Want more people to visit your website and sign up for lessons with you? Dr Tonya Lawson has these SEO tips for singing teachers looking to boost their income.
If you’re wondering why your website isn’t getting much traffic and your blogs are going unread, then it’s time to bite the bullet and learn the basics of SEO. Because no matter how engaging and incisive your content is, if you’re creative efforts aren’t SEO-friendly, then they’ll be largely ignored by Google’s algorithm.
The algorithm determines whether your content appears at the top of Google searches, so it’s helpful to understand how it works. To find out more, BAST Training spoke to Dr Tonya Lawson, founder of Creative SEO.
Tonya has built up her own teaching studio using SEO and boosted her bank balance with affiliate marketing. She also teaches other creatives how to bolster their income with savvy digital marketing.
Here are Tonya’s SEO tips for singing teachers.
What you need to know
First, here’s a handy explainer of a few useful terms.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a fancy way of saying that if you tailor the headlines and content on your website according to certain rules, you can increase your visibility online. The Google algorithm rates content according to the way it’s written and its authoritativeness (and a few other things, but we’ll keep it simple here). The more SEO-friendly the content, the higher it will appear in Google searches.
When you do a quick Google search, the words you type into the search bar are called key words. For example, if you’re looking for an acupuncturist and you live in St Albans, the key words you’ll type are ‘acupuncturist St Albans’. The algorithm likes key words, and you’ll rate more highly on Google if the key words appear in the headline and content.
This source of income keeps making you money long after you’ve finished putting it together. Books and online courses can be a great source of passive income, as can affiliate marketing.
The term refers to earning a small commission every time someone purchases a product or service that you’ve promoted online. So if you’ve written a blog recommending a particular type of straw for SOVT exercises, you could get paid a tiny amount when a reader makes a purchase by clicking on the product link in the article. Often the amount you get paid is miniscule, so you need lots of people to make purchases to earn a significant sum. Not all companies offer affiliate links, and you need to register with the firm first before you can start earning.
SEO and affiliate marketing – points to consider
It all sounds so easy; you’re probably wondering why everyone’s not at it already. Before you get too excited, Tonya cautions that SEO takes time to work and affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
“You need to think of passive income like compounding interest,” she says. “It starts small, but it grows more and more over time. As your website gets more views, you can put ads on the blog articles, which will bring in additional income, and it just starts compounding over time. If you’ve never done any SEO implementation, you need to give yourself 12 months to start seeing real growth happening.”
Once you’ve done the leg work, Tonya is adamant that you can reap the rewards.
“Before, I said yes to absolutely every opportunity and gig that came my way, no matter how low the pay,” she says. “And I would get really stressed every summer because I knew people were going on holiday meaning the lessons would be dropping and my income would be dropping.
“But now I don’t worry about any of that when I have a student cancel. It has really given me the financial stability that I need to remove a lot of stress from my life.”
Building your brand
Your digital strategy should reflect who you are as a person. If you love writing, creating blogs about a subject you’re passionate about won’t feel like a chore. If it takes you hours to knock out 200 words, it’s probably not for you.
On the other hand, if you love being on camera, creating video courses might be just the ticket. “You have to do what feels intuitive and natural to you,” Tonya says. “If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, don’t force it.”
While it’s good to create SEO-friendly content, it needs to feel authentic, not formulaic. While using keywords in your content is essential, the algorithm will mark you down if you overdo it.
Similarly, if you sign up as an affiliate partner with a company, ensure you stand by what you’re promoting. Making duff recommendations to earn a few more pounds might harm your reputation in the long run.
To find out more, listen to the full interview with Tonya on the Singing Teachers Talk podcast, where she also discusses:
- AI and how she uses it to help her with content creation.
- The AI alternative to ChatGPT that Tonya uses.
- How to stay up to date with the ever-changing SEO algorithm.
Find out more about Tonya’s courses here.