Magdalene Ayuk
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Women Making History: Erika Miller, Elle.com & ELM Consulting


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A Senior Search Marketing Manager for a major magazine publisher based in New York City, Erika L. Miller has expertise in how to grow business in the digital space. Her experience includes areas such as data research and analytics, website and product development, as well as business and consumer relationship management. Erika Miller has a passion for developing and executing sustainable business models. She has plans to start a non-profit consulting company to assist entrepreneurs in growing and promoting their businesses online.

Meet Erika Miller—today’s Women Making History.

Women Making History: Erika L. Miller

Cabbage Patch dolls!

M.I.S.S.: What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?

Frida Kahlo- she inspires me both personally and professionally because against all odds she never played the victim. She assimilated into to groups and professional situations that she didn’t necessarily enjoy, but she did it because it allowed her to get that much closer to her goals and dreams. I admire Frida’s strength as a female to protect her place within a male dominated society. She inspires me to feel good about the struggle to success.

M.I.S.S.: You grew up and went to school in Northern California. How did the opportunity to volunteer in Jamaica come about?

During my college years I was very active in volunteerism. I worked with Teach for America as a campus recruiter for their cause to get soon-to-be graduates to join and move to rural and urban areas to teach youth in areas that are under privileged. After college most young people want to travel, but for me travel was not enough. I also wanted to give back. That is how I found my way into a summer program volunteering in the rural mountains of Jamaica. I spent a few weeks that summer building roads, traveling the island and exchanging culture with the community. To this day I still talk to friends I made there 6 years ago.

Women Making History: Erika L. Miller

While in Jamaica, Erika helped move large stones from the river bed and mixed concrete to build the support walls.

M.I.S.S.: What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on?

To date my favorite project is on SEO + editorial training for print editors. It had been my experience that editors are traditionally trained to write for print magazines that sell advertising and monetize their production costs much differently than websites. Since the era upon us calls for “Digital Editors,” it is my job to turn a tradition editor into a “digital” one. It is my favorite project to help establish a whole new way of thinking about the same old thing.

Women Making History: Erika L. Miller

Erika enjoys experimenting with nature in photography. A look at some of her favorite flowers.

M.I.S.S.:  What part of SEO strategy is the most challenging and do you dislike the
most?

When I have to be aggressive. Many men- since men typically dominate in the publishing arena- aren’t used to that from a 20 something year old gal using acronym’s and technical jargon they never heard of!

M.I.S.S.:  Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career path similar to
yours?

Read up on all the latest marketing trends all the time. Pick up some books at the store about search engine optimization and technology platforms that are conducive to optimization. Take some workshops. Get ready to enjoy your career. Make sure you are results oriented. Be prepared to have your professional expertise put to the test. Attend networking events. Think outside the box. Develop business management skills. Pick up HTML for dummies. Don’t let the challenge weaken your confidence.

WMH: Erika Miller

Erika suggests that those interested in a career in consulting read up on all the latest marketing trends all the time.

M.I.S.S.: Who do you want to work with?

I want to work with small businesses that need digital marketing solutions to grow business online. Know anyone? 😉

M.I.S.S.: What took you to NY?

My coming to New York was born out of a visit. When I came back from Jamaica my boyfriend at the time suggested I come see him in New York, where he was an engineering intern with IBM for the summer. Of course I said yes. The Internship was up in Westchester. Once set foot in Westchester, I visited and explored White Plains and decided that it was for me. The history of New York state is amazing, and the energy and intellect of New York City compelled me to want to be “in it.” 7 years later, I have grown into a woman and a professional within the digital media world.

M.I.S.S.: Learning SEO strategy and management is a very new field. When did you realize you were interested in SEO and how did you learn the skills for this position?

I always had a passion for tinkering- trying to figure out how things worked, from radios to computers, to the modern search engine. It all started with SEO when I was brought on at 10e20 as a client services coordinator. At the time 10e20 was a small start up with lots of SEO clients whom nobody managed. I knew nothing about SEO, but I knew that these clients wanted results and answers to their growing questions. I took it upon myself to learn this new field and began to manage these clients, and even started delivering results. I must honor Chris Winfield, the company President, for his role in my success. I would not be where I am today without the opportunity of working for that start up. By remaining dedicated to learning more, I have managed to push the limits of my advancement.


M.I.S.S.: What drew you to work for Elle.com?

The draw to a magazine publisher is easy- fun brands to promote. What more can I say?

Women Making History: Erika Miller

Erika schmoozing at an event.

M.I.S.S.: Do you ever get to see the sample closets at Elle? If you could have anything from the closets what would it be?

As it turns out, I have only seen the sample closets from ELLE Magazine on The City, the MTV reality show featuring one of our print PR women. On the show you can see the closet has so many amazing accessories and shoes galore. It is like any womans heaven. If I could get anything I wanted from the ELLE closet, assuming they had it, I would totally want a Chanel leather cuff bracelet crusted with small diamonds. I have gotten some very cool “kick-downs” from our editors; products ranging from designer earrings to organic water.

From volunteering in Jamaica, to using your skills to help small businesses – there’s a strong theme of giving back. Where did you get these values from? Why do you think it’s important to give back?

Against all obstacles in my life everything has turned out for the better because I have always had faith in people. I think the virtue to giving back to people with hardship was built from when I was a child. I have always had sensitivities for those in need. As a kid, I brought home a lot of stray dogs- lol. I have always found a feeling of accomplishment when I know other people are getting what they need to sustain, from food and shelter to affordable business solutions. For me, giving back is inherent. As it has been said, “we must never take more than what we give in return!”

WMH: Erika Miller

Erika loves to travel. Above, she enjoys the wind and energy of Honolulu and it's amazing views.

M.I.S.S.: Any SEO tips for our readers who are bloggers?

If you are a small time blogger and you want to grow your audience, or even your web business you need to:
• Develop a targeted theme for yourself
• Cover very specific topics when writing blog posts
• Cover a very specific area of expertise to have success with search rankings
Search engines are very topical and rank sites based on their ability to dominate and attract attention for a specific keyword topic. There is so much information about SEO online, but if you ever have any questions, feel free to contact me at www.ELMConsulting.Org.

Women Making History: Erika L. Miller

Erika on an IFB—Independent Fashion Bloggers—panel.

For anyone interested in learning more about SEO, Erika will be holding skill share workshops in the New York area, specific date/location TBA. She can be reached at elm@elmconsulting.org

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2 Responses to “Women Making History: Erika Miller, Elle.com & ELM Consulting”

  1. Barry says:

    I have worked with Erika on a few projects and I find that she has an impressive ability to solve problems and think through critical issues that effect the performance of my business online.

    I am glad she got some much deserved exposure on MISS- one of my favorite online mags. I’d like to see where she ends up next- CMO maybe?

  2. Catherine says:

    This is great exposure Erika- I absolutely loved working with you. The innovative insights and analysis she did in order to target the right keywords, and help me create a website that spoke to users through search engines. I absolutely cant imagine what we would be doing without Erikas assistance!

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