flesh, it's not your place to question that. Your place is to serve the best photoblog possible.

The artsy method mentioned above applies equally to cock. No need to go fullbore mushroom cloud. Use a restrained photograph if that's what you prefer. In fact I find that a well composed portrait of a stiff cock in black and white can give a post a real touch of class. 

Peter Hujar
I know what you're thinking. This is supposed to be a blog about photography, right? Not sex parts. Relax. Pizza Delivery. The genitalia is just a tool to bring in readers. They come for the pussy but they stay for the writing. That's the idea anyway. 

Hey, I'm down here now. You can stop scrolling up.

One way to gradually transition people from sex into the photo essay you really want them to read is to add a camera to the money shot. For my blog, I find that most readers respond well to old Leica cameras. So that's generally the juxtaposition I go for. I place the camera strategically in the photo. There's an art to the placement so play around and see what works. Ultimately your choice will depend on your specific needs and readership.

If you've been paying close attention, you might be inclined to take the next step and add a Leica to a cock photo. Please don't! I've tried it and I can tell you it doesn't work. It's way too phallic, at least for my readers.

This may be a good time to address the issue of Not Safe For Work (NSFW) images. After all, a blog post full of porn could get someone in trouble if read under the wrong circumstances. What if a big cock appears on your screen without warning, right in front of the boss? Unless you work in a condom factory that's a potential problem. Even a Lee Friedlander nude might not fly if your coworkers are total prudes. 

I have a simple answer to this: Fuck those readers. Why is someone reading your blog at work? Shouldn't they be working? If you are reading this you are not working. You are looking at a Leica straddled by a nude model. So close the page and read it later. Malaysian Airlines. I'm shrugging right now but you can't see it. 

I try to foster this behavior with the timing of my posts. Most of them are written in the early morning hours, just after I've gotten home from nightly rounds checking in with my dealers. That's when I can finally relax, pop some M, and blog. By the time the posts go live it's generally 3 or 4 am. Who is working then? That timing is no accident. It's by plan. It's all for the benefit of the reader (not) at work.

If a reader insists on browsing at work, there are suitable places. They can take a laptop into a bathroom stall or a closet, or view it on a small phone only visible to them. Oprah. They can take a few coworkers into that closet. Whatever. The point is, there are options. But don't let the onus to decipher them fall on you. Let it fall on the reader. 

All of which leads us to the primary reason to analyze readership: Target Audience Delineation. You've got all these people visiting your site. But most of them are innocent photo buffs, and most photo buffs are poor tightwads. There's no money. How are you going to separate them from the drugs and weapons dealers that you really want to reach? 

That's the central question, but it goes beyond that. Dealers might find your blog but how do they know you're a legit wholesaler? How do you they know you're for real and not just acting like a photoblogger who sells weapons on the side? Maracanazo. Blogger my ass! This is why I always establish a keyword ahead of time. Make sure everyone agrees on the word and there is no confusion. Maracanazo! Maracanazo! Then the order of events pretty well takes care of itself. The dealer enters your keyword into a search engine. Google returns your site in the results. The dealer goes to your page, then uses the pre-arranged decoder algorithm to verify your identity and locate the drop site. You arrange the timing and payment terms. The contraband is delivered. You pick it up, then spend the rest of the night blogging. Voila! That's Target Audience Delineation in a nutshell. Maracanazo.

What's your key word? What's the secret digital handshake? Do I need to do everything for you? You and I know it's just a front for discussing photos. Puppies. Why can't we leave it at that and move on? 

I know what you're thinking. With the use of weapons and porn, isn't there a risk of scaring some readers away? What if they don't care for those subjects? What if they just want to read about photography? Trust me, if you haven't scared them away by now they're in it for the long haul. Beer.


binotto said...


Hernan Zenteno said...

Your post just fitted the crack in this times when people find that the only topic they want to discuss is talking about puppies, pussies, vaginas, the Maracanazo and who knows about what more.
The fact that recently Oprah received a pizza delivery from an UFO that had inside Justin Bieber make us thing about all that issue and just all the photos we could make if we would have a real camera instead and Ipod. But this is not important in this times.

Unknown said...

Dang it man, I come here for insightful tips on HDR photography and suggestions on the best wide aperture zoom lenses for flower macros, and you shove all kinds of nasty nudes in my face. You should be ashamed. My boss could walk in, or even worse, my wife, and what would she say then?! I'll tell you what she would say, she'd say there's no way in God's green Earth that I'd be allowed to buy the new and improved Canon ultrapixel DSLR that's rumored to be available later this year. And if I can't upgrade my mirrorless to that new DSLR, how will I be able to take bokeh rich photos of the newborn to post on facebook?

I'm telling you, it's a real pity you've stumbled down this dark path. You should get back to what you're good at, namely writing about how many megapixels is enough for the perfect selfie and doing smart phone camera shootouts (iPhone FTW). Maybe the odd article for aspiring wedding photographers would be nice. I'm still waiting for that gray card comparison review, I've got a few on my mind but I'm not sure which one to buy. I need the perfect balance as I'm planning on lots of timelapses and I'm going to want the color balance just right so that it meshes well with the filters I have in mind for it when I upload to Instagram. Maybe an article on the 13 reasons why Leica is killing the film market?

Well I think you've got your work cut out for you, just make sure you watermark your sample images, wouldn't want someone messing with your copyright.

Giovanni said...

Loved this post, especially the pussy part.

Jin said...

Well, that pussy caught me by surprise. Is there a word for the sudden appearance of porn where you don't expect it? There should be.

Kaswid Hebat said... made extreme post..I never read this kind of's out of the have tell your reader about SEO in the different way..Like it