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April 10, 2010

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Sally Whittle

My advice, for what it's worth is that marketing, copywriting, corporate comms, PR and even journalism to an extent are moving in the same direction - online.

I think anyone with a good working knowledge of SEO and SEM is at an advantage in any of those markets, the same applies to a simple web app like Dreamweaver and knowing the basics of HTML. Even if you end up only commissioning people to do those things, the knowledge makes you a better commissioner. And don't dismiss anything because of your age - technical knowledge is easily acquired but years of experience are more difficult to come by!

Rosie Scribble

Thank you, Sally. That is very helpful indeed. It seems sensible, then, for me to look further into the areas of SEO, SEM and web design tools rather than focusing on one long course that just covers just one area, such as PR. That certainly focuses my efforts at bit more. There are lots of short courses out there which cover these areas. I shall go off and investigate them (and stop worrying about my age!).

Ellen Arnison

I agree with Sally. I'm having to make a similar leap - at 43 after years of working one way or another in print. Experience and clarity of communication will never go out of fashion and the rest can be picked up on the way. In fact, it makes our child-juggling lives easier. Enjoy it, it seems more fun to me than it did when I started.

Susanna

With SEO etc. and your skills you can write a business blog for a company, that's a huge part of marketing these days. I suggest you look at Seth Godin's blog and also Hubspot. Good luck, you can do it Rosie!

Rosie Scribble

Thanks, Ellen. I will try and enjoy it rather than feeling over-whelmed by it all. I agree -- it does make working and child-jugging a lot easier now that there are options of working online from home at a time that suits us.

Rosie Scribble

Thank you, Susanna. The idea of writing a business blog for a company had not occurred to me but it does open new options. The sites you have mentioned look excellent and full of information. I will get reading! Thanks for your encouragement.

Peabee72

Everyone needs a mac Rosie.....regardless of whether they work or not ;)

In terms of your dilemma, although things have undoubtedly changed, the basics of how to deal with people, build client relationships and make a business successful won't have changed fundamentally.

I've worked in Marcomms & PR, mainly for B2B clients, for 12 years or so and I agree with Sally that there is a definite trend to online. But, it's not the be all and end all, and personally I think we'll reach a plateau.

If you've got a well rounded skillset, some technical understanding and confidence in what you do, you'll be fine. I'm 37 and, although I've kept things ticking over for the last few years, I'm only really now returning to working earnestly for a living. I'm finding that clients are still a long way from understanding social media and seo, but they're also no better at communicating internally or externally, maintaining their brand integrity or understanding the basics of PR & Marketing. There's loads of opportunity out there and you'll be fine!

If you ever want to chat through any thoughts/nerves/anything really, feel free to give me a shout... paula(at)battleplancreative.com

Good luck,Pxx

Serenity

How ironic, I work full-time in marketing and would love to be a part-time freelance writer. Maybe we could swap??

On a more serious note, I agree with a lot of the previous comments. Experience and a rounded skill set are priceless, but what would give you an advantage in today's market is online skills. Loads of companies who previously had minimal online presence are waking up to the fact that they need to join the 21st century and are desperate to develop some social media stuff - blogs, twitter and even facebook as well as email marketing and websites. SEO is still a big mystery to many and has become a kind of holy grail. If you can do that kind of thing (or even, as Sally suggested, just commission/manage it with knowledge and confidence) you just might give yourself the edge.

Good luck!

Lucy Quick

I totally hear where you're coming from re needing to learn new skills, and I would concur with everyone else in terms of learning a little SEO / SEM (and perhaps a little web design) would definitely be a benefit.

However, I'd also like to highlight how much you already know:
- You understand blogging, the importance of creating a human voice etc
- You understand how to create fabulous online content
- You understand how online communities work
- You already use and understand social media (and how to engage with others)

I'm guessing you already know a lot more than you realise. Good luck with everything :)

Rosie Scribble

Thanks, Paula. That very supportive. I have kept my hand in for the last few years but I'm also looking for a change of direction which is why I'm studying marketing. I'm also interested in social media too and some online skills will certainly be helpful by the sounds of things. However, I think I've realised the importance of a more rounded skill set, as you say, so I'll cast my net a little wider and won't focus just on technical computer skills but on many of the fundamental business skills which I suspect I already have, but have not been used for some time. Thanks again x

Rosie Scribble

Many thanks, Serenity. Part-time writing would be lovely but I need to earn a full-time wage, so I'll take your job and you can have mine ;)

It has become very clear that online skills are a necessity so I'll look at the social media aspects. In fact I've found some resources on SEO already. How things have changed. Terms like that were unheard of when I studied business in 1996! Seems like a very long time ago now.

Rosie Scribble

Lucy, what a lovely comment, thank you very much! I guess I do know more about social media and creating online content than I realise. Your comment has been very encouraging. Like the previous comments, it does seem a very good idea to learn a bit more about SEO, SEM and a little web design so I feel a lot more focussed now. Thank again!

Muddling Along Mummy

I wouldn't worry - I don't think it has moved on all that much, we're masses more digital at home than work is and its taking its time to trickle through

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