Have you ever imagined what life would look like if you couldn’t Google it? I can hardly paint that picture.
There is one crazy slogan in my house that I am not sure whether to say it is over used or abused. The phase, ‘Google it, Google is your friend’. From doing homework with my kids to my freelance writing career, Google has been exactly that; my friend.
Think about it, is it possible to go for a day without doing a Google search? I doubt.
Earlier this year, I found myself singing to the tune of taking my business online to match my lifetime goal.
By the way, my lifetime goal is to travel to a new town in a new country for two weeks every three months! Freaking hot goal, right?
Oh yes, and I intend to make it happen or as my people say. “I intend to Happen It.”
(Please don’t laugh about that. It makes the deal actionable.)
To action my goal, my best shot was to resume writing full throttle. I had slowed down writing after publishing my first book “Millions of Robots”. The book is now available on Amazon, thanks to Google. Without Google, I would not have experienced the power of Ice Cream Book reader. I used Ice Cream to test how my book would look like in various mobile gadgets.
The weird thing in my life is that I tend to over celebrate after a victory. I found myself not bothered to write blogs or do YouTube videos after the book launch. That made me sad and unsettled. I kept scribbling on pieces of papers thoughts that were crossing my mind. I knew I needed to write but the thoughts came out unformed leading to uncertainty.
During the first week of March, having worked up in the dark hours of the morning, I found myself Googling about. Among the searches I carried out included freelance writing. I had been on Facebook and one of my friends had shared a post on the topic. I had my YouTube channel open but was not too focused on it.
I opened a new tab on Chrome and typed, ‘How to earn from freelance writing in Kenya’. Does not sound educated, does it?
What came up amazed me! Someone by the name Walter Akolo of Freelancer Kenya had been in this game long enough. He even had a free mini-course on how to go about making money as a freelance writer. Now, I am not one to buy into stuff (Slap the doubting Thomas out of me) so I decided to also Google Walter a little further. I had a conviction that I would dig out some dirt somewhere about him.
To my disappointment, there was none. The guy had a clean background. That led to my signing in for his free course and the beginning of my freelance writing career.
Fast forward to July this year. After attending Ajira Digital training, my career accelerated on full throttle. My chat with Zeddy, a software developer working for Google in Kenya opened my eyes. I realized that at least 70% of my business could go online by the end of the year. He took time to look at my website and advised me to write more and make it search engine friendly. At the time Google did not want to eat my cookies.
My website needed a make over hence ‘Google It’ became my daily slogan. Here are some of the instances where I used Google to make my website the search engine’s darling. The same helped me to kick start my freelance writing career.
1. Changing my WordPress theme.
I used Google to search for free themes that are mobile friendly. Zeddy had warned me that Google did not favor websites that were not responsive. This took me two days of searching and testing various themes. Worth noting, before testing any theme, I had to search for more information about it. Talk of Googling the Google results.
2. Setting up my website to suit that of a freelancer.
My previous website was more focused on mentoring. Using Google, I searched for other freelance writers and studied their websites. Watching out for their personal styles gave me a concrete idea of how I would structure my own. The decision to place the “Hire me” call came in handy.
3. Selecting suitable plugins
Setting up a WordPress website can end up being a futile task without the right plugins. I had to Google up various plugins and understand their application. Plugins that appeared on page one of Google search with good rating become my favorites. Among my favorite ones include:
- UpdraftPlus for backing up your website
- YoastSEO for Search Engine Optimization
- W3 Total Cache for speed and performance optimization
- Floating Social Bar to float social media button on your website
- Login Lockdown to limit login attempts
- 8 Degree Coming Soon page to allow you construct your page while keeping your guests relaxed.
- Contact Form 7 for your contact page
4. Learning Search Engine Optimization
This is a continuous process for me and many other freelance writers. Selecting the right phrases to use in an article or the general content of your website is a tricky journey. Google comes in handy in providing articles written by experts on this field. From using long tail keywords to how to place them in the article, all these advice is ease to Google up.
5. Getting better at writing freelance-worthy articles
This is epitome of my growth as a writer courtesy of Google. All I need to do is Google top freelance writers. I landed a good number of those and have continued to follow their work up to date. Among them are Walter Akolo, Danny Margulies and Jorden Roper.
6. Adopting suitable editing tools
One of the funniest searches I have Googled as a writer are “Write Killa headlines”. Sad to say, Google corrected me on that insisting that I use ‘killer’.
I think Google should slang a bit.
I went on to search “Marketing friendly articles” and “Romantic Sales letters”. I hope Google does not keep a record of such. (Covers her face to hide).
From such, Google was kind to give me several tools. Three of my best tools in article writing.
- Hemmingway App:
Enables me to write shorter and easy to comprehend sentences.
- CoSchedule headline analyzer:
If you are looking for the killer headlines that knock out even the lovely Google out, this is your tool.
- EMV headline analyzer:
I use it alongside Coschedule get you salivating at my headlines.
7. Getting my website known so that you Google it as I earn from it.
Google grants me two tools for this.
- Google Search Console helps me check the visibility of my website. Funny, there are many websites created today that Google cannot index. This is because the owners have not called Google to index the site. (What a waste!)
- Google Adsense places adverts in specific places in my website. Through the advers, I generate revenue when my audience view or click on them. Isn’t this awesome?
Well, that has been my journey with Google so far. I would not want to wake up and not find Google working because I earn a living from it.. Did you know that YouTube is a product of Google? A good reason to keep sharing your powerful messages via YouTube. But remember to monetize the videos so that you earn like I do. All I can say for now is, what a friend I have in Google!
Total Disclosure: Just so you know, I wrote this while 100% sober. Just Google It!