Alumni Spotlight: Jennifer Ruhman On The Power Of SEO
July 27th, 2015 | Natasha Englehardt
Platt College Alumni Jennifer Ruhman Discusses Blogging, Her Feature In The New York Times & SEO
Platt College Alumni, Jennifer Ruhman, graduated from our web design program back in 2006 with her Bachelor’s degree in Media Arts. Since graduating from the program she has been keeping up-to-date with all the latest trends and techniques throughout the web industry, always hungry to learn more. She has seen much success working in her field and was even recently featured by the New York Times for her beauty blog.
Jennifer started her blog a couple years ago while she was taking care of her mother and needed something fun to do when she had down time. She started by blogging every week and now has over 130 different blog posts. In order to make sure that it was something that remained fun and didn’t create extra stress, she makes sure to only blog when she feels like it.
What really motivated her to start her blog was the fact that she had started blogging for other people and businesses first to help with their SEO and drive more traffic to their websites. Jennifer realized that in doing all this hard work for others, she was watching them get rich off of all her efforts, but she wanted to see those results on her own blog. Years later, she’s putting those skills to work for her benefit and has created a successful self-branded blog.
So how did all of this lead up to her being featured in the New York Times? Well, it all started with a blog post Jennifer wrote on women who shave their face. Before you get ahead of yourself, this wasn’t a blog about bearded ladies you might find at the circus – this was about normal, everyday women and the benefits of removing peach fuzz to allow easier makeup application.
When a writer from the New York Times initially reached out to her, Jennifer thought it was a family member playing a trick on her. Especially after he mentioned that particular article – an article with a topic known to have a particularly awkward stigma but one that many are curious about. No one wanted to write about this topic, which is why Jennifer chose to write the blog initially.
Through some quick research, she discovered the writer was who he said he was, and that the New York Times was seeking her out. Excited at the idea of being featured in the New York Times, Jennifer had her hesitations, knowing that what the article was about carried some controversy. Is this something that she wanted shared with millions of people? Everyone would know that she shaves her face! But she knew the benefits outweighed the negatives. People would know about her blog article on what’s referred to as dermaplaning, but it’s something many Hollywood starlets have been known to do, and Jennifer knew she shouldn’t be ashamed to share. So she went for it!
Now Jennifer has received one of the best backlinks you could ask for on a website – a link to her blog from the New York Times. It may not be on a topic she would have preferred, but the amount of traffic she has received to her site since then is well worth the awkward stigma. And her website traffic has skyrocketed since then, allowing her to make even more money through her blogging efforts.
When speaking with Jennifer about what inspired her to create her beauty blog, Platt teacher, Fred Winton, was mentioned by her many times. Fred has been teaching several classes in our web design program since 2000 and has made a positive impact on many of our graduates.
Jennifer had this to say about her time in Fred’s web classes, “Fred taught me that content is king. I also learned to be really disciplined and thorough. High quality content is important to meet Google’s standards and keep people coming back. He taught me to take all the extra steps to make sure everything was compatible across multiple browsers and accessible.”
Some of the other take aways Jennifer had from Fred was that everyone should have a blog that focuses on a hobby or passion that they’re interested in. This allows you to then monetize it through Google ads, Youtube videos, Instagram, and other forms of social media. Since she’s started sharing her love for beauty products, skin care tips and fashion through her blog, Jennifer now makes enough money to quit her day job if she wanted to pursue her passion full time.
Interested in getting started with your own blog to share a passion or hobby of yours? Jennifer has some Top Tips for you!
Jennifer’s Top Tips On Blogging:
#1 – Write something that will help someone.
#2 – Make it your own by having high quality images that are fun and shareable.
#3 – Optimize your blog posts and images by using all your alt tags.
#4 – Make sure it’s accessible and responsive.
Here at Platt College we are certainly proud of Jennifer and all that she has accomplished. Her blog has been extremely successful and all thanks to good old fashioned organic SEO! Be sure to check out her blog Elegance & Beauty Reviews and you can also check out the original article on her that was published by the New York Times! Now get out there and start blogging!