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Let me tell you a story about how I learned SEO. The first disclaimer is this- I didn’t really intend to learn any of it. See, when you’re fifteen and all your friends care about is to be ‘in’ at school, learning a topic that involves ‘algorithms’ and ‘spiders’ will be the last thing on your mind.
I learned SEO though because I realized that my passion for blogging requires me to do so. I mean, it’s not fun at all blogging without readers right? And when you basically have no online social circle yet, the first thing you rely on is some exposure from search engine traffic.
Welcome to the world of SEO.
A Newbie in SEO?
Don’t get too frustrated if you feel like you’re sometimes swallowing Latin every time you read expert SEO blogs. For a newbie, everything can be very, very, overwhelming (I swear on that). My tip? Like everything else, you have to take ‘baby steps’.
For me, learning SEO is very much like grappling in the dark. Aside from submitting my url to the search engine directories, I was pretty much clueless. By then, I realized that probably the best way is to follow the tracks. Since I’ve already started by submitting URLs to search engines, it must apply that the next step would be to follow the trail of the search engines.
This theory led me to Google Webmaster tools (I was hyped with this discovery!). I never knew it was possible to monitor your sites especially your indexing via Google itself. Here, I started to encounter the terms they’d usually flash around in SEO tutorials (bots, links, index, meta-tags, crawlers, etc.). The next step is obvious – look out for these terms and figure out how they work!
Progress: Snowballing Your Knowledge
Why is progress the key to learning SEO? Because unlike blogging, or marketing for example (where you can just focus on one aspect or technique and then forget the rest), SEO takes a ladder route. You can’t be on top if you haven’t mastered, practiced, and applied all the steps.
How do you do this? Here’s the secret – follow a proven course, both literally and figuratively. I’ll explain the figuratively first.
Course is synonymous to route, path, way, track or whatever other synonym you can think of. The point is it should follow a direction. There are levels to learning SEO, though they might be implicitly known to many. First level, the basics (get to know the terms and the principles). The second level, test and apply. This is your trial and error activity where you really start to familiarize yourself with the process and how the whole thing works.
The third level is getting your first results and creating/figuring your own method. SEO practitioners have their own campaign strategies, usually, it’ll boil down to a preference in technique (white hat, black hat, a combination of both etc.). The fourth level, of course, is mastering and constantly improving or updating your knowledge. If you want a fifth level, how about teach SEO to newbies so the flow will now come in full circle ;)
As for the literal part, this is where I give a little sneaky teaser to you about the thing we’re getting excited about here at SEO-hacker. It’s literally an SEO course.
The beauty in joining a course is that there’s no need to grapple in the dark. One good, well formulated course can already deliver and monitor your progress. There’s no need for you to experience the ‘grappling in the dark’ that a lot of new practitioners experience. The outline will be more than sufficient, all you need to do is absorb and do your homework (practice!).
And yes, like what I said, this is a little teaser of what’s to come. You better make sure to stay tuned ;)