Things I learned during a year of four hour commutes

Okay, I lie. It was only 9 months. But it was a bloody long 9 months of 4 hours a day on trains, tubes and buses and if I get nothing else out of it, I have read a lot of books.

It all started when I was offered a job by one of the world’s leading digital consultancies…

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Things I learned from running my first Kickstarter campaign

In November of last year I ran my first Kickstarter campaign. I wish I could say it was because I had invented a storage device for the iPhone or an actual working hoverboard, but sadly that level of technological acheivement remains beyond me.

Instead I wrote it to fund the design of the cover for my first novel. I needed £600, and, in the end I raised over £950.

I’m no Amanda Palmer or Veronica Mars, but during my month long campaign there are a couple of things I figured out about how to hit the target, and so I thought, despite this not being a digital publishing topic per se, I’d write it all up in a blog.

Hari’s tips on how to hit your Kickstarter target Continue reading

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The Search Gospel: Part 2, is your site quality?

Gather round, children. Today’s story time is all the structure and quality of a website and the effects that has on your search rankings.

You can have the best written, highest quality piece of content with an amazing search engine optimised headline – but if it’s on a crappy slow badly-designed site, it won’t rank well.

Now, incoming links are a lot to do with site quality in terms of domain authority and all that, but we’re going to cover those in Part 3 of the Gospel.

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A day at the Newseum


By all rights I should be writing part 2 of the search gospel but instead this week finds me in Washington DC filming and editing videos for one of my brands. I’ve already shot and chopped 5 interviews in the past 24 hours, so I’m way ahead of myself. I’ve even saved enough time to put together a Storify of the event so far, which always makes me happy (love that site).

But anyway, as this is a one day conference with some preliminary work needed on the Sunday I’ve been in town since Friday, mostly wandering around monuments and eating too much too rich food, but hey, this is America, it’s how they roll here.

(I can’t pull that off, can I? Far too British middle class to sell it.)

Anyway one of the things I dearly wanted to see was the Newseum. I went there once several years ago, but only made it through the door late in the day, so the whole experience was something of a mad cap rush to see as much as possible before security guards kicked me out. Not so this time, this time I had planned. This time I spent 5 whole hours in the place. Continue reading

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The search gospel: Part 1, on page elements

I have lost track of how many times journalists (and others, but especially journalists) bemoan the fact that no one can find their long form lovingly written really truly excellent feature content.

To which my (apparently cynical) response is, “Well, what did you call it?”

“Oh, it’s got a great title,” they say. “It’s a called “Going the distance,” isn’t that great?”

“Lovely,” I say, “so it’s about long distance running or cycling? Maybe travel journalism about a hiking holiday?”

“No. It’s about Scottish Independence.”


And so it goes.

And so here is Aunty Hari’s absolute all-time top one rule about writing content that you want to be found organically by search engines.


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The search gospel: An overview

Every now and then it’s important to be proven right. It’s good for the ego and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And so you can imagine how delighted I was when Econsultancy, the digital marketing blog that all digital marketing blogs aspire to be, published a post on how internal linking and landing pages were still very important in terms of search and should not be forgotten about.

Preaching to the choir there lads, but I recognise why it must be done. The great god Google knows I’ve been banging on about this for years with only moderate take up by my brands. Being able to circulate that article with an email I hope came down on the right side the “look, see, I was right”/”told you so” smug barrier will hopefully be another step on the road to good search practice on every brand I work with.

A girl can dream, after all.

But I thought, why stop there, why not preach the search gospel according to Hari to the occasional tumbleweeds that find this blog or are unlucky enough to follow me on social media and therefore are subjected to multiple notifications everytime I get myself motivated enought to write something here?

And so here we are, an introduction to my newly minted Search Gospel. (Look it has a tag and everything!)

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Bye bye rel=author – Google removes authorship

So it’s been a while since I’ve written here. Not that there haven’t been things to write about but August was an incredibly busy month for me. Many many projects and not enough hours in the work day. But I couldn’t let this one go past without commenting on it.

Last week the great god Google removed authorship from search results pages.

The GGG had already ditched author photos from SERPS earlier this year, so this didn’t come as too much of a surprise, but it’s still a touch annoying. Not least because it was pretty much the only good reason to maintain a personal profile on G+, and now those are worthless for search.

(And before anyone starts telling me how useful and wonderful G+ is how we should all be on it? Don’t, just don’t. G+ is not a social network I would choose to use if there wasn’t a search benefit. It’s just not. That’s my personal prefence. Take it or leave it.)

Anyway, there’s goes authorship from the SERPs. So long authorship we barely knew ye.

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