Most of you come to Search Engine Journal for our articles on the latest search strategies, tactics, tips, and news. We plan to continue doing that for a long time, every day, as we have been doing for years.
But we want to also remember that it’s not just about the work you do. It’s about the person doing the work.
It’s about you.
So, we are happy to announce SEJ’s newest column, Friday Focus. I will be co-managing the column with Mary Davies, President of Beanstalk Marketing.
Starting next week, we plan to start talking about a variety of topics related to self-care practices – from finding ways to relieve work stress, to dealing with depression, to tips to improve your mood, and so much more.
Where This All Started & Where We’re Going
Like so many other people in our industry, I will never forget the feeling I had this past July when I learned about the death of our friend Jordan Kasteler.
I was shocked and absolutely gutted by the news. I’m not sure most of us have still fully recovered from this loss.
For those of us who knew him, his death left a huge hole.
In the weeks that followed, some positive things started happening in our community.
We began to start talking to each other more openly about self-care.
People started supporting each other when they saw someone hurting and offered their support to anyone who may be struggling silently. Private Facebook Groups were formed where people could share their struggles and get much-needed support from the community.
It was around this time I began thinking of ways that Search Engine Journal could help our community.
We have a large audience – and we know that, every day, people just like you are dealing with a variety of challenges that go beyond just the work you do.
And I couldn’t think of a better person to co-manage this new column with, as Mary Davies was one of the first to form a Facebook Group (called SEO Buddies).
In fact, before we go further, here are some insights from Mary about why she got onboard with Friday Focus, and her vision for this column:

When Danny approached me about working on this column with him I couldn’t say yes fast enough. (Though, to be honest, I felt a little scared to put myself out there in this way, I knew that he was on the right track and I was excited to offer what I could to support this great idea.)
I, too, was hit with a tremendous grief and overwhelming shock when Jordan died and I know I was not alone in that.
It woke me up to the reality of the stresses and hardships that people around me are living with, and how much effort is put into hiding that part of themselves… and ultimately the price that can be paid for that. I saw that I am not alone, that you are not alone, that we are all often quietly struggling along with our successes that we so freely share.
I look forward to being a part of Friday Focus, a space that I hope will help to bring us together, continue to create conversation and encourage us all to take some time to focus on our self care and supporting those around us do the same.

YOU Matter!
For many of us, we work alone. Isolated. Every day.
It can be tough at times, especially in a high-stakes and high-stress industry, such as ours. The need for comradery, social support, and just a fellow co-worker to chat over the day with can be very real. Without it, you can feel quite alone.
For others, you might work in a high stress, overwhelming bustling office. The constant need to please or present yourself in a way that is in control, on top of your game, always ready and always willing can also be incredibly hard to keep up with.
Challenges we face may sometimes feel insurmountable. Problems we face seem like they can’t be solved. Feelings and situations can overwhelm us. Even when we know we need help, we are often afraid or even ashamed to reach out and ask.
That can take a huge toll on you mentally.
We don’t want anyone to ever feel like this. Alone, depressed, hopeless.
And we never want to see another member of our search “family” leave us too soon.
We Want YOU to Share Your Stories
In Friday Focus, we want to feature a variety of guest authors who are willing to share their personal stories and experiences. Stories of coping with tragedies, stories of survival, stories of hope, and even feel-good stories.
We’re all human. We’re all imperfect. And we all struggle at times.
We want Friday Focus to be a platform where anyone in our community can share their stories.
In some instances, that may mean we may publish stories that have been shared with us anonymously. If this is ever the case, we will always be sure to vet the stories (and the author) thoroughly.
Look, we get it. Some people are afraid to talk about sensitive issues like these publicly – you may fear ridicule, backlash, or even lost business.
We will never force anyone to share anything they aren’t comfortable with putting their name to.
But just think – maybe one of your stories could help make someone’s day, or even give someone some much-needed hope or inspiration at a crucial moment in his or her life.
Want to Get Involved? Here’s How
Have a story to share? Do you want to write a post?
Or do you want to suggest we write about a certain topic?
Reach out to us. We’re here and we’re listening.
Simply click here to fill out the contact form.
Or you can always send us suggestions via Facebook, Twitter, or another way you are more comfortable with (email, LinkedIn, etc.).
We know this column won’t be for everyone. That’s OK – it isn’t meant to be.
But we know there is a need in our industry to talk about these important issues.
Whether you just want to read the column or get involved writing or contributing in some way, our hope is that this column will be able to help a few people.
If we even help just one person, then it will be totally worth it.
Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita

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