OK so we’re celebrating our first 6 months of blogging with a quite lengthy (but typically fascinating) glimpse into the minds of the SEO Chicks.
The photo is courtesy of my good friend Gene. He’s afraid the other girls will kill him so I am not linking to him here. It’s so hysterically bad that I had to put it up…it serves me right that I look the most idiotic, too. Anita, never again mention the Spice Girls!! Once I stop laughing I will continue being serious and professional, naturally.
OK then, I’m good now. It’s our 6 month anniversary and naturally we wanted to commemorate the occasion with a post about this. We’ve all been completely thrilled by the blog in general. We’ve gotten some really great feedback on posts we’ve written, and overall we have been just SO insanely pleased by the response to what we’re doing. Lest I ruin the moment, read on for our thoughts on what’s happened over the last half year…
1. Is the current blog what you envisioned when we first got started? If not, what’s different?
Anita: To be honest, when we first started, we didn’t have much of a vision for the blog itself – we just knew that we wanted SEO-Chicks to be the sounding ground for women in the search industry. So the current blog definitely outshines most of what I had in mind.
What is so incredible, but not without a cause (Lisa and Julie have worked relentlessly to spread the word), that we’ve become so well known in the industry in such a short time, and people speak of us with a lot of respect, which I find great. I think that we as women have a lot of support in our industry – it’s reflected in the fact that a lot of our readers are male. Now I am sure that there are still a few male skeptics out there, but it seems Lisa is doing a great job at weeding them out – LOL.
I’d say we’re becoming the Spice Girls of Search Marketing… (note from Julie: bad move Anita. We all now blame you for the photo.)
Judith: I think I was just glad something happened. I remember Lisa’s experience in the pub and I am so glad she is the woman she is and launched in to action. I’m a bit of a feminist and am often disappointed by the lack of women in SEO though there are many notable ones.
I guess as the statement was made that sometimes we’d blog about non-SEO (chocolate, handbags, shoes) stuff, I thought it’d have a much more personal life blog slant. I’m thrilled it’s come out as a professional SEO blog with a huge information slant.
Julie: It’s much better. I knew Anita quite well when we started, but I didn’t know Lisa very well at the time so I thought the blog would be great and I DID have high hopes for it, but I didn’t realize it would end up being as fun as it is. I thought it would seem more like work, to be honest.
Rebecca: I’m pretty proud of the current blog. I actually envisioned something less serious and more jokey. I’m not saying that the blog isn’t amusing or facetiously written–it’s just that SEO Chicks is also rife with great, practical, and useful posts that make the blog just as good as any other SEO blog out there.
Lisa: God yeah! I thought it would be good, but I must admit it has completely exceeded my expectations. I have about a million ideas a year, and most of them ends up being just that, ideas! But this time it was different, it was more like a cause. I was fed up with people telling me what I couldnt do, and what I didnt know, bla bla. If someone tells me I cant do something I will sure as hell do anything in my power to prove them wrong, that drives me more than anything. Slightly childish maybe. I call it the Erin Brokowich syndrome =) So, when I met Anita at a LondonSEO party and we got talking, it kind of unfolded itself in this idea about a blog, and the ball started rolling. I got so excited about the prospect of kicking some ass in the blogosphere I bought the domain the day after.
God Im ranting now, basically the biggest difference between what I thought it would be like and what it is now is how well we have been received. Im usually quite an optimist but never envisioned people would welcome us like they have!
2. How has the blog affected you professionally or in the SEO world?
Anita: It’s definitely made my name a little more known (grin). It’s hard to determine the direct effect for me, as professionally I am more involved in the marketing side of things. I am a search professional though, and as a woman in the field I am genuinely proud to be a part of SEO-Chicks.
Judith: I think personally it’s gotten me back blogging which I had given up when I left the last industry I was previously in. With working in media, I find myself doing a lot of reputation management and above-the-line marketing in SEO which has been a great change and given me great stuff to write about. I’m keen to start doing some technology reviews too.
I don’t think it’s changed me in the SEO world yet though the distinctive tight green shirt will likely change that (though any tight shirt also may when combined with free chocolate). I think I got recognised by a couple of people but I think Lisa and Julie are the real stars of SEO Chicks.
Julie: I haven’t let fame go to my head. The tiara is just for show really…the blog has definitely affected me professionally. I’ve had some incredibly generous fellow SEOs giving me feedback that leads me to believe that I actually do know what I’m doing, and our name is definitely out there. I haven’t been to any conferences since the blog first started, so as far as being affected in terms of having crowds of SEOs screaming my name, I can’t really say yet. Usually it’s just one or two. OK it’s one usually. And I pay him.
Rebecca: It’s given me a nice sense of camaraderie and has strengthened my existing relationships with the chicks I knew before joining on as well as helped me form relationships with new chicks and with readers.
Lisa: Professionally it has done heaps for my career, Im convinced the success of the SEO Chicks was one of the major factors of me winning Newcomer of the Year at the B2B Marketing Awards. It has also helped me reach goals within my company but convincing the people I work with that blogging can be a powerful tool, I am now finally getting a separate website for Base One Search and the department is growing at 100 mph ? It has been fantastic! Busy but exciting! The blog has also improved my knowledge both from other SEO Chicks bloggers and the SEO Chicks readers! And lastly but not least Ive gained some cracking friends along the way, I dont think a day goes by without me and Julie IMing each other. We all email each other on a regular basis talking SEO or just general crap =) I think of the chicks as some of my closest friends, they all rock! Im going to cry nowha! You think?? The hardcore Viking has a heart??
3. What was your favorite post that you wrote? Why was it your favorite?
Anita: Hahaha – well I haven’t written that many posts, although I love writing – we always get such great response from our readers. My favorite would have to be the one on the creative SP@M subject line, and that’s again because of the responses it received – especially that poem…
I must say that we’ve done a great job not to steer this blog into a ‘feminist rant state’, because that’s not what we want. We don’t want sympathy – we just want to be acknowledged as the great professionals that we are, and that’s hard to pull off. I feel we’ve managed to involve our readers on a professional level without gender barriers.
Judith: I think my favourite post was about being a woman in tech. It was my favourite because it spun off a great secondary post about the history of women in computing and how we wouldn’t have Google if not for a woman!
Julie: My favorite one to write was the Chimps post. Not only did I legitimately get to search for things like “chimps wearing khakis” and “mad chimp waving flow chart around”, I got to dive back into the whole primatology thing that was one of my first loves. Plus it made me laugh to write that one…I am a huge, HUGE fan of satire and writing something like that is so much fun. It WAS about SEO, but it was making fun of what we do in a non-threatening way.
Rebecca: Haha, I’ve only written two posts because I’m a slacker, but I definitely want to contribute more. I’d say that I liked my “Get Anal Retentive About Your Anal-ytics” because I’m a fan of bad puns.
Lisa: Ehm, well Im quite modest, ha! Am I bullocks. I really enjoyed writing the latest blogpost on The Algorithms and mixing it with some Matrix action, Im a total movie freak so writing about SEO and mixing it in with movie analogies got to be the best thing right? Although saying that, I do LOVE Julies posts, all of them! I dont think Ive read a single post that Julie wrote and not laughed out loud, she is a comedy genius. I loved the post Julie wrote titled Feckin Womens knickers! Girls! and SEO!
Thats got to be the best blogpost title ever, and if you dont get it you need to watch this Father Ted Clip Absolutely feckin hilarious!
4. What are the reasons you joined the Chicks?
Anita: Well, a few reasons really… First and foremost was the belief that we deserved a voice in the industry. The other side of that is because I had received so much good support from the males in my search crowd that I felt we owed to give the right message through our blog, without slanting the good vibe that already exists.
But a large part was played by Lisa’s action driven persona ;o) She is only the second person (after Julie), that has chased me up for results – and that commands respect. So on the morning after we’d decided to start SEO-Chicks, she emailed to say she’d registered the domain and we were comitted – awesome – so all of a sudden this had become a reality and now we just had to keep going. I really loved the fact that I can work with a really driven and savvy woman ). So here I am…
Judith: I’m passionate about women involved in tech and SEO and I love writing plus Lisa is a FANTASTIC person. How could I not blog here – I love this place!!
Julie: I was scared of Lisa and didn’t want to say no to her. If she’d asked me to parachute into Algeria to retrieve a first edition of a Camus novel that was in the hands of an anti-Camus book club, I’d have done it. Actually I really just wanted to write something and have it matter. I’d also been wanting to work with Anita again and this was the perfect chance.
Rebecca: I love Lisa Ditlefsen, and she asked if I would join. She’s bad at creating logical meetup landmarks at tube stations, but she’s a damn smart woman and quite business savvy.
Lisa: Ehm well again, it was kind of a: we are going to show them Woman can be good SEOs, and shock horror we can be funny too!! Although Im not as big of a feminist like Judith I still like seeing woman kick butt.
5. Where do you see the SEO Chicks blog in 6 more months, on our 1 year anniversary?
Anita: Hmm – this is always a hard statement to make. But I’ll be brave and work on what the historical data shows… I can see us becoming the central blog where women can be themselves and talk about SEO the way they want to. We will continue to respect/appreciate the support from our male readers too of course.
I hope we will start a series of meetings for Chicks in the SEO community – where we can meet up and network in person. I also hope that we will be given a voice in the major search events where we can bring support for newcomer females in the industry.
I’ll never forget my first search conference in New Orleans in 2005 – there were a total of 3 females in the opening reception. It makes me very happy to see that now the split is almost half – half. So I can see that SEO-Chicks has a big future…
Judith: I think we’ll take on board stuff we learned from the tagged “meme” about more guest bloggers, more tech toy reviews (I have a 1GB Samsung music player right here to do in fact), and possibly gain a logo.
It is also my hope we will also all be sent many gifts of good quality chocolate and new techie toys but somehow I don’t really think that’ll happen *grins*
Julie: I hope that we’ll really establish our blog as a great place for newcomers as well as advanced SEOs. I love it when we’ve gotten comments about how nice it is that we don’t talk down to anyone, but we don’t try and overuse technical language just to prove something. I think we’ll continue to have insanely silly posts mixed in with professional ones, which gives everyone a break from boredom.
Rebecca: I’d love to see regular segments and even more recognition within our industry. And I want an SEO Chicks hoodie.
Lisa: I think the blog will continue growing and hopefully our audience along with it. To be honest I really enjoy it just like it is, and dont particularly want it to change at all=) Is that nave? I hope well all stay as straight talking and chilled out as we are and not get caught up in the evils of monotising and money crap. I always wanted this to be a recourse for people to get-together talk SEO, and hopefully laugh, and I think it is, I dont want it to change =)