What it Takes to be an SEO

When I was a kid my parents told me I could be anything.

For the longest time I thought that was an astronaught – but over the years my vision came into focus – I wanted to be an artist.

Nothing has ever given me the same fulfillment as seeing ideas enter existence through manifestation into their physical form.

I was incredibly lucky, and my parents always supported my art projects, no matter how strange or ugly they turned out to be. In fact they would often frame my drawings and paintings and hang them around the house – which I’m sure resulted in some strange conversations with visitors.

This support system built me into the confident creative I am today.

I value creativity above all else – the ability to think abstractly and see things differently, lends well to solving problems – especially with digital marketing.

SEO is an art form, in the same way code is poetry.

It’s Not For Everyone

Not everyone is cut out to be an SEO the same way not everybody should be a doctor, lawyer, teacher or engineer.

People are inherently different, and I believe people should play to their strengths.

Probably because if you’re good at something, there’s a strong chance you’ll enjoy doing it.

As with everything, this is not always the case – for example, I have a friend who is extremely talented at building complex computer networks and distributed cloud hosting solutions – but he hated it.

So he left to join the National Park Service to become a State Park Ranger.

This is relative because his passion for being outdoors and helping others (and animals) lent so well to what he’s doing that not only does he enjoy it, but he’s great at it – and received several promotions his first year.

With that said,

Personality Is A Key Factor

In my opinion there are a few key components that make up people destined to be great at search:

You probably shouldn’t try SEO if:

  1. You’re easily frustrated when something doesn’t work as expected
  2. You don’t like measuring things
  3. You’re not detail oriented and meticulous
  4. You need a defined process to get things done
  5. You’re not autodidactic or willing to learn

SEO might be your cup of tea if:

  1. You’re creative
  2. You enjoy being challenged by big and complex problems
  3. You relish facts and discovering what works, even if it shatters your own beliefs
  4. You’re patient enough not to panic when things seem to be going wrong (at first)
  5. You enjoy collaboration and sharing information
  6. You’re a self-starter able to find answers even if it means you need to compile all the information yourself to make an informed decision
  7. You devour information and are able to quickly iterate your path based on new facts coming to light
  8. You might have ADD (I sure do), but you’ve identified some strategies for time managment and focus that allow you to be productive
  9. You’re willing to put in the work to gain the experience, without any sense of entitlement

Flexing Creative Muscles

I still believe it’s really important for anyone in any role that benefits from critical thinking or problem solving, to pursue activities that fulfill your right brain.

For me this is painting; my favorite medium is acrylic, though latex on canvas can still be enjoyable.

I’ve also grown to really enjoy the appreciation of art – and have started collecting  more seriously over the past 7 years.

I’ve found that I get a similar sense of fulfillment from looking at a painting I enjoy as I do from the physical act of splathering paint over canvas.

I don’t know if it’s the evolution of my right brain or just me getting older – but in the days that follow after I engage in focused creative time – come revelations.

And while they’re often not life changing, they do provide new outlooks on elements of business, and often components of websites – whether it be architectually, design, or messaging.

Friends in similar spaces; developers, civil engineers, UX designers, and even the best sales and account folks I know – all seek to spend time feeding their creativity.

And it doesn’t have to be through a physical form – it can be reading a story (or listening to it, which I prefer), writing (even if only to record your ideas), or something as simple as re-arranging a room.

I See It As An Indicator

Creative exercise , in my very humble opinion, is a leading indicator for someone who has the commitment and mental fortitude to make a great SEO.

It’s a rollercoaster ride with the very real potential of going off the rails.

You need to be able to accept that, deal with the potential consequences, and still put the time and effort in to get where you want to go.

You very much are going to have to create your own future in this industry…

But, the good news is you can.

It’s a very, very real possibility (especially if you fit the bill I outlined above) – and what’s more, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to leverage these skills to build additional, relatively passive revenue streams for yourself.

Does This Sound Like You?

If it does, drop me a line – I’d like to learn more about you.