This following is a bit of a memoir, a bit of an explanatory excursion, a tiny bit helpful but certainly not at all actionable or useful in anyway. Just a bit of an elaborative introduction, from me to you. Juicy content filled posts about SEO coming soon though, promise. But for now…
After doing SEO on the side for 3 years, I made the wild decision this past May to turn this into a full time gig. Why!? Because I live, sleep, breath and die for it. Is there a certain activity in your life, where you get so involved, and you look up and its 5 hours later? You’d skip meals, sleep or (God help us) showering to do it? That’s me with SEO (although my wife doesn’t let me get away with the last one).
Some people dream of a owning Mustang or to be leader of their local Golf Club or write a book. Me? I’m obsessively chasing my dream of optimizing websites, 10,000+ page websites 100,000+ visits a month websites. I get like a euphoric high feeling when thinking about it. Maybe that’s just being naive. In any case, I’m severely digressing.
Back to last weekend!!
This past weekend, I attended the Affiliate Summit East in NYC. Being it was my first event of its kind, that in its self was life and career changing.
I did learn a few things:
Cool stuff, some review.
But MORE inspiring..
..was the opportunity to meet some SEOs I greatly respect and admire… like
I have no idea how I ended up meeting and eating dinner with these fine people. John Doherty was nice enough to include me after I asked him and a few other SEOs in NYC if they wanted to meet up while I was in town. Yup I’m pretty sure I have John to thank:
Well said John, and thanks for the inclusion!
I was lucky enough to also meet Rhea Drysdale of Outspoken Media and Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive, Eppie Vojt of eppie.net and Ron Garrett of Distilled. I’m telling you something folks, these people all have kick-ass companies or jobs because they don’t mess around. They’re an inspiring bunch of people. They don’t sit back and wait for things to happen, they take action and affect positive change and get things done with steadfast commitment and enthusiasm. I like that, and its pushing me to do the same.
SEO & Waffle Fries
But back to the dinner. Over some killer chicken fingers and waffle fries (they were damn good, go to Wogies if you ever find yourself in Greenwich Village), I had a conversation with Tom Critchlow of Distilled, which will probably stick with me until the day I die, and may have in fact altered my career and life for the better. Friends, if you do not follow Tom, do it NOW (his twitter is @tomcritchlow). And if you’re at all into SEO or web marketing, you should seriously consider attending one of Distilled’s SEO conferences.
Tom’s a very generous and encouraging fellow, with loads of positive feedback and suggestions. He advised me on acquiring clients, pricing, SEO philosophy, pushing out content on blog posts and technical challenges of working on bigger projects. I wish I had grabbed my iPhone and recorded the whole thing, honestly. You’d much rather listen to him than me!
And to top it off
To my surprise, when the evening was over, Rand Fishkin said he was jealous we all got to hang out.
I’m sure he’s not talking about me, but it was an extraordinarily fun evening for sure.
OK, enough of that. Let’s move forward. The Affiliate Summit and this experience over dinner and waffle fries had got me further pumped for my self imposed career change. Time to start putting out some content of my own.
Over dinner, I mentioned a few ideas to Tom, which he seemed to like:
1. Interviews with other SEOs – Since I’m not entering the SEO world with a “job” I’m living in sort of a little bubble, unless I get out there and connect with others. I’ve so many questions I want to ask, so what better way to do it than ask these questions of people I respect and share their answers with you.
2. Video and Screencasts – Not only do I find videos and screencasts fun to make, I just don’t think there’s enough of them, but I could see them being really helpful. I can think of a few posts which feature some fairly advanced uses of Excel where I’d love to see someone walk through the steps.
3. And a post idea – I’ve been doing a lot of local SEO. It has always intrigued me (and frankly bothered me) that one day you can get a blended result, and the next get a 7-pack with a location based search. I’ve been doing some research into why this might be, and if particular types of queries trigger one result or the other. I hope to share this research soon.
Coming next: an Interview with John Doherty of Distilled.
John is a talented and up and coming SEO consultant at Distilled. He’s nicely agreed to answer a few questions, so stay tuned for that next time. I’ll catch you then, thanks for reading!