Possibly more about Barbara than you want to know
Hi there! Want to know more about the force behind Barbara Williams SEO? Oddly enough, I’m… Barbara Williams. Seriously! Some companies take the name of someone else, or use their maiden name, but not this one.
So how does a small-town Iowa girl end up building a digital empire to provide SEO and killer content in Spartanburg, South Carolina? It’s been a winding road with some significant detours, as you may imagine. And all along the way, I’ve been writing about the trip.
I wanted to be a veterinarian
Growing up on a small farm in southwestern Iowa, we had horses, sheep, cows, dogs, cats and chickens. My best friend was a Palomino gelding that I called Sunny. That was a lifetime ago, but I still miss him terribly. If we lived in the country on more than our half-acre, I would seriously consider inviting at least a pony to be part of our family. He could mow the lawn and fertilize at the same time.
In high school my first ‘real’ job, and introduction to withholding tax (egads), was as my Dad’s office clerk. My father was a general practice doctor, and almost all of his brothers and sisters, plus Grandpa, were medical professionals. Mom was a registered nurse. So, I grew up around medical terminology and at 5, knew what a sphygmomanometer was, how to spell it, and how to use it. During senior year, I worked in the pathology lab at a local hospital, typing up autopsy reports.
But I became a botanist
At college, my job was making pizzas across from the campus. That’s where I met the young man who would become my husband. The veterinary review board took a pass on me as a candidate for vet school, so my major changed to botany. In the spring of my senior year, the USDA offered me a 4-year paid internship. I’d have loved to accept, but my brand-new husband had joined the military and I wasn’t about to get left behind.
Later (much later!), my botany degree was put to good use in my own landscaping business. For 16 years I installed and maintained lawns and ornamental beds in the Southeast US. I’ve learned quite a lot about turf, flowers, weeds and bugs, plus how to keep clients happy. Furthermore, I can back a fully loaded landscaping trailer up our steep driveway, guided only by mirrors, and park perfectly. Ahem. If not for a career-ending work injury, I’d probably still be mowing Bermuda and planting pansies. But that’s what brought me here, so it’s all good.
My extensive experience
I’ve held many different jobs, because we’ve relocated so often. To date, we’ve made over 20 household moves! Yikes, y’all! It seems better to simply list the experiences here, otherwise you’ll lose patience with the scrolling.
- Dog groomer – my parents raised and showed Collies, Schnauzers and Bouviers
- Pizza maker
- Substitute teacher – while my husband was in Viet Nam
- Telex operator – at headquarters of the Singerwerke, in Germany (yes, the Singer Corporation)
- Clerk/typist for a statistics professor at an Iowa college
- Teacher of middle/upper school sciences, then maths, at a private school in SC
- Clerk/typist for an ordnance battalion in Germany
- Riding instructor in SC
- Typesetting/graphic arts company – worked with printers and advertising agencies in Upstate SC for 13 years
- Racing coverage, mostly motocross – stringer for Cycle News on weekends, for 20 years, also created and published our own Southeast racing paper, KnobbyNews
- Freelance writer – various projects, including study helps for medical terminology, among others
- Landscaping company – started with our elder son, using an old Snapper riding mower, a push mower donated by a neighbor, and a curved string trimmer that lasted a week. Built the business to 2 commercial zero-turn mowers, 2 self-propelled walk mowers, and an array of power equipment.
When piriformis syndrome struck, I went back to my writing and design roots. It was time to work smarter, not harder. Thanks to our younger son and his wife, I was part of their successful website design business for a few years, getting up to speed with the help of Autumn Lane Paperie. I’m forever grateful!
The thing is, every one of your life experiences links with something else that appears totally unrelated. Just like in the butterfly effect developed in chaos theory, small actions or happenstances can lead to monumental changes in your life. You never know what’s going on just around the corner, or in other people’s minds.
For instance, way back in my typesetting days, I was unknowingly being trained in SEO. We didn’t call it that, and hardly even dreamed of it. Then, our solution to getting a business or an event noticed was to send out gazillions of postcards or buy radio spots scheduled every 15 minutes. Thanks to technology, the methods have changed, but the focus is the same: Get Discovered.
So… that’s a snapshot of Barbara. Relax with a nice cup of whatever. Get comfy. And feel free to reach out to me with ideas on your next project. How can I help you?