Solopreneur Doorway

Issue 3

Read time: 7 minutes

Great to see you! Keep up the momentum. You’re rolling!

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The View from Erik’s Doorway

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📈Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

It’s complex, time intensive and a ‘must do’ for your solo biz.

Smart SEO is the 🔑 to get more 👀 on your content.

I’m an SEO newbie so I took 3 steps to dive in and get swimming.

  1. Examined blogposts in my niche for search intent, style and content.
  2. Binged YouTube Videos on SEO (my favs are below in Cool Tools to Use).
  3. Hired SEO experts for A+ advice.

AI can write you 2.6 million blogposts per hour.

You still have to add your unique flavor.

AI gets you an outline and SEO pinpoints keywords to add and subtract. Then add your style with your expertise to make it personal so that folks follow you and your journey.


I type in “strategy for solopreneurs,” “how to write a strategy plan” and “what is a solopreneur strategy?” This gets me articles in my sandbox.

Then I block and tackle the headline, sub-headlines and copy.

I try to model the top Google pages in my niche to gauge competition. Start with this approach and you’ll be ahead of 1/2 the bloggers in your sandbox.

Caution: If you write content in the YMYL group (Your Money or Your Life) stay on point and show your expertise. These categories (investing, money, health tips, etc.) get attention. Use caution.

YouTube has an infinite supply of SEO videos. It’s a good start.

I went straight to Ahrefs to watch their videos.

Their classroom approach works. I invested a few hours on the intro videos for SEO vocabulary, terms, data, metrics and strategy. These videos gave me SEO 101 and comfort to subscribe and use Ahrefs.

When I subscribed to Ahrefs, I got lost in the weeds on data and metrics.

You can trip into a 458 mile long rabbit hole if you click around too long on the Ahrefs site.

To make it easier I put the Ahrefs site on one screen and their YouTube ‘help’ videos on the other.

I don’t like to waste time or money. I follow three SEO experts on LinkedIn who give me confidence, insight and A+ expertise.

➡️  Tim Hanson, Samantha North and Matthew Mace.

3 Reasons to Follow Tim, Samantha and Matthew:

98.456% of their posts focus on their expertise: content Strategy & SEO.

2. They show a BIG SEO problem in their posts and give you the SEO solution.

3. They have social proof to verify their skills.

With Tim, Samantha and Matthew by my side, I put together an SEO cheat sheet.

5 SEO Steps to Start

  1. Find and use the right tools. I like Google’s toolbox and the Ahrefs site.
  2. Write a blog post that matches search intent, approximate word length, keywords and hits the topic from your unique angle.
  3. Write a headline that grabs attention with a twist to play against the top pages in Google’s search for your topic.
  4. Pay attention to YMYL and EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness).
  5. Track the data for your site and blog posts and then make changes to boost your SEO.

I launched my website a few weeks ago and I love checking on its progress.

If you have a site and blogposts, it’s fun to watch your stats, right?

I have a long way to go to get any of my blog posts on page 1 and my site to 100,000 organic views per month. Tell me how your site and blogposts are ranking!

SEO takes time, expertise and a strategy.

One expert who uses time and strategy to help clients and expand his SEO biz is Tim Hanson.

I chatted with Tim to get his incredible story of how he’s building a boss biz in the SEO space.

The Interview Stage

How Tim Hanson Builds a Boss SEO Biz

Contact Tim at

Tim Hanson is a content strategy consultant with nearly 10 years of experience.

He specializes in helping SaaS companies rank higher on Google using data-backed strategies and cutting-edge AI tools.

Tim has generated over £23m in revenue for his clients through organic content.

Despite dropping out of university, he has gained 25k followers on LinkedIn and been featured on SEMrush and RankTracker blogs.

I put Tim in the spotlight with 5 questions on his biz. He’s a sensational SEO mentor.

Erik:Why and when did you launch your company, fivethreeoh?

Tim: “fivethreeoh is the second version of my consulting business. I’ve been trying to run my own business full-time for nearly ten years. <At> my old job I was head of SEO for a big growth agency in London where we dealt with start-ups and SaaS companies. I was there for about three, four years.

A combination of things <occurred>, which meant that I didn’t have a job anymore.

Clients told me, ‘We still need help with this.’ A number of them told me, ‘train our team.'”

SEO Today - A+ Grammar and Fortune Tomorrow

Your Case Study


Grammarly is everywhere.

Their online ads, blogposts and laser focused SEO strategy are a master class in how to target, position and expand your brand.

I was curious about Grammarly’s SEO strategy so I dove into their online ecosystem.

Here’s what I found.

1. Grammarly shows up first in Google for these paid searches:

“how to write better online”

“how to improve my writing”

“how to avoid writing mistakes”

They love the ‘how to’ approach since their software is a genie to improve your writing.

2. Grammarly’s blog posts replicate the same layout and outline.

I analyzed 10 random blogposts on their site. Here’s how they replicate a framework approach.

  • Use a headline with keywords.
  • Include an image that speaks to the topic.
  • They use a consistent word count (2,195 median word count and 2,142 average word count).(1)
  • Put the word ‘Grammarly’ in ALL of their blog posts. The word, ‘Grammarly’ is often the 1st or 2nd keyword throughout their blog post.

3. Grammarly keeps their images in the same color scheme and brand.

  • Instant awareness to the reader
  • Images support the topic

4. Grammarly is strategic about their CTAs.

  • Easy to see
  • Easy to follow

Grammarly is a BIG SEO success. Mirror their approach for your solo biz.

⚡️ If you want a deeper dive into how Grammarly put themselves atop the SEO hill check out the Ahrefs’ article here.

Key SEO Takeaways for Your Solo Biz

  1. Run a Google search for your niche to find the top posts.
  2. Watch SEO intro videos to get comfy with terms and ideas.
  3. Subscribe to an SEO tool for an extra boost.
  4. Use A+ experts to help you.
  5. Track your data to grow.

Cool New Tools for Your Solopreneur Biz

Here’s what I’m using and viewing these days to get my biz strategy rolling and my SEO IQ climbing. I have no affiliate links or business ties to these folks. 

1. Google Search: Free 

2. Google Analytics: I use the free version

3. Ahrefs: I pay $US 106.92 per month

4. Ahrefs videos on YouTube: Free

5. Headline Analyzer: Free

Matt Diggity has an awesome YouTube channel for SEO, blogging and building an SEO strategy.

Matt’s direct, funny and smart.

👉 You can check out his channel, here.

Ahrefs has sensational SEO content from A to Z.

👉 You can find their info, here.

Ben Goodey interviews SEO sages and wizards on his ‘How the Fxck SEO Podcast’

I listen to it for inspiration and strategy.

👉 You can discover Ben and the SEO pros here.

💥 Brian O’Connor and Adriana Tica write excellent newsletters on strategy.

Brian tackles biz strategy and Adriana explores growth ideas to make your business excel.

Check out their ideas here:

👉 Outlier Growth:

👉 Ideas to Power Your Future:

Source: Giphy

Tim Hanson Interview, cont…

Erik: How did that make you feel to have folks you’d known in one discipline turn to you now as an educator or a teacher? Did it intimidate you in any way?

Tim: “No, I loved it. Absolutely loved it. And I still love it to this day.

I love <working with> the junior marketer and saying to them, ‘so this is an article that you’ve written. It’s been on there for a while. Let’s make 2 or 3 changes to it and check on it in a week or two and see where it is.’

I don’t make the changes. I tell them what the changes are, tell them the guidelines on how to make them, but let them ultimately decide what the changes should be to the post.

Erik: “What are the 1 or 2 battles you had with yourself about generating revenue and sales for yourself?”

Tim: “Nobody taught me sales. I’d always kind of winged it. In the grand scheme of things, I’ve got a decent close rate.

That’s because my sales <are> so few that I probably don’t have massive experience.

It looks good from the outside. I’m confident with it now, but this is three years in.

Back then I was trying to be a consultant and was learning how to be a consultant. I didn’t know how to run a business and I didn’t know how to get clients. 

I’m trying to turn the clients that came to me into good long-term business so I can have some foundation to give me a space to fail to learn the other things.”

Erik: What makes you the most enthusiastic and most nervous on how search and AI are starting to come together?

Tim: “Great question. I’ve seen this coming for maybe a year. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is a number of writers that I work with expressed their concern that various programs could take their job. I don’t want that to happen.

I want great writers. Let me see if there’s anything that we can do with those tools that make your job as a writer easier.

Second, it’s a massive multiplier. The thing that genuinely makes me scared is from the other side. ‘Is the internet going to become full of trash tier content?’

We’ve seen on LinkedIn random ChatGPT posts, ChatGPT comments and outreach messages. I think you’re going to end up with companies that spend an enormous amount of money on generative crap content or they’ll spend an enormous amount of money knowing it was 100% written by a human.

Nobody wants to be sold by a brand, right? People like buying from people because other people have problems that brands don’t have.”

Erik: “If I put you center stage at a town hall meeting with 100 folks that are anxious to get into your line of work, how would you advise these folks to move into your industry?”

Tim: “It’s a great question. Two thoughts come to my mind. One is that it could be an absolutely perfect time because there’s such a big shake-up.

I don’t think there’s a lot of people in SEO that have radical new ideas right now. I think <if you come> into it with new ideas, but proof that those ideas worked and you could repeat the results.

Then look more at the content strategy side of things of other distribution channels. I think there’d be hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses that want to know how to do YouTube properly, that want to know how to do TikTok properly, that want to know what the hell is Instagram even doing these days?

Make content that is also 'indexable' and can be found through the Google algorithms. You'll win.”

Erik: Great points. I’m going to keep you on schedule. I can’t thank you enough for your candor, your honesty, and your insight. Tremendous perspective.”

🔎✔️ That’s a wrap for this issue.

🚪🚶Stay curious and keep opening doors.

Who Should I Interview Next?

I’m always on the lookout for dynamic solopreneurs who want to share their story.

Drop me a note at if you have an ideal interview candidate.

If you are starting your solopreneur biz or ready to improve your current strategy there are two steps you can take.

  1. Visit for resources and strategy ideas
  2. Coordinate a 90-minute strategy session: We can start your biz on the right path or tackle the root cause of problems you want to fix today.

Book a Session with Erik

Note: Coaching sessions are with Erik and offered through Thinkaday, Inc.

Let’s connect on LinkedIn.

Solopreneur Doorway is a Thinkaday, Inc. publication.

© 2023 ThinkaDay, Inc. All rights reserved.

, and ThinkaDay are trademarks of ThinkaDay, Inc.

Endnotes and Sources

  1. Grammarly Blogsite, accessed August 1, 2023.