Resources For Digital Entrepreneurs & Small Businesses
There are thousands of people out there looking for what you have to offer—SEO is one of the most powerful ways to help them to find you.
I never thought I’d become an SEO expert; I’m not a techie, I don’t know how to code a website and I have always been better at words than numbers. But when I discovered what SEO actually is, and how it can mean the difference between someone discovering your work and someone never seeing it, I became fascinated. For some reason, I had got it into my head that SEO was purely a science, but I was wrong; it has a lot to do with understanding the way that people use language, the way that they think and the words that they choose to use. It’s psychology, art, and poetry.
I started obsessively reading every blog post I could find, attending webinars, and buying courses to find out as much as I could about SEO. And then I figured out how I could apply everything I’d been learning to my work online. At first I didn’t know if the strategy I designed and was testing out was having any impact; then I looked back nine months later and discovered that the search traffic of the website that I had been working on had increased almost five times over due to my efforts.
While it’s been a rough year or so for traffic and exposure through social media what with all the algorithm changes and so on, the right SEO strategy can help keep your search traffic growing consistently and reliably. Yes, Google and the other search engines are constantly updating and refining their own algorithms, too, but ultimately they want to help the people who are looking for you to find you. If you take the time to learn the psychology behind it all, you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.
I’ve trained several teams to include SEO in their own online strategy, and helped write a worksheet on SEO and editorial planning for Marie Forleo’s world-famous online business school, B-School. Friends have started to notice that web pages I’m responsible for have come up on the first page of Google search results; I’ve had so many requests to explain SEO from friends, family, and friends of friends that I decided to create some online guides so that I don’t have to keep explaining the same thing over and over again.
Because there are so many layers that we could get into when talking about SEO, I’ve written a quick beginner’s introduction which you can download here for free. I’ll be creating a more in-depth course for online creatives who want to master the art of SEO soon, so stay tuned!
Other resources that I love
When I had my daughter a few years ago, I realised that I’d have to be incredibly self-motivated to absorb as much information as possible to stay on top of this ever-evolving crazy and exciting digital space I suddenly relied on so heavily for my career development. As a work-from-home mother, you don’t have easy access to corporate training and resources, so you have to work that little bit harder to stay up to date. Luckily for us, the world of online training has really opened up and flourished in the past few years, and there are tonnes of helpful resources out there for every topic imaginable.
I started spending a whole lot of time sifting through everything on offer from lovely people who have become experts in their digital niche. Since then, chatting with friends and colleagues at different publications of all different scales, from small start-ups to major publishing companies like Condé Nast, I’ve realised that everyone in the digital space is self-taught, and is constantly learning. There are no experts who have it all figured out, because the algorithms are constantly changing and new platforms are always emerging and data is always shifting. I love how democratic that makes the digital world!
Here are some of my favourite tried-and-tested resources:
- General Inspiration and Encouragement For Entrepreneurs & Creatives: MarieTV (a video series by the wonderful Marie Forleo), Hashtag Authentic (a brilliant weekly podcast by Sara Tasker of Me & Orla), Get Client Hunted (an email course for freelancers by Miel Cafe Design—the genius who designed my beautiful website!)
- Copywriting: The Copy Cure (a copywriting course from Marie Forleo, with a great free mini taster course that is well worth taking even if you can’t afford the full course right now), the Copy Hackers blog (they also have so many awesome resources on their website, both free and paid)
- Instagram: Sara Tasker’s monthly hashtag report & Instagram courses (she offers a free mini course via her website, as well as several phenomenal paid courses–I’ve taken The Insta Retreat and Bloom & Grow, and LOVED them), plus, if you’re into hashtags, I created this handy resource I think you’ll love
- SEO: The Moz blog
- PR: Janet Murray’s podcast
- Email List Building: Videofruit (a newsletter & blog by Bryan Harris)
- Blogging: Becky O Cole’s blog post audit & e-course
Let me know if you have any favourites that you’d add to this list; I’m always looking for new things to test out.
PS Do you dream about writing a novel, or just making time to do some creative writing of some kind (whether that’s poetry, creative non fiction, short stories or anything, really) but never seem to be able to find the time? This creative writing series I created will help you get started. The aim of the game is to exercise your writing muscles regularly, in a way that’s compatible with a busy life, getting over the perfectionism and self-doubt/self-consciousness that holds so many of us back in the process. If you like the sound of this, read more about it here, and sign up for email updates and weekly prompts, here.