The SEO Struggle: Search Engine Optimization, Part 1

Last updated on February 25th, 2021 at 10:07 pm

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

I always thought I understood the SEO struggle, but it turns out that there was so much more to learn about it than I’d ever imagined.

The SEO Struggle: 6500 words (and counting) on why we need to do EVERYTHING NECESSARY for the world to see us the way we want to be seen.

It was October 2020, where after more than twenty years of creating content in the digital space, I finally understood why I wasn’t reaching my potential with my work. It was well-written, sure, and I was doing well on social media, but what I didn’t realise is that the world wasn’t seeing in my content the things I saw in it myself.

A family portrait from the Palmer family's Fall 2020 photoshoot with Meaghan from Olive & Ivy Photography.
Photo courtesy of Olive and Ivy Photography

Where I saw a Black man writing about his life spent juggling fatherhood, marriage, and a full-time job, the internet saw a guy who plays Candy Crush. And where I saw a blog that talked about life in Toronto and the stories that went along with it, the internet saw me talk about Whippet Sticks and that one time Emma Stone lip-synched on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Everything I stood for wasn’t shining through, and I didn’t even realise I was doing something wrong.

I didn’t understand that this was all under my control, and I could learn how to communicate better to search engines what my content’s about. There were repeatable steps I could follow to make sure my content had the best shot at getting favourable positions in search results instead of just putting it out there and hoping for the best. It helped me understand that I needed to do a better job using something I’d always assumed I understood already.

It was time to dive deeper into SEO than I’d ever gone before.

Clubhouse: Changing How We Pandemic If You LET It.

Last updated on April 22nd, 2021 at 12:28 am

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I was expecting to spend yet another night with my new friends on Clubhouse, getting into all sorts of mischief as we stayed up chatting well past our bedtimes. We’d talk about everything going on in our lives and all the things on our hearts we couldn’t seem to share with the people around us. Or, on this particular evening, to join a talent show that some of them had put together to deepen the relationship beyond what the rooms we help moderate filled with hundreds of users usually allow us to.

But when I went to load the app on my iPad Pro, all I got was this:

A Clubhouse screenshot with an error code reading "Our servers are struggling and your request failed. Please give it a sec and try again? Thank you!"

The Year That Was… 2020.

Last updated on April 2nd, 2021 at 01:25 am

Goodbye, 2020, and Good RIDDANCE.

It’s January 2021, and a happy new year to all! Considering the year we just had, it makes me wonder—are we even making resolutions this year?

I’ve started 2021 with a single thought: less is more.

Normally I’d start the year with a giant list of goals, planning to make my year amazing by accomplishing a million things.

But if my years of writing have taught me anything, it’s that one rarely finds success by continually chasing after something new—more often than not, what we needed was something we already had… we just didn’t realise it at the time.

Gift Guide 2020 for Christmas in a Pandemic!

Last updated on April 21st, 2021 at 01:42 am

Some content creators are like Andrea and plan their gift guides months in advance, helping their communities see what’s on-trend for the holiday season so they can buy the best and brightest gifts for the people they love. You have hundreds—if not thousands—who put holiday content out in the months that follow, keenly aware that it’s the time where internet searching’s at its highest and want to get in on the action.

And I try—my lead-up to Christmas sees no end to the email exchanges, nights of writing, and the piles of to-do lists that are generally a lot more to and not nearly enough do. In some ways, I wish I could be more on top of things and be ready for all the holidays, but the juggle is real and I always have less time than I have imagination.

But you don’t let good content go to waste, and that’s why I still wanted to get this year’s gift guide out, even if it meant I needed to do some tweaking in the process.

After all—most of us want to see something special under the tree no matter how old we are, right?

But enough preamble. Without further ado, I’m proud to present my 2020 Gift Guide: “The Things You Want to See Under that Tree!”

I hope you enjoy it!

What do you really hope to see under the tree on Christmas when a pandemic has you stuck at home?

Does Santa Still Visit in a Global Pandemic?

The Palmer Boys Horsing Around at Christmas

COVID-19‘s made for a very different holiday season, changing the things we look for when there’s nowhere to travel to or nothing to dress up for. For me, these past nine months have really put a focus on the world immediately around me, obsessing over using up all these things I already have before I even think about adding more stuff to the mix.

But pandemic or no, Christmas is still a thing, and even without the grandiose dinners with our families or so many of the traditions passed down for generations, I have this sneaking suspicion that people are still expecting gifts under the tree on the 25th!

It wasn’t easy to get our shop on this year, though, with retail stores on lockdown, supply chains askew and our wants and needs becoming so much simpler. Instead of fancy new gadgets, we just wanted a meal from our favourite restaurant. Or we’d swap expensive clothing for a night out drinking with friends in a heartbeat. This list has been so strange to put together, but it’s finally here, filled with plenty of things that should catch the attention of all sorts of people in your life! Kids. Coders. Spouses, influencers and everyone in between. If you don’t see something that strikes your fancy, here’s hoping it helps you think of someone else!

Casey Palmer, Author

Last updated on November 5th, 2020 at 03:15 am

And then all of a sudden, we were halfway through 2020 and I was getting ready to write a book.

Casey Palmer, Author—I didn’t see it coming, but I’ll take it!

It all started back in the summer when Scott Fraser reached out to ask me about an idea. Recently named the President/Publisher of Dundurn Press, one of the things he wanted to make was a parenting book from a Black father’s perspective.

It wasn’t hard to do the math. In an environment where sizeable publishers had published only a couple dozen books on Black fatherhood in the last thirty years and so many people trying better to understand after the events of May 25th, it was a perfect moment for a quality book to give voice to a group too often written off by the world around them.

It was clear that a book on Black fatherhood was direly needed to keep up with the times, but at first, I didn’t know if I was the man for the job.

Live from the 3.5, 2020—Back to Black.—Casey and His Kids
Casey Palmer, Author. Qualifications: Had children. Wrote about it ????

Casey Palmer, Author vs. Impostor Syndrome.

Here’s my issue—in a few weeks, my eldest son will be seven years old. And my world today looks entirely different from the one I lived in when he first showed up in 2013. It means that I’ve learned a lot through raising my kids, and the pandemic gave me a lot of insight into them I might not have gotten otherwise… but there was still so much parenting I’d have no idea about because I hadn’t made it there yet!

What did I have to offer the dad to a seventeen-year-old? What could I say to the dad of a twenty-seven-year-old that he hadn’t heard before? These were the kinds of questions bouncing through my head as Scott explained the vision he had in mind. Who was I to write this sweeping tale on Black fathers when I’d barely scratched the surface myself?

But Scott just asked me this:

“If not you, then who?”