Success. Until you define it for yourself, you will always be following someone else's playbook for your life and business. This week's resources can help you change that.
💬 In this week's issue:
- Problem solver. Why your first customer is the key to growth.
- Redemption. See how one creator is fighting to get back on top.
- Endgame. What, exactly, are you working towards?
🚀 How #SEOFOMO grew from 1K to 17K subscribers
I decided to leverage what I already had... and it worked.
There are few niches as popular, and profitable, as search engine optimization. It's profitable because every company with an online business leverages SEO to some degree. But it's competitive because the people who write on such topics are literally professionals at getting their content seen and shared.
Aleyda Solis knew if they tried to compete head-to-head with the heavy hitters in the space, their chance of success was slim. So, they took a different approach.
- Solis started the newsletter solely to solve their own problem: a weekly summary, available Monday morning, that provided a curated, skimmable update of what was happening in the SEO world.
- Next, to gain an audience Solis repurposed the newsletter content onto platforms they already used and into formats they were familiar with. If your growth strategy doesn't feel like a natural extension of how you already spend your time, you're probably not going to stick with it long enough to see results.
- Experiment like crazy! Solis added, removed, and rearranged sections as they saw fit — constantly measuring engagement and reader reactions. Don't be afraid to make big changes, especially when your audience is still small. Each iteration is a step forward.
🗞 Latest tips & stories
- Is guest posting a good strategy? Depends on how you approach it.
- You can turn Google Alerts into your part-time research assistant.
- AI writing tools aren't replacing any writers yet, but they can be helpful.
- This newsletter secured a dozen paid sponsorships with a list of only 500 subs.
- Local news is making a big, profitable comeback.
🎵 An SEO redemption story
In 2016, I wrote an article. By 2020, that article brought in enough revenue by itself to pay my rent, along with the rest of my bills.
Unfortunately, Hardy took it for granted and lost the majority of its traffic and income as a result. So, what's the lesson here?
- Free, public content that anyone can consume is an essential (if not required) part of becoming a full-time creator. Not everything should be behind a paywall.
- SEO is like gardening. It takes time to cultivate and grow successful pieces. And then, it takes time to prune and care for them so they can continue to reap good things.
- The game only ends if you stop playing. If you can't always outperform your competitors, outlast them instead (by only playing games you want to be in).
🌒 The dark side of the creator economy
On Hype House, these ordinary-teens-turned-icons agonize over the nature of their chance celebrity status, worrying that their fame will vanish as quickly as it appeared.
Shows like Netflix's 'Hype House' or Hulu's 'The D'Amelio's' highlight the often tumultuous experience of becoming a popular creator online. However, they also bring up a useful question — one that every person who makes stuff for the internet should ask themselves regularly: what's the end goal?
If you don't know where you're headed, it's easy to get blown off course by the latest trend or shiny object syndrome or the everyday difficulty of growing a business.
What are you building and why?
What will your days look like once you've succeeded?
How much (money, followers, etc.) is enough?
If you don't take the time to answer these questions for yourself, someone else will answer them for you. And before long, you may find yourself climbing a ladder you never wanted to be on in the first place.
👀 Curators pick
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