My Journey into Internet Marketing (Ukrainian Edition)

True that…

I got into Internet Marketing in the very beginning of 2006 when still in the university as I was going to become B.A. in English.., so basically I was bored to death. Plus, I moved in with my future husband, out of the university campus, hence I was feeling absolutely lonely and depressed in a small apartment that seemed awfully quiet…

Did I mention that was back in Ukraine? Yes, that’s where I was born and spent the most exciting non-adult years of my life…

Depression and boredom brought me to a quick job interview I hadn’t been looking for. It just happened. I wasn’t seriously looking for a job: My future life was very well defined. A married English linguistics professor in my native university. The whole faculty already knew I was to become part of their family. My mom was so proud….

So back to the quick job interview I wasn’t looking for… Two guys in a shabby apartment they called an office were asking:

“Do you have a resume?”
“Nope”, I responded proudly…
“Why so?”
“I don’t need a job… I am going to become an English philology professor”
“Why did you come then?”
“I got bored…”
“ummm… Do you know anything about Internet Marketing”
“Nope but I can use the computer and I can learn anything myself…”
“What exactly can you do? What are you good at?”
“I am good at anything” — was my response (I am not sure how to translate “Могу копать, могу не копатьin English for the phrase to make sense, but that’s what I said)
My fellow Russian-speaking folks will understand: That’s the only resume I’ve ever had…

I wasn’t waiting for them to call back. I knew there were a few more of my friends they were interviewing and I was pretty sure they would do a better job…

But the guys called back the same evening.

“Can you start tomorrow?”
“Why not”

That was as simple as that.

The job included answering emails and phone calls from customers. The guys were selling on eBay and had their own online store. Most customers were in the United States, that’s where I was excited to practice my English skills (you can never get enough of the foreign language you are learning)

Unexpectedly, I got excited. The bosses saw that and started giving me more and more tasks involving different aspects of online promotion.

The guys became my friends. Later, they said that I was like a machine: Whatever they asked me to do, I did that quickly and asked for more. Our little store was growing like crazy.

When time came to switch to my well-planned university career, I found I couldn’t. I loved my newly discovered online marketing world. My parents and teachers were terrified. I couldn’t even explain to them what I was doing (and what I was determined to do for the rest of my life).

Imagine the state of the Internet ~20 years ago in the United States? Here you go: That’s what the Internet was in Ukraine when I was starting my Internet Marketing career there.

My mom (she can never trust me enough to build my own future myself) rushed to the city to talk to my university professor:

“How much are they going to pay her”, My professor asked my mom…
“$300 a month”
“Let her do that: She won’t earn that money for the first 5 years in the university…”

Seriously…

My mom wasn’t so sure: Money was not the only issue. She saw me a university professor so easily. She didn’t want me to play computers all days long… doing only God knows what

One thing my mom can never get used to: I am never in a doubt. I always see only ONE way to go.

So I stayed in the weird company I discovered and we kept growing… One day my boss called me in his office showing Jim Boykin’s and Rand Fishkin’s blogs on his screen.

“I want you to become as well-known as those guys”
“Ummm… Ok..”

I started a blog and almost the same month I knew THAT was my future. I got too excited, I guess. I was online 20 hours a day, 7 days a week… I was clumsy and sometimes terrified but I could no longer tear myself from what I fell in love with: Blogging

No one in the office expected me to become THAT excited…

Everything was perfect until I got pregnant.

Suddenly the guys discovered they did not quite like the idea of me going away for a few months.

I had to leave and start my own business.

Two lessons:

  • Never assume you’ll be with your current partners for a lifetime.
  • Sometimes (always?) you need a push to achieve a whole new level.

Finding myself at home, with no job, pregnant and in dept was the most motivational thing that has ever happened to me. I worked as hard as I could because I was terrified and motivated. I was lucky to have my husband’s full support — my second half has always been my hugest believer.

That was an insane dance. I became the regular contributor and then Editor-in-Chief for Search Engine Journal during that time. When my daughter was born, I allowed myself a two-day vacation and that was it. I was back to work and I’ve never had a “real” vacation ever since.

Then, three years ago, I got invited to move to the United States by Jim Boykin (Remember? The same guy who my previous boss showed me as an example of “bloggers you need to become”) I accepted the invitation.

My American adventure will be described in my follow-up story (I have no time to tell my whole SEO story in one article: That’s a good sign, right?)

See you!

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