SEO For Bloggers: 10 Tips to Rank Higher on Google

In the late 2000s, early bloggers were quickly able to monetize their efforts.

Considering the popularity of blogging just a decade later, many entrepreneurs have struggled to manage an effective blogging strategy that actually attracts their target audience and generates revenue.

Though the early bloggers were able to make blogging a means to an end, today, blogging should really be considered a leg or an extension of your business marketing strategy.

Before you set out to become a lifestyle blogger, micro influencer, or develop your brand, consider these 10 proven tips to rank higher on Google so you can start bringing in more traffic that generates results.

Write blogs based on your keywords

Keywords are critical to your online success, so choosing keywords that will improve your ranking will help your blog become more readily accessible. Consider formulating blog content around your keywords, or creating articles based on questions your audience may have.

Make your content 400 + words

If engagement is your goal, then you can afford to write blogs in the 300-word count or less range to induce more comments, but that low of a word count isn’t going to cut it to rank online. Instead, really focus on writing content between 300-600 words to maintain a higher ranking.

Collect emails & offer a subscription

I can’t stress enough how important your email list is, so be sure to include options for your audience to subscribe or join your email list based on your blog. Consider sending emails when a new blog post is up and make sure you have an automation sequence enabled to collect them.

Make sure social sharing is on

Though most blogs aren’t going to go viral, if they’re helpful and relevant to your target audience, they’ll likely be shared. Ensure that the option to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest is enabled so your audience can continue marketing on your behalf.

Use links to reference

Reference links, or more commonly referred to as backlinks, will also help improve your ranking over time. Though they may not give you an immediate boost, backlinks are typically seen as blogging etiquette. Over time, using backlinks as your blog becomes established may lead to more bloggers linking back to you, which will definitely boost your ranking.

Optimize your images

First things first: large image files, though they may seem quality, can actually significantly slow down your loading speed. Unfortunately, this can lead to more people leaving your website, rather than staying to read and share your blog. Consider using quality images with a compressed format, like a JPG file.

Also, naming your image files is a great way to incorporate keywords. Though you’ll want to be sure to stay true to naming your description in a way that actually defines the image, considering the Americans with Disabilities Act does audit websites to ensure they’re accurately depicted for the blind, you can use images based on your keywords and name them accordingly.

Use keywords in text

And more on keywords. Be careful not to over optimize your website. Keep them relevant to your content, but the more you blog about topics that are relevant to the words your audience is searching for, the higher you’ll rank.

Use a call to action to engage your audience to comment or subscribe

You need a CTA, or call to action, for just about everything on your website and your blog is no exception. Having a call to action will encourage your readers to take action and engage with your blog. Want comments? Ask your readers to drop a comment on what they think. Need shares? Tell them to share your blog post on Facebook messenger with someone they think it’d help. You get the idea.

Improve your meta descriptions

Your meta description summarizes your page content, so make your characters count. Your meta description is the short and sweet summary your readers will see if they find you via a search engine that will determine whether or not they take the click bait. Take this opportunity to draw them in…and don’t forget your keywords.

Optimize your URL

Your URL description can also affect your ranking. Make it relevant to your content and short enough read so that you’re easy to find online.

The Best Email Service Providers for Your Needs

If you’ve read an article or two on my blog, you’ve probably picked up on the importance of email marketing (if not, start with this one about your strategy.)

In today’s day and age, 95 percent of companies are taking advantage of email marketing. The ones who are not risk being left behind.

Whether you’re selling a product, service, blog, or personal brand, you NEED to build an email list. Depending on your needs, here are some of the best platforms to get you started.

ConvertKit

Building a personal brand, blog, or consider yourself a full time creative? Consider looking into ConvertKit. This platform is incredibly user-friendly and offers quite a few easy to use features to begin building your list.

With a visual builder comparable to Squarespace, ConvertKit also enables you to make Email Marketing Workflows. Platforms like Squarespace who have begun introducing email marketing campaigns have yet to introduce this feature, but it’s one essential to list building and staying in touch with prospects.

Though it’s priced higher than other platforms starting at $29 a month, it may just save you back precious time.

MailChimp

Why do we love MailChimp? Because you can start building lists for FREE.

If you’re bootstrapped into a low budget while getting off the ground, MailChimp is your best friend. It’s been around for quite a while and integrates with reputable platforms like Salesforce, Zapier, Eventbrite, and Shopify to name a few.

Though the platform isn’t as user-friendly, if you’re a smaller website looking to grow, MailChimp is an excellent starting point. And if you run into trouble, there’s plenty of resources about this platform to help you get back on track.

InfusionSoft by Keap

If you’re a growing business and have the budget for this all in one platform, InfusionSoft by Keap may be for you. Now known as Keap, this platform is the best of both worlds including both CRM (Customer Relationship Management, a tool used to manage all of your client conversations and data) and automated email marketing. Though it’s a bit pricier of an option (starting at $99 a month) keep in mind most CRM platforms are priced higher than this rate. But if you’re looking to build your list through content marketing, this platform is a must.

Constant Contact

As a small business primarily selling products, Constant Contact has quickly moved to the top of the list for most email marketers. Considering it provides access to an event management tool, download coupons added directly to your social media platforms, Facebook ad integrations, a diverse image library, audience segmentation, on top of the automation features offered by every other platform, it’s no wonder Constant Contact has become so popular. Pricing starts at $20 a month.

Drip

Another new platform, Drip has quickly generated attention marketing itself as the world’s first ECRM platform (CRM designed specifically for e-commerce.)

This platform is extremely friendly for beginners and is specifically notable for their email segmenting capability, visual workflow, marketing automation, and email segmenting. With plenty of integration capability, Drip is an incredible option to explore. Drip is actually free up to 100 subscribers and then jumps to $49 a month for 2,500 subscribers.

ActiveCampaign 

Starting at only $9 a month, ActiveCampaign is another all in one platform combining email marketing and CRM. With marketing automation and messaging features, ActiveCampaign is used by bloggers, marketing agencies, ECommerce stores, SaaS businesses, and even for higher education.

One unique feature is that this platform can actually track onsite events. For instance, you can track billing through your apps incoming calls, all of which that can be utilized in their CRM to create better customer conversation. If you’re a marketing company or agency, this one is worth looking into.

SendinBlue

Last but not least, SendinBlue is another easy to use beginner friendly platform. Users can create transactional emails, workflows, and segment users. Their free plan allows you to send 300 emails daily, and create campaigns without prior knowledge. Their free account offers unlimited contacts, with a cap of 9,000 emails each month.

Dressing Well in the Workplace: How to Skip False Pretenses and Dress Like You Mean It

With the rise in popularity in athleisure and ever-changing cultural norms, “Sunday Dress” is quickly disappearing only to be replaced with the more comfortable and practical yoga pants.

And though most of us faithfully believe that leggings ARE pants, our apparel still says a lot about our professionalism in the workplace.

So until one of us is making well over six figures without ever having to meet face to face with a client, our appearance still matters.

Here’s why.

What you wear determines your first impression

And though first impressions aren’t everything in your relationships, they do matter at work. Chances are, you’re not going to have the opportunity to pour your heart out over a cup of coffee with everyone you work with. So what you wear sets the tone.

The Harvard Study of Communications states that 37 percent of your first impression is made up of how you sound, 7 percent is the words that you actually say, and the remaining 55 percent is visual. That includes the way you stand, your body language, and of course, what you wear.

Especially when meeting with potential clients and prospects, your clothing matters.

Your clothing incites inner confidence

What you wear builds internal confidence. Skip past the superficial element. Your clothes don’t have to be from Ann Taylor or JoS A Bank, or any other store most of us are lucky to maybe have one token article of clothing from.

Your clothes just need to be clean, fit you well, and make you feel confident in whatever capacity that looks like. Your inner confidence and poise will shine through all that you do, so choose clothes that make you feel 110 percent confident while you’re in them.

So maybe it’s time for a purge. Dedicate one day on your calendar next month, and take care of yourself. Make sure you look ready for a night out and start trying on and sorting all of the clothes you do have. If you’re dressed up and don’t “love them,” sort them in a pile. Take them straight to Plato’s closet, sell what you can, and donate the rest. Then, give yourself a budget to go and buy some versatile pieces that you completely love.

A more minimalistic wardrobe will overwhelm you less, and give you more confidence in the pieces you know you can’t live without. You’ll have less stress getting ready for work in the morning, and a wardrobe you know you’ll love.

Dressing well demonstrates that you care about what you do, and shows you respect yourself

Ever see anyone walk in the office that doesn’t communicate this message? Or even at the grocery store? Though we all love being comfortable, the way that you dress, especially at work, communicates your passion and respect. If you don’t take yourself seriously, why should your direct supervisor qualify you for a promotion? When you dress with professionalism, your value of yourself and company will shine through.

Your apparel communicates your message

No matter who you are, you have a message. You have something to say. Whether it’s a passion, a purpose, or a plan for growth, your apparel helps communicate that message.

Dressember is a great example of this. During the month of December, women around the world wear dresses to condemn the stigma that dresses indicate frailty in women and chooses to change that perception, while creating awareness for trafficking, standing in the place of other women who can’t stand for themselves.

Though your message doesn’t have to be a full-fledged campaign, we all have something to say. In the workplace, that matters. So, dress accordingly.

What you wear is a form of expression

As our culture shifts, so does our attire – and today we have more options than ever when it comes to what we wear. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to express oneself, and our clothing gives us this ability to do so in any capacity we are in. You don’t have to be the loudest person in the room to communicate how you feel, and expression gives the opportunity to do just that. Find creative ways to express yourself in your clothing – and you’ll stand out at work.

Your clothing gives an impression of success

No one likes a false pretense, but your clothing doesn’t have to be. Think of the way you dress as a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if you don’t feel successful yet, what you wear can help you begin to see yourself as such, and those around you will catch on. 

Why Your Email Signature Matters

According to research by Oberlo, in 2017 269 billion emails were sent on a daily basis, and in 2022 that number is projected to grow to nearly 333 billion.

It’s safe to say email isn’t going anywhere.

And as the world’s top communication tool, email offers the chance not only to make a great first impression but to also leave a lasting one.

One way to do this is with your email signature. It’s critical to leaving your clients and colleagues engaged, interested, and informed of what you are doing in any capacity.

Here are some easy to implement tools to captivate them:

Limit your email signature content

No one wants to read Gmail’s 10,000 character limit email signature. Keep yours at a tweet so your audience clearly sees what you want them to see. Make your signature concise, relevant, and to the point, indirectly sending your reader where you want them to go. Here’s an example:

Chloe Anagnos

Publications Manager, American Institute for Economic Research

LinkedIn: ChloeAnagnos ; Twitter, ChloeAnagnos; FB, chloeanagnoswrites

Demonstrate expertise

Consider including your title to show proficiency. If you’re a multi-passionate entrepreneur, consider making each email separate and specific to that given niche – say your work email and side hustle. Otherwise, consider making your dominant email a personal brand that articulates all you aspire to accomplish. Maybe you’re a CEO, a serial entrepreneur, or a startup connoisseur. Demonstrate whatever expertise you offer and capitalize on it.

Include a call to action

Make it clear and give every person you send an email to a call to action. Direct them to your website, portfolio, social media channels, or even to download your latest content. You can even give them a directive. Be savvy, but take advantage on your chance to be seen and noticed as you send emails.

Skip the obvious

So many people include their email in their signature…yet they can clearly see your email in the “from” section. Use your precious characters to convey information your audience does not already have. If your website domain is linked in your email already, consider sending them elsewhere. Just like any other important document, your word count matters.

If you’re on your cell phone, keep the iPhone signature

When you include the “sent from iPhone” line, you’re more likely to be forgiven for potential spelling errors. Even though this tactic may seem less professional, if you are engaged in a conversation with a client or prospect you’ve already initiated the first point of contact with, leaving this signature line will help you be able to engage with them on the go. They’ll be appreciative of your promptness in response and aware that you’re not in front of your laptop.

Protect your boundaries

It’s becoming trendy for professionals to include their work and cell phone numbers in their email signatures. Unless you want calls and texts during non-work hours, skip the cell number in your signature. To many, it’s a sign that you’re available 24/7.

8 Steps to a Successful Resume

With the rise of platforms like LinkedIn, who you are on paper still matters in the modern workforce.

Though there’s a temptation to be ahead of the curve and innovate your resume into something new, it brings a risk. According to The Balance Careers, most employers still prefer a traditional resume. So unless you’re chasing after a niche market, it pays (literally) to play it safe.

That being said, here are 8 steps to build a successful resume.

Get it all out on paper

Templates, wording, and formatting will come – but lose all the extra jargon you think you should include, and start with the basics.  Begin listing all of your experience from beginning to end on paper and keep it in a running document. Whether your experience is from your first job to or even a  volunteer gig, take some time to get it all out there. Give yourself a few hours to be thorough and consider breaking up this step from the process to make sure you’ve got it all down.

Start refining

Based on the above exercise, begin to refine and narrow your job experience. What’s most relevant? What is most applicable to your career? Start tweaking the words that you use, and refining the type of content you’ll include on your resume. Pay closer attention to the specific words you use, and ensure that your current positions are listed in the present tense. Double check that your past experiences are listed in past tense with active words as well.

Start creating your resume with your end goal in mind

At this point, you’ve graduated to the point where you can start creating your resume. Again, instead of using a template, create another word document. This time, start adding your relevant experience but be prepared to keep it all at a page. Add your name and contact information as a header, but begin to focus on the body of what you’ll include. Allow your career objectives to be the guiding force while developing your resume.

Skip the fluff

Your resume is your highlight reel, so leave the filler for LinkedIn. Include the experiences that are most relevant to your career objectives, because, at this point, every word counts. Filler, additional verbs, and social media handles only detract from the point you are trying to make; that you’re qualified for the position you are applying for. 

Hold on to your personal information closely

Speaking of your social media handles, ensure that they, along with your photos and address, are NOT listed on your resume. Though this information may be required for your online application, you shouldn’t include it here.

Not only does this information occupy unnecessary space, but it may also allow for discrimination. Be tactful in what you do and don’t share.

Your references are your friend as well, so wait to give them out to your prospective employer. To suffice, have some colleagues recommend you on LinkedIn to help demonstrate your ability.

Stick to the basics

Keep your resume clear, transparent, and simple. Any “filler” can be added on LinkedIn, where your profile can tell a more visual story. Again, your page and word count matter.

Though the world is progressing, a simple, clean, one-page resume is still preferred. Keep it simple, and maximize your space. Don’t get too caught up in your template type or font of choice, just keep everything clean and simple.

Think outside the box

Just because a resume template says you should include a given section on your resume does not mean you are required to do so. Do you have more relevant work experience than you do skills for a given position? Leave your skills on LinkedIn, and invite your connections to endorse you there. Break the mold, and include the most accurate information you see as fit for your field.

Be authentic

Don’t change every single keyword on your resume to get a job. There is a time and place to tailor your resume and include certain experiences (and omit others) if you’re switching fields, but be mindful of how you present yourself. Be consistent everywhere you go.

Be yourself, and your resume will speak volumes.

How to Network Without Making It Weird

At some point, we’ve all felt awkward at a professional development where we didn’t know anyone.  Each event is the same: you arrive in your business casual attire to network, grab a drink, avoid the center of the room, then grab a free appetizer and run. 

Most networking events are approached with apprehension, but it’s time to skip the elevator pitch, embrace the awkward, and attend with a mindset that leaves us with valuable connections and contacts for personal and professional growth.

It isn’t all about you

Nine times out of ten, most people at networking events aren’t there to learn about you. They have their own agenda; use that to your advantage, and be proactive to listen to everyone you meet. The sales funnel is a process, and you’re likely not going to make a sale or generate a lead the first time you meet someone. So build your contact list, and focus on creating a relationship, instead of nailing your next elevator pitch. (Because no one really wants to hear another pitch anyway.)

Change your attitude

Your attitude is everything, so change your perspective on networking. Instead of going to self promote, focus on developing your relationships. Think of networking as an opportunity to speed date for your new group of colleagues. Focus more on building trust, and when the time is right, the sales or referrals will come. After all, we’re more inclined to purchase from people we trust, right? Be the person who’s focused on everyone else in the room, not how uncomfortable you may feel.

Take initiative

Don’t just head straight to the back of the room: take initiative, and make your time matter. Be bold. Put on your extravert hat, and start initiating conversations. Everyone’s anxious to break the ice, so take charge, mentally prepare, and seek out conversations. Scan the room, place your feelings aside, and pinpoint the people you know you need to talk to. Have topics or potential questions in mind, target your next prospect, and start up a conversation.

(Pro-tip: Ask people if they have pets or if they’ve gone anywhere exciting on vacation recently. You’re more quickly to bond with someone over a shared interest/experience than asking the dry, “So what do you do?”)

Connect others

You can bring value to the contacts you encounter by making an effort to bridge the gap between groups, and connect others. See someone familiar?

Introduce them in your conversation. Talking to someone who has a marketing need that you can’t accommodate? Refer them to someone you know and trust. When you focus on sharing your connections, you benefit from bringing someone business, and more often than not, they’ll be grateful and will return the favor.

Do your homework

Most networking events still require an RSVP, so figure out who’s going to be there ahead of time. Go through the guest list. Look at names you may recognize, industries you want to learn more about, or people you would like to connect with.

Do some research on topics that may bridge the gap or give you opportunities to connect with the people you want to. Create different talking points or make a note in your phone about the conversations you could have. Scan for potential leads you’d like to continue conversing with, or other connections you’d like to do business or refer to. Don’t leave without connecting with these people.

Make your last impression as great as your first

Most people talk about a great first impression, but your last impression matters as well. End your conversation on a high note, and try to remember specific things you learned about each person you converse with. Don’t just skip to the next person or head to the door without thanking them for the conversation, giving them your business card, and initiating some sort of follow up.

Follow up

The next day, be sure to send a thank you email and appreciation for your conversation. Consider expanding your LinkedIn network and staying in touch with your new found connections. When appropriate, schedule a second meeting or phone follow up if it is mutually beneficial. Don’t go soliciting everyone you meet, but do occasionally check in and keep in touch. You never know when you may need the contact you just made.

Five Things to Know About the Yellow Vest Protests

On Saturday, February 9, 2019, the Yellow Vest protests marked their thirteenth week of marching in the streets.

American independent journalist Ford Fischer of News2Share was on the ground in Paris, where he live-streamed the protest and witnessed things that American media consumers have essentially been shut out from.

Fischer’s footage showed working-class Frenchmen doing everything from setting cars on fire and confronting the police, to monologing about the elitist tax policies pushed out by the Macron administration. So amidst the riots, the political spin from the French government, and the foreign media silence regarding this massive social movement, what is the truth about the Yellow Vest movement?

This Isn’t a Typical Left-Right Political Issue

In a recent interview on the Remso Martinez Experience podcast, Fischer explained that the Yellow Vest movement as a whole can’t be properly categorized as being Left wing or Right wing in political terms most Americans would comprehend.

“This is like if Antifa teamed up with the Charlottesville rioters” Fischer stated, continuing that while there are some limited government, anti-tax sentiments among the movement, there is also a communist/socialist element in the form of the European Black Block, showed up with “Karl Marx flags” and other communist propaganda.

These various grassroots interest groups are primarily united on their opposition to Macron’s increased gas taxes that harm the well being of the working class, and for them that is good enough to get along for the time being.

Americans Might Want to Rethink Their Support

While many Americans right-of-center have posted photos of themselves in Yellow Vests in solidarity with the movement, there seems to be something lost in translation. While American supporters provide a cultural sympathy for the anti-taxation aspect of the movement, they seem to either ignore or not know the full extent of that anti-tax aspect of things.

Fischer stated “they don’t have a problem with socialism” per se, and a majority is fine with increased taxes on the wealthiest of income earners in order to subsidize the rest, thus simply continuing the welfare state. So from this view, the movement seems more Occupy Wall Street and less Tea Party.

Macron is Worried

Criticisms of Macron and his wife’s massive spending have been a rallying cry among the movement, who claim Macron is a puppet of the rich. In order to try and ease tensions and show that he is sympathetic to the protestors, Macron has launched a series of in-person and televised town halls, but many are saying that this attempt is a cry of desperation.

According to the Guardian:

Macron’s “Great Debate” – a vast, unprecedented nationwide exercise in consulting citizens on how to fix France’s problems – is the latest attempt by the centrist president to try to bring an end to almost three months of spectacular anti-government revolt by the gilets jaunes or yellow vest movement.

Macron’s idea to run thousands of local meetings was at first likened by some critics to the ill-fated consultation exercise by King Louis XVI in 1789. The king sought to quell popular discontent but instead kickstarted the French revolution. Four years later he lost his head at the guillotine.

A Man had Their Hand Blown off

While the American public hasn’t seen much of the protests from the mainstream media, what they did see during the first few weeks of the movement was simply non-violent protests. In the last several weeks, however, property damage has increased and the number of injuries and arrests has been on the rise. An extremely graphic video was captured from this past Saturday that showed a man’s hand was blown off by an exploding smoke grenade, which no one as of now can determine if it was launched by a cop or by a protestor. This level of violence and animosity seems to increase the longer this movement continues and the government still doesn’t make any concessions.

It’s Spreading Across Europe

In the early stages of the movement, the populist connection reached across the pond to England, where Brits took the concept of the Yellow Vest protests and adopted it into more of a pro-Brexit, anti-EU movement. Unlike the protests in France, the British have seemed to take a break from hitting the streets, but the increase in violence over in France might encourage them to grab their vests once again.

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Whether you’re on the hunt for a new position or looking to diversify your skill set, your LinkedIn profile is the key to staying relevant and connected.

Instead of letting yours become outdated, be proactive to make sure your profile is always up to par to make sure you don’t miss out on potential opportunities.

Ready to start? Be sure to update these key factors to make sure your profile remains relevant.

Your profile photo

First impressions matter, so think of your photo as the first way you’re perceived virtually. Invest in yourself and get some professional headshots taken. (No selfies, no pictures with other people, and please, no wedding photos.) Allow your attire to reflect your field, and dress accordingly.

Headline

Your headline is a chance to reflect your skill set as a person, so take advantage of it. Think beyond your current position, and use your headline as an opportunity to communicate three vital attributes: your job, what you do, and your specialty. It’s your time to shine.

Summary

Think of your summary as your sales pitch, and more importantly, your hook. Your summary is your opportunity to introduce yourself to your reader and really make an impression. Make sure you’re sharing what sets you apart, your skillset, what motivates you. Make a compelling statement and entice your audience to want to keep reading more about you. 

Keywords

Search engines aren’t the only place where your keywords come into play, so make sure your LinkedIn profile has keywords reflecting the market you want to be in. Using keywords in your headline and summary will enable recruiters to find you when the time comes for you to look for your next gig. Use them wisely, and sparingly.

Congruence

It’s important to put your best foot forward and ensure you’re consistent in your paperwork. Make sure the way you present yourself online is accurate, and that your bio is an accurate demonstration of your work history. Be consistent, and as a result, you’ll find yourself with a lot less headaches trying to keep up with all of your different personas if you’re leveraging your experience. Your LinkedIn profile is your chance to list all of your experience, so spend less time embellishing, and more time listing your accomplishments.

Facts and figures

Just like you would on your resume, have the stats to back up your performance. Use metrics to stand out and prove your work, and demonstrate your proven record. You’ll be asked about your experience in the interview arena, so take this extra step to display all of your hard work. 

Call to action

Consider adding a call to action to your summary to optimize your LinkedIn. Are you ready to be hired? Invite recruiters to connect with you. Looking to network? State your career objectives. Give your audience a way to connect and move beyond what’s presented on your profile. You never know when it may benefit you.

Engage

The latest social media algorithms have proven engagement is essential for success online, and LinkedIn is no exception. Connect, connect, connect. Think of LinkedIn as an online networking event where you save the small talk for your computer screen, and take every opportunity to build your network. Your contacts are your most valuable asset, and with LinkedIn, the possibilities to meet others are endless.

Instagram

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