Sometimes, I really don't want to think about keywords.
Don't get me wrong. Of course, I know keywords are important. It never ceases to amaze me just how much I can find out about what people are looking for, how many different ways I can find to express the same idea, how many great content ideas I can generate or how many niche markets I can discover. The possibilities are as limitless as the English language.
But sometimes, all I want to do is write.
The keywords can look after themselves. All I want to do is let the thoughts and then the words flow. I have arguments with myself, imaginary conversations with people I've met one time or another. I bash out sentences and phrases, I cut, paste, and delete. I play with words and throw ideas about in my head and onto the screen.
At times like that, I don't want to be disturbed. When that feeling hits me, I'll shut down my email, unplug the phone and just write a blog post. My favorite exercise is to time myself for 50 minutes and just keep writing non-stop. I'm doing that now and it's one of the great pleasures of the job I do.
But of course, once I've finished reality needs to kick in.
I'll leave my 50 minutes of work and go and have a coffee, or a walk along the shore. Then I'll come back to it and start the job of editing. I'll cut my copy to ribbons, check my keywords and send my copy off to our SEO, Mark Nunney for his input.
However, this blog post is a little different.
I've had all the usual fun with writing. But this time I've been keeping a little eye on keyword research with the new SEO Blogger tool that Andy Mindel has been leading in Wordtracker. It's a Firefox add-on and it sits there right beside my publishing system.
I'm doing keyword research, but instead of seeing it as a separate chore, it's an integral part of my writing. I can play with keywords in the same way as I play with ideas and words.
The tool really does help me optimize as I write and I've used it to check out ideas in mid sentence.
So after a 50-minute writing session, a walk on the beach and a piece of furious editing, I've got a post I'm happy with. Even better, I know exactly how many times I've used 'blog', 'blogger', 'keywords', and 'keyword research' in my post.
The image below shows you what I can see now as I write. My editing window is on the right of my browser window and SEO Blogger with my keyword research is on the left.