The most important SEO lesson – don’t restrict yourself to SEO-only

I’ll write in this blog post about the dangers of over-specialization.

Rand Fishkin, at the end of working with Moz.com, and at the beginning with working for SparkToro, wrote:

My number one tip for marketers seeking to grow their career opportunities is this: specialize. Specialize deeply. I don’t mean “SEO” or “Email marketing,” I mean specialization like “I’m the best link-focused SEO for the mobile gaming world.” Expanding from a specialization (if you so choose) is vastly easier, in my experience, than becoming known for a broad practice. This is equally true for companies as for individuals.

Seth Godin also, generally, advises for specialization.

Nicolae Steinhardt suggests otherwise – don’t focus only on your main theme, you should have knowledge of other areas of interest, not a strict specialization.

In SEO, most people would agree that you should be focusing on (if not just SEO) Online Marketing lectures. I tend to disagree with these people. I think you can have a more creative mind if you read from other subjects, also. Surely, most blogs / books you read should be on online marketing, but not all of them.

I don’t think I ever heard someone suggesting not to focus only on SEO, when pursuing an SEO career.

I first heard of this idea in the business environment from Șerban Alexandrescu (Headvertising agency), I think in 2001, at a business school organized by VIP Romania. He said something like “an employee needs a personal time. If he/she works for 12 hours a day, there’s no time for other activities, in a few years that person’s creativity will be at a low level”.

In London, in 2003, I’ve heard Jim Sterne (Targeting.com) suggested that every SEO should do some theater acting. He had advanced studies in Shakespeare.

On an emotional level, depending on who you trust more, you might want to follow some or other people’s advice.

How to explain the need to spend time doing other things than “pure” SEO? There’s a joke which says. “If you have 5 dollars and Chuck Norris has 5 dollars, he has more than you”.

In SEO you will have some technical skills – knowledge, experience, abilities. But things as personal network, empathy, communication skills, tend to be developed not only by doing SEO, but but doing serendipity activities. Rand Fishkin would agree:

Reason #1: The true value of serendipity usually comes years down the line.

Reason #2: It’s nearly impossible to measure the impact of serendipity.

Reason #3: Attribution is almost always misplaced.

The principle of diminishing returns says that after a while, even if you invest a lot of time in learning SEO, the benefits are much smaller.

Sometimes it’s best to learn from various fields, especially those who increase your Emotional Quotient (EQ).

You should increase your abilities of being Chuck Norris.

TEDxUW (University of Waterloo) – Speaker 7: ANDREW DEMAN, https://flic.kr/p/RW859M

I am a Digital Marketing freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading, watching movies, listening to music.

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