• Four Ways You’re Hurting Your SEO

      How to Improve Your SEO

      Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way to make your website easy to find. You can share it on social media all day long, but if you want people to find you without doing much work, you should focus on your SEO. 

      Making your SEO work for you takes consistency and time, but once you do some simple things, you will show up in search engines if you provide content your audience wants. But, if you aren’t careful, you can easily hurt your SEO by doing things that seem like they aren’t a big deal. These small mistakes can prevent you from being the top search results. So, after reading this post, audit your website to make sure you aren’t making any of these mistakes. 

      You aren’t making relevant content for your audience

      If you aren’t providing your audience with what they want, then they’ll never find you in search engines. If your audience isn’t searching for your content, this tells search engines your content isn’t valuable. It sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. Make sure your content is solving your audience’s problems. You can only solve their problems if you truly know them; make sure you know who you’re helping so that your content addresses their needs. 

      Your website is slow

      Search engines like Google want to give users the best experience. They want to recommend websites that users will enjoy using. One thing they take into consideration when they rank websites is speed. Think about this, how many times have you left a website because it loaded too slow. You don’t want your audience to do this to you. Especially if you have content that they need. 

      The most common things to slow down your website are plugins and images. So, make sure you remove any unnecessary plugins and compress your images. You want your site to move as quickly as possible. 

      You have Deadlinks

      If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably changed something on your website. It could be you’re no longer using a service provider or the linked website is no longer available. Either way, those links are no longer valid and are hurting your website. I would, at minimum, check for deadlinks on your website once a year. This ensures you are guiding visitors to the right place. 

       

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      You aren’t Telling People Where to go

      After a visitor finds your blog post or product, what do they do next? Are you leading them to more content? When you don’t tell visitors what to do, they leave. And you want visitors to say on your website as long as possible. The longer visitors stay on your website, the more likely they’ll return or buy your products. 

      Search engines also track how long users stay on your website. The length of time visitors are on your website tells search engines if your content is relevant, determining if they’ll recommend your website for similar searches. And you want them to recommend you! 

      You aren’t regularly updating your website

      Web crawlers (think of them as search engine’s assistants) know if you update your website. You want to show that your website is active, so, make sure you’re adding posts consistently. At a minimum, you should add to your website monthly. 

      I know it’s sometimes hard to do; these past few months, work has been so crazy, I haven’t had time to update my blogs. It was months before I updated www.melissanikohl.com. While I was still getting views, the amount dropped significantly. We have to take breaks here and there; be mindful that it can potentially hurt your ranking. 

      You want your website to work for you while you’re sleeping or working your 9-5. Focusing on improving your SEO is a simple way to make sure you show up in search engines like Google and Pinterest. Use these quick and simple tips to get your audience to find your website. 

       

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    • 3 Mistakes Some Content Creators Make When Using Social Media

        3 Mistakes Some Content Creators Make When Using Social Media

        I think it’s safe to say that social media is the marketing tool we love to hate. It’s probably the number one tool content creators use. But, are they using it correctly? For some creators, this blog post doesn’t apply. They’ve found extreme success on social media. But, if you are struggling to grow an engaged audience that is begging for more of your products and services, you may be using social media all wrong.  

        So, are you using social media the right way? Or is it stunting your growth? This blog post will help you determine if you need to change how you use social media for your brand.

        Content Creators Think They Own Their Content on Social Media

        Once you upload your content on social media, it belongs to the platform. It is no longer yours. They can remove your content, they can disable features, and they can suspend or delete your account. In addition, some platforms, like TikTok, allow advertisers to use your content for their ads (this is your hint to check your privacy settings).

        I don’t know about you, but I want to own anything I spend hours or days creating. I don’t want somebody else controlling how it can or cannot be used. But, unfortunately, so many content creators spend their valuable time creating bomb content, only to give it away to social media. 

        We are way too valuable to do that, yall. 

        And I know you’re thinking, well, how am I supposed to share my content? If it doesn’t belong on social media, where does it go? 

        You can use a website, podcast, or email list to host your content. 

        Put your best content on the platform you own first, and then put your highlights on social media. Your highlights should make your audience want to learn more about your products or services off of the app. Remember, social media is a marketing tool. So, whatever content you upload should make your audience want more. And the more is on your platform.

        Content Creators Use Social Media as Their Main Platform

        Social media is a marketing tool. It’s a tool that businesses and brands use to promote their product, create brand recognition, learn more about their target audience, and build a community. It is not a business’s primary platform; it is a way to increase awareness about their platform. 

        If you are a product or service-based creator, then social media should NEVER be your primary platform. NEVER. 

        If you’re confused about what I mean, think about Nike. Nike’s Insta is not their main platform. Their platforms are their website and physical stores. They use social media to create buzz about their latest products so their audience can buy them from one of their platforms. 

        Does that make sense? I see so many creators that create amazing informational reels and posts on Instagram but have no way to engage with their audience off of the app. Your goal is to get your audience off the app and to your platform. 

        Content Creators Spend More Time On Social Media Than Their Platform

        Social media tricks a lot of content creators into thinking that it cares about them. It gives users tips and tricks to make their content stand out. When really, it’s just a ploy to get you to keep users on their platform.

        Some creators are seriously freaking out about IG’s latest announcement that it is moving away from a photo-sharing app and will focus more on videos. And I completely understand why they are concerned. So many creators have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on photo shoots, props, editing programs just for IG to change their rules to play.

        Every social media’s goal is to keep users on their platform. Instagram specifically is losing many of its users to the hate it or love it platform, TikTok. They don’t want you to make more videos to help your business; they want you to create more videos so that users can stay on their app longer. 

        But is making more videos your goal? 

        Of course, you should use best practices for whatever social media app you decide is best for your audience. But here’s the thing, if you find yourself spending more time creating content for a marketing tool than creating products or improving services, then you’re doing it all wrong. 

        You should not be so focused on making content to feed a platform that you don’t own that you end up neglecting your products and services.

        Is social media great for your brand? Yes! But as the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, especially when that basket isn’t meant to hold your eggs. Social media is a marketing tool; make sure you’re only using it as a tool to help your brand grow.

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      • How to Consistently Create Content

          Are you a content creator? Are you struggling making relevant content for your audience? Check out these content creation tips!

          Creating content is my thing! I love sharing what I know with my audience; it is incredibly fulfilling. And I don’t want anybody in my community to struggle with content creation!

          So, in this blog post, I’m sharing tips that have allowed me to never run out of content ideas. Once you have these few things established, your content creation process will be a breeze.

           

          Have a clearly defined target audience

          I cannot say this enough. Defining your audience is key if you want your content to thrive. You will struggle developing content if you don’t know your audience.

          I’m not saying you won’t make good content; it just may not resonate with your intended audience. Resonating with the correct audience is important because you want them to visit your platform regularly. You want your audience to come to your blog and consistently find what they need. Creating random content may leave them confused and wondering if you are the right creator for them.

          Don’t waste your time creating content that your audience doesn’t want. Define them before getting started.

          Create content pillars

          Once your audience is defined, you’ll be able to make content pillars that will help you create a bucket of ideas that can turn into IG Reels, Short Videos, Blog posts, etc.

          Content pillars are all the ideas you have that fall under your niche. Check out an example below from my www.melissanikohl.com blog.

          Melissa Nikohl Content Pillar Example

          Content pillars are how I constantly have ideas ready to implement. Whenever I’m about to make content, I look at my pillars, pick a topic, and begin creating. They are a great way to help you stay on brand and save you time.

           

          Have a realistic schedule

          We all have limited time during our day. My 24 hours looks completely different than yours or someone who can afford to delegate tasks to others.

          Sit down with a planner (I recommend The Visionary Journal) and map out your day. If you don’t use The Visionary Journal, make sure it is a planner that maps out each hour of the day.

          You’ll want to block times you’re unavailable and include important events. Include things that we often forget about when planning, like our commute to work, cooking dinner, doing laundry, etc. It might seem overboard, but doing this allows you to see how much time in a day and then week you have to get things done.

          Why is this important? Because it will help you create more realistic goals, and you’ll learn to break down your big goals into small attainable tasks.

          So many of us don’t accomplish our goals, not because we couldn’t do it, but because we weren’t realistic about what it takes to get it done. So we often end up overwhelmed and quit.

          Everything I learned about time management, I learned all this solely from Monique Malcolm, the queen of getting things done.

          I use her Visionary Journal religiously. If you want to knock out projects and goals, you need it in your life!

           

          Take breaks

          During a therapy session, I told my therapist how I’m not sleeping well because I’m up all night working on my blog or creating something new, and I’m starting to resent work because it’s keeping me from doing what I enjoy.

          The doc said that it wasn’t sustainable. And if I don’t find a balance, I will burn out and no longer enjoy creating content.

          Before this conversation, taking breaks was hard because I felt like I’d get behind if I took a break. When I told my therapist this, she asked who I would be behind. And I didn’t have an answer.

          We live in a hustle-hard society. But we don’t have to subscribe to it. We don’t have to work 24 hours to be successful. Sometimes it’s okay to do nothing.

          If you’ve read a few of my blog posts, you know I scream from the rooftop about knowing your targeted audience before you create an ounce of content. Your content isn’t going to consistently resonate with your audience if you aren’t making it for them.

          Content pillars are a simple way to keep the ideas flowing, remember they will also keep you on brand. Having a realistic schedule and taking breaks will allow you to set realistic goals and protect your mental health. You’re no good to anyone if you’re burnt out; your community needs you!

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        • 5 Things You Must Have on Your Blog

            Are you looking for blogging tips? Are you starting a blog? Learn the 5 things you must have on your blog. #bloggingtips #howtostartablog

            If you have a blog or are thinking about starting a blog, there are certain components you must have. These things will help potential clients quickly contact you, help grow your audience, improve your bounce rate, and make your posts shareable. 

            Great bloggers make it easy to navigate their blogs. Check out these must-haves to maximize your reach! 

            About Page

            Many people use their about page to talk about themselves and all their accomplishments. While this isn’t entirely wrong, you want your about page to tell visitors why they need you and what you have to offer. 

            You want them to decide if they are in the right place. If they are members of your target audience, they should immediately recognize that they need you because your about page includes their problems and how you can solve them. Check out my About Page for an example. 

            You’ll also want to update your About Page regularly. As you evolve and grow, you want your About Page always to represent who you are right now. 

            Share Buttons

            Make it easy for people to share your work! Make sure you’ve enabled your share buttons. These buttons make it super easy for visitors who love your posts to share them with others who will love them too. Typically, these share buttons lead to Twitter and Facebook. You may have to download a specific plugin if you want a certain platform. 

            One plugin I recommend a Pinterest plugin. If you didn’t know, Pinterest is a great way to share your blog with the world. The plugin allows visitors to see a Pinterest icon when they hover over an image. When they click on the icon, it takes them straight to Pinterest, where they can save your image to their boards.I use jQuery Pin It Button for Images.

            Read this blog post to learn BENEFITS OF A PINTEREST BUSINESS ACCOUNT.

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            Email Signup

            When I started my very website, I made the mistake of not having an email list before launching. So, I probably missed out on opportunities to connect with my audience. Don’t be like me.

            Make your email sign up visible. Make it easy to for visitors to connect with you in their inboxes.

            I highly recommend using a popup. I know they seem annoying, but they are more effective than you might think. I’ve gotten way more email signups when I began using a popup. 

            Don’t worry about annoying visitors; if they don’t want to sign up, they’ll exit out of it. And my thinking is, if you’re paying for a service (email marketing), then you should maximize your use. This means providing maximum opportunities for visitors to sign up to your list. 

            A Clear Way to Contact You

            People will want to reach out to you! Don’t make visitors search for your information, make a contact page and put it in your menu.

            You might not need it now, but as you grow, people will want to work with you, and professional business partners will want to contact you via email or phone. Not a DM.

            A Variety of Media

            People consume content in a variety of ways. Make sure your blog reflects that. Adding images and videos to blog posts will capture your readers’ attention and break up the text. 

            You also want visitors to stay on your website as long as possible; media will help you accomplish this. 

            Do you have these things on your blog? Do you have some must-haves? Share them below!

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          • How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

              Do you want more people to find your blog? Read this blog post to learn how to drive traffic to your blog! #bloggingtips #blogtips

              I was hanging with some blogger friends the other day, and there were a few questions that constantly came up. How do I drive traffic to my blog? How can more members of my audience find me? Both are common questions that bloggers and content creators have.

              Unless you already have a large and engaged following, you may struggle with driving traffic to your blog. While there is no quick fix, if you consistently use the strategies I share below, you’ll start seeing your traffic explode.

              Fyi, this post contains affiliate links. Using them throws a little change in my pocket, at no extra cost to you.

              Use Pinterest

              For the first two years of www.melissanikohl.com, Pinterest was my number one traffic referrer. I built my email list, sold digital products, and increased my search results rankings.  

              When you use SEO strategies with Pinterest, Pinterest allows pinners to find your content. It’s better than social media platforms because people are searching for your content. They aren’t scrolling and running into it. They want it!

              Although Pinterest is no longer my number one referrer on www.melissanikohl.com, you would not be able to find some of my blog posts in the top ten search results if it wasn’t for Pinterest. 

              To turn your Pinterest Business Account into a traffic-driving machine, check out my Pinterest Tips & Tutorials. I’ll show you everything you need to know and how to do it!

              Use Tailwind with Pinterest

              Tailwind is an absolute game-changer when used with Pinterest. Sure, several scheduler apps allow you to schedule your pins. But, Tailwind has a unique feature called Communities that makes it way more than a scheduler app. 

              Communities are groups of bloggers that help each other expand their reach. Within each Community there are rules that encourage members to share each other’s pins. The key is finding groups that are relevant to you so that members will want to share your content and you’ll want to share theirs. 

              Tailwind Communities has helped me grow my community tremendously. I highly recommend using this with Pinterest. Their trial is excellent; you can schedule up to 100 pins and join five Communities. 

              Expect a significant traffic boost from this app. 

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              Use SEO Strategies

              If you aren’t using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies for your blog, you miss out on a lot of traffic. When you use SEO strategies, you are writing your content so that your audience can easily find you. 

              Bloggers who use SEO strategies have an easier time getting organic search engine traffic. Organic traffic is extremely valuable because as more people find your content and it throws signals to the internet that your blog post is relevant and the higher it will rank in search results. 

              Use Evergreen Content

              Evergreen content will drive traffic to your website year-round. Why? Because it is content that is not only long-lasting, but it’s also relevant to your target audience, so they are looking for it all the time.

              If you make evergreen content a part of your content marketing strategy, you will see these posts reel in your target audience during any season. If you want to learn more about evergreen content, check out my blog post, WHAT IS EVERGREEN CONTENT? To understand why you need it, read WHY CONTENT CREATORS SHOULD CREATE EVERGREEN CONTENT.

              Use Your Email List

              Let your email subscribers know all about your latest content on your blog! For me, this is the easiest way to drive traffic to my blog. I’ll send an email blast about my latest blog posts, and my subscribers will flock to the post. 

              Why does this matter? Your subscribers are most likely to read your entire blog post and spend the most time on your website. Not only are you driving traffic to your website, but you’re also improving your bounce rate (how long people stay on a single page of your website before leaving). Search engines (like Google) look at your bounce rate when putting together your analytics. 

              Use a Social Media Platform 

              Once you’ve carefully identified your target audience, you’ll be able to identify the social media they’re using. This should be your primary social media platform you use. Sure, you can use others, but make sure at least one is where most of your audience hangs out. Sometimes our favorite platform isn’t where our audience is looking for our content. Some people think they’re failing on a platform when the problem is they’re posting content in a place where their audience isn’t.

              In this video, SHOULD YOUR CONTENT BE ON SOCIAL MEDIA? I share everything you need to know about deciding where your content should reside. 

              I’m not gonna lie; driving traffic to your website isn’t easy, but it can be done. Use these tips, and you’ll start seeing more visitors checking out your content consistently.

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            • Two Ways to Find Your Niche

                Do you want to know how to find your niche? Check out these tips to help you define your niche so you can start creating content.

                Before you buy a website, figure out your colors, or come up with a name, you need to define your niche. A niche is a subject or topic you focus on when you’re creating content. Your niche content will help you build a community with your intended audience because you will create content just for them.

                Can you have more than one niche? Absolutely, but I recommend fully defining one first before working on another. This way, you have a clear idea of what you’re doing and what content you want to create.

                The two tips below will help you narrow down all your ideas flowing through your brain!

                What can you teach with your eyes closed?

                What is something that you can teach so well, you can do it in your sleep? If you’re educating someone else on a topic, you should know it well enough that you won’t have any trouble answering questions or explaining something in multiple ways. Your niche should revolve around a topic that you can confidently teach others.

                But, keep this in mind, the best educators never stop learning. So, just because you are incredibly knowledgeable about your topic doesn’t mean you stop learning. Things will constantly evolve, and if you want to remain a leader, you need to know what new information, tools, or resources are available in your niche.


                What are you passionate about?

                There are going to be days that you don’t want to create. Sometimes, that is okay because we all need a break here and there. But, overall, you should be creating high-value content consistently.

                When you create content around your passion, it’s easier to keep going and develop ideas on days you don’t feel motivated. Passion will help you push through.

                For example, there are days I don’t feel like writing a blog post, so I’ll create graphics, schedule content, or make lists of ideas. While I may not feel like doing a specific task that day or week, because I’m passionate about the content I create, I’m always doing something that will move me forward.

                Finding your niche can be relatively simple. Don’t worry if you think your niche is oversaturated. Nobody can teach something the way you can, especially when you’re passionate about your topic. Your audience will be able to see your excitement and passion as you teach. They will be able to feel your authenticity. So, don’t follow the crowd. Do what you love!

                Do you have any tips on finding your niche? Share them below!

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