My last traditional job was delivering items to people who have ordered them from sites like Wayfair, Pier One, Joss and Main and many others. We were a distribution hub with warehouse space and box trucks to hold and deliver customers items. I did some research and discovered that I could help market many of these companies products through an affiliate network site called SHAREASALE. I had a BINGO! The realization struck me that if I could get at least a small part of this market that was going through my warehouse and into real customer’s homes it would, at the very least, keep me in lunch money. Extrapolate that around the country and around the world, well now we are talking real income that could even replace my back breaking labor!
I had noticed in my search for freelance web design opportunities the terms SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) were in a lot of the ads I found from people looking to start a website or take the plunge for an existing business. I had not grasped the significance of these terms however. After reading the aforementioned book and doing many hours of research online I learned that SEO was not something you do to a website. SEO is the very foundation of website design. This was extremely helpful for me because getting started on an idea for a design is the part I have the most difficulty with. I learned of helpful tools such as Wordtracker that can help to identify underutilized search terms which can then be used to create websites and content that is relevant to people who are searching. These people care and do not want to waste time, therefore Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engine companies care. They do not want to mislead their users or help marketers to do so either.
Now I realize that I can work for myself designing web pages and finding interesting, niche, markets to create sites and pages with content that is relevant, engaging and attractive. This does not feel forced or contrived to me it feels like helping people find what they like and learn more about products and concepts. Designing is faster and a lot more fun now that I do not have to worry about the incredibly boring minutiae involved to make a page work correctly in every browser and on every device. The best part is the long tail of internet marketing ensures that there is room for many people and businesses to earn a living. Before the internet, limits on distributing, manufacturing, creating and exploring ideas determined that only the biggest thrived and left the rest out of the loop. Now the path is wide and the grade is gentle for any and all to contribute.