Should I do digital marketing or web development if I am shy/anti-social?

Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
19
Likes
9
Degree
0
I am in my mid-30's and looking to go back to school after messing around for a number of years and becoming ill and unable to work. I did SEO as an employee of some agencies and affiliate marketing (SEO) for a long time but never established myself. I also tried a bit of PPC.

I got caught up in the "become a web developer at a bootcamp and get a high paying job and never be out of work!" hype and I wanted to do a web dev bootcamp and get a Jnr developer role (javascript) in my home town. But, if I am honest, I am unsure if I am smart enough to code. Also, I hear it is hard to get a Jnr role (especially in your mid-30's and with no degree!). I am also unsure if I would enjoy being a programmer as I hear devs are at the bottom of the pile and can get treated poorly. Dev's also must compete with cheap overseas labor.

I do still want to make a few websites and see if I can make money from affiliate marketing SEO sites with Amazon, but I doubt it will ever grow enough to cover my living expenses and it is not very stable.

When I worked in digital marketing it was fairly full on with a lot of extroverts and I just didn't feel comfortable.

I know this is an online business forum, but I thought somebody here might be able to chime in and give some advice. I am unsure which one to pick. The digital marketing industry that I have a lot of experience in, or the web dev industry which might be a quieter and more stable career. I don't really like marketing (seems tedious) and I am not a good face to face salesman. I am not sure if I could spend 8 hours a day looking at code either, however.

Any advice?
 

mj22

Back War Mongering.
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
152
Likes
70
Degree
0
If you are gonna get back in this game and be successful you are going to have step out of your comfort zone at some point either way. This life isn't for everyone. I wish you well whatever way you decide to go. I think you have to decide this one for yourself on what you are comfortable with.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
19
Likes
9
Degree
0
It's mainly that I am unsure what career path digital marketing will take me on (if any) and I feel like web development in an office job will mean a more stable income.
 

Ryuzaki

女性以上のお金
Staff member
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
3,513
Likes
6,513
Degree
7
You said...
  • "I am unsure if I am smart enough to code."
  • "I hear devs are at the bottom of the pile and can get treated poorly."
  • "Dev's also must compete with cheap overseas labor."
  • "I doubt it will ever grow enough to cover my living expenses and it is not very stable."
  • "I am not a good face to face salesman"
  • "I am not sure if I could spend 8 hours a day looking at code either."
You said a few other negative things. I'm not trying to be like a butthead here, but you're absolutely undermining yourself with this kind of talk and backing yourself into a corner where there's zero options. You're giving yourself a lot of reasons to not start new things, even though you've already succeeded as an SEO at an agency. You can't disqualify yourself like this. Millions of people just like you succeed doing the things you're talking about despite these hurdles and you can too.

That agency wouldn't even exist if there wasn't money in making websites, doing SEO, ranking, online marketing, etc. I just wanted to point that out. This forum exists because a lot of us earn a full time living doing all the things agencies do, but for ourselves.

But yeah I hear you. I've had the same line of thought regarding the shyness and introversion. I have some social anxiety that makes me not want deal with people.

But I tell you what. Money only flows through people. Animals don't have money. Robots don't have money. Only people have money. You will have to deal with people at some level. Your customers of your websites will be humans, your partners and people you need help from will be humans, and your outsourcers and employees will be humans. And that's great because they're all the ones with the money.

I'm behind a computer all day, every day doing affiliate sites and building sites for other people. I'm constantly chatting to people, getting on phone calls, getting on video conference calls, etc. There's no escaping it, especially in an industry where the entire thing only happens to support marketing. This is a marketing industry at the end of the day.

Yeah, web development and digital marketing will let you avoid people and force you to a lot of times if you do it for yourself. But as the stakes get higher you'll be dragged into interactions kicking and screaming. And you'll make more money as your network grows and you get used to being on the phone and around people without sperging out. I'm only saying this because it reflects me. I wasn't always like this either, but being an internet recluse definitely made it worse.

Climbing out of it wasn't hard either. It's just "exposure therapy." You do the things that make you uncomfortable and the next time it's less of a big deal. Finally it doesn't bother you at all. I feel the same way you do and have done 2 hour presentations and all that since starting too.

Avoiding human interaction will definitely bring instability, and while affiliate marketing based on SEO is definitely not as stable as other things may be, there's some big money to be made. Nothing is stable, really.
 

mj22

Back War Mongering.
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
152
Likes
70
Degree
0
That's what I wanted to say via my nutshell version of a response. Took the words out of my mouth ryry. Good luck OP on your endeavors.
 

CCarter

If they cease to believe in u, do u even exist?
Staff member
BuSo Pro
Boot Camp
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 15, 2014
Messages
2,242
Likes
5,231
Degree
6
@StartingAgain you need to change your attitude towards life - DRASTICALLY. There was so much negativity in your first post I almost gave up on my own life. Watch this video - all of it:


Then watch it again, then watch it again, then watch it again. I listen to it at least 2-3 times a week when I need a kick in the butt to refocus on my goals.

The reality is there are billions of dollars flowing through the internet DAILY. BILLIONS! Whether you are willing to go for it or not is up to you.

Coding is not that difficult - it just about being organized and laying out your ideas and building them so they do not fail. You aren't messing with 1s and 0s all day. The beauty of coding is there is unlimited potential - you can create something from nothing - the only limit is your imagination.

Marketing is also not that difficult - you have a product/service - and there are people out there that want that product/service, whether they know it or not. You simply have to place yourself in front of those people and show them all the benefits and how it will make their life 1000x easier.

Even outside Coding and Marketing - ever job you do for money will require you to interact with people at some level. Unless you are looking to work as a janitor for an office building at nights - big money requires stepping out of your comfort zone.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
19
Likes
9
Degree
0
Coding is not that difficult - it just about being organized and laying out your ideas and building them so they do not fail.
I started MIT's Intro to Computer Science & Programming with Python on edX.org and after the second lecture I was lost and was unable to complete the assessments. A lot of math related stuff in there. I think that made me think coding is not for me.

I have a lot of knowledge in SEO and even PPC, but how will I explain the couple of year absence on my resume? Why would they hire a guy in his mid-30's? That is why I am in a negative spot at the moment. But, I am willing to interact with people and try to change my attitude... just unsure which path to take.
 

Ryuzaki

女性以上のお金
Staff member
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
3,513
Likes
6,513
Degree
7
how will I explain the couple of year absence on my resume?
"I was successful enough at my last position and was responsible with my money to the point where I could afford to take a sabbatical while I had no responsibilities to others... but I'm excited to commit again to a team where I can make a real impact. I want to contribute."

At the same time, you don't have to explain anything. Sending out resumes is a numbers game. You send it out 500 times and somebody eventually says yes. You don't need to worry about the no's. Just have a nice scripted answer for that question in interviews if they want to be nosy. I doubt they will. You're either qualified or not, they don't care what you do in your free time.

As a matter of fact, they need you as much as you need them. It's mutually beneficial. You can walk in there like a king because that's what they want and need. If they act stupid, you don't care because there's unlimited places to send your resume. They don't have unlimited applicants though. They have a handful that are qualified. If you get to the interview you don't have much to worry about.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
149
Likes
112
Degree
1
have a lot of knowledge in SEO and even PPC, but how will I explain the couple of year absence on my resume? Why would they hire a guy in his mid-30's?
Were you building a website in that time? Just put the name of the website on your resume and "Digital Marketer" as the role. It's not lying, just know how to bend reality.
 

SmokeTree

Developer/Linux Consultant
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
224
Likes
404
Degree
1
The difference between a "Developer" and a "Programmer" is the same thing as the difference between a "Freelancer" and an "Independent Consultant". It's the name and the perceived value people have when they hear one vs the other.

As far as "not being smart enough". You were smart enough to get here and realize that there's value to be had in this community. The thing is, people think that when you're a coder that you're some kind of brainiac and coding is only for the "Einsteins" of the world. All you need is good organizational skills, a decent memory and tons of curiosity/drive to learn.

I'm in my mid 40s and I am far from being "set in my ways" because that's one of the biggest traps and a very false sense of security. I also have issues dealing with people face to face, mostly because if someone doesn't want to talk about tech or music, I don't want to hear the small talk, don't want to pretend to be interested and have a hard time acting engaged. There are always clients that don't run their business like it's the 80s or 90s and don't care that you only work remotely. Hell, I won't even do video calls because I think it's awkward and hell if I'm going to sit there with a camera pointed at me. Through it all I still manage to find clients that like what I do and most are repeat clients, either on a monthly basis or the occasional project.

The bottom line is, you can do this. As others have said, the only thing you need to change right now is your perception of yourself. If you ever want to talk shop with dev/coding, feel free to hit me up.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
499
Likes
325
Degree
2
Hey man what's up.

You sound a lot like me, on a bad day.

I have almost exactly the same background, I'm also introvert-ish, but unlike you I actually liked working around extroverts in the digital marketing biz. It's just very important to work in a company with good leadership, if you're an introvert. If you're in a company with bad leadership, then you're going to feel like you're getting trampled on by loudmouths and that there are informal hierarchies keeping you down.

On the other hand, learning to code at mid 30s? Yeah, I don't know, you probably could, but I personally would not want to be a junior developer at your age. Be a coder to be a freelancer and project coder in a specialized field? Sure!

I'll agree with CCarter that you need to change your attitude, you are talking yourself out of everything!

I made $4K last month from affiliate income, from sites I started 12 months ago. I'm also a chronic pain sufferer and can only work 2-3 hours a day. The guys here helped me turn my life around no joke. I'll have to send them cake or something lol. You can read my lab report for the first 12 months here. If I could work 10-12 hours a day, I'm quite sure I'd be at 10K/month already.

My point is this, whatever you choose, you'll actually be able to turn your life around by taking in the advice here and following through, task by task, day by day, month by month.

Good luck!
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
19
Likes
9
Degree
0
Thanks for all of the feedback so far. I have had a look around the local job market here in Melbourne and junior web developer roles seem to pay the same as mid-senior SEO roles. Paid traffic is not something I am interested in either. So, I will start "The Complete Web Developer in 2019: Zero to Mastery" course on Udemy and see how I go.

I will also try to write 2,000 to 3,000 words per day for my Amazon affiliate site. I might create a journey in the lab. Realistically, this project won't reach the level of income required to replace income from a job in Australia ($5000USD+ per month), but it could provide some side income and lead to me having a nice little nest egg if I can grow it to $2k-3k per month and sell it for $60K+.

And yes, I will work on my attitude and general wellbeing. Any cool videos, apps or books I should pick up to help me get back on track? It has been a tough few years.
 
Last edited:

CCarter

If they cease to believe in u, do u even exist?
Staff member
BuSo Pro
Boot Camp
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 15, 2014
Messages
2,242
Likes
5,231
Degree
6
And yes, I will work on my attitude and general wellbeing. Any cool videos, apps or books I should pick up to help me get back on track? It has been a tough few years.
Can I ask what motivates you to get out of bed? Is there some drive, fear, or some other motivation that you have or are missing?

For example - what motivates me is to make sure when me and my wife are retired we won't have to bag groceries to make ends meet. That motivation is what will keep you going when the nights are the darkest.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
19
Likes
9
Degree
0
Well, the main fear I have is homelessness and lack of savings for retirement (financial security in other words). In my case the fear seems to paralyse me instead of motivating me.
 

CCarter

If they cease to believe in u, do u even exist?
Staff member
BuSo Pro
Boot Camp
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 15, 2014
Messages
2,242
Likes
5,231
Degree
6
In my case the fear seems to paralyse me instead of motivating me.
Do you have specific goals/dreams that you want to accomplish. Hard goals - not pie in the sky or "wishes". The difference between a goal and a wish is you work towards a goal, little by little every day versus a wish where you pray to some sky daddy for something to happen.

The little by little each day increment leads to big increases down the road. Example, if you were to improve a website's conversion rate by 1% daily, in a year's time the increases would amount to over 365% - more than triple.

"Today is victory over yourself of yesterday. Tomorrow is victory over lesser men." - Miyamoto Musashi

The greatest enemy, the greatest opponent you will face is yourself. The yourself of yesterday that has a ton of baggage with it. The yourself of yesterday that wasn't willing to do the little extra to help the current present you. The world doesn't stand still and neither should you. But the majority of people are standing still yet can't figure out why they are getting left behind. Improve yourself, even a little daily, and it gets easier the next day. Tackle small fears first, that will lead to tackling bigger fears.

Once you defeat the yourself of yesterday, defeating a regular man that doesn't work on improving themselves is rather easy.

With goals - think short-term (think 1-2 weeks) and long-term (next 1 year, 2 years, 5 years). WRITE THEM DOWN ON PAPER (not a smart phone). Review them multiple times daily - walk around with them in your pocket/wallet. The short-term goals should be the incremental steps to the long-term goals.

Using your example of homelessness - if that is a fear, get a long-term goal of having 6 months worth of rent/mortgage saved up. That way when you are about to go party with friends or order a pizza, since you review your goals daily - re-aligning the moment's priorities, you can say "sorry guys I can't hangout this weekend" or "I've got food in the fridge" cause you have to hit your 6 month goal of saving money.

All goals require sacrifices. When I was in the 9-5 world, I had to save up 6 months worth of savings before I quit my job so I would be "secure". For 6 months and more I sacrificed A LOT. Now-a-days I can go watch a movie in the middle of the day and have the movie theater all to my self in their reclining chair and no other people around chatting during the movie. I don't have to worry about money or anything too stressful.

But to get to HERE I had to make the sacrifices back then. It wasn't an easy road, but it was a lot easier than most people realize. I had a goal in mind, and I WANTED IT, and NEEDED IT, so I did what I had to do to accomplish that specific goal.

Do you have goals laid out for your life?
 

mj22

Back War Mongering.
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
152
Likes
70
Degree
0
For setting and achieving goals, I reduce my 5 yr goals to one yr, monthly, weekly, then daily. As long as I achieve the daily or exceed it, I'm well on my way.

While on that road I'm always re- evaluating my 5 yr goals of where I want to be. It makes things easier to keep it simplified while still progressing forward. Maybe that's wierd but it seems to work for me.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
19
Likes
9
Degree
0
Once you defeat the yourself of yesterday, defeating a regular man that doesn't work on improving themselves is rather easy.
Awesome quote!

Do you have goals laid out for your life?
Not really. I need to work on that.

For setting and achieving goals, I reduce my 5 yr goals to one yr, monthly, weekly, then daily. As long as I achieve the daily or exceed it, I'm well on my way.
Good advice. But how do you break a 5 year goal down into daily increments?
 

mj22

Back War Mongering.
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
152
Likes
70
Degree
0
Depends on your situation. When I started I wanted to be debt free own a home ect in 5 yrs. I broke down what I needed to do to achieve the goal yrly monthly, weekly, and down to min daily production. I focused on that and stayed diciplined, always trying to meet and exceed it. In 3yrs I was able to get debt free, paid cash for vehicle, took a little longer for house to be paid in full and pay cash for a rental property. Anyway none of that matters, what matters is you make a goal and go hard for it. You will surprise yourself of what u can do if u are willing. Even if goals change slightly at least you working in the right direction.

Anyway, good luck on whatever u persue.

Sorry for brief reply, grammatical errors, or misspellings. Is pain in ass to try txt this over the phone lol. Not near my computer today.
 

eliquid

SERPWoo
Digital Strategist
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
634
Likes
1,500
Degree
3
Damn man,

I had to pull back the plastic butter knife from my wrists after reading all this.

You don't need some official degree or training program to code or do marketing. I've never had any in my life and I went from a ZERO that made min wage to making 7 figures in 6 months in this.

Even as an employee, I was landing 6 figure salaried jobs. I've done this both on the marketing side and coding side.

I don't have a degree, and I don't have any training other than self taught.

What you need to do is learn some sales so you can sale yourself to these companies.

And a junior dev doesn't mean anything. There are terrible jr devs and awesome jr devs, where will you be in the lineup?

Companies today are hiring more and more for culture fit and soft skills for ALL of their roles which includes jr devs. Where do you fit in that lineup?

You could be a terrible jr dev, but have awesome soft skills and be a good culture fit for the company and get hired over an awesome jr dev.

Also, don't be afraid to ask for the most money possible, the top of the range. Because the company hiring you has goals and milestones and those wont change ( for the company ) just because you don't know something.

EXAMPLE - A company wants to go from 6M in revenue this year to 8M and decided to hire a Digital Marketing Manager to accomplish that goal with SEO and PPC. The pay range is $40-50k USD. They interview a ton of people and narrow it down to 2. One of them is super techy and a lone wolf and has a ton of experience, the other has just a few years experience and is a team player and doesn't know all the tech, but is willing to learn.

Who do you think they pick?

Most times its going to be the team player with less experience and no tech skills because companies are looking for soft skills and culture fit and also someone that will grow with them over the years. They offer this person the $40k salary. But wait, the company goals and milestones didn't move or become less... The workload didn't decrease, the expectations to hit 8M didn't lower. This person will have the same stress and sleepless nights and final outcomes as the lone wolf with more experience that might have got the $50k.

So in that regard, always ask for the top pay no matter your background experience. The expectations and workload won't change just because the company pays you less.

Summary:
Get some tech skills lined up so you can perform the job basically, but win them over with culture fit and soft skills. Then ask for the top end pay they offer because the outcomes the company expects won't be lowered just because you have less skill set.
 

darkzerothree

DunkelNullDrei
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
374
Likes
263
Degree
1
I started MIT's Intro to Computer Science & Programming with Python on edX.org and after the second lecture I was lost and was unable to complete the assessments. A lot of math related stuff in there. I think that made me think coding is not for me.

I have a lot of knowledge in SEO and even PPC, but how will I explain the couple of year absence on my resume? Why would they hire a guy in his mid-30's? That is why I am in a negative spot at the moment. But, I am willing to interact with people and try to change my attitude... just unsure which path to take.
Dude... holy!

The MIT course is purely academic. There is a reason that is the MIT. You will be challenged to follow, especially as a Junior.
Also, that type of approach is not everyone's.

Get stuff that is more hands-on.. for example "Automate the boring stuff with python" or "Crash course python" from Starch press. Both of those get glowing reviews.

Stepping into at least knowing how things are done in code - even if "only" delegate tasks to some coders - will change the game for you.
 

turbin3

BuSo Pro
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
614
Likes
1,266
Degree
3
I started MIT's Intro to Computer Science & Programming with Python on edX.org and after the second lecture I was lost and was unable to complete the assessments. A lot of math related stuff in there. I think that made me think coding is not for me.

I have a lot of knowledge in SEO and even PPC, but how will I explain the couple of year absence on my resume? Why would they hire a guy in his mid-30's? That is why I am in a negative spot at the moment. But, I am willing to interact with people and try to change my attitude... just unsure which path to take.
Frontend Development
First off, on the web development side of things, it depends what type. For example, backend vs. frontend. If it's frontend, honestly HTML, CSS, and a little bit of JS are all you really need to plan on learning, at least for awhile.

For the majority of frontend stuff you might come across, you don't need to start learning via a collegiate CS-level path. That's overkill. Education in computer science becomes more important when beginning to delve into the backend as well as designing, building, and managing complex systems.

Honestly, for most people that might be considering the frontend realm, I'd say just get started with something like FreeCodeCamp. Watch out that you don't get caught up in endless tutorial hell (aka watching tons of YouTube tutorials while procrastinating vs DOING).

If expanding beyond something like FCC, maybe step up to paid courses through a few of the noteworthy sources out there. NOT udemy. Stuff like Udacity, Pluralsight, Treehouse, Lynda, Coursera, etc. There are many other good ones out there, particularly for more specific and niche subjects.

The important thing is, if you're going to go the frontend route, choose ONE training option like from the list above, and stick with that until completion.

Work & Experience
This is the beautiful part about programming, and particularly with web development. You can start with nothing and create things. Other people can even use those things, and it can have a positive effect on the world. All of that with almost no expense, save for your own "sweat equity".

I've been involved in the hiring process for years. This is actually one of the issues I see with a lot of entry-level front end devs these days. Much of the time, they might not have any publicly-visible portfolio or code repository (GitHub, Bitbucket, Gitlab, etc.). That's wasted opportunity.

Also, some will go the opposite direction and fork countless repos, making trivial changes, thinking they're "building their portfolio". Even if they're not doing that, I'll often see repo forks that are purely from various online training courses. That can be okay, but entirely original work is better IMO.

I'm more interested in the junior dev that has only a few repos, but that show entirely unique work where they are clearly exploring an idea out of their own mind. That shows initiative, creativity, AND drive.

The point I'm getting at with this is, things like gaps in employment, in my opinion, are not really a concern for some roles like this. Seeing that someone is actively thinking and exploring creative ideas, while publicly surfacing some of that work (code repos) is good enough as far as I'm concerned. Especially for an entry-level frontend role.

The more important factors, IMO, for entry-level frontend devs are aptitude and willingness to learn as well as drive and a bit of creativity.
 

turbin3

BuSo Pro
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
614
Likes
1,266
Degree
3
@StartingAgain I wanted to post this separately so it didn't get lost in the mess of my previous post. I'd highly recommend spending significant time reading through eliquid's thread on self assessment and personality. Also, take some of the tests he mentions. It's well worth the time and effort.

It helped me immensely last year in consciously acknowledging some things about myself that lead to certain resolutions that have improved my life.