How did you get your start?

Every professional in the industry has their own unique story to tell in the world of SEO and I’m here to bore you with mine.

I (unofficially) entered the blogging space back in the summer break of 2015 with my very first online blog – Six Pack Workouts. With money on my mind and a borderline unhealthy obsession with the gym, I began sharing tips, tricks and workouts to the world wide web with fame and fortune as my motivator. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t stick with it and was upset becoming an overnight success took longer than just a couple of months. 

The start of the second year of my mechanical engineering degree ultimately forced the project onto the back burner where it, unfortunately, stayed until it was neglected long enough for another blogger to snap it up. I blame this first site for whetting the appetite and getting the gears in motion for building sites and brands around them. It’s a love-hate relationship.

Adam Graduating University

The shift to content writing

The following summer break I built yet another site, this time with a focus on lead generation that I both built and sold within a 3-month period. The sale sum wasn’t groundbreaking, but the experience of building a site strong enough for sale in such a short timeframe taught me huge amounts about SEO, affiliate marketing and website creation.

With things heating up in my third and fourth years, there was a distinct lack of personal projects as my attention turned to helping small businesses with their online content with any free time I could scrape together. My content writing enterprise allowed me to work with clients from around the globe including big hitters such as Catena Media and Digital Authority Partners.

This small but loyal client base carried me to the end of my Master’s and into the unknown – the unknown being an understatement.

The digital nomad lifestyle

Exhausted from the 4-year window of struggling through textbooks and sitting countless exams, a break from engineering was just what the doctor ordered. 

My partner, both in the real world and in business, Ann, shared a similar outlook thanks to frustrations in the local journalism world. One night, probably over one too many Caribbean cocktails (mine’s a Beachcombers Zombie, cheers), we decided that we needed something big to shake things up.

Within 100 days of graduation, armed with a clumsy pair of 70L backpacks, a couple of budget laptops and dreams of the digital nomad lifestyle, we flew out to our very first tiny one-room apartment in Malaga, Spain. This started our love affair with travel and in the following months, travelling through Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia – documenting our trip on the YouTube channel “FarFromHolmes”.

Our fun was cut short thanks to that pesky C-word and the premature return to the UK wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but we tried to use our time wisely. We rented a one-bedroom flat in Kelham Island, Sheffield before heading further north to a small house nearby to where I grew up in the Lake District.

Adam in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Adam in Northumberland

Back to the real world

With no more flights to catch and a whole load of now unoccupied hours in the day, I had plenty of time to reflect and decide exactly what I wanted to pursue. 

Luckily, I can’t sit still for too long and the answer was relatively straightforward – exactly what I wanted to do every day since that very first site was filled with sub-par workouts and questionable fitness advice! 

But it’s not like you can just call yourself an SEO expert and expect people to believe you (despite those who do just that on LinkedIn). That meant that another project, built from scratch and purely crafted in spare time, was on the cards. Ann and I brainstormed (with coloured pens and everything) and ultimately landed on the outdoor-focused blog “Adventure Pending”.

The site is one dedicated to gear reviews, guides and tips and tricks that we learned during our short spell away. Despite being a constant work in progress and a test mule for our SEO experiments, the site has seen success in search and ranks highly for numerous outdoor search terms.

I’m yet to write up a full case study of exactly what we did and how it worked, but you can check out the site here.