One evening I was having a conversation with a friend. He owned a company that did web design and web hosting and all that goes along with that. During this conversation, he mentioned that he could use some help with the workload so he could focus more on growing the company. So I asked what he needed and what kind of work it was. I had no idea that it would turn into a life and career changing choice.
SEO was so foreign to me that I had to ask what it meant, and I am not just talking about, Search Engine Optimization, I mean, I had to find out what “that” meant. Thanks to websites like Moz.com and academy.hubspot.com to name a few, my training began. Just learning about Panda and Penguin, what are key words, title tags, meta descriptions and how to build backlinks was overwhelming to say the least. When I started working though, I was strictly building back links. Link Prospector was my home and Trello kept me on track with how much work I had done, or still needed to do.
After about 6 months of building links, my friend came back to me and says, “You’re doing a good job. I want you to train more and learn more and do more.” So, I began watching some training videos and reading more articles about all of things I had “learned” when I had just started. This was when I became certified for Inbound Marketing. I learned about user experience, converting visitors into clients, the importance of content, and more programs to help with SEO like Raven, Google Analytics, and Wordpress. I learned about the importance of research and how you can use it to change things to optimize your sites. Again, very overwhelming, but when is learning not a little overwhelming?
Part of why my friend, now employer, wanted me to do more was because by hiring me, he had time to grow his business and thus, needed me to do more work. Now I have 9 websites that I am in charge of completely. I take care of on page and off page SEO, maintaining the sites, keeping Wordpress up to date, building back links and keyword research to name a few. I continue to learn new things and continue to do training because SEO is ever changing. As Google and the other web crawlers change, so does SEO. The basics are foundational and will not change, such as the importance of building quality back links, but by constantly learning and increasing knowledge, I can find ways to improve SEO for my sites.
I have not been disappointed with SEO work or learning. I’ve been doing this now for 2 years and during the first year, I had ups and downs. I was overwhelmed with so much to learn. Now, I still feel overwhelmed with the need to learn and the excessive amount of information available to me, but it's good to know that I’m not the only one still learning. It's very rewarding when I can help a company increase their business because of the things I can do for their website with SEO. I am looking forward to the years to come and I can honestly say, if you can relate to my story, if you are in your first year and feel overwhelmed, don’t give up. Press on and keep learning! It’s worth it!! I can say that I am looking forward to the future in my new line of work!!
Tony graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2003 with a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance. Despite wanting to continue his education and become a teacher, life happened and he went straight to work. In July of 2014, Tony joined the Shelley Media Arts team and began learning SEO. Currently Tony works as an Instrument Repair Technician by day and moonlights as an SEO Strategist for Shelley Media Arts.
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