I just realized that it’s about eight years ago that I learned my first things about online marketing and SEO. It was during an internship while I was studying Marketing Management, and I could’ve never foreseen that this would be of such great influence on the rest of my career.
During the past eight years, I’ve learned a lot. I’m still learning new things every day, and I hope this will continue for years and years. When I was thinking about some of the things that I’ve learned thus far, I decided to write eight of them down.
1. People with the biggest mouths are not always right. Nor are people with the most experience, the best reputation or the most followers. The sole fact that you have eighteen years of experience doesn’t mean shit, except that you’re probably older than me.
2. Google makes the rules in SEO. If you’ve always blindly obeyed these rules, you’ve probably been thinking “Just wait until Google fixes things tomorrow, you mean spammer!” every day, for the past six years or so. Ain’t life a bitch?
3. Trial and error is the best teacher. Not an eBook, not a forum and certainly not some kind of 3-day online course. However, you can definitely use some of these sources to come up with ideas for things to test and try yourself.
4. Getting things done is the most important thing in online marketing. You can analyze things, write reports or fine-tune stuff all day long, but things don’t change unless you get shit done. Hit that publish button, press ‘send’ or kick someone in the nuts to make things happen.
5. If you never question anything or anyone, you don’t deserve to know the truth. If you want to believe that links don’t matter, or that 20,000 people a month are really searching for “ski chalet Miami, FL”, be my guest.
6. White hat link building is just the search engine friendly version of plain old marketing. You can talk about dofollow and nofollow all you want, but if you don’t know the principles of marketing, you’re doomed to fail.
7. Most SEO conferences are a just a nice way to see something of the world and to make your boss pay for your beer. Most of these conference’s networking events, on the other hand…
8. Paying for something only is a bad thing when the costs outweigh the benefits. It’s called ROI, and it not only applies on the CPM campaigns you’re managing for your clients, but also on the tools, forums, PR services, books, people, web hosting and many other things you use yourself. Don’t be a cheapskate.
Bonus lesson. Never, ever trust someone who calls him or herself a guru. If gurus are a disease, than social media gurus are a nasty STD. Okay, I didn’t need the full seven years to understand this one, it’s an important one to keep in mind ;)
Do you have any other important lessons to add? Like I said, I always love learning new things :)