How to Survive The Month of April in Quarantine - Help Others & Develop Yourself to Come Out Of This Even Stronger Than Before!
Ok, up until now we all got it, right? COVID-19 is still here and looks like it is here to stay for some more days, weeks and even months. First, maybe most of you thought “Oh well, I can stay home 2-3 weeks, that’s no problem”, but now, after 3 weeks in home exile and following all major news channels, we can say it out loud and accept it: At least one more month of #WFH, homeschooling, social distancing for all of us. I’m normally one of the most positive-minded people you might ever meet, but even me, I now have become a lot more realistic. It doesn’t look like this April will be like any other April that we have ever experienced before. So, unfortunately, I cannot say now “Ah, that was just a joke.” This means no April Fool’s Day for no one this year, even not from Google and maybe that’s weird, but I liked these hidden easter eggs a lot.
The whole world is literally frozen, locked down and we are all trying to find a way to survive somehow economically, physically and mentally. Most of us will experience various degrees of the typical set of emotions that characterize the five stages of grieving a loss and that’s a bit scary, of course. Here they are:
- Shock, denial
- Depression, reflection, loneliness
- Acceptance and hope
The challenge for us all is that different people are at different stages along the continuum. It’s difficult to know where in the process anyone in particular may be.
So, as you might have guessed right, I already reached the last stage of grief: Acceptance and hope!
With this blog post I want to share my hope with all of you and just share a sum up of everything I came across lately and that I think could be of any use for you.
These are mostly related to our Search/Digital Marketing industry, but I also added some stuff to cheer you up, keep healthy and happy. Oh and of course, it’s all free. So, I hope you take advantage of it.
Free SEO/Content/Digital Marketing Trainings, Webinars, Courses etc.
- Try Moz Academy for free now through May 31st! Promo Code“wegotthis” (how cool is that?) Moz is a great source for you and a very good way to learn and deepen your SEO knowledge.
- For those of you that like learning to be more interactive, SEMrush is the right place to go. Find plenty of live SEO, PPC, Digital Marketing Webinars where you can ask all your questions live. There are plenty of webinars coming up in April. Your chance to meet the celebrities of our industry and talk to real experts. I’m sure you’ll love it.
- Speaking of SEO celebrities, here is a true expert in SEO: Craig Campbell (no, no not the country star, of course, our Scottish Craig he is way cooler & funnier). I had to look twice when I saw that he is offering his advanced SEO course for free right now. Yes, find out for yourself and if you haven’t already, you should definitely try it out.
- Ok, so Udemy also just released 180+ free courses. They put together a collection of free courses from their learning marketplace.
- Another one maybe worth checking out is the Blogging for Business course by Ahrefs, which is free for now too. “Learn how to grow your blog past 100K monthly visitors and turn thousands of your readers into paying customers” is what they promise after taking that course. So, this might be a good zero money/a bit time investment.
- Last but not least, here is a list of more free digital marketing stuff. You can check it out yourself and decide which one was always on your bucket list “if I only had more time”.
Well, now is your time to shine!
Is It After Work, Do You Need a Coffee/Tea Break or Do You Just Want to Socialize?
Here are two places to “hang out” for the time being:
- Corona Pub - now if that’s not a creative name for a virtual pub event, I don’t know what else could be better. The corona pub is a pub for the SEO community, but opens its virtual doors to all. Daily from 6pm (GMT) you can pop in and out as you want. “Have a drink, have a chat and feel a bit less shit hopefully.” is their motto to drink by. There is a big hype about it - read more on this Twitter thread if you are curious :)
The other one is
- Tea Time SEO - take time out once a day at 4pm BST to meet others in the industry, have a cuppa tea and cake and learn actionable SEO tips to implement straight away. There will be up to 3 speakers sharing their tips in SEO and Online Marketing. 5 minutes each speaker with 5 minutes of Q&A. No BS. Just WFH, Connect and Learn.
The topics that are planned for the week starting March 30th are:
- SEO Reporting and Analytics
- Creating the Perfect SEO and Content Marketing Strategy
- Managing SEO Performance Across Remote Teams
- Chasing the Algorithm – Penalties and EAT
- SERPs and Featured Snippets
I will take part in one or two of them as a 5-min-speaker, too. First one scheduled for me is on “Keyword Research Why It is Still Important” on April 8th. Just follow the link and sign up for it right away. Lots of interesting topics are lined up throughout the whole month of April. Don’t miss having a cup of tea together with people from your industry. Would love to see you in one!
More Free Stuff for Personal Development, Remote Work, Ecommerce etc.
If you want to add more skills for your daily job or want to develop yourself in a completely different area here is an overview of
- Ivy League Online Courses - crazy, but really free online courses from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale. What else do you want?
By the way, did you know that LinkedIn was one of the first organizations to react quickly on the coronavirus crisis? Right away they offered content on how to set up yourself for remote work.
- 16 LinkedIn Learning courses for free (yes, you normally have to pay for them). So, if you are still looking for ways to work smarter and more effectively while on remote feel free to check them out. All great topics and I’m sure you can all benefit from them. My favorite one is the “Managing Stress for Positive Change”.
What I also came across and found pretty impressive was Shopify’s COVID-19 cool & human approach. Perhaps you are just getting your ecommerce business off the ground, or maybe you have been thinking for a while of transitioning your online store to the Shopify platform. If either is the case, now is a great time to do so. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Shopify has extended its trial period length by over 6x, from 14 days to 90 days. Pretty cool, huh?
- You can sign up for a free 90-day Shopify trial now - no kiddin’!
What I also thought is a very useful blog post is the one written by, the one and only, Aleyda Solis on
So if you want to know which video conference software offers the best free version and what are their free plans limitations? You can read everything on Zoom, Whereby, GoToMeeting, UberConference, Join.me etc.
In that context, Aleyda didn’t mention that one in her post, Google Hangouts enterprise edition is now also offered for free for all users until July 1st. Businesses can use google hangouts for both internal operations and external marketing purposes.
- With this free Google Hangouts edition, you can host up to 250 users per call, record meetings when working remotely, and live stream for up to 100,000 viewers, which is pretty cool and there is not much to set up / install beforehand.
Now with so many events cancelled you might get lucky and still find most of them still happen online/virtually. Just check out your favorite events, conferences etc. and find out yourself if you will be able to attend them online. For example the SMX Munich switched to SMX Munich Virtual Mid-March and will try to hold the actual event, if everything goes well, in August 2020.
What I also found very useful and maybe you were just thinking about on how to host/make a webinar, live-stream or virtual event yourself, Google has put together a
- Downloadable guide on hosting virtual events on YouTube.
Just check it out and yes, it’s actually easier & a lot of more fun than you might have thought.
Helping Others in Need - Finding a Job or If You Know Someone Looking for Freelancers, Digital Marketing Services etc.
Now that we have all made better selves of ourselves, it’s time to help others too.
Here are some great sources that I want to share with you today that could help some of your friends, acquaintances, clients, partners or maybe you might even want to join one of these initiatives to offer your services / knowledge for free yourself. Might be worth thinking about sharing your knowledge and experience to some businesses & people that really need it right now.
- Remote Jobs or Gigs Platforms - Pretty comprehensive list of close to 100 remote / freelance jobs pages / platforms out there. If you know someone that needs a job urgently send him this document.
- Women in SEO - Freelancers/Consultants List - Here is a list of brilliant women from the Areej’s “Women in SEO” community for anyone trying to find freelancers/consultants for their projects. Thank you Hannah Smith for suggesting this great idea and thank you Areej for creating this unique community.
- Spreadsheet of companies hiring - The Corona hiring sheet is a database helping job seekers and companies during these challenging times. Thumbs up for this initiative!
- SEO & Digital Marketing Support during coronavirus times - This is another supercool initiative by Lily Ray that is aimed at connecting businesses affected by the coronavirus with experienced digital marketers offering free consulting and strategy to help businesses get back on their feet. Lily Ray states on her website that with this project, she intends to align digital marketers with business owners who are looking for immediate and free support in the form of consulting, strategy, or execution of digital marketing services. There is three areas you can consult for or, like I said, offer your own support: a) I'm a business that needs free marketing help, b) I'm a digital marketer offering pro bono services and c) I'm a digital marketer offering pro bono training and education for students
- Analytics Service - Pro Bono called “Join! Program” in response to the COVID-19 challenges, Michael Helbling, who is a real Analytics Guru and the co-host of the popular Digital Analytics Power Hour podcast, is actively helping to connect independent consultants with businesses in need of support for their data and analytics projects. What a great initiative, I’m speechless!
Here is an updated video on this program:
If you know someone whose company could benefit from this just reach out to him or share the link above.
Some more good news - also the big ones below are helping SMEs in need right now:
- Google just announced $340 million in ads credits for Google Ads which will be available for SMEs in their accounts credited automatically. You can read more about Google’s commitment to support SMEs during the COVID-19 crisis on Google’s company blog post “A message from our CEO” where the $800+ million support package is explained in more detail.
- Facebook also reacted fast and promised up to $100M in Cash Grants and Ad Credits for Small Businesses - Facebook announced that they will be offering this to up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. So far, minimal detail is available on what determines eligibility for the grant, but on their landing page linked above, businesses can sign up for updates on when applications will become available, most probably soon.
Bonus or “Save the Best for Last”
- Here is a Master List of All the Free Things You Can Get During the COVID-19 Pandemic and it’s just been updated a couple days ago. You can find pretty much everything you were googling for your days at home here. From free workout classes to free (virtual) museums, form free books to free media & movies. Just check it out yourself and I’m sure you will add this one to your bookmarks.
So, to come to an end: Your career, your free time, the boredom of your kids and your marriage is saved for now! Yes, yes you can hug me later (as you know that’s not allowed at the moment!) Until then, please “Keep calm & carry on” and don’t forget to smile from time to time, it really helps!
PS: If you have free resources or ideas that you want to see to be included in this blog post please send them along, I can add them at any time. Thank you!
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