Hello everyone, I’m Jillian, your host, and today I’m excited to share with you an insightful conversation I had with SEO expert, Casey Markee. We delved into the recent Google updates, their impact on bloggers, how AI is changing blogging and what the future might look like as 3rd-party cookies get phased out, and how to position yourself for success in 2024.
Table of Contents
The Future of Blogging: AI and the Possible Decline of Ad Revenue
As we approach 2024, I posed a question to our audience: How do you plan to grow your income considering the competition from AI content and the potential decline in ad revenue due to the phase-out of third-party cookies?
I suggested that bloggers pivot by selling their own digital products and services to their audience. A tool I recommend is MiloTreeCart, which allows users to set up memberships, digital downloads, workshops, coaching, and mini-courses in less than ten minutes. It’s user-friendly and offers real people to provide assistance. For the first thousand VIP customers, there’s a one-time lifetime deal of $349 with no recurring fees, and a 30-day money-back guarantee is offered.
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The Emotional Journey of Bloggers Post-Google Updates
Casey Markee shares the emotional journey that bloggers have gone through after being hit by Google updates.
Many bloggers initially go through a stage of bargaining, hoping that the changes they made will improve their rankings. However, when they see that the updates didn’t have the desired impact, they move into a stage of depression. They realize that they won’t be able to achieve the same level of success as before. Eventually, they reach the acceptance stage, understanding that SEO is a long-term process and they need to make the necessary changes to recover.
Misconceptions about Google Updates and Content Structure
Casey clarified that FAQs and specific information are still relevant, but bloggers need to avoid overloading their posts with unnecessary content. He emphasized the importance of being useful and avoiding superfluous information. He advised bloggers to optimize their posts for different audiences by providing a clear answer at the top of the post and offering additional information for those who want more details.
The Role of AI in Content Creation
We discussed the evolving landscape of content creation and the potential impact of AI technology. We acknowledged the convenience and efficiency that AI brings to our lives but also expressed concerns about its potential to replace human creators. Casey emphasized that AI should be used as an efficiency boost and a way to fine-tune existing skills rather than relying solely on AI-generated content. He believes that bloggers can benefit from using AI tools to save time and focus on other aspects of their work.
The Impact of Recent Google Updates on Bloggers
Casey predictes that there may be another update in the near future, considering the significant changes seen in October. He mentions that platforms like Quora and Reddit have gained prominence in search results due to their user-generated content. However, he highlighted the challenge of determining the credibility and expertise of the contributors on these platforms.
The Importance of Focusing on What Bloggers Can Control
Casey emphasizes the importance of focusing on what bloggers can control, such as their own content. He advises bloggers to ensure their content is updated, useful, and concise. He also recommended interlinking new posts with related older posts to create a strong internal network.
The Future of AI and Blogging
Casey predicts that artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to grow, and bloggers who have been slow to embrace it will join the bandwagon in 2024. He believes that high school kids will increasingly help their parents run their businesses, and the loss of third-party cookie data in 2024 could have a negative effect on income. To compensate for this loss, bloggers will need to gather first-party data through email subscribers, site behavioral data studies, and loyalty programs.
The Significance of Third-Party Cookies and Their Impact on Blogging
We discussed the significance of third-party cookies and how they track users’ online activities. Casey mentioned that ad companies like Raviv and Mediavine have their own solutions to replace the lost cookie information. He advised bloggers to invest in their email efforts to track and engage their audience.
The Dominance of Google in the Search Engine Market
Casey discussed the dominance of Google in the search engine market and predicted that its traffic percentage will continue to rise. He believes that third-party search engines, no matter how much money they invest, cannot compete with Google’s market share.
The Importance of Being Human and Creating a Community
We concluded by acknowledging the fast-paced changes in the industry and the need for bloggers to find new ways to engage their audience. Casey emphasized the importance of being human and creating a community around the blog. He advised bloggers to focus on providing helpful content that meets the needs of users rather than just targeting keywords.
In this ever-evolving digital landscape, it’s crucial for us, as bloggers, to stay informed, adapt, and continue to provide valuable content to our audience. Stay tuned for more insightful discussions on the future of blogging.
Other related Blogger Genius Podcast episodes you’ll enjoy:
- Unlock Success: He Makes $10k/Month Selling Online Cooking Classes with Adam Sobel
- Unlock the Strategy: $1.5k in First Month from Ebooks & Workshops with Natasha Levai
- Why Hosting a Paid Workshop Is a Great Way to Make Easy Cash with JIllian Leslie
A Word About MiloTreeCart
Before we wrap up, I’d like to mention MiloTreeCart, the platform we built to help bloggers, online entrepreneurs, and coaches to sell digital products. With the holidays coming up, it’s a great opportunity to make money. Sign up for MiloTreeCart with a one-time payment or three payment option. We also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and the opportunity to have a call with me to develop your 2024 digital product strategy.
Transcript: “#306: The Future of Blogging: SEO Predictions for 2024 with Casey Markee”
Jillian Leslie (00:00:00) – Hi, I’m Jillian. Welcome to a brand new episode of The Blogger Genius Podcast. But before I launch in, I have a question for you. How are you planning to grow your income in 2024? With competition from AI content and ad revenue potentially declining due to the phase out of third party cookies?
My advice it’s time to pivot by selling your own digital products and services to your audience. And this is where my literary cart comes in. Imagine setting up unlimited memberships, digital downloads, workshops, coaching, and mini courses in less than ten minutes. Milo Tree Cart isn’t just another tech tool, it’s the easiest you’ve ever used with real people behind it ready to help. And here’s the best part. For our first thousand, VIP customers were offering mileage regard for a one time lifetime deal of just 349. No recurring fees, and our customers often find it pays for itself after their first product launch. Plus, we’re all about trust, so we offer a 30 day, no questions asked money back guarantee.
Jillian Leslie (00:01:09) – There’s absolutely no risk in giving it a try. Ready to explode your income in 2024? Visit Military.com and grab this exclusive offer, and here is a bonus purchase by the end of December, and I will include a lifetime military pop up account worth $250 to help you grow your followers on TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, and your email list. This bonus is essential for growing your audience in 2024, so don’t forget you have the power to turn your passion into profit. Pause this episode, head over to Military.com and become one of our VIPs.
Announcer (00:01:55) – Welcome to the Blogger Genius podcast, brought to you by Milo Tree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie (00:02:02) – Hi everyone, and welcome back to the show. I am so excited to bring you today’s episode. I have my friend Casey Markey, SEO Guru, back on the podcast and I picked his brain hard. We talk about all the most recent Google updates. There’s been a lot what to do if you’ve been hit by them. Also, I how is it affecting bloggers today when it comes to content creation, image creation, keyword research, competition, traffic, and what that will mean for all of us.
Jillian Leslie (00:02:37) – Plus, I get Cassie’s advice on how all bloggers should be thinking about their businesses in 2024. I recommend you grab a pen and paper or open up your notes app because you want to be taking notes. So without further delay, here is my interview with Casey Markey. Casey, welcome back to the Blogger Genius podcast.
Casey Markee (00:03:03) – Thank you Jillian. It’s surprising that you would have me more than once on a podcast with the word genius in the title, because I can assure you, my family does not share that opinion, and that’s fine.
Jillian Leslie (00:03:15) – So I will I will tell you this is true. You just showed up in on zoom with me and immediately my stress level went down.
Casey Markee (00:03:26) – If can only.
Casey Markee (00:03:27) – If can only get my my family members to to to agree with that.
Jillian Leslie (00:03:32) – But no get them on the times. Get them the stressors out.
Casey Markee (00:03:36) – Get the stressors out. So yeah, deep in, deep in, through the nose, out through the mouth. We’ll see if we can get X, you know, see if we can lower some stress levels today while we’re on the call.
Jillian Leslie (00:03:48) – But seriously, I feel like I love to to just connect with you, for you to tell me the state of the world when it comes to blogging, when it comes to SEO, traffic, keywords, the whole thing. Because I feel like things have sped up in a way. Um, you know, I always think things are quick. I always think things are changing. But since October, when the new updates started, I feel like everything is on hyper speed. So could you walk me through what has happened since October with new Google search traffic updates, what this means for bloggers and creators, and where we are right now.
Casey Markee (00:04:32) – Well, let’s actually let’s go back a little bit further. Let’s start in August, because that was the most recent August. We had a core update in August it went from 822 to 912. And that was the first of several updates that we had this close together. So we had this August core update wasn’t very wide reaching, not a lot of fanfare from it.
Casey Markee (00:04:53) – It hit softly. Didn’t do much then. Apparently Google has just given us a nice, uh, hey, we’re just going to give you a, you know, we’re going to ease you in because then on 914, they hit us with the helpful content update and the helpful content update was huge. You went from 914 and 927, affected a significant amount of sites, mostly negative. And we’re still feeling the the fallout from that today. And then right after the helpful content update finished on 927, we’re in the middle of a conference when boom, Google pushes out the October spam update that was on ten for October the 4th, and then the very next day, on October the 5th, they pushed out another core update that was on the fifth, and that lasted until about the 18th. And good news today. Here it is 11 eight Wednesday at about 2 p.m.. Today, a little bit earlier they pushed out a new core update. So good times. It’s very uncommon to have such a large amount of updates happen so close together.
Casey Markee (00:05:54) – And it could be good and bad. We we’d like to stay on the positive here. So believe that what they’re trying to do is they’re realizing that some of these, especially the October core and spam updates, maybe they overreached a little bit. And so maybe this recent update, another update here going through especially this November core update and the spam update from today. Maybe this is their attempt to dial some of those false positive cases that have been making the news all over Twitter and the Facebook groups, and seeing if Google can, you know, granularly improve the results a little by little. So we will wait and see, as they say, and see how it all shakes out.
Jillian Leslie (00:06:31) – Oh God, hit the hardest.
Casey Markee (00:06:34) – Well, it was a lot of industries, everything from newspapers to food and drink to affiliate sites. Especially the helpful, the helpful content update. It was all over the place. We had affiliate sites specifically would lose 70% of their traffic overnight, and some of those absolutely deserved to be hit.
Casey Markee (00:06:51) – They were sites that were designed specifically for purposes. They their goal was to make money based upon the content that they served. Which was stuffed with affiliate links. Then we had a lot of bloggers who were hit by the helpful content update, and they were they were they were gobsmacked. They couldn’t understand why they were getting hit until we would go in and take a look and realize that, you know, they wrote needlessly long recipes. They had stuffed their pages with ads. They had unfortunately taken bad advice from their from their advertising groups, from their from from their ad agencies. They had allowed the ad companies to take over their jump buttons. They’d allowed the ad companies to close their table of contents. They’d allowed ad companies to sell them things like we call them Google Vineyard ads, which are these huge popover ads that activate between pages. And we have a lot of other ads that kind of float down the page and cover various screens, these violating video interstitial ads that they have. It’s not really necessarily the type of ad, it’s the type of ad in conjunction with all the other ads that they’re running.
Casey Markee (00:08:02) – And that’s why not every site who ran these got hit. But you could see that there was a lot of correlation between the sites that did. They were running not only these ads, but literally everything else, including the kitchen sink, and it affected them negatively.
Jillian Leslie (00:08:15) – Now, if you went in and helped them remove a bunch of these ads, did the traffic come back?
Casey Markee (00:08:23) – Well, you see, and that’s the problem is it’s not going to happen for a long time. This is not like we can make changes and you’re immediately going to bounce back. That’s not how these updates work. The core updates have to be reran against the site. So if you were hit by a core update, you really weren’t going to see any improvement. For example, if you were hit in August or for example, in October, you wouldn’t really see start seeing any improvement. And this is if you made all the changes that you can make until they reran the November core update, which was on 11 two, and even the spam update, which is running today.
Casey Markee (00:08:51) – Now, if you were hit by the helpful content update, which again ran from 914 to 927, it could be months before you see any sort of improvement, regardless of the changes you’ve made. Because even though Google is saying that this is a real time algorithm that is always running, it’s an incredibly hard filter. It is a filter that it impacts the entire site. So it’s a quality filter. So you have to make dramatic improvements to your entire site for you to get out of this filter and improve the experience of the site overall. And that’s not a days or weeks situation. That is a marathon journey of months.
Jillian Leslie (00:09:27) – So there’s no way sites, no signal to Google and say, like we crawl my site, I fix.
Casey Markee (00:09:32) – Their crawling your site all all the time. It’s just that they have to trust those changes and you’re not going to trust those changes in a matter of days or weeks. It’s a monthly trust that they’re going to have to earn. Wow. So whenever people say, oh my God, you always say for the helpful content update.
Casey Markee (00:09:46) – But I’ve already seen recovery. No, no, they really haven’t. What they’ve done is they’ve actually seen other content that that they’ve added that’s actually started to replace some of the lost traffic they’ve had previously. You can still improve your fortunes and your traffic, but it’s only because you’re adding better content to the site. To overcome the weak content you still have to take advantage of on the site as a whole, so it’s not one or the other.
Jillian Leslie (00:10:10) – So did you become therapist to all these devastated bloggers?
Casey Markee (00:10:16) – Well, I can certainly say that I have become an expert in the daily journey through the five stages of grief. We have the have the initial denial part where bloggers are like, oh, cannot believe this happened to me. And then we go into anger where this has to be a mistake. There’s no way that my content would be viewed as unhelpful. Then we get into the bargaining stage. Okay, well, maybe I can make these changes here. I’m going to go ahead and do that and blah, blah, blah.
Casey Markee (00:10:43) – Then they realize that, you know, those changes didn’t do anything for them. Again, this is we’re we’re a month passed. We’re over a month passed when the helpful content update hit, and we still have sites that are suffering 50 to 70% drops, 20 to 70% drops. And so now we’ve moved from from bargaining to depression. And so we’ve got these bloggers now realizing that here is the high point of their season, and we’re not going to be making that number that we made, say, last year. And then we’re going to eventually hit the acceptance stage where bloggers realize, okay, I get it. This is something. I’m in it for the long journey. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I need to make these changes. I will make these changes. This is not a hobby to me and they’ll eventually recover. Everyone does. This is not one of those things where you can’t go through your life and not get hit by a Google update. That’s just how it goes.
Casey Markee (00:11:34) – You’re going to get hit and most people get hit repeatedly. It’s how you take the good with the bad and come out the other end that determines how successful you’re going to be long term.
Jillian Leslie (00:11:46) – One thing you did a couple of podcasts ago that we recorded was you went through I’m a food blogger. Here is how you should structure your content. I’ve read that things like FAQs now, or other specific things that you might have recommended people put into posts seem no longer relevant according to Google.
Casey Markee (00:12:09) – No, that’s not true at all. Nope. Not at all. I think where people get confused is they think, well, hey, I want to have the most complete post I want. And so they put ten FAQs and then wonder why Google hit them with the helpful content update. No one needs ten FAQs and a recipe post, just like you don’t need 13 or 50 variations. Or do you need 200 words? On the origins of risotto from the 19th century. When you’re talking about a risotto with green onions recipe, the template that I’ve teach that I’ve taught for years works incredibly well, and that’s why a lot of the bloggers were not affected at all by this recent update.
Casey Markee (00:12:46) – But then you get people who haven’t had an audit, but they’ll talk to someone who has and they’ll start copying their content. Without the education that I provide in my audits and then like, well, don’t understand I’m using this template or I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m writing for toddlers and drunk adults. I’m writing a complete post. Why was I hit? And then I look at the post and realize, well, it’s 2000 words. No one needs this most content for a Salisbury steak. We want to be useful in Google is really clear about that. They’ve said that many times we want to be useful, but we don’t want to be superfluous when they’re talking about how to create helpful, reliable people for content. That’s you making sure that you understand both what the user wants and how to answer that without being superfluous or going off on tangents. Some people are trying to rank every post they write for 100 keywords that it’s never going to work. Our goal is to really dial in the optimization, and by doing that, we focus on trimming the fat.
Casey Markee (00:13:45) – We focus on if someone has no experience in cooking, or maybe they’re a graduate of corn on blue, both of them people will be able to. Both of those type of audiences will be able to look at the recipe and make the recipe without any difficulty. We just people just go overboard. They just think, oh my God, I’ve got these four photos of the finish this, that look beautiful, so everyone’s going to love them. I’m going to pop those in right. In no world do we ever need 4 or 5 photos of the finished dish in a recipe post.
Jillian Leslie (00:14:09) – And I had read something on Twitter. I forgot who it was from Google talking about how some people Danny Sullivan, Danny Sullivan wants some people want lots of texts, lots of explanation for a recipe, let’s say, or craft. And some people just want quick, down and dirty. And I think somebody asked, well, how do I reconcile that? And his thing was some people want the full on post and some people want the shortcuts.
Jillian Leslie (00:14:37) – And like, those are different audiences because exactly.
Casey Markee (00:14:40) – Right now you can optimize for both those audiences. How do you do that? Well, you write your regular recipe post, but then you make it very clear towards the top that if there’s a specific answer that can be given, you give that towards the top of the post. A lot of bloggers lost a ton of traffic on a lot of how to or as I like to call them, rank IQ generated queries where they were writing these content briefs on various things like how do I. You know, how do I cut a watermelon? Or how? What are the various things that I can do for sweet potatoes? And what they were doing is they were writing these very long posts and then putting the answer to the query at the end. Nobody wants that. And Google was just digging the crap out of sites who were doing that. With these updates. There’s nothing useful about writing a long, detailed content brief and then burying the headline at the end.
Casey Markee (00:15:31) – You want to be useful, you give the user the information at the top and then say, oh, by the way, if you’d like to learn more about this topic I’ve done, here’s what you’re going to find below by means of a simple, direct table of contents. It’s the same way with recipe posts. You can write a very complete recipe, but you can also say at the top. Oh, by the way, here is some information for you. That’s why we have jump links. You want to jump the users down to the information that they’re interested in. That’s also why we have jump to recipe buttons. We have a jump to recipe button because some users don’t give a crap about whatever you’ve written about the recipe. They just want the recipe card. So we we cater to that audience.
Jillian Leslie (00:16:08) – So it’s it’s a little bit like saying, hey, choose your own adventure and I’m going to make it easy for you. You want this? First of all, we’re going to lead with the head with the headline.
Jillian Leslie (00:16:19) – Right. We’re like newspapers. So that first sentence is going to be like all the information you could you need. Now if you want more information, here it is. And I’m going to make it so easy for you that if you click here you’re going to find out this piece or click here, you’ll get this. And so that people can then I guess that it is user first. It’s visitor first it is.
Casey Markee (00:16:43) – And as again as someone who collected all every one of the choose Your own adventure books as he was a kid, everyone from your a spy to you are going to become a shark boy. I have got them all and I could tell you that those. That’s a very good that’s a very good comparison. Your your goal is to understand that you can’t be everything for everybody. But you know your audience. No one knows your audience for you. That’s why I’m always surprised when I do an audit with a blogger, and I ask if they’ve ever surveyed their audience. They never have.
Casey Markee (00:17:11) – We want to do that on a daily, not a daily basis, but we want to do it a couple of times a year because the audience in the fall is always different than the audience in the spring or winter. So understanding those different audiences and how they interact with your content is going to go a long way to determining how you meet the needs of that audience. But when we’re talking about the recipe posts specifically, people always think, oh, you know, the correlation versus versus comparison thing is a big deal where, you know, hey, I noticed that this is happening for all the affected blogs, so therefore it must be the issue. I wrote an article for Search Engine Land where I surveyed where I went, and look through the findings of 400 plus Google search profile sites I had access to, and I managed to pull out all the sites that had been affected by the helpful content update, and I pulled together my thoughts on what I saw. That’s just a simple correlation right? Article there.
Casey Markee (00:18:04) – It’s what the data shows me. Now, that doesn’t mean that those are all the factors. I think it only had like seven triggers there. But if you are a site and you have all seven of those triggers, you probably were affected by the helpful content update. That’s what we’re seeing. But that doesn’t mean that those were the only triggers. And it also doesn’t mean that if you had all those sevens, you were guaranteed to be affected by the helpful content update. That’s not how that works. But you have to understand that when we’re looking at data, you have to determine what is going to meet the needs of the largest amount of people based upon the data that’s available to you. And we always have these people say, well, you know, I wasn’t affected by this, and I’m doing all of this. And I’m like, well, that’s great. However, you’re also doing this, this and this, and you have an incredibly strong backlink profile. And oh, by the way, you have three published cookbooks.
Casey Markee (00:18:53) – So you have a lot of earned expertise and authoritative news and trustworthiness. Those kind of factors can overcome. They act as spackle. They cover up all the mistakes that a user can make on the site, and therefore they get a little bit more of a we call them more rope, for example, from Google, by which they can hang themselves. And that’s what we’re seeing with a lot of these bloggers who are affected. They’re like, well, you know, I’m doing I think I’m doing everything right, but why am I getting beat by this site and this site? Well, everyone’s running their own journey, but no sites are ever directly the same. If someone was to come to me and ask, well, why? Why did I get beat by these three sites? And almost every instance can point out a minimum of ten reasons why the other sites are beating you, right? And it’s everything from the quality of their content to the strength of their backlink profile, to the fact that they’re an older age domain, to the fact that they have larger social followings.
Casey Markee (00:19:45) – It could be a plethora of reasons, right? Or it could be none of those reasons at all.
Jillian Leslie (00:19:49) – Right.
Jillian Leslie (00:19:50) – Oh, it’s that’s the problem. There is definitely an art piece to this where it can’t all be a science. Now, wait, I want to switch directions, because the other thing that I feel continues to evolve and change and explode is I yeah, I content and I feel I love it just in terms of it makes my life easier. However, it’s scary. Who knows if it’s going to take over the world and we’re all going to be little ants and it can squash us, I don’t know, but.
Casey Markee (00:20:24) – Well, first of all, I just want to say that I, I applaud my eventual robot overlords. I’m going to be polite. I want to let them know. Now. I always say please and thank you and use ChatGPT, you know, in case they do take over the world. Maybe that’s fine for me.
Jillian Leslie (00:20:38) – I do too.
Jillian Leslie (00:20:39) – I do too.
Jillian Leslie (00:20:40) – Exactly.
Jillian Leslie (00:20:41) – So the thing is, is let’s.
Jillian Leslie (00:20:42) – Talk about it from the perspective of a blogger, how they’re using it for content creation, which is great, but how it could potentially put us all out of business if in fact people stop, say, going to sites and just are typing into ChatGPT, you know, give me a recipe or give me this or do this, or here’s one. Hey, here’s a photo of my refrigerator. What should I make for dinner tonight?
Casey Markee (00:21:13) – Well and, you know, think that there is some truth to that, but think that it’s a long way the, the, the taking over your life, the destroying your livelihood, the I taking your content without your knowledge and making its own recipes. We’re quite a ways away from that and think that in many cases it’s a little bit overkill. I look back to many years ago when Google really started to push voice optimization. They introduced guided recipes and everyone thought, oh my God, guided recipes. You know, we got to optimize for voice search.
Casey Markee (00:21:44) – And Google pushed out this guided recipes where, you know, they we have to upload individual photos to the recipe card. And we have to put all this specific schema because voice search is going to take over. Never happened. No. Why did it never happen? Well, nobody liked having individual process shots and the recipe card users hated it. They rebelled. They wouldn’t even print out the recipe card. Number two. No one went and bought the tens of millions of Google Home and Google Nest devices that everyone thought that they were good buy mean. We still have warehouses full of those, probably on the East Coast. And you’ll see that guided recipes never became a ranking factor. Google was never able to provide any sort of a window into real voice data. Not through Google Analytics, not through anywhere else. We couldn’t find any any reports on what voice queries users were using to navigate our content. And that’s still the case today. So one of the things you have to understand is that when we’re looking at it’s the same thing.
Casey Markee (00:22:45) – It’s a big scary boogeyman that everyone is going to be afraid of because we don’t have any context in which to replace it. Wow, I can go to and I can use ChatGPT, or I can go in and use Bing Chat or Google Bard, and I can use these tool to fine tune our processes or make our content more useful, or do my keyword research, or do a plethora of other things. But in the end, you’re the one that’s controlling the output. And if the output is really crappy, Google is not going to rank that output. It’s it’s funny because if you ever want to make sure that you don’t want to get caught for having content. Put some typos in it because guess what? Content is free of typos. So that’s one of the first ways to know that you’re probably using the tool. I knew immediately my son was using a tool to write his essays. When found out he wasn’t, I couldn’t find any typos anymore.
Jillian Leslie (00:23:34) – Oh how funny.
Jillian Leslie (00:23:36) – Okay, so.
Casey Markee (00:23:36) – I had to trade him.
Casey Markee (00:23:37) – I had to train him on how to use a little bit more effectively, and maybe occasionally pop in a typo so he can get black by his professor.
Jillian Leslie (00:23:44) – Now, here’s the thing, though. Google initially at our last conversation said no AI content and now they say yes, it’s okay to use AI content and they’re leaning into AI content. So explain how you recommend people use it.
Casey Markee (00:24:01) – As an efficiency boost. The whole point of AI is as a crutch for you to fine tune existing skills. If you need help with keyword research, if you need help classifying data into different buckets, if you’re if you’re one of those bloggers who again, food and lifestyle bloggers are some of the the hardest working content creators in the entire world. This the if they are able to effectively use AI to take some of the issues off their plate so that they can have more time to spend with their families, that’s a plus. They could do things like segment keywords, and in seconds they can do things like outline and create meal plans that they can then go back in and edit.
Casey Markee (00:24:39) – They can do things like train ChatGPT or whatever they’re using to follow a template that they that they give it, and then they go in and fine tune the template so that they can crease their external content creation. I think the biggest benefit is. The correct use of. I will give more of the time back that creators have lost over and over again. Try to run these blogs as solo empires for so long. But there’s a backside to it as well. If everyone is doing that, then how does Google determine what the best content is and think that that’s my what you learn. That’s where you learn how to use prompts. I can train three different people how to use GPT. I can give them the same prompts. I can tell them to be very detailed, and all of them will export out different products of different varying quality. Because you can’t just take the first output, you have to refine it based upon additional prompts. And that’s where a lot of bloggers struggle is. They’re not prompt engineers, which is becoming a much needed earned skill for most content creators out there, including myself.
Casey Markee (00:25:43) – I’m amazed at how poor of a prompt engineer I was months ago, and I’m I’m much better at it, but this is just something that bloggers are going to affect. I think the ones that find the ability to effectively use these tools, everything from using tools now to create entire images. We can now create an entire post around a recipe without even having to take the photography.
Jillian Leslie (00:26:06) – I know that does Google ding you for that.
Casey Markee (00:26:10) – No, Google doesn’t ding us for that at all. They’re there. They’re supposedly able to see whether something is generated or not. But I tell you, we run, we’ve run our own focus groups and I was shocked at the quality. The quality just keeps getting better. Mean you’d be surprised if here’s three photos of of pumpkin pie. At. Seldom is anyone ever able to pull out the generated image and not the ones that we took.
Jillian Leslie (00:26:33) – So isn’t that.
Jillian Leslie (00:26:34) – Though, is there? I could be wrong some way that within the image they’re able to read that this is created by AI or no?
Casey Markee (00:26:43) – Well, they’re supposed to be watermarks.
Casey Markee (00:26:44) – Those watermarks aren’t there yet.
Jillian Leslie (00:26:46) – They’re not.
Casey Markee (00:26:47) – No, no, not at all. You can even strip out the watermarks by various tools. So it’s not like you can’t do that on your own. It’s like if you had a camera and you export out this, it’s called exfil data, where it shows the type of lens, use the camera and all this other stuff. You could strip all that out, post photo by popping it into a filter, a tool. It’s very similar with that with photos as well, especially when if you have the various tools that you could use.
Jillian Leslie (00:27:10) – So are you now finding food bloggers who take no photos?
Casey Markee (00:27:16) – I haven’t personally seen it in my audits yet. I have seen some of them dabbling with taking, for example, ingredient shots, and those work extremely well where they’ll do ingredient shots that are already labeled and I don’t see a problem with that at all, because number one, it’s not it’s it’s a it’s a decorative portion of the recipe. It’s not it’s not integral.
Casey Markee (00:27:36) – At all. If I want to say, okay, here’s a I want you to provide me a detailed prompt showing me all these ingredients for this pumpkin pie laid out on an oak background with individual text labels. Why would I not do that? Which would save me probably an hour and a half of work. So I’m all for that if they can. If they can do that, great. I haven’t seen I have seen those. I can tell you right now that they’re already in recipes that are ranking at the top of Google. So it’s clearly not a detriment, but we don’t know how that’s going to last or what the how that’s going to progress going forward.
Jillian Leslie (00:28:09) – Okay. And you would say, hey, if you can create an image of pumpkin pie that looks real and delicious and you could use that.
Casey Markee (00:28:21) – You could certainly have no idea what the long term ramifications of that would be, but more power to you if you’re able to do that.
Jillian Leslie (00:28:27) – Wow.
Jillian Leslie (00:28:28) – Okay. What are your favorite AI tools for bloggers?
Casey Markee (00:28:33) – Well, we’ve talked about ChatGPT.
Casey Markee (00:28:34) – We have Bing Chat, we have Google Bard.
Jillian Leslie (00:28:37) – I’m liking a lot of tools.
Jillian Leslie (00:28:39) – I’m.
Jillian Leslie (00:28:39) – Liking. Claude is great.
Casey Markee (00:28:40) – And Claude, you could basically and there’s no word count limit on that.
Jillian Leslie (00:28:45) – And also you can upload a PDF.
Casey Markee (00:28:49) – You could upload a PDF, you could pull things out that way. Cloud is pretty good. It’s very dangerous, especially if you were going to use it for homework. Oh, I know that there’s various tools out there. I think had a whole list here. Think I had a list of tools on here where, uh, especially with regards to images. Mean the image, the image stuff has just, has just taken off like you wouldn’t believe. Think that, you know. Hey, do I want to come up and do, uh, make a cat or do I want to use a, uh, put in these detailed prompts where I have I want to I want to do a I’m writing an article and I want to have a World War two background showing two guys with question marks as on their heads fighting each over, over whether or not fake schema should be used.
Casey Markee (00:29:43) – That exists. You can use these various tools out there to do all this. You can use everything from Krisp, which is a really relatively new poll that allows you to do a lot of insights. You could use think, what is the regular one that that ChatGPT makes? It’s the you probably know it off the top of your head. The one with the dolly. Dolly two. Sorry. Don’t know why. Yeah. Dolly. Dolly two. Dolly three. Dolly three is open now. Created images from all of that are open. I mean, yeah, you could. Dolly is fine. You can create images from text. All you have to do is provide. A detailed prompt and you’re good to go. So it’s crazy.
Jillian Leslie (00:30:27) – I want to take a short break to share a review on iTunes of the Blogger Genius podcast. That really warmed my heart. This is from Mali, so she wrote. Love this show. Jillian is super knowledgeable about business, entrepreneurship, marketing, and more. I recently have been enjoying her episodes on AI, SEO, and ebooks.
Jillian Leslie (00:30:50) – Definitely recommend listening to this show if you’re looking for a fun business podcast to add to your list. Marley Soo thank you so much! So if you are listening to the podcast and you like it, please subscribe, tell your friends and leave a review on iTunes or wherever you are listening to this. I would greatly appreciate it. And now back to the show. How would you recommend somebody do keyword research using AI? What’s the easiest way to do it?
Casey Markee (00:31:27) – Oh, gosh, that’s a good question. Think the easiest way to do it would be able to use another tool like Keywords Everywhere, and have it export out a very specific amount of keywords, and then you could take those into something like ChatGPT and have an organized by intent. Then you could take those and you can have it even organized by search volume from the US. Now, the thing to understand about ChatGPT tools is that it’s never up to date information. Believe that it’s still about but a year, maybe, maybe nine months behind now and data.
Casey Markee (00:31:58) – But it keeps getting better and better. But yeah, you could absolutely use ChatGPT or some others for keyword research. You could just, um, you could use it to use keyword stemming. Okay. Here’s a here’s four keywords here. Or you could even use it to analyze URLs. Okay. Here’s I’m going to put in a URL here. And this URL is ranking for this amount of keywords. Can you go ahead and pull me the keywords from this that I should be using? If wanted to topically map all the entities in this as an example? Wow, think the sky’s the limit. I mean you could do a lot with ChatGPT. I always find new things. Think the one of the easiest ways for anyone on the call to do this is just literally go to Google and type in how to use GPT for keyword research. You’re going to find the best tutorials are going to be listed. There are no problem.
Jillian Leslie (00:32:46) – Um, here is the thing that we talked about before I press record predictions.
Jillian Leslie (00:32:52) – Well, let’s start with the rest of Q4. Anything, anything off the top of your head to help bloggers make more money, like where they should be focused. And then let’s talk about 2024.
Casey Markee (00:33:07) – Well, I tell you, this is the last update that we’re going to see. Here it is. It’s the 11th. It’s the 8th of November. As of we’re recording this. I would not be surprised if we saw another update. You know, if someone had told me that we’d have two core updates and two spam updates with the month, I would have laughed. I expect that we might still need to do some more refining, considering how incredible some of the results that we got were in October. I think we’re going to be clawing back some of these, you know, the Quora and the Reddit, some of the open platforms that have really rocketed up to the top of the search results for literally hundreds of thousands of very competitive keywords.
Jillian Leslie (00:33:47) – So wait, so we might still see another.
Jillian Leslie (00:33:50) – I stop you there for a second.
Jillian Leslie (00:33:51) – Can you explain that? So Quora, Reddit, these are sites that, you know, like Reddit has its own communities.
Jillian Leslie (00:33:59) – Yeah. They help content update.
Casey Markee (00:34:01) – The helpful content update, and the core update, which happened soon after both rewarded user generated first person communities like this because Google was looking to pull together real world experience from users. And where was that real world experience being talked about and debated? But on communities like Reddit and Quora? And the problem is, is that how do I know that the person telling me to feel dress a deer actually knows how to dress a deer and is not someone who’s just, you know, read this somewhere else and just made a really convincing forum post. Or why should I be taking recipe advice on how to make a beef Wellington from someone on a Reddit thread who they’re they’re they’re not a a cook or a chef. They’re a high school teacher or something like that. And that’s the thing is, that’s why we’re getting all this pushback is there’s something like real world experience, there’s real world experience, and then there’s qualified real world experience.
Casey Markee (00:35:01) – And I think that’s where people are struggling with how do I know that this real world experience is really from someone who’s qualified to give me that experience in the first place?
Jillian Leslie (00:35:08) – Because I will say, maybe six months ago, I was talking to David, my husband and my partner who whom, you know, and he was saying, every search. I do know I put in the search term and I put Reddit.
Casey Markee (00:35:21) – Reddit right in front of it. Yeah.
Jillian Leslie (00:35:23) – To get because.
Jillian Leslie (00:35:24) – He was like, I’m so tired of the crappy results I’m getting from Google that I just want somebody to tell me the answer.
Casey Markee (00:35:32) – And Google and Google clearly listened to that feedback. They listen to that feedback because within two months of a of a story breaking about that on Twitter. Voila. We had a helpful content update and we. Next thing we know, Reddit’s all over the place. And this also rewarded, you know, other big sites out there especially, you know, Amazon is killing it right now. If you guys own Amazon stock congratulations.
Casey Markee (00:35:56) – Their search traffic increased. An incredible amount over the last 45 days. More than at any one point in history.
Jillian Leslie (00:36:04) – So it’s and it’s crazy. Where why is.
Jillian Leslie (00:36:07) – That?
Jillian Leslie (00:36:07) – Why is that.
Casey Markee (00:36:09) – Just because Amazon has so much comments and form activity. Yeah. Comments forums. You also have all those reviews of books and movies. They have the largest repository or largest repository of reviews of anyone on the planet. Those reviews seem to be getting a boost now.
Jillian Leslie (00:36:26) – Interesting.
Jillian Leslie (00:36:28) – So it’s kind of shaping.
Jillian Leslie (00:36:29) – So it definitely shaped. The way we I don’t know.
Jillian Leslie (00:36:35) – For good.
Casey Markee (00:36:36) – Or bad. I don’t know how it’s going to shake out, but. You know, again, I’m, I’m with the with the content creators. When I’m looking for a recipe, I am willing to go for a recipe site. First and foremost, I don’t necessarily need or should be going to Reddit or Quora if I’m looking for a specific recipe during the week for my family. Right? And yet Google seems to think differently, and so we’re waiting to see if that’s going to shake out.
Jillian Leslie (00:37:03) – I feel like recipes is one category, but let’s say I want to buy a new refrigerator. Sure. Instead, I would end up on all those spammy pages with all those affiliate links that I’d rather end up on Reddit, where somebody’s talking about the best refrigerator.
Casey Markee (00:37:21) – Yeah. And that’s a good point. Now usually when you buy, if you were to put in to Google, want to buy a new refrigerator, the first thing you’re going to see is local intent searches. Local intent searches. You’re going to see your Google places. You’re going to see all your Google map listings, because that makes sense. And then after that, you have to go down and see exactly what has changed there. And as you said, you’re right. Google has started to elevate. Buying guides from known brands. It used to be previously you would see these non recognizable blogs with buying guides on how to choose a new fridge from whirlpool. Now you’re actually seeing whirlpool and you’re actually seeing Consumer Reports, and you’re actually seeing Best Buy and USA today articles, which to me think is an improvement.
Casey Markee (00:38:05) – But if you had an affiliate, if you were an affiliate and you lost rankings, clearly a sign, an improvement for you. Right. And that’s the thing. It’s all about the audience itself. Mean hey, you, you asked ten people if the results have improved. Four of them might say yes, four of them might say no, and two of them would say no comment.
Jillian Leslie (00:38:26) – So it’s hard to say.
Jillian Leslie (00:38:27) – All right. So for for end of Q4, any thoughts you were saying you were saying there could be another update. You wouldn’t be surprised.
Jillian Leslie (00:38:34) – So wouldn’t be surprised at all.
Jillian Leslie (00:38:35) – So is it that I just create the best content I can? Is it that I’m updating my Christmas posts as quickly as I can? What is your recommendation?
Casey Markee (00:38:43) – Well, my recommendation emanate right now. If you’re a food or a lifestyle blogger and you’re listening to this, your sole focus is Thanksgiving. It ain’t all, end all be all. You’re not doing anything but worrying about Thanksgiving. You should be focusing on having your best Thanksgiving content front center on your blog.
Casey Markee (00:38:58) – You should be optimizing your sidebar with your best Thanksgiving content. You should have a link on your menu with to a Thanksgiving category or a customized Thanksgiving page, and you should be looking specifically at what your best Thanksgiving content was last year, and you should be updating it specifically based on all the cool tricks and stuff you learned over the last year, which should be plentiful. That’s the first thing you should be doing. And then the minute Thanksgiving is over on Black Friday, you’re going to switch all of that to Christmas. You’re going to start all over again.
Jillian Leslie (00:39:26) – Mm hmm.
Casey Markee (00:39:27) – We can’t worry about these things that we can’t control, which is exactly what these are. These are external factors we cannot control. We have to focus on what we can control, which is our own content. Can it is my content as updated and useful as it can be? Have I said in two words when I need to say when previously I use six, have I made sure that I’ve trimmed down my recipes to where they’re useful and not superfluous? Have I worked to interlink my content? The minute you publish a new post, the very first thing you should do after you publish that post is go in, find 3 to 5 related posts, go into those posts and immediately link to the post you just put live, because there’s a strong internal notes that this is good content.
Casey Markee (00:40:11) – It’s amazing how many bloggers, big and small, do not do that. And our goal is just to be useful at everything we do. And people always just laugh and laugh like, oh my God, my content is useful and everything. I’m like, well. Find a third party. Find someone who’s not related to you. Have them read your content for you and give them. And accept some blunt feedback, because it’s always illuminating when people do that.
Jillian Leslie (00:40:35) – Hmm.
Jillian Leslie (00:40:36) – That is good advice. That is always.
Jillian Leslie (00:40:38) – Nice.
Jillian Leslie (00:40:38) – Okay, now let’s just talk about any predictions you have. I wrote I was telling you this that I’m like, okay, predictions for the next. I was going to say next year. And then ultimately I’m like, okay, next six months, just because things are really moving faster than I’ve ever seen them move.
Casey Markee (00:40:56) – Yeah, I think AI is only going to get bigger. Bloggers who have been slow to embrace that are going to finally join the bandwagon in droves in 2024.
Casey Markee (00:41:04) – Think everyone is going to become, as I mentioned earlier, a experienced prompt engineer. I think you’re going to find a lot of high school kids are going to be helping their moms and dads run their businesses more and more these days. I think the loss of third party cookie data is going to be devastating in 2024. You’re going to see that you’re going to see a huge rush of people who are going to try to find as much first party data as they can, and the only way they can get that data is through email subscribers doing site behavioral data studies and launching or joining their own loyalty programs.
Jillian Leslie (00:41:37) – Because that way we could get that in a second.
Jillian Leslie (00:41:39) – Let’s let’s explain just briefly what you mean by that third party cookies, how they follow you around the internet and how they’re going away. So this is when a site will put like a little bit of code on your browser. Uh huh. And this is why when you go to Zappos and you look at a shoe and then all of a sudden you’re on some other random site and weirdly, they know to advertise that pair of shoes to you.
Casey Markee (00:42:10) – Well, my wife is convinced that there are people hiding in our.
Jillian Leslie (00:42:12) – Closets.
Casey Markee (00:42:14) – In that way. But nevertheless, yes, it’s correct. Third party cookies are going to go away starting in 2024. Google Chrome is going to be basically removing cookies from a small percentage of searches, and it will slowly expand from there. Cookies are one of the easiest and most confirmed ways to track advertising spend, and also to track data when we get ads served on our site. So if we lose that data, we tend to have issues with calculating correct RPMs. We tend to have issues with impression fill. We tend to have issues with bottom line ad income. There could be drops, it could be dramatic. We don’t necessarily know how it is. Both of the big ad companies, Raviv and Mediavine, both have their own internal solutions that they’re using to replace this loss cookie information with their own. We call them, you know, in company cohort tracking ability, and we’ll see how effective that is. But I think that the smart bloggers and they’ve already started doing this are the ones that are really putting a lot of money behind their email efforts.
Jillian Leslie (00:43:19) – Because they can track all that.
Casey Markee (00:43:20) – So they’re focusing on getting their emails up and going. They’re focusing on having multiple deadlines, multiple and email series that will allow people to not only not only increase the bottom line subscribing, but also keep them people active throughout the year because the bloggers with the with the active email list specifically are going, we have to replace that lost cohort traffic with regards to third party cookies. Oh, that has to come from somewhere and it’s going to come from email. It’s going to come from loyalty programs. It’s going to come from anything you can use to track that visitor at year end, when Google is not going to allow you to do it from theirs.
Jillian Leslie (00:43:59) – So therefore you’re continuing to get traffic. And then how are you tracking with email? Explain.
Casey Markee (00:44:06) – Well, it’s personalized marketing, okay. You control who you see because you’re advertising to them from your end. So if you’re looking for personalized marketing and you have identifiers like email addresses or login information, got it, then you’re going to be able to replace a lost a lot of that cookie data.
Jillian Leslie (00:44:22) – And also again, this is why I think email is so important for us selling Milo Tree cart, which is all about very true now. Very true. Selling your own products. The best way to sell through email.
Casey Markee (00:44:36) – Very true. Again, that’s not going to go away anytime soon. I also expect that we’re going to see a big a big launch. I mean, it’s been happening the last couple of years, but short form video is really starting to take off. You’ve seen those with TikTok and Instagram. I think that will continue to gain traction. Uh, Google really pulled the wool pull the mat out from under. Food and lifestyle bloggers back in April when they did a thumbnail update which removed, in some cases, millions of clicks a month from bloggers because they were giving an extra thumbnail in the search results for embedded email for embedded search terms. Video. Google removed all of that. They put everything, all that behind the video tab, so that’s hard to replace. There has been a clamoring to move videos to the top of the search pages.
Casey Markee (00:45:27) – So that Google would find that more prominent. But that’s honestly one of the worst things you can do, because users hate clicking on a page and immediately being confronted with a video. If they want to see video, they want to see it further down when they’re basically when it’s their choice, okay? They don’t want to scroll immediately onto a page and then boom, be confronted with the video. Regardless of what people may tell you, it’s just not effective, especially on mobile. When it’s video, this video that it’s basically a you can you can go to the regular site these days and they could be running the we call it the universal video player with Mediavine. And then they could be running another video playing ad on the left hand side. And then oh, by the way, as I’m going down to the recipe card, there’s the embedded video and boom! Next thing I know I have three videos playing on the page. We have to find the happy medium between that because that’s not viable long term.
Jillian Leslie (00:46:15) – Now where are the short form videos then useful for bloggers creators?
Casey Markee (00:46:21) – Well, the short term videos, which are more vertical, they look like TikTok videos. They can be inserted in recipe cards just like any others. It’s just like a YouTube video, only you’re just using a TikTok approach. Got it. So you can do that short term video, or you can start building up your YouTube and TikTok channels and using that video to drive people to the recipe post itself, or vice versa. We’ll just have to see how that shakes out.
Jillian Leslie (00:46:44) – So it seems.
Jillian Leslie (00:46:45) – Like what you’re talking about are new ways to be driving traffic beyond just Google.
Casey Markee (00:46:53) – Well, I would like to hope. The goal, of course, is to find a way to replace Google traffic. But we’re never going to have that. Google is always going to be, in many cases, your number one referral traffic channel. And even though it does get a little lower every year, it’s still by far the number one traffic channel, which kind of leads us into our next thing, which is Pinterest.
Casey Markee (00:47:12) – You know, Pinterest has been going through a resurgence since about March or April of this year. I think that they finally, after six straight quarters of losses and the stock dropping 60%, they realized, hey, maybe we should start listening to our creators and dial back some of these changes we’ve made. And apparently they made some big changes in April because since April, there has been an incredible increase in Pinterest referrals to people. I’ve received emails all the time about people saying, yeah, don’t know what happened. I gave up on Pinterest. Then all of a sudden I logged in and I get a 20% increase in Pinterest traffic this month. And then it’s keeping growing. So if you’re on the call and you haven’t given Pinterest the time of day recently, now is the time to take a look at it anew. Because it’s now back to what it was around 2018 and 2021, where it was a lot easier to build traffic from Pinterest and that and that Pinterest traffic did convert. So take a look at that and new that think you’re going to see a resurgence as we continue in to 2024.
Casey Markee (00:48:16) – If you haven’t done anything with Pinterest recently, it’s that’s an opportunity for you to seek out a consultation with the professionals, someone like Kate, all over a simple pin media, look at reviews, find a VA who has experience with Pinterest. Try it out for a couple of months. I would say at least do a 3 to 4 month investment.
Jillian Leslie (00:48:39) – Yes, that’s a commitment.
Jillian Leslie (00:48:41) – It is. It is a long road. It is.
Jillian Leslie (00:48:43) – It is 3 to 4 months.
Jillian Leslie (00:48:44) – Yes I agree okay. So what I’m hearing you say is Google is kind of a wild card. Who knows what they’re doing. Yeah. You expect traffic to potentially drop especially I think as people start using AI as a search tool.
Casey Markee (00:49:06) – Well that’s interesting because the, the, the data shows that traffic could go up in 2024 because of the full launch of the search generative experience. It’s just that that traffic won’t be going to your.
Jillian Leslie (00:49:17) – Site, right?
Casey Markee (00:49:19) – The traffic will go up. It just might not be going to your site.
Jillian Leslie (00:49:21) – Right. So your own.
Jillian Leslie (00:49:22) – Personal traffic could take a hit as you’re competing.
Casey Markee (00:49:26) – Exactly. But the the percentage of traffic from Google. Overall is going to continue to rise. I suspect that unfortunately, no matter what being does, they just cannot make an imprint. They can’t make an inroad and stealing market share from Google third party search engines, no matter what they are here in the US, cannot take off. Doesn’t matter how much money they throw at them. Google is the king of the road for the the indefinite future. But think what you’re going to find is that when this beta the currently the search generative experiences as is called.
Jillian Leslie (00:49:57) – And which by the way is.
Jillian Leslie (00:49:58) – Google’s revised search page like you.
Jillian Leslie (00:50:01) – Go basically.
Casey Markee (00:50:02) – It’s an overlay. It’s at the top of the search results. It’s clearly got some bugs because if you type in food blogging expert, I’m still the number one result.
Jillian Leslie (00:50:11) – So it clearly.
Casey Markee (00:50:11) – Clearly it has some bugs that have to be worked out. But at the top of it there’s an overlay and it gives you the results right there.
Casey Markee (00:50:20) – And you’re going to we’re going to have to wait and see if users are going to accept those results, or if they’re going to continue to scroll down and get to the results that are going to drive you the most traffic, which is your site, unless your site is going to be at the top there and it’s going to be pretty, it’s going to be very disrupted real estate there. It’s going to be very hard to break into those 2 to 4 top results without scrolling. We’re going to have to wait and see what happens, but we’re going to see noticeable drops in traffic when they run that down because as of right now, think we’re only at about 15%. Of all queries in the United States, if that. So when this beta is over in December and Google says, okay, we’re going to take the floodgates off and we’re going to open this to all queries, it could be jarring. We’ll just have to wait and see what that shakes out to. And the first quarter of 2024.
Jillian Leslie (00:51:09) – My prediction or what I would I’d love to run this by you and see what you think. My feeling is you can no longer hide behind your blog. You are now stepping out in front of your blog and welcoming people into your blog. But you are now. This is one piece of your business, and the way that you compete against AI is by being human.
Casey Markee (00:51:35) – I would assume that’s correct. I mean, when we’re human, we need to be. We have to have our hands in many different pieces of pie, so to speak. Mean, let’s use my example as a as a marketer.
Speaker 6 (00:51:51) – I. I.
Casey Markee (00:51:55) – I am not an expert because I say I’m an expert. We’ve talked about this. I’m an expert because people refer to me as an expert, and there are literally thousands of mentions online that say that.
Jillian Leslie (00:52:09) – Absolutely. Absolutely. And that way you’re not just a random blog. You are somebody.
Jillian Leslie (00:52:29) – You’re you’re a brand.
Jillian Leslie (00:52:30) – Think of exactly when I think SEO and I need somebody to calm me down.
Jillian Leslie (00:52:36) – I think Casey Markey. So I do.
Jillian Leslie (00:52:39) – Again, I’m going to.
Casey Markee (00:52:40) – Put that on a shirt.
Jillian Leslie (00:52:42) – Get your wife in here and.
Jillian Leslie (00:52:43) – I will tell her. I will tell.
Jillian Leslie (00:52:44) – You you were on the Christmas.
Casey Markee (00:52:45) – Card list for.
Jillian Leslie (00:52:46) – Sure.
Jillian Leslie (00:52:46) – Yes, but thank you. But anyway. But that’s the point. So we are no longer people who just do keyword research and write, you know, take pretty photos and write pretty right, useful blog posts. Now it is who am I? How can I be human? How can I help you? How can I create a relationship with you so that yes, I can monetize with ads and I can monetize by selling my expertise to you?
Casey Markee (00:53:14) – Exactly. And you’ve hit the nail on the head. Your blog should be just part of a community, a hub, so to speak, as you think you’ve mentioned that before, our blog is our hub, our social profiles, our spokes. Out of that hub, our reputation is basically the engine that drives all of that, and our goal is just to make sure that we have covered all of the bases there.
Casey Markee (00:53:33) – If I really focus on your About Me pages, go in. Don’t use your About Me page to talk 2000 words about your why you decided to launch your blog. That’s 150 words at most. Your goal with your About Me page is to show users why this blog is better than the million of others out there. Your goal with your About Me pages to show and present your credentials. Why should brands want to work with you? Your goal with your About Me page is to have FAQs and lists of brand mentions so that you can interact with potential brand, relationship and users so that you can use that to propel your blog forward. The blog is not there as a vanity piece where it’s just there. You can talk all about anything you want to talk about, whatever you want to talk about. Our our About Me page is really the doorway is the door to the house that is our blog. And in many cases, that’s where you’re presenting to users your best foot forward.
Jillian Leslie (00:54:27) – And I would say people are going to think of.
Jillian Leslie (00:54:29) – Your think of yourself standing in front of it. Have Jillian come on in and explore. So this is this is how you then separate yourself I think from I. So it’s not just I want a cookie recipe. It’s oh what is this person I follow or I like, I like her recipes, okay. Or I like this, you know this person’s expertise on this. So it’s about really putting that. And I would say that now it’s no longer I’m going to get into Mediavine and I’m done.
Casey Markee (00:55:04) – Yeah. That’s that’s you’ve hit the nail on the head there. I know a lot of bloggers consider that their their feet accomplished, so to speak, their, their end result. And that’s where we get into trouble. Well, now what are you going to do. You’ve already got into Mediavine. What’s your next approach. Well I would say you’re you’ve got into Mediavine. Yeah. You’re at the 50,000 level now. Our next approach is to get to 100,000. And then from 100,000 we’re going to get to 500,000, and we’re going to go from there, because that’s really where the fun begins.
Casey Markee (00:55:31) – But it’s never been more competitive to be a food blogger.
Jillian Leslie (00:55:34) – Okay, Casey, this has been so informative, helpful. The themes, though, are always the same. Put yourself in, put yourself in the in the searchers. Mind what they’re looking for and see if you can provide the best answer. Like that seems to always be your theme.
Casey Markee (00:55:55) – It is. And and there’s there’s a lot of contrarian information. Even Google is constrained in what they say sometimes. Google’s a big thing with the helpful content update was, well, if you’re writing, if you’re publishing content, just where to rank. That’s the wrong approach to take. And that’s laughable, clearly, because the whole point of a blogger is to provide content that they like to write, but that they can also monetize to make a living from. So I accept that. I accept the absurdity in some of those statements. But you have to also understand where Google is coming from. There are plenty of people out there who their only goal is to use tools to find concepts that they can write and rank for.
Casey Markee (00:56:32) – That’s not catering to an audience, and that’s not something that Google wants to reward. So you really have to start thinking about your goals in life. If your goal is to make this a career. Your goal should be to build a content rich site that meets the needs of the user, meaning you should be surveying the users for the recipes they want first and foremost. And you should be writing those recipes. You should be using a tool just to find untapped keywords that you could go after and possibly rank for. Because this is Google telling you that’s not the approach that we’re going to reward, and that’s tough to accept. That’s tough to accept for a lot of bloggers who are trying to make a living, or maybe they’re the sole breadwinner for their side and they just want to recover this lost traffic, and they want to do it fast. And there’s no solace or words of wisdom that could give their other than, well, here’s what Google says, and you’re probably going to have to adjust your approach if you want long term success.
Jillian Leslie (00:57:27) – Well, I have to say I appreciate everything that you say. I follow you, I, I listen to what you say, and I’m so happy that you continually come on the show and share your knowledge. In fact, I’m going to ask you in front of everybody if you’ll come back in 2024 so that we can revisit all of this stuff and see.
Jillian Leslie (00:57:50) – Where we’re at. Yeah, let’s.
Casey Markee (00:57:51) – See. Let’s see how much of it was correct and how much of it was incorrect. Hopefully the robot overlords will have not taken over by then. We still have time. And remember, guys, leave cookies out. Not only Santa this year, but also your ChatGPT robot overlords. Okay, just in case.
Jillian Leslie (00:58:09) – You want to cover both.
Casey Markee (00:58:10) – Bases, they’re good times.
Jillian Leslie (00:58:12) – I have to say. Casey, thank you so much for coming back on the show.
Casey Markee (00:58:16) – The pleasure is entirely mine. I really appreciate your time. I love that someone likes to hear me continually drone on about this boring stuff.
Casey Markee (00:58:23) – So you’re appreciated. Thank you.
Jillian Leslie (00:58:25) – I hope you guys like this show. For me, it just validated how fast the world is moving, especially when it comes to AI. When it comes to third party cookies, I think 2024 is going to be a year with a lot of change. Remember, we got into this business, all of us, because we knew change was part of the equation. So I recommend you start finding new ways to monetize. And one of them is selling digital products to your audiences. Now, if you hate complicated tech, if you hate spending lots of money, go check out Milo tree cart member were selling it right now for a lifetime deal. Pay once, own it forever and all future features are grandfathered in. Head to Milo tree.com and if you sign up before the end of December, you will also get a lifetime membership to our military pop up app to grow your social media followers and email subscribers. So again, head to Milo tree.com to find out more and sign up.
Jillian Leslie (00:59:32) – And I will see you here again next week.