I do the same. And to be honest, I would recommend that over any Steam or Bethesda nonsense. They don't have the same full list of mods, and they sometimes don't get updated accordingly.
As a recommendation, make a nexus account. It's free. Hell, support them if you find it helpful, you get the benefit of faster downloads that way. Then get nexus mod manager, and LOOT:
Add the mods you like from the Nexus site for Skyrim SE:
Once you do that, it'll ask if you want to download them with the mod manager, say yes.
After downloading, double-click the mods to enable them. When enabling, some will have pop-up screens asking about specific things you might want to enable/disable on the mod.
Once you enable them all, if you've loaded LOOT, then you can run that automatically from within the Nexus mod manager, making it a breeze.
Choose the button with loot to organize your mods. It'll save the correct load order for whatever you have.
There are a number of mods I would recommend. I'll post my list later, though I tend to add gameplay mods, not so much graphics mods. The former help me enjoy the game in new ways, but the latter can really tax your system if you aren't careful with them. I tried that with Fallout 4 and quickly tired of the added times for loading anything, as well as the frame rate decrease in some areas to a point it bugged me.