We Keep Moving Forward

I don’t know how to start this blog post so I’m just going to say it straight out: This is my last week here at Bruce Clay, Inc. Friday will be my last day here and then I’m off onto new adventures.
Quote from Walt Disney - We Keep Moving Forward

I’m not joking. I’m not exaggerating. I’m not even sure that I’m breathing right now but bear with me.

Six and a half years ago, my brother emailed me while I was on vacation and told me he had a job for me. It was an intern  position, doing something called SEO copywriting. I’d never heard of it but I didn’t really care. All I wanted to do was write. In fact, even before I started here, that’s all I did. Hours and hours spent at the computer, writing and rewriting and editing but without any discipline and thus nothing really to show for it.

What every person condemned to write dreams of is being paid to do what they’re going to do anyway. One interview later – during which Bruce promised me I would never lack for something to write, a promise so abundantly fulfilled I have notebooks filled of ideas that never got finished – I was hired on to do something I still didn’t understand. But it was writing, that much I knew, so I was excited.

Six years later, we’re a company in transition with huge and amazing things ahead of us. I can’t wait to see where my family here takes the opportunities at their fingertips and I’ll be cheering BCI on every step of the way. For my part, I still want to write but not about SEO anymore. I have worlds in my head that I need to get to. Writing is what brought me here and now it’s writing that’s taking me away.

I grew up here at BCI. With the support of my coworkers and Bruce himself, I’ve gone through some of the hardest and most amazing times of my life. I owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. It goes far beyond simply having a chance to work at Bruce Clay, Inc. For me, it is literally a matter of family – my brother works across the hall after all – but it’s a figurative one too.

I’m leaving the voice of the company in the very capable hands of Jessica Lee and Virginia Nussey. Between the two of them, there will be more blog posts, more SEO newsletters, more SEM Synergy.  Nothing will change because I’m not here. There may be a little less periodic outrage about the status of women in tech and a lot more turtle coverage but I think you can handle that. Trust me, between Virginia and Jessica, there’s going to be so much good stuff on this blog that you’re going to beg for mercy. Virginia will be bringing SEM Synergy back to you every week. Jessica will be coordinating things behind the scenes to keep our clients bringing in the traffic and conversions. I couldn’t be prouder of either of them.

I’ll be posting over on OSM this week, talking a little bit more about passion and risk-taking. I hope you’ll join me there on Friday.

And now for the gratitude.

Thank you, Bruce. For taking a chance on a girl who had no better qualifications than wanting to write and a few college literary journals under her belt. For mentoring me, for sending me to trainings and conferences. For the support when my life was extra hard.

Thank you, Virginia. For being a great friend as well as a great coworker. I hate that I’m leaving just as you’re coming back but I love that you’re here and it’s an incredible relief to know that there’s a fantastic team in place so that I don’t feel too guilty about leaving you all in the lurch. You’re fearless in a way I admire and you probably deserve part of the blame for this decision in the first place. I’m so excited to see SEM Synergy rising from the ashes. (And I promise to keep sending you material for the Friday Recaps.)

Thank you, Jessica. For bringing new skills and a fresh perspective to the company. It doesn’t seem possible that you’ve already been here a year. I’ve learned as much from you as you’ve learned (I hope) from me.

Thank you, Robert. For giving me an adorable niece. Oh and the whole job thing in the first place. (Thank you to Jayme Westervelt, who deserves even more credit or blame for it. The job, not the baby. Also thanks to Jayme for showing me how to gracefully deal with the misogyny that permeated this industry back in the day.)

Thank you to the search community. I’ve traveled all over the country and met so many incredible people who make this industry what it is and I’m blessed to know every last one of you. As fantastic as you are infuriating, there’s never been a dull day in the last 6 years. You have no conception of reality and you are so excited about every tiny thing that you made me want to go out and do more, bigger, better. Someday many, many therapy sessions will all be laid right at your collective feet; I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

Susan Esparza is former managing editor at Bruce Clay Inc., and has written extensively for clients and internal publications. Along with Bruce Clay, she is co-author of the first edition of Search Engine Optimization All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.

See Susan's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (54)
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54 Replies to “We Keep Moving Forward”

All the best to you Susan! :)

Aw Susan, doesn’t it seem like just yesterday Robert and I convinced you to come join our adventure? And what a great adventure it was (even if I did leave it 1/2 way through!)

You’ve grown so much and even though it was always crazy and hectic and at times frustrating, I think it all helped you to figure out that you can go after your dreams. That just writing isn’t good enough for you; you want to write a specific thing (and hey, I don’t blame you for not wanting to write about SEO day in and day out. Why do you think I purposefully don’t write on my blog!?)

Making that initial jump is always the scariest; I can tell you that from experience. And the hurdles that pop up along the way aren’t always easy either but you’re stubborn enough to take each one head on. You’ll do just fine. Just remember every day why you’ve made this change in your life – don’t lose sight of your dream, especially when things seem too far out of reach or too impossible. I have no doubt you’ll succeed – you have that spark in you to do so; that spark that refuses to go out – failure is not an option.

Love you, my dear friend and I’m very proud of you!


Best wishes as you move into the great wide open. You’ve sure contributed a lot to this industry over the years and I don’t know what we’ll do without you. You know I’ve always been a fan and always will be. Keep in touch by any means.

God I’m slow, but damn woman, how … what … no fairs! Please, and I’m serious, do keep in touch. I’ll miss you at conferences. I assume you’ll still be on twitter. (HUG)

Good for you Susan! Best of luck.

Susan Esparza

Thanks, Adam!

Didn’t Bruce used to say something about turning websites into eagles? Looks like you’re flapping your wings about to take off on your new adventure. Best of luck, and keep in touch, after all we have to talk about what’s going to happen in Miracle Day & beyond ;)

Good luck with your next adventure Susan!

A super-classy goodbye post. Go write the great American novel, attend many comic-cons, and follow your bliss!

Alan Bleiweiss

wow. this sucks. Virginia and Jessica are great – so it’s not that. It’s that you’re leaving. us. behind. for greener pastures. or more verdant lands. or something.

and I’m going to miss you Susan. big time. honest.

Fine. it doesn’t suck for you. because of those pastures and lands and such. and your heart’s path.

but our feelings are more important. so stay. kthanksbai

Susan Esparza

No guilt! Guilt is unfair!

Alan Bleiweiss

guilt? what guilt? no guilt intended. just hoping you’ll wake up to the reality that you’re crushing our spirits here in the search industry family.

But if you don’t really care about family, compassion, or respecting the very people who helped you get this far in life, then go – don’t let us stop you. We’ll manage. somehow. painfully. agonizingly.

Susan Esparza

[cries] I’m going to be adding this to the therapy bill that I’m sending the industry, I just want you to know that.

Alan Bleiweiss

since it’s going to the entire industry, I’m good with that. My share will be what? 1/10,000th? :-) #ICanAffordIt

Susan Esparza

You specifically will get a larger share.


Best of luck to you, Susan. Thanks for all of your support and helping us promote SES.

Susan Esparza

Thanks, Byron! It’s been a pleasure.

That’s big Susan, I’ve learned a lot from you and you were my go to person when I needed to ask something, whatever will I do now, best of luck and I’m looking forward to see what comes next your way.

Susan Esparza

Thanks, Joel. Jessica and Virginia will still be here to answer your questions and I’m not going anywhere on Twitter.

I’ve come here about a dozen times now attempting to say something but I always end up deleting it and going back to Twitter. It’s safe there.

Good luck, Susan. You’re a great voice and I’m glad you’re going to start using it in a way that means a little bit more to you. Also, and I didn’t think this would ever happen, I echo Chris’ sentiments above.

Go do big things. And then tell us all about them.

Susan Esparza

It’s always a little scary when you have to agree with Chris, isn’t it?

Thanks, Lisa. I have more to say but I’m saving it for Friday.

Christopher Hart

I am taking a screen capture of Lisa’s comment to keep for use at a later date.

I don’t know what you’re talking about. Obviously someone just hijacked my name up there. I never said that.


Lauren Benedetti

All the best Susan!

The BCI content has always been such a valuable resource and entertaining to read. Good luck with pursuing your dreams as “where there is a will there is a way” :-)

Enjoy the journey.

Susan Esparza

Thank you, Lauren. I’m excited for the future.

Christopher Hart

Hey Susan,
It takes a strong person to start something they haven’t done before and it takes a strong person to leave something they are both comfortable and great at. In this case you managed to do both at the same time.

If you chose your path as well as you have written for this blog, you will have chosen wisely and your success is only a chapter away.

– Chris

Susan Esparza

Thank you, Chris. I sure hope you’re right.

Best of luck to you Susan! I hope your future writing ideas/endeavors turn out just as well as your time at BCI. I for one will miss your writing style and unique industry perspective. However, I’ll also be looking forward to your new career and writing. Good luck! I’m sure you’ll find great success.

Susan Esparza

Thanks, Craig! I’ve had a lot of fun here over the years.

Susan, you’re going to be greatly missed and I’m confident you will succeed greatly in your new endeavor.

You express your thoughts and ideas quite well and I’ve enjoyed reading what you have to share even when we disagree ;)

Susan Esparza

Thanks, Ben.

I look forward to finding out and reading about those other worlds in your head. You mean there is more to write about than SEO? :-)

“Nothing will change because I’m not here.” DON’T cut yourself short. You help form BCI as it is today, and without you it won’t be the same. BUT, it will grow in a different way.

I will cherish fond memories of our conference times together. Heck, I got to put hair combs in your luscious thick locks! ;-)
Much love to you!

Susan Esparza

Well, you have to make it up because there’s no REALITY outside SEO… :D

You’re one of my favorite people, Dana. I’m going to miss you a lot.

ROFL – Reality… It so often feels like a foreign concept in our little sphere. But then I’m constantly reminded of our bubble every time someone pronounces the name of my company as “Yo Yo Sayoe.” Yes, there is a whole world outside ready to be documented and perspectivized! (I’m coining that term!_

I am going to miss you very much, Susan. You’ve put so many ideas and perspectives on the table. If I could chose one phrase for you, it would be “thought provoking!” You’ll go far in whatever you do, for sure!

Susan Esparza

I’ll report back from the wilds of the “real world.” Who knows, there might be life out there!

See ya Susan! Good Luck!

So many times you made me laugh out loud! I’m going to greatly miss you, so you have to promise me you’ll chase your dreams and keep spreading your wonderful humor wherever you go. Big hug :)

Susan Esparza

Thank you so much, Kim. You’re one of my inspirational women that I’ve looked up to the entire time I’ve been in this industry!

Wow, big news! Congratulations on your success! I second what Annie said – you’ve done an amazing job and I can’t wait to see what you do next. :)

Susan Esparza

Thanks, Heather! You were one of my first stops when I tried to figure out what the heck I’d just agreed to do for a living!

Wow! Congrats, lady! You’ve done an amazing job and will achieve new heights with your new assignment. Hope you’ll still be on Twitter.

Susan Esparza

Definitely! You’ll never pry me loose from Twitter!

Congrats, and best of luck!

Virginia Nussey

I’m totally holding you to your promise. I expect recaps as full of Susan finds as ever. How’s that for fearless? ;)

Seventy-five percent of my Friday Recaps were Susan finds. I feel lost …

Wow! Congratulations!

Susan Esparza

Thanks, Kristi!

Just when I was thinking I might get to meet you at a conference sometime soon! :-(

I understand all about having to leave something behind to pursue something else. Kudos to you for being brave enough to follow through with it, and do what’s going to make you happy.

I wish you all the best, and hope to still hear from you on Twitter or G+ or whatever other social thing comes out next year. :-)

Susan Esparza

Come to Comic Con! Or Dragon*Con. I still owe you that cider.

Hahaha! Comic Con is a bit of a trek, but giving serious consideration to Dragon*Con!

Susan Esparza

This will be my first D*C.

Wow. Big news and exciting at the same time, because we know you’re off to do some incredible things! You brought technical skill, talent and sass to the BCI brand and family for as long as I’ve been in the industry. Keep writing, can’t wait to read your first novel! Also sending a virtual hug and warm wishes for the adventure ahead.

Susan Esparza

Thanks, Rhea! I’m excited for the future even though leaving the nest is going to be scary.


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