SEO

4 Ways to Keep up with Evolving Search & Improve Your SEO

June 21, 2017

Google, Bing and other search engines are constantly analyzing what terms people are using, how relevant online content is and how people are using search.

Each year significant updates are issued which make some marketers declare “SEO is dead!”

Which is silly…and missing the entire point of search engines.

The reality is search IS evolving, but many of the core SEO strategies continue to stand the test of time – I’ll share more of those in Part 3.

This post is part of a three-part series to help you improve your search rankings:

Part 1 | Simple issues with your branding & content which are easy-to-fix
Part 2 | Search is evolving, don’t get left behind!
Part 3 | Core SEO fundamentals you shouldn’t neglect

In Part 1, I shared the 1st reason your blog isn’t ranking and my top 8 (simple) tips to avoid rookie mistakes, develop your content strategy, improve brand awareness and increase your engagement – catch up here.

Today I want to help you understand the new search trends and how you can use them to help improve SEO.

It’s time to consider semantics and the future of how people search online.

Continue Reading…

SEO

3 (Surprising) Reasons Your Blog Isn’t Ranking + What To Do About It [Part 1]

June 14, 2017
3 reasons why your blog isn't ranking in search + what to do about it

If you’re trying to figure out how to get more traffic to your website or you’re wanting better quality traffic, as in, more highly qualified leads and more ideal clients, then don’t fear!

With a little know how it’s possible to vastly improve your search engine ranking.
You may be surprised to learn there are way more than three reasons why your blog isn’t ranking, but they can actually be grouped into three main topics:

Part 1 | Simple issues with your branding & content which are easy-to-fix
Part 2 | Search is evolving, don’t get left behind!
Part 3 | Core SEO fundamentals you shouldn’t neglect

I’m passionate about what SEO it can do for your business, but I don’t want to overwhelm you, so I’m breaking each topic down into a series of three parts.
I want to help you soar through the rankings, so let’s make it happen…

First up: Part 1 of why your blog isn’t ranking in search

Your content and blog is a vital part of improving your SEO.
But it’s easy to make newbie mistakes or just not get around to developing a more strategic approach.

If you’d like to see your site rank higher, let’s figure out where you can improve your SEO and overall content strategy…
Ready to up your content game?

Here are my top 8 tips for developing a content strategy, improving brand awareness and increasing engagement.

Continue Reading…

Resources

Sunday Link Love: Cultivating Community, Legal Checklist for Your Blog + Pricing Tips

June 11, 2017

Sunday Link Love is a recurring series of hand-picked digital marketing and entrepreneur lifestyle links from around the web.  The links are very, very rarely affiliate links, but if any are, I’ll say so. Along with sharing my recent favorites, it’s also a way for me to keep an extra-personal touch to my blog. Social media is great, but my blog is still my home base!


On my mind… I just spent the past week in Montgomery Alabama for a client, so my head is swimming with ideas and to dos. It’s always fun getting to revisit where I lived for a few years and see what’s new.

What I’m loving… Summertime adventures are well underway! Not only traveling, but local Pittsburgh events are popping up more and more. I finally got to attend the Arts Fest last weekend and had a blast. 

What fun events are going on in your city this summer?
pittsburgh arts fest umbrellas

Umbrella Sky at Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh

 

Reading… That Night by Chevy Stevens. After traveling and socializing all week, I buried myself under the covers and read for awhile this weekend. It’s a good mystery/thriller, so I was drawn in quickly.

Now on to this week’s round up!


Marketing + Entrepreneur Lifestyle Round-up:

» Ever heard of welcome email? Not sure what to include or why it’s key for you, your brand and your subscribers? Read this.

» As you probably know, my mission is to help you harness strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market your work to exactly the people who need it. That includes building your community. Check out this free workbook from Ashley Beaudin and her post on how to cultivate more community in your brand.

» Coming up with blog post ideas is SO hard sometimes! This list of 32 blog posts ideas from the Blog Stylist can definitely give you some inspiration. Continue Reading…

Blogging

What 6 Ingredients Do You Need to Write Superior Headlines?

June 7, 2017
What 6 Ingredients Do You Need to Write Great Headlines?

When you create content, which part is used the most often?

The headline, right? It’s the first touch point a reader has with your content whether it’s in an RSS feed, on social media, or anywhere else.

If you want to grab the ever-dwindling attention of readers online, you need to have great headlines.

Today’s post is from Jeda Pearl, who’s my very own trusted partner in editing and writing. She’s one of the best I’ve worked with, so I’m thrilled to have her sharing her tips on my blog.

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Headlines can make or break your content. And they’re vital for SEO.

Writers can spend hours agonizing over perfecting headlines, but you don’t have time for that – you’ve got a business to run!

Unless you’ve got a copywriter on call, you’ll have to come up with great content headlines fast.

So if you’re wondering what makes a headline great, and how you can write your own click-worthy headlines which convert, you’re in the right place. In fact, you should probably bookmark this post to refer to the next time you’re editing content, or trying to come up with an irresistible headline.

I’ve analyzed thousands of words worth of research and statistics from leading copywriters, bloggers and content marketing industry specialists and discovered there are just 6 key ingredients which go into producing great headlines.

Continue Reading…

SEO

17 powerful benefits of SEO you might be missing out on

May 24, 2017
17 Powerful Benefits of SEO

Even though you know SEO’s important, does it feel like a drawn-out, painful and disorienting headache that you just can’t face?

If you realized the game-changing difference that SEO can make for your business, your life could look very different six months from now.

If you’ve ever wondered exactly what results you can expect from investing in SEO, this post is for you.

How will optimizing your website transform your business?

17 Benefits of SEO to Boost Traffic + Business

1 | Within 3-6 months organic SEO can bring in more money

SEO is NOT:

  • a quick fix
  • superficial hack
  • trickster bait & switch
  • an overnight ride to the #1 spot in search results.

To see real results, you need to allocate time on your calendar – just an hour or so a week – to take the action steps required, and a little patience.

Anyone who promises results in a lightning flash could be turning to black-hat SEO. Avoid this at all costs because Google will penalize you for it later – it’s just not worth the risk.

If you want a safe fast-track to the top, you’ll need to pay a premium for PPC (pay per click) advert space, in addition to any consulting fees (those are the search results with “AD” beside them at the top of the page).

Organic SEO builds your reputation and authority with Google over time and is a fantastic long-term marketing strategytwitter icon

But how does that translate into more money?

The short answer is: increased traffic, targeted to your exact offerings = more ideal clients.

The increased, better quality traffic brings more conversions, social shares, subscribers and, most importantly, sales.

The next 16 business-boosting results explain how SEO brings a huge return on both time and cash investment, plus I also share the wellbeing benefits to you, your business and your clients.

Continue Reading…

Resources

Sunday Link Love: Scheduling Your Work Week, Improving Squarespace SEO + Getting Testimonials

May 21, 2017
Sunday Link Love: Scheduling Your Work Week, Improving Squarespace SEO + Gathering Testimonials

Sunday Link Love is a recurring series of hand-picked digital marketing and entrepreneur lifestyle links from around the web.  The links are very, very rarely affiliate links, but if any are, I’ll say so. Along with sharing my recent favorites, it’s also a way for me to keep an extra-personal touch to my blog. Social media is great, but my blog is still my home base!


On my mind… It’s this beauty’s wedding weekend! By the time this goes live on Sunday, they’ll have been married, with Aaron and me by their sides as a bridesmaid and best man.

bohemian wedding bridal shower

What I’m loving… I upgraded my Fitbit to an Alta HR and am loving the sleep cycle tracking! Ever since reading The Sleep Revolution, I’ve been making sleep more of a priority. Some days this week that meant sleeping in until 9am, but I noticed I was more productive throughout the day. Does anyone else have guilt around sleeping in, even if you set your own hours?

Reading… I just finished listening to the audiobook You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. It was nothing I haven’t already heard from Danielle LaPorte, Brene Brown, Jess Lively and all the other inspirational women, but it came at a time when I needed the reminders around the energy you bring to your life. I always need the reminders. 

A few observations from listening to the book:

  1. Despite having read books with the same overall message, I still listened to it and enjoyed it. So if you’re worried about there already being people doing what you want to do, this is an example that there’s room for everyone. You have a unique view, and if you’re spreading goodness and helping people, your message is needed over and over.
  2. The day I started listening to this book, I met someone at Starbucks who was carrying the book. We started talking about business before I noticed he had it, but after seeing it, I had to mention the coincidence. He later sent me another audio book to pay it forward. The Law of Attraction at work, possibly?

 So anyway, on to this week’s round up!


Marketing + Entrepreneur Lifestyle Round-up:

» Ever struggled with explaining your life as an entrepreneur? Especially with your loved ones? The next time someone asks you to make plans during your work hours ask them to read this insightful and caring post on loving someone who is self-employed.

» With springtime comes spring cleaning, and as an online entrepreneur that can include updating your website images. If you’re planning a photo shoot this season, before heading out with your photographer check out these great wardrobe do’s and don’ts for your personal branding photos.

» “Is Squarespace bad for SEO?” is one of the most common asked questions relating to SEO. Kaitlyn shares 5 specific ways that you can start improve your SEO on Squarespace (or any other platform for that matter) today!

» I love running my own business yet like most online entrepreneurs managing my time can sometimes definitely be a real struggle. Reading Lauren’s post on effectively scheduling your work week has helped me tremendously!

» If you follow me on Instagram, you know that in the last couple of months I’ve done quite a bit of traveling both for pleasure and business. And it doesn’t seem like it will be slowing down anytime soon. Now don’t get me wrong – it’s been amazing but these 10 tips on how to continue building my blog while traveling have been a life saver!

» Want to improve your strategy on LinkedIn and win new business? Follow these 9 easy steps from Conversion Minded.

»  The know-like-trust factor is one those online terms that get easily thrown around as the latest “must-have” in order to make your business a success. Megan from the Crafting Creative gives an amazing spin and explains that the “know” part of the know-like-trust-factor actually isn’t actually about your audience knowing you.

» Are you so excited to jump into the next project that you often forget to get constructive feedback and testimonials from your clients?  Here’s the wake-up call you need.

 


Continue Reading…

Health + Wellness

How to Stop Snacking Your Day Away When You Work From Home

May 17, 2017
How to Stop Snacking When You Work From Home

I think we’ve all been there… repeated trips to the kitchen to procrastinate a project, grabbing whatever snack is available because we’re too busy to eat a full meal, or any variation of the two extremes.

As solopreneurs and business owners, we deal with a lot of extra stress.

Not only are we doing the client work or creating a product, but we’re also in charge of figuring out taxes, business laws, branding, and so much more. And of course that’s not all; we still have family and friends, hobbies and our health to juggle.

Despite a fully balanced life being a myth, if we neglect one area for too long it can start wreaking havoc elsewhere in our lives. For many of us, it ends up being our health that takes a backseat to work. But when we allow this to go on for too long, our health starts to creep up in unpleasant ways.

Today’s post is from Samantha Russell, an Eating Psychology coach. We’ve heard from Samantha on the blog before when she tackled how being mindful can help your business.

She’s sharing why so many of us resort to snacking throughout the day, what we can do to stop, and how this shift will benefit our health and our businesses.

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Do you ever feel like your eating is out of control?

Like you snack too much, choose foods you know don’t work for you, or eat way past “comfortably full” at meals – especially since you took the leap and started your own online business or began working from home?

You might have become dependent on food to get through your day as an online entrepreneur.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with snacking or enjoying your food. But when your eating feels out of control, your food choices are stressing you out, or you’re eating foods that aren’t good for you, you’re going to struggle with:

  • Low mood or mood swings
  • Brain fog
  • Less energy
  • Weight gain
  • Lack of creativity
  • Drained motivation
  • Decreased self-confidence

All of which are obviously going to negatively impact how you’re able to run your online business.

Unwanted eating can feel so frustrating

At some point on this unwanted eating journey, you’ve definitely wondered “Why do I do this to myself?”

Repeatedly, you tell yourself that you’ll only snack on veggies and hummus and that you’re not going to buy Oreo’s anymore because they give you indigestion.

But, by the end of the day, treat foods feel like all the support you’ve got to get through those tough lady-boss moments.

You’re so driven and accomplished in so many ways, so why is this food thing impossible for you to control?

Continue Reading…

Chasing Dreams Interview Series

Chasing Dreams Interview with Ashley Love: From Corporate Employee to Starting a Consulting Business

May 15, 2017
From Corporate Employee to Starting a Consulting Business

“There has to be more…”

How many of us start our entrepreneurial journey with this exact thought? I know I did. And so did today’s interviewee, Ashley Love.

In her 20s, Ashley found herself unhappy in the corporate world and yearned for more. She wanted more creative freedom, more connections with inspiring women, and more joy. She channeled her desires, marketing experience, and extensive education into starting a consulting business.

Despite moments of self-doubt, imposter syndrome and nightmare clients, she’s found a way to keep going. AND she’s sharing the whole stripped-down, ups-and-downs story with us in today’s interview.

As entrepreneurs, whether full-time or side-hustling, it’s so important for us to know we’re not alone in what we feel and experience during this crazy adventure of chasing our dreams.

Let’s dig in! Continue Reading…

Resources

Sunday Link Love: Perfectionism, Instagram Following + Managing Your Inbox

May 7, 2017
Sunday Link Love: Perfectionism, Instagram Following + Managing Your Inbox

Sunday Link Love is a recurring series of hand-picked digital marketing and entrepreneur lifestyle links from around the web.  The links are very, very rarely affiliate links, but if any are, I’ll say so. Along with sharing my recent favorites, it’s also a way for me to keep an extra-personal touch to my blog. Social media is great, but my blog is still my home base!


On my mind… We had an amazing trip! For the first part of our adventure we flew into Orlando (where we had too much fun in the Harry Potter airport gift shop), then stayed with friends in Melbourne. Next we stayed in Key Largo and explored the Keys for 2 days, followed by a night in Ft. Lauderdale. Each location and beach had such a different feel; it was interesting.

In the comments I’d love hear about any adventures you have planned this summer!

marriott key largo

Our last night in Key Largo

What I’m loving… all of you who nominated me again this year for One Woman Shop’s 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs! This year, they’re mixing it up with a voting period to determine the #1 site in each category. I would love your vote! Cast your vote here before 5/25.

Reading… A mix of not sleeping well lately and my vacation allowed me to finish three books over the past 2 weeks. I got partway through Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, and while it was really interesting, I ditched it to fulfill my fiction craving. I devoured The Death of Bees and You Know Me Well, along with another quick (but funny) non-fiction read called Magical Thinking: True Stories by Augusten Burroughs.

What’s on your reading list this summer?

Now, on to this week’s round up!


Marketing + Entrepreneur Lifestyle Round-up:

» Inbox zero is definitely one of the many challenges online entrepreneurs face on a daily basis (this includes me!). Holly breaks down her 3 step system that helps her stay on top of her inbox and stay more calm and productive.

» Have you ever spent hours writing a great blog post and then have no idea how to create a killer blog post title? Check out this great 85 fill-in-the-blank blog title template.

» The idea of perfectionism is something I’ve admittedly struggled with, and Allie’s post on progress not perfection was a great reminder to stay mindful.

» My goal has always been to help you stand out authentically in this crowded online space. A big part of that is choosing collaboration over competitiveness, and this post explains 5 reasons why collaborating is good for your business.

» Creating a cohesive branding strategy is definitely one of the biggest dilemmas that multi-passionate creatives can face. Caroline takes a great approach in this post on how to focus your brand when you have a ton of different interests.

» Ever wondered how much to charge for a sponsored blog post? This great guide explains how what to charge really has nothing to do with a number and everything to do understanding the different factors.

» Clearly I’m an Instagram fan – just scroll down a little more and you’ll see that it’s true. And it’s no wonder that with over 500 million active users, it is definitely one not to miss if you want to build your online business. Fiona shares 9 surefire ways to get started on building real followers on Instagram.

» If you’ve been following my blog for some time you know that I’m a firm believer in running an authentic business. But when it comes to affiliate marketing it may sometimes feel as if your selling out. Nesha does a great job of explaining how to boost your freelance income while still being true to your values.

 


Continue Reading…

Business, Health + Wellness

How Getting More Sleep Will Improve Productivity + Happiness

May 3, 2017
How Getting More Sleep Will Improve Productivity & Happiness

How many of us wear our sleep-deprived achievements as a badge of honor? Or reason with ourselves that getting just a few more tasks done is worth pushing our bedtime back just a little further

Even if you know how important sleep is, there’s still a chance you’re not prioritizing it highly… (I know I’m not!)

But what if you could achieve more in less time? What if you could feel happier while doing it?

Not only is this possible, but there are tons of scientific studies to back up the claims.

Today’s post is from Karen Broda, who blogs over at Strong and Smart. She helps strong, smart busy professional women get past the emotional and mental barriers that prevent us from reaching our wellness goals, which is a topic very close to my heart. Karen contacted me a few months ago and we knew we had to connect.

I also recently mentioned my love for the book The Sleep Revolution, so the timing of this post is perfect!

Karen breaks down how getting more sleep will improve productivity and happiness… and maybe even lead to that big promotion at work like it did for her! Or what about that creative breakthrough you’ve been waiting for?


We’ve Been Approaching Sleep Entirely the Wrong Way

Sleep is important. We know that 7-8 hours per night is supposedly the magic number, but who really gets that much each night? Between running your own business, seeing family and friends, and managing other life priorities, I’m sure you’ve managed on less sleep.

But what if I told you getting “enough sleep” isn’t just important, it’s crucial for your immediate and long term health? And what if you could actually get more done in a day if you slept longer? Preposterous? Maybe not….

My new found relationship with sleep

A few years ago I was always exhausted in the evenings, no energy to do much of anything after working all day. I figured this was just due to tough 6 am workouts followed by a day of work. But then the exhaustion every night led to a short temper, a consistently foggy mind, and frustration with being tired all the time (even on weekends)!

I decided to start ignoring my alarm to wake “naturally”… waking up when my body was ready to get up, not by blaring alarm. My new wake-up time started to become 7 am (over an hour later!) yet I still managed to fit in my workout, work a full day, plus have the time and energy to enjoy my evenings (and weekends!).

I was more enjoyable to be around, could easily smile all day long, and my brain became sharp again which led to a job promotion (yippee!). Was this emotional and career success really the result of a little extra sleep each day?

Continue Reading…