[00:00:00] Olga: Hi everyone. Welcome to SEO Podcast by #SEOSLY. I'm Olga Zarr, your host, and today I have a very special guest. This is Kristina Azarenko. Kristina, how are you doing?
[00:00:16] Kristina: Hi everyone. I am doing great.
[00:00:19] Olga: And I think Kristina is one of those guests who doesn't really need an introduction. I think everyone in the SEO world knows Kristina. But Kristina, if you were to summarize yourself in one, two sentences, what would you say?
[00:00:34] Kristina: In one, two sentences. Okay. I was not prepared for that, but it's the hardest thing.
[00:00:38] Kristina: But, um, honestly, I'm currently on the mission to help people, uh, learn s e o so that I can demystify and break this down after, over. Educate. I always keep saying dec every single year is the gross post, but I'm like, educate. Yeah. It's, it's cool educative experience, uh, in SEO doing everything like hands-on experience and I really love this, um, field and I am happy to be a part of it.
[00:01:06] Kristina: Was it just two sentences?
[00:01:07] Olga: Yeah, it doesn't matter. It was cool. Okay. Kristina, I want to get back in time to the very beginnings of your s e o career. So this decade or more ago, how did it all started? How did it happen that you ended in SEO, landed in SEO.
[00:01:25] Kristina: Yeah. You know, like, I love that you said landed an SS e o because there's no person Yeah.
[00:01:30] Kristina: Who wanted to be an SS e o when they grew up, you know, when they were like two, three years old now. Yes, but, but like our SEO generation, not really. So like yeah. People land into Totally. And um, I. That's the same for me, but I think that, think that, um, there was a lot of randomness in, in this as well. Kind of like intuition plus randomness.
[00:01:53] Kristina: Yeah, totally. Because, um, because I, I was working as a debt collector at a watch factory. Um, nothing like, nothing like beating people? No, no. This kind of stuff. I was just like calling and reminding them to pay and convincing them to pay, like all this kind of stuff, uh, that they owed. Like be clear here now then everybody was like, Christina Zaki was a debt collector.
[00:02:17] Kristina: She was beating people along. No, I was, I did not. You better bully. Better bully. Yes. Um, but then one day I randomly, I still can't explain how I found a course in ss e o. It was offline course back in means Camp Belarus, where I'm originally from. So I signed up for, for the course and like. It was that random that for some reason I thought that, oh, it going, it is going to be cool.
[00:02:45] Kristina: And I spent two monthly salaries on this course. Like I really believed into it, in it. You know, it wasn't free. It wasn't something like, oh, I can pay it from, uh, I don't know. It was just like one day of working out. It was like two monthly salaries. And I fell completely in love with seo. I remember I was coming, uh, back home after every lesson and I would be like, oh, wow.
[00:03:10] Kristina: And I would just read and read and read and read. And I remember I even took two weeks off for my, that job as that collector because I wanted to read and learn more. And then after I finished the course, I think it was like three months later. I found a junior s e o position. So that's basically how I started in SS e o.
[00:03:31] Kristina: Okay,
[00:03:32] Olga: so what year was
[00:03:33] Kristina: it? Um, it was. 2011, uh, ishish. Okay. Okay, cool.
[00:03:46] Olga: And this first junior s e o position was in, in Belarus, or was it
[00:03:50] Kristina: in It was, yeah, it was based in Belarus, but it was for, um, uh, uk uh, agency mm-hmm. That also have like outsource, uh, outsourcing department in Belarus.
[00:04:03] Olga: Okay. Okay. And like, how, how much time did you spend
[00:04:06] Kristina: there?
[00:04:07] Kristina: I. Um, I think it's been there a year and, um, I remember after three months of working there, I was like, whoa, that's so fascinating because obviously when I came there, like I was, that was the only job where I was actually taught doing something. The processes, the rest of the jobs, I would create all the processes, but I was taught at first and that there were some things that.
[00:04:31] Kristina: Uh, we were doing that. I was like, oh, that doesn't look right. Like, you know, article speeding. But like everybody was doing that. Yeah. Uh, at that time. Right. Everybody was like submitting this lease Totally. On social media. Article bookmarking
[00:04:43] Olga: articles. Yeah,
[00:04:45] Kristina: yeah, yeah, exactly. So I was like, wow, that doesn't look right to me.
[00:04:49] Kristina: And then it was like started, uh, going more into technical part of ss e o, and. I was really fascinated by it. And at some point I was actually like, I think three months later I was actually kind of like teaching people, um, how to do things and I was assigned as a lead, um, of my group. So I was like training them because I was so fascinated.
[00:05:13] Kristina: I loved SEO so much and people who working their, uh, like a year or something, they did not. Really want to like learn a lot. And I'm not saying anything bad about them. It's just like if you're, if you are absolutely crazy about the topic or you're not, that's totally fine. Both are okay. Um, So, yeah, I started like, uh, training and then I was sent to London, uh, UK for like a Christmas party.
[00:05:39] Kristina: That was a highlight of my life because I dream to, to go to the UK for a long time. Um, so yeah, and I spent there a year. Um, then like things shifted in the company, so like, okay, that's, it's time to move on Uhhuh.
[00:05:54] Olga: Okay. And.
[00:05:55] Kristina: Next role. Uh, so the next next role was actually, um, again, I was also like kind of outsourcing outsourced company in Belarus, but I was actually working for London School of Business and Finance, Uhhuh.
[00:06:09] Kristina: And uh, it was pretty cool because I remember at that time I get, I had. Enough time on my hands to experiment as well. Not just, you know, only like trying to keep up, but also experiment as well and learn. And I remember at that time, Google Tech Manager, just like it was the first version version of Google Tech Manager.
[00:06:29] Kristina: And I remember I was fascinated by two, so I was like, okay, I want to do, uh, more like tags and everything. And then I, at that time I also had a blog, uh, it wasn't Russian. It was an SEO o blog. So whatever I would learn, I would just like write a, write a post about it. And like with all the screenshots, it was like, oh my God, this is so cool.
[00:06:49] Kristina: Um, yeah. So that was my, uh, second position. I think it was like a year and something. Mm-hmm. Um, and then again I was like, oh, it's time to move on. I think I've done everything here. I want something else. So I want to work, uh, for another company, uh, with, uh, the name is Am and, uh, They were developing and they're still developing, um, Magento extensions.
[00:07:15] Kristina: Mm-hmm. So it opened the whole world for me for like, about learning about Magento, but again, more technical things because, uh, I was doing lots of seo. But like you can't do SEO if you don't know what the company actually does. Right? Yeah. Um, even like even Cuba research, you need to know deeply, totally the topic deeply so that you can be really good at it.
[00:07:37] Kristina: Right. Uh, so I worked there for. Sometime. Then I left another company, then I came back. So overall, I think it's like five years and then I moved to Canada. I.
[00:07:50] Olga: Uh huh Okay. And when you moved to Canada, you, you started working on
[00:07:54] Kristina: your own? Um, not really. So I remember, so before, before moving to Canada, when I was, uh, still in, I was working for Mastery, but I was doing, uh, I was doing seo O and then I was doing paid ads, uh, for fulltime, like actually full-time.
[00:08:09] Kristina: Okay. I was doing Facebook ads, I was doing, uh, Google ads and I remember I was looking at the Google Ads account. I loved it so much. It was my baby. I had an app on my. Phone so they can check out how much r o y we had. I think the account was like over 1000% r o y. Oh nice. And I was like, oh my God, this is, this is my baby.
[00:08:30] Kristina: Um, it was really hard to let things go. Uh, so I moved to Canada and I worked for the company for three more, uh, months so that like, uh, we could hire other people so that I can train them. Basically so that they can take over. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Um, and then, uh, I just, uh, started looking for a job in Toronto.
[00:08:50] Kristina: I worked at one company, didn't like it a lot. I mean, it was great. I was just up for more challenges. I. Like the website there was pretty small and I was doing both paid ads and SS e o. That was the time of my career when I was like, I like both. I wanted to do both. I want to do paid ads, I want to do SS e o, and I so clearly saw how they work together and for me, paid ads.
[00:09:15] Kristina: I mean, to me they seem so much simpler than SEO as well, and they like complimented really well. And, um, It was a really great time when I was learning a lot too, because paid ads are changing like all the time too. Like ss e o, right? And um, yeah, so, but then I, uh, eventually I found a job, um, at an agency in Toronto and I was doing only ss e o there, and I worked there for a year and then I was like, okay, now I'm done.
[00:09:45] Kristina: I'm ready to do my own thing. Um, so long
[00:09:49] Olga: have you been doing your own thing?
[00:09:52] Kristina: Um, From September, I believe, from September of 2019. Uhhuh. Okay. Yeah.
[00:10:00] Olga: Nice, nice. And regarding Google Ads, there are a few SEOs who do Google ads. At least I. That I know of. I used to do Google ads, but I stopped like seven years ago, so probably, yeah, I don't have much to say about that anymore.
[00:10:18] Olga: But Can you tell me like how do they compliment one another? How like maybe some of the campaigns you did using both. I'd be happy to learn.
[00:10:28] Kristina: Well, to be fair, I did pay as also like. In 20 17, 20 18. So I remember when I was working, like for the whole year, so many things changed. When I was working I was like, so many things.
[00:10:40] Kristina: So obviously now, like all, everything I know is pretty relevant, just the logic is correct. But I remember I had really funk campaigns, uh, targeting our competitors. Keywords, our competitors brand, brand names, finding creative ways of how, like I can use their, uh, brand names as like normal words, like, you know, regular words.
[00:11:07] Kristina: 'cause some, sometimes their names were not like brand, like a massis, like it's a brand name. But some of the competitors have like a little bit other names not, uh, that have
[00:11:19] Olga: other meanings. Right? Yeah. Yeah. So
[00:11:21] Kristina: that's like, I was, I was, I really loved that. It was really fun. Um, and, um, yeah, I remember I was just, um, experimenting a lot and I was, uh, looking at the words that were like, I was optimizing, like where we were, were ranking organically versus where we were ranking.
[00:11:42] Kristina: We were ranking maybe like on second, third page, there was optimizing ads for that. Um, And I remember I was testing like, uh, Google only kind of started automation then, and it was pretty good. At that time. It was pretty good because you still have lots of controls. Uh, so I was testing lots in that. I was doing AB tasks, like about the copy.
[00:12:07] Kristina: What copy works best. Yeah, it was cool because the only thing that I love about, I think. Adds more than about ss e o is that the, um, you get the answer, you get the, the result of what you've done like basically recently, within a day or two, and it's really cool. That's kind of something that you can sometimes have a tech in technical ss, e o.
[00:12:33] Kristina: Sometimes. Yeah. Um, but uh, yeah, in that respect, I love Google Ads a lot because you can test and like evolve and do things all the time and you can instantly see the results. Yeah. Yeah,
[00:12:45] Olga: totally. Totally. And unless you find like a super quick technical ss e o win, you probably have to wait months or
[00:12:53] Kristina: weeks if you, if you, if your website is, uh, disrupt number 60 and you allowed in Rob 60?
[00:13:02] Kristina: Yeah. Well, within a day at is. So it means a Google. Well, within the day you'll see the results, right?
[00:13:08] Olga: Yeah, totally. Totally the opposite.
[00:13:10] Kristina: Yeah. But we don't want the opposite.
[00:13:12] Olga: Yeah, totally. Totally. And you, you mentioned something that you work for a company that was creating, uh, Magento extensions.
[00:13:20] Olga: So is it where your e-commerce s e o experience comes from? Because I know you are also like heavy on
[00:13:26] Kristina: that. Yes, yes. That's where my e-commerce experience is coming from. And it's like, there are two sides to that. First of all, we were working with me merchants, and secondly, like the whole website was e-commerce website.
[00:13:39] Kristina: Mm-hmm. Because as it was selling extensions and, um, I set up like it was set up all the e-commerce tagging. And, and I remember when enhanced eCommerce rolled out, we were setting this, um, up as well. And in, in, even in Google ads. We attributed, uh, cl uh, sales to specific clicks, to specific keywords so that I can easily see that.
[00:14:03] Kristina: So that's where my love for e-commerce started because mm-hmm. I really love that you can tie, uh, what you are doing to exact numbers of revenue. I really love that. Yeah.
[00:14:15] Olga: nice to know that how impactful you are. Yeah. Okay. So, So you are four years more or less into your own thing, if I'm counting correctly.
[00:14:25] Olga: And what, what is it exactly that you have been doing for those four years?
[00:14:31] Kristina: Uh, yeah, it's a good question. I think, uh, I think I take like a year plus and then I get bored and move on to something else. Uhhuh. But, but it's always like within the same area, but, um, So, lemme tell you, when I left my job, uh, when I quit my job, and uh, the next day I was like, oh, okay, cool, cool.
[00:14:52] Kristina: I'm working for myself. It was not like, you know, butterflies everywhere and Uhhuh people are coming to me, bringing me money. It was take it like, yeah, yeah, you'll take my money. It was the opposite. It was the opposite because I quickly realized that I was lacking business skills at all, like mm-hmm.
[00:15:12] Kristina: Literally at all. And I even remember one of my first conversations with clients. I even, uh, I was even afraid to jump on calls, on sales calls. Oh, I was, I re right.
[00:15:23] Olga: Same with me. So yeah, I can totally relate. Yeah.
[00:15:27] Kristina: So I remember I was, uh, slacking this potential client and they were like, okay, how much will it cost?
[00:15:34] Kristina: And I was like, oh, it will cost this amount of money. Uh, it'll take me this amount of time. But don't worry if it takes me even more, I will not charge you more money. Oh. And now I'm like, oh my God, what have I done? It's like, well, it's a learning curve. You all start somewhere. So I was really good at, uh, my SEO skills, but I was really bad at business skills.
[00:15:59] Kristina: But I learned it quickly and I took every course, spoke to so many people who I can learn. From, and I think within a couple of months I was really comfortable doing that. So I created like, okay, for myself, I created my framework of how I can be confident in my business skills as well, how I can use them to compliment my.
[00:16:22] Kristina: Uh, my SEO skills because you don't want to be on the sales call begging people. Oh, I'm not, I'm not looking very confident, but trust me, I'm really good at what I do. Well, it doesn't work like that Uhhuh, and it's, it's good and it's bad, but the truth is, and I, and now I hire people as well, and the truth is, if you can't highlight your expertise, you'll not be hired even if you have the best skills ever.
[00:16:47] Kristina: That's, that's how it works in the world. So it's better to like level up those skills. Two, I realized it quickly, so I did it. And then I think within a couple of months I was doing really good and then covid hit. Oh, okay.
[00:17:04] Olga: And what happens with Covid for you?
[00:17:07] Kristina: Um, I think, I think it was pretty interesting because.
[00:17:14] Kristina: I suddenly found myself with lots of, uh, time on my hand. And
[00:17:19] Olga: I, 'cause, you had clients, right? And some of them probably quit
[00:17:21] Kristina: after Covid started. Yes, I had clients. I had clients. Um, most clients started panicking. I mean, they came back, came back eventually, but when Covid hit, like nobody knew what was going on.
[00:17:31] Kristina: So like, okay, we are like pausing. So I remember one month, it was, I believe May, um, may of 2020. So like, obviously when you. Start working with clients. You still, or like stop doing, uh, doing something. You still have money coming in, uh, coming in. Based on the work that you, uh, did previously, right? Mm-hmm.
[00:17:50] Kristina: But then since I didn't have anything in pipeline, I think May, 2020, I made $75. Oh, I think that's, that's the smallest amount amount I've done since
[00:18:04] Olga: I
[00:18:04] Kristina: started working. Uhhuh in general, like working okay, but at the same time, I think. There was something great about that time because I had more. Um, opportunities to like create content.
[00:18:21] Kristina: Um, basically look back at what I've done and rethinking, uh, and again, like create something based on it. So it was really great like looking back, like obviously while you in that moment you're like, oh my God, everything sucks. Yeah. But when you like, At the end, at the end of the tunnel, uh, you are like, oh, wow.
[00:18:46] Kristina: It was pretty good. It was like a pretty good experience and I'm pretty grateful for it. Uhhuh. Okay.
[00:18:52] Olga: Okay. Like Covid was. Kind of similar to me because like Covid made me start like sharing, made me create my blog. Mm-hmm. Because like I was this hidden person at the agency who was, no one knew, but I was doing some interesting things for like seven years at that time.
[00:19:09] Olga: So it, I had some experience, a lot of experience, but I wasn't like sharing it actively. Mm-hmm. And Covid hit and I kind of said, okay, so this is going to be my pandemic project and this project. Pretty quickly in three years, in two years, let me go on my own as well. So mm-hmm. We both had like, good experiences from pandemic.
[00:19:33] Kristina: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, pandemic has changed so many things and like, uh, put people on other paths that they never thought that they could be on. Right. So, totally.
[00:19:44] Olga: Yeah. So before Pandemic, you were doing mostly clients and after pandemic, during the pandemic, it switched to like building courses, right?
[00:19:55] Kristina: Or Um, well, not, not really.
[00:19:57] Kristina: So I actually, so basically I was doing SEO for a long time and as I said, even at my first job, I was. Kind of like natively training people. And I remember even at the agency back in Toronto, if when someone would come, like more junior, I would like to help them. I would train them. So basically teaching came naturally, uh, to me.
[00:20:23] Kristina: And also at some point, even from starting from 2018 when I, um, no, no, the beginning of 2019. So I moved to Canada in 2018, and in 2019 in January, I was thinking, oh wow. Have so much experience in. Like my personal experience in a adapting in a different kind country with a different culture. And I came, uh, from like the uh, um, post-Soviet union country.
[00:20:52] Kristina: Right? Yeah. So like the, the
[00:20:55] Olga: mindset. Yes, yes. We are neighbors. We used to be neighbor. So I kind of understand Totally. The climate. Yeah,
[00:21:01] Kristina: yeah, exactly. So you have so many. Things like so many mindset blocks in your head coming from this background and coming into the Western country. Oh my God, these blocks don't serve you at all.
[00:21:18] Kristina: So I remember in 2019, at the beginning of 2019, I even like outlined, maybe I'll create a course for people like me who moved from like, from these kind of countries to western countries. Mm-hmm. And again, specifically, so I had the whole outline. I remember I was thinking, oh my God, I can invite this, um, friend of mine who does, um, Um, like she, she was helping people, uh, to build their, um, CVS for mm-hmm.
[00:21:47] Kristina: Finding about job, right? It's like, oh, maybe I'll do that, I'll do that. So I was fascinated by this whole course creation thing, but I didn't pull the trigger and I'm kind of like happy that I didn't, because there so many things that go into creating course. But I was, I started thinking that like I can really help people by sharing what I know.
[00:22:10] Kristina: So I kind of share it in like on social media, but it was not that intentional as it would be in the course. Right. I. We package everything and create a structure for people. Mm-hmm. Um, so when I quit my job in September, I started to do two things simultaneously. I started working with clients and they build a course, my first course, but it was in SEO because obviously I already had.
[00:22:34] Kristina: Audience and I already had visibility in this industry. Mm-hmm. Um, so it was called SEO Challenge. Remember, I love this course. I love this course so much.
[00:22:44] Olga: It was insane. I couldn't afford it at the time, but I remember
[00:22:48] Kristina: it. I remember I was, I was launching it and I was. So afraid that nobody will buy. But in the end, like I ended up with 10 people in the first cohort, Uhhuh, so it was court based.
[00:22:59] Kristina: And most of these people, I think nine of these people, I never met them Uhhuh. So it was so cool to me that they trusted me to do that. And uh, some of these people are still, like in my, all my other courses, Uhhuh, like I know them by names and I, I know them pretty well. By now. So it was cool. So I created this course and I was then, for some time I was working with clients and simultaneously when I had more time on my hands, I would launch a course.
[00:23:28] Kristina: Mm-hmm. A cohort basically, not the course, but a cohort of the same course of SEO challenge. Um, and then again, switching back to client work. And then I launch a cohort. So that was my life till I think, uh, till the end of 2020 first. Uhhuh.
[00:23:46] Olga: Yeah. And what happened in 2022?
[00:23:49] Kristina: Um, so 2020 first I was really burned out.
[00:23:53] Kristina: Mm-hmm. And I realized that it was so much, and especially like working with clients and courses, it's. Well, if you take, if you take courses, uh, seriously the way I do, dunno how, how, how, what, what's the best way to describe it? But, uh, well, it's okay to have a course and work with clients at the same time.
[00:24:16] Kristina: For me personally, it was not working really well because I could not send clear messaging in my, uh, social media platforms. And I. Needed to switch all the time, like my, my mindset all the time between these two things. Mm-hmm. So, and I realized that I was, I was burned out so much, it was really bad. Uh, so I took I think a month and a half off completely to figure out, okay, like, I need to calm down.
[00:24:43] Kristina: I need to understand what's, what's going on, and they need to understand how, what's the best way to move on. And at the beginning of 20, 20 20, I decided that I would face from client work. So I finished all the projects that I was doing and, uh, all retainers that I had and basically, um, I switched back to my SEO challenge course and then mm-hmm.
[00:25:10] Kristina: At some point I was like, okay, because since I created it, it. Like I was updating it all the time, but since, since the beginning, people were asking me for technical ss, e o specifically. And even in the, in the ss e o challenge, that biggest model, it was model seven. It was technical SS e o. It was the favorite model of all my students.
[00:25:29] Kristina: I. So I was like, okay, maybe it's finally the time to listen to people who were asking two years and actually create something that is more, uh, technical. Ss e o based, um, general Ss, e o. And let's be honest, especially when you go deep or in deep or in, um, in different ss e uh, specializations. And they're like, you can think about.
[00:25:54] Kristina: A lot of them, right? Mm-hmm. Um, you can't, like, it's impossible that you can know everything, right? So at some point I was like, well, I love technical ss e o more than like content s e o. I don't really want to teach people how to find keywords, uh, anymore. It's not like it's not important. It is important, but there are so many more people who are much better than me at that.
[00:26:16] Kristina: Mm-hmm. In technical ss e o I know that I'm really good and I know that I, if I focus only on this, I know that it can be, it'll be 100% valuable for everyone, for me and for students, like, for everyone who's involved. So like, okay, that's, now it's time to move on. And to speech to technical, sss e specifically.
[00:26:38] Kristina: And
[00:26:39] Olga: that's how your, uh, tech ss e o what was the name of this course called? Yeah,
[00:26:45] Kristina: it's, uh, tech ss e o Pro Tech. Ss e pro. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:26:49] Olga: That's how, okay. Okay. And do you, this course and ss e o challenge, do you also this course launch in this cohort? Or like, is it, uh, why do you do it this way? Is it better or than having the course open all the time?
[00:27:05] Kristina: Yeah, I think it depends. Yeah. But, uh, tell me honestly, I think, well, launching cohorts it was great, but also, Every launch required lots of, lots of time. It's insane how much time a launch uhhuh, uh, of the, like, the love that I was doing, it required, like you could record the whole, the whole course during, like, during the launch instead of the launch.
[00:27:32] Kristina: Yeah,
[00:27:32] Olga: it's, it was
[00:27:33] Kristina: Oh, it it was a lot. Yeah. But plus there were people who were like, well, I want to join, but I can't do like this specific timeframe. So I was thinking about that and I was like, Okay, what do, what can they do so that it's accessible to people at any time? So that like, they can do it at a, at their own pace.
[00:27:51] Kristina: They don't, do not depend on any time zones or anything like that, and they can take time off between the course as much as they needed. So I decided to, uh, To then do a prerecorded course and give people lifetime access with Tech seo, port
[00:28:10] Olga: Uhhuh. Okay. Okay, cool. And how many courses do you have now, as of now?
[00:28:19] Kristina: So I closed the SEO Challenge last year so that I want to focus specifically on technical. And uh, this year I launched website migrations course, uh, which basically. I mean, it's a, it's a huge resource for, um, Uh, for people who want to help. Uh, companies migrating to migrate, like different kinds of migrations.
[00:28:44] Kristina: The main migrations, year round migrations, uh, content management system migrations. So I've done lots and lots of migrations, uh, before. So I basically put everything together, like in frameworks. Mm-hmm. Downloadables and checklists and everything. And I created this course at the beginning of this year.
[00:29:03] Kristina: So that means I have two courses and I'm going to launch a new one a little bit later. But, um, tech as your pro to like the main course for me, the main course that I focus on.
[00:29:15] Olga: And can you share the topic of the third one?
[00:29:19] Kristina: Yeah. It's going to be, I think it's something that people definitely need, uh, especially SEOs, especially well in especially technical SEOs.
[00:29:28] Kristina: It's, uh, going to be about, um, how to. Um, how to work with developers to be heard. Oh. And get things implemented.
[00:29:39] Olga: Yeah. Yeah. That's probably, so that's desirable topic.
[00:29:44] Kristina: Yeah, because I worked, I've worked with lots of clients and like, I'm not saying that all the time in 100% everything was implemented that I was recommending, but when I.
[00:29:56] Kristina: Basically switched to this kind of approach that I'm going to teach. It helped me so much. I remember I was working with a client there were a content management system and they, um, they are empowering like lots and lots of websites obviously. And with my technical e o recommendations too, I needed to be really, Um, intentional because you can't say, oh, for this website, do this, for this website, do that.
[00:30:23] Kristina: I was creating like technical s u requirements for the whole platform that would empower all the websites. And I remember I was sending them some recommendations that were pretty complex and then they're sending me back for QA and then qa. Everything is right, everything is implemented correctly. Now, I'm not saying rarely happens right now, I'm not saying that it's only me.
[00:30:50] Kristina: The developers, uh, like did their job pretty well, but it was also about like how I presented things, how I explained them, how I set up tasks, this kind of stuff. So it all helps. So, yeah, I find that, I find that that's something that people need. Uh, yeah. And I have this, uh, information, so I really want to share it too.
[00:31:13] Kristina: Okay.
[00:31:14] Olga: And so how many times per year can people do, do those launches, launches?
[00:31:21] Kristina: Oh, well, if people decide to go with, like, with course creation, if they decide to go, um, with a launch, um, basically launches per year, it, well, you need to understand what you're assign signing up yourself for, but then everything depends on the demand and your time.
[00:31:41] Kristina: Mm-hmm. And if the launch is easy for you, if you don't do. If you don't do like a webinar, um, um, like sequence of emails or anything, I mean, is it possible even to launch without that this time? Okay. Not really, but, um, I mean, I would say if you want to launch a course, launch once and then see how it goes.
[00:32:07] Kristina: Like whether you want to do cohorts, uh, whether you want to do or like prerecorded because, well, there is nothing bad in doing, like, and it's really pretty cool when you do live, uh, live, live teaching as well. Mm-hmm. It just depends on the audience and the demand and on the topic that you want to teach.
[00:32:25] Kristina: Because for me, teaching. Uh, website migrations or technical, s e o Live was not really. Yeah, it wasn't really a good idea because I want, I didn't want to waste people's time. I wanted to be like, okay, that's, that's what I prepared. That's exactly, uh, what you're going to learn. These are practical things.
[00:32:49] Kristina: I'll, I'll go and show to you like you may browser. Not just like, you know, it's not just slides where you just like create from slides. I don't want to do that. Um, but at the same time, if I would do it, Live and with technical s e o, it's pretty hard. Yeah. And I didn't want people like to waste their time.
[00:33:07] Kristina: I wanted them to have bite-sized information that I can use, that they can use right away while, for example, I. If I pull the trigger and I decide to finally create kind of like a bootcamp for people who launch co, who want to launch courses in that respect, starting, uh, with this topic, I will definitely do it live because mm-hmm.
[00:33:28] Kristina: It's so much easier. I don't need to like, debug anything in the code, right. I just need, I just have like a framework, my structure, and I'm talking through it, I'm showing it, and then I answer questions for that time. Kind of topic that's so much easier to teach live than for technical seo. Yeah.
[00:33:49] Olga: Okay. And how do you launch a course, which is, can you tell me more about this?
[00:33:54] Olga: How do you do it in the right way? Like you, you said something about ma sequence. What else is there?
[00:34:02] Kristina: Well, um, course launches is all about marketing. Um, that's, I think that's important to understand. So what? What it means is that you really need to know your audience well. You need to know exactly who are you helping, because if you're like, oh, I can help so many people, like everybody is like that.
[00:34:22] Kristina: I know so much you can help so many people. That is true. I'm not saying that that is wrong, but that is. Totally true. And I believe that. And we are all, we don't have lack of ideas. We just can't focus on something. So when it comes to one, like to creating a course, it's really important to focus on something.
[00:34:44] Kristina: And, uh, less is more like you don't want to overwhelm people. You want to give them exactly what they need to know exactly how they can achieve the result that they want. So obviously, if you advertise it, you need to be able to help them achieve this result. Okay, without going in like different rabbit holes, because that's too much people, you, you need to value people's time and, uh, the best thing that you can do is to pre-sell your course before you actually create it.
[00:35:18] Kristina: Because you don't want to spend like hours and hours and hours and hours and then nobody buys. Right. So you need to know, know your audience. You need to know the exact transformation, the exact goal that you are helping people to achieve. And obviously like it goes without saying, but I'll say it. You need to be ex, you need to have expertise in it because oh my God, I kid you not, I start seeing this ads.
[00:35:42] Kristina: On my Instagram, create a course with Chad d p t, and I'm like, oh yeah, yeah, no, don't do that. Like, what's your expertise then? Like what value are you adding if you're just like doing this bullshit? Yeah, totally, totally. Don't that. Yeah, it's, it's insane. It's like, no, and um, yeah, and pre-sell before you actually launch.
[00:36:07] Kristina: Okay.
[00:36:08] Olga: How many hours, more or less are there of material in your
[00:36:12] Kristina: courses? Um, so I believe in tag seal project of 13 plus hours, uhhuh, and in, uh, the web migration course, I believe like eight hours, eight hours
[00:36:25] Olga: split into how many videos?
[00:36:28] Kristina: Um, I don't remember how many videos. Yeah, but it's not, it's not about the number of videos.
[00:36:35] Kristina: Yeah. It's only, it's more about. The number never matters, honestly. Mm-hmm. Uh, and I also try to, like, if I see that the video is too long, I try to split it into part one or two parts three, so that, again, it's bite-sized, bite-sized for people so that they don't need to take two weeks off. Covid course, and they can do it on their own, their own pace mm-hmm.
[00:36:58] Kristina: Between some things that they're doing for work or, um, I don't know, some
[00:37:03] Olga: weekend. Okay. And can you share what platform do you use for course creation?
[00:37:10] Kristina: Um, so we use multiple things. Uh, for a recording I use Loom. And then, uh, there is some. Editing going on. I mean, I honestly prefer to do less auditing and be more, um, authentic plus prepare Well, instead of cutting things Yes.
[00:37:32] Kristina: Instead of cutting things like, oh, that, that, no, um, yeah, exactly. Don't want, don't want to do that. Um, and yeah, so I use Loom. I use some other platform to host the videos and I use. Uh, core, uh, platform called Thrive Cards, and it has Learn Plus to, for, to actually build the course. And what I love, so the platform, I mean, lots of things involved, but the platform where I'm hosting videos and they're actually embedded in, um, On the chorus mm-hmm.
[00:38:06] Kristina: Hosting platform. What I really love about it, and it was before all the AI things, but apparently, uh, there is a box, search box, um, in the video and for example, if, if you want to look Oh, canonical or like something that, um, I was. Saying in the video Uhhuh, but don't remember where it was exactly. It's like, okay, you can just type keyword and then search and then it'll show you.
[00:38:33] Kristina: Every time I say this word, I'm like, oh my God, this is so cool. Yeah. That's why I, I'm using very cool. Yeah.
[00:38:41] Olga: Yeah. Okay. Okay, and so you have quite a huge following on Twitter, on LinkedIn. Like how did you build it by just sharing tapes? Because I noticed you share a lot of like tapes simply on, on
[00:38:53] Kristina: LinkedIn.
[00:38:54] Kristina: Is it the way? Yeah. So yeah. Yeah. That's, that's the way, I mean, I have never done anything like paid ads, like mm-hmm. Follow me, anything like that. It's just, um, I starting again from believe from uh, July or June, 2019. So pretty like four years, four years, four years. I've been sharing lots of valuable information and tips on social media, on Twitter and LinkedIn.
[00:39:24] Kristina: So that's basically how my following crew that I think my speaking helped. Plus, on LinkedIn. On LinkedIn I have a course on LinkedIn learning Uhhuh, so that helps too. People follow me after after it, and it has like 30 k um, students. I, uh, when I check, I'm like, wow, that's so cool. That's a lot. But
[00:39:47] Olga: how, how does this LinkedIn course work?
[00:39:49] Olga: Like how did you end up doing
[00:39:51] Kristina: it? I mean, I was sharing something on LinkedIn, um mm-hmm. And then, They somehow noticed it and they reached out to me and say, oh, do you want to do course LinkedIn learning? Yeah. And I was like, well, well let's, let's, let's try do that. Yeah. And we did. And it's now live
[00:40:09] Olga: there.
[00:40:10] Olga: Nice. Nice. Very nice. Okay, so courses and there is also SS e O extension. How did that kind of came to be?
[00:40:22] Kristina: Yeah, so I think I launched that S E O Pro Extension in 2020, I believe, or fir first, I think 2020. Anyway. Yeah. Yeah, I remember. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, I was using another extension, which was called, um, met in One Click or something like that.
[00:40:41] Olga: Yeah, yeah. I, I know, yeah, yeah. There is certain extension.
[00:40:43] Kristina: Yeah. And I loved it. It was pretty good, but I was liking some functionality. Plus it didn't really look good in my opinion. Um, so like, it doesn't, yeah. So I was like, can I create something that I will actually love and I'll be using every day? Um, so my husband is a a ux UI designer, so I created the vision of what exactly needs to go into the, into the extension, basically what should, what functionality there should be, what, um, what it should look like.
[00:41:25] Kristina: Like everything, right? So the whole vision. And then he did all the, all the design and then I hired a developer and I thought it will take, in my world, it's always, it always works like that. I thought it will take maybe a month. It took three months. Oh, okay. Yeah. To, because. Because I was constantly testing and testing and testing because I didn't want to roll out something that was, was not good enough.
[00:41:54] Kristina: Uh, of course there can be like bugs and sometimes, uh, in general when you roll out some software, right. But my job was to make it really good so that, uh, I don't need to like, oh my God. Oh my God. He's back rolling. Rolling down. Like, no. So, um, yeah, so that's how it happened and I remember people like, so excited.
[00:42:23] Kristina: They loved it and I was so happy about that. I was, I was actually quite nervous to launch it, and now every time I go to some conference, Or some other places, or sometimes when I would, uh, speak to potential clients, they'll be like, oh, we are using your, your extension. Oh, nice. Very nice. Yeah. So that was great.
[00:42:42] Olga: Cool. Cool. I, I thought you were the person who coded that.
[00:42:46] Kristina: No. You know what, what I'm doing, uh, I am, um, I try to do what I'm good at and I delegate the rest. Yeah, that makes, makes sense. Yeah, because totally. Uh, I, well now with Chad dt you might probably create this, but I'm like, honestly, who is going to be better?
[00:43:06] Kristina: Me? Yeah. Or a developer. And while uh, the extension is being developed, I can do something else that is more valuable because there is like my pure expertise
[00:43:16] Olga: in it. Yeah, totally. Totally. So talking about your expertise, Can you share some things about e-commerce, SS e o you have, you don't share very often, maybe some tidbits from your course.
[00:43:29] Olga: Something that can be very actionable and it's not that I would say obvious for many people. And the same goes for migrations.
[00:43:39] Kristina: Okay. Okay. Um, We've, um, with e-commerce s e o honestly, well, you saw the, the same things that I don't share a lot, but I think I haven't shared a lot of e-commerce in general for a while.
[00:43:56] Kristina: Mm-hmm. So that counts. Yeah, sure. But honestly, What f like what really surprises me is that, uh, specific duplicate content, things like really, uh, eCommerce specific duplicate content types that are already known that like, You can have a list of all of them. Like I, um, in the pro course I talk about duplicate content and I specifically shared duplicate content types and mm-hmm.
[00:44:26] Kristina: Examples for e-commerce. Like, for example, product with a category, uh, in the e r L, but it belongs to multiple categories. Uhhuh, it has multiple URLs or category with like filters and everything applied. It might, it might not be like, oh my God, this is something I've never, ever, ever, ever heard. Uh, that might not be it, but that's something that still needs improvement because so many websites are still struggling with this and, um, yeah, it's, um, yeah,
[00:44:58] Olga: and a lot of, maybe not a lot, but some C m Ss systems do it, uh, from what I remember by, by default sets.
[00:45:04] Kristina: Yeah. But it's also not, not only about cost management systems, uh, it's more, many times it's about people who are. Creating these categories who are creating these products, or don't even think about the E R L structures. Yeah, so they create it all and then they call an SS e o, or then they think they, they, it's time to hire an SS e o.
[00:45:26] Kristina: So obviously not SEOs create this, but it's still something that I see a lot. And with migrations, I think. Um, there are many things, like obviously there many things that go into migration, uh, and like. Your real mapping and everything, things that you like, things I call tasks that you need to do. But when it comes to migrations, I think the most important thing, given you are good at what you do and given that you know exactly what migration is and how to handle it, what's really important is communication, because migration involves so many teams and.
[00:46:12] Kristina: Collaboration is so important. And also talking to stakeholders and giving them just the right amount of detail so that they feel, uh, like they know that everything is going well. And then I. Uh, not overloading them and then sharing like bite-sized information with them. And then with the developers, you're sharing different kind of information.
[00:46:37] Kristina: So all the collaboration part is super important. Mm-hmm. Because the thing is that if you, you can do the best job as s e o, but if you're working in silo, well then it's going to be really hard to make the migration work plus, um, You need to have like really critical and analytical skills to first even evaluate, evaluate if immigration is needed, because yeah, probably there are valid, yeah, there are valid reasons for migrations and there are no valid reasons for migrations.
[00:47:14] Kristina: So well, you, if you, for example, I had, sometimes I had clients coming to me, potential clients. Like, oh, we want to make great. I'm like, why do you want to make great? And they would be like, oh, our, um, competitors are on the same platform. Or some like, or we just want to, we, we think that it's going to be cool and yeah, well, you can find someone else, but I'm not going to help you.
[00:47:38] Kristina: If, if it's just like for the sake of migrating. It doesn't actually, because they don't know what it involves and they don't understand how much. Time and effort and money and like there, there are, every migration is a risk, so risks involved. Totally. So yeah, I don't want to help with that.
[00:47:58] Olga: Yeah, totally.
[00:47:59] Olga: You need to have a good reason to to take that risk. Exactly. Okay. And tell me now, how do you spend, how does Christina spends her spend her day? Like how is it for you?
[00:48:12] Kristina: Um, for me it's usually, well, I, I have a whiteboard with like, things that I need to do. Oh, I have, um, in the morning I usually write down.
[00:48:24] Kristina: Okay, so
[00:48:24] Olga: you do this in the type paper style. You
[00:48:27] Kristina: don't do it like electronically. I switch, I switch sometimes. Plus I have my. Task manager, uh, task manager software that I'm using and I have like things that I need to do for a week. Then, uh, tasks that I set out, for example, for my va. And then here in paper, I write what I, what I'm focusing on today specifically Uhhuh.
[00:48:52] Kristina: Uh, sometimes I also use, you know, like default notes, uh, from Mac, uh, on like Mac computers or Apple products because sometimes I just remember that something and I'm writing down. Then I can pull things from there. I. To the paper. I really love, honestly, I really love, you know, crossing things out on the paper.
[00:49:16] Kristina: Yeah. Um, so I do that and, uh, I try to under like, have good clarity of what I'm focusing on today because if there is no clarity, there is like lots of champion around. And then, um, I think. Why do I do that? Okay. Uh, I think I, I try to create social media content so that when I have my fresh head, um, I can schedule it, I can pause it right away.
[00:49:46] Kristina: Then I do something that is like, needed, for example, for a course. Maybe I create a new process. Maybe I'm reviewing something. Um, then I think I'll check social media. Uh, maybe there are some ideas or some answers that, uh, in my post so that I can create more content based on this. Sometimes I write emails or do changes on my websites.
[00:50:12] Kristina: That's something that I usually do myself. Um, yeah, something like that.
[00:50:18] Olga: And then like, how many hours per day? More or less.
[00:50:22] Kristina: Um, I think, I think it's, uh, if I worked six hours, my brain is melting uhhuh. It's just because I remember when I was working full-time with companies and usually working days, eight hours.
[00:50:40] Kristina: Honestly, I never, I, I understand that like you work maybe three, four hours out of eight. Yeah. Because working solid six hours when you work for yourself is much more than working eight hours. Yeah, totally. Totally. Working for someone. Yeah. So I think I aim if I worked and I remember I used to track all the time so that I can see where I'm spending my time.
[00:51:04] Kristina: So I remember whenever I tracked like 20, 22 hour 20 is good, like 22, 23 hours is a little bit more, um, a week. That was a lot. I got done a lot and I got really tired, but that's like solid,
[00:51:23] Olga: solid, solid, solid. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, totally.
[00:51:26] Kristina: Plus I do a lot of. Yeah, so just one, one thing. Plus I do a lot of things that, um, when I, again, when, when I was working full-time, like many things are just, you know, like you're doing the same.
[00:51:38] Kristina: So sometimes you can just zone out and you do the same things. Like, keyword research was pretty chill. Um, this kind of stuff. But now what I do, 99% of the things require strategic thinking and planning. Uh, like seeing everything from like, oh, Yeah. And it's not something that I do like I do one thing, but it's not something that I would repeat all the time so that I can automate it in my head.
[00:52:06] Kristina: Yeah. So that's something that also reduces the hours that I can work. Yeah.
[00:52:11] Olga: Yeah, totally. And during the weekends, do you take weekends off? Yeah.
[00:52:16] Kristina: Yes, for my first eight months, for my first eight months working for myself, I did not take any, like even one day off Uhhuh. It was, I'm struggling with that as well.
[00:52:28] Kristina: Yeah. It was partly, it was partly because I just needed to like figure out something. Yeah. But partly because I was really excited and especially as I said, I was doing my SEO challenge course. Simultaneously with like working with, with clients and learning business skills and all this kind of stuff. So I was, I was like, I loved it a lot.
[00:52:50] Kristina: Like I felt good. It, it's not like I, I made myself do that, but then at some point, after a couple of burnouts, I understand that I need to have like better boundaries. I'm still not the best at it, but, Yeah. For me, taking weekends off, unless there is something like I took some time off the week, then I can work, let's say on Sunday, it's pretty chill.
[00:53:17] Kristina: Sometimes I feel good working on Sunday, doing like stuff not on social media, but something like internally. Mm-hmm. Like admin stuff probably. It's good to have this, uh, crossed off with my, uh, pen on paper, but at the same time, I would not sacrifice my, um, Weekends for just like pure work, work, work.
[00:53:41] Olga: Yeah.
[00:53:42] Olga: Yeah. I love that. I love that. Yeah, totally. Okay, so Christina, where can people find you and your courses? That's the question.
[00:53:52] Kristina: Okay, so, um, you can find me on Twitter. I refuse to call it x so you can find me on Twitter. At Zat. C k the end or just type? Christina Zako The same on LinkedIn. Christina Zako. And when it comes to my courses, you can check out Tech seo.pro.
[00:54:11] Kristina: Mm-hmm. By the wait, I love this domain name. Yeah, that's nice. That's, that's the main course. But you can also check out marketing ceo.com and check out academy. There, there are more links to more courses. Um, okay.
[00:54:27] Olga: Cool. And any final tips for people just starting out in SS e o?
[00:54:34] Kristina: I think when you start out in s e o, um, if I were to do it again, and that's what I did, I.
[00:54:43] Kristina: When I was starting and it really helped just learn as much as you can. Mm-hmm. Before you can figure out, because when you can specialize, only when you know everything else that, so that you know what you want to specialize in. Right. Totally. But when you just starting learn everything, like. Right. If you can't afford courses, that's okay.
[00:55:04] Kristina: Go to LinkedIn, go to Twitter, read pauses. Sign up for, um, newsletters, like for example, s e o, formal viol solace, like where you can, uh, find information and links to different blog posts. If you're woman, definitely join women in tech. Ss e o. There's so many amazing women, they're eager to help and you can ask questions there without feeling that you're dumb because.
[00:55:27] Kristina: Yeah, it's okay to ask questions, right? So, um, follow people, uh, read as much as you can practice, and then whenever you are ready, if you want to specialize in, then look for more advanced information there and practice more in this field. But in the beginning, just learn everything that you can.
[00:55:50] Olga: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:55:51] Olga: That's great advice. Christina, thank you so much. Thank you. I was honored to have you here and yeah, I hope you'll want to join me , in the future for some other episodes.
[00:56:03] Kristina: Sure. Thank you so much and thanks everyone Who was to the end.
[00:56:07] Olga: Yeah. Thank you everyone.
[00:56:08] Olga: Bye-Bye.