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The Dilemma of Online Writing

Updated on February 21, 2015

Hard Copy

When one takes a course in creative writing the emphasis is on originality. One is encouraged to go as far as they can to create new worlds, new metaphors so that the experience of the reader is as close to unique as one can achieve.

Trite expressions, standard similes are to be avoided. The same structure for each paragraph is contraindicated.

Overtime, the instructor reads styles and can perceive which student wrote the item by the pattern, as unique as a fingerprint.

This is how it is in real life.

In real life, clever titles, grabbing open sentences, spoken dialect, captures the reader and gains the 'A' and perhaps even publication in hard copy.

Discard this advice if you write online.


Unlike real life, where one writes for the eyes of other mammals, in cyberspace one writes for the A.I. of search engines. One can not use the clever title, for a user would not enter that in a search engine.

Hence "Gone With The Wind" is discarded for "A Story about the American Civil War."

Most 'writing' sites are 'publishing sites'. The work submitted is not read by a human editor who needs to be impressed. The work goes from last keystroke to screen without the slightest 'vetting'.

Those which have human moderators may check for spam, plagiarism, grammar, spelling, but are not to interfere in the writing which may be trite, repetitious or of low literary quality. In short a moderator is NOT an editor. ,

Once published, to gain the eye of a reader requires networking, of being picked up by tags, keywords, SEO phrases, etc. Original work fails in these categories. Trying to Stumble, Digg, Reddit, etc. is finger exercise.

Google is what counts, and the Google software is not going to find 'Gone With The Wind', (save in a 'hurricane' search, and then way down on the 3876 page). Google will find "Story About The Civil War in America" when people enter the term Civil War or Story about or America.

So what are you writing for? Your own amusement? Or to Make money?

Amazing, isn't it?

You'll find a publishing site and race to read the 'Top' writers.
And what are you reading?

You are reading pedestrian pieces, stuffed with Search Engine Optimisation words.
You are reading nothing you might remember five minutes after you cease.
You can't believe this.
You expected to be reading pieces superior to what you could compose.


These are the top Earners.

Then you happen onto a piece that is brilliant, and it's way down in the back
of the line.
Because it wasn't written to get Google.
And Google brings the hits.
And the item that gains five hundred hits is more valued than the one which gains fifty.
No matter how much crap it is.

And then there's the Fellow User....

Added to this level of 'writing' there are the other users of the site...

  • There are those who set themselves up as Arbiters of other's work
    as if they have some right...
  • There are those who Shill for Rip Off Sites trying to trick you into joining
    becoming vicious when they are thwarted.
  • There are those who read your work, then semi-plagiarise it.
  • There are those who will attack to attack demanding sources and proof
    for the most mundane articles
  • And of course, there are Trolls who will attack to attack, leaving comment
    after comment, using dual after dual...

And all this for a few cents per hundred views.


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    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 6 years ago

      It is a debate that ought have happened years ago. We are writing not to be read by each other but to get the traffic of a Search Engine. Quality takes a backseat to 'what sells'.

      This is why sites, like Hub Pages, get swamped with Spam and Crud.

    • Writerly Yours profile image

      Writerly Yours 6 years ago

      Your hub is very thought provoking and puts a lot of ideas, questions and reflection into it.

      The topic is something to definitely elaborate on. I believe writing is a craft and I have yet a lot to learn, and I agree that the questions you asked here should definitely be asked by every writer.

      I write because I love it! And if money comes along with it, great, if not I am still compensated in a positive way by great feedback and constructive criticism.

      Thank you for his hub.

      Voting up!

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 6 years ago

      It is a choice; write well or write what sells

    • Bruce A. Beaudet profile image

      Bruce A. Beaudet 6 years ago from Canada

      This is well written and thought provoking.