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Just Start Doing the Damn Keyword Research Already

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Mmkay, so we talk about keyword research a lot in online publishing. But like, what the hell is it, actually?

Keyword research lets you know what terms and phrases users are already searching for. This can help shape the topics you write about. More importantly, doing SEO on your written content for a certain keyword makes it easier for users to find your work, which means more traffic, which everyone wants.

So here's a new blog post on keyword research 101: What it is and how to do it.

🔗 Brush Up on Keyword Research

Some Cyber Monday Deals to Know About

I recommend shopping for software during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It's almost always the best promotion of the year, and these reduced rates give you time to try new tools and see what works best for you.

Here are some of the promotions coming down the line for tools I write about a lot.

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Surfer SEO (aff link)

  • Their deal will run from November 24th to December 1st.
  • 10% off monthly plans for the first year.
  • 30% off first year if you choose an annual plan.

I recommend the Surfer Essentials plan, without the AI. Love Surfer, it transformed my website this year, but the AI sucks. All the AIs suck, mama.

Here's the evergreen review I wrote about Surfer.

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ConvertKit (aff link)

  • Their deal is 30% off a Creator Annual Plan.
  • It's available now, and ends on Monday, November 27th.
  • You can roll into an annual plan if you already have a monthly one.

ConvertKit is the better fit for creators, and one of the viable Substack substitutes I recommend. It is the simplest. It doesn't have the tracking power that ActiveCamapign has, but it gets the job done.

Here's the evergreen review I wrote about ConvertKit.

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Leadpages (aff link)

  • The deal is a whopping 40% off your first year.
  • It's available now through Sunday, November 26th.
  • Leadpages is a powerful landing page builder that integrates nicely with Zapier.

I used Leadpages for several years. If you just want everything to look way nicer, while still having a drag-and-drop solution, it's a great option.

Here's the evergreen review I wrote about Leadpages.

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Nearly every software does some sort of Black Friday deal, but some of them keep it under wraps until this coming week. Here are some other tools to keep an eye on.

ActiveCampaign (aff link) -- A powerhouse email service provider, and what I use for these emails.

Zapier -- Swear to God, if y'all don't start using Zapier or some other automation tool soon, I am going to scream. Work less!

ThriveCart (aff link) -- the last cart checkout software you'll ever need, and you only have to pay once.

ConvertBox (aff link) -- ThriveCart's sister product, and a powerful online forms tool. I'm loving it so far. Similarly, it's a one-time payment for a lifetime license.

Tech News Roundup

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What a weekend! Here are some news recaps to keep you in the know.

X/Twitter/Whatever we call it now

Elon Musk publicly empathized with an antisemitic conspiracy theory on Wednesday. That same day, Media Matters for America, a watchdog, published evidence that advertisers' posts weren't adhering to brand safety protocols, and were appearing beside antisemitic content.

IBM pulled their ad dollars, along with several others. The big one was Apple, which spends about $10 million a year in advertising on X. Ina Fried broke that story for Axios.

The user exodus this week has led to a considerable surge of journalistic activity on Threads, Instagram's “public square” Twitter alternative. Threads is picking up a lot of steam, and it's still ad-free at the moment.

OpenAI

Musk and team got some respite from the backlash on Friday, when ChatGPT parent company OpenAI's board abruptly fired superstar CEO Sam Altman, announcing the leadership transition in a blog post. In the post, the board “concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.” OpenAI CTO Mira Murati will be interim CEO.

Some called it the bombshell of the year in tech. But barely 24 hours later, it was announced the both Microsoft and investors were working to try and get Altman reinstated. This is playing out hour by hour, and Threads is doing a good job keeping pace.

Apple

Apple will allow RCS communication with Android phones starting next year.

This means that when Android and iOS users message one another, you'll stop having issues like pixelated photos and truncated message length, because Apple is going to adopt and incorporate Google's standards. The lack of compatibility here has been driving a rift between Android and iOS for years, and we have enough bipartisan energy floating around right now, so this is a big update.

Don't worry, though -- Apple plans to maintain blue bubbles for texts from iOS devices and green bubbles for Android, so you'll still be able to shame your friends. Vox has a writeup here.

Cruise

Robotaxi startup Cruise is accused of misleading the California DMV in an accident response last month. The company has suspended all operations in the United States.

In San Francisco last month, a Cruise vehicle was involved in a pedestrian incident, in which another human-driven car hit a pedestrian, who then fell into the autonomous vehicle (AV) path. This had already been reported. But Cruise left a detail out: The AV then dragged the pedestrian about 20 feet, as it executed a pullover maneuver.

VICE Motherboard has the writeup. And last night, Cruise's CEO resigned.

Google

Kinda cool: Google has a music AI, but they'll be embedded “inaudible watermarks” into any music generated with AI so that it can be distinguished as AI-generated. These dystopia checks feel few and far between lately; this was refreshing news.

Here's a writeup from The Verge about it.

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Cheering you on,

—Nick