Posts filed under SEO

Megan Kizer: SEO Content Writer

Name: Megan Kizer

Age: 22

College & Majors/Minors: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Arts in English, Certificate in Writing for Publishing and Editing

Current Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Current Form of Employment: SEO Content Writer

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I work at a global integrated marketing agency called PMX Agency, formerly known as PM Digital. I am their first in-house SEO Content Writer. For those of you who don't know what SEO means (which, to be quite honest, I didn't completely understand it until I accepted the job), it stands for Search Engine Optimization. This essentially means that I have the opportunity to write page optimization copy, net-new copy, and blog posts for leading clients across several industries, in order to ensure that they rank among the highest search results in Google. I'm also beginning to actively contribute to our own company's blog.

“Overall, my job is to tell the client’s story in a way their customers will understand and appreciate, while using the strongest keywords possible to enhance their online presence. It can be challenging, and there’s quite a bit of research involved, but it’s my kind of puzzle.”

Overall, my job is to tell the client's story in a way their customers will understand and appreciate, while using the strongest keywords possible to enhance their online presence. It can be challenging, and there's quite a bit of research involved, but it's my kind of puzzle. At the end of the day, it's a great feeling to go onto a major client's website and think, "Hey, I wrote that!" It's an even better feeling to be able to write and use my voice creatively—every single day—and get paid for it. Whaaaat?

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).

While I do dabble in freelance work, my position at PMX is actually my first career straight out of college. I found my job through listings on Glassdoor.com. This website gives you information on the company, as well as reviews from past and present employees who can list pros and cons of working there. It gives you an idea of what to expect from a job before you even start working there. So, if you're searching for a new job, I recommend using this service to hear what other employees are saying about it!

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?

The most important writing job I had prior to working at PMX was my internship at Green Living magazine in Scottsdale, Arizona. There, I learned how to write professional blog posts and articles, as well as how to maintain an online presence through several social media networks.

Crafting the blog posts actually taught me the necessary SEO skills that transferred over to my current career, including the importance of keywords, title tags, and meta descriptions to search engine result pages (SERPs). Without acquiring this skill, I might not have gotten such an amazing career.

Some simple (but still important) advice: learn as much as you can in the time you have. You'll never know which skills will help you later on.

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

I worked, a lot. I pushed myself to work full-time while I was in school so that I didn't have to pay off loans later on. As an English major, I assumed that it would be challenging to break into a writing career straight out of college, so I did everything I could to prepare myself to be in a debt-free position when I entered the workforce.

I also took on a lot of internships! I was the lead non-fiction editorial intern for ASU's Canyon Voices literary magazine, and an editor for The PEN Project. There, I edited short stories and poems from inmates. The internships I was a part of gave me real-world experience in professional communication with other writers that allowed me to really bulk up my resume and aid me in my career search.

Through my internships, I learned one important lesson: put as much effort into networking as you do with your writing. Setting yourself up with strong contacts that are already working in the industry can push you through doors you never thought possible. Build your LinkedIn site, create a portfolio, and get your name out there.

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

Find your niche! I originally thought I wanted to work as an editor or be affiliated with a publishing company, but that was before I learned about SEO. I love what I do at PMX, and I'm grateful for the opportunities that led me to this career. Please know that there are plenty of jobs across many industries that are waiting for you—some that you may not have even heard of. Go out and find it!

Understand that having an English degree prepares you for a career where every day is different. Whether you're writing for a new client, critically analyzing data, or communicating with coworkers or clients, you're putting the skills you've learned in college to work that day. So, find what you love to do, and don't let anybody else sway you.

Stay positive. There are plenty of reports out there explaining how many fields English majors can enter into. I share a philosophy with most others: you can teach an English major business skills, but you can't always teach a Business major communication skills. Us English majors? We're special.

Don't forget to work hard. Try your hand at different internships so that you can find what you like before being stuck in a job you're unhappy with. Please don't think that you won't be able to ever use an English degree, or that being an English teacher is your only route to success. People will tell you this countless times. In reality, there is an ever-growing online presence where ads and copy are everywhere you look! In fact, agencies are just beginning to realize the impact that strong content has for a website, and are more likely to hire their own writers rather than outsource the work these days. Writinggood, solid writingis more important than ever.

You can connect with Megan Kizer on LinkedIn and follow her on Instagram.


Posted on December 7, 2016 and filed under Interview, Interviews, Writer, SEO.

Sara Strickland: Adjunct Faculty and Content & SEO Strategist

Name: Sara Strickland

Age: 23

College & Majors/Minors: B.A. in Literary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, working towards an M.A. in English from Texas Woman’s University

Current Location: Dallas, TX

Current Form of Employment: Adjunct Faculty and Content & SEO Strategist

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I currently hold two very different types of part-time positions. First, I work at a digital marketing agency called BizTraffic as a Content & SEO Strategist. Before I started working for this company I didn’t even know that such a position existed, much less what it meant. The majority of my time at this job is spent writing content for blog posts, emails, ebooks, whitepapers, and website pages. 

Because I work for a relatively small company, I’ve had the opportunity to try a variety of things out during my time here. I’ve written instructional manuals for our company’s internal use, created and implemented social media strategies, and learned the basic principles of website design, just to name a few.

My second job is as an Adjunct at Richland Collegiate High School. I teach AVID (which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination) to high school seniors. But my students are no ordinary high school seniors! They are all enrolled in approximately 15 to 18 college credit hours each semester, in addition to a few courses for high school credit. Most of our students graduate simultaneously with both a high school diploma and an associate's degree.

AVID is a course designed to prepare students for college by teaching them how to excel through note taking strategies, analytical writing, discussion groups, and study groups. This is especially important for our students because their course load is so intense. We give them the tools to succeed in a college environment, and give them a little push towards attending universities once they graduate from the program. 

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).

I started working when I was 16, so my very first job was as a courtesy clerk at a grocery store. My older brother was working at the store and let me know they were hiring. It was not very glamorous and involved lots of hot summer afternoons clearing carts off the lot and bagging bloody meat for customers.

Both of my current jobs I found through job websites. I originally was hired as an intern at BizTraffic, and I’ve now worked there over two years, fluctuating between part and full time as my school and work schedule permits. When I applied for the adjunct position, I applied to teach Developmental Writing at the college and was offered a class. But my class didn’t make it. Fortunately, they liked my credentials enough to offer me classes at the high school, plus I’m scheduled to teach Developmental Writing in the fall. 

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?

One of the most influential writing-related jobs I’ve held was actually an unpaid, volunteer position at a local homeschool co-op. I was asked to teach a high school level American literature course once a week for an hour throughout the school year. 

Because of this experience I began to realize that not only do I love to read literature and to write, but that I really love teaching them, too! This experience contributed to my decision to pursue a masters and pursue teaching at a college level as a career. 

“I took every learning opportunity that would work with my busy schedule.”

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

I did a few things to help me prepare for post-grad life. First of all, I never stopped working during my college career which has given me a strong work history and financial security because I have never had to take out a student loan, despite paying for my entire degree myself. 

I took every learning opportunity that would work with my busy schedule. That included volunteering to teach at the homeschool co-op I mentioned before, volunteering at a local museum over spring break, and taking the BizTraffic internship. All of these gave me valuable experience that contributes to the jobs I do now, and helped me craft my future career goals. 

I also took full advantage of my professor’s feedback by improving the papers I wrote and applying what I learned to future papers. I still think of advice I received from my undergraduate professors when writing my graduate level papers. Plus I always try to give feedback to my students that is as useful as that I received from my professors. 

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

Take every learning opportunity you can and don’t limit yourself! There are so many uses for an English degree that sometimes it just takes some time and a little bit of trial and error to find the right match for your personality and talents. And it’s never too soon to get started, or too late to learn something new!

You can connect with Sara on LinkedIn and follow her on Instagram


Posted on May 30, 2016 and filed under Teaching, SEO, Content Marketing, Marketing.

Rachel Maleady: SEO Analyst

Name: Rachel Maleady

Age: 25

College & Majors/Minors: Major: Communications with a Concentration in Public Relations, Minor: Business

Current Location: New Jersey

Current Form of Employment: SEO Analyst at a higher education company

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I currently work at a higher education company as an SEO Analyst. In this role, I get to create and apply various SEO and online marketing strategies to my company's 5+ properties. This role allows me to work in all different areas including content promotion, content strategy, keyword research, link building and more.

What was your first job? 

My first job out of college was working as a SEO Copywriter and Online Marketing Specialist at a small marketing firm near my hometown. I focused more on the writing side of SEO, which I do less of at my current role. To fill that writing "void," I am a freelance copywriter and also run my own lifestyle blog.

What was another job that was important in your career?

Honestly my blog, although not technically a "job," has opened so many doors for me. I am referred to many of my freelance clients through my blog, and it's always a great talking point. I can't stress enough how my blog has helped form my career.

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

I researched companies in my area long before I graduated, hoping to spot open positions or make connections when graduation time came. I ended up transitioning from PR to more SEO/online marketing and copywriting though, so most of that didn't help. I would suggest studying and trying out all different areas of your major to see what you really like and don't like.

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

I would definitely say to look into digital. Print media is dying and most magazine jobs now are terrible (long hours, intern-like tasks, no pay), so prepare yourself for other areas of writing. Start your own blog. Put together an online writing portfolio.

Check out Rachel Maleady's blog and online portfolio, and follow her on Twitter!

 


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 Rachel Wong: Content Specialist

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Brittany Shelley: Director of Content Marketing

 Angeline Evans: Digital Media Manager

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Posted on October 21, 2014 and filed under SEO, Writing, Freelance.