Stephen’s Story

Stephen C Dayton First Mate
Stephen C. Dayton | 1st Mate Alaska Sightseeing Cruise West

Cruising in Alaska

Hi my name is Stephen Dayton and I’m currently a search engine optimization manager for a digital marketing agency, But it wasn’t always the case with my first real career-type job was working in the small cruise ship industry back in the 80s and 90s.

I started out as a deckhand for a company that sailed mostly in Alaska. After a couple of years, I had racked up enough sea time to qualify to take the Coast Guard exams to become a licensed captain and went to work for another company as a Second Mate (a navigational officer – 3rd in command) and by the next year moved up to First Mate (2nd in command behind the captain).

Working on the ships was how I met my wife. She was a cruise coordinator. The downside was that the company we worked for didn’t allow the crew to have relationships so they placed us on different ships. That’s when we realized it was time to find jobs on land.

Microsoft IT Operations Engineer

Yeah, that’s me with my newborn daughter on my lap back in 2002. My work friends spray painted my computer hot pink my monitor and touche lamp pink and hung diapers all over my office. Secured pink and purple sliding doors to my wall and fenced me in with a playpen! It’s good to have friends. The diaper came in very handy, but they were scented, and it took weeks for the perfume scent to finally dissipate from my office. lol

As a member of the Windows Division, I was part of a team of engineers that built and maintained the servers and test machines used to build the Windows home and server operating systems. The work could be stressful at times, but we had a lot of autonomy in our jobs. I eventually became an IT Project manager servicing several teams at Microsoft. I loved helping people and solving people’s problems has been something I’ve found both challenging and rewarding.

In my office at Microsoft with our newborn daughter in 2002.

Stephen Dayton Sheriff for Halloween 2016
Stephen C. Dayton – Sheriff for Halloween 2016

Blogger & SEO

Fast forward to today. I’ve been a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist for a little over 20 years now. I started while still working for Microsoft as a side gig which made me a decent side income from affiliate marketing (20k – 35k per year).

After the economy crashed in 2008-2009 Microsoft initiated layoffs and most of my department was cut and we were replaced by contract workers. That led to me moving to the middle of the country and getting my first job as an SEO for a digital marketing agency and I’ve been doing it ever since.

While I still do SEO as a full-time job I decided to try my hand as a blogger. While doing research for a customer I noticed something about the book industry and particularly the children’s book niche and that was that nearly every Google listing was to sell books with few if any children’s bloggers providing more detail on kids books and thus by side project was born!

Tales in Time provides a resource of information about children’s books to help parents make informed buying decisions for their children.