Sunday, 14 March 2010

How to Use Keywords in Articles

Using keywords effectively in articles is likely to result in a webpage that earns money. This means researching into finding the best keywords, synonyms and other search phrases that people are actually using. Without effective use of keywords and their strategic placement within the text, the article could remain invisible in search results.

Best Use of Keywords in Article Writing

The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing
click to buy from Amazon
Most webmasters know that keywords play an important role in getting traffic to a website or webpage. The same applies to writing articles. The writer must conduct research into which search terms people are using to ensure the article comes up in search results, and therefore get traffic. Using Google’s Adwords keyword tool is invaluable for this end, not only in finding the most common search terms people are using, but also in finding which keywords attract the highest revenue, as well as ideas for synonyms, not conceived by the article writer.

How to Write an Article that Makes Money

Writing highly-focused articles on a niche subject will fare well for the writer. Once the topic has been chosen, it is a good idea to write the article for the reader, not for Googlebots. This makes the article more pleasurable to read, and also improve the likelihood of the article earning backlinks from other sites.

Drafting an Article for Money Making Websites

Once the first draft of the article has been completed, the article writer may edit and mould the article for SEO in the following ways:
  • The nature of reading from a screen is different to reading a book. For this reason, it is best to confine the article to between 400 and 600 words long.
  • Break up long paragraphs and pepper with bullet points to make the article easier to scan by the reader
  • Attach a few images to the article and tag the image with keyword rich search terms which will make the article more visible to search engines
How to Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool

Conducting keyword research using Google’s Adwords keyword tool is invaluable for webpage optimisation. This requires the following procedures:

The article writer will not know which search terms people are using when writing the article, so I personally write the article without this in mind in the first draft. Once I have completed the article I go into Google’s Adwords Search Word Tool, and I guess the search terms people might be using to find my article.

Google’s tool will come back with useful data for the webwriter. This will include:
  • The actual search phrases people are using, including spelling errors
  • Search volume of each search phrase
  • Synonyms to the search phrases given
  • Which search keywords attract the highest revenue.
  • Seasonal trends, for instance, Christmas related articles will show peaks in search results in the autumn months and dips in the summer
  • Geographical trends, for instance, local results and global results
  • Advertising competition for a particular topic. Some very niche topics may have little advertising competition, in which case, Google may display non contextual ads alongside an article to fill Adwords space
By clicking on a selected column header, the tool will sort the search phrases into any order the writer wishes, for instance, to show the search terms that attract the highest revenue, or by clicking another column, to sort the search terms in the order of traffic volume.

Low Competition Keywords

With the keywords given, the writer may research which keywords have too much competition, or in other words, if too many websites are using them. This can be done by opening Google’s search page and capturing the key phrase in speech marks and seeing how many other websites are using them. If more than 50,000 results come back, the keyword might not be good for SEO, as using high competition keywords could bury the article within other similarly worded articles. Finding low competition keywords can be done by a system known as the money word matrix, covered in another article within this blog.

Make Money by Writing Articles

The writer may jot down strong keywords given from the Google toolbar and sprinkle the article with them. Strongest keywords should be placed in the article title and subtitle. The opening 50 pages is also a good place, as well as the concluding paragraph. Other good places are image tags, anchor text for links and in bullet points.

Once the article has been completed, it is a good idea to read it back so that it is not obvious to the reader that it is keyword rich. But be careful not to put too many keywords in the article. This is known as “keyword stuffing,” and could cause the article to suffer in ranking.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Submitting a Screenplay to BBC Writersroom

The great thing about sending a screenplay to BBCWritersroom, is that, on condition that the first ten pages grabs the attention of the reader, the screenplay will get a fair reading, and possibly even a feedback, which is often more than what other film agents have to offer.

What to Expect from BBCWritersroom

Writing the TV Drama Series: How to Succeed as a Professional Writer in TV
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Too often it happens that film agents are too busy to even look at a screenplay. At other times, the film agent may be too busy to reply to a submission package due to other commitments and needs chasing up. This is where BBCwritersroom differs, for despite receiving thousands of submissions every year, at least the first ten pages of the screenplay will be read. If the screenplay is worth its salt, it will be properly evaluated, and in rare cases, taken on.

BBCWritersroom and the Role of the Screenwriter

The screenwriter must ensure that the first ten pages offers something different, in that the opening scenes are compelling and is sparkling with quality, or the rest of the screenplay will not be read. The BBC also has helpful tips and advice for the budding screenwriter looking for opportunities, which can be found on their website.

How to Submit a Screenplay to BBC Writersroom

Submitting a screenplay to the BBC is quite simple, for no other documentation is required. However, the screenplay must stand out from the crowd in quality and originality. This means drafting and drafting again. Equally important, the screenwriter must read the submission guidelines carefully, for what not to include is as important as what is sent.

The following are not required by the BBC:
  • Episodes of existing dramas, such as Eastenders or Ashes to Ashes. Only original ideas are welcome
  • An explanation of why the screenplay is so good and should be read. The screenplay will be judged on its own merits
  • Literary fiction that requires adaptation, although a film adaptation from the writer’s own fiction novel is welcome
  • Film treatments or proposals are not welcome. Only the completed screenplay will be evaluated
  • A screenplay in the correct format is essential. Scriptsmart Gold is a free downloadable screenwriting software which will format TV dramas, sitcoms and radio sketches.
What BBC Writersroom Want
BBCWritersroom, as well as other film agents are looking for the following qualities within a screenplay:
  • Original, compelling and contrasting characters whose conflicting drives propel the plot
  • A strong subtext, that is the difference between what is overtly expressed by the characters and what remains unsaid.
  • Dialogue that leaps from the page, and where every word counts without seeming to
  • An original plot where the audience cannot guess the outcome
  • A white knuckle or painfully subtle conclusion
  • The ideal screenplay should be between 90 to 110 pages long and contain the writer’s contact details.
What to Expect after Submitting the Screenplay

The writer must learn to be patient, for writing often involves waiting. The BBC will endeavour to reply with an acknowledgment card within four months or so. But with so much competition, the screenplay is likely to be returned without comment. If the screenplay is good, however, it will be returned with a feedback and an invitation to send a second screenplay. In very rare cases, the screenplay may be referred to a development scheme via the development manager. But this has happened in the past.

But even if the first attempt is fruitless, it is worth keeping an eye on the BBCwritersroom site for scriptwriting competitions, bursaries, news and events. The BBCwritersoom blog is also contains useful advice for screenwriters.

Helpful Articles on Screenwriting

The transformational arc of the screenplay
Why write a screenplay
Books on screenwriting

Sunday, 7 March 2010

What do I Send in a Screenplay Submission Package?

Completing a full length screenplay is not the end of the matter. Most film agents insist upon a submission package, which will often include a synopsis of the film, the film treatment, a tag line and even a rundown of a character list. How does the scriptwriter put together a good submission package that will help the chances of the screenplay of being read?

How to Submit Screenplay to the Film Agent

The following items will often be required by various film agents to some degree, as part of whole of the submission package:
  • A covering letter, including the writer’s contact details
  • A tagline to the movie. A one-sentence summary of what the film is about. Since this is often 25 words long or less, every word counts and is difficult to do
  • Film synopsis. This is plot summary of the film, told in around 250 words, and covering one side of an A4 sheet of paper. It will include the key scenes, a brief description of the characters as they arrive within the story and the conclusion
  • A film treatment. A more indepth description of the film’s events, in around 25 pages. It tells the story in fast forward
  • It is often helpful to have a character list. A cast list with a brief description of each character to help the reader in grasping the screenplay story
  • Personal statement. This is rarely required. This describes the writer’s reasons for writing the screenplay and what he or she hopes to achieve.
  • The screenplay itself
  • Return postage
The Screenplay Synopsis

Screenplay Submission
Perhaps the most important item of the list described is the synopsis. It is more often than not requested as part of the package. To summarise, the synopsis should:
  • Describe the film’s events in around 250 words or less
  • Be told in the present tense
  • Reveal the conclusion of the story
  • The storytelling and the narrative style must be compelling. Every word must count. Use one word rather than two and be sparing on descriptive words, clich├ęs and cut redundant words. The thesaurus is invaluable
  • No dialogue, slang or typos must be included
The Film Tagline

The one sentence summary is a useful tool for the screenwriter in selling the screenplay. The film agent is able to get a taste of what the screenplay is about at a glance and make an informed decision whether to read the synopsis or the full screenplay.

The Film Treatment

This is perhaps the most difficult part of the submission package, but is not always requested. The treatment is something between the synopsis and the screenplay. Around 25 words long, it tells the screenplay in fast forward, but will describe every scene in the story.

Other documents that might come in handy are a brief rundown of the character list, including a brief description of each, and a personal statement, which describes why the screenwriter wrote the screenplay and the message that was intended for the audience. Again, a personal statement is rarely requested, except in screenwriting competitions

The Full Length Screenplay

Not forgetting the main item, the screenplay itself. The screenplay must deliver what is promised within the synopsis and the tagline. It must dazzle the reader and offer something unique. Comprehensive advice on writing a screenplay, covering issues such as character development and plot conception can be found on my website on how to write screenplays.

Helpful Articles on Screenplay Writing

How to Format your screenplay for Kindle
Guide to editing the screenplay
Putting words into characters' mouths
The best words for your screenplay
Getting into paid screenwriting jobs

Friday, 5 March 2010

Using Keywords for Beginners

Part of making a website visible is using keywords properly. Keywords are words and phrases that tell search engines what the article or webpage is about and therefore make the webpage index-able. But how does the webmaster choose the best keywords for website marketing?

Understanding Keywords for Dummies

Effective use of keywords for SEO entails knowing fatal mistakes to avoid when trying to make a website visible. Keywords are the key. Witty puns, parochialisms or slang phrases, for example, are meaningless to search engines. Web searchers are unlikely to use these phrases when searching for information on the internet. Examples of such phrases include “wow recipes,” or “wicked places to stay,” etc. The following SEO mistakes should also be avoided.
  • Broad generalisations should also be avoided. Phrases such as “hotels in London” or “how to lose weight” are not specific enough and web searchers are more likely to use more specific phraseology. It is better to make the key phrase specific by using qualifying words. “How to use weight with herbs,” or “cheap hotels in Kensington,” are better
  • Avoid using highly competitive keywords and phrases. Using keywords that everyone else is using is unlikely to make the webpage visible if it is to be buried amongst thousands of other search results.
  • Use keywords and phrases that are in context to what the article is about. Avoid using a header “art materials for oil painting,” if the body of the text is more about watercolours. Using appropriate keywording will trigger contextual adverts to display alongside the web content and will help the webmaster earn Adsense revenue.
  • Avoid guessing which search terms the visitor is likely to use. Google’s Adwords keyword tool is an excellent resource for the webmaster
Finding the Best Keywords Step by Step

The webmaster who wishes to create a search friendly webpage should think about which keywords to include. Finding the best keywords can be achieved by the following:
  • Brainstorm the sort of keywords likely to be used
  • Go into the Google’s Adwords keyword tool and type in these phrases
  • In the “choose columns to be displayed,” select “show all” from the drop down menu
  • Several columns will be displayed showing a result of associated search phrases, as well as those typed. By clicking on “search volume” the programme will sort each search phrase found in order of search volume.
  • Various other columns will inform on how much revenue an ad click will yield and what the yearly trends are for each search term. The webmaster can make informed decisions on which keywords to use.
Unique Keywords with the Matrix Method

A keyword that has high search volume and high monetary yield is not necessarily a good keyword to use if thousands of other webmasters are using the same keyword. To find out if this is the case, the webmaster may type in the keyphrase captured in speech marks into the Google search bar. If more than forty thousand results come back, competition is too high. If less than ten thousand, the keyword is a fair choice. Less than a thousand would make this an excellent keyword, particularly for niche websites. This method is known as the Money Word Matrix Method.

The webmaster must take care to avoid highly unusual or long tail keyphrases that searchers are unlikely to use, even if competition is very low.

Best Keywording for a Website

With the information garnered on which keywords to use, the shrewd webmaster should scatter high volume keywords, high revenue keywords, synonyms and niche keywords throughout the web article. This is likely to attract more visitors to the site. The strongest keywords should be placed within the headers in title case and in the introductory paragraph. Others can be scattered throughout the body. Using too much should be avoided. This is known as “keyword stuffing” and could do harm to the webpage’s ranking.