Life in 2013

i_am_aliveIt has been a few months, since I have been done an update. I have been getting regular e-mails form various readers, just to make sure I am alive. Well I am and thank you for taking the time to find out.  I initially decided to take a bit of a break from blogging and affiliate marketing in general.

The main reason behind this hiatus was my desire to focus on family issues as well as investing a lot of energy and resources in consolidating my positions/rankings and developing tools and practices for my SEO company. Two month ago, my hunger to develop sites returned. I started to take on more clients and continue with working on some big projects that have been ongoing for last 3 -4 years.

Manual Penalty..

manual spam action

You may also recall, that My blog picked up a manual penalty. It initially came about with me and a friend testing various services and to see how and what triggered a penalty.  But good news is that the Penalty is now removed. What did I do to remove my Manual Penalty (which was about unnatural link building) will be something I intend to describe in the upcoming posts.

Internet Marketing Today

internet-marketingI am a big fan of  The Oat Meal. I saw a while back a sketch that really resonated with me, it really is the way internet is heading now, you can find this here:- How to get more facebook likes . There have always been people who claim to know the answer and have sold services that work/semi work etc. But what annoys me most if why people dont actually analyse and think exactly why they are doing what they are doing!

During my break I got the chance to read, and really take time to know what is going on in the world of internet marketing today. With every update more and more people are dropping internet marketing as a way to make full time living. The influx of new people joining is steady, however the bar for making internet marketing a full time success is so high that it is next to impossible if you dont have the right skill set, and finances.

Services

I decided to look at my Paypal accounts and go through everything for the last 2 years. I wanted to figure out what I had invested and what the outcome of that investment was.

Being a strong believer in testing, I wanted to see how much of my investment on testing has actually yielded results. In the last 2 years I have tried exactly 1124 different services, from various forums and internet. From those I subscribe to 11 on a monthly basis. After ordering each package/work/promise of unheard of riches , I usually give two weeks after the order is delivered to see if there has been an impact. If the impact is positive (position movement of +5 or more) then its assigned a weighting. Weighting scales reflect the ranking position. So a movement of 5 to 4 carries more weight then 30 to 25.

From the 1124 services, I found 21 services that worked!  21!!! that is a pitiful figure. Especially considering the amount invested, I have less then 1.86% return on my investment. Though sometimes it is more important to figure out what is NOT working.

Plans on 2013 and beyond

plans for 2013One of the biggest changes has been me opening and closing offices around the world. I opened an office in Manila (Philippines) a while ago and was very excited, but in all honesty it was the single biggest mistake of my internet marketing career. I found that the skill force on offer there was mainly geared toward Data Entry, and robotic tasks. The development and coding skills were not to my level. It made running an office very expensive, and I made the tough decision to close it down in Nov 2012.

Since then, with the expansion of my SEO agency I am in the process of opening offices in Dubai, Morocco and New York. At the moment lease papers for the offices in Dubai are signed Staff has been hired and work begun. These are mainly sales offices, to give me a presence in the sector. Manned by local project managers and few workers. Dubai office has space for 30 employees, right not I only have 10. More importantly I can only afford 10 at the moment.

Finding enough new clients will be a bigger challenge, especially as the Dubai office is intended to attach the Chinese and Indian Markets. The Scope for any good SEO is immense especially in these countries, as they are just used to spammy techniques that semi work. My agency is not and will never be the cheapest one on the market, however we certainly are one of the most effective ones.

For anyone thinking of doing the same, the process is really really arduous. Aspects like:-

1. IT Equipment (spare laptops etc)

2. Mobile Islands for your nomad workers

3. Really nice Conference rooms

4. Amazing Reception Area, fully stocked!

There just is sooo much, in a business where appearance is everything. I was approached by a prospective client who is extremely well known in Travel and Tourism Sector, they had just done a relaunch of their new site and paid few companies to do SEO reports/proposals for them. Since the launch they have also tried a few of these companies and they came to be desperate, as their ranking were more or less the same.

They hired me as an independent consultant, and one thing that was extremely obvious was the lack of knowledge! This company SEO monthly budge is high 5 figures, and as a competitor analysis they were given yahoo explore links (back when it was live!!) 75 page report was misinformed at best and at mostly worst completely wrong!! The keyword research was done using padded numbers, from broad match. So the company was thinking one keyword will bring them 630K Visitors a month, in reality it would only be 12K maximum!!

I always until recently believed in the quality of work speaking for itself, but after my consultancy was also snubbed by another prospective client. I realized that there is a place for flashy graphics and little things like watermarked paper with embossed logos. Mainly because this kind of stuff impresses the managerial types, who need to see pretty pictures. So I will now be getting those done!

As with anything, learning from what failed is what will define a good business model (especially true if you have the luxury to take a few hits and walk away).

Mansoor-siddique-personal-developmentPersonal Development

Personally, apart from reading and coding I have not really don’t much. Though this year I have set myself a target for getting a  few certifications under my belt. Things like Adwords Certifications, are on top of my list. I will also be splitting this blog into few separate heading, the architecture will look similar to the following:-

SEO

PPC

Conversation Rate Optimization (what is the Acronym for this??)

I have in the past week or so done the number and thought heavily about moving into APPS (both iphone and Android). I have about 4 great ideas for APPS that seem to fill a market, and at least two of these will allow me to establish sites as a brand even further. This is also my Challenge for this year, to make 10K (PROFIT) from APPS and digital media.

Quick notes

Though this blog has never really been about making money from you lot. I have been blessed to be in a situation where I make a comfortable living online, I want to help. So if you have any thought and direction please let me know, either via comments section or through contact me page.

2 Comments

  1. Good to see you back man :)
    Also, have you been opening offices remotely or jet setting around the world?

    Reply
    • Good to be back, I have been doing visits. Its been difficult as sometimes i would leave Friday nights and come back late Sunday Nights. But I cant seem to do remote management on big projects like this.

      Reply

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