How to get into the SEO Industry

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)

Read

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:

Do shit

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.

Engage

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.

Be proactive

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/

What now?

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.

Qantas First Class with a Baby – Seat 5K (Bassinet Seat)

I have been saving up my Qantas points for a few years now for the right time to use them, and a trip to the USA with my wife and 5 month old baby seemed like the PERFECT time.

A few things to cover first:

  1. YES you can fly First Class on Qantas with a baby
    If you are paying for the flight you will pay 10% of the adult fare, which is going to be pretty steep. If you are upgrading, you only pay the upgrade on the adult ticket though (Nice little hack)
  2. YES they have a seat with a basinet: The first class basinet is more like a sleeping pod for the baby but its certainly available!
  3. If you are worried about the other passengers and staff while you are flying – don’t be. You have paid for the ticket like everyone has, and we found the staff to be amazing, and the other passengers fine (First class is that big and well serviced most did not even realise we were flying with a baby.

We had confirmed business class eats which were great, and we would have been totally happy with (Apart from not being able to secure one of the bassinet seats), but were pretty pumped when we found out the day before our flight out of LAX that we had all been upgraded (We were all on independently bought tickets which I have read is a big advantage to increase the chances of an upgrade)

Being that we were now confirmed in First Class, we decided to get to the airport early to enjoy the benefits that come with the ticket pre flight:

  • Extra baggage allowance (This was super useful for us travelling with a baby and all that comes with her…think stroller, carseat, bedding, feeding stuff…)
  • Dedicated First Class checkin which saved us a load of time as the line was over 20 deep for economy when we arrived.
  • Access to the First lounge (I’ll get to that later) and all that goes with that

Checkin Process

Our checkin process was very smooth, and even though getting through security checks was a little trickier with our carry on (formula, baby medications, sterile water…and a baby), we got through in a fairly quick time frame and everyone was very helpful.

Travelling in First gives you the option of the normal Qantas Business Lounge, as well as the Qantas First Lounge – for us the choice was pretty simple.

Pre-Flight – The Qantas First Lounge

The Qantas First Class lounge was amazing and featured the following:

  • Room for 221 guests
  • Complimentary premium alcohol
  • Super fast Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary premium Food (Full dining service at this Neil Perry Restaurant)
  • Showers
  • Complimentary Snacks, Newspapers/Magazines, TVs, Flight Monitors, Internet Terminals

Travelling with a baby, the major benefits of this lounge were:

  • Super quiet
  • Plenty of space: We pulled up on a pair of couches and let baby spread out on one.
  • Table service: We were able to order whatever we wanted from where we sat
  • Great bathroom facilities
  • Short walk to gate

The Flight

Once we were on the plane and settled into our seats, it was time to explore:



Major advantages to travelling in First Class with a baby (seems like a silly statement):

  • So much room
  • Extra attentive service from flight attendants
  • Lay Flat beds
  • Seperate baby sleeping area which does not impact the space for adults
  • Room to walk around when the baby becomes unsettled
  • Plenty of extra supplies for babies if you run short
    • Nappies
    • Formula
  • Spare pair of hands to hold baby if you need a break!
  • Bigger bathroom with more appropriate size change table (When compared to economy)

Was it worth it?

Considering I used points to upgrade the family to First Class – absolutely it was worth it! The experience is not something you get everyday, and certainly made our first family flight much easier on us all.

Would I pay for it? Not a chance. Business Class is certainly worth the expense in my opinion but the difference in price to secure a First Class ticket is just crazy.

I certainly hope I get to experience First Class again, potentially on another airline, but I will certainly remember this experience fondly.

My final tips for flying Qantas First Class with a baby

  • Get there early and use the First Lounge
  • Get on the plane early
  • Order food at the start if you are hungry
  • Make friends with the stewardesses
  • Get baby to sleep asap (Or whether they need)
  • Get the basinet made up right away.

Happy flying!

My Travel Wish List

As you get older, and you start to get more responsibilities in your life (Mortgage, relationships, cars, bills, kids…), travel becomes a little harder.

I was very lucky when I was younger and didn’t have any responsibilities that I was to travel quite extensively and experience many different places around the world.

Now, it’s a little harder to do, but I’ve still got a few places I would really like to see before I am too old to enjoy it:

japan

Japan

Ever since I was in high school I have wanted to go here. It looks like an amazing place full of interesting foods, sights and culture. I would love to visit during the cherry blossom festival.

Europe (Iceland, Greece, Spain, Italy, More of Easter Europe)

I spent an amazing extend period travelling around Europe when I was younger but it was what I call a ‘highlights’ tour. I went to the capital cites of each country for 4-5 days and jammed in as many countries into the trip as I could (It was an amazing trip!)

Now I am a little older, wiser, and drink a little less I would love to spend more time exploring each of these countries, and a few more of the cities within them.

nyc

USA & Canada

I head to the USA each year for work and usually try and see a few places before and after the convention. Generally when I head over there for work its to the west coast so there are plenty of cities in the east I would love to get to:

  • Texas
  • NYC (I have been here several times but always looking for a reason to get back)
  • Boston
  • New Orleans
  • Canada (Just the country in general)

Over the next few years I’ll try and knock off as much of this list a possible, but with a baby on the way – wish me luck!

My 4 “Can’t live without” Android Apps

I am one of those people who don’t have a lot of apps on their phone. I don’t really play any games on my phone, and like to run a pretty clean ship when it comes to installing things on my device.

That said, I do run with a few very useful apps that I’ll outline here:

Rules: I am not going to talk abut anything thats just standard issue, or any social apps.

google_waze-06

Pocket casts

Far and away the best podcast app for android. Use it several times a day and it never misses a beat.

Lifx/Ring/Nest

I have recently installed a bit of technology in the house to bring a little bit of automation to things. I would not say these apps are PERFECT – but they all do their job effectively.

Runkeeper

I’ve tried almost all of the running apps and I find that this is the only one that does everything I need accurately. It’s also the only app I have that I have paid for the ‘pro’ version. Great software should always be rewarded.

runkeeper-update

Waze

Easily my most important app on my phone. Anyone who knows me knows I am terrible with directions. Not only does this app get me from a to b, it also ups my shortcut game and gets me everywhere a tonne faster.

Got any new recommendations for me?

Podcasts I’m listening too…

I commute about 30 mins each way to work 4 days a week.

I don’t like to fill this time with aimless commercial radio, and I am not a huge fan of audiobooks (I am trying to change that but haven’t yet…)

I like to spend this commute consuming Podcasts – and I get through a lot of them in a week.

Below are my current favourite’s:

Sports

This is some light listening and all centred around NBA. The Lowe post is the more serious of the three, with The Starters and BS being a little more light and easy to listen to. Great listens for NBA fans.

  • The Lowe Post
  • The Starters
  • The Bill Simmons Podcast

the-starters

Business

Have been listening to all these since they began. Big fans of all the people involved in these shows and although not super regular – well worth a listen when they come out.

  • Startup
  • The Journal
  • The Tim Ferriss Show

maxresdefault

True Crime

I’ve always had an interest in True Crime, but have only just started listening to a few podcasts on the topic. All of these podcasts cover 1 case per episode, and some are pretty intense. Really well produced and researched.

  • Criminal
  • Casefile
  • Sword and Scale

Other

This American Life is the original podcast and always amazingly put together. I consume the episodes as soon as they are released (Fair regularly)

  • This American Life

One thing I haven’t mentioned in here is how and when I listen to podcasts. I find that I need to listen to them when I can concentrate fully on the information being spoken which for me is when I’m driving, catching the train to or from work, and when I run (The latter I like the most)

Got any podcasts you know I should add to my list? Let me know

4 Habbits that Make My Life Better

So this isn’t one of those posts about “New Year’s Resolutions” or life hacks, it’s simply a list of the things that I do that I find work for me in making me more effective as a person.

These things put me in a better mood and headspace, and allow me to have a great work/ life balance.

Breakfast

quick-breakfast

Not going to bang on about eating the rights things, or the correct amount of protein, but just start the day with something healthy (This depends a lot on how much time you have in the morning!)

Some good options are:

  • Fruit (Bananas are always a good easy option)
  • Eggs (Just scramble those things up)
  • Fruit Shake (Chuck some fruit and ice in a blender)
  • Protein shake (Just be sure your protein of choice isn’t full of sugar like many of them are)

Breakfast is just about the routine, and that routine it helps me to make a solid start to the day no matter what time I get to the office.

Exercise

running

This can be a tough one to get motivated for, but once it’s part of your routine, it’s easy. After a while you need it, and becomes a necessary part of your everyday life. Exercise has been proven to improve mood and relieve stress, as well as being good for your health.

I run three times a week, and gym twice a week (Not to mention walking to dogs a few times a week as well), purely to stay healthy in mind and body.

Making the bed

making-the-bed

This might sound stupid, and you have most likely heard it before, but for me it actually works. Leaving the house with a made bed is a great start to the day. You might leaving in a hurry and the house may not be perfectly clean, but if the bed is made it will put you in a good mindset for achieving other things through the day.
Don’t knock it till you try it.

Read before bed rather than screen time

reading-a-kindle

This is one I am trying to do better at, but I know it’s not a good thing. Checking phones and social accounts before you go to sleep and first thing when you wake up is a terrible habit, and a huge time waste. Spending that time reading something or just doing nothing will help you to unwind and feel better in the morning.

Recent USA Trip