The SEO Struggle: Search Engine Optimization, Part 3

Last updated on March 8th, 2021 at 04:32 pm

Estimated reading time: 16 minutes

And finally, we hit the good part—making SEO work for you. Using everything we learned from the previous parts and applying them to the content you create. It’s taken a while to put all of the content together, but without further ado, here’s The SEO Struggle, Part Three: Making SEO Work for You!

Good SEO Doesn’t Have to Cost MONEY—It Just Takes a Whole Lotta WORK.

So let me tell you the good news—putting great SEO together for your site doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. But what it is going to take is a whole lot of time.

I’d picked this series back up from the unfinished pile after unexpectedly giving a talk on my SEO journey to my Black blogging peers and realising that I’d learned more than I’d really considered.

What some of the best tools are for SEO and where to find them. Effective ways to boost both your on-page SEO—or rather, the SEO affected by the way your webpages are put together—and your off-page SEO, or all the things outside of your webpages that affect their rankings.

In part one of The SEO Struggle, we talked about what SEO is and why it’s important. In part two, the focus was on all the things Google uses to rank your site and how they work. Now that you know all that, let’s work on getting you the search engine presence that you deserve.

The SEO Struggle: Search Engine Optimization, Part 2

Last updated on February 22nd, 2021 at 12:47 am

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

If you’ve read the first post in The SEO Struggle, you’ll know why you need an SEO strategy and what it can do for your brand—but how good are you at actually understanding SEO?

My unexpected dive into the world of search engine optimization taught me that while SEO is a tangible and measurable thing, there’s a lot you need to do to take full advantage of it.

Many creators think they already have a handle on SEO because they use Yoast and strive to get as many green circles as possible, but really understanding SEO asks for so much more.

Let me tell you all about it!

Search engine optimization: some short-term pain for a VERY long-term gain!

A word cloud about SEO and many of the things associated with it. Money. Execute. Creative. Success.
There’s a lot that goes into search engine optimization, and this word cloud discusses many of the concepts that go alongside it.

The first thing you need to understand about SEO is that you’re not going to see results overnight. For one, when Google crawls your site is out of your control, so there’ll always be a delay between when you update your site and when Google ranks it in its results. This isn’t like the good ol’ days of Google Reader where someone could subscribe to your RSS feed and have updates ready at their fingertips when they wanted them. While you can get people to sign up for email updates when you post or even for a newsletter, most people who come across your site will do so in one of three ways.

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.

The 2017 100

Last updated on April 1st, 2021 at 01:08 am

Unless my life sees some major changes this year, 2017 may mark the last list of 100!

It’s January 13th—I’ve spent nearly two weeks of my new year agonising over 100 items that matter enough to hit a list of goals and aspirations for the year ahead. And that’s a key difference from the lists that came before it.

Before it was a task list—I’d look around at everything that needed doing and jot it down, because my life would obviously be better with them out of the way.

But task lists aren’t inspiring. They’re not motivational. As a creative, that’s like dropping a pile of 100 things I dread on my lap and nagging myself to get ’em done by the year’s end.

Once I realised what I was doing to myself, so much so that I just went through my least successful year yet for my list, I knew I needed to make a change for 2017.

The 2017 100—It's Not WHAT You Do, It's How You DO It.—New Year, New Perspective

I’m particularly proud of the list I’ve put together for The 2017 100. I didn’t take any shortcuts—I wrote out 100 things that’d help me live the life I’d like to lead and prove instrumental along the path there. Rather than hurriedly scrawl out a list I’d likely ignore ’til December, I wrote one that I’d happily check off, knowing that each accomplishment would take me a step closer to a far better 2018. I feel like I’m finally getting it right this time, and I hope that shines through as you give it a look for yourself!

But that’s enough of my chatter—I’ve already made you wait long enough. Here for your consideration is The 2017 100—because it’s not what you do… it’s how you do it!