Andrew Holland is an SEO specialist, online marketer and the founder of an SEO agency called Zoogly Media.
In this interview, he’s going to talk about what he does for a living, how he runs his business and more about his daily life.
Mr. Web Capitalist interviews Andrew Holland
Could you describe what do you do and how you earn your living?
Yes, I am an SEO specialist and I earn my living through a combination of creating bespoke SEO and marketing strategies for business owners and providing SEO services.
How did you get started?
I was a policeman for 17 years and left due to having chronic asthma. However, before I left I had started to dabble in blogging and had some amazing success.
So, I thought to myself that I could try and replicate my results for business owners. So I left the police on a Friday and had my own business up and running on the following Tuesday.
Because I had been blogging, I had a lot of contacts with businesses in the sports Niche, so I messaged a few of them and asked if they needed any work done. That is how I gained my first clients.
And from there I used the results I gained for them to gain other clients.
People love to see results.
What’s your typical workday like?
I drop the kids off at school at 9 am, so I get to my office at around 9.15 am.
From there I work until 3 pm without a break and then head back to pick the kids up.
The school run takes me about an hour, and once at home I do another hour, but this tends to be things like answering emails rather than solid SEO work.
What makes You the most money?
Without a doubt SEO retainer clients. These are people who are serious about growing their business.
Tell me more about Zoogly Media.
Zoogly is an SEO consultancy, agency or whatever people want to identify it as. To be honest I hate labels like freelancer, consultant, coach and specialist.
Even the term SEO is so broad it has to include technical skills, copywriting and social media know how. I tend to self identify as an SEO specialist because that is easier for people to relate with however I am a marketer, that is in my code and if search engines vanished tomorrow I would use leaflets to help a business.
Being a marketer makes me future proof and adpatable.
But if you met me at an event I would say “Hi I am Andrew and I help businesses to attract more of their target audience”.
Are you working alone in this project or do you have a team working for you?
I have had assistants before and it hasn’t worked out for various reasons, but if you hire locally you are limited geographically as to the people who will apply. Therefore if I need help I recruit the best for set projects.
My work is all about results and for that, I use the best.
What’s the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur?
Time management. Time is the asset I have the least of and I am very careful about how I spend it.
When I first started I thought that I needed to work for 8 hours solid, I was obsessed with what I call ‘by the hour’.
With this I mean I thought my output was determined by the number of hours I worked, I even did the whole get up at 5AM thing for a while.
In actual fact, success is determined by the outcome, not by the hour. So, for example, If I slowed down and worked for 8 hours, do I really do more productive work than if I focused and pushed myself hard for 4 hours?
The 8 hour day stems from a term created by Welsh textile plant owner and philanthropist Robert Owen who fought for workers rights, in 1817 “Eight hours’ labour, Eight hours’ recreation, Eight hours’ rest” but it wasn’t until 1915 that a country actually adopted the 8 hour day as standard, nearly 100 years later. Before that people worked 10 to 16 hours per day and did this for 6 days a week, including children.
Well over 100 years later we are still working for 8 hours a day and why? Innovations in technology have allowed us to email, video call and so many other things.
So, I judge my activity based on outcome and not by the hour, every day I try to achieve one single task that will have the maximum outcome for my business. That might be to write 2000 words or have a meeting.
I can answer emails at home on the sofa, I do not need to be at a desk. But managing your time this way takes huge discipline.
Which is your favorite moment in your business?
Without a doubt, it was being featured as a case study on the famous SEO blog, Backlinko.
What is your Top source of traffic?
I don’t believe in high volume traffic unless you are selling an everyday item. I believe in focused traffic. Traffic that really does matter.
So for example, if you had a choice of who could read your work, would it be 100,000 random people or 100 people who could change your life and business through a single deal?
Well I know which I would prefer
So I gain my traffic from Google, LinkedIn and Facebook groups.
Care to tell some less-known SEO secrets for our readers to implement?
Great content. I know that is cliche and no one wants to hear it but still even now 99% of SEO’s would do anything to avoid creating great content.
It is a bit like sales. Everyone avoids picking up the phone and calling people, Zig Ziglar called this ‘Phone Terror’. But as we know no salesperson ever lost their life picking up the phone and dialling a prospect.
But with SEO we have content fear, the fear that no one will read, link to or even share your content.
Google is super smart now, links matter less and less. They know things such as content depth, scroll depth, dwell time and so on.
So content is still the secret to success.
Which are the top SEO ranking factors?
Content, context and links. Google’s words, not mine.
But content and context is key here.
How many websites do you operate?
I have several but none that I spend hours on anymore.
My issue is that I find it hard to become passionate about one thing. Give me a client site and I can become passionate about that because I want the results for them, but I do find it hard to become passionate about a single site, so much that I eat, sleep and breathe the subject enough to put the work in to grow the traffic.
For that reason, I love the variety that comes with clients.
What do you like about online marketing?
Marketing is about making change happen and that is what I love.
I love to see the growth of a business. I love to see the business connecting with its target audience.
Which blogs do you read?
Backlinko (Brian Dean), Seth Godin and Ash Ambirge from The Middle Finger Project are my favourite blogs.
Which books about business would you recommend to our readers?
It all depends on where you are at on your journey. The single most life-changing book I ever read was Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins, it is a roadmap for finding your inner power.
Are there any must-have tools or resources you recommend for internet marketers?
Ahrefs is very useful for SEO’s but other than the standard analytics tools I love Stencil for images.
However, tools are just that, tools. You need an understanding of marketing and that is what people are lacking right now.
Everyone is trying the shock and awe tactics at best or at worst trying to scam people. That is the biggest issue in marketing right now.
Almost every day I see links from people promising the latest Facebook Ad strategy or ‘how to grow your Instagram by 100,000 followers this week’.
People promise the fast track and it rarely works.
Instead, a focus on going after your smallest viable audience is needed. It is not about scale, it is about connecting with the right audience.
What are your goals for 2019?
To further grow the business in a way that allows me to enjoy my life. I don’t want growth if it comes at the expense of my family time.
What does the Internet Lifestyle mean to you?
For myself, it has given me freedom.
I see my kids all the time, I am a very hands-on Dad and before I wouldn’t see them for 4 days due to working shifts.
Have you ever been offered to speak at online marketing conferences? Any memorable moments?
Sure, I have spoken at numerous business events but never a specific online conference.
I am actually quite removed from the online scene, I have the groups that I communicate in, I am now growing my own online community too.
What advice would you give to people just starting out with an online business?
I have created a free course for people starting out online that shows people how they can reach their first 100,000 targeted visitors.
It is 14 days of free training to help business owners to gain more traffic and more profit from their online marketing. Through this I have a growing online community, I am really happy with the feedback from this course so I am not really involved with the online marketing scene.
However, I would always suggest starting with a strategy.
So for example, if you want to gain 20,000 visitors you need to break that down and figure out exactly how you will reach that number!
And also figure out how many you need to convert.
Without those details, you are chasing thin air. You need to know exactly how many clients you need to survive each month.
And from there be laser targeted and make every marketing task you do geared around gaining those clients.
If you liked this interview with Andrew Holland, then read my other interviews with entrepreneurs and SEO specialists.
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