Moving Past Hobbyist Writing With White Label SEO Tools
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When I retired in 2002, the internet was still in its infancy. I had never held a job where the internet played a central role (I was a practicing accountant for 40 years). But many of my hobbies, and to a growing degree my communications with friends and family moved online. 

 

The internet enabled me to connect with others with similar interests across differences. It enabled me to provide a public record of my passions, discussions, and thoughts. But in the early days of blogging, communication was still largely one-on-one. A handful of bloggers or members of a small forum would get to know each other in much the same way they would have in an in-person meet-up, by having one on one conversations (albeit online). 

 

In the early days, many of the media makers online were hobbyists. And many of those hobbyists were people like me, retired, and looking for like minded communities.

 

 It was easy to "cut the noise" as it were, and with less "out there" it was -- a bit paradoxically -- often easier to find what you were looking for. 

 

Today, everyone is a media maker. And while this has brought countless creations and meaningful moments online, it's also made it harder for any one individual to be seen and heard online.

 

That's why I would like to introduce you to some of the concepts of SEO. 

 

S-E-What...??

 

Search engine optimization sounds a lot more complex than it is (at it's most basic). It's a set of practices you can employ when making content online that can help it "show up" ahead of the content of others. Most commonly search engine optimization involves setting up your content to where others will see it when they search on Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Though SEO can also help if you sell things on EBay, or rent out a second residence on AirBnB or VRBO. 

 

Some of the basics of SEO include:

-Writing your content such that is includes the "keywords" you think others will search for.

-Finding other sites that will link to your sites. Maybe your site is a resource they can add to a resource list, maybe you provided a unique commentary on something. Maybe they're just your friend sharing you on their blogroll.

-Researching competing sites to see how they're beating you out for placement on search engine results.

 

Now the first two can be done with a little bit of elbow grease. Though there are a number of tools that are particularly handy.  If you're using Wordpress to blog, we recommend the following:

-Yoast SEO Plugin

-Google Analytics Plugin

-The beginner's guide to SEO from Moz

 

For the final point, you're going to need access to an SEO analysis and auditing tool. There are a wide variety of SEO tools that provide free trials. Two recent lists of SEO platforms that I found helpful in finding some great tools can be found below:

 

-Loganix's SEO Platform Guide

-Buffer's Free SEO Tool Guide

 

These tools often come with a steep learning curve. They also often include a large number of educational materials. Particularly if you've worked through the beginners guide to SEO from Moz above, you'll likely be able to at least see the value in a trial account for a particular tool.

 

So where does all this leave us?

 

Learning SEO didn't used to be a part of creating your own media online. Today, with everyone being a media producer, you've got to cut through the noise to be heard by much of anyone.

 

Cases in which this is necessary and advantageous may include:

-You're planning an event

-You're starting a non-profit

-You create guides on some topic and you aren't getting many visitors

-You have an online store 

-You rent out a part of your home or a second home on VRBO or AirBnB

 

If you'd like to start this learning journey, feel free to reach out to me and we can work through some of the basics together. Even for those with a few years of experience, there's a long way to go!

Let's be friends

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