C-K’s Work/Life: Nick Papagiannis.
C-K Work/Life features stories about the many hobbies, passion projects, side gigs, interests and hustles that C-Kers pursue in their lives.
Nick Papagiannis is the vp, search director at Cramer-Krasselt. When he’s not creating and optimizing media assets, he’s writing about them. Nick is a natural problem-solver and is passionate about helping others. Grab a copy of his book, “Effective SEO and Content Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for Maximizing Free Web Traffic” on February 26, 2020.
Can you tell us about your book, Effective SEO and Content Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for Maximizing Free Web Traffic?
It comes out on February 26, 2020 and Wiley is the publisher. It’s a fairly technical book that provides key principles for growing SEO traffic to your website and other digital assets like YouTube, Amazon, etc. It’s also under the education arm at Wiley, so the goal is to maybe get this into a couple of schools at some point, if it fairs well.
Over the years I’ve had several small business owners, family and friends ask me for advice on how to improve their organic search engine rankings and traffic, so the book aims to address that on a broader scale. Optimizing organic traffic and platforms is a critical challenge for businesses these days. Owned media investment is somewhat fixed and often costs less than paid media, and it can provide long-term benefits. Additionally, if you are pointing paid media to these platforms, you want to make sure they’re as optimized as possible, so your budgets are getting the best performance possible.
What gave you the idea to write a book on the SEO process?
I would say it was a combination of factors.
For one, I really enjoy problem-solving and helping businesses perform better. There’s something very gratifying about making an impact and helping people at the same time.
Second, my late father was a struggling business owner throughout my life, so I have this compassion ingrained in me to help businesses succeed in some way. I saw all the countless hours and resources he put into it and learned a lot about what it takes to make a business succeed. Even though he was smart, he and my mom were immigrants from war-ravaged Greece with little business education, so he wasn’t aware of marketing principles and that’s a big reason why his business suffered. Not to get off track, but I believe a lot of the stress he went through resulted in losing him so young. So, in a weird way I wanted to do something to also honor my father and his legacy.
If you ever experienced writer’s block, how did you deal with it?
Honestly, I don’t know if I had significant writers block ever in writing this book. Not sure if it’s because English was a second language at home while I was growing up, but I’ve always been better at writing concepts out than speaking them out. Also, I think that’s due to the fact that I wrote it over a period of a year and some months, so I was able to take some time off from it and think about what I wanted to write about. I’ve realized that having an open and clear mind throughout the process allows for ideas to come into your head, so accommodating that is really is extremely important. If this was on a tight timeline in a noisy environment, I don’t think I would’ve been able to get it done.
How many hours of research do you think you conducted?
That’s a hard question to answer because I relied on a lot of knowledge that I’ve built up over the last 20 years in the industry. Over the years I’ve observed a lot of search engine marketing content and research. So, I feel like a lot of it is already in my head. I also include interviews from friends that I worked with that are now experts in their field, so they helped provide a lot of good insights. Additionally, I feel like the editing team at Wiley helped provide me a lot of direction.
Is this the first book you have written? How was the process?
It’s not officially done yet, it’s still in editing but yes this is the first book that I’ve written. I have written periodically for some trade publishers over the years, and I feel those experiences prepared me well for the technical side of business writing. Business writing is much more concise and requires the writer to deliver value to the reader in an efficient way.
How do you prepare yourself before you write? Do you have a favorite writing spot?
I didn’t have a favorite spot per se. I used Google docs pretty often though, and it was a critical tool for me. The mobile app allows you to write wherever you are at via their voice dictation feature. I found this extremely valuable and convenient because it allowed me to document an idea whether I was on the move, at lunch or at home. I would say for me the most important thing was to be in a very quiet and calm environment. Noise can really limit the ability to think conceptually, so it’s extremely critical to be in a calm and quiet environment so you could focus as best as possible.
What’s one thing you hope people will learn from your book?
I would say that the most important thing to understand is that your organic footprint online is correlated to the amount of (quality and quantity) SEO-friendly content that you are providing. When I say SEO-friendly I mean (at least partially) search-informed and set up in a technical SEO optimized environment.
Search continues to provide a direct channel to connect with an audience that’s expressing themselves in a transparent manner. The more quality content you provide, the greater chance you have to connect with them. Furthermore, it’s important that businesses have a good understanding into the emotional needs of their target audience as well as the mindset and traits that are needed to meet those needs as a business owner.
Anything else you would like to add?
Even though it can be hard to implement and take a lot of time and patience, I think it’s important as marketers we always consider SEO as a key intercept into capturing traffic. It also makes sense to make sure your owned platforms (website, etc.) are as optimized as possible if you are pointing paid traffic to them, so your dollars are being spent as efficiently as possible.