When I was at university, SEO as a job barely existed.
It was a thing some people were already doing – but not something you could really do as a viable career.
These days universities might feature 1-2 lectures over the whole semester about online marketing – when I was there, there were 0 lectures.
Today, internet is everything.
Everyone needs to be successful online, and businesses understand that.
Problem is, there are still limited opportunities to learn about it.
- Universities barely cover it
- Specialised courses are generally short and only cover basics
- There is no official training or certifications recognised by the industry (There should be but that’s for another post)
The internet can be a scary place, but it’s also the BEST place to get a free education.
With a plethora of online courses, videos, blogs and communities you can get involved in, or just lurk.
The free information time is now, and SEO being a constantly changing industry – online is the perfect place to learn 24 hours a day.
Some of the best resources I can recommend to someone wanting to get into SEO are:
Being good at SEO isn’t about the theory, it’s about getting your hands dirty.
If you are looking to get into the industry, or still studying at university, that is the best time to start something to help your learning.
- Start a website selling a product or service. This doesn’t have to be anything groundbreaking, but will be a website that you can test and learn things on a shoestring budget. Who knows – it might even take off!
- Start a blog to write about your experiences or journey about learnings.
- Do some pro bono work for friends and family to get some runs on the board
- Offer to intern at a company in any way they might be willing to take you on.
Becoming visible in the industry is actually not a hard thing. It can be hard at first but by putting yourself out there a little you will make new friends and contacts, and gain some reputation points in a crowded market.
- Engage with people on Twitter (Start following/reading/engaging with top SEO minds around the world)
- Join some Facebook Groups
- Join some Slack Groups
- Attend some local networking events and chat with people
- Hint: There are always recruiters and business owners at these events looking for people.
As with anything, being proactive is the key to starting out successfully.
Never wait for anything to come knocking – go get it.
- Being proactive makes you stand out from 90% of other job seekers
- A high percentage of people we actually hire are not actually applying for a role.
Generally people are good, and willing to help where they can.
Even if you are not looking for jobs, reaching out to people in the industry sets you up for one day when you might be contacting them for a reason.
I often reach out to people I admire for advice or to just say hello. If you are specific about what you ask for and don’t waste their valuable time – you would be surprised how successful you can be.
A great article resource on doing that can be found here: https://tim.blog/2008/05/19/5-tips-for-e-mailing-busy-people/
If you want to get into this exciting industry, all I can say is that SEO is a growing industry (SEO is not dead like some people will lead you to believe) and there are huge career opportunities for those who can become truly skilled.