Around 3 years ago when I was working in engineering recruitment I decided that I would like a career change and started exploring my options. I never had much in the way of official qualifications as I left school at a young age and entered the world of work.
I had studied marketing on an unofficial capacity in my spare time as the subject always fascinated me and I also had a keen interest in IT so I decided that I would love to get a job in one of those two areas.
Unfortunately both roles required either some level of experience, or some official qualification, both of which I didn’t really have.
Around the time when I was thinking of a career change, a friend asked me to create a website for her as she knew I used to do this as a hobby when I was a teenager.
I quickly threw a website together for her, submitted it to Google and nothing happened. No visits, no sales and no money being made. As she was self-employed this wasn’t a very good situation to be in.
I knew that for her to find customers, it would help her significantly if she was able to improve her search engine rankings. However, the last time I optimised a website was back in the day of Altavista and Lycos and that involved stuffing a webpage with a bunch of keywords and keyword misspellings. It was time for me to get learning.
I read everything I could. I visited forums and downloaded SEO training courses from places such a Lydia .com and quickly managed to get up to speed. Within two weeks I was able to optimise my friend’s website and get it to the top of Google for several relevant keywords. To be honest, this wasn’t very hard as Google Places had just been released and you could rank overnight for just about any local search term you wanted just by setting up a profile and throwing a few keywords in there.
Once her search engine rankings improved sales enquiries started to trickle in, this made me extremely happy and at that point I realised that I would like to do online marketing as a career, it seemed like a great choice and it allowed me to combine my knowledge of IT and Marketing without the normal barriers to entry that you would expect from a ‘normal’ professional career.
I was then lucky enough to find a job advertised as a Trainee SEO Analyst for a local Digital Marketing Agency called 360innovate. I was interviewed by them and was offered the job a week later, something I am eternally grateful for even though I had to take a significant pay drop to get my foot in the door.
Shortly after starting with 360innovate my manager left the company to move to Australia. This was a massive shock to me as I thought he was going to be training me and teaching me everything that I needed to know about SEO.
I was told that Andrew, my manager, would be leaving after the Christmas holidays, which was a few weeks away, and they still couldn’t find a suitable replacement so I decided to spend my Christmas holidays with my head buried in books, trying to find out I could about anything relating to online marketing.
I scoured the internet from the time I woke up till the time I went to sleep. I spent most of Christmas day studying but I kept coming across so much conflicting information and it left my confused and frustrated. As a result of this I started paying to download eBooks and seminars from industry professionals such as Martin Macdonald.
It was also a strange time for SEOs. Google was going through massive changes, they confirmed they had started using social signals as part of their algorithm and while I was still learning the Panda update hit which was also a massive game-changer for a lot of people. Everything seemed to move so fast and it was hard to determine where to get your information from.
Fortunately all my hard work and study paid off and I started getting good results for my clients, which was lucky as we never found a suitable replacement for my manager that had left. However, since then I thought there was a gap in the market for a high-quality, trustworthy training website related to several online marketing disciplines at a reasonable price, my life would have been so much easier.
Fast forward a few couple of years and DistilledU solved part of this problem. They created an online SEO university with excellent content and training material for people that want to learn about SEO at an extremely reasonable price. When it comes to SEO, I wish that DistilledU existed when I was a complete newbie as it would have save me a lot of time and money.
Martin MacDonald, a veteran online marketer and prominent industry speaker who I learned a great deal from over the years by reading watching his seminars and reading his blog and forum posts has just launched Web Marketing School.
Web Marketing School allows you to study various aspects of online marketing at your own pace. It already has easy-to-understand tutorials that provide the perfect introduction to SEO. The videos simplify concepts that can be very difficult to understand, if you work with clients that don’t have a good understanding of online marketing, or are not technically minded, watch these videos and they will give you some great ideas on how you should communicate complex ideas in Layman’s terms.
At the moment the format is extremely simple and easy to understand. Each lesson starts with a question and Martin gives the lesson in the form of a video. At the end of each video you can then take a quiz or discuss the lesson on the Web Marketing School community forum. There are four lessons in total, all relating to SEO and are available if you register for a free account.
Martin’s lessons are presented in plain English and are extremely easy to understand even if you brand new to online marketing. I am extremely excited about the community aspect of this website and Martin has mentioned that he is going to be very active within the community.
I believe Web Marketing School is an amazing idea and will grow to be an incredible resource for online marketers that want to diversify their skill-set, small agencies that require staff training or people wishing to pursue a career in online marketing and need to learn from a trusted resource.
You can sign up to a free account at Web Marketing School by clicking here.