Interviewing Amanda Milligan

Date: 19/07/2021

Welcome to a new

Weekly Interviews
edition where we interview brilliant women in our industry and share their stories with the world! Anyone is welcome to share their story by simply filling this form, we encourage women from all walks of life in our industry to do so.

Introducing

Amanda Milligan
!
Based in Washington DC, Amanda is a content marketing who's directly managed the creation of 200+ content campaigns and led the strategy for 20+ clients. She hosts Fractl’s Cashing In On Content Marketing podcast and has spoken at multiple leading industry events, including SMX, Pubcon, BrightonSEO, and MozCon. Her content marketing advice has appeared in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Tech Crunch, Moz, The Next Web, Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, and more.

We asked her everything from how she first got into SEO to what empowers her to be the brilliant woman she is 💪🏽

How did you get into SEO?

I studied journalism and English in college, but I'd decided pretty quickly that I didn't want to be a reporter. However, I loved the classes I was taking, so I stuck with those degrees. Fast-forward to graduation, and I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I talked to other folks in journalism to ask what route they'd taken, and social media management had come up a few times.

I started emailing various marketing agencies across the country, sending them my resume. Little did I know that this was around the time of the Penguin/Panda updates, and writers were in high demand. I was hired by an agency three months later, and soon I learned very quickly what SEO was and how an entire industry existed that I'd never heard about.

What is your favourite SEO task?

Keyword research! It feels like a puzzle. I love that there's no 100% right way to do things and that it's a blend between the science of seeing what people are searching for and understanding what they need and the art of providing that information in an engaging way.

What is your go-to tool or resource that you can't live without?

The Hunter Chrome extension is great for identifying journalists' emails when doing digital PR. I also love Clearscope for optimizing blog posts.

What is something you learned in SEO that made you have an 'AHA' moment?

Honestly? That not a single strategy or best practice is set in stone. You can talk to a few different SEO experts, and all of them can disagree on an important topic.

Once I understood that succeeding in this industry meant understanding all of the strategies and tactics available to you and then testing them and applying them intentionally for YOUR audience, things clicked for me.

What is your proudest industry achievement?

Every time I'm accepted to a conference, I'm extremely honored. This year, I spoke at brightonSEO and MozCon for the first time, which still blows my mind.

Also, every time someone says they like my podcast, it makes my week!

What advice would you give women who are starting out in SEO?

Join an online community. Women in Tech SEO is a fantastic one, of course, and more generally, I've really enjoyed Content Marketing Institute's community.

In other words, find your people -- the ones who see you and are willing to help you out. I've gotten significant value from connecting with others in these groups, whether they're on Slack, Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere.

Give a shout out to a woman in the industry who inspires you and tell us why

Aleyda Solis has always inspired me because she knows so much and gives so much back to the industry. She's incredible!

Kelsey Libert is my boss and friend, and she's dominated digital PR for nearly a decade now. She hasn't been as public-facing as of late, but she's always been my cheerleader, empowered me to trust my gut, and led by the example of how to be a resilient, capable manager.

Finally, what empowers you to be the brilliant woman you are?

I remind myself that I'm allowed to take up space in this industry. We all are. You don't need to be the highest-paid keynote speaker to know how to do your job well.

I also have a mental illness and find a lot of what drives me is 1) advocating for people to practice self-love and 2) destigmatizing therapy and medication. I know every time I've felt seen it's been extremely uplifting, so I'm here to use whatever influence I have to try to help others feel seen, too.

And in the interest of the above, being self-assured is an everyday practice for me. It's OK if it is for you, too. We're still killing it!

----

Thanks Amanda for a truly insightful interview, you can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

To view more interviews with brilliant women, check out our Interviews page. If you've enjoyed reading this interview, then we'd love for

YOU
to share your story with the world! Simply fill this form here, we welcome brilliant SEOs from all walks of life! 🙌🏽