In today’s interview we are going to be talking with Paul Shapiro from SearchWilderness.com Paul Shapiro is a search marketer who loves to take both a technical and creative approach to SEO. He spends his days as an Organic Search Director for Catalyst in Boston, and his nights writing on his SEO blog. Any additional spare time is spent watching 70’s horror movies. Start a conversation with Paul on Twitter @fighto.
1. Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
My name is Paul Shapiro and I run Search Wilderness, a digital marketing blog. I’m a professional SEO who works at a big agency, so my blog has become a sort of playground where I can write about and test ideas that I don’t get to touch with my enterprise clients. That’s today. When I started my blogging, it was in college as an attempt to stand out from the crowd in my job search. It worked.
2. Walk me through step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today?
- When I graduate college, I need to get a job. I think I will blog to stand out from my peers.
- I don’t know what to write. I’m no expert. Decides to write about something to get it out of the way. Writes mediocre content, but reaches first hurdle: actually starting.
- Continues to write and grow. Writing becomes better. Content becomes awesome. My expertise shines through.
- Collects ideas in a central location. Never runs out of topics. Writes. Writes. Writes.
3. How would someone describe your blogging style?
When I first started writing, I wrote in a very academic tone—your standard 5-paragraph essay. I realized it was more time consuming and didn’t match the style of content that people like to consume.
I had lunch with Brian Dean of Backlinko. He told me he writes using a copywriting technique similar to the one described here by Demian Farnworth.
I discovered that is made writing easier and quicker. I also found that more people were reading the bottom of my posts, and they liked it. My content was shared more, was linked to more, and frequented more. I recommend using SumoMe’s Heat Map functionality and Content Analytics as an easy and free way of assessing this.
4. A lot of people are interested in blogging for some money earning potential. What are some tips for people interested in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
I am THE WORST person to answer this question. The whole philosophy behind my blog is to help with my personal branding in holistic manner. That means no ads, no affiliate links, and I don’t sell anything. What I care about is getting myself out there. And you know what? That’s profitable. I don’t even offer consulting services on my blog, but you wouldn’t believe the amount of leads I’m generating without even asking. As I become better known, a by-product of having a good blog, my income grows—indirectly.
5. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
Personally, I’ve learned the most from Brian Dean and Noah Kagan, not through their content, but through observation. It also helps that I subscribe to 100s of blogs via RSS and constantly read what other people are reading daily.
6. What tips can you recommend that you’d only share with a close friend about blogging?
I’m pretty transparent about this kind of stuff. There is no secret sauce. There are some tactics that may not be actively be shared, but as a whole, they don’t mean much.
I think the most import thing is to maintain a “think-for-yourself” mentality. You need to formulate your own opinion and come up with your own ideas. If you strive for originality, you’ll be a better blogger.
7. How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
Through the love of my readers. It’s not about the money. I have a newsletter which you can join here. That’s currently what I care about. I don’t make any money through it (at least not directly).
8. Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
9. What is next for you? What can we expect in 2015?
More awesome and useful digital marketing and SEO content!
10. How can readers of my blog get in touch with you?
I’m super easy to get ahold of. I’m on Twitter, a lot.
You can email me via my website contact form.
Such a great interview with Paul Shapiro from SearchWilderness.com Make sure to subscribe to his site to stay updated with the latest trends of SEO.