Welcome to a new
How did you get into SEO?
I am completely self-taught! I was working at a corporate marketing job straight out of college, and I ran a travel photography blog on the side. I learned about SEO and Pinterest to help grow my blog, and I started seeing great results. When I decided to quit my job and become a freelancer, I started writing content for small businesses, and I was optimizing everything as I had learned how to do for my own blog. After a while, I realized that a lot of these businesses didn't know what SEO was or how the content I was writing could help grow their businesses, so I transitioned into focusing on using SEO and Pinterest. Now I work with creative businesses with SEO and Pinterest with easy-to-implement strategies to help them reach their ideal clients organically so they can get back time to focus on their creative passions!
What is your favourite SEO task?
I love doing audits! I love diving into websites and analyzing what is going on and what can be improved. There is quite a bit of technical work that I do, but I also focus on solving creative problems, like how website copy can be better written to resonate with their ideal clients. I really enjoy getting to use my left and right brain like this for problem solving!
What is your go-to tool or resource that you can't live without?
For SEO, I love Google Search Console. It's a simple tool, but it's packed with so much information that has really transformed a lot of my clients' strategies and businesses! The majority of my clients don't have Google Search Console when I start working with them, but they all love it after they see how much it can help.
For being a business owner, I love Dubsado! It's a CRM that helps keep all my projects, clients, contracts, invoices, and even schedule organized, and it has saved me so much time.
What is something you learned in SEO that made you have an 'AHA' moment?
I've learned a lot of SEO skills, but the biggest 'AHA" moment for me recently was about myself as a business owner. Because I'm completely self-taught and I've never had a 'real' SEO or even digital marketing job, I always felt insecure about my SEO skills. Going to the Women in Tech SEO Festival really opened my eyes to how different everyone's backgrounds in SEO is and how every struggles with impostor syndrome! And I realized that being self-taught is actually an asset for the businesses that I serve. I host a lot of trainings and go on many podcasts, and I get complimented often on how well I break down SEO and Pinterest for beginners. I attribute that to being a beginner myself not too long ago! Because of the way that I taught myself SEO and experimented so much, I'm able to explain things in a clear way for my clients.
What is your proudest industry achievement?
My proudest achievement is just building my SEO business from scratch! I had absolutely no idea what the heck I was doing when I started my business (I still don't know what I'm doing most days!), and I'm really proud that I was able to create something successful and learn from all the mistakes I made. I went from a freelancer working for my mom's friends and people I knew to having people from all over the world find me through Google, Pinterest, and Instagram wanting to work with my and attend my workshops!
What advice would you give women who are starting out in SEO?
I recommend learning and experimenting all you can! It can be really overwhelming at first, but you just have to get started somewhere, even if it's just on your own website.
I started as just a travel photographer trying to grow my blog to an SEO expert in the small business world, and I just took it one step at a time.
Give a shout out to a woman in the industry who inspires you and tell us why
One of the women in this industry I admire the most is Kate Toon! Her SEO podcast was one of the first business podcasts I started listening to a few years ago, and I love how she breaks SEO down for business owners. I also really appreciate that she's self-taught, like me. She started out as a copywriter before switching to SEO, and now she has an amazing business and trains hundreds of businesses on SEO!
I also need to give a shout out to one of my best business friends! Rachel Vandernick from The Vander Group is an SEO and PPC expert, and she has given me so much business guidance. She's also an amazing example of 'community over competition' because even though we're both in SEO, we've referred each other business and collaborated on projects together. If you're a business owner, having friends with similar businesses can be such an asset, so don't think that it has to be a competition!
This group is also really inspiring to me! I loved everything this group does so much that I traveled from the US to the Women in Tech SEO Fest this year, and I'll definitely be back next year. Plus, there isn't a group for women in SEO near me, so this group has inspired me to start one of my own soon!
Finally, what empowers you to be the brilliant woman you are?
Knowledge empowers me. Even though I've been a business owner and SEO expert for a few years, there is still so much for me to learn! This year I have really focused more on reading business books and listening to business podcasts, and the knowledge I've obtained has really empowered me as a business owner and as a person.
Thanks Julia for a truly insightful interview! You can check out Julia's website and connect with her on Instagram and LinkedIn.
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