Ask Yoast: what’s a slug?

Andrew Raynor

 

 

For this edition of Ask Yoast, we received a question that belongs in the SEO basics category: what’s a slug? The answer is simple because it’s the piece of the URL that distinguishes a post. In this Ask Yoast, Joost explains what a slug is and what its SEO benefits are.

This Ask Yoast is all about the following question:

“What’s a slug? What’s the difference with a URL? And what is the SEO benefit of a slug?

Check out the video or read the answer below!

What’s a slug?

Can’t watch the video? Read the transcript here:

“Slug” is actually a word that comes from the WordPress community. A “slug” is the piece of the URL that distinguishes that post. So if you have yoast.com/wordpress-seo, the URL for our WordPress SEO article, then WordPress SEO is the bit that identifies that page as being our WordPress SEO article. It’s what our system uses to recognize that it has to serve you that specific page. It’s the defining part of the URL.

The SEO benefit of a slug is that you can change the words in there and make sure that it has the words that you really want to rank for, because it’s one of the indicators to Google of what a page is about. It’s also one of the things that people see in the search results. So, if you see in the search results ten different URLs underneath each other, about a certain topic, like WordPress SEO, and you see our yoast.com/wordpress-seo, that’s very on point and people might click on that a lot easier than if it’s yoast.com/?P=613458, which is the old default of WordPress.

So that’s what a “slug” is and why it has SEO benefit.

Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we try to help you out with your SEO issues! Are you in doubt what’s best for your site’s SEO? We’ll come to the rescue! Just send your question to ask@yoast.com.

Read more: ‘SEO friendly URLs’ »

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Why the World Needs More Patrons Than You May Realize

Andrew Raynor

My first year out of college, I didn’t make any money. Instead, I spent the year traveling across North America with a band. We even spent a short stint in Taiwan. We were huge in Taipei. Moving from city to city, we would play shows in exchange for tips and often a free meal.

Why the World Needs More Patrons

No matter where we went, we always met a well-intentioned family who swore their casserole was the world’s greatest hot dish. And so it went. For an entire year, we lived off the generosity of other people, staying in their homes and eating their casseroles.

Everything we did that year cost something. The gas for the van. The meals on the road. The occasional night in a hotel when we couldn’t find a host home. It all had to be paid for by someone.

But that year, my six bandmates and I didn’t have to worry about that. Because there were people who were concerned about those things for us. They paid our bills and took care of our expenses so that we could focus on playing music. These were our manager and booking manager, as well as those incredible people who took us into their homes.

There is a word for such a person. It’s an old concept, and although we don’t use the term too often today, the idea endures. The term we might use to describe a generous person who provides for the livelihood of an artist is an unfamiliar one but it shouldn’t be. Because wherever we look, these people are all around us.

What do you call such a person who pays for the livelihood of an artist?

A patron, of course.

The richest artist of the Renaissance

In one of his poems, the Renaissance artist Michelangelo, renowned for his frugality and simple living, complained that his art had left him “poor, old and working as a servant of others.” A recent discovery, however, reveals that Michelangelo might not have been telling the truth.

In the mid-1990s, an art professor at the University of Syracuse in Florence named Rab Hatfield stumbled upon two previously unknown bank accounts held by the famous Italian artist. He discovered a fortune worth what would be nearly $47 million USD, in effect making Michelangelo not only the richest artist of his time, surpassing the wealth of contemporaries such as Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, but one of the richest artist the world has ever seen.

In the Accademia Gallerie in Florence stand four statues called The Unfinished Slaves. They were commissioned by Pope Julius for Michelangelo but were never completed. Traditionally, it has been thought that the Renaissance artist didn’t finish these works because there was not enough funding.

But if Michelangelo was not the poor, tired servant he claimed to be, how can this be? Is it possible that it wasn’t an issue of money, but of interest? Maybe he didn’t finish the statues because he lacked the finances. Maybe he simply chose not to complete them, which may have been a statement in and of itself.

We are used to telling a story about art and money that has endured for years. We tend to pit creative genius against financial, as if the two cannot coexist. We even have terms like “starving artist” and “sellout” to reinforce this tension.

As a writer, I am prone to such a dichotomy myself, believing that commercially successful work and meaningful creations are mutually exclusive. But what if that weren’t true? What if the image of the starving artist slaving away at his creations without pay was almost always a myth?

What if art and money have maintained a relationship that goes back to the very beginning of time? Would that change the way we approach both art and money?

A third way

There is, I think, a felt need to resolve this tension between doing work that matters—what we might more broadly think of as “art”—and making a living.

It’s easy to polarize these as opposites. When we see a fringe musician achieve phenomenal success and then seemingly alter the style of her music, we say that person has “sold out.” We long for the more innocent days of her purer art, when she wasn’t tempted or tainted by riches.

But is this always the effect when art and money collide? Or are the two more closely related than we would like to believe?

In every era of human history, artists have had to confront the issue of how they will earn a living. Will they resign themselves to a bohemian lifestyle, wallowing in squalor while hoping to create work that endures? Or will he give in to the temptations of commercial enterprises, mass producing work that is popular but ultimately unimportant?

Maybe there is a third way.

I want to argue that every artist, and by that I mean anyone who offers a meaningful contribution to the world, needs a patron. Some will be lucky enough to discover a generous benefactor to pay their bills, while others will find supportive communities to fill such a role. And even others will find ways to become their own patron, as Michelangelo did.

What is an artist?

An artist is anyone who does meaningful creative work and struggles with the tension between doing something important and something that pays the bills. Those of us who want to make a difference with our vocations, at some point, have to grapple with how we pursue personal mastery of a skill and still buy groceries.

What is a patron?

Patrons, though we often don’t recognize them, are all around us. The publisher who pays an author an advance before her book sells a single copy is a patron. But so is the venture capitalist who funds a startup in Silicon Valley before the company turns a profit or the church who pays a pastor’s salary so he can focus on the ministry.

Every time we launch Tribe Writers, people step forward to purchase the course for someone else. Sometimes it’s a spouse supporting their partner’s writing dream. Sometimes it’s a friend who knows a struggling author who needs help getting over a hurdle. And sometimes, it’s a stranger who anonymously offers a scholarship because they believe in the value of creative work pursued in service of others.

Patrons do not just make the arts possible. They make the world you and I inhabit—and so often take for granted—possible. If you aspire to create something of value and share it with the world, you are going to need a patron. And in due time, the world may need you to become one.

Who has served as a patron in your creative life? How have you been a patron for others or yourself? Share in the comments.

Andrew Raynor

Website maintenance: 404 error pages

Andrew Raynor

 

 

If your website means anything for your business, you should not forget to schedule time to do maintenance on it. Therefore we regularly write about the things you should do to keep your site in shape. In this post we’ll write about the most basic of all: checking for 404 error pages.

Note: this post does not cover how to create a good 404 page, we do have an extensive post on that, though: Practical guide to creating a 404 error page.

404 error pages and broken links

One of the most annoying things that can happen to a visitor is to hit a 404 on your website. Search engine spiders tend to not like such errors much either. Annoyingly search engines often encounter other types of 404s than your visitors, which is why the first section of this post is split in two:

1. Measuring visitor 404 error pages

If you use the MonsterInsights plugin, it’ll automatically tag your 404 pages for you. So then, if you go into your Google Analytics account and go to Behavior → Site Content → Content Drilldown and search for “404.html”, you’ll find a ton of info about your 404s (click for larger version):

Google Analytics report showing 404 error pages

You’ll see URLs like this:

/404.html?page=/wordpress/plugin/local-seo/&from=https://yoast.com/articles/wordpress-seo/

This tells you two things:

  • The 404 URL was /wordpress/plugin/local-seo/ (it lacks an s after plugin)
  • It was linked to from our WordPress SEO article.

Using this info, you can fix the 404 and go into the article and fix the link.

As you can see from the above screenshot, we actually get 404s too. We break things all the time because our website is a constant work in progress. I don’t think anyone can totally prevent creating 404 errors on his or her site. Making sure that you notice it when you’re breaking things is a good way of not looking stupid for too long though.

2. Measuring bot 404 error pages

Next to 404s for visitors, search engines will also encounter 404s on your site that can be quite different. You can find the 404s that search engine spiders encounter by logging into their respective Webmaster Tools programs. There are three webmaster tools programs that can give you indexation reports, in which they tell you which 404s they encountered:

  1. Bing Webmaster Tools under Reports & Data → Crawl Information
  2. Google Search Console under Crawl → Crawl Errors
  3. Yandex Webmaster under Indexing → Excluded Pages → HTTP Status: Not Found (404)

One of the weird things you’ll find if you’re looking into those Webmaster Tools programs is that search engine spiders can encounter 404s that normal users would never get to. This is because a search spider will crawl just about anything on most sites, so even links that are hidden will be followed.

If you’re serious about website maintenance, you might want to find these 404s before search engines encounter them. In that case, spidering your site with a tool like Xenu or (our favorite) Screaming Frog will give you a lot of insight. These tools are built specifically to behave just like search engine spiders and will therefore help you find a lot of issues.

Fixing 404 errors

Now that we’ve found all these 404 errors, it’s time to fix them. If you know what caused the 404 and you can fix the link that caused it, it’s best to do that. This will be the best indication of quality of your site for both users and search engines.

As search engines will continue to hit those URLs for quite a while, it actually makes sense to still redirect those faulty URLs to the right pages as well. To create those redirects, there are several things you can do:

  • Create them manually in your .htaccess or your NGINX server config
    While this is not for the faint of heart, it’s often one of the fastest methods available if you have the know-how and the access to do it.
  • Create them with a redirect plugin
    There are several redirect plugins on the market, the most well known one being Redirection. This is a lot easier but has the disadvantage of being a lot slower as to do the redirect, the entire WordPress install has to load first. This usually adds half a second to a second to the load time for that particular redirect.
  • Create them with our Yoast SEO Premium plugin
    Our Yoast SEO Premium plugin has a redirect module that allows you to make redirects with the ease of the WordPress interface, but also allows you to save those to your .htaccess file or a NGINX include file, so they get executed with the speed of the first option above. It actually also has another few nifty options: you can get the 404 errors from Google Search Console straight in your WordPress install and redirect them straight away, and it’ll add a nice button in your WordPress toolbar if you’re on a 404 page:

Redirect button WordPress SEO Premium

Check for image / embed errors

If you’d look at your server logs, you’d get 404 errors of a different type too: 404s for broken images or broken video embeds. You might also have errors that don’t show up in your logs, like broken YouTube video embeds. They don’t cause the entire page not to work, but they do look sloppy. These types of errors are harder to find because webmaster tools programs don’t report them as reliable and you can’t track them with something like Google Analytics either.

The easiest method to find these broken images and embeds is using one of the aforementioned spiders. Screaming Frog in particular is very good at finding broken images. Another method is to check your server logs and go through them searching for a combination of 404 and “.jpg” and “.png”.

How often should you check for 404 errors?

You should be checking your 404s at least once every month and on a bigger site, every week. It doesn’t really depend on how much visitors you have but much more on how much content you have and create and how much can go wrong because of that. The first time you start looking into and trying to fix your 404 error pages you might find out that there are a lot of them and it can take quite a bit of time… Try to make it a habit so you’ll at least find the important ones quickly.

If you can’t wait and want to make sure you’re doing the best you can right now, why not order a website review?

Read more: ‘Clean up old posts and pages’ »

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Why every developer should read Plato

Andrew Raynor

 

 

At WordCamp Milano, I gave a talk with the enticing title Why every developer should read Plato. The short answer to that question: to learn Socratic thinking. In this post, I will share some of my personal journeys as a philosopher in software development. In doing so, I will also introduce a few philosophical concepts that might help you level up your skills as a developer.

Why I chose philosophy

I never viewed myself as a technical person. As soon as I graduated from high school, I started studying Dutch language and literature. After one year I switched to Philosophy. I wanted to get to the bottom of things. Any “working” theory about something just wasn’t good enough for me. I wasn’t so much interested in actually arriving at conclusions and applying them somehow. Instead, I wanted to spend my time discovering more fundamental principles and truths that lay behind this big pile of “knowledge” they were throwing at us at the university.

Rationalism

When I say I want to spend my time discovering more fundamental principles, I am already taking a Platonic stance. Let’s start with noticing how discovery implies there’s already something in place to be discovered. It implies there is some objective or universal truth that exists independent of us. Any knowledge of it should, therefore, be present in us before our awareness or perception of it. We call this a priori knowledge.

We can use mathematical examples to demonstrate this. Given certain mathematical axioms, we know that the outcome of 1 + 6 is 7. Looking for another outcome of this equation in the wild would be somewhat pointless. By the nature of numbers and of addition as it is known to us, we know 1 + 6 = 7. We might investigate why or how this is the case. We might come up with mathematical proof to support this knowledge. But it makes little to no sense to look for possible falsifying evidence against this outcome.

Plato

Plato (together with Socrates and Aristotle) is considered to be the father of western philosophy. He is most famous for his writings about Socrates and his theory of forms. In his theory of forms, Plato assumes the existence of a realm of abstract forms, which contain the essential truth of all we see in the world around us. It is another way of saying we understand the world around us through abstractions.

For Plato, abstractions are more real than the things themselves. It’s true because the things themselves change through time, while their abstract forms are eternal. The abstract form of a chair as an object devised for sitting doesn’t lose its meaning while an actual chair burns in a fire. The important thing to remember here is that when inquiring anything in the world around us, we should focus on the abstractions, not the concretions.

Socrates

Socrates is the main character in Plato’s writing and one of the greatest philosophers who has ever lived. He is a master of inquiry by constantly acting as a midwife, helping to give birth to the ideas of his counterparts through dialogue and asking questions. You could say that Socrates quality is that he has mastered the art of asking questions. What makes him so good?

Socratic irony

Socrates’ success comes from his irony. He starts with a very straightforward and elegant assumption; I know that I know nothing. From this assumption, he automatically takes the seat of the student and puts his counterparts in the role of the teacher. He can neither accept nor reject any knowledge conveyed by his teachers as the truth because Socrates knows nothing! Thus, the only thing Socrates can do is inquire further into the thought of his counterparts.

Anamnesis

The discovery of truth is called anamnesis. How does this work if it’s not possible to know anything? According to Plato, we can access the abstract forms through our mind. However, we cannot own them. Here’s where Socrates comes in. Our own understanding of the truth can never be entirely true. We can always replace our conscious understanding of the truth with a “truer” version, but we can’t replace it with the truth itself.

The moment in which we realize a previously held understanding to be false is then the real discovery. In light of the truth and through Socratic inquiry of our thought process, we discover our beliefs to be false. We call this anamnesis. We can now replace our old understanding with a better, more fine-grained understanding or we remain without one.

Software development

The Socratic inquiry is a highly useful practice to use in software development, especially in architecting software and debugging. I was able to experience that myself for the first time in 2012 when I joined Innovation Factory for a web development internship. I had no prior knowledge of software development but was able to add value from the start by simply asking questions to my seniors.

In the beginning, I felt a bit ashamed for asking my colleague’s many questions. To me, it seemed like I was taking valuable time from my seniors. Like Socrates, I didn’t even know if what they explained to me made any sense at all since I was still such a blank page. But every time I asked another innocent question, my seniors responded enthusiastically. They were amazed by the fact that they also didn’t know how to explain the things they took for granted every day. It became a great learning experience for the both of us.

Pragmatic inquiry

As software developers, we are pragmatic. We fix things, we deliver. We do magic, but we need a use case to do it. Things need to be useful; otherwise, they become wasteful. How do we make sure Socratic inquiry remains useful? Yes, we do want better solutions by discovering better abstractions, but we don’t want to end up without a solution, and we definitely don’t want to get stuck in endless inquiry!

Well, aren’t we lucky? As developers, we always have a concrete problem to solve under real conditions. There are the programming languages, the frameworks and the tooling surrounding our applications. There’s the user story or the bug report, and finally, there’s a deadline or a velocity that we have committed to. These are the conditions within which we do our work. As long as we meet those conditions, we are free to inquire!

So, read Plato!

I hope I’ve convinced you now of the value of Socratic inquiry. If you want to learn more, why not learn from the master himself? Plato has written dozens of dialogues in which Socrates is the key figure. Even if you are not a philosopher, these dialogues are still lots of fun to read! They are often stories about five guys sitting in a bar discussing the meaning of beauty, justice, good and evil.

If you don’t want to learn from a book, you can learn in practice. Start pair programming! If there’s one practice in our craft today where you can learn Socratic inquiry, it’s pair programming. As a navigator, try to be ignorant. Simply ask the driver to explain why he is doing the things he’s doing. You’ll be surprised how much better the code will turn out to be!

Read more: ‘Documenting JavaScript in WordPress’ »

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How to get Google to crawl your site faster

Andrew Raynor

 

 

A question that often pops up for sites that are chasing “hot topics” is: how to get Google to crawl our site faster? This could be either because you have a big site and want to see changes faster or because you’re optimizing a news site. There are a few things you can do to improve your crawl speed. We’ll cover them in this post.

There are a couple of possible reasons why Google is slow when spidering your site. The first might seem obvious: if Google doesn’t find enough (quality) links pointing to your site, it doesn’t think your site is very important. The other reasons are technical: it has too much to crawl on your site, your site is too slow, or it’s encountering too many errors.

Your site doesn’t have enough authority

When your site doesn’t have enough quality inbound links, Google will not crawl your site very quickly. You can imagine it doesn’t necessarily want to spend much time on a site that it doesn’t deem important. When your site is brand new, this will be the case.

So, when you need more crawl action on your site, start doing some link building. We’ve written about that topic before, I’d suggest reading these three posts as I won’t go into it any further here:

  1. Link building from a holistic SEO perspective
  2. Link building, what not to do
  3. 6 steps to a successful link building strategy

If the above three posts are not enough for you, there’s more in our link building archive.

Technical reasons for slow crawling

The technical reasons for Google to crawl your site slowly can be divided into three groups: your site is too slow, you have too many errors, or you have too many URLs.

Your server is slow

The main reason why we see Google crawling sites slowly, is when the site itself is actually slow. Google actually indicates this to you when this is the case, on the “crawl rate” page of Google Search Console. If this is the case, Google might show you a “faster” option:

Crawl faster

Our advice: set it to “Faster”, but don’t stop with that: make your server respond faster, either by upgrading your hosting, or improving your site’s caching. Chances are that when Google is suffering long load times, your users are as well.

Too many errors on your site

If you have a lot of errors on your site for Google, Google will start crawling slowly too. To speed up the crawl process, fix those errors. Simply 301 redirect those erroring pages to proper URLs on your site.

If you don’t know where to find those errors: use the Google Search Console integration in Yoast SEO. Or log into Google Search Console. If you have access to your site’s access logs, you can also look at those, preferably with a tool like Screaming Frog’s Log file analyzer.

To prevent your site from being crawled slowly, it’s important that you regularly look at your site’s errors and fix them. We have a more extensive article on fixing 404 errors.

When your site is down too much, Google will slow down incredibly hard. If this happens because of your hosting, switch hosting. Make sure to check on your site’s uptime with a tool like Pingdom.

Too many URLs

If you simply have too many URLs on your site, Google might crawl a lot but it will never be enough. This can happen because of faceted search navigation for instance, or another system on your site that simply generates too many URLs. To figure out whether this is the case for you, it’s always wise to regularly crawl your own site. You can either do that manually with Screaming Frog’s SEO spider, or with a tool like OnPage.org.

Tips to increase your crawl speed

A couple of simple tips to increase your site’s crawl speed:

  • Using the methods above, find and fix all the errors.
  • Make sure your site is fast.
  • Add an XML sitemap to your site and submit it to the search engines.
  • If all of that fails to improve your crawl speed, start link building!

Specifically for news sites, if you want to be indexed faster, you should also look at our News SEO plugin. When you’re in (or want to be in) Google News, it can help make sure you meet all the technical requirements.

Read more: ‘Site speed: tools and suggestions’ »

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Use Yoast SEO to make your content findable

Andrew Raynor

 

 

If you want to write awesome and SEO-friendly content, you should write findable content. Findability has to do with maximizing the likelihood your content will be picked up by the search engines. In this post, I’ll explain how the Yoast SEO plugin will help you to make your posts findable.

What is findable content?

Search Engine Optimization is focused on making your web pages rank well in the search engines. You want to be found on terms that are important to you. Making sure your content is findable, is making sure that you do things for Google to be able to rank your content in the search engines. Findability is about tweaking your post or page in such a way that ranking in the search engines will become more likely.

Findability is the final step

Making your post findable should be the last step in the process of writing SEO-friendly and awesome blog posts. The very first step in any SEO strategy is executing proper keyword research. You have to know which words your audience uses while searching. After that, you should focus on having original content. This content should be easy to read as well. Findability should never compromise the originality of your ideas nor the readability of your text. Without making any concessions to the awesomeness of your post, you could do some things to make sure that Google understands your article just a little bit better.

Yoast SEO

Our Yoast SEO plugin can really help you to make your content findable. If you’ve written your article, focused on that original idea and optimized the readability of your post, you should take a look at the SEO analysis in Yoast SEO.

content analysis in yoast seo

The red and orange bullets will indicate which aspects of your findability need a little bit more attention. Our plugin perhaps suggests to use your focus keyword a little bit more often. Maybe, you should put it in the first paragraph or in one of the headings. Yoast SEO will help you to optimize your snippet preview as well. You could even optimize for multiple keywords if you use our premium plugin. Definitely do that, as long as the quality of your post remains the same.

Stop chasing all those green bullets!

Some Yoast SEO users become obsessed with the green bullets. However, you don’t have to have all of your bullets green in order to write a findable blog post. I never have all my bullets green. If you have to work really hard for those bullets, you’re probably stretching it a bit. Remember that findability should never compromise the originality of your post, nor the readability of your copy. If your overall bullet is green, your content is well optimized and you’re good to go!

Read more: ‘How to choose the perfact focus keyword’ »

SEO New Hampshire

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The One Life-changing Writing Resource Nobody Told Me About

Andrew Raynor

If something like Tribe Writers was around when I started blogging over five years ago, my writing journey would’ve been much smoother. I definitely could’ve avoided struggling for seven years before gaining traction with an audience online.

The One Life-changing Writing Resource Nobody Told Me About

Nobody told me that you didn’t have to spin your wheels. Nobody told me that there was a proven process to getting your writing noticed. I wasted a lot of time and a lot of words trying to do it on my own.

If I had known that there were thousands of other writers out there to encourage me and a process that worked that I could just follow, I’d be a lot farther today than I currently am.

That’s one reason Tribe Writers exists. I wanted to create the resource I wished for when I started writing online. A library of resources, practical applications, and a community to encourage and educate one another.

I’m honored that thousands of authors and bloggers are now Tribe Writers. And I would be remiss if I didn’t share a few of their stories with you.

From eight kids to over a million readers

Mike Berry joined Tribe Writers, and three years later, Confessions of a Parent is now read in 14 countries around the globe, by more than 100,000 people a month. And here’s how it happened:

It revolutionized my writing and my blog, but more than that, it changed my life. I learned how to find my writing voice and write with brevity.

I discovered the power of a platform and how simple it was to build one. I discovered that I was a writer. No longer would I hide what I was called to be!

That kind of realization, followed by action, can be powerful.

“More than the numbers,” Mike told me, “we have been able to reach out and have honest conversations with parents from Australia to England to Canada to the United States.”

Join Tribe Writers and discover just how far your message can reach.

Guest posting for celebrities like Cameron Diaz

A common misconception about celebrity blogs is they are difficult to guest post on. However, if you position yourself correctly and take your writing seriously, anyone can do it.

Elizabeth Bradley enrolled in Tribe Writers and used the practical applications to successfully land guest posting opportunities on celebrity blogs. Her feedback on the course is one of my favorites:

Joining Tribe Writers nearly three years or so ago was one of the best decisions I made for my career. It helped me connect with a like-minded community and learn from the best.

The training modules are super high-quality, and contain actionable advice that helped me get focused on building my platform before launching my book.

I’m currently working on two books, an ebook on living in Thailand, and a book for my Ideal Clients that will be called Thriving Coach.

Guest posting is a powerful tool for growing your platform. You develop relationships, increase the visibility of your content, and generate new opportunities.

Enroll in Tribe Writers now and learn how to connect with influencers.

Making a living writing fiction

The process of becoming a full-time writer rarely makes for good television. Each episode would feature a lone actor sitting at a desk typing for an hour. Writing for a living is much less romantic than Hollywood leads us to believe.

Stacy Claflin is a Tribe Writer alum and has gone on to become a full-time novelist writing across multiple genres. She continues to show up every day to write while running a daycare business and homeschooling her children. She didn’t leap without a parachute — she built a bridge, one book at a time.

Become a Tribe Writer and build your own bridge to your writing dream.

Finding your voice and losing over 260 pounds

Teresa Parker was an early Tribe Writer and part of the inaugural cohort at Tribe Intensive that was a precursor to the Tribe Conference.

What you don’t know about Teresa when you first meet her is that she’s lost over two hundred sixty pounds in addition to publishing three books, two study guides, and has thirty more book ideas in the pipeline.

Just yesterday, as we opened Tribe Writers for the Fall, Teresa sent me an email reflecting on her experience:

The first Tribe Intensive really helped make me get over my fear of continuing in the coaching bent…

More than anything you were instrumental in helping me understand where my destiny lies. At that Intensive you identified my voice as the Celebrity…

The one who says if I can do this, you can do this. To hear you say that solidified something that was churning inside me but I couldn’t quite voice.

Find your voice and become part of the Tribe Writers community.

If you’ve ever struggled with a blinking cursor, if you’ve ever wondered what to write about, if you’re unsure who you should be writing for, Tribe Writers is for you. If you do the work, I guarantee you’ll get the results. Click here to get started.

Andrew Raynor

Stop Waiting to be Picked or Your Dreams Will Die

Andrew Raynor

The reason publishers are signing authors who have built their own platforms is the same reason YouTube sensations are appearing in car commercials. They aren’t waiting to be picked.

Stop Waiting to be Picked

Every day, writers are choosing to in spite of the rumor that it’s too late to succeed. They’re deciding that now is always the best time to begin pursuing their calling. And this is what makes them so attractive.

Sure, there have been trailblazers and trendsetters who’ve come before. Many writers and bloggers have already staked their claim and found success. But if we know anything about history, it’s that it repeats itself.

Audiences are always ready for one more voice. One more leader. We’re always ready to hear from someone who is “crazy enough to change the world.” And the next leader could be you — if you would just stop waiting.

We all want to be picked

Of course, this is natural: the desire to be chosen, to fit in with society’s standards, to be liked by the cool kids. It’s also a myth.

For every person or group that picks you, there is one that doesn’t — or even a hundred of them. You can spend your whole life trying to please them all, and never take any action whatsoever toward your dream.

Or you can focus your attention on something that matters, like finding your tribe.

You must pick yourself

The real trick is not to wait, but to pick yourself, to “turn pro” in your head (as Steven Pressfield says). To believe you can achieve the same things that today’s biggest writers and bloggers have already achieved. To believe that it’s never too late to start.

This is how you become “legit” in the eyes of others, by the way — not by waiting for acknowledgment, or by waiting for the safest time to act, but by deciding against all odds that the time is now.

Our heroes do this

This is what we love about the most successful authors. They don’t care about the system. They don’t care about whether someone else got started in the so-called golden age of blogging and has an unfair advantage. They don’t care if a fellow writer has already built a big platform or written a bestselling book. They care about creating art or helping people or finding their tribe. They care about now, not then.

Of course, we also know they’re not exactly fearless in their quests. We’ve read enough biographies and seen enough interviews to know that our heroes are just as human and insecure as we are. Even if they did get started in the so-called golden age of blogging, they still fear having missed the golden age of literature, or the Renaissance, or the Romantic period. They still wonder if now is the right time — and then they act, anyway. They do something different with their fear. They don’t let it debilitate them. They choose to create and share their work, anyway.

They work through the fear instead of waiting to feel unafraid before creating their best work. And if they can, maybe you can, too. Maybe we all can.

Are you ready to finally pick yourself? Tribe Writers will help you find your voice and build the audience your writing deserves. Enroll before Midnight on Monday to get all the Tribe Conference 2016 videos for free ($100 bonus). Click here to learn more.

What is it you’re waiting to be picked for? Share in the comments.

*Hat tip to Seth Godin for giving me the language to articulate this idea.

Andrew Raynor

Ask Yoast: how to get most out of cornerstone content

Andrew Raynor

 

 

You’ve did it! You’ve written that awesome post that’s designated to be one of the cornerstone articles of your site. And now what? How can you show Google that it is one of the most important articles of your site?  This is an issue a lot of our site review customers struggle with. The answer is quite simple though!

In this Ask Yoast we’ll explain:

“How can I use cornerstone content to make my site rank?”

Check out the video or read the answer below!

Get most out of cornerstone content

Can’t watch the video? Read this transcript to learn how you’ll benefit from incorporating cornerstone content the right way.

“Well, when you’ve written that awesome post or article, you put it on your site. Then, you link all the other pieces of content about related topics to your cornerstone content article.

You can do a simple check to find out if Google sees your article as the most important article for a certain keyword on your site. Just type your site’s domain name (site: example.com) and the keyword you want to be found for in the Google search bar. For instance:

site:yoast.com cornerstone article

Then you look at which pages Google returns. Does it already return your cornerstone content article first? If so, well done!

If not? Link all the other pieces that are found in that search result to your cornerstone article and you should be good to go.

Good luck!”

Read more: ‘How to incorporate cornerstone content’ »

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we try to help you out with your SEO issues! Are you in doubt what’s best for your site’s SEO? We’ll come to the rescue! Just send your question to ask@yoast.com.

Keep reading: ‘Using cornerstone content to make your site rank’ »

SEO New Hampshire

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Stop Waiting to Be Picked or Your Dreams Will Die

Andrew Raynor

The reason publishers are signing authors who have built their own platforms is the same reason YouTube sensations are appearing in car commercials. They aren’t waiting to be picked.

Stop Waiting to be Picked

Every day, writers are choosing to in spite of the rumor that it’s too late to succeed. They’re deciding that now is always the best time to begin pursuing their calling. And this is what makes them so attractive.

Sure, there have been trailblazers and trendsetters who’ve come before. Many writers and bloggers have already staked their claim and found success. But if we know anything about history, it’s that it repeats itself.

Audiences are always ready for one more voice. One more leader. We’re always ready to hear from someone who is “crazy enough to change the world.” And the next leader could be you — if you would just stop waiting.

We all want to be picked

Of course, this is natural: the desire to be chosen, to fit in with society’s standards, to be liked by the cool kids. It’s also a myth.

For every person or group that picks you, there is one that doesn’t — or even a hundred of them. You can spend your whole life trying to please them all, and never take any action whatsoever toward your dream.

Or you can focus your attention on something that matters, like finding your tribe.

You must pick yourself

The real trick is not to wait, but to pick yourself, to “turn pro” in your head (as Steven Pressfield says). To believe you can achieve the same things that today’s biggest writers and bloggers have already achieved. To believe that it’s never too late to start.

This is how you become “legit” in the eyes of others, by the way — not by waiting for acknowledgment, or by waiting for the safest time to act, but by deciding against all odds that the time is now.

Our heroes do this

This is what we love about the most successful authors. They don’t care about the system. They don’t care about whether someone else got started in the so-called golden age of blogging and has an unfair advantage. They don’t care if a fellow writer has already built a big platform or written a bestselling book. They care about creating art or helping people or finding their tribe. They care about now, not then.

Of course, we also know they’re not exactly fearless in their quests. We’ve read enough biographies and seen enough interviews to know that our heroes are just as human and insecure as we are. Even if they did get started in the so-called golden age of blogging, they still fear having missed the golden age of literature, or the Renaissance, or the Romantic period. They still wonder if now is the right time — and then they act, anyway. They do something different with their fear. They don’t let it debilitate them. They choose to create and share their work, anyway.

They work through the fear instead of waiting to feel unafraid before creating their best work. And if they can, maybe you can, too. Maybe we all can.

Are you ready to finally pick yourself? Tribe Writers will help you find your voice and build the audience your writing deserves. Enroll before Midnight on Monday to get all the Tribe Conference 2016 videos for free ($100 bonus). Click here to learn more.

What is it you’re waiting to be picked for? Share in the comments.

*Hat tip to Seth Godin for giving me the language to articulate this idea.

Andrew Raynor