All posts by Kimberly Carlson

A professional freelance writer/editor with over 16 years of experience in print and online publishing. I've written three published books and co-authored three dozen more. I've written hundreds of ecards; four animated commercials and many, many articles for print magazines. Founder of ReMemories Magazine. I've edited novels, novellas, manuscripts, workbooks, teaching aides, flash cards, games, teaching aides, articles, magazines, and websites. I have been hired as a creative consultant for animations, commercials, and social media projects.

SEO Writing or Happenstance Writing

SEO Writing
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So, there’s SEO writing and there’s writing that just happens to be SEO. Both are important, but these days I find myself leaning more towards the second. What’s the difference, you ask? Allow me to explain.

SEO Writing

SEO writing appeals to my rigid, formulaic sensibilities. The part of my brain that won’t allow me to go to bed until I’ve not only checked all the locks in the house, but touched them as well.  There are three basic tenants to SEO writing: you must include your keywords/phrases in three-four strategic places, saturating approximately 5-15% of the body of your text, and not use overtly common words (like “SEO Writing”). You need to include your key words in your meta tags, your descriptions, your tweets, your texts, your posts… etc. Rinse and repeat. Simple enough.

Happenstance Writing

What I love most of all, however, is happenstance writing. Writing that just happens to have SEO within its lovely lines is a thing of beauty. I liken it to me baking: we have a love/hate relationship. If my cake happens to come out of the oven ‘just right’, I am filled with a sense of fist-pumping satisfaction. It looks and tastes great. But, if the cake doesn’t rise – or tastes just awful – I tend to shrug my shoulders, toss it and try again. I’ll evaluate my ingredients and fill with self-doubt. Did I add too much sugar? Not enough baking powder? I will keep at it until I’m (mostly) satisfied with it. Or until I can slather on enough icing to at least drown out the mistakes… but I digress.

You see, I love to read. I love to read more than I love to write. Which says a lot, really. I read/write all day long – it’s how I make a living. It puts food (and cake) on the table for my children and keeps them housed and clothed. I am very fortunate to be able to wield words and successfully turn a profit from them.

Sometimes, I will admit, I don’t love what I write. I’ve sort of ingested the SEO formula and it tends to subconsciously bleed out of my fingertips and into my text. I’ll evaluate the ingredients in my text to make sure I have the correct SEO ratio, etc. That’s okay, for the most part. But it has tainted my ability to read others’ work without honing in on their SEO writing formula/techniques. Critiquing them, admiring them, getting lost in the backbones of the writing rather than the article itself.

Sweet Spot

I admire a writer that has successfully written an article that has kept me captivated without letting their SEO slip show. I love feeling like I can just relax and let the words slip past my tongue like a lovely cup of coffee – revitalizing me. I keep striving for that proverbial sweet spot in my writing.  Some days it eludes me, while other days I can simply let the words flow forth and everything I write is golden.

One of these days, I hope all of my most successful work will feel more like happenstance writing with SEO inside, rather than SEO writing that will be flat and tasteless. Until then, dear readers, you’ve all been duly warned: I’m armed with icing and I know how to use it!

Newest Blog Post for Portland’s

Newest Blog Post for Portland’s

As a parent, I am appalled at some of the book choices that appear when my nine-year-old daughter hunts for a book to read on her Kindle. Fortunately, there are budding eBook publishing companies like Lucky Penny Press  providing good quality eBooks for children – and giving back to the community while they do so.

What’s in a Name?

I wrote this article the day that Prince George was born: Then I read this article today:

While I am a mom and can find humor in both stories – I really feel as though as a society, we need to rethink ‘what’s in a name’ anyway. “A rose by any other name…” you get the idea.

Oregon Says I Do – Saving the World One Signature at a Time!

My latest collaborative writing project for the “Oregon Says I Do” campaign, now featured on Huffington Post and KGW.  The heroic pen tries to “save the world one signature at a time!” from the antics of pencil and eraser, while highlighting the benefits and requirements of being a circulator for the state of Oregon. Animation by Headache Films, sound effects by Atomicon.  And yes, the female VO is me.

My Newest Hat!

I realize it’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve given this site some love, and for that I apologize. In addition to setting up this site, my personal twitter account, and reinventing myself as a page-layout person and basic graphic designer, I also accepted a position as a blogger for! Here is my first post: