The start of my SEO career and what I’ve learned in my first three months as an SEO specialist

Written by: Christopher Boyce
Last Updated on:

This article contains 5,916 words.
Est. Reading Time:

24

minutes
.

What follows is not about SEO processes or hard skills but an honest look at my transition into the SEO industry from a career switch in my mid-thirties, with added contributions from industry experts. This may help individuals who want to make the switch, but I hope that people from all stages in their SEO careers can find some useful takeaways.

Note: I decided to setup my site and write this article during my personal development time at my in-house SEO role – as a way to work on improving my writing. I just want to acknowledge that awesome opportunity. Tell me your thoughts on this article in the comment section.

Who is this article for? – You may find some parts interesting if:

  • You’re just starting out in SEO
  • You want to switch careers to SEO
  • You have a different journey
  • You’re already well established
  • Or you manage an in-house or agency team

My SEO journey is not what I’d call typical, and it might not follow the standard route. It was a year-long self-taught grind, but I had a rough plan, and luck was on my side. However, there are many different ways into SEO, with some experienced people in the industry making it easily accessible through their own learning materials. 

So if you’re looking to transition into SEO, check out learningseo.io by Aleyda Solis, who’s put together a detailed step-by-step approach you can follow to learn all about search engine optimisation.

What I love is that there’s no real entry barrier into SEO – there’s plenty of training material online for free or paid – and I really think there’s value to be found in both. With more in-house and agency recruiters considering attitude and experience on equal footing to formal qualifications – there’s a good chance if you have passion and the willingness to learn you could find a role in SEO.

Having a unique entry into the industry might be a lot more common than I think.  But everyone’s is different, so I’m going to share my journey.

The first part details my journey from a traditional retail environment to working remotely as an SEO specialist, while the second half reflects on my first 3-months as an in-house SEO.

If you just want to find out what I’ve learned working in-house you can skip straight to my learnings. 

My journey started in September 2019 when I was made redundant from my retail job. At that time, I had worked through the management trainee program from my first role as a customer service assistant to my final role as a team manager. I was in the business for eight years, so it has been a significant career shift.

Luckily, many soft skills can transfer with you into an SEO role from previous jobs and life experiences, so see value in them. Empathy, customer service and team skills allow you to communicate more effectively with your team and stakeholders.

We can take so many skills from past experiences, think about how resilient you might be, how responsive you can be, how you can negotiate well, or how you’re a true team player. The list is endless.

How can you be successful when applying for SEO positions

Before I really get into things, I reached out to three industry SEO’s who have been involved in hiring new talent and asked two questions, what soft skills they look for in a junior SEO hire and how people new to SEO can land their first role.

A big thank you to Craig, Alice and Freddie for sharing their knowledge and advice.

craig 1

Craig McDermott

Operations Director at Reddico

What characteristics/traits do you look for in a potential junior SEO hire?

Openness and Honesty – Someone who knows what they know and knows what they don’t and is willing to always be honest with themselves and us about where they need to improve.

This is one of the biggest differences in people who progress fast and people who don’t. Those who are willing to be vulnerable and admit they don’t know things or admit their mistakes can learn from them and be supported in the right way.

Attitude and Passion – What we’re really looking for is someone who is passionate about marketing and SEO. They don’t need to know much about working in an agency or working with clients. All of that can be taught.

If someone can show that they love the craft and have tried building sites, helping friends or families businesses and can share what has worked and what hasn’t, then these are good signs that they are going to be strong SEOs.

Desire to learn – This is kind of linked to the above but is a big area, so deserved it’s own slot. We encourage members of the team to take control of their own learning and development and so it needs to be obvious that they are going to do this and have various areas of interest that they want to develop in.

Really the processes, training and experience that we have in the team are great, so we focus more on attitude for juniors.

They need to be someone who is clearly hungry to learn. Formal qualifications don’t matter to me at any level of recruitment really. A lot of the measurements for attitude are subjective, but it’s always very clear to everyone when the right person comes into the recruitment process.

How do you think people new to the industry can be successful when applying for positions?

Definitely be a self starter, read as much as you can, but most importantly test things out for your self. You don’t need a huge budget or ability to work on a big established site to start learning what really matters and doesn’t in SEO. Help out a friend or family member with their business, or build your own sites and start experimenting. This will multiply your chances of landing your dream role massively.

Alice Roussel

Search Acquisition Manager at Merci Larry

What characteristics/traits do you look for in a potential junior SEO hire?

First of all, I don’t look for previous work experience. I like when candidates demonstrate their curiosity by having a personal or side project – this can be a personal website or a social media account with engagement.

I’m also interested in candidates that are curious about our own websites from a search point of view. Curiosity is a helpful hint; in general, it means that once hired, the person will go the extra mile to fulfil their curiosity.

Finally, I look for candidates with a strong feeling for continuous learning, mainly through their side projects or by reading high-level articles.

How do you think people new to the industry can be successful when applying for positions?

Something that is really important to me is a candidate that knows how search works. It can seem obvious, but most of the candidates I talked to in the past weren’t able to properly explain the main concepts of a search engine.

I like it when candidates have demonstrated a sufficient interest to be able to understand the WHY – why does a search engine work like this? before the HOW – how to optimize web pages?.

What is also important is to be able to understand where the data is coming from, how the data is handled and how the metrics can be analysed.

alice
freddie

Freddie Chatt

Ecommerce SEO Consultant at Freddie Chatt

What characteristics/traits do you look for in a potential junior SEO hire?

Desire to learn – this is the top trait I look for in junior positions. They don’t need to know anything about doing SEO but they need to show that they have the desire to learn. Also, if they have learned anything outside of their standard education – shows they have additional drive to learn new things.

Digital awareness – If they have created a blog, side project or website in the past – even if they have done no SEO – always gives a little impression that they are interested in the type of work we do.

Writing ability – A lot of SEO is writing, whether that is communication or actually writing content. A lot of this can be taught but if a junior SEO has shown competency in writing, through the application process or otherwise, this can really help make them stand out.

How do you think people new to the industry can be successful when applying for positions?

For me, the most important thing someone new to the industry can do to be successful is to show the enthusiasm for wanting to be an SEO.

They can show they have done some research, it doesn’t need to be in-depth, it can be simply reading a beginners guide to SEO and they can link some of what they have done before (in a different industry or during education) to some of the tasks you’ve seen in the job description.

Additionally, a show of enthusiasm of why you want to become an SEO from what you’ve read will also go a long way.

Some great insight, the main themes being that having a real interest in SEO along with a desire to learn and develop will help immensely if you’re looking to break into the industry. A great way to show your learning ability and development progress is to work on side projects which can become excellent talking points during interviews.

Making a career switch to SEO

But let’s get back into the journey before SEO and after redundancy.

At the time, I wasn’t sure what my next steps in life would be, what should I do now? – I remember thinking. Redundancy can make you withdraw, over reflect and focus entirely on the negative. 

But, I always try to be an optimistic person, even in situations where it’s hard to see past the present. Not only for myself but for others also.

Breathe

I set a goal of six months to try and discover a new calling, and skillup. Having some initial web development and site experience from my younger days, it seemed like this area could serve well as a head start and push me into a career within tech.

The truth is I never set my sights on SEO at the start, I wasn’t aware that it was something you could pursue a career in.

I started like so many people do with a Web Development Course on Udemy and made my way through the HTML, CSS and JavaScript chapters.

Disclaimer: I am not a front-end developer, but the knowledge gained from the course gives me the confidence today to communicate more effectively with engineers. 

December 2019 marked three months, and I came across a Youtube video detailing how to set up a WordPress website for SEO and earn an income through affiliate marketing with organic search traffic.

I did just that.

I selected my niche – randomly and not something I’m passionate about.

You always hear people saying write something you’re passionate about. I think I’d probably end up hating a hobby if it was my plan to write 180,000 words on it.

So do what feels right for you.

I launched my site, learning about SEO as I built while balancing the web dev course. At the start, the traffic from my site was nothing spectacular, but I was realistic with my expectations after hearing the term ‘hockey stick growth’ from videos.

In March of 2020, my old place of employment reached out, and I returned in a support role part-time at the start of the first lockdown.

I decided it was right for me to return for a stable income and continue working on my site around work. I tried to balance a day job (30 hrs) with working on my sites part-time.

My advice on dedicating time to both work and side projects is to try and keep some form of balance. If you’ve had a bad day at work then don’t feel bad if you just want to destress away from the computer. You can always pick it up tomorrow.

We’ve all had a terrible couple of years and health – both mental and physical – are extremely important. Work-life balance is a top priority and for me, it’s achievable right now.

In May 2020, Scotland and the UK entered full lockdown; search traffic exploded.

While everyone was thinking about what to do to pass the time, my affiliate site was perfectly positioned to assist people.

The countless hours of writing were starting to get results, with the site in high demand I sold out the retailers I featured.

Traffic had been slowly growing and jumped from around 2000 users in April to 50,000 in May. In the end, this level of traffic lasted three months and slowly retracted to 20-30k organic users per month.

I remember thinking if I had an actual budget, what would be possible. I’d focus on creating multiple topic clusters with a large budget set solely for content. 

  • Produce in-depth content with multiple writers
  • Roll out related topic clusters
  • Create linkable assets and infographics
  • Spend time outreaching to build great links 


At the time though – I had no budget. I’ll post more updates of my affiliate sites in the future but this is long enough already.

Finding your first SEO role

I decided to look for an SEO role, but I wasn’t sure I had the skills to enter the industry. Would I be laughed at? My confidence was low.

But listen,

I know what worked for me won’t work for everyone, but starting a website that gets organic traffic certainly proves you have the foundational skills and drive needed to make it work.

I realise that now.

Starting a site gives you a place to test your skills, plus you have something to showcase and talk about.

I’ve not found an SEO that doesn’t like talking about side projects, and it seems most have 3+ on the go at any time.

My first affiliate site is certainly not a masterpiece – and it didn’t need to be. The design can do with a rework, and the content needs a rewrite. But it’s successful and ranks well within its niche – I’m incredibly proud that I created it from skills gained from watching Youtube videos.

I decided to reach out and ask for advice.

I posted on Reddit, joined Twitter and started to network with other SEO’s – make a point to introduce yourself and join conversations. I’m pretty inactive on these platforms at the moment, but sharing my initial success was noticed by a PR expert – I told you I was lucky.

Not knowing anyone in the industry, my SEO bubble consisted of Facebook groups and the /r/juststart subreddit. These are great places to get involved, but I feel like it’s hard to be seen by others when there’s so much noise.

They’re great for absorbing knowledge but it’s hard to be recognised in an incubator filled with self-proclaimed experts. You want to project your success and have people take note. One of the best places to share your journey is Twitter.

I’m no expert.

I tried to understand what an SEO role would look like.

It’s hard to navigate SEO job descriptions, and when you’re looking for entry-level positions, it can be confusing.

I’m told often these job adverts are written by talent teams and recruiters who lack proper knowledge of the job requirements. The result often misses the mark completely – I’ve seen SEO junior roles advertised with 5 years of experience needed.

Skip those.

If you search for SEO roles, titles vary and there are often huge inconsistencies in job descriptions, duties, pay grades and the level of education expected.

Standardisation with roles would help. But there’s a lot of specialities within SEO – my guess is that they’re trying to appeal to the most amount of candidates.

A lot of the time it doesn’t land.

But here are some tips that could help gain exposure and land you a role in SEO.

Showcasing results can get you noticed.

Sharing my affiliate journey on Twitter gave me the chance to talk about SEO. My first impression of the Twitter SEO community is that it’s very welcoming – I encourage anyone looking for a role to get on Twitter and share results or thoughts. Just be aware that you can receive both positive and negative feedback.

For me, what changed it turned out to be a random tweet from someone I did not know but who I followed on the platform.

Mark Rofe shared a post that I had published a month before. My job at the time was still part-time in a supermarket and working on my affiliate sites in between shifts. My profile stated I was looking for a full-time role within SEO.

My phone blew up over the next few days, and I started connecting with SEOs.

So post screenshots of earnings or learnings, it could get you noticed.

Grab every opportunity to chat about SEO.

I jumped at every opportunity that came along to talk about SEO, this was way outside my comfort zone at the time, but I was aware the window wouldn’t be available for long. The fact that many people were willing to give up their time to connect over Zoom and talk about my journey meant it was an opportunity I had to grab.

I probably had eight intro zoom calls over three days while trying to work 12hr shifts that week. It was intense – and it was my first time talking about what I had learned over the past year. 

This led to conversations about interviewing for various positions. At the time, I wasn’t too sure about the difference between them but they had different SEO titles – all were junior roles. 

Interview with passion, it’s not all about knowledge

Over the next couple of days, I had calls with several agencies and individuals; I felt a few roles could be a good fit, and the companies all looked like great places to work.

This is when I connected with Tom Rayner at Farewill and decided to focus on an in-house position. The following week, I was in the middle of a three-stage interview that consisted of a presentation and SEO analysis test. 

There wasn’t much time to prepare, but I put together my presentation in two days. When the interview came around, I felt like I had a great chance – It was in a good place.

The company was so supportive in scheduling interviews around my shifts – I felt valued before I interviewed – that’s when It was apparent that this would be a great place to work.

It felt like a natural fit for me.

There was no guarantee I would be successful, but I had nothing to lose, the experience gained from attending my first SEO interview, even if I turned out to be unsuccessful, would be worth it. 

So I tried, and I gave it my all.

Nobody holding interviews for an SEO starter role should be looking for an expert. Thankfully this was obvious from the start, and instead, they were looking for someone who has passion, was willing to develop and learn in-house while being a good culture add for the company.

A week later, I had an offer in my inbox for an SEO specialist role.

*Celebrations* Gobsmacked.

I put in my notice and received tremendous support from my old colleagues as I looked forward to starting a career in SEO.

Here are my 7 in 3. That’s seven things I’ve learned in my first three months in SEO.

It’s hard to believe that three months have passed since switching careers. I’ve learned a ton about working in-house and there’s still much to learn. That makes me very excited for the future!

Each week is different, it comes with new challenges and keeps things fresh, but there’s also a clear opportunity for development that’s incredibly transparent.

My first three months have been such a positive experience and that’s thanks to the support of my team and the people I collaborate with.

An SEO career involves collaboration across teams

You can expect to work within the SEO team and support other marketing sub-teams such as Content and Paid Marketing. Still, you’ll also get the chance to work with teams across the company, such as legal and product development.

Reflecting on projects thus far, around 50% of work in-house has involved some collaboration with additional teams – this can range from minimal input to essential involvement to complete projects.

I’ve learned that getting buy-in from non-acquisition teams can be difficult – especially when a project has different levels of perceived impact by the teams involved. 

To overcome this blocker, it starts with raising your profile and expertise within the company and simplifying the communication of the impact and benefits.

I’m still learning to put this into practice every day.

This leads nicely into my subsequent learning.

You’ll spend a lot of time working on SEO initiatives, but remember to set aside time for progress reports.

Since switching careers into SEO, I’ve discovered it’s super important to communicate often and clearly on the status of your projects. When I worked on my affiliate sites, there was no reason to document and share learnings.

I did not see the value but going in-house, where you’ll work across many different team projects, clear communication allows lead teams to have an informed overview.

This learning came from one of Kristina Azarenko’s SEO webinars – I tried looking for the direct video but couldn’t find it to link. I learned that there are instances where you can spend  70% of your time working on projects, with the remaining 30% involving communicating progress and milestones to stakeholders.

On the plus side, having the status of projects well-documented means if anyone asks you to update the team or the company on what you’ve been working on, it’s relatively easy to find that information.

I’m a big believer in this approach and now implement it – It doesn’t matter if it’s a small or large project. I’ll write up a document (all those Notion pages) about what I’m trying to achieve and the proposed process and then continuously update it throughout the project’s lifespan.

Then when asked to share findings, stats or learnings, I have that information easily accessible, and you can quickly repurpose content for team updates.

This is definitely learning that I’ll take over to my affiliate sites – detailing your process allows you to discover successes and track failures. This will come in handy when scaling and outsourcing work and help speed up decision making.

It’s important to keep track of what you’ve been working on. Recording your successes and learnings will remind you of your progress. 

Similarly to the above, documenting what you’ve been working on can help you identify personal growth.

Remembering what you’ve worked on is hard! My manager advised me to start a BRAG document, and so far, It’s served me well – especially when it came to writing this post and my three-month review last week (now several weeks later :D).

The idea is that we will do many things in our career 

Could you list everything that you’ve worked on in the last month? – Perhaps. How about the last 3 months? – You’d miss a few things out, I would. The last year? – my bet is that the majority would be missed.

It’s tough remembering everything that you’ve had input on or achieved. It’s also equally hard for your manager to retain everything if they manage a large team.

That’s the reality, be in control of your development and career.

Start a BRAG document. Seriously, do it.

It’s the perfect place to note down your learnings. You can write as much or as little as you want, so sometimes I add a short sentence, then set time aside each week to expand on those thoughts. It’s whatever works for you.

I hope this serves me well in the future. It feels like a good habit to keep going.

I’ve also realised that keeping track of the small learnings/tasks which contribute to the large achievements can be tricky – we often just focus on the completion and not on the workings. 

These small things can be massively impactful to your personal development and show points of progression more clearly. So nothing’s too small to add!

The benefit of having everything documented is that when you want to reflect on how far you’ve progressed, for example, you’re sitting down for performance or pay review. You’ll probably want to discuss the last year or quarters work. 

The information you need is easy to come by. 

It also gives you confidence in the work that you do. Imposter syndrome is something I found hard to deal with and this leads me to my next learning.

You know more SEO than 99% of your colleagues

This is not a flex. Hear me out.

While you might not have years of experience, you will still know more about Search Engine Optimisation than most people within an in-house environment – This is something that took me a while to realise, but it’s true.

Of course, if you’re joining an agency, this won’t be true. But what a great place to absorb and learn all you can about SEO.

Everyone has a job title and role – they’re extremely knowledgeable in their fields. What you can bring is understanding and experience with SEO. No one expects anything else at this level.

At the start of my SEO in-house journey, I struggled with confidence when discussing SEO best practices and approaches – this is something I’ve worked on but continue to do so.

It’s true.

While I gain more knowledge, having little experience communicating SEO with people before joining in-house meant this was a blocker.

How I’m overcoming this is through practice and repetition. I try and communicate more, answer SEO questions from people and teams, and continue to self-learn through my side projects.

It’s ok to be unsure. Asking questions is a valuable skill, and we should do it more.

Seriously, ask more questions because you’re probably not asking enough.

There seems to be this expectation that if you don’t know something, you should spend the time searching the web for the answers.

I’m all for self-learning – I’ve banged on about it enough through this article. It’s my bread and butter.

But screw that!

I’m self-taught out of necessity but it’s not the only way. Your team and leads want to see you grow and they have in-depth knowledge and experience. So balance your learnings by seeking out information from your team and from outside sources.

No one should look down on someone willing to learn.

I’m someone who asks questions if I’m not sure about a task, and there’s nothing wrong with this. 

So, I’m not suggesting this should be your only approach, just that any good manager or leader will support your development by answering questions or pointing you in the right direction.

Often we feel like we need to work everything out ourselves. That’s not always the case.

Asking questions is a skill, but you don’t need to know everything. This leads me on to my next learning. These are all flowing quite well, aren’t they?

You will work with experts across different fields, and It’s ok not to know the details of what everyone does.

Many sub-teams can be part of the overall marketing team and have acquisition as the primary focus. These teams can range from content, paid marketing, data, and many others. 

It’s super interesting to hear co-workers in these fields talk about what they’re working on, while I often don’t fully understand the processes and intricacies of what they are discussing.

It’s always clear enough to understand the overall theme and direction, but sometimes the nitty-gritty details are outside my scope of knowledge. You can treat this as an excellent opportunity to ask questions to broaden your understanding if you want to

It’s something I need to do more of in weekly meetings. There’s more to working as an SEO than SEO itself.

But don’t feel less than if you don’t understand, it’s not your field of expertise. If you can understand the impact and important takeaways, then that’s fine. If you want to know more there are always opportunities to ask interesting questions in meetings or through internal chat.

There will be times when you’re presenting an SEO discussion with the marketing team where they will have a general understanding but not know the intricacies of what you do day-to-day.

And that’s fine.

As long as you communicate what you want, such as the journey and impact, then that’s good enough. People will often ask questions if they want to know more.

I know this article is really long but it’s my journey, which leads to the next topic.

It’s your journey, and there’s no race to win, so take your time.

I’ll explore more about personal growth and development below, but I just thought it was something important to highlight here. It’s certainly a learning I’ve taken note of.

There will be times when something just clicks. This might not be the case for everything, so do not put too much pressure on yourself. 

We all have strengths and opportunities as individuals. As long as you can see growth in yourself it’s all good. There’s no predetermined schedule for SEO development, it’s so vast that each day you learn more simply by doing.

While we aren’t always the best judge of our own progression due to self-doubt and tunnel vision, so if you feel like there’s stagnation. It might be wise to ask those in your circle if there’s anything they would like you to explore. What do they think could benefit you?

Find people you can be open and honest with.

You could have exceptional technical and coding skills but lack skills in another area relating to SEO.

This is actually why I’m writing this. I feel my technical skills are miles ahead of my writing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m actively trying to reduce that gap, I’ve not set a time limit to complete this. I don’t think it’s completely measurable.

In the past, I’d often measure my successes differently if it was something I was already good at. I felt these didn’t matter as much as conquering or succeeding in something that I find difficult.

I’ve realised this is wrong. 

I used to feel these weren’t as important as completing a task which helped improve my skills.

But there’s a balance to this and it’s important to celebrate any wins. A win is a win after all.

So what’s next?

I’m going to continue learning and developing

The last three months have been great, and I want to keep the momentum going.

Going forward, I want to focus on and continue developing, both in my in-house role and through my side projects and affiliate sites. Personal development has been a big part of my journey for the last 18-months, and I will continue to build knowledge and expertise.

It’s something I enjoy immensely. 

I’ve put together a personal development plan. Sharing this serves as great accountability for the year ahead.

Let’s beat those pesky New Year’s resolutions and share my development focus for 2022 two months earlier – probably one when I’ve found the courage to hit publish on this. 

Maybe it will stick more as it’s early. Fingers crossed.

Network and Mentorship

I’m going to spend more time networking with individuals in the industry – whether that’s jumping onto a Twitter Spaces discussion or podcast, I’m not sure, but I’ll try to make it happen – although being new to the industry can be seen as a disadvantage – I’m going to try.

I’m also aiming to attend some SEO events and conferences next year to connect with more people away from the remote world. Obviously, this has been really hard on everyone this past year.

Plus I went looking for a mentor in 2021.

While I have an enormous amount of support within work which is fantastic – everyone is great. I jumped at the opportunity to connect with Edd Dawson who’s an incredibly successful Entrepreneur and Investor. Although it’s only been one chat so far, there was so much great advice on offer – It’s good to grow that support network.

I look forward to connecting more with Edd next year once I’ve implemented their advice for my affiliate sites.

If you’re looking for an SEO mentor, there are a few options. I reached out to Ryan Morton, who has matched 50+ people within the past couple of months. It looks like he unintentionally found himself running a spontaneous mentorship matching project called ‘Life Coffee‘ across Twitter and LinkedIn. 

So, if that’s something your looking for – consider reaching out to Ryan on Twitter. I’m not sure if it’s still something he’s doing, but it never hurts to ask.

Keep the affiliate marketing side projects going

I started with affiliate marketing, and see the potential to scale and grow these types of projects in my spare time.

I  love building affiliate marketing sites. It keeps my knowledge fresh and serves as an intensive SEO course.

It’s an opportunity to test and experiment bringing fresh ideas or learnings to your in-house or agency role if you wish.

In the last three months, I’ve unfortunately neglected these sites – due to a mixture of focusing solely on finding success at work and partly recovering from burnout from lack of a work-life balance in the past.

but I feel refreshed and determined to rebuild them. Plus I’ve got another project to launch.

Look out for a progress update next year.

Pushing outside my comfort zone

There have been so many firsts for me in the last three months, from setting up outreach campaigns to working across multiple teams in a startup – all of which have been excellent experiences and have resulted in important learnings.

But, I also have a list of things I want to achieve, which means pushing myself forward more and into new experiences.

I’ve learned that chatting in a 1:1 over Zoom or person, I feel pretty confident in these intimate settings, but opening it up to groups of 4+, I start to lose focus and what I’m trying to communicate sometimes becomes less clear, so there’s room for improvement and growth.

I often struggle with public speaking and nerves. To help tackle this, I decided to apply a portion of my in-house L&D budget (what an incredible bonus) to explore the reasons why I find it difficult and try and work on overcoming nervousness.

As I finish writing up this article, I’ve just finished a 5-week training course with Kirsty Hulse from ROAR training which was not only interesting but really engaging. I feel it’s taught me a lot and I’m ready to put some learnings into practice. 

Lastly, writing! I’m not a very good writer.

Well, I don’t feel I am.

I sat down to write this several weeks ago to work on that. Maybe soon I’ll hit publish.

I finally did.

14 thoughts on “The start of my SEO career and what I’ve learned in my first three months as an SEO specialist”

  1. Enjoyed the read Christopher. Had been meaning to reach out to see how you were getting on since starting the new job – was sure you’d make a success of it. I think a lot of the people who heard your story through twitter were also keen to see you succeed!

    If it helps – I think your writing here is great! Something I’m keen to improve on for some of my own side projects.

    Look forward to hearing more updates from you too!

    Reply
    • Thanks Matt!

      It’s great to connect again, you know I had real trouble hitting the publish button because you never know if anyone will be that interested in reading what you write. But I’m glad I did.

      Thankyou for the great support.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for sharing your learnings, Christopher! I think it’s great that you’ve already learned so much even though you’re still early in your SEO career.

    People always talk about creating a brag document and it’s definitely something worth repeating. I’m glad I finally created one last year since it’s a great way to also reflect on what was accomplished and how to do even better next time.

    I’ve also been working on pushing myself out of my comfort zone in the past few months. Best of luck to the both of us!

    Reply
    • That’s amazing to hear Debbie!

      The brag document I never really thought much about needing one when I started but since then it’s proved to be useful and a great reflection tool as you’ve said. A habit absolutely worth keeping.

      Thankyou for reading and sharing your thoughts. Keep pushing forward.

      Reply
  3. Hi Christopher. It was really big article. Finally, I finished after an hour.

    Learned many new things from this amazing article. I will try to implement some things, You are good writer. Keep writing and sharing knowledge.

    Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome.

      I agree it’s a very long article but I didn’t want to cut out too much – thankyou for spending time reading through it all!

      I’m also glad you’re going to take some learnings from it. Thanks for the support.

      Reply
  4. Good man Chris!

    I also started out as an affiliate marketer before going in-house and now some 10 years later work in growth for Tripadvisor.

    I do think recruiters ignore affiliate marketers as you don’t fit the box but the reality is an SEO whose built an earning affiliate site has proven himself far more than someone with 3 years experience without results to show.

    Reply
    • Great to hear you’ve had a similar start into SEO Sam!

      Thanks for sharing some insight into the recruitment side. Working on the side projects is how I learned SEO so it certainly worked out well for me!

      Thanks for the support.

      Reply
  5. Great read! You’re certainly better at writing than you think! I have quite some experience in editing copy for SEO (now) and as a journalist (years ago) and I can tell your writing skills are better than those of many copywriters I have to deal with. So keep up the good work!

    Reply
  6. What a valuable and insightful read! I am 3 months into my full-time SEO Specialist role after working as an intern 3 months prior. I was excited but also nervous to start. My SEO experience was limited, but they saw something in me and gave me a chance! I’m happy to see other experts discuss the importance of curiosity, passion, and continuous learning over the need for past work experience; what a cool industry. Your takeaways have inspired me to reflect on my time with my in-house role so far and create a BRAG document.

    Reply

Leave a Comment