H – Hook

HFor many of the letters of the A to Z challenge, I had ideas pouring out for what to write about, and I started organizing things to not overlap too much, discuss different topics, to be short, personal and opinionated, and of course writing-related. For a few letters, I was left hunting a bit for words. Just so with H, where I found the essential writing term “Hook.” I had forgotten this term, but it is of course one I know and employ, or even over-employ, in my writing. I know when I first did NaNoWriMo, every chapter started with a hook sentence, In Media Res, and the action caught up with it.

However, that got me thinking of the other sorts of ways the idea of the Hook comes up in our world today. What began its life as a writing technique has become something of a way of life in our information-heavy world.

For instance, in blogging, or other sorts of writing online. They say that for search engines, you really want to have your keywords in the earliest parts of your post. That effectively, the search engines are optimized to consider your hook. Also, in RSS feeds, you generally only see the first bit of the post, and this is the Hook that gets people to click-through and read more of your post. Thus, in blogging, the Hook is an essential tool to get read – without a good Hook, the post is likely dead in the water.

By this standard, I’m pretty sure this post fails!

Thinking about the Hook in terms of blogging got me thinking about it in terms of the rest of the Internet in general. And in particular, some of the ways in which the Internet approaches these things like a Journalist. That is to say, we think about webpages in terms of what is “above the fold” (like with a newspaper) – the content that you can generally see without scrolling down, as this is the most-seen content. And really, the first paragraph being the Hook is a heavily used Journalism approach to writing.

And what about Social Media? Twitter in many ways functions as a giant Hook machine – at least, any tweet with a link or picture or anything else you need to click. It has to be interesting enough that someone clicks! It has to Hook them, and it has to do it in under 140 characters. Less, really, with a link in there too!

So be thinking about what you write and put online. Yes, the first paragraph might be the first that you write. But it also has a pivotal role in whether you get read. So go back and look it over before you publish!

Something About This Worked – Part 3

This is a screenshot of the first few lines of Google Image results for the term - The Nine Alignments. I come up twice from comparativegeeks.wordpress.com!

This is a screenshot of the first few lines of Google Image results for the term – The Nine Alignments. I come up twice from comparativegeeks.wordpress.com!

So here’s some more evidence that something we’re doing is working – over on Comparative Geeks. Time to check in on the experiment I have had going on these last weeks.

So what has the last month looked like?

  • Comparative Geeks – Character Studies Truncated: Last 30 days, 45 views
  • DBCII – Something About This Worked, Parts 1 and 2: Total, 6 views

I am also not seeing any search terms that turned these posts up, although with 6 views, that’s not surprising.

This experiment is intriguing in that it’s not turning anything up here in the slightest. Also: frustrating. I had said that the next experiment was the photos with the tags, so here we go!

Read more of this post

Something About This Worked – Part 2

Well, we’re a week on, how did my last experiment go?

Well, those are some very different stats. So what does this mean? And what’s the next experiment? Read on!

Read more of this post

Something About This Worked

So, after thinking about all the various things that are working in my blogging right now, that got me thinking about my most successful post on Comparative Geeks. It just keeps getting found on the Internet, and keeps getting views. I mentioned it in my last post. And it had such an odd name.

Character Studies Truncated.

I mean, what I was referencing was my previous post, in which I had laid out a plan to explore each D&D alignment and painstakingly go through and place various fictional characters within them. Which seems tedious and pointless once you start looking for this sort of stuff on the Internet… Because there’s, like, a lot of that out there.

So I want to explore what is making that successful. One of my thoughts is after the jump! Read more of this post

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