Making the best use of the online tools available to you: Cost-free learning using a global library (the internet)

Don’t stick to what you know!

Learning new skills can be scary, intimidating, time-consuming, and can make you doubt your own abilities. You’re forced to take risks that might result in failure.

However, it can also be an exciting adventure, inspiring and life-changing. And, it is not just for the young. Everyone, of every age and at every stage, can do it and as I have recently discovered, the generous, insightful resources out there on the internet make learning and developing your knowledge and skills more accessible than ever.

What do I know?

What I know now is so much more than I knew only a few months ago! My role at Invotra has developed over the last few years and, after changes to our marketing website, it became important that I had a better understanding of SEO.

It was somewhat overwhelming at first. I had no previous experience in this area. I was now not only building our website but I had to be able to understand the data that Google was providing so that I could utilise it to improve the site.

I had no idea where to start or what to start with. However, if this information was coming from Google, then I should probably use it to look for guidance.

I used to use books. While studying at university I used to love going to libraries full of beautiful, organised, traditionally scripted books, periodicals and journals. However, all of this took time.

A limited number of copies of the book meant the right information could take a while to get hold of. And, of course, careful reading, and note-taking takes time.

It is also difficult to physically write out findings, or practically try something out while reading it in a book. Printed resources can be limited, outdated, and are often targeted at a specific type of learner.

Now I can buy/borrow a book and then go online to read the blogs reviewing it, watch the video applying to what it explains and get a huge amount of support from experts, people who have been in my situation and can offer advice.

Google, SEO. Where do I start?

Thanks to Google Analytics academy, the WordPress community, online YouTube instruction videos, and amazingly generous sites like “steal my JSON-LD”, the impossible is made possible.

With excellent and cost free resources like these, anyone can pick up brand new skills, develop them and stay engaged in a world that may have changed dramatically from the one my own generation was educated in.

What have I learnt?

Online learning is incredible, liberating for every type of learner and often cost-free. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the experience of sitting in a silent library, absorbed in a book I know has lived there for many years and be shared by countless people.

But, I love internet learning just as much. I’m so excited by the prospect of going on to learn so much more, helped by all of my new colleagues in the global library I can now visit wherever and whenever I want.

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