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16 Things I’ve Learned About Business while Being an SEO Consultant

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 11 years and 216 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

1. Pay extra for premium domains (if you develop them)

If you can’t find and buy a good aftermarket domain and get creative – you need some marketing classes

2. Don’t skimp on hosting

Such a painful expensive lesson to learn.

3. Respect contractors, but don’t overpay

Don’t ever talk down to anyone you work with, but don’t allow people to tell you how smart they are without them proving it.

4. Always pay on time

Evereyone always appreciates this, and you will lose contractors respect if you don’t.

5. Pay attention to cashflow

See above. If you can’t balance cashflow and production, you will cut corners and build a house with cheap parts.

6. Price services for yourself – not for your clients

If you do consulting to pay the bills, make sure you take ample time for both, and charge on the value you provide, and provide the value you charge.

7. Take time for yourself

If you don’t take time off when you need it, you will end up taking surprisingly more time off than you originally intended.

8. Stay unflinchingly positive

When you doubt yourself you lose. Confidence in failure and humility in success is a trait that exemplifies most true heros, role models, and success stories that I’m aware of.

9. Stick with winners, fold the losers

While you’re being positive, maintain enough realism to be a critic and know when you’re beat or have a bad hand.

10. Stay well organized

You can never be too organized.

11. Set goals

1 hour, 1 sitting, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, 2 year, 5 year are generally good.

12. Track yourself

This is why keyword reports and QBtimer ARE a good idea. Adjust your goals as necessary based on your results.

I almost never live by this one, but I’d be smarter if I did.

13. Take lots of notes

I’ve pretty much never thought to myself "self, I wish I had taken less notes during that meeting." When you have a good idea, take a note about it.

14. Only consume news media 10 – 20% of the time (once you figure it out)

Only consume media and information at a high rate while you’re trying diligently to learn a new skill. Otherwise, it is pretty fruitless and will burn you out if it is beyond your capacity for input.

15. Focus on execution, not research

Do something instead of writing another blog post:) That’s why this one has taken quite a while. Build links, write content, learn perl, python, linux, apache, mysql, php, social media, seo, or web design, but don’t sit too long reading about it before you DO it. Do something today, instead of learning, researching, or whining about why you can’t.

16. Be upfront and honest

Don’t bullshit people. Lies will follow you a lot farther than the truth ever will.

More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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  • Sharon Clews

    Great post, thank you! I so love how SEO & SEM truly reflect the business lessons and values. I am particularly fond of #6 and wholeheartedly agree. Really appreciate sharing this kind of information and relating them to business, which sometimes can get lost in the message.

  • Corey

    Great post Todd! I think #15 is my favorite, definitely a good one to focus on!

  • Jen

    Good advice man. I find it particularly hard to charge for SEO, since most business owners don’t understand the work involved.

  • David Cato

    These are some good points.
    For beginners, some of these are things we worry about, but have no idea how to solve. For instance: Don’t skimp on hosting. I’ve searched around for some time, but most of what I read about various hosts is obviously biased. So I’m left to guess.
    Probably the most important of the points in my opinion is 15. That post you linked to is SO right on.

  • Zippy

    Totally agree with the first point.
    I think a good domain has a multiplying effect on the value of an online business.
    Spend more at the start and multiply the profits on exit

  • Stacy Williams

    Todd, thanks for the superb list! Some of these we’re already doing, some I know I should be doing but sometimes fall down on, and some are new points of view I hadn’t thought of. Particularly #14 – maybe that’s why I’ve come back from SMX brain dead – I’m beyond my capacity for input. Well-written!

  • Jude

    For me #15 is the best. Just reading and knowing how to build links, web design, program etc. is useless when not applied.

  • Charlie Ellis

    You forgot #17 – chain talented programmers to their desk and give them incentives to work more efficiently…and loyally.

    #8 makes you legendary.

    arigato gozaimasu sensei

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  • Paul the accountant

    15. Focus on execution, not research

    I found that one to be most relevant. The amount of times I have sat down with the aim of progressing an idea only to end up reading blog after blog and getting nothing done is frightening!

  • Cher

    Great post Todd. Am off to DO SOMETHING right now!

  • Chris

    Good to see you posting again

  • Derek Edmond

    Enjoyed this post and appreciate the insight.

    I’m curious about your thoughts with #3 – talking down to someone certainly is a bad idea but would love any additional perspective you may have on that point.

    Are you specifically thinking about the hiring process – or when you’re already entrenched as well?

  • Free Internet Marketing Gift

    Cool blog! I commented here before, its nice to know there are still some great posts out there. Thanks for the great info. Oh, and G’day from downunder.

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    Yes, thats best think..