SEO Professionals Listen Up! Penguin 2.0 Launched

Well, I should probably rephrase that. Search engine optimizers that are worth their price will have already known about the Penguin 2.0 update and will have implemented strategies to bolster their sites’ PageRank. If you missed the memo though, or you’re new to the SEO world, now is the time to pay attention.

For the most part, sites with poor backlink profiles were the most affected by the update. Namely, a lot of porn sites plummeted in the rankings. We’re talking as much as 50%! That’s bad folks. But it doesn’t have to be bad for you. Penguin is designed to make sure the top search results are high quality. And if you’re making high quality, relevant content, you’re already on the right track. In fact, there are steps you can take right now to keep your site’s rank in place. Whether you manage several sites or just want to get your lone site to rank higher, you can make the almighty Penguin happy.

A lot of people have the entirely wrong idea about SEO. They think they need to take shortcuts or do shady, sneaky things to get their sites to rank higher. But this is so wrong and will put you on the fast track toward a site that gets punished. Instead of trying to figure out how to battle Penguin and get around it, you need to learn to avoid it altogether! The following infographic from Brafton ought to motivate you to never pick a fight with Penguin (you won’t win!). Plus, there are some cool tips to boost your PageRank and/or keep it from slipping:

Brafton's Infographic: How To Avoid A Fight With Penguin

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Weekly Writing Inspiration: May 3, 2013

I’m a little bit late getting around to this post this week but I’ve been a bit busier than I anticipated. Still, there is inspiration to be found everywhere and I want to take a moment to share that with you.

  1. New clients. Oh how I love the sweetness of getting a new client! It’s exciting. It’s full of potential. Things haven’t gone horribly, horribly wrong. Not that I’m saying things typically go wrong with my clients, but the thrill of new prospects keeps me focused and engaged in my work. All of my work. Old projects and new.

    writing inspiration

    Source: Alan Cleaver

  2. Taking risks. Going out on a limb. Plunging off the precipice. However you want to phrase it, embarking on new things is exciting. This is sort of related to number one on this list but it doesn’t have to do with clients per se. It’s more about my own efforts to expand my business and brand. Sorry for the vaguery, but I’ll offer more details as I have them. In short: I’m excited.
  3. Awesome talks that are awesome by Neil Gaiman. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and watch this video right now I’ll wait. Did you watch it? If you did you should be filled with a warm fuzzy sensation that spreads from the top of your head, down to your fingertips and out through your toes. This sensation is likely caused by microscopic kittens twitching their whiskers. The video is from a commencement address Gaiman gave at the University of the Arts in 2012. It’s called “Make Good Art,” and it’s actually being released as a book soon. I may need to buy this. 

And off we go into another weekend. What’s inspired you this week? Anything I should know about?

Weekly Writing Inspiration: April 23, 2013

I thought I’d start a new thing here on my writing blog. What’s inspiring me this week? We’ll start out with a handful of things and see how that goes. I may cut back on these or increase them depending on what my life is like at the time. But this week, I’m inspired by:

Writing inspiration

Coffee + blogging = a good morning

  1. 1/2 caf Americanos. Just enough caffeine to kick my rear in gear but not so much to leave me a jittery mess
  2. YouTube videos by Google engineer, Matt Cutts. Learning so much cool stuff. Yes, I’m that nerdy.
  3. Moving forward on projects. After stagnation on a few big projects, they’re finally moving forward again and I’m feeling really positive about them. There is actual measurable progress. Which is awesome.
  4. New routines. I’m developing new routines and plans for my blogs, which is seriously exciting. I’ve blogged forever but never consistently enough. If I want to advise people on how to “market their brands” and “increase search engine traffic” and all of those other buzzwordy things, I need to actually do it myself. It’s more work, yes, but it can only yield positive results. And dammit, I find that inspiring!

That’s all for now. I’m going to try to make this a weekly thing, as I’m sure there will be at least one thing that inspires me each week. And please feel free to share what’s inspiring you this week, whether it’s something someone said to you, a particularly fun thing you did over the weekend, or a quote you read online, I want to know!

Health and Fitness Writing & Content: It’s Sort of My Thing

When I started freelance writing back in 2004, I scraped together projects however I could manage. My first article sold was actually never published. It was about Irish step dancing. From there, I had articles picked up by a few online publications, then print like ePregnancy. Unfortunately, that magazine folded. I did some more print work for Cat Fancy and Critters USA, which was awesome. Several articles appeared in international publications as well.

However, around 2007 I needed to increase my income substantially. I was moving out of my parent’s house and couldn’t just rely on writing for magazines to pay the bills. At that point, I’d done a few content projects here and there. I wrote ebooks and press releases and all of that. Just not as much as I do now.

In fact, for the past five years, I’ve spent most of my time writing web content, SEO, and doing work for companies like crafting white papers and company bios. Still, I never lost my love for the editorial style and it pleases me greatly that my work has once again shifted toward writing for publication.

I already blogged about my gig with Fit-Journey.com, which is exciting and allows me to really stretch my creative writing muscles (see what I did there?) but I’ve neglected to mention my work for other fitness and health sites.

As a contributor to Demand Media, I write articles for several sites including The Nest, AZ Healthy Living, The Bump, eHow, and Livestrong. I will be writing about this more in the future, but I just wanted to mention it now since these articles take up a significant portion of my workload. In fact, I went on a pinning rampage on Pinterest the other day and found I’d written over 500 articles for Livestrong covering health and fitness, beauty and skincare, credit/taxes, and business. Isn’t that nuts? All this time, I was worried I didn’t have enough content to share with you all but I was obviously mistaken!

As I move forward in this niche, I was wondering if any of my readers had preferences as to the subject matter I covered? Is there any area of health and fitness that you would like to see more attention paid? I’m always looking for new angles to cover so feel free to share!