How did you start out as a marketer?
I was a technical writer back in 2007. Started working part-time, as I was also active in pro-gaming during that time.
I was recruited by Bingo (Ventura) to work full-time a month after, and was promoted eventually as lead editor (then sort of handled the operations at his firm later on).
During those days, I wasn’t really passionate about work (or writing/marketing), but I really enjoyed the daily/nightly grind at work (and didn’t realize I was gradually getting better at it).
A year after, I decided to start my own writing team (with friends), but failed miserably several months after. Definitely the darkest stage of my career (but wouldn’t be here if weren’t for that experience). Then a month after, I didn’t stop, I started another company (traditional marketing) – with funding help from my dad (and failed again).
Then I realized I needed a fresh start (a real one). So I started looking for writing jobs in early 2010. I got hired by an Australian SEO company. I originally applied for a writing position, but their managers/recruiters figured that my profile would be a better fit for an SEO position.
I actually hesitated to take the job, but the offer did pique my interest (plus I really needed something new). They gave me access to dozens of SEO eBooks – and gave me a couple of weeks to learn the ropes of it.
The first thing I tried to learn was the HTML code for links (I didn’t know anything about HTML back then). Then from there, I got really addicted to it (I started doing a lot of experiments during my first month as an SEO).
2 months later, I got fired (the client I was assigned to work on fired the agency, and since I was new, they had to let me go). But fortunately, a week after, Simon Slade (Doubledot Media) hired me to do SEO for Affilorama, SaleHoo and Traffic Travis. And a few weeks later, I started my own blog, Kaiserthesage, so I can run my own experiments freely. Then the rest was history.
Looking back what is your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?
In my personal experience (as a consultant), the hardest part in consistently delivering results is juggling multiple clients. It’s very challenging to commit yourself 100% if your focus and attention is divided on several campaigns/clients.
How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?
I got my first client(s) through my first ever blog post at KTS. It was a case study about the first ever site I’ve done SEO and link building to (a gambling site – from the AUS agency who fired me, even though I did good work, just kidding).
It was a 2-part case study, where I’ve shared almost everything I learned in 2 months of working as an SEO. Luckily, some people in the SEO blogging space found it valuable. I received 2 inquiries on the week I’ve published the case study (I’ve closed both inquiries).
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
I get to learn ton of new stuff – every day! There’s nothing more fun and rewarding than it.
Other perks worth mentioning:
- Genuinely help people’s businesses grow.
- I get to meet a lot of really smart people (clients and industry friends).
- It’s also nice to help (or inspire in some way) other people who are just starting in the digital marketing space.
- Being able to showcase our country’s enormous potential and competitiveness in this industry.
We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers, aside from freelancing how else can someone earn online, and what is your advise?
Start a website that you’ll be really passionate about.
Building great websites and getting traffic to it will only even get harder. It will be a never-ending competition.
The only way you can make it easier is if you’re having fun doing it.
The more you enjoy doing the harder stuff (creating really great content, promoting them and learning how to make the site technically superior), the easier you can build a brand, strong following, traffic and revenue to it.
If you were given the chance to build your career all over again what would you do differently so that you will achieve your dreams faster?
I’d probably give more focus on honing my public speaking skills.
How is your typical work day structured?
- Check Analytics
- Work on the most important task for the day (could be a site audit, research, outreach, audit reports/recommendation, testing new things, etc…)
- Pick the best 3 articles I can find to read for the day.
You’ve been tasked with redesigning the company’s brand strategy from the ground up. Walk us through your process.
Step 1: I’ll start looking for what they already have that we can use/repurpose/improve.
Step 2: Check on what the main competitors have (content assets, existing relationships/partnerships, services/products/features, etc…). Assess the areas that the client can do way better.
Step 3: Execute based on what we can do better. Make those areas the brand’s unique selling point. Do we have better products? Better community? Better content?
Focus efforts on emphasizing the client’s strengths:
- Build more support content that will highlight these areas (example: extensive guides/tutorials or case studies on their services/products).
- Establish strategic partnerships with other publishers/businesses that will be beneficial to both parties (co-create content/freemium products, or use their connections by getting links from where they have links as well).
- Build a more robust community by consistently providing what their community needs (like content that are relevant and useful to them).
What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?
I’ve been testing a few new approaches to link building with one of our clients – some of them, I’ve already mentioned on my most recent blog post – since we’ve focused more on our link building services for the past 2 years.
But at the moment, I’m mainly interested and been testing a bit more on rich snippet optimization (optimizing for Rank #0).
What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?
I read at least 3 articles a day (mostly content I find from people I follow on Twitter). I also make sure that I have something new to test each month.
Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?
My blog Kaiserthesage is definitely on top of the list.
One from our recent work at Xight Interactive would be reaching 5M organic traffic (from 40K/month to 300K/month) in over a year for one of our clients. I wrote a couple of case studies on the things we did here:
Which one book/blog post would you recommend every Marketer should read?
Set realistic weekly goals. And stick to it.
If there’s one Marketing Guru you’d recommend who and why.
Sam Nam. He’s a great leader. He built a solid team at DRI. And he made sure everyone from their team will have the knowledge, skillsets and experience to succeed in their career path individually.