7 Steps For Perfecting Your SEO Campaign

7 Steps For Perfecting Your SEO Campaign

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a term that is extremely common in the online marketing world. There’s good reason why: the success of any blog or website will largely depend on how successful the SEO campaign for that blog or site is. SEO can be complicated. Let me attempt to simplify with 7 steps for perfecting your SEO campaign.

Let’s assume you run a lifestyle blog. If you want your lifestyle blog to be successful, running a successful SEO campaign is an absolute necessity.

Here are 7 Steps For Perfecting Your SEO Campaign

#1 Research Popular Lifestyle SEO Keywords

Researching popular lifestyle SEO keywords should be your first step when running your SEO campaign. Keywords can be anything from skills to job titles to the names of companies to everyday jargon and so on.

Your objective here is to uncover the specific keywords relating to your blog’s niche that most people are typing into a search engine. By including these keywords into your blog’s content, it will rate higher on the search engine’s results page.

# 2 Place An SEO Keyword In Your Domain Name

Your online presence essentially begins and ends with your domain name, the name of your lifestyle blog and the identity of your brand. But the reason why researching popular SEO keywords comes before choosing your domain name is because it’s wise to include a popular SEO keyword in your domain name to begin with. Doing so is guaranteed to rank you higher on a search engine.

#3 Publish Content Rich In Popular Keywords

Writing and publishing content is undeniably the fun part of running a blog, and besides making sure the quality of your content is unquestionable, also make sure that you’re including enough keywords in that content as well. As a general rule of thumb, strive to include at least 2-3 keywords or phrases for every 300 words of content.

#4 Include Keywords In Your Meta Tags

Your domain name and content are not the only places to include popular keywords. You’ll further enhance your SEO marketing campaign by including them in each of your meta tags because it will be easier for a search engine to classify your pages in the search results.

#5 Request Your Contacts Link To Your Blog

The beauty of networking in the blogging world is it gives you more contacts who you can ask to link to your blog from their own blog (and vice versa, you can link to their blog as well). Cross linking is ultimately one of the most overlooked but also among the most effective methods for driving more traffic to any blog.

#6 Submit Your Blog to Search Engines

After you have built your blog and included keywords in your meta tags, the next thing you need to do is submit your website to each of the major search engines. There are many free web submission services that you can use to get this done in a matter of seconds.

#7 Make Improvements

Finally, there’s always room for improvement, right? Use a website analyzer to generate a report on the strength of your blog’s SEO campaign. You’ll be given information on which of your keywords are the most popular and specific errors you need to correct to increase your rankings.

Time To Get Started

Now that you know what you need to do to truly perfect your lifestyle blog’s SEO campaign, the next thing you need to do is get started applying what you’ve learned. By utilizing the tips in this brief guide, your blog will stand a much greater chance of attracting visitors and getting off the ground.

 Image credit: Female hands on the keyboard via Shutterstock

Slowing Down To Get Creative #MondayMusings

Slowing Down To Get Creative #MondayMusings

In a world where multitasking is king (or queen), slowing down to get creative does seem a bit odd.

We read enough about how to organize ourselves, how to make sure we carry out all we set out to do, how to keep up and stay ahead. But what if our frenetic activity, our attempts to be on top of things, our desperate need to be seen and heard on social media to showcase our creativity is the very thing that keeps us from being creative?

There’s much to be said for mindfulness and slowing down to be creative. I’ve experienced this  in my life. But it’s easy to forget and once again get caught up in the rat race.

Perhaps our need for speed comes from a fear of missing out. Ironic then, that it is exactly what causes us to miss out.

slowing-down-to-get-creative

Creativity requires focus, attention, and slowing down. Here are some things we can do to slow down.

Disconnect

Setting aside some time every day to turn off devices and notifications is a good way to start.  Try making time for a break during the day – during which you sit down and dream, go for a walk, read a book, or trying your hand at doodling. Actually, a one day a week of being ‘disconnected’ is the best.

Try Mindfulness

Living in the present and not worrying about the future or regretting the past can do a lot for creativity. Learning to eat mindfully and being present to others or taking in the surroundings on a walk are all important too.

Saying ‘No’

Learning to say “no” more often to things that don’t really matter, helps in slowing down. We don’t have to accept every commitment and invitation. All of us need space in our schedules to create.

Start Doing Less

Life is not a competition or a marathon. We must start being easier on ourselves. Stop comparing. Stop beating yourself up. Ditch those ‘to-do’ lists and instead make ‘These are the only things I’m going to do today’….

Stop Multitasking

Learn to single-task. Take one job at a time and focus on it until completion. It takes a little time to learn, but I promise the rewards are great –  you can actually be more efficient and your mind will be less harried.

If you’re having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down. For me, slowing down has been a tremendous source of creativity. It has allowed me to open up–to know that there’s life under the earth and that I have to let it come through me in a new way. Creativity exists in the present moment. You can’t find it anywhere else. – Natalie Goldberg

 

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Be A Voice Not An Echo #write31days

Be A Voice Not An Echo #write31days

Be a voice not an echo.

I remember reading about Fred Rogers, an American television personality (called Mister Rogers) ,  talking of the great cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. Mr Rogers tells of a time when he sat in on one of Yo-Yo Ma’s cello classes.   “During that master class one young man was struggling with the tone of a certain cello passage. He played it over and over and Yo-Yo listened with obvious interest. Finally, Yo-Yo said, “Nobody else can make the sound you make.” That young man looked at Yo-Yo Ma and beamed. What a gift those words were not only to that cellist, but to everyone who was there. Nobody else can make the sound you make.”

What powerful words….Nobody else can make the sound you make.

Yes, my posts are often inspired, like this one is, by things I read in books or other blogs. My posts are also inspired by what’s going on in my life. And most often these two threads of inspiration combine in my head to create a post.

(Read Modern Gypsy’s post in which she talks about cross-pollination of ideas.)

I’m not sure where I came across those words, but they spoke to me loud and clear.

Be A Voice Not An Echo

I’ve thought and and keep re-thinking (over thinking too, perhaps) about my blogging. Just yesterday, I shared my thoughts on blogging as giving.

I’ve been also toying with the idea of blogging every day. I started #write31days a little late and there are still gaps to fill, but I’m enjoying the act of sitting down and putting a post together every day here. The fact that I need to do a few more during the week for my other blogs, doesn’t seem to kill the excitement of writing here.

Strangely, even though I have a blog dedicated to blogging in Write Tribe, I’m more and more drawn to writing about blogging, writing and creativity here. I’m allowing my spirit to lead me to do this.

In many ways, Everyday Gyaan is the blog on which I am most myself. And that’s  what I want my writing to be. Unapologetically me. Flawed. Imperfect. Authentic, even when it hurts.

 

“In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.” — John Grisham

 

 

 

Blogging As Giving #MondayMusings

Blogging As Giving #MondayMusings

When people ask me what I do and I respond that I’m a blogger, their next question invariably is ‘Is there money in that?’. I’m never certain about how I should answer that. I didn’t start blogging to earn money – I started because I wanted to share my thoughts. The concept of earning from my blog came a lot later. I started with Adsense – and have yet to receive a single penny from them, moved on to other ads and finally started with sponsored posts.

On an average, I get about 6-7 sponsored posts a year. And no, it does not cover the cost of my blogging – hosting, themes and plugins. That’s in part because I tend to prefer paying for themes and plugins. So while I do earn from blogging, I don’t make a living from it and don’t think I ever will. I’m sure most of you have a similar experience.

 

Blogging As Giving

I was reading  a post called Blogging Wisdom: Authenticity, Giving and More  by Cheri Lucas Rowlands on WordPress’ Daily Post, when these words popped out, calling my name!

Nowadays, so many people start blogging and feel like they need to “get” something out of their blogs. But in fact, blogging is giving. When you write a cookbook, you are sharing recipes. With a blog, beyond recipes and travel tips, you are sharing more of your daily life with readers, and I think they appreciate honesty, rather than being talked to as if you are trying to get something out of them, like traffic or monetization. – David Lebovitz

There’s a whole host of reasons why I blog, but of late I’ve started to look at blogging as giving and not receiving. More and more, I feel compelled to blog about my personal journey, like I used to in the ‘old days’.  I don’t want to waste my time on flattery of brands. It’s not that I want to bore my readers, but I feel that if even one person can learn from my experience, or feel that my words brightened their day, or became more self-aware,  then my effort to blog has been worth it.

When the first lot of requests for sponsored posts came in, I was so excited that I didn’t use good judgement. So you might find a post here with a link to online bingo. In retrospect, it was a bad choice to make. Since then, I’ve learned to filter the links to go to websites that fit into the overall goals of this blog. Earlier this month, when I got a good offer for a link going to a casino, I turned it down. No snob value in this, just that it no longer fits in with my blogging goals – the primary one of which is to be authentic.

There are plenty of ‘giving’ bloggers who are my role models. One blog that immediately comes to mind is Danny Brown‘s UNFUCD – trying to create happiness one day at a time.

What do you think of David Lebovitz’ words? Do you see blogging as giving?

 

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The Art Of Squeezing

The Art Of Squeezing

The Art of Squeezing?

With all the conversations flying around these days thanks to Donald Trump, it’s entirely possible that this blog post title will put you off reading more. No, it’s not naughty. Neither is it about making lemonade, I promise. If you do want to read about lemons, you’ll find the juice here.

This story might show what I’m writing about.

In 1819, a blind soldier named James Holman, was invalided out of the British Navy.
His reaction? He promptly set out to “see” the world. He traveled alone, except for one brief stint with a deaf man. James spoke none of the languages he encountered, and moved about by public transit. When he returned to England, he published several travel books about his adventures. He wrote that he “rarely felt he missed anything because of his blindness.”
When people would notice his condition, they would invite him to “squeeze things,” as a way of perceiving them.
“And this is what the contemporary travel writer may have to do,” wrote Anatole Broyard in his essay about Holman. “He may have to squeeze places until they yield something, anything.”

From Terry Hershey via The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred

The Art Of Squeezing

While Anatole Broyard is talking about travel writing, I do believe that this applies to any writing. I often have experiences that I believe that I must write about. I want to express my deepest feelings about these experiences. But I seem to choke on getting those emotions out the way I really feel them.

I have to learn the art of squeezing the emotions out of those experiences. To express these feelings just the way I experienced them. That takes skill. It needs me to be daring. It requires me to be more accepting of uncomfortable feelings and share them in my writing.

I’d love to know how far you are with getting this art right.

the-art-of-squeezing

 

Image of lemon press via Shutterstock

31 Days Of Awesome Because Busy Is A Choice #write31days #MondayMusings

31 Days Of Awesome Because Busy Is A Choice #write31days #MondayMusings

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing through October. I blogged through the month of September last year and enjoyed it. This year is quite different though. I’ve been going out at least three times a week on work and it’s taken some adjustment after so many years of being at home. I could always make the excuse that I’m busy. But so are all the other fabulous bloggers I know who balance work, babies, and manage to blog regularly too.

Busy is a choice. It’s also an excuse for not doing what you love.

So without further ado, I’m throwing my hat into the ring for the #write31days challenge. Since it’s a little difficult to categorize my posts, I’ve chosen the category ‘Too Awesome To Categorize‘ and hence my choice of  theme – 31 Days of Awesome. Yes, I’m aware that it’s not grammatically right – but I just liked the sound of it.

What can you expect – 31 posts of my usual musings. What’s awesome about them you ask? Me, of course!

Considering that I’m writing this post on 3rd October when I should have written it on the 1st, you’ll start to wonder where Day 1 and Day 2 went. They’ll appear soon enough. 😛 (updated: they did!).

Isn’t it sad how we can often start to do something we love, then start getting so caught up in it that we get stressed. What do we lose in the process? Joy.

I love writing and blogging. But it’s easy to get so caught up with all the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of blogging that I forget how much I love it and lose the joy of it all.

Today, I’m making a special effort to breakthrough my ‘busy-ness‘ and reclaim the joy of blogging.

Busy is a choice. Stress is a choice. Joy is a choice. Choose well. – Anne Voskamp

busy is a choice

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Also linking to 1000 Voices for Compassion and Mackenzie Glanville’s post and Mel Ford’s #MicroblogMondays.

Reflectionsfromme #MicroblogMondays

 


Top Tips To Start a Home Design Blog

Top Tips To Start a Home Design Blog

Blogging is no longer just seen as a great hobby and creative outlet. It’s also becoming one of the best ways to start an online business that earns real income. Many bloggers have found that they’re able to quit their full-time day job and focus exclusively on blogging, giving them flexible and excellent earning opportunities.

Top Tips To Start a Home Design Blog

One of the most popular blogging niches that seems to be alluring to many readers is home design. From the high-end home design blogs to the minimalist and DIY design bloggers, it’s an excellent blogging industry, particularly if it’s something you have a personal interest in.

Despite the appeal of creating a home design blog, or any blog for that matter, it can be intimidating when you’re just getting started.

Below are some easy tips to follow, as you build your home design and décor blog.

Do Your Research

Of course, you’re going to want your blog to be original, and you’ll want to share your unique perspective and vision, but at the same time, it’s valuable to see what’s already out there. Before you start the actual work on your design blog, you want to see what’s popular in the blog and design worlds, and what resonates most with you. You can also look at the ways other bloggers have laid out their sites, how they interact with their readers, and whether or not they focus their blogging in one particular niche or on one specific design style, or it’s more of a general blog.

Share What You Love

If there’s one thing that no other blogger is going to have, it’s your unique perspective. Use that to your advantage. When you’re just getting started with your design blog, keep it simple and focus on inspiration. For example, choose online décor stores or designers you love, and share your favorite pieces of furniture on your blog. This can be a good way to start building up content and readers, and then you can determine the best direction to move in as you create more original content. This is also a good way to learn the specifics of your personal style. Many bloggers start out knowing they love interior design, but they’re not exactly sure what their style is, and they actually learn that over time and throughout the development of their site.

 Focus on Your Images

With a home design blog, images are really everything. You need pictures that are high-quality and beautiful. You may take your own pictures, or you might source them online. Just remember, the images should be high resolution, and you should also cite where they came from. Taking your own pictures is an excellent way to establish yourself as being a true original in a highly competitive market, and it gives you the opportunity to offer something no one else can, so it’s certainly an approach worth considering.

Becoming a home décor blogger is by no means easy, but when you are dedicated, passionate and patient, you can turn it into something you not only enjoy, but that either supplements your income or serves as your primary revenue stream.

Have you ever considered being a home décor blogger? If you are one, do share your journey.
Pic credits :  Modern Home – via Shutterstock

Starting From Scratch #MondayMusings

Starting From Scratch #MondayMusings

When it comes to writing, I often feel that I’m starting from scratch.

We can always look at our writing with a beginner’s mind. It all depends on the inspiration, on the desire to work on an idea and the amount of passion we put into it. We can always work at perfecting our craft, learning new techniques, trying out different tones, but finally it all comes down to a work starting from scratch. That I find wonderfully inspirational.

We don’t always get a chance to start from scratch in life, as much as we’d like to be able to do that. If that was possible, I’d probably be less gullible, more open to adventure and clearer about what I wanted to make of my life.

But life keeps flowing. And when we fall, we get up and dust ourselves off as best we can and move forward. We do carry memories – of love and laughter, of hurts and bad experiences, but if we’re smart we don’t let the bad stuff of the past get in the way of the present.

The beauty of life is that though we can’t start from scratch, we can reinvent ourselves and keep changing our perspective and outlook on life. Hopefully, with each change we can move forward and get closer to the persons we are meant to be. Not perfectly perfect, but perfectly You and perfectly Me.

starting-from-scratch

No matter how long you’ve been at it, you always start from scratch. — Jeffrey Eugenides

 

 

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Also linking to Mackenzie Glanville’s post.

Reflectionsfromme