You Can Be Smart and Stupid at the Same Time

I consider myself a fairly intelligent fellow. There are many things that I’ve learned in my life that other people find very confusing. Cosmology is one of my favorite subjects, and while I am certainly nowhere close to being an expert on the subject, I can understand most of what scientists are talking about when they are describing the physics behind how the universe works. The average person would struggle just to grasp the basic concepts of many of the subjects that simply come to me with little effort.

At the same time, there are other subjects that shouldn’t be very hard to grasp that simply do not come to me very easily, if at all. I’m not very good at math, for example, not having retained any knowledge of the subject past very basic algebra despite having a college degree with courses in more advanced mathematics. I’ve taken geometry and some calculus and even accounting, but none of it stuck with me for any length of time. I just never really understood any of it.

This is the thing about we human beings: we can be smart and stupid at the same time. Certain things just click with us while others will simply never be a part of our makeup. We can look like a genius one day and the next we can feel like a complete fool. Regardless of your raw intelligence level, there are simply some things that you will struggle with because each of our brains works differently and is good at different things. We are highly specialized.

It was because of my desire to figure out how to get this blog off the ground that this subject has been floating around in my head. One of the big things that any website owner has to figure out is getting their content in front of people. Perhaps the biggest thing we can do to accomplish this is practice the best possible Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that we can. When you can figure out how to take advantage of how the algorithms work, you stand a much better chance of reaching a much wider audience.

The problem for me is that I’ve never really been able to figure out how to make this work. I can understand the basic concepts, like making sure you have keywords that the search engines are likely to put first, but more advanced concepts simply escape me. For example, many of the tutorials tell you that your content has to be optimized to be searchable. How do I do this and still make content that is me rather than a template for search engines? I want my content to be formatted in my style, not something that panders to computers.

This is where my stupidity comes in. Part of it is stubborn pride, I suppose. I want my content to stand on its own and I don’t feel I should have to modify it to accommodate an algorithm. The other part, however, is simply that despite my ability to comprehend many other things, I just don’t get the algorithm. I know there are things I should be doing to my content to make it optimized for searching, but for whatever reason I just can’t figure out what that should be.

The other side of it is the actual website design. If you regularly read my content, you may have noticed I updated the layout a few days ago to separate the blog into the different categories I discuss here. That was mostly for your convenience so you can scan back through my content and more easily find a topic you might be looking for, or so you can skip the subjects you’re not interested in. It was also following the idea that more organized content tends to be better for internet searches. We’ll see how that works out.

I previous posted an article entitled “It Takes Money to Make Money“, in which I said that you have the best chance of finding success when you make investments in yourself. This can be personal education, and that will certainly help to some degree, but sometimes there things that you just can’t do on your own and you need expert assistance. You can’t know everything and sometimes the best investment you can make is hiring someone else to do the things you struggle with.

I believe SEO will eventually fall into this category for me, as I’m fairly sure I won’t be able to build a strong following all by myself regardless of the quality of the content. There are great creators out there with awesome blogs and podcasts and videos, but because they haven’t learned to game the system, they will never find any real level of exposure. There are simply too many of us on the internet and we get drowned out by those people who have figured out the tricks of the trade. In the end, it is only through working with others that we can build something amazing.

What do you think about the variability of human intelligence? Are there things that you excel at which make you wonder why you struggle with something else? How do you overcome the things you’re not good at? When we can identify our weaknesses, we start to realize that we can’t do it on our own and, though it may hurt our pride, we learn to reach out to others to find a way forward.

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