At some point or another, all internet entrepreneurs take an interest in search engine optimization (SEO), because it can be a tremendous source of traffic to your website. SEO, as you are probably aware, is the process used to get your website to rank higher in Google’s (or another search engine’s) search results.
Today’s interview features a professional SEO – Charles Floate, from God of SEO. This young entrepreneur has already accomplished a lot in his relatively short career, including building an authoritative blog about SEO and actually launching his own internet marketing agency.
In this interview, Charles shares his story about how he got started in the internet marketing world, some of his successes and failures, and even shares a couple SEO tips that he believes still work well today.
I’ll turn it over to Charles…
(As always, questions from The Daily Interview are in bold.)
I’m a big fan of your blog, God of SEO, and it’s clear you’ve been able to accomplish a lot both as a blogger and as an SEO. Tell us a bit about your journey – how did you first get into the world of SEO? What types of projects/businesses are you currently involved with?
Well, I got my first computer when I was 5 as my grandma was a kobalt coder and my granddad was a tech geek. So, for my 5th birthday, they got me an HP desktop. (Sounds a bit crazy, I know, but IT was my favourite at school) and I developed my passion for the internet from there.
My mum had her website made about 6 years ago, and the web development agency wanted her to pay £3,000 (roughly $5,000 USD) or so per month for SEO. So, instead of getting ripped off for services she didn’t need, she asked me to help with it as I was already good with computers.
I started out small, reading and asking around on forums I was a member on; that’s when I met Todd Foster from FosterSEO, and he took me on as his apprentice for about 3 years until I was 16 and got my first full-time job with Bootcamp Media at the start of 2013.
Whilst I was at Bootcamp, I started reading blogs and met Mike Campolattano who setup SERPChirp with me. As some of my articles started doing quite well on SERPChirp, I decided to launch my blog – God of SEO, with the help of the Matthew Woodward, and wrote a blog tutorial.
Then, a few months after my blog had grown to about 300 newsletter subscribers and it was continuing to grow, I launched Godlike Marketing, which is my (and the world’s very first) completely grey hat internet marketing agency.
What has been your greatest success (or successes) so far?
This is actually a pretty tricky one, and to be specific makes it even harder. Nevertheless, I think my biggest ever success was my e-commerce article on Matthew Woodward’s blog. It was my 2nd guest post for Matt and I spent about 2 weeks writing it. (Note from The Daily Interview: This e-commerce tutorial is MASSIVE, and I’d really suggest checking it out if you’re at all into e-commerce.)
This was a massive success, and as a direct result of the article, I managed to make 2 sales on my sofa site, generate a number of leads for Godlike Marketing. It’s also been featured as one of the best articles in multiple end of year round-up posts.
Even the most successful people have failed at least one time along the way. What do you consider your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?
My biggest failure is probably when I was a lot younger , when I used to be involved in the “hacking scene.” Needless to say, I ended up with reporters at my door and being featured on the 10 o’clock news.
So, yeah, as soon as that happened (and after a bit of a bollocking from my mum) I left the scene, never to return and to start my career in a more… legal proceeding (haha).
I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask you at least one question about SEO. The SEO-landscape is always changing, and while some things seem to get more challenging, a lot of the same tricks and tactics continue to work.
In your opinion, what is the most effective SEO tactic or strategy that everyday bloggers/website owners aren’t doing enough of today?
Using press releases… Since Matt Cutts announced that they didn’t “pass juice” (or whatever his actual statement said) webmasters, business owners, and a LOT of SEOs, have been staying away from them. I’ve found an epic service, that I use every week to do press release distribution for me and it can build some seriously strong links from niche related sites in a few weeks for under a couple hundred dollars!
(Note from The Daily Interview: I did ask Charles if he could share his press release service, but he declined. Unfortunately – and this is totally understandable – some secrets need to remain a secret in order to stay effective.)
Don’t go by Cutts’ word; I’d take everything he says (or tweets) with quite a large pinch of salt.
Is there another SEO strategy that you’ve found works effectively, that the average person can implement right now?
Yes, it’s super simple as well. You can grab up a .pw domain from NameCheap for under $4 which also includes Whois privacy. Then, you can do some “Switchbox SEO” which is a term coined by Terry Kyle –
Build some private blog network links and even try a couple Fiverr gigs (if you shop around and select them well). If you do this, you’ll have a super powerful 301 which makes it a lot less likely you’ll get penalized.
Let’s take a step back and look more generally at entrepreneurship and blogging. I know you have a lot of great advice to share, but If you had to take your best advice and put it into one sentence or phrase, what would that be?
This is actually taken from my most recent blog post on my personal blog –
Spend your time wisely, and spend your life learning. [Click here to tweet this]
And trust me, there’s always something new to learn… and however “geeky” this may sound, knowledge is power.
What are your favorite online resources?
There are 3 sites that I visit every day as part of my job –
Twitter – People can share a huge amount of knowledge in a tweet and I’ve found some EPIC content using Twitter.
Matthew Woodward – I mentioned Matt’s blog earlier, as I’ve done 2 guest posts on his blog now. His blog offers so much for anyone in the online business world.
Inbound.org – This is a general internet marketing Reddit style site, but the number of times I’ve found really awesome people and content on this site just by visiting the homepage is amazing. (Even if the mods and community are a bit messy.)
For someone who is just starting out creating a blog or attempting to create a new product online, what advice would you offer? What do you wish someone told you about when you first started?
Never be overly cocky and never have “biggest dick in the room syndrome” as everyone can bring something to the table in some way or shape. I’ve met numerous interns that get treated like trash but could do the job of the CEO 100 times better than the current one does.
Grow with the community you’re trying to target and cater to them in every way, shape and form that you can. You’ll soon see yourself at the forefront of your industry.
Finally, where can people find you online?
You can find me everywhere, you’d expect a marketer to be!
Thanks for the interview, Charles! SEO can be such a tricky area for internet entrepreneurs, so it’s nice to be able to hear from someone who is an expert in this field.
What did you think of the interview? What are some SEO tactics that currently work for YOU? Leave a comment below! 🙂