How Creating My Own SEO/Portfolio Blog Made Me Successful
This isn’t necessarily a “How-To” but this article does include some solid points to keep in mind for promoting yourself to get more clients, a better job or to connect with other like minded people in the SEO field.
My particular journey started about a year ago when I took my current website steffanhaeberle.com and decided to do something more with it than have it be just the glorified one page resume that it was. You can check out what it used to look like here http://steffanhaeberle.com/v1. I decided my website would feature a little bit about everything I knew about SEO, print and online marketing, social media, design and development. I let my experience lead the way.
Step 1: Establish A Main Goal
First thing I did was to define exactly what I wanted my site to be and do. Did I want to use it to get more clients? Use it to find a better job? Make more connections? I had to decide exactly who my target audience was and once I established that and the intent of my website I started on designs.
I decided this website would be my resume. I was going to add my resume in pdf format on it, articles which featured useful information for everything from design to SEO, design and development to showcase my skill and I would position my site in Google for targeted keywords to prove my expertise. All sounds easy, right?
Step 2: The Design
It took me three very different and unique design attempts before I settled on this design. In all, I worked on the design for this site for three weeks. I ultimately choose bits and pieces from various sites that I admired and viola, steffanhaeberle.com had its own look.
Step 3: Development
For this site I chose WordPress and PHP. I heavily modified the standard theme and installed and modified the various plug-ins that I knew I needed to complete this site. Total time for development: around 3 weeks.
Step 4: Setup For SEO and Social Media
A few of the plugins I installed included social media network integration. I connected this site to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I added a couple of videos and several images via YouTube and flickr. I relied on my knowledge and experience in SEO to optimize Steffanhaeberle.com so it will appear in search engines on the first page for all my targeted keywords.
Step 5: Testing
I spent many weeks in optimizing and promoting my website so it appears in Google on the first page. I continued to write articles and promote them through social networks and other SEO techniques. I stayed active on Twitter and Facebook and integrated that activity into my site. There was unique, relevant content on this site on a daily basis, which was critical for its success.
Step 6: My Site Is My Resume
After a few months I was getting a lot of targeted traffic and several monthly requests for more information on social media, seo, design and development. I was beginning to pick and chose my clients. If I found a position online that I felt met my criteria, I never emailed a resume but included a short paragraph about my skills and experience and forwarded the link to this website.
This site has become a great learning experience and I have learned a lot from promoting and optimizing this site along with several other websites I own, manage and promote. Having your own site is critical to your success. After all, if you can’t do for a client what you can’t or haven’t done for yourself, how is a client going to believe in you? My advice would be to follow my lead. It’s always a good idea to showcase your skills and experience and this site, for me, has been that perfect example. It assisted me in landing the job I wanted and am continually receive requests for new work and consultations.
I continually use my websites to test new SEO techniques and I continually use it to make new contacts and stay connected within the community.
My last bit of advice would be create the opportunities for yourself you seek from others. Sure, you probably will be reaching too highly to start your own rival site to Facebook, but you can learn quite a bit about how Facebook operates and functions if you attempt to replicate at least some of its functionality on your own site. Lastly, if you are looking for design, development or SEO work there is absolutely no better sales tool than your own website. Resumes may not be quite dead yet but websites like mine and sites like LinkedIn are making the resume passe. Today, clients and employers want to see examples, not paper resumes or letters of recommendations.