Journal: News & Comment

Friday, October 18, 2002
# 11:55:00 PM:

Is this Web site worth the work? Sure is.

Permalinks to this entry: individual page or in monthly context. For more material from my journal, visit my home page or the archive.

Working alone, usually at home, as I do (well, except when I'm being a drummer), it's a great joy to be able to go to the monthly meetings of the Editors' Association of Canada and gab with others who are as perversely picky about written words as I am.

We had a meeting this week, and afterwards, a talented editor and indexer named Naomi Pauls, who runs Paper Trail Publishing, visited this site and had some questions. I thought the answers might be useful to other visitors too.

How much time do you spend on your Web site?

It varies. I spend some time (usually a few minutes, sometimes much longer if I'm on a roll) writing journal entries every day. It helps keep me writing while I stay at home with my daughters (ages two and four). I periodically add new batches of photos, or reorganize, or do something else, often late at night when everyone else in the house is asleep.

The nice thing about a Web site is, if you set it up properly, all your past work remains online, so, in my case, nearly everything I've accumulated since 1997 is here. That's how it got big, one smidge at a time.

Does it bring you business?

It does bring me business. If you search for "writer editor Canada" or even "editor Canada," well, here's what you see (scroll down to find me on some pages):

Those results are from, (a) having my site (and its title at the top of the window) actually be about what I do, (b) regular updates to the journal, which Google etc. like and which add to the relevant content that the search engines track, and (c) having been around for a few years, with other people who link to me. (Google likes that.)

I have not done anything special to get better search results, other than trying to make my site good, and making sure that anytime I publish anything online, it includes my Web address. (I think anyone with a Web site should have its address as their primary contact point -- for my upcoming Yellow Pages listing, for instance, I put the name of my company as, which will be the boldface text in the Superpages book.)

People find me when they're looking for someone who does what I do. So far those projects that have come in have not been big -- larger ones have come from friends and other contacts -- but they make maintaining the site well worth the work. Plus I enjoy it -- I used to work on a Web site for a living, and I also designed and maintain these other sites:

One way I add content to the site is when someone like you asks a question and I end up rambling on and on in an answer like this one. I'll end up converting the answer into Web text and posting it as a journal entry in the next day or two -- and Google will find more relevant information about writing, editing, and Web sites for when people are searching.

And on it goes...


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