Articles Tagged with Blogging

How Blogging Can Help You To Get A Job

This post was originally published on Cardiff Blogs (@cdfblogs/cdfblogs.com) in 2013. Cardiff Blogs’ website went offline a couple of months ago, so they kindly allowed me to republish it here on SEOno. It was written in conjunction with Computer Recruiter, as a sort of guest blog post on behalf of them, too.

Job search imageWhenever I chat to someone who’s struggling on the job front, I think back to my own experience. I graduated in 2007 – around the time that the job market started to go kaput – and for the 18 months that followed, I spent 9 of them unemployed. Looking back, I wish I’d done things differently. I know that I have the benefit of hindsight now, but one of the things I wish I’d done – as daft as it may sound at first – was to start a blog. Therefore, when I chat to someone who’s going through what I’ve previously gone through, depending on what type of career that they want to get into, I usually tell them that they should consider starting a blog.

On the surface, that sounds like daft advice, I admit. Why start a blog when the most important thing that you should be doing is hitting up the job boards and recruitment agencies and working on your CV? Well of course I’m not suggesting that you should be blogging instead of finding a job – but there’s no reason why you can’t do blogging on the side to support your efforts.

…”Support your efforts,” you might be wondering? Here’s what I mean:

It can help you to gain skills and experience in the meantime

The whole catch-22 scenario around experience (whereby employers want you to have experience, but you need experience to get a job) is enough to make your head spin and peeve you off simultaneously. It may not be career experience, but say if you’re looking to get into copywriting or journalism, you can start building up your experience in your own time, on your own blog.

Likewise, if you’re looking to get into web design or graphic design, not only can you use a blog to showcase your work, but the blog itself will also act as a showcase of your work.

It can be a good (but productive) distraction from the job hunt

Constant job hunting with no end in sight is bad for the soul. Trust me, I’ve been there. Somewhat wastefully, I used to break up the monotony of job hunting by watching TV and playing video games. Looking back, I wish I’d used that time more productively, which blogging would have done.

Now admittedly everyone’s different, and we all need to take time to relax and take our mind off things at some point or another, but sometimes (for me anyway!) I find that blogging doesn’t feel like working. It may not be as fun as firing up the PS3, but it’s certainly not in the same field as doing work or job hunting – however, it’s much, much more productive.

LEGO desk image

It can help with networking (which can help with finding a job)

This next point may feel like a slight subtle ad for Cardiff Blogs (it’s not!), but either way, it’s true. While I only joined Cardiff Blogs’ admin team in early 2013, I first started visiting the events back in 2011. I only intended to go along to learn a few new things – as I was fairly new to blogging at the time – and to meet some like-minded folks, yet over the years I’ve made a few great contacts and connections through it.

So once you start your blog, you may find yourself wanting to go to Cardiff Blogs or other local blogging events (whether it’s WordPress Users Wales – which is also in Cardiff – or a local blogger meetup in your town/city) and meet other bloggers. And you never know… You may strike up a conversation with someone who knows about a job that’s available that’d be perfect for you!

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Q&A with Emma Barnes about Selling her Blog

I’ve run a few interviews on SEOno before (you can see all the previous ones here) but I’m really excited to run this publish this one, for a number of reasons:

First and foremost, despite not yet meeting her IRL, Emma (@ejbarnes89) and I have known each other via Twitter for years and we get on famously. She’s my ‘sister from another mister,’ to re-work the classic saying… She’s guest blogged for me and I’ve guest blogged for her. So being able to interview her as well is just awesome.

Additionally, it’s a topic that really interests me. A lot of bloggers that I know are interested in monetising their blogs, but this is possibly the first instance I’ve heard of of someone selling their entire website, content and all (not just the domain name). After chatting to Emma about it, I asked her if she’d be interested in doing a proper Q&A/interview about it, and I’m delighted to say that she happily obliged…


Steve Morgan: Hi Emma! Tell us about Gaming Memoirs. How long did it run for before you sold it?

Emma Barnes photoEmma Barnes: Gaming Memoirs was my personal blog where I posted reviews about games that I’d played. I ran it for four years before deciding to sell it.

Steve: What types of posts did you publish?

Emma: Mostly game reviews, but occasionally fanart (which I now post on my Tumblr) and the odd “how to…” post.

Steve: What were your reasons for selling the blog?

Emma: I got to a stage where I realised that I wasn’t enjoying writing blog posts about video games any more, and rather than let it die I thought I might see if I could sell it to make a bit of money back on hosting costs, etc.

Steve: To me, the idea of selling a blog sounds very intimidating. I wouldn’t have a clue where to start! Were you in a similar situation when you made the decision to sell it, or did you know exactly what you were doing right from the off?

Emma: I have actually sold one blog before – however it was to someone I knew personally and it was more like just giving them WordPress access to the website.

This time it was totally different. Instead of approaching people I knew (although some were interested) I thought I’d try my hand at an auction, because I didn’t really know what the site was worth, and thought I’d leave it with a buyer to decide.

I was a bit nervous because I was worried I might screw up the transfer to the new host, or that I would somehow magically delete my site before selling it…

Steve: How did you sell it? Did you put it onto a ‘blog marketplace’ type website? How does the whole process work from start to finish? And how long did it all take?

I knew sites existed for buying/selling websites, so I did a bit of Googling and decided on Flippa for a few reasons:

  • It was specifically for buying/selling websites, domain names and apps rather than a more “general” web auction site,
  • I browsed it as if I was a buyer and thought it was easy enough to find what I wanted,
  • It looked fairly trustworthy and had decent reviews.

The process itself was quite easy once you got the hang of it. I’ll probably vary from site to site, so I’ll talk about what I did with Flippa.

Step 1 – Create account and tell Flippa what site I’m selling and prove that I own it

This involves uploading a file to the site – I had to do this directly form the host, rather than through WordPress, which was a little tricky for me because I don’t log in to my hosting very often, so wasn’t very sure what I was doing. But for someone who is familiar with the more technical sides of websites, it’d be really easy for them.

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Tactics for a Successful Public Vote Strategy – How I Became a UK Blog Awards Finalist

VOTE imageI’m excited to be a finalist in the UK Blog Awards for the second year running, this time in the Digital & Technology category. The first phase was a public vote, and although I put a fair bit of effort into it, I’m certainly no expert – proof of that is the fact that I only made it to the finals in one of the two categories that I entered, suggesting that the competition this year is a lot more fierce than previous years…

I wanted to share my tactics on how I put the word out asking people to vote for me. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and some of them may be really obvious, but who knows… you might try different things next year and it might make all the difference.

Blog-related

Blog about it

UKBA16 badge exampleFirst things first… Blog about it! I wrote a post about it (“Vote for SEOno in the UK Blog Awards 2016!”) containing the ‘vote now’ image, which linked to my dedicated entry page.

Add a site-wide ‘vote now’ button

You can take this further by added a site-wide ‘vote now’ button. I put mine in my blog’s site-wide left-hand column. This is handy in case someone doesn’t see the dedicated blog post on the subject and instead visits another section (such as the homepage, the About page, the Contact page or a random post).

Social media-related

Twitter

Twitter is a no-brainer, and I reckon the biggest ‘pull’ of votes in my case.

I wouldn’t hesitate to tweet multiple times. I tweeted every 2-3 days during the voting period, varying the times and days. Use something like TweetDeck or Buffer to schedule your tweets (so you can get them all ready in bulk, instead of having to worry about remembering to manually do them yourself), and something like Followerwonk to find out the best time(s) of day to tweet based on your followers’ activity.

Followerwonk example screenshot
UKBA16 tweets imageAnother way to vary your tweets on the subject: RT other people’s tweets about it. So if someone else tweets saying that you’ve entered (@mentioning you in the process) then you could consider retweeting that instead of doing a standalone tweet from your own account.

I also tended to vary whether or not it contained an image (either no image, or the screenshot from the entry page, or the one provided by UKBA themselves), and also varied the landing page (mostly the entry page itself, but sometimes I drove people to the blog post instead).

Oh and lastly… Consider pinning one of the tweets on your profile – ideally one with an image (such as the ‘vote now’ image that UKBA provided, in my case). For people who randomly stumble across your Twitter profile, they’ll see it – and even if they don’t end up voting, it still looks good to show off.

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5 Ways That Bloggers Can Get Links Back To Their Blogs

This post is a repurposed HARO request – to find out more about this process, check out my post on State Of Digital all about it.

Linking diagramAs bloggers, we often get very fixated and carried away with our blogs: making sure that the content that we produce, the blog’s design, etc. are all absolutely perfect. SEO often enters the mix as well (in a do-it-yourself capacity), but it’s not simply a case of adding the WordPress SEO plugin – which is, admittedly, great – to your blog and thinking that that’s all you need to do on the SEO front…

On the contrary… On the link building (a.k.a. off-site SEO) side of things, the possibilities are endless and the fun never ends. It’s not a quantity game, but the more high quality, relevant and natural links that you get pointing to your website (or your blog, as is the case here), the better that it’ll perform from an SEO standpoint, resulting in a likely increase in visibility from organic search – i.e. when people are Googling content relevant to your blog, they might stand more of a chance of finding it, resulting in more traffic to it. So while you can tinker and tweak your site’s internal workings to improve its on-site SEO, you can also improve its off-site SEO by acquiring inbound links.

But how do you go about getting links? Where do you start?

As an SEO who’s also a keen blogger, here are a few ways of getting links back to your blog that have worked for me:

1) Guest blogging

StOD guest posting bio screenshot
Although this tactic has lost some of its impact due to people spamming it too much (although it’s not all bad – you can read my views here), there might still be some good opportunities to guest blog on other bloggers’ websites in your niche, so it’s worth looking into. In addition to the link back to your blog, the hosting blogger is likely to promote it via their social media profiles, too.

It’s worked for me. Beyond recently becoming a regular contributor on State Of Digital, I have also written posts for Moz, SEMrush and other industry blogs. In addition to getting some good industry exposure, getting links from such high profile websites to my blog has helped with its SEO.

2) Attending blogger meet-ups

Going to local blogger meet-ups simply to get to know other local bloggers and to offer advice can be a good way to get links. I’ve seen people get links because someone’s published a write-up of the event and they’ve included links to all the bloggers that they met there. I’ve even been added to a few bloggers’ blogrolls simply due to taking the time to get to know them.

Cardiff Blogs used to be the big player a few years back, but they run less events now than they used to. Despite this, there are a few blogging-related events that seem to crop up every now and again in the South Wales area – so it’s worth keeping an eye out.

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CR 25 Revisited – My SEMrush Webinar

In late May I was approached by the team at SEMrush about hosting a webinar, going into more detail about the CR 25 campaign that I ran in January. I’d already given a talk about it at BrightonSEO, but with only 20 minutes available, I left out a lot of useful information surrounding the ‘content blitz’ campaign, where we published 25 blog posts in one month (pretty much one each day during the month). I had toyed with the idea of creating a YouMoz post (and had in fact started to draft one), but when SEMrush approached me about the webinar, I thought that it would be a better way to get across all the info.

The webinar took place in early June. In addition to relying on PowerPoint slides, I jumped out of the slides, jumped into my browser (all while the audience were still watching) and quickly ran through all 25 posts as live examples. I thought that this was a good way to demonstrate the many different types of content – especially those with an interactive or particularly visual element to them (such as the custom Google Map, the 25-year timeline, the multiple-choice quiz and one post that featured an embedded tweet containing an autoplaying Vine video).

The video of the webinar is below, with a transcript below that.

Video Transcript (including slide stills)

Slide1-560
Hi, thank you very much for the introduction. I’m Steve Morgan, @steviephil on Twitter, and today I’ll be talking you through a big campaign I ran back in January earlier this year. I actually talked about this campaign at BrightonSEO in April, but I was only given about 20 minutes to talk on-stage and I was only able to talk about a couple of examples of content we did – we had 25 blog posts in one month – and just talk about how much it all cost, so it’s great to have the opportunity… a big thank you to SEMrush for having me. And it’s great to be able to talk about the campaign in more detail and run through more examples than I did when I presented at the conference.

Slide2-560
The webinar is split into three sections. I’m going to jump out of the slides a third of the way through and show you real examples of content, because I thought: “why bother showing you slides of examples when I can actually show you the examples on Firefox?” But before that, I’ll talk you through a bit of an introduction to the campaign and how we prepared for it. And then after I’ve shown you examples, I’ll give you some insights into what performed well, what didn’t, what worked well on certain social media networks, and talk you through how much everything cost, which – even though we had 25 posts created and we tried to avoid just having bog-standard, 400-word advice articles – we did lots of varying types of content and we tried to have interactive content as well. We managed to keep the budget very low by sourcing guest blog posts, by using free or cheap WordPress plugins – things like that really. I’ll tell you more as we go along.

Slide3-560
First, some background for Computer Recruiter.

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