Becoming an Author – The launch of Shopify Empire

Shopify Empire SEO


Shopify Empire SEO BookWell, I did it. I wrote and released a book. “Shopify Empire” went live a few weeks ago and it’s been a whirlwind sense then.

I’ve written and released dozens of apps over my career. I expected this book release to be similar to an app release – I was wrong. I’ve learned that people react very differently to apps and books.

Almost everyone uses computers and apps everyday, but there is a disconnect from them. Apps are generally easy to install, and use. How they work, most people couldn’t tell you. Most people don’t write code, even less write SaaS products. For the most part, apps are magical things, written by anonymous geeks.

I think that most people understand what books are, what goes into them, and they understand the struggle of the writing process. Not everyone is a “writer” but most people write all the time – work reports, school work, text messages, emails, blog posts, Facebook, etc, so they can better appreciate books.

I’ve never thought of myself as a writer. I have a lot of thought and opinions, but putting them into written form has always been difficult for me. I’ve done a fair amount of public speaking, video, and podcasting, but always avoiding the written form whenever possible. To be completely honest the real magic happened during the editing process. It was basically worse than the worse code review I have even been through, but in the end the book is MUCH better for it, as am I.

Josh Highland book signingOne of my reasons for writing this book was to push myself to grow in a new direction. I think it’s done that in a major way. The process for me was much more difficult than creating an app, and oddly just as satisfying. I might not be the best writer in the world, but I no longer can make excuses to avoid writing and generating content.

I’m very grateful for the outpouring of support I have received. In the few short weeks that the book has been out, I’ve already been a guest on a Shopify podcast, done an #AMA event, and even did some book signing. I’m excited to see what the future holds as Shopify Empire gets into the hands of more people.

You can find Shopfy Empire at

So I’m writing a book

book_writingIn early 2013 I started writing a book.I didn’t get far before starting work on other projects.

Its August of 2014, and I’ve started working on my book again. It’s about SEO and SMO (Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization). Currently it’s about 100 pages completed. I’ve started and stopped this project more that any other project in my life. Today I took some time to reflect on why it’s taking me so long to complete this task.

Through writing this book, I’ve realized that it’s difficult for me to convey my thoughts and ideas on a page. I can make it happen, but I’m very slow at it. Truthfully I am more comfortable writing computer code.

To me, code has a personality and a life of it’s own. I go to war when I code. Code does not want to run, you have to wrestle into submission. You have to understand it, you have to anticipate it. You have to imagine all of the different ways your code is going to try and elude you, and crash. Like all worthy adversaries, you must respect the code to truly understand and master it. For the code to run, you must be successful, you must be correct. The poetic dance that I experience with code, I don’t feel when writing in English. Maybe it’s the linear fashion and format.

I can say however that the research process has been fun, and stretching myself to write this book has been a great experience and a true challenge. I am passionate about seeing this project through. Here’s to the future, and here’s to completing this bad boy!

Improving the SEO of a Shopify store

Shopify SEO

I love Shopify. It’s an amazing e-commerce SaaS (Software as a service) application. Shopify is basically an online solution for people who want to run an e-commerce store, but don’t want to deal with the headache of maintaining secure servers and source code. I’ve used them for years, and have built several stores based on their platform.

One of the things I really like about Shopify is their pro-developer attitude. They have a robust API and they want people to build thing on their platform. They even have an app store where developers can create and sell plugins to extends their platform.

Recently, I launched a Shopify app to help store owners improve their stores SEO. “SEO Meta Manager” allows users to easily modify their products titles, meta descriptions and meta keywords. This allows Shopify store owners to control how search engines see and list their products in search result pages. For $5 a month, it’s a must have add on for anyone who is serious about their store.

SEO Meta Manager is an powerful tool for any Shopify store owner.
Better search results = More visits to your store = More sales = More $$$ for you!