It all started 12 years ago while I was a freshman in college at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. I was a 19 year old that had become obsessed with the Beach Boys.
Sure, I had heard them throughout my entire life on the radio, but never thought of their music as anything special; they were just another band from the 1960’s to me. I never truly felt a connection to them until I heard a segment of the song “God Only Knows” on a television commercial and found myself humming along to that 15 second song fragment again and again for weeks until the music playing in my brain became so constant that I knew that I would have to hear the entire song all the way through just to get it out of my head.
So, I drove to a music store and bought a CD of the album “Pet Sounds” and immediately skipped to track #8, “God Only Knows” and listened to the song with my best headphones. As I sat down on my bed with my eyes closed and heard that song from beginning to end something transformed inside of me, permanently altering my soul and the direction of my life forever. I had found my passion.
I pressed repeat again and again, then I played the entire album from start to finish, going from “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” to “Carolina, No” again and again. Never before had such a perfect sound ever graced my ears and my heart. Brian Wilson, the principal songwriter for the Beach Boys was a perfectionist and genius songwriter whose passion was dripping from every utterance of that record and immediately I learned the value and power of pouring your heart and soul into something you love.
I needed more. I bought every Beach Boys album and studied them meticulously, learning as many songs on guitar, piano and bass as I could. However, beyond the instrumentation I was keenly drawn to the vocal harmonies present throughout all of the Beach Boys’ songs. In my opinion, the Beach Boys had the greatest vocal harmonies of any band, ever. The core of the band consisted of brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, as well as their cousin, Mike Love, and friends Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston (special mention to David Marks who was in the band for their first 5 albums). The special blend of those 6 voices can only be described as heavenly. To listen to the Beach Boys sing can be an overwhelming sensation, akin to a religious experience. The perfection of their harmonies can be seen as a musical metaphor for the cooperation, love and goodness of humankind itself.
Needless to say, the Beach Boys meant a great deal to me and changed the way that I thought about life.
As I entered college, I was actively hunting every possible Beach Boys recording that I could, hoping to find some new revelation within my soul that would be uncovered by each new track I was able to find. Inevitably I stumbled across a Blog (long since deleted from the internet) called Silverphial.blogspot.com that contained several bootleg recordings of the Beach Boys. These unreleased recordings were the most exciting things I had ever stumbled across in my Beach Boys journey thus far, so I made the decision in April 2017 to start my own Beach Boys blog, and inadvertently started my SEO journey as well.
Several times per week I would post about the Beach Boys; live concerts, videos, documentaries, bootlegs, alternative versions of songs, and anything else I could get my hands on. Eventually I found people all over the world who had the same passion that I did and through word of mouth I was quickly getting tens of thousands of visits every day. Then one day I noticed that I was ranking #1 in Google for the keyword “Beach Boys blog”, even outranking the Beach Boys’ official blog (a feat that is still true today, 12 years later!).
Since 2007 my blog received over 2 million viewers! Mostly from Google searches, links and word of mouth. I never once paid for a link or tried to do anything other than post content that I thought my fellow fans wanted to see. I also never got paid a single dime for doing my blog. I did it all because I found my passion and I wanted to share it with the world.
If you want to rank #1 on Google and have your business or personal website change the world, you need to find your passion too and relentlessly post the greatest content you possibly can and Google will be sure to reward you too!
So there you have it, the story of how I got my start in SEO 12 years ago. If you have some time, please check out my Beach Boys blog too (It still means a lot to me even though I haven’t updated it in a while!). http://warnakeysbeachboysblog.blogspot.com/