I’ve been sat staring at this blank document for the last 2 hours trying to figure what to write, my first blog post for a blog I never thought I would actually create. I guess I just wanted to introduce myself and the aim of this blog.
I started my first blog 4 years ago when I got my dog Ember, it was a ‘lifestyle blog’ focused on dog ownership and while I enjoyed writing it and it a great learning journey (and Ember enjoyed the free treats we received) the content I was putting out wasn’t great and I felt pressured to post every single week.
I never intended to create another blog, for many reasons; my perfectionism, imposter syndrome and the fear no one would actually read it. But a couple of weeks ago, one of the most inspirational people I have ever met, Areej Abuali, created her blog and wrote this post, which gave me the kick up the butt I needed to finally finish creating this blog.
Rather than use WordPress to build it, I decided to put the skills I have been learning over the last year into practice and build it using a static site generator called Pelican, which is powered by Python. I also found a theme which is easily customisable using HTML and CSS and use GitHub and Netifly to host and deploy it.
Getting started in SEO
Despite working in digital marketing for the last 3 years, I’ve never actually been a massive fan of traditional marketing, or thought I was very good at it. I'm certainly not very good at marketing myself. To be honest I've never really interested in advertising, marketing strategies or customer personas, preferring instead to investigate problems and find solutions, which is why I think I gravitated towards and ultimately decided to specialise in SEO.
A popular question in the SEO space is ‘how did you get started in SEO?’ I feel like the answer is pretty similar for most people; ‘I just kind of fell into it’, and that’s certainly how it started for me. 5 years ago I didn’t even know SEO was a thing, it’s certainly not something that is taught in school or something that you can talk to your career advisor about.
After working in email marketing for almost a year, I was more than ready for a change and had the chance to join a digital agency and dive head first into a big SEO project for a company with several different country based sites. This opened my eyes to many aspects of SEO and I quickly became obsessed with it. I spent countless hours reading articles and whitepapers, watching webinars and listening to podcasts on all things SEO.
A year ago I somehow managed to get a job at an SEO software company where I’m super lucky to get to work with some of the smartest SEOs (and kindest people I know). I’ve also had the opportunity to speak at events, write for industry publications, meet so many inspirational people and was shortlisted for Young Search Professional of the Year at the 2019 UK Search Awards.
Most people would say I’m a bad SEO because I don’t really care for being controlled by a corporate giant like Google, I don’t panic over algorithm updates or feel the need to always be chasing rankings. I care about user experience, making sure a website is accessible and enjoyable for users.
Starting to learn to code
I guess I’ve always been interested in coding without even realising what it was, ever since my Tumblr days when I would spend hours tweaking themes to make a sparkly cursor and have snow falling in the background. I didn’t realise it at the time but I spent many hours Googling HTML and CSS.
I’ll be honest and say that I was put off the idea of working in a technical field because it never seemed like there were many people like me working in it. But that’s changing now and I’m so excited and inspired by all the female developers and engineers showing women of all ages that there is a place for them in tech. I hope that one day I can become someone who helps to inspire people to start a career in STEM.
My aim with this blog
To be honest I don’t really know what my intention with creating this blog really is. I guess I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do this, and hopefully inspire someone else to get started with that thing they have been putting off. I hope to use this small space to document my learning journey, speak about topics I’m passionate about and share my experiences.
Growth is hard and putting yourself out there is daunting and terrifying. The pressure to be perfect can prevent us from doing something we’ve always wanted to do. I just want this blog to be authentic and honest and therefore it’s going to be far from perfect, but I don’t want to pressure myself to make it so.
Thank you for reading my first blog post/ramble, I’m super excited to share more 💜 And that thing you've always wanted to create, here's your push to get started.