This post has taken me a while to get round to writing, but I wanted to announce that I’m now part of the SEO Chicks blogging crew! I also want to to explain how I have got to where I am now and encourage others to get out there and write for other websites too.
Back when I started out in SEO there were a number of blogs that I read and could only imagine being a part of, but this is one of the earliest blogs that I really wanted to be a part of. I was finding blogs by following SEO people on Twitter and reading the articles they posted. This introduced me to a range of sites, but as important as the sites were the people I was following.
Back then, as a junior SEO I was inspired by people like the SEO Chicks and everyone who was vocal in the SEO industry, whether they were blogging, tweeting or speaking at events. I wondered how I could become a part of this great community, I had no idea how they all seemed to know each other and why they were all so friendly!
My route to being a part of the SEO community involved tweeting with a few people, then getting the courage to go to the first BrightonSEO (Jaamit was such a nice bloke it didn’t take much persuading to travel down from Southampton for the evening to talk to SEOs outside of Twitter, especially as I knew there were other seo-event-noobs like ismepete going!). The main way to becoming a part of a community is to get involved, writing for a company blog and attending more events helped a lot, but it only helps when you actually talk to people!
I quickly learnt to just go and say ‘Hi’ to people, whether I thought I knew them or not, it sometimes takes courage, or a few drinks, but is always worth it. Everyone is happy to talk, which surprised me a lot to start with. I used to come back from events and tell people “I spent an hour talking to so-and-so!” as if I’d been talking to someone remotely famous. It meant a lot to me that people had the time for me and it’s something that helped me grow in confidence and move forwards with my job and activity within the industry.
I also found that having something to talk about helps. I have found my niche in website analytics and through having an area in which you are more specialist helps to give you something different to people who only focus on SEO as a whole. Friends of mine focus on specific things within SEO such as link building, content marketing or local SEO which helps give them a focus.
By having a specialist area and the guts to get out there I have been able to grow my knowledge, write useful blog posts, film detailed how to videos and also speak at conferences – everything I wished I would be able to do when I started learning about the SEO industry! I’ve also met lots of brilliant people who have inspired me, taught me, kept me sane and become good friends over the years. And even though the industry has it’s ups and downs with Google throwing updates at us regularly, it’s good to know that there are people there for you who are going through the same things, albeit at a different company, and there are always people willing to help and teach others, whether by email, over Twitter, by speaking at conferences or by chatting at the bar!
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself chatting on Twitter and talking to people at events! You never know what you can achieve until you try.