In my day I’ve written banking procedures; online courses for musicians; guitar lesson plans; dozens of short furniture descriptions as catalog copy; and satirical news a la The Onion.
Here’s a guided tour of a few select articles and other work I’ve delivered during the past few years. The examples given here are mostly selected for their search engine traffic and success in spreading on social media services like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Songwriting Without Boundaries by Pat Pattison
Berklee College of Music professor Pat Pattison included my writing in his lyric writing textbook Songwriting Without Boundaries, published by Writer’s Digest Press in December 2011. After the book’s publication, I was invited to write a series of instructive creative writing samples for a Berklee Online course based on this book.
I’m proud to say that this post is consistently ranked #2 or #3 in Google for the search term “Rhyme Schemes.” This post is a basic, informative page that was quick to write — yet it’s reeled in hundreds of new readers every day for years, largely driven by teachers and professors sharing the page with their students. Open a new tab and search for the phrase “Rhyme Schemes” — on Google, this post has a #2 ranking out of every English-language website that Google has indexed.
- 86 Facebook shares
- 29 Pinterest pins
- #2 on Google! You just can’t beat Wikipedia sometimes.
Inspired by an off-handed comment made by a banjo-playing friend of mine, this post has brought my songwriting website thousands of new readers and subscribers over the years. Its roaring success convinced me to create an online course for songwriters called The Art of Daily Practice — which is now in its 4th edition.
Results: this post brought in:
- 725 Facebook shares
- 173 Tweets
- Over 100,000 views and 11,000 likes on StumbleUpon, as shown in the screenshot above.
Please note that when I migrated from self-hosted WordPress to the New Rainmaker platform way back in July 2014, all the social button counts on song written got reset to zero. When I later returned from New Rainmaker to self-hosted WordPress, my social sharing buttons reset their counts again. Ouch! But I’ve provided StumbleUpon links so you can verify that my results are credible.
This post just gave some straightforward, commonsense advice about showing respect to your bandmates and being respected in turn. The piece grew legs and took off running; I suspect it’s because most guitarists have, at some point, had a bad apple in the band.
* 25 Tweets
* 198 Facebook shares
Memorize your chosen songs until you know them better than you know your closest friends. Nail every chord change and solo part beyond a doubt. Remember: You might find yourself trying to play these songs with sweaty, shaking hands onstage, so you’re going to need to learn the material better than “close enough.”
* 16 Tweets
* 65 Facebook Likes.
I took a calculated risk that surprised the editors of Guitar Muse: a piece that had little to do with their topic of choice, yet it fit their audience’s interests and their sense of humor. The editors at Guitar-Muse accepted my gamble, and the article was a smashing success.
* 114 Facebook likes
* 3,647 StumbleUpon shares.