Best, least costly SEO classroom training worldwide
July 3, 2019 10:40 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a relatively inexpensive location to learn SEO anywhere in the world

I'm American and looking for high quality, English-language, classroom SEO training. I currently live in Thailand and am free to travel most anywhere as long as the training is proven, reasonably priced, and highly regarded and reviewed.

Ideally, I'm looking for a 1-3 month course. Also open to apprenticeship. I'm an accomplished writer/editor in the tech space: 15 years at IBM, 2 years at Huawei, contracted with many Global 2000 tech companies.
posted by lometogo to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I started out in SEO in 2010 after getting laid off in government. I had worked as a writer, drafting proposals, plus communications stuff, but I had no background in SEO. In a previous career I had been a high school teacher. I started out with a Creative Writing degree with an emphasis on practical and technical skills (how to write a news release, conforming to styles, etc).

I was able to get into online marketing after losing my government job at the end of 2009, and I started out just as SEO went from black-hat to white-hat, with an emphasis on "quality content." It's been a great decade professionally for me (with a dip here and there as I learned the ropes about freelancing) and my combination of online marketing, comms and journalism skills are now (for the moment) much in demand.

As a consultant and instructor, I also help develop an entirely new college curriculum focused on online marketing, SEO included.

Soooo... I'm going to say what I say to everybody I meet who is interested in SEO: don't enroll in courses! In this thing of ours, the most successful people are self-taught.

This is because the world of SEO and online marketing is constantly changing. Any course you take will be out of date by the time you sign up for it, let alone finish it.

Instead, I recommend the MOZ site, especially their Whiteboard Fridays series. This is an excellent introduction to SEO by Rand Fishkin, who is a total mensch.

MOZ also has forums where you can ask questions, or just follow along. There are other places out there to hang out, but MOZ is the best place to start.

In terms of transitioning to an SEO role, first of all, you may find SEO is not for you. Some people find it boring. However, as I mentioned in another answer, one way to exercise your new-found knowledge could be to sign up with Constant Content or CrowdContent and write some articles. If you can optimize them reasonably well, that is a bonus on those sites, and it will be noticed.

You can either move up the food chain OR use your articles as part of your portfolio to shop around to potential employers.

The next step after article sites, if you don't get a direct client, is to see what web agencies also provide web copy, and then cold-call them and see if they need help.

Alternatively, you could become an editor. A local contact here where I live in Canada wanted to transition out of her industry, publishing, where she has worked as a book editor for about 15 years.

She got a job as an editor at one of the two places I mentioned above. They needed someone who could edit and manage writers. Like you, she had approached me about trying to find out how to learn more about SEO, but her new employer didn't really want that.

It helped that she was professional and reliable in terms of her attitude. Easy to work with.

And, for me, I've found that that is what most of my writing and marketing clients and coworkers value the most.
posted by JamesBay at 11:23 AM on July 3 [4 favorites]

JamesBay, thanks so much for your exhaustive answer. Following all your breadcrumbs has delightfully burned up most of the morning for me.

Although your advice is still appropriate, my real interest in gaining more SEO knowledge is more personal and commercial. Having written/edited for others for years, I have finally, in my 7th decade, come to the conclusion that I need to develop an asset of my own.

I've been following Spencer Haws ( and am interested in developing (or buying a slightly developed) niche site to be monetized by linking to Amazon products. Spencer, like Moz, seems like a real mensch, and shares some great information.

I have been creating content (mostly whitepapers, case studies, and other high octane articles) and market consulting mostly for enterprise tech clients for years. It's a $$$$ for hours gig, which means I start from zero every day and end up with no real asset, only the paycheck.

I've looked at Moz over the years but your recommendation to follow his whiteboard fridays, take his course, and follow his forums, is a great one. I learn best in a 1-1 or small classroom setting but understand your caveat that anything I learn is likely outdated by the end of the class.

One skill I have learned over the years is cold emailing. Using Crunchbase Pro, I can easily target a market niche, with a great deal of granularity. I then email the CEO or CMO and have developed some very good clients this way. I've also developed some marketing agency clients that way.

So, the way forward is likely to learn SEO and develop my niche site on the side as I continue to write/edit for my current clients.

Again, thanks so much for your time and ideas, JamesBay.

Terrance @ Technology Editors
posted by lometogo at 10:36 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]

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