What a month September was! Busy, unexpected and full of surprises.
This month, I’m making some changes to our format of the transparency report. If you are new here, you can browse through our transparency, income and traffic reports here.
Let’s get down to it one by one!
After exploring Antarctica last year, I had not had a chance to take a proper vacation. In the first week of September, I planned a trip to Kenya with my family and friends. As an adventure lover, the African safari was always in my to-do list.
In the first week of September, I flew to Nairobi. From there, I visited Amboseli, Lake Naivasha and finally Masai Mara.
The wilderness of Kenya filled me with delight. It’s a place I will highly recommend to everyone. This 9-day trip was a much-needed break from the hustle bustle of the world and experience the nature in its true form.
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One of the best part about Kenya wildlife is, one will most likely spot a lion or any of the big5. This one was literally 10 ft. away and even though I could feel the presence of magnificent in such close proximity there was no sign of fear. Usually these wild animals (big 5) get enough food (delicious one) and that's why they never attack human. In fact, they would pretend not to be affected at all. The only thing (if any) one need to keep in mind is; do not look into the eyes. It's a sign of aggression for them, and things could take a dramatic turn then. #Kenya #masaimara #kenyawildlife
Seeing a lion walk just a couple of feet from you, getting ready to make a kill is an experience I cannot explain in words.
We also carried many books, stationaries, clothes, and a few other stuff to donate to the villagers. One evening was spent with the villagers and playing with their kids.
The biggest surprise for me last month was Brighton SEO. At the starting of the month, my friend Shlomi messaged me asking, “Are you coming to Brighton SEO?”
I had no idea what it was until that message.
I got down to research about the event and was surprised to discover that it is one of the world’s most popular SEO events. I applied for my visa and in 2 week’s time was on my way to Brighton, UK, to attend the event.
The event lasted two days. The first day consisted of workshops. I attended the mobile SEO workshop by Barry Adams, which was quite interesting. There were a few interesting takeaways from his workshop too.
Barry was kind enough to do a video for ShoutMeLoud readers that you can watch below:
After the event, I spent a casual day in London with friends. Here are some pictures from the Brighton and London trip:
You can watch complete album here.
There were also some noteworthy tools discussed at the BrightonSEO conference. You can start adding these to your workflow:
- Sitebulb: Desktop-based web crawler, and an excellent tool for technical SEO audit
- Sistrix: A set of SEO tools
- User-agent switcher chrome addon
- Link redirect trace
- Keywordtool.io for Keyword research
- Deepcrawl: Cloud-based site audit tool and more
- Diffchecker: To differentiate between two sets of codes
- Accuranker: Rank tracking tool
- LeverEdge: Website speed optimization tool
Apart from the tools, there were many other exciting aspects of the event, the details of which will be shared with you in the upcoming articles.
ShoutMeLoud forum rides into the sunset
Another highlight of August-September was ShoutMeLoud forum’s ride into the sunset.
For long I have wanted to reboot the forum for it was not justifying the discussion which we usually have around our blog.
From the past 3-4 months, I used to have a regular discussion with our moderators and a few of my business friends about the future of the forum.
Deep down, I knew the right thing was to let the forum go and work towards a new goal with a clearer vision.
You won’t believe what happened next.
What are the chances of a forum getting deindexed all of a sudden?
One fine day, mid of August, our forum was entirely deindexed from Google!
Before this sudden deindexing of the forum, I had manually deleted about 700+ forum posts and put a URL removal request from the search engine. (More on this later).
I’m not a 100% sure what triggered the complete deindexing of the forum from the search engine, but it did happen, on its own.
It was a mere coincidence that happened out of nowhere, but I was thankful as I took it as a signal to let go of forum for now.
I monitored the effect of traffic drop on ShoutMeLoud.com due to forum deindexation for one week, and it turned out to be only 3-4%, which is much lesser than I anticipated.
Low-quality content in the forum
Many of our regular readers reached out to me and asked about the reason for the ShoutMeLoud forum removal. Here are a few reasons that made me wield the axe:
- Quality of conversation was limited.
- Poor English and grammar were making the whole brand look unprofessional.
- Self-promotional and spammed by many to build links. Even the spam score from Moz was high.
I realized that a better idea would be to have an invite-only forum, which will reduce the headache of spam and foster more meaningful conversations.
I may reconsider starting the forum again in 2019, but for now, it’s time for me to put all my focus on the blog and other web properties.
So finally, and officially, its a goodbye to the ShoutMeLoud forum!
New gadgets purchased
After using One plus 3T for over a year and a half, I finally decided to change my phone. Initially, I thought of buying the One Plus 6, but later discovered the Huawei P20 Pro which is one of the best camera phone out there. Most of the pictures above (Brighton SEO) are taken using the Huawei P20 Pro.
If you are looking for an outstanding camera phone in 2018, do check out this phone. This phone was recommended by a photographer friend who has her work published on Nat Geo and only after using this phone’s camera for some time am I suggesting the same to my readers.
Snapseed app by Google
Snapseed is a free app available on the Google Play store and Apple app store. This app is Google-owned and is one of the best free photo editing app out there. Do check out some of the video tutorials for the Snapseed app on YouTube, and you will be amazed at the things you can do with this app.
With most us being quite active on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, a bit of photo editing will only spice up the pictures for more engagement.
Books I’m currently reading
Most of you know that I love reading. Here are a few books that I have either started or finished in September 2018:
The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham – Esther Hicks:
My friend David recommended this book and I’m blown away by it.
This book “The Law of Attraction” will shine a spotlight on each of the most significant aspects of your life experience and then guide you to the conscious creative control of every aspect of your life, and also goes right to the heart of what most of you are probably troubled by – money and physical health. Not having enough money or not having good health puts you in the perfect position for creating more what you do not have.
For anyone who wants to transform their lives (it will take a little time), this book is a must-read. After all, what you seek is seeking you! 😉
Big changes take time, and this book is full of examples and powerful anecdotes that will help you understand the power of mini habits. Once you understood the science of our psychology of habits, you could be anything you want. Another book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and could recommend to you as well.
Which books are you currently reading or have read that has had an impact on you? Let me know in the comments below.
October is another month of learning, and I will be in Bali for about 10 days to attend DMSS, a digital marketing conference.
This event will happen in three parts:
This is going to be my experience of this kind, and I’m excited to hang out and learn from the sharpest and the most curious minds of the digital marketing industry. As always, I will share my learnings and experience with you in the upcoming articles.
New YouTube videos
Last month we also recorded two videos about our video content workflow and how one can record videos all by themselves. These videos are in a different format than what I usually publish. You can watch both the videos on my YouTube channel or below:
So, a slight change in the format of our transparency report and for a couple of months, it would be like this. I will share the updates and things I’m looking forward to doing in the upcoming months. I will also publish a video on why I have paused publishing income reports, which will go live on our YouTube channel soon.
For now, I would like to know what all have you learned the in September 2018? What are your plans for October 2018?
If you would like to watch my experience at DMSS, Bali, you can join me on Instagram.
Until next time.