About a month ago, Ryan asked me to write a blog post for Moz - which, in the SEO world, is basically the equivalent of asking a businessman to write for Fortune or a coach to write for ESPN (or at least pretty close).
The prospect was exciting, but I'll admit I felt slightly in over my head. Even the best gardeners probably get nervous to write for Better Homes and Gardens, and although I love to write, I wasn't sure what, exactly, I'd say to the Moz community.
If you've never heard of Moz, let me quickly explain who they are, what they do, and why they're a big deal.
For those who've never heard of them, Moz is the go-to authority for all things SEO. The Seattle-based company develops software, quality tools, and awesome resources for the online marketing world. They call themselves the “Mozzers” and are an invaluable source of knowledge for organic marketers – people who are looking to increase their traffic from non-paid sources. All in all, the Mozzers have a reputation that precedes them.
Members of the SEO community can sign up to use the Moz tools to help their own clients and further their online marketing efforts. These people can submit blog posts for either the YOUmoz User blog or the SEO blog on all kinds of topics. The blogs exist as a resource where people share expertise on all aspects of online marketing. YOUmoz is the "lower-tier" blog, although it still gets a lot of traffic. Content that's really popular, relevant, and of high-quality gets published on the SEO blog, their main blog.
My story as a newcomer
At Happy Dog, we like to shoot for the stars (for ourselves and our clients), so even though this would be a challenging post to get accepted, we went for it. Ryan suggested I share my experience as a “newb” (or newbie, however you like to spell it) with the Moz community. He thought a newcomer's perspective would be fresh and interesting for the blog. My path to SEO has been non-typical, too; my professional work ranges from journalism to public relations, but online marketing is a new direction for me. With my background in English, creative writing, and marketing, organic search has been a natural step but also unexplored territory for me. The field is still relatively “new,” and it’s constantly changing, too.
For a long time, my stereotype of SEO was that it was a complete technical, analytical field, and I ruled it out as a career option best suited for people with backgrounds in coding and computer science. Little did I know that the field of organic search utilizes a broader talent pool than simply those kinds of folks.
After doing a lot of research, I’ve picked up a lot of understanding, skills, and techniques in 2013, and I have really relished the challenge (and excitement) of doing SEO for our clients at Happy Dog.
I wrote my story, got some feedback from Ryan, and submitted it. Then I waited, hoping the Mozzers would like it. (Honestly, I sort of felt like they’d say, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and I would’ve been okay with that. My post was very much conversion narrative and very little troubleshooting or advice for organic marketing – a departure from their typical content.)
At the end of March, my post got published to the YouMoz User Blog! I felt very proud and accomplished. It was a good day. I was just happy they accepted the post! The post got some traffic and about a dozen “thumbs up” right away, which made me happy. I forgot to check back for a little while.
Promotion - to infinity and beyond!
Then on April 1st, my little post got some unexpected publicity. Moz promoted it to the MAIN SEO BLOG, the home of articles written by well-respected SEOs with eons of experience and technical explanations.
Once my post went to the SEO blog, it went viral!
Take a look at its social shares as of the morning of April 18:
Hey, not bad for a newb!
I was blown away by the amount of positive, supportive feedback I got in response to the article. It was incredible and very fun to share my story with people who appreciated hearing it!
At Happy Dog, we’re thankful to have gotten the opportunity to write for Moz. Maybe we’ll do it again in the future! For now, check out my post “SEO from a Newb’s perspective” on the SEO blog. Don’t forget to explore the site for lots of resources and information about organic search!