Running my Websites
Now that I have a couple of websites up and running, I am finally learning about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I am Tardy for the Party on this one because while SEO is a term that’s been around for several years, I am not a techie and had no real reason to pay attention to it until now.
I bought two domains recently — marladshepard.com and marlashepard.com to establish a digital identity and distinguish myself in this crowded job market. The sites are real basic right now, and I mainly wanted to have a place to park my resume and contact information, but I did already have a blog on WordPress that I used to ease my way back into writing. WordPress is so easy to use that you really do not need much technical knowledge to create a blog, and working on that blog has been a lot of fun.
Having a website with SEO tools has been an awesome learning experience. It shows you how certain phrases and keywords can improve your search engine rankings and get your content to a wider audience. No matter why you’re on the Internet, getting more people to view your content is probably one of your goals, and SEO helps you accomplish this.
Upgrading my skills
In addition to helping me find my way as a relatively new blogger, learning SEO is also helping me to develop a marketable skill which is crucial in this challenging economy. In just scanning job descriptions, I have seen SEO listed often and not just in jobs that having to do with the Internet or e-commerce. This was reinforced for me by an article by the Levo League that I found on Pinterest of all places.
Because I’m always searching for ways to make myself more marketable, earlier this year I decided that I was going to learn how to code. I have been studying on TeamTreehouse.com and Code Academy.com which are two good sites that will help you learn the basics – Code Academy is even free. I was also inspired by groups like WomenWhoCode and GirlsWhoCode – non-profit organizations whose goal is to increase the number of females working in technology. Technology is an attractive field because there are many jobs available and these jobs tend to pay very well.
I learned quite a bit from those sites, but like anything else, you have to put new knowledge into regular practice to retain it which I have not been able to do for a variety of reasons. I have a grasp of the basics, but I think it would be more productive for me to take an actual class with an instructor and other students in a physical space.
Learning to Code
I am combining all this new knowledge into the work that I am now doing on my websites. I can use my limited HTML skills in WordPress because although there are templates, there is still a space in there where you can edit your blog using HTML and CSS.
I’m far from an expert, but I am on my way to a better understanding about the Internet, and that is a good thing.