Everyone has a brand. Even if you don't actively brand yourself, others do it constantly. The ideas, values and labels others give to you, as well as the image they have of you and your business can have a great effect in your blog traffic, sales, getting clients or getting a job, and more. Branding, in its essence, is communication. Communicating your value and motivations helps you with succeeding in your own terms. Don't let other people to dictate your success, what feels meaningful for you and what you stand for. Take control of your brand, and clarify it with these simple steps. "...

As the days grow darker and colder, my creativity and motivation just want to hibernate like a pair of grumpy bears. Even the most creative, motivated, enthusiastic people have those times when their creativity is not exactly fired up. It can be because of the weather, it can be due to depression and stress or other health issues, it can be because of failures or even successes you are facing, or for reasons you cannot quite explain. While I believe productivity is overrated and you don't have to be constantly creating stuff (I mean, that's not even sustainable), I know being creatively...

This week we went to see Hannah Gadsby's latest comedy show, called Douglas. One of the many things Hannah talked about during the show was that she's right now living her best life. She pointed out that her life may not seem like living best life if you look at it from the outside. She described it as staying home with Doug, her adorable dog, and moving things around. For Hannah, that is living her best life. The most common top 10 tips for living your best, fullest life includes things like visualising, meditating and yoga, complaining less, journaling, being intentional, focusing to the...

When I was a kid, I recall having this odd confidence. I was going to live forever. I was going to be whatever I wanted to be. I was the centre of my little universe, with sun and everything else revolving around me. I guess all the kids come with it, that sort of confidence which comes from ignorance and innocence. Since then, it's been a long and bumpy road. The more you learn about life and everything, the better you understand how little you know. That makes a dent on your confidence. I can tell you, depression and burnout don't help either. In business, and life in general, having...

Recently I finally finished a huge project I started a long time ago: recategorising my blog posts. My old categories and tagging system had turned messy during all these years, since it allowed creating new tags on the fly and applying multiple tags to each post. I needed to create some new rules. Now I have 10 preset categories, including my the subjects I blog the most. And each post can have one category. I still use the old tagging system too, because it helps with this site's internal search and linking blog post series. More categories can obviously be added, if needed. But I cannot...

This is a true story. A person, using a specialised platform for creating a course website was asking a question about adding keywords to the site. They weren't finding a place for their keywords. Apparently they were looking for some sort of a keywords field and since it wasn't there, they were confused. Naturally, they were worried about their search engine optimisation. I get where they come from. With all the misleading, overly complicated and contradictory information about SEO and keywords out there, it all can be perplexing. The messy history of keywords doesn't make it any easier....

Creating a business plan may seem like overkill, or just really boring, when you are running a small creative business. You think business plans are only for big businesses or flashy startups looking for investors and loans and whatnot. It is true, a business plan is mandatory if you want investors to take interest in your business or when you are planning to approach a bank for a loan. Often, when you research business plans, the concentration really is in finances. However, that's not the only reason you need a business plan. A business plan is an important strategic guideline of a...

Business overwhelm and burnout don't discriminate. You can be a very successful person, as well as someone who barely makes any money with your business. You may be just starting out, or you may have been in business for years. The pressure of succeeding and being perfect, whether it's something you have brought on yourself or it comes from outside, is heavy. The overwhelm and burnout may hit you suddenly, or it can be a slow burn. Either way, it's not fun. There are things you can do to make business and making living by doing something that feels meaningful for you feel less overwhelming...

Landing pages are often considered to be structured in a specific way, include specific information, look a specific way and even be made with some expensive dedicated tool. In reality, a landing page can look and feel many different ways. In your website traffic analytics you probably find a section called "Landing Pages", which includes... Kind of anything. This may be a bit confusing. You probably didn't think of that particular page or blog post as a landing page. Basically, any page a person lands on your website after clicking a link somewhere or typing the address to the address bar...

Coming up with creative business ideas is easier said than done. Sure, you can always pretty easily come up with all kinds of bogus business ideas, like a Shai-Hulud Wrangler. But when it's a serious business, your ideas run low. You can always look at what other people have done, but blatant copying is hardly a viable option. Whatever those others have done probably won't work for you anyway. Interviewing people, to find problems you might be able to solve might work in theory. However, it is kind of a broad approach, unless you already have some sort of a basic idea to base your interviews...

Your website is never ready and done. It requires constant improvements and updates. For your website to be found through search engines, such as Google and Bing, it must evolve. Content needs to be updated and added, links checked and fixed, design freshened up, the code and security kept up to date. A website audit helps you to fix any problems, search engine optimise your site, and improve performance and conversions. I recommend auditing your site now and then. You can either do it yourself, or hire a professional like me. Of course, it is always best to get someone else to audit your...

Emotions, making you cry, laugh, feel sick, smile, frown, scream, chuckle and more. Every day you go through a shitload of them. You feel happy, angry, disgusted, amused, frightened, awed, embarrassed, sad, surprised, interested, proud, and more in such a pace it seems like a miracle you have time for anything else in life. Many people like to think they make decisions and choices based on logic and reason. In reality, emotions dictate your decisions, from the small to the big ones. You make decisions and choices based on how you feel about things. You chose that pair of shoes because they...

Google keeps tweaking their search and algorithms, and lately it has been causing a lot of grief. I've been having some difficulties of finding what I have been searching. I've seen pages not indexed for myriad reasons. I've been frustrated with Google Search Console notifying me about issues that don't really exist. Today, I received a notification from Google Search Console about a new coverage issue: "Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404" I had no clue what Soft 404 is. Of course I know what 404 is. It is a common HTTP status code. It's received when you try to access content that doesn't...

Have you ever been wondering why some people can sell pretty much anything? They aren't necessarily the best at their field, the smartest, the most charismatic, the most skilful or knowledgeable, or other ways that great. But somehow they just can influence people and make them want everything they offer. It seems like magic. Well, it's not exactly magic. The best way to get people to buy whatever you are offering is to build your authority and expert status. Whether you're offering crafts, courses, art, web design, coaching or any other services or products, being an authority of a subject...

For the creative types, like you and me, using stock photos on your branding, social media and website can feel shameful. I mean, you are creative, so why won't you create your own photos and other images? Sure, if you have a wast collection of photos and other images that fit your brand, or have the time and energy to create them for each blog post, social media update and branding, that's great. And if you have the money, you can hire a photographer to create you a full stock of your own branded photos. Both these options are fine. And then there are times when you need a quick pic that...

By now, you have probably heard about the idea of defining your ideal client. It's a common exercise for identifying your customer base, for better marketing. Understanding who you are targeting, what are their needs and why they would buy your products or services is important. It gives you an image of what sort of visuals, colours and language to use in your branding. It helps you to build your service packages and make your products better. It gives you an idea on how to price your offerings. It works as a big part of your marketing. Earlier the entrepreneurial folks and marketers talked...

I've been sitting on this post for a while. It is a difficult subject for me. I'm afraid of sounding whiny, but also that this may be taken the wrong way. Perhaps someone I wasn't even thinking about here will take this personally. Maybe I will end up losing followers on some social media site. Maybe people will quit reading my blog. Or someone will decide against working with me, making some weird false assumptions about how I conduct myself. The thing is, I have a strange confession to make: I don't really like having conversations online. Especially at comment sections, forums, and such...

Publishing manifestos isn't just for politicians or awful and violent people radicalised at online forums. Anyone can write their own manifesto. I highly recommend it for those who wish to define their personal brand or build a creative business. A manifesto is at the same time a statement and a call to action. It can provoke change, and create movements. It influences and motivates. The word manifesto comes from Latin word manifestum, meaning clear or conspicuous. It creates clarity for you and for your customers. "Create a manifesto for your business or brand to ignite inspiration, clarity...

For a creative person like you, marketing often seems bothersome, boring, and stressful. It's easy to think that marketing is just for very sleazy and salesy people. That you are better than that, an artist who doesn't bother with such mundanities. I get it. That's how I used to think. I created art and designs, and didn't think marketing could have anything to do with creativity. Recently I've been in this slump with my business, blogging and pretty much everything. Including marketing, which is supposed to be of my thing. You can't be a Wizard of Online Marketing, if you don't feel like...

Personal branding is a subject which provokes strong emotions in many people. Some think personal branding is something sleazy and somehow below them. They tell others they don't have a personal brand or they wouldn't do personal branding. However, they don't understand that even saying such things is part of their personal brand. Everyone has a personal brand, everyone does personal branding. Often without without giving it any thought, and by complete accident. The term branding has a less than pleasant background. It comes from actually burning marks on things, people and other animals....