Out of curiosity, a mood I sometimes find myself in these days, I sometimes Google myself or the things I have written. It’s a habit that started three years ago, when writing was yet wishful thinking and I was focusing on running an online fishing tackle supply, and it has since stuck.
Because I was competing in prices against several commercial names, I would spend hours researching the prices of their products vs. the prices of mine. There were a handful of my products that were unique and I created a small campaign to promote them. While I don’t need to get into the details, I will say that I just happened to find one of my products after doing a search.
As I was wont to do, I searched myself.
Lo and Behold, nearly all of my products popped up in the search! And thus the beginnings of an addiction was born.
No, not the addiction to finding myself online. I can see how you would jump to that conclusion! No, it is an addiction that pushed me to do things which would get me on the Google hot list.
With the business it was all about the products. The more I could find for my business; the more I could make mine to sell, the more I wanted to see if I was ‘searchable’ because of my efforts.
And just like my business, so too has it been for my writing as well.
When I first joined the WordPress experience, I could expect to find my work on the first or second page of a search using my pen name. It wasn’t long before R. Richardsson’s Beneath the Headstone, and the many posts that it contained were the only thing on the first three pages! How very exciting!
I continued to work hard on my posts. I began writing webseries for my site to help further the cause. (Oh, and because I also wanted to have free stories for you to read as well!) And for months, I felt like the King of the hill.
But this has all changed.
I have read that Google has made changes in how its code works, that these changes make it harder for a person to be seen. I completely understand that this is something built to help protect against the many, MANY scams that are out there, but what about the little man? What about the entrepreneur trying to make an honest living? What about the independent writer trying to get his or her name out there?
Maybe I’m thinking about this the wrong way. Or am I?
I know that my work stands on its own. It’s a testament to my efforts and I hope that you have enjoyed reading at least some of the stories I share with you.
I know that my work stands on its own, but it’s disheartening that you can’t find my pen name, either in written form or through images anymore. When I talk about my work with people in passing, if I’ve sparked enough interest in them, they may go and try to find out more about this R. Richardsson character who writes Horror, Paranormal Fiction and Fantasy. When they do, it’s as if I don’t exist. If you search for my website, ‘Beneath The Headstone’, now that’s a different story. At the time of this writing, there were at least three links on the first page alone!
I don’t claim to understand how Google figures its mechanics. I try to use what little SEO knowledge I have to the best of my ability. I don’t spam links to my site on people’s blogs, and when I comment on their own writing, I try to add something meaningful to their work. I promote my work on social media, but I also try to inject a sense of myself into my posts/tweets as well.
I feel like I’m doing all the right things, but as far as Google is concerned, there isn’t a search result where my name rightfully belongs these days? So the question remain; where did I go?
Well the answer is simpler than you think. I’m right here, you see, right where I belong; Beneath The Headstone, in the boneyard of my mind, where all stories are given a second chance at life.
I do so hope that you (continue to) enjoy these little beasties I keep sending your way, because sooner or later, one of them’s going to get you. And when it does, I hope it keeps you awake for many nights to come.
Or at least one. One is good.
In just a few short days, I will find myself with an opportunity that is bigger than I can possibly imagine.
For those of my readers who have yet to read my post regarding my book signing, I invite you to take a few moments to go check it out.
Are we all caught up?
Good! So then you know about the photographer I met while there? Excellent.
I took his advice and contacted the news reporter and with-in a couple hours I had a delighted response and invitation!
Just so we’re all clear here; I will be appearing on a local news station, for an onscreen interview, regarding my vampire hunter trilogy!
This is unheard of for me. When I sent off the email, at best I expected to be politely let down. I figured that a reply would find its way into my inbox, at the end of the week, explaining how they appreciated my candor, but this wasn’t something they weren’t interesting in doing at this time. Imagine my surprise when I was proven wrong a short time later!
There are a million questions running through my mind, but, am I nervous? Years ago, I participated in a trombone trio that went to State, as part of my band class. I had to perform before two thousand of my peers and the judges. I’ve given a few speeches to small crowds of people, mostly family, but also before my peers in Speech class. Of course, and most recently, I spent an evening describing the plot and story of the my first book to several interested readers. In every instance, once I got in front of the mic, everything else fell into place.
The question remains. Am, I, Nervous?
A little, admittedly. But it’s not like I will be speaking before a huge audience. At most, it will be myself, the interviewer and the cameraman. It will be in a comfortable setting that will make it seem like the interviewer and myself are having a friendly discussion, so I’m not to worried about the pressure. Of course, I don’t know what will be in the panoramic that isn’t seen from the viewer’s point of view, but that shouldn’t be too bad.
It feels more like I’m preparing to give exactly what it is; an interview. He will have questions, I will have answers, and before I know it we’ll be shaking hands and parting ways.
Do I have concerns? Of course I do. This is the first time that anyone in my immediate family will appear on TV for a good reason! *laughs* Okay, in all seriousness and joking aside, this is something that has a lot of potential to get my work out there.
Sure, I’ve sold some books. I’ve also donated some to the Little Free Libraries around town! Add in the signing and I have had a fairly good run these last two months. My concern is as to whether or not I am able to be concise, and more importantly, professional about the work I’ve invested so much time in creating. This is, after all, going to be my first author interview!
My plan is to treat it as if the reporter interviewing me is an interested reader. Since I will be speaking to him about the trilogy, I simply need to give my best synopsis, offer the baited hook and hope he takes a bite. If he believes it, the rest should fall into place, right?
Oh, but we shall see, won’t we…?
For now, I try to make sense of the hurricane in my mind, capture my thoughts as they are violent whipped to and fro and start writing some notes. I should prepare my best synopsis, practice reciting it and go from there.
Wish my luck, my friends.
R. Richardsson Interview with Ralph Hipp, WIBW Channel 13, 4:00pm Central Time, November 11, 2013
For those unable to view the program, I will be later capturing the video and uploading it to my YouTube Channel.