DeveloPassion's Newsletter #161 - SEO Failure

Edition 161 of my newsletter, discussing Knowledge Management, Knowledge Work, Zen Productivity, Personal Organization, and more!

DeveloPassion's Newsletter #161 - SEO Failure


Another week, another newsletter! I hope that you all had a great one 🤩

This week, I've spent some more time on the Knowledge Management for Beginners course. I've also tried to improve my Website. I'll tell you more about that in the lab section.

I've been juggling with many things recently, and sometimes it does feel like it's all too much. But it never lasts long. All I need to feel better is to focus on my priorities, and put the rest aside. Some people ask me how I do it. It's simple: I externalize as much as possible to a trusted system. I organize and prioritize it all in there. Then, it's much easier to focus, as I've discussed in a recent article.

Apart from that, I've taken important decisions for my (physical) health (challenge ahead!), and started moving again. We've been going around every single day with our electric bikes, which is great. My whole body hurts, but it feels great to get fresh air into my lungs and rebuild some muscles 😄

I've also played with a few board games I love. I'll never get tired of re-discovering the rules, tactics and strategies 😂.

Alright, let's gooooo 🚀

The lab 🧪

Welcome to the Lab! 👾

Knowledge Management for Beginners

So, this week I've been busy trying to improve the landing page and sales copy for my upcoming course:

Knowledge Management for Beginners
Your ultimate video course to mastering Personal Knowledge Management (PKM)

I've asked for feedback in the Indie Hackers and Small Bets communities, and applied the different recommendations I've received. To be honest, I'm far from proud about this landing page. Copywriting is clearly not my forte... That's why I'm thinking again about hiring an expert to help me out. I really feel like I'm missing many sales because of that.

I've also launched the pre-orders for the course and was happy when the first pre-order notifications came in. Having real customers waiting for me to deliver is a huge motivator.

I've tweeted a few times about the course, but have to focus more energy on marketing it correctly.

PKM Coaching

Apart from that, I organized a few more coaching sessions and had a real blast with my students. One of them gave me a 5-star rating. And it made me think about the fact that I never asked for reviews/testimonials before. Oops! I need to ask it to all my previous students. It's yet another aspect of marketing that is important to establish trust...

Personal Knowledge Management Coaching
Who is this for?You are just getting started with note-taking, note-making, and Personal Knowledge ManagementYou wonder how to take smart notesYou want to know how to properly organize your notes and avoid creating an overwhelming messYou want a solid system that scalesYou wonder what Zettelkasten, the PARA method, and the Johnny decimal system areYou want to better organize the information of your team or businessGetting started is not the hardest thing in the world, but it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out how to structure and organize your knowledge base. You have a busy life, and you don’t want to spend weeks or even months figuring out the “right” approach. Avoid wasting your time and get expert help to guide you on the right path.What is this?With this product, you can buy one or more hours of personalized coaching with me (in English or French!).I’ve been passionate about Information Management (IM), Knowledge Management, and PKM for more than 20 years. As an author, blogger, knowledge worker, and entrepreneur, I needed solutions to store and organize an enormous amount of information.Over the years, I’ve explored, used, and advocated many tools. I have settled on Obsidian, but the techniques I rely on can be applied to many other tools as well. I’ve spent months refining and perfecting my Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) system, and have spent countless hours tweaking my approach. I’ve published various articles to share some ideas about this. My system combines the Zettelkasten approach, the PARA method, the Johnny decimal system, and other ideas to create a solid basis for my work as an author, blogger, and content creator.I am very involved in the Personal Knowledge Management community, for which I’m building products, communities, and creating content to help newcomers as well as more advanced users get further. I have created the Obsidian Starter Kit, the Personal Knowledge Management Library, the PKM Journal, the PKM sub-reddit, the PKM Slack community, etc.I’ve decided to dedicate more of my time to coaching PKM enthusiasts and share what I’ve learned so far.During the coaching session(s):We will explore the concepts, techniques, and best practices that I rely on daily and recommendI will guide you through what I consider to be a well-structured, scalable and maintainable Personal Knowledge Management systemI will explain my workflows and processes to youI will (try to) answer all the questions you might haveI will remain available after our session if you have questions, need advice, or helpAfter the coaching sessions, I will remain available to answer additional questions.Testimonials”Sébastien thinks everything from first principles, the systems and ideas we discussed are well thought from multiple angles and I’m going to integrate them in my own specific setup”— Adrian Craciun (via mail)


I've also refreshed my Website. I changed the design, the menu links, updated my courses page, projects page, now page, about page, added a list of my PKM articles, and more. Hopefully, this will help more people discover my content and what I focus on.

I'm quite frustrated about the diminishing SEO performance of my Website. During the last six months, the numbers have kept going down. The worst part is that I don't know what I'm doing wrong:

The CTR is lower than before, while my Average Position in search results hasn't evolved:

And looking at Ahrefs, it's clear that organic traffic going away:

Meanwhile, more and more domains are pointing to mine...

Of course, this not only means that I get much less attention, but also have far fewer chances of getting my products in front of more people. Bummer 😦.

So, clearly, I need to do something about all this. I just don't know what 😂

New articles

I've published two articles this week. The first one discusses the reasons why we should all close open loops to recover some headspace, and improve our ability to focus:

Closing Open Loops: The Key to a Calmer, More Productive Mind
Unlocking Mental Clarity and Peak Productivity by Mastering the Art of Closing Open Loops

The second article shares some of my thoughts about how to treat ideas. The cattle vs pets approach applies to PKM as well:

Embracing Fluidity in Knowledge Management: The Cattle Approach to Ideas
Transform your ideas into a thriving ecosystem! Embrace the Cattle approach to Personal Knowledge Management. Let ideas grow, merge, and flourish.

Quotes of the week

  • Never stop learning. The moment you believe you have all the answers is the moment you stop growing — Addy Osmany
  • A calm mind can handle every storm
  • A focused fool can accomplish more than a distracted genius

Thinking and learning

If you don't know anything about PKM, then maybe you'll enjoy this PKM Primer by Mike Schmitz at The Sweet Setup:

PKM Primer: An Introduction to Personal Knowledge Management for Creatives – The Sweet Setup
Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) is all the rage. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your PKM and do your best creative work.

I enjoyed this video about taking better lecture notes by Aidan Helfant:

I've discovered an interesting plugin for Obsidian called "Journals. It seems like a viable and powerful alternative to my current approach with the Obsidian Starter Kit. With it, you can create different journals, easily create and navigate between periodic notes, re-use templates, but also get a more powerful calendar. Prakash Joshi Pax has published a video explaining how it works in detail:

Directly recording your voice and automatically generating transcripts within Obsidian? How cool is that?!

Make notes in your voice directly inside Obsidian
Express Your Voice Through Notes with Obsidian plugin, level up your note making experience

Tiago has a cool video explaining how to transform your paper notes into digital text:

Check out this interesting discussion between Martin Adams and Aidan Helfant:

Speed reading doesn't make any sense.