I’ve been a member of Editors Canada for, well, a minute or two. Over those minutes — okay, years — there have been times when I’ve had an Online Directory of Editors (ODE) listing and times when I haven’t. My rationale has varied. Sometimes I’ve had a listing because things were going well, and I could manage a few extra bucks, and sometimes because things weren’t going well, and I figured it takes money to make money. On the other hand, sometimes I haven’t had a listing because things were going well and I didn’t have time for any more work, while other times I haven’t had a listing because things were going so badly, I could barely manage my membership fee that year. Which just goes to show that you can rationalize almost anything with almost anything.
But since I’ve been chairing the career builder committee (and, before that, the task force from which it grew), I’ve paid for my ODE listing consistently. Because through the committee, I’ve met people who not only get some work from their listing but get most of their work from it. Those people have left me pondering the not-very-astute observation that it’s not the listing counts, it’s what you do with it.
Let’s take SEO. I’m an emeritus member of Editors Canada, which is a nice way of saying that, although it only took me five or 10 years to understand the term “search engine optimization,” it took me that long again to learn how to do it. But when I finally figured it out and applied it to my ODE listing, voilà, I started getting work offers.
I confess, I’ve had enough work for a long enough time that I haven’t kept up with SEO. But as we on the career builder committee have been talking, it’s occurred to us that many members are probably in the same boat. So, while a sparkling new website is coming and we hope the new ODE will include some shiny new features, we’ve also realized there are things we can do with our existing ODE listings to get more out of them. And applying SEO tactics will not only boost the value of our listings on the new ODE but allow us to apply them to any other online presence we might have, from our own websites and blog posts to posts on other websites.
Making profile changes
It also turns out there’s more we can do with our ODE listing than SEO — more than I’d ever guessed. For example, as well as choosing keywords to strategically place in subheads, adding backlinks to desirable websites and making frequent changes to ensure search engines are indexing profiles, which are classic SEO tactics, we hope to be able to add a photo, and a logo or wordmark. Maybe we can link to an online portfolio and testimonials. I can’t promise what the budget will allow, but the career builder committee is submitting a wish list and we invite members to let us know if you’d like to add things to it to make the ODE more useful to you. Like analytic metrics.
To get the ball rolling, I’m going to set about doing all the above, or as much as I can on the existing ODE. I’m going to add them about once per month to my own listing and use Google Analytics to measure what sort of difference each addition has (or hasn’t) made to the amount of traffic I get and, more importantly, the offers of work I receive. So, stay tuned, because once this post hits cyberspace, the fun will start.
Next up: I’ll start bumbling my way through Google Analytics and sharing what I learn with you.
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