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This month at the Craft Action Group we will have a very special guest speaker, Joanna Salinas.  She is a wonderful and talented woman, both technically and creatively.  We are lucky to have her as one of our group members and even more excited that she will be speaking to us on May 19th on Search Engine Optimization, but until then check out this amazing interview that I had with her…

Can you describe this SEO as if I knew nothing about it? 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the strategies and technics used to increase the visibility of your website, thereby increasing the number of visitors. To do this, various technics are used to get high ranking placement.

This means that when people search for merchandise or information matching what you sell or offer on your website, the search results will come up with your website URL link in the first few search engine result pages (SERPS).

You want three things out SEO –

  1. Quality of traffic – attracting visitors who genuinely want the products you’re offering.
  2. Quantity of traffic – with the right people clicking through, grabbing more of that high quality traffic.
  3. Organic Results – Ads make up a significant portion of SERPS. Organic traffic is any traffic you don’t have to pay for.

Why should creatives care about SEO? 

No one will find you in the dark!! I have wonderful artist friends and they haven’t a clue about sales, about websites or SEO campaigns. Yet they are aching to share their work with the world, make a difference in the perception of art, teach and inspire worldwide. SEO, along with joining the World Wide Web (WWW) will give you the freedom to sell your wares, locally, nationally and internationally.

04 Designed by Freepik

What makes you an expert on SEO? 

I started designing my own blogs and websites about 10 years ago as a creative outlet. An Enterprise programmer for about 18 years, there’s always a side of me that needed to be expressed outside of the corporate status quo.

In order to get people to read my blogs, it was a natural progression to learn SEO and grow with it, as ranking factors/SEO changed. In short, I wanted people to visit my sites and dialogue with them.

About 4 years ago, I left the corporate world to start my own internet technology businesses. I designed mobile applications for small businesses around town, designed websites for those businesses and did their social media development, ongoing online campaigns and their SEO.

I am a member of various meetups that taught me a lot about SEO and I have developed partner and friend relationships with other SEO experts locally and online. I read about SEO and took a few (more than a few!) online courses. I’ve included a couple of links to SEO experts, my mentors (i.e., Yoast and MOZ). My clients have gained by the trial and experimentation I performed on my own websites BEFORE I worked on theirs.

I don’t know that I’m necessarily an EXPERT, but I’m glad to share my knowledge. In this information age, an expert doesn’t know all the answers; they just know where to find the information, the answers.

Forget the technical hodge podge for a second, what gets your creative heart beating?   

Creativity is and has always been at the core of my being. Everything I’ve ever done or worked with, economics, sales, technology, writing, permaculture, arts and crafts is an aspect of my creative matrix. I admired the renaissance people, entrepreneurs, artisans, musicians and craftsmen, who wanted to learn and try everything!!

I wrote a time-travel romance novel 25 years ago and it got good reader response. The intelligent women’s romance novel. Of course Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorite romance novelists – Outlander on Starz.

NeonWillow Hand Embroidered Bracelet

My mother, my aunts, and my Girl Scout leader taught me to crochet, knit, weave, sew…If it had to do with fiber; I learned it or taught myself.

I drew the leprechaun on the back of a matchbook and sent it in to the correspondence art school at 8 or 9 years of age, only to have them send me a letter. It stated that although I showed great promise, I had to be at least 17 years of age to take their courses. Later I took a few watercolor and painting/sculpting classes and I attended Scripps College, where I found a true appreciation and knowledge of art, classical music and the art of drinking tequila while dancing salsa or disco on tables.

This all progressed to translating my creativity, intelligence and curiosity into corporate endeavors, owning mortgage brokerages, rent-to-own sales, technical writing, children’s clothing manufacturing, and going back to school to learn computer information systems, becoming a programmer/analyst.

Neon Willow Silk Bralette

I’ve come full circle now. With time, I’ve come back around to the fiber arts, jewelry design, more organic pursuits to follow me into my retirement from the corporate world. I’ll not go into the night quietly. I still see trends and Boho – Gypsy is where I’ve staked my claim for now.

I design jewelry with stones and other ‘Milagros’, stones that metaphysically bring the owner a desired outcome (romance, protection, love).
Neon Willow Stone Necklace

The clothing I make: crochet bras with lining and pockets for the breast enhancers, kimonos with quirky sayings embroidered on the back (Don’t let the muggles get you down) or tie-dyed and embellished cuffs and head wraps, all appeal to the millennials who go to music festivals, want to look hipster or boho or just appreciate fun, romantic, quixotic styles.

If a fellow creative walked up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be? 

Be brave!  Try a lot of different SEO techniques. Some work better with some types of websites than others.

What is the single best resource for people on SEO? 

Not just one, but three: Yoast, MOZ, and Website Magazine.

You can see some of Joanna’s technical work at: