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  • Are We Wasting Our Lives?|Gen Z Perspective on Social Media — Frappes and Fiction

    A few years ago, I wasn’t allowed on any form of social media, and the allure of something forbidden to me yet used by many of my peers caused me to spend almost all of middle school begging my mom to let me on Instagram. She finally relented when I turned 14.

    Are We Wasting Our Lives?|Gen Z Perspective on Social Media — Frappes and Fiction

    Is it fear of missing out? Is it pure curiosity? Is it nothing more than a waste of time?

  • Red Herring Games: Navigating a Business During a Pandemic — Discover

    How having a WordPress site helped this business survive the challenge of COVID-19.

    Red Herring Games: Navigating a Business During a Pandemic — Discover
  • Why Is It important to Be Curious?

    When it comes down to it, we’re a bunch of curious creatures doing curious things. 

    It’s a simplistic and heavily dependent on perspective view, but it still poses the question: 

    Why be curious?

    Evolution, i.e. the very thing that’s got us all here, would tell you that the sequence of events leading to you scanning this text is nothing more than a set of examples of human curiosity. 

    Way to go, everyone!

    Without any sort of exaggeration, thus, we can think of curiosity as a way to perpetuate our species

    Need might have been there first, but it’s still curiosity that deserves the credit for us getting better at survival.

    Mental clarity and unruly life

    Here’s a statement we can all agree on – life is not an easy thing. In fact, it’s probably the one constant source of confusion engulfing all our years on this planet. 

    We’ve seen life being ugly and unfair, and it isn’t always easy keeping it all at a distance to stoically continue refining our hustles. 

    More often than not, it hits closer to home and we end up creating misery for ourselves. 

    And when you’re the main culprit, mental clarity is even more challenging to find.

    Can self-improvement be boosted by an economic world?

    It certainly doesn’t help that a great deal of what the economic world has to offer is based on marketing strategies solely crafted to turn our fears and insecurities into profits. 

    How much trust can you realistically put in a world that has created markets so you can conveniently deal with your journey of self-improvement

    People have answers for sale. 

    They know how to get you closer to your dream or your ultimate success milestone. 

    They understand your circumstances better than you do yourself. 

    For a fee, of course. 

    And from the obvious con artists to the subtly manipulative, you get quite the taste of human creativity provided you have the budget to be given the time of the day.

    But if any industry out there were able to successfully solve self-improvement issues, we wouldn’t really have self-help experts with increasingly fatter bank accounts, now would we? 

    Be more focused to be more curious

    Not to make a dramatic statement, but it pretty much looks like we’re on our own. 

    It seems to me like the only way to make it against these odds is by learning how to stay focused. 

    However, in a world ready to profit off of everything you’re lacking, most of the time, such a task looks and feels entirely impossible to accomplish.

    So then the obvious question must be asked: 

    Are we doomed to chase answers to issues without solutions?

    In all fairness, we’ve all been playing a part in setting some unattainable standards, perhaps not realizing we’re feeding systems that have no concerns for the things that actually matter in life.

    Because the world we live in has become a primarily economic world (I’d love to hear the con arguments on this one) in which everything has been turned into a commodity, the actual value generators in our lives are constantly pushed in the background. 

    One such thing is curiosity.

    Survival, history, curiosity

    The benefits of curiosity go way beyond our desire to figure out how to be more interesting in life. 

    Humans are way past being born into a blank canvas world. Since we are infants we inherit the accomplishments of all the generations before us. 

    And if there’s something our collective history can prove is that we know how to be creative. 

    From architecture to ways of living, to languages, one generation always conquers what their forefathers could not

    The impossible, when looked at it this way, seems only a matter of time.

    At the same time, however, we’re inevitably passed on tons of issues. 

    How come we have to deal with the same problems our ancestors had? 

    As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, chances are very specific groups are profiting off of the active prevention of finding solutions to these problems. 

    History also sheds light, perhaps more than on any other aspect of life, on how humans constantly engage in less than humane acts towards their fellows rarely for solid, justifiable reasons. 

    You’re handed the tools for progress for sure, but your shoulders are also weighed down with all this responsibility

    This is where learning how to be focused comes in handy. 

    Be creative in life, see what happens

    We’re also not born and raised in equal circumstances, so as we navigate our path, we are given, or voluntarily take on different levels of responsibility. 

    And, implicitly, the strain and mental toll that come with it. None have an attached manual, but dare I say that’s a good thing. 

    Copying what the previous generations did wouldn’t lead us very far. 

    How could following the rules of different times help us be successful today? 

    Studying and adapting them? Sure. Getting ourselves stuck in a loop? Absolutely not.

    We have to learn to be creative because it’s our only way to make sense and come on top of what our ancestors have left us. 

    So as thankful as we are for the discoveries they’ve made, we must respectfully not believe that they have already found all the answers. 

    That’s how you take the power away from creativity and curiosity – by making people believe that there already are definitive answers out there. 

    Looking at you, consumerism. 🧐

  • Best Blog Length Options – What You Need to Know to Rank Better on Google

    The number one concern marketers have when they decide to invest in content marketing is how much and how often they should deliver to their audience. 

    When you’ve finally decided to streamline your business blog ideas, you were on Google looking up how long should a blog post be. That’s how your journey in understanding how to rank content for free on Google began, didn’t it? 😁

    Sure, you’ve heard about paying to get views and while indeed big numbers look good on paper, if you don’t stand a chance in converting any of those avatars, then you would have paid for nothing much. 

    Organic growth it is then.

    Is long-form content the best content?

    So if you want to boost your business blog starting today and have it build a community 3 months from now, what would be the best blog length to get the job done?

    It’s trendy nowadays to say long-form content is being favored with ranking on Google. The reasoning is that longer articles naturally encapsulate more backlinks. 

    Not only that but the latest studies on the matter have shown that they also outperform shorter articles when it comes to social shares on social media platforms.

    That is the generally accepted rule. 

    But does that mean that all the blogs from all the industries should have articles aiming for 1000 words? 

    Only if the glove fits. 

    Entrepreneur blog vs. big name blog

    General mass studies are good at providing general mass results. 

    You can sneak a peek at the results, and see what makes sense for your business ideas. 

    In all truthfulness, the best use of studies is understanding the processes that went into arriving at the end results. If you’re a niche creator going over a study focused on the current content marketing trends related to big fast-food chains, the data will do nothing for you. 

    The content that works for a multi-million dollar shoe company whose logo and catchphrase everybody knows does not (and will not) have to work for your Etsy shop business. 

    As much of a no-brainer this statement seems to be, you’d be surprised at the tactics young entrepreneurs will try to force onto their businesses. Why? Simply because they read a study or two on the internet with which they found a couple of commonalities.

    Ranking on Google organically is a matter of common sense

    Take food and travel bloggers, for instance. Set aside for a second what the random study you found about the best blog length regarding these industries said and use your common sense. 

    Would the targeted audiences of food and travel blogs be interested in reading through 1000 words or are they here for the cool aesthetics? 

    No doubt that bits of texts support the images and videos in these scenarios and not the other way around (as opposed to what your typical blog best practices advise), and no doubt that insisting to have a 1000-word article out is a useless thing to do in these cases. 

    You should aim at putting out content that pleases real people out there, not to appease the questionable online blog authority. 

    TripAdvisor is doing it, and take a look at just how solid their Domain Authority is and that number of links sure is impressive. 🤩

    Content marketing strategy no-brainers

    For sure the best chance to rank blogs on Google is to pay attention and accommodate your competitive advantage

    If you’re a food and travel blogger, you have no business wasting your time scrolling through corporate blog best practices. 

    If, however, you want to use content marketing within an industry which already has a few well-known content giants dominating the market, the first thing you need to know is that all hope is not lost for you. 

    Freshness distance is a real thing and it can put your business in an advantageous position should you channel it correctly. The truth of the matter remains, however, that it is not just going to happen overnight.

    Here’s how to navigate content marketing to get real results.

    • do a Google search of your respective keywords 
    • compare the word count of all the content listed on the first page [articles or not – remember the TripAdvisor point made above]
    • compare the DA and the number of links of each entry [Moz will assist you just fine]
    • draw averages of the DA, word count, and number of links
    • write your articles with those average results in mind

    If you want to put in a bit of an extra effort, as you’re analyzing the first page content that came back as a result of your keywords search, you can also make notes:

    • of the additional keywords that were used [you can find them in titles, subtitles, and in the meta-description]
    • of what site visitors are commenting [you can pinpoint what kind of content stirs conversations]
    • of their social shares [what are the platforms on which they are mostly shared]

    This is how you keep your competitive advantage because you’re rooting yourself smack dab in the middle of all the trends that are relevant to your specific niche.

    Lastly, do not neglect search intent

    All the points made so far are useless unless you also count in search intent. Why? Because while content and links mainly bring you the traffic, search intent brings you the conversions. 

    If the searcher is happy with what they found while scrolling on your page, they will be sticking around, and when they stick around enough you can start having positive ROI conversations with potential investors. 

    Now isn’t that something to make it all worth it?😏

  • Keyword Research: What Are You Doing Wrong?

    In SEO basics you’ve learned just how important is keyword research. 

    A few more scrolls and clicks and you’ve certainly run into the notions of head keywords and long-tail keywords. 

    Alternatively, your keyword research guide might have talked about primary and secondary keywords.

    Just to make sure we are absolutely on the same page:

    Head keywords = primary keywords

    Long-tail keywords = secondary keywords

    The correlation is not a 100% match of meaning, but it will suffice for the points this article will make.

    Are my keywords working?

    Next time you’re sitting in front of your laptop thinking about how to rank higher on Google, be sure to dedicate that brainpower to figuring out how to do long-tail keyword research. 

    It’d be a great use of your time since well over 70% of all web searches are generated by long-tail keywords. That leaves about 30% of the traffic being generated by head or primary keywords, so maybe don’t stress yourself as much with crafting meticulous sets of them.

    If you’ve been snoozing on the long-tail keyword research, the harsh reality is that you’ve been missing out on about 70% of the online traffic. It’s ok. At least now you’re in the know. 😉

    What exactly are long-tail keywords?

    You might know what keywords are and how they work but perhaps you’re not completely clear on what long-tail keywords are, so let’s get rid of that issue right now. 

    Long-tail keywords are phrases containing 3 to 5 words as opposed to 1 or 2 as it is with head keywords.

    The main characteristic that distinguishes long-tail keywords from head keywords is that they have a low search volume

    Wait so they don’t bring any traffic?

    They do bring traffic, but, truthfully, not as much as head keywords do.

    So then why should I use long-tail keywords?

    Because they bring in more targeted, and therefore, relevant traffic, which, in turn, leads to higher conversion rates.

    Huh? 

    No worries, we’ll get to it in a second. 💪

    Are long-tail keywords better?

    The main purpose of using long-tail keywords is to try to get as close as possible to the user search intent. 

    Why? To do this:

    Anticipate the user intent ➡️ Get the clicks ➡️ Get the traffic.

    That’s settled. 😁

    Think about it: when you get on Google, you usually type in something specific in the search queries if you want to end up with a satisfactory result in this lifetime. So you’re engaging long-tail keywords.

    Benefits of long-tail keywords use

    Now that you know for sure how to identify long-tail keywords, let’s have a quick look at the benefits of using long-tail keywords. 

    • Long-tail keywords rank easier

    Why?

    Because the competition is less.

    There are far fewer pages competing for a keyword such as the benefits of content marketing in 2020 (long-tail keyword) than they are for content marketing (head keyword). 

    • Long-tail keywords rank best for voice search 

    And voice search is the future of SEO. The logic behind this is simple, right? 

    The user usually utters a minimum of 4 to 5 words when talking to Siri or Google Assistant. You’ve seen the funny videos, you know. People literally ask them full-blown questions.

    What is the best ice cream place near me?

    How do I bake brownies?

    How do I use shortcuts on my MacBook Air?

    All long-tail keywords carry great untapped potential.

    Which basically places your content at the very top of the results page, above the sponsored links. 

    Am I telling you that you can reach the very top of the page without having to put money into ads?

    Yes. With content built around long-tail keywords.

    Long-tail keyword generator? Is that a thing yet?

    How do you put together a relevant long-tail keyword list? 

    1. You use Google Autocomplete

    All you have to do is type in your head keyword and see what other kinds of words pop out related to the search. 

    For instance, if my head keyword is document projects, all I have to do is start typing in a question containing it. 

    The Autocomplete will list the top ways the question I typed in is most commonly asked.

    Go ahead and take your pick of user-driven long-tail keywords.

    Also, you can scroll down the page and check out the searches related to your inquiry. 

    So if Autocomplete searches were not exactly on target, it’d definitely be worth it to take a look at the bottom of the page.

    2. Get on Quora 

    Chances are you’ve already googled something and came across people discussing the topic on Quora. So obviously you need to go where the conversations take place.

    It works similarly with the way the Google Autocomplete works. You type in your head keyword in the search box and scan the results. See what fits best for long-tail keywords options.

    For example, when I wanted to see what Quora had to say about easy content marketing, it immediately suggested the following questions:

    Enough with stressing out about your long-tail keywords. It’s only a simple 2-step process. 

    3. Go on Answer the Public

    Can the name be more obvious? 😅

    You’ll discover that much like the results you can get from Quora, Answer the Public also provides you with sets of question-based keywords. 

    So to use the example from above:

    After typing in the head keyword content marketing, I got a total of 203 alphabeticals. 

    The website also provides nice visual alternatives in offering this information. So, if I click on the Image rectangle, I get this:

    The more opaque the color, the better the keyword choice. The intense green at the top, thus, represents the top user searches. 

    I’m confident you know what to do next. 📝