How to Learn SEO, Part 1 of My Teaching Strategy – Teaching by Anecdote
This how to learn SEO series is going to be something of a two part blog series, the first will focus on anecdotal evidence by myself, which is this blog post, in order to give you the gist of what SEO looks like and how it scales, this one will be more esoteric in nature, naturally of course. The second post will be much more technical, and will walk you step by step through how to optimize blog posts and the like. I hope you enjoy the post, be sure to comment and subscribe to our blog for additional details and information!
Adventures in SEO, My Story of How I Came to Love Internet Marketing
I’ll give a brief anecdote of myself, and of my own adventures in how I learned SEO, in that I think it will give you something of a background into how the field works. I started with actually a health blog, known as perfectversionofyourself.blogspot.com, I know that’s quite a mouthful, and since the domain has been refurbished and taken on by someone else. But long before then, and this was about ten years ago today, I would be bored out of my mind in my parents home, with an entire summer and a sibling who was as obsessed with programming as I was with writing, and with nothing but time and the world at our fingertips. We soon would grow obsessed with the blog, me with writing and with learning about traffic generation, as well as of how to make money on the website, and him with designing the website, of learning the basics of code, and in learning the setup of the website. Within about 6 months we upgraded, making an actual .com domain name while I was a freshman in college, and from here began to put up affiliate products on the website. We began making about $25 per month from this, which at the time was a decent amount of money for a broke college student.
From here, he would go on to set up yet another website, and one focused on e-commerce. I began to get obsessed with SEO, with writing content, and with scaling that traffic number. A year or so after starting we were making something like $1,000 per month off the website, with about 400 or so pageviews hitting the blog/e-commerce shop every single day. (Like I said, it was already more productive than day trading, and was more lucrative in the fact that I was learning a monetizable skill.) I’ll never forget the day we went from making occasional sales, maybe 4-5 sales per month (for say $60 per month in profit) to about $1,000 per month in profit, or about $4,000 to $5,000 per month in sales. Twas the night before we were going on a family cruise vacation for the weekend, and we had started to have an idea for a split test on the website. We had the idea of removing friction and getting the shop in front of more people in a way that was a lot smoother. We worked from say 3PM that day to 3 o’clock in the morning, I still remember my parents being sound asleep, and me pounding away on keys as quietly as possible as not to wake them in the next room over.
How to Learn SEO From Scratch, My Story
The idea was basically to put products right on the post, every 2-3 paragraphs or so (just like the professional marketers do with ads) and to make an “add to cart” button that added the products right to their cart. My brother did the programming and design for the add to cart button, and I did all the blog post setup for the links with the HTML code I was given for so. I remember finding a song that got me into the rhythm of going through and doing this for 200+ blog posts in a single night. It was “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson, which I put on my iPod and played on repeat for what must’ve been 6 hours or so straight.
By about 4 in the morning, I was done, every post had the ability to have products added to the customers shopping cart by the next day. My family woke me up at 6 AM (I know it was a rough next day, I believe I was like 18 or 19 when I did this) and I just remember getting on the ship and going through security etc. in Miami in a complete dase because of how tired I was. With no internet on the cruise ship for the entire week, I basically was like an army general being forced to speculate on the war instead of being in the game. I was kept in the dark, which I hated. I imagined us having $5,000 per month in profits rolling in (a little exaggerated but still $1K per month is not bad at that age, I forgot to mention that morning I checked my phone and saw that we got a sale as well.) When I came back, I saw that we were bringing in around $1,000 per month, or about 3-5 sales per day, which was beyond awesome.
The obsession brewed over the website, and to make a long story short we reinvested every single dime of profits back into SEO and content creation for the site. I hired an SEO consultant to teach me about SEO, and in learning what works and what does not work, much to my own folly and to the loss of tens of thousands of dollars worth of errors, I managed to get pretty darn good at SEO, and to learn just as much about personal finance. Soon the website was making $10,000 per month in sales, and at one point $20,000 per sales, I even negotiated a sale with my suppliers because my commissions were so high at one point that I was up to 35% commission on the wholesale beauty products, giving me as much as $9,000 per month at one point, plus a few side gigs I had, at my best month I think I cleared $15,000. I still continued to pour everything into the website however, and used debt to cash flow my lifestyle on this, buying cars, taking trips to vegas, as well as paying for college out of pocket etc.
Final Thoughts on How to Learn SEO, Writing Content That Lasts a Career
Soon we ran into cash flow problems, we began to get a high chargeback ratio because of dissatisfied customers, which led to our payment processors being shut down. With affiliate marketing only yielding about 1/10th of what E-Commerce products did, my days and nights became filled with trying to get payment processors. The business became about money and hitting cash flow goals to stay alive, and to be honest, it became miserable instead of fun. I would eventually sell out for $25,000, which was just about enough to pay for the rest of my college degree, and pay off the majority of my remaining debts. After all that>>>I now had a college degree, and a 9 to 5 job setup for me, but I was back to square 1, no website, no money, and really nothing to show for my efforts….or so I thought.
From there, I have since continued building and selling more websites, I have probably built and sold 10 websites since then, each for around $5,000.00. I have also learned so much about finance that I will not make the same mistakes that I did the first time, and I make sure to always save as much of my profits as humanly possible. This blog inflationhedging.com, in about 12 months of work, is not getting around 10,000 visitors per month, and while we have not monetized it yet due to other projects going on currently, my math is showing that with affiliate commissions we are getting something like $250 per month on this right now, which as we add things like E-Commerce and an E-Mail list, can scale exponentially, to as much as hopefully $5,000 per month in sales. I am in this one for the long haul, either to keep this website going for 10 to 20 years and see how big it gets, or to get a six figure sale. The way these websites are sold is that you take 35x revenue, and that’s usually your sale price, so on a website making $5,000 per month in profits, you are looking at something like a $150,000 to $175,000 sale, even with a partner to split the profits, that is not a bad payday at all. And so that’s my story. Now let’s show you how I did it, your journey into SEO begins here, fasten your seatbelts, it is a bit of a brain drain! And that my friends is how to learn SEO from my own back story, tell us what you think in the comments down below!
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