Today, our dear blog readers, I have the pleasure of sharing my interview with Heather Lloyd-Martin: CEO of seocopywriting.com, a “pioneer of SEO copywriting” (as described by Forbes), an international speaker, book author, SEO Copywriting Certification developer, one of the top women in SEO of our time and overall a lovely person who enjoys helping her clients (among whom are a number of Fortune 500 companies) boost their search positions and improve conversions. So without further ado, let’s get to it!
Victoria Galperina: Hi Heather, could you please tell our blog readers a bit about yourself? Perhaps some career highlights and main values.
Heather Lloyd-Martin: Sure! I've been working in the SEO industry – specifically SEO copywriting – for about 18 years. Back when I started, Google wasn't around, keyphrase research tools didn't exist and we were optimizing for Alta Vista (remember them?!) :)
Today, I teach in-house and freelance copywriters how to write content that drives traffic, positions and – most importantly – makes money. I also consult with clients and oversee the SEO Copywriting Certification training, which is a continually-updated training resource for writers.
Teaching and talking about writing strategies is my passion. I love showing people how their writing can have a bigger bottom-line impact (and resonate with their readers even more) by learning some tried-and-true strategies. Those "aha" moments -- the moments when clients realize that doing things slightly differently will help their positions/conversions -- are awesome.
VG: How and when did you decide to start your own business?
HL: I went out on my own about 20 years ago. Back then, my boss had a 2800 baud modem, and would spend most of his day online. I realized that I could try my hand at being an online writer, so I quit my job, opened a business account with $100 and started freelancing.
I had no previous business experience, no business plan and no safety net. I just went for it. I'm so glad I did!
VG: How would you describe your typical work day?
HL: My day is pretty regimented. I'm a big "process" person, as I find I get more done when I'm organized.
I tend to wake up early, work on a project and then check email. After that, I work out for around 90 minutes, come back home, and start the second part of my day.
I typically work around six hours a day, although this varies a lot. Some days are much busier. Some are lighter. And yes, there are the occasional weekends.
VG: What are the top 3 things you enjoy about your work?
HL: The freedom – I work how I want, when I want. :) Sure, there are busy times – but I can typically control my schedule.
The variety – there is always something new to learn! I get bored easily, but SEO/search/content still excites me. Go figure.
The people – I love the SEO/digital marketing community. The SEO "first generation" folks are still pretty tight and are like an extended family. I feel so lucky that I've been able to work with and learn from these folks!
VG: What is success in your opinion? Based on your definition, would you call yourself successful?
HL: My definition of success has changed so much over the years. It used to be more centered on money, branding and reaching financial goals. Today, I feel success means:
- I'm constantly growing and challenging myself
- I keep my work/life balance in check
- I'm happy
Fortunately, I feel successful. And grateful, too. :)
VG: Being one of the top women in SEO, you surely know a lot about it. Based on your own knowledge and experience, what are the three top things young bloggers should start doing right now to improve their rankings?
HL: Learn everything you can about analytics. It's important. Plus, understanding the data will help you grow as a writer.
Keyphrase research is still important! Don't ignore it, even if it feels like an extra step.
Don't be afraid of feedback. Sometimes, you're going to hear "your writing sucks." It's never fun to hear, but you do learn from it. Intelligent feedback is another thing that helps you grow as a writer.
VG: Given a chance to go back in time, would you change anything in your past? If so, what would it be?
HL: I would have gotten involved with affiliate marketing sooner. Seriously. I dabbled in it some, but I wish I would have learned more back in the day.
VG: What role does affiliate marketing play in your overall marketing strategy?
HL: Right now, it doesn't. But it will...stay tuned!
VG: Where do you see yourself in the future? Are you already planning any new endeavors?
HL: From a business perspective, I plan to create more training programs and possibly run mini-workshops around the U.S. From a personal perspective, I'm looking forward to more adventure travel. I've learned that fun opportunities always come my way, if I'm looking for them. So, I'm always open to the possibilities. Who knows what the future will hold! ;)
Thank you for your time and insights, Heather!
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If you have any questions for Heather, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.