The Fresh Egg blog
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"Mentors don't grow on trees" says Geoffrey in a blog post at SEOmoz today. I'm not sure that I entirely agree with him. I think there are actually far more internet marketing mentors around today than there were a few years ago.
Unfortunately, I also think there are far more quacks, fakes and charlatans presenting themselves as great mentors too. In any forum relating to SEO or webmastery, it is a joke with much truth to it that anyone signing up with a username like "SEOmaster" or "Ultimate-Web-Guru" is absolutely certain to know the very least of anyone posting. :-)
That should not in any way detract from the fact that there is far, far more mentorship, and indeed more formal training, available to the newcomer today. Believe me, when I started learning about search marketing, captology, and the persuasive arts of ecommerce, it was all so new that, well, there were not many mentors. But a lack of mentors is not the same as a lack of inspirations.
I have found inspiration from so many sources and people through the years that I seriously could not possibly hope to list them all. I have been inspired by other early pioneers of the field such as (the late) Jim Wilson, Danny Sullivan, Mike Grehan, Jill Whalen, and countless other peers.
Inspiration doesn't only come from other SEO practitioners of course. I have taken inspiration from many superb marketers, thinkers, writers, and even philosophers to allow me to see a supposedly technical problem from a completely different angle.
I have also found inspiration aplenty from each new wave of up-and-comers across the years, especially those I have met in forums, and been able to see and catch their enthusiasm all over again. Bill Slawski, Rand Fishkin, Barry Schwartz, Nadir Garouche, John Scott, Dave Child, and hundreds more names that have attained varying degrees of reknown have inspired me just as I, hopefully, inspired them.
Even the most humble of new aspirants to the field bring a freshness and enthusiasm that helps me to stay fresh and enthusiastic myself about this wonderful career.
Inspiration is not only a tremendous thing - I believe it is essential to anything which is as basically creative an endeavor as marketing (of any kind) should be.
Where do you get yours?