Sunday, January 5, 2014

Writing blog posts that generate traffic to your website

I recently wrote this article for a local company, but I wanted to share it with those of you are fellow bloggers and writers.  If you haven't considered a blog to enhance your writing awareness, you should!  Here's a few ways to help generate traffic to your site, regardless of the topic or theme:

Most bloggers seek to generate as much traffic to their site as possible, in the interest of increasing readership of their blog and other works, or to generate income from advertising.  Many strategies exist to accomplish the goal of driving visitors to one’s blog.  This article will examine a few of the many elements necessary to write a successful, click-encouraging blog post.
One of the paramount elements of blog posting is the relevance to one’s target audience.  A masterpiece will not likely produce much excitement if the topic is incompatible with one’s readership.   Often the most successful blogs are ones that have a specific theme or topic.  For example, a post about life insurance wouldn’t entice many if the readers are generally teenagers, who have no need for such a product.   Understanding what people are interested in reading will help identify inviting topics for the audience to enjoy.  Reading popular blogs will demonstrate which articles are generating the most “likes” or comments, in order to identify what readers are responding to most.  Another way to determine topics to write about is by researching news, trending keywords on web search engines, and social media buzz.
In addition to relevance, one’s work post needs to be informative and accurate.  A well written post will include some research, even if the post is mere opinion.  The reason for researching accuracy is if the potential reader finds the information unfounded, the post may not create traffic.  Enlightening posts will contain some facts in order to substantiate one’s opinion, and create validity for the reader.
Another element of the traffic-generating blog post is the photo.  Pictures are an absolutely necessary accessory to the writing.  Not only do photos aid the reader in quickly and easily identifying the topic of the post, the image will be an aid in search engine relevance.   Keywords are just as important with images as they are with articles.  A Google search for “avoiding tooth decay” will render results that include pictures of teeth, but also floss, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other related images.
Apart from writing a tempting, relevant and accurate post, one must consider announcement of its arrival on one’s blog.  Once the post is active, one must inform potential readers of its presence.  Posting links on social media web sites and community message boards and sending emails to subscribers and associates are essential ways to alert potential readers of the new post.  Generating initial awareness of the post is the responsibility of the author, because even the best post will not produce traffic if no one knows about it.
Bloggers who understand the elements essential to compelling readers to visit their site will have a greater likelihood of accomplishing their goal.  A thorough post that is interesting, informative and coupled with an image will have a greater chance of increasing the number of visitors it generates.  The better a post is constructed and announced, the greater likelihood of clickable success.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bohemian Style Obsession

Photo Credit:
Hello my lovelies! Thanks for popping in!

Recently, I've become pretty infatuated with the bohemian style.  Looking back, I've always been a little bit hippie, if only in an underlying way.  I'm crafty & artsy, with a particular affinity for tie-dye & turquoise.  I'm even dressing as a boho-hippie for my Halloween costume this year, if that's the only way I can get away with it.  I find it fairly amusing that I am calling it a costume, when really, its just a style I want to infuse more into my wardrobe without too much overhaul of what I already own.  I have some reservations about allowing my style to migrate towards the offbeat, and here's why.

The difficulty I have with going full-on boho myself is the negative stigma that has been (rather unfairly) attached to the style.  I mean, what's so bizarre about a crochet sweater? A long skirt? Or a sun hat? I really can't figure out why some might see a women dressed a certain way, (we'll call it a hippie, if we must) and assume she's an idiot or unclean.  I'll never understand some folks' discrimination tendencies.  Call me crazy but I believe in accepting others as they are, not as I want them to be so that they fit into some preconceived mold.

Another aspect that is holding me back is the inclination towards showing so much (too much) skin.  I feel like the body is a beautiful thing, but that beauty doesn't need to be shown off to everyone.  I'm sure that I can get around it, but generally, I see boho style dresses as being meant for thin women that have no issue with overexposure (hello, sheer fabric...).  I strive to be healthy and lose weight, but the reality is, regardless of whether I'll ever arrive at the weight I want, I will always be a bit modest.  Am I alone here?

The last issue I'm struggling with this the handmade nature of a lot of the fashion and accessories.  Mainstream clothes are simply too mainstream to be bohemian, and so that lays the necessity to create one's own clothing, which is dreadfully time consuming and difficult if you're not blessed with excellent sewing skills.  Thank goodness for sites like Etsy, where handmade items are easy to come by, albeit maybe not so affordable.  I suppose I should be checking out the farmer's markets for handmade things to add to my collection.

What are your thoughts on the bohemian style? Love it or lose it?

Follow me all over the web: Twitter @joannasantanen1, Facebook joanna.santanen, Pinterest jojo728, Google+ joannasantanen, Instagam joanna728

Happy Reading!
XoXo- JoAnna

Monday, September 23, 2013

I'm baaaack!

Hi There!
Welcome (back)!

Admittedly, I took a few months off of my writing.  I needed the break for my brain and my typing hands.  I have been enjoying my sabbatical, but missing the creativity, fun & passion that writing is for me.  During my down time, I explored some other interests of mine and sparked a desire to entertain the notion of nonfiction writing. The first effort toward that end is a new blog - Love and Long Lashes.  My new blog will center around many women's interest subjects including makeup, skin care, hair, style, decor, arts & crafts, weight loss & fitness, relationships and more.  I'm still working on new content but it will be packed full of cool posts very soon!

As for Abstract, my intentions for this blog will remain an examination of topics like psychology, critical thinking & human behavior.  I hope to update this blog at least a few days a week, and even more frequently on Love & Long Lashes.

In addition to my blogs, I intend to finish Under The Maple Tree (stillllllllllll...) and begin a nonfiction book that will reflect many of the same topics as my new blog.  More on that idea as soon as it takes shape. :)

Follow me all over the web: Twitter @joannasantanen1, Facebook joanna.santanen, Pinterest jojo728, Google+ joannasantanen, Instagam joanna728

Happy reading!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Letter from the Swedish Necrophiliac!

Back in January, I wrote a post about necrophiliac woman in western Sweden.
Read the Local News story here:
Yesterday, I received an email (through my author site: from a woman claiming to be the offender in question, though there's really no way to verifying her identity because her name was not released.  Of course, I'm skeptical that she's the actual woman who was charged in Sweden.  I hope that she is considering I have so many questions about her condition and the events surrounding her arrest, but the likelihood is slim.  I am conducting an investigation, but I felt it was worth a post regardless of whether the email was from the "Swedish Necrophiliac" or not.  Bearing that in mind, I'd like to relay some of the thoughts she felt compelled to share (again, this could just be someone looking to create a hoax, but if not, it's pretty fascinating).

The woman, Helena, 37, wrote a letter which was surprisingly well-mannered.  I would have expected her words to be more seething, especially considering she was trying to set me straight about how these events completely destroyed her life.  As one can imagine, the news media exploded regarding this bizarre story of a woman who not only possessed human remains, but was discovered to have used the bones to pleasure herself.  The absolute repulsion of the story doesn't negate international intrigue.  Helena describes in her somewhat broken English how the media and police & law officials obliterated her entire life including her relationship (she goes so far as to indicate that she is a lesbian, and prefers LIVING women) and her freedom.

Helena claims to have spent 97 days in isolation during her jail time.  Helena does not elude as to why she was in isolation, but one can imagine that the nature of her crime might beget her some flack from the general population.  Isolation may have simply been a way of protecting her while she served her time.  She states that the prosecutor was seeking prison time, but the murder and necrophilia charges against her were dropped.  She goes on to say that the prosecution is attempting to seek a higher court, but does not have much evidence on her because they were unable to retrieve material from her encrypted hard drives.  I can only imagine what's on those.  (Pause for dramatic Yuck! here.)

Though she does not deny her actions in terms of her "use" of the human remains, she doesn't explain her motivations either.  She simply says that she is trying to change her ways, but has been involved in the black market and profiting from death for so long that she is struggling to find another way.  (Get a job?)

Helena closed her email by saying that she is "stronger than ever" because of this ordeal.  She admits that now that she has lost everything, she is fearless and doesn't have anything more to lose.  I suppose I can applaud that particular revelation, but it doesn't excuse her reprehensible actions or absolve her from the responsibility of buying and selling human remains on the black market.  This story begs the question: how does one even acquire such items? Grave robbing? Thievery from hospitals? Dismemberment? Murder?

I will update my blog once I have had a chance to conduct some more research regarding this story and the origin of the email.  I am assuming that this individual may just be a bored necrophiliac who had combed the internet for material regarding their fascination and happened upon my blog post.  However, if it turns out the email is truly from the actual Swedish woman mentioned in the news, I will be ecstatic to interview her.  I might even write her story for my next project.  A good friend of mine offered up this title: Bad to the Bone: The True Crime Story of the Swedish Necrophiliac.  Hilarious! :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Official Blog Tour Sites

April 16, 2013
Guest Article: Character Development
Read it at:

April 17, 2013
Guest Article: Bad Boy Magnetism
Read it at:
April 18, 2013
Article: How to Follow Your Dreams
Read it at:

April 19, 2013
Article: The Importance of Prewriting
Read it at:

April 20, 2013
Article: Self-Publishing for Business People
Read it at:

April 21, 2013
Article: Creating a (almost) Free Marketing Strategy for Your Writing
Read it at:

Monday, April 15, 2013

I'm going on tour!

I'm embarking on my first tour - blog tour, that is! I have been writing my little heart out on all kinds of topics from writing to business to relationships. It's been great to write articles for other blogs and websites and I'm honored to have the opportunity to contribute. I'm hoping that my insights will be well received and readers will enjoy what I have to say.

I will post an official tour directory over the course the next few days in order to make the posts accessible from my blog as well. I won't duplicate the topics on my own blog (which I call Abstract) as original content is important to me, so the only way to read the various articles will be through the links I provide.

Once my blog tour is over, I will return to more timely posting on Abstract. I apologize for my lack of new posts! As always, life gets pretty busy and I often find there simply isn't enough hours in the day to get everything done!

My tour will be 4/15-4/22 and I will return to posting regularly on Abstract the first part of next week. Until then, I hope everyone is having a beautiful & abundant Spring!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

No time to waste

I am sure that I am not alone when it comes to letting the little things in life bog me down and prevent me from focusing on what really matters.  Who has so much disposable time that they can watch a 3 hour long episode of The Bachelor or spend countless hours posting inspirational quotes and funny memes on Facebook?  I sure as hell don't.  My list of things to do usually includes such necessities as never-ending laundry and scrubbing the bathrooms.  I am constantly busy but never feel like I am getting things done on the grander scale.  Why is it so hard to prioritize my tasks to bring about the big picture outcome? Does it really matter if there's dishes in the sink when I'm right in the middle of writing a novel that has been waiting for my attention for months?
I struggle with the fact that it seems like my mundane to-do list takes over my time and prevents me from making progress in my chosen path. I am so distracted by all the things I tell myself that I should do that I don't stop and think about all the things I could do.
I have high standards and a high purpose.  I do not have time for meaningless distractions that are counterproductive.  My goals are lofty and my desire to accomplish those goals is strong.  I spend far too much time and energy on the things that don't help me and neglect the things that do.
I frequently run away from my dreams and aspirations, if only to prevent an inevitable confrontation with the possibility that I am not good enough, or worse - that I am.  My fear of success is just as strong, if not stronger, than my fear of failure.  We all fail - that's expected.  Not everyone succeeds at achieving their goals.  In fact, very few do; which makes them inherently special.  My feelings about my self worth are a constant deliberation with the proverbial angel on my right and devil on my left.  It seems terribly presumptuous to decide that I'm so special that I can make whatever life I chose a reality.
But is it? If I choose to get a different job with better pay, it wouldn't be some kind of miracle.  It would be going after something I want, and doing whatever is necessary (applying, interviewing) to make it happen.  If I decided I wanted to move across the country, I would save up to make the trip. I would line up a new place and a new job before I went.  Again, nothing miraculous about seeing those plans through to fruition.
Ultimately, what prevents me from seeing my aspirations come to life and become my new reality is a combination of a lack of time and inadequate time management.  There are many ways to prioritize my efforts to accomplish all the things I want to in life, but it requires my concentrated effort.  Maybe if I put getting organized on the top of my to-do list, I can make each minute I have more productive towards the end of seeing my wishes become my new reality.