SEO Pros: Craig Dewart @ MyContentPal & Link City
Content & links – both massive pillars in the SEO world. And before you get into that, building a career and landing a job is pretty important too. That’s why I brought Craig Dewart on the show this week. Craig operates 3 x SEO business dealing with content, links and SEO recruitment – so we spoke about all three.
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Unknown Speaker 0:00
Hi guys, we don’t run ads on this show, we don’t try and make money from it. We don’t even really promote our agency on it. So we’re not asking anything of you normally. But I do have a little ask now, if you’ve enjoyed the show, if you’ve got value from it, if you could please go leave a review wherever you get your podcast. It’ll really help us get this show in the hands of more listeners and help more business owners. All right, let’s get into the show.
Unknown Speaker 0:23
It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization, so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your hosts, Michael and Arthur.
Unknown Speaker 0:45
Hello, Michael Causton. Here it is time for another episode of the SEO show. So this week, I have a special guest on the show. Well, all guests are special. But this one’s a special guests as well. His name is Craig duat. Now Craig actually runs three different SEO related businesses. One is in the content space. One is in the link building space. And the other is in the recruitment space. So especially recruiting SEO people. So he’s got exposure across three different parts of SEO, three different types of customers, three different types of service offerings, I thought it would be cool to bring him on as an SEO Pro and talk about how he got started in the world and how he learned, of course, all of that sort of grounding stuff. And then each of those different pillars or the different businesses he runs, what are you seeing out there in the wild at the moment running those businesses. So let’s jump over to our chat now with Craig Jewett.
Unknown Speaker 1:38
Hi, Craig, welcome to the SEO show. For people who may not have heard of you. If you can, please let us know a bit about yourself and your background. We’ll get going from there. Cool. Thank you for having me on. So I’m Craig, I’ve been in SEO for probably close to eight years now. It’s been a while and been in the game since it was just before I was 18.
Unknown Speaker 2:01
The last two years, two plus years, I’ve been running my own agencies or on free or an SEO for hire my content powered on link city. So like cities, Link boom, complete my cutting power as a content company, and SEO for hire as an SEO specialist recruitment company. So yeah, we run all free, mainly based in the UK, but we have staff or in the world now.
Unknown Speaker 2:25
And yeah, we help SEO to better SEO.
Unknown Speaker 2:30
Awesome. Well, I actually came across you via my content pal on Twitter. That’s where I first became aware of you. And I thought it’d be great to be on the show to have a chat about that. Because you you’re touching on a few key aspects of SEO there particularly content and links through the two brands. And then of course, hiring people building a team, which is getting harder and harder these days with the skills being in demand. So I wanted to cover off, I guess all of those topics as we chat. But
Unknown Speaker 2:55
I always like to find out from people how they got into SEO, you know, where did they discover it? What was it sort of a conscious thing? Or did you stumble across it? And maybe if you could tell us a bit about your travels to get started? And then we’ll move into chatting about the different businesses you have on the go.
Unknown Speaker 3:10
Yeah, so I used to DJ. So basically, I was quite young, I was like 17, no one would give me like a gig, no one would hire me as a DJ just had no experience. So I ended up running my own club night. So I’d hire the radio to onset.
Unknown Speaker 3:27
I did that every seven or eight times realised it was quite hard to hire a venue like they never made it easy. So I started a website called venue guru. And then I went and got an investment. And I don’t know why that that’s but I literally would go by all the local businesses chapter in the door and ask for money. And one of the people that I asked we called Colin Boyd,
Unknown Speaker 3:49
you wanted the record shop. I didn’t know you run an SEO agency to so calling give me investment when he was one of the investors.
Unknown Speaker 3:57
The startup eventually failed, but call them when Why don’t you just become an intern for my company? For Okay, I’ll do that. And so I did
Unknown Speaker 4:08
an apprenticeship with Colin Boyd digital, what my way to the top of his company. And yep, managing outreach team there.
Unknown Speaker 4:17
I spent quite a few years there. And again, just going from like being an intern to manage an outreach team, or for a few years give me so much experience that I remember going to his house one night and asking to build this team.
Unknown Speaker 4:33
And luckily enough, it was at a time when they were also thinking of building this team. So they gave me a shot. Not sure why they did back then because I was young. I was managing people we all do, but think that they might not be through. And I got to I mean like one of the big clients was Groupon. So I was going on weekly meetings with Groupon. I was managing a campaign for them and it’s a tonne of weeks.
Unknown Speaker 5:00
beans that early on. So I think my hunger is always helped me scale to this point. And we suddenly get all these free agencies, but also had a lot of experience from the very early days of my SEO career. And yeah, that’s what that’s what started it all came from DGN.
Unknown Speaker 5:20
Well, we have a lot in common actually, because I used to run club nights and events and DJ full time as well before I became a DJ. So that’s the chat for another time. But um, you mentioned there that you ran a the outreach team. Does that was that a segue into link city, your link building agency? Or what was your sort of first move once you moved into doing stuff yourself? So I actually became fascinated with EECOM products. Back there, the goal, obviously is go through this. We have this power to
Unknown Speaker 5:52
write whatever we want, technically, we can see the keyword research, we have access to big data. And you it’s very, very easy to get distracted with ideas, and I had no idea of week.
Unknown Speaker 6:07
I just wanted to do also that was like a big failure. I eventually went and joined this company, the it was not fulfilled by Amazon. It was a Ford package, company for ERP. So basically, they would bring products and the Chipo people. So I got to see and see what the health industry in supplements, and actually went to Sweden and made my own.
Unknown Speaker 6:32
What’s it called a probiotic for this brand. So that was fun. So I got distracted with that for quite a while after I left Boyd digital. Then I tried to freelance while I was doing all this I was trying to build an E commerce product company trying to build an ACO freelance company, which is sucked up because as much as I had all this SEO experience, I didn’t have the social skills, I didn’t have the SEO skills. I also had a redacted ego, which I think’s very easy to get, especially when you’re young. And you have these skills.
Unknown Speaker 7:02
Yeah, I remember trying to get clients and telling them I was 500 pounds a day.
Unknown Speaker 7:08
Which is like, clients don’t want to hear that. They want to hear what you can do for them and then hear the price. And I was just being like, Yeah, I’m 500 pound a day. It’s never gonna work. So I had a float before. Before I went freelance and that floor. Yeah, took about six months before it dried up. And that’s why in a fall, okay, cool. I met a guy that actually hired a few years before for boy digital, or what happened, you need to claim them and he declined the offer or a boss declined. And I can’t remember. But I remember really liking them. And for some reason, I ended up speaking to him, again at this point. And he suggested we do a link building agency. He had exchange links, and we had a database. He had money, he had a successful affiliate website. And I obviously had this experience running an agency not running the relating within an agency. And I got to see her call in and grab data to
Unknown Speaker 8:03
look, I think that’s one without their mentorship and I wouldn’t be where I am today. Like I really wouldn’t, he opened a lot of doors.
Unknown Speaker 8:12
And it was good to see the different types of management and how they both operated like Colin was one of these guys which for a while and see what stuck is very, very, like experiential use like blackcat he has been in the game a long time. Grant was really good at corporate see the managing agency so I’ve seen both sides.
Unknown Speaker 8:33
And yeah, I just wasn’t prepared to be a freelancer. And I think a lot of freelancers aren’t I think they go in with that ego again with big intentions and big goals. And they’re very, very quickly get impostor syndrome and very quickly get disheartened by how tough it actually is. The truth is freelancing. Half of it isn’t even SEO is literally sales and everything else that goes along with it and I just wasn’t ready for it. So that’s why I started like setting which was really good for me because it was a product so we use it to sell a product and a service in my opinion, especially when you’re selling to experience SEO is so I would sell the product and when it was the buy in because they know they’ve already bought into SEO they’re selling Oh no, they just sold the parts they need so way easier to sell within like a couple of months ago 10k A month and that started this whole venture
Unknown Speaker 9:27
great awesome so um, yeah, your your Business Link city, you’re largely selling links to other SEO agencies. You maybe have you built a outreach team that runs the the outreach efforts for Link city just sort of brought what you knew from the old agency over to that service. Yeah, exactly. We changed a few things like we use pitch box and stuff no errors in our agency we use Buzzstream.
Unknown Speaker 9:53
Same kind of set up, but I use obviously Filipinos and digital
Unknown Speaker 10:00
Wash pro should be telling you their processes. But yeah, we didn’t change some things, we just kept improving on improving on
Unknown Speaker 10:07
what links CETI. Again, like, certain things, he was killed, but there’s plenty of Link builders out there. So we had to make it different. So we mixed it up. We know make sure that that. So if we get your placement on our website, we’ll make sure it has a high entity match to your target page as well. So we do things that we also found that like a lot of these providers would build links, and then three months later, or they will be the index or whatever becomes an orphan page, Google doesn’t crawl again, and the your links and this often page doesn’t provide any value. So we have been working on making the product different.
Unknown Speaker 10:45
And making it more bang for your buck to add value. So we’re always working on things.
Unknown Speaker 10:52
But I actually failed. You know, as soon as COVID had we lost all the clients because it’s a product based business, like many SEO Services agreed or paused or stopped. So he lost our clients within 48 hours when COVID. And that’s what causes the pivot because I never, by the way, I never liked content. I hated content, but passion, couldn’t read content at all. And again, that’s because it’s quick, tough to get into. And back then I was looking for the easy way out all the time.
Unknown Speaker 11:22
But yeah, of course, it didn’t happen, I would never get into content.
Unknown Speaker 11:28
Okay, cool. Well, on the topic of links, before we move over to my content power in a moment, but when you say everything dried up during COVID? How are you still running live links? It is still a push for you? You’re still running it? productize? Are you maybe shifting to trying to get retainers, you know, monthly subscriptions? Or has it been more, you know, that experience has told you you should move over to content and try and I just diversify. Yeah, for good. Like eight months, we stopped releasing links. And then we had a couple of clients that would continue to buy length by links, they just kept going, which was good, because it allowed us to work on the product, and then use the regs for all and stuff. And the beginning I would vote on affiliate sites as well. But
Unknown Speaker 12:13
I don’t know, they got to a point where we were getting so many clients and in so many different niches. The some of them were in the same niches that we were both in season.
Unknown Speaker 12:23
And I feel
Unknown Speaker 12:25
I’m not sure I felt like it was stepping on the toes, I felt like it was a conflict of interest. So I stopped building affiliate sites for so long.
Unknown Speaker 12:34
But anyway, Link city just kept running, it kept doing its thing maintains after we brought it back, it easily maintained like 10k plus again for quite a while,
Unknown Speaker 12:43
which is pretty decent. And again, I like just to keep the team there keep running, it wasn’t running at the same capacity that it could have been the rebellion for anyway. But eventually, when I got my content pile up and running and had it some managers and it was doing its thing, I did move back to Lake City, it’s actually done the whole flood now that link cities my main focus just now my content pile is completely cruising like my content powers doing its own thing. I have a really, really solid team, there
Unknown Speaker 13:11
are no back links, because I think we’re the we EI is going away. Everything’s going just there. I reckon it’s gonna be another big question links. Whereas for quite a while they everyone was
Unknown Speaker 13:22
nearby a shitload of content? And that answer question. Yeah, yeah, you did.
Unknown Speaker 13:30
So essentially, I guess the reading between the lines that you’ve got that diversification going, if one’s doing well, you can focus on the other. Likewise, if something tanks, you can move over to the other one sort of have that redundancy, which is awesome. I love that approach and serving different markets within the SEO world, which is great. You touched on a few things I wanted to chat about, you know, AI and moving away from content to links. Before we get into the chat about AI and content, that sort of stuff. When it comes to links, you know, with with our agency with the link building we do we have pretty strict metrics. And I guess, ways of assessing links. I was wondering with you, do you have an approach that you take to links, you know, like, what makes a good link in your world? What should listeners be looking at when they’re trying to weigh up links or quality links? So I always tell my team, as long as you can make a case for that, like, I’m happy for you to build it. But if a client ever came back to me says Why did you build this and you have no reason and I’ll be pissed off. There’s no excuse for that. So we look at a number of different points that we vet each link very carefully
Unknown Speaker 14:42
and burnt out broken links. So for example, you’ve seen sites and you see this more and more these days to
Unknown Speaker 14:48
hit them send them like 40 5060 plus links out a month and they’re all paid guest posts. And for me, that’s a send them links in the way as
Unknown Speaker 14:59
Unknown Speaker 15:00
Chess. Yeah, it’s just not a good fit. And it’s harder and harder to defend things that aren’t they’re not these days because everyone’s doing outreach. And it really is tough. We do sell and Dr. Burr is more just to kind of break our links into an industry standard. Like for me, if I wanted to, I can manipulate Dr. Rivera easily are really good. And one thing we always look for as well is trying to build that kind of topical relevance. So making sure that organic keywords are similar to our target URL, making sure that we can again, like I said, I would have case for
Unknown Speaker 15:33
and then again, like looking at your already stuff like ankle profile is nothing too spammy in there, or has the best, the other thing is more looking for things that are going wrong. So has there been a huge decline in traffic? If so slightly scary. There’s something going on there, I don’t really want to build that Google isn’t enjoying it anymore. isn’t given that site love and why will your link stick the other thing is well, it’s just looking at the site, and straight up seeing if there’s any dangerous footprints there.
Unknown Speaker 16:04
It’s becoming harder and harder for links right now, especially because we are fussy, and that’s why we charge high rates, too. We aren’t doing the whole maths, but he’s been saying I’m more of a quality over quantity sort of person.
Unknown Speaker 16:17
And I think that also intrusive too.
Unknown Speaker 16:20
We are doing a lot more to blink. And now
Unknown Speaker 16:23
because of think, yeah, really does pack a punch when you do to blink and as well.
Unknown Speaker 16:30
But then obviously the content as well. So even if you’ve got a say.
Unknown Speaker 16:35
Like even if you got to say it’s totally irrelevant, but then you’re putting on content. I had a lot of people doing this, they’re just using some
Unknown Speaker 16:41
some writer who’s offshore English is their second language that didn’t 500 words.
Unknown Speaker 16:47
Like Google hasn’t really index that shit. But they may bought again,
Unknown Speaker 16:54
as the website liberal links to internal and external and after not, is that PHP to be proud of free months? When we’re building links. Now we are, like I said, trying to get high into the match. So we’re trying to make sure that the page that you’re linking to, and the page that we’re writing for placement, has high entity match otherwise, I actually don’t have any proof for this yet. And we’re working on just No, but it makes sense. It makes sense. If you look at who suffer and that works to
Unknown Speaker 17:23
f these pages are very similar entities, then I should spec and that’s just, it’s no extra work for us, really. So why not? Huh? Yeah, I love that. I love that approach that a lot of that is similar to how we do things. But your take on entity match there makes a lot of sense. What are you just calling it like? Are you using Google’s natural language preview tool to figure that out? Are you using other software to you know, run one site through see what the end of the matches? And then the linking site through? What’s your general approach to that? So we’re actually building our own tool? So currently all it does it buy it just pulls from tax reasons that API. So if you if anyone watching just goes to tax raiser,
Unknown Speaker 18:07
you can put the target page, put it in there across the shoreline. These are all topics and stuff. We just have run until to make that easier.
Unknown Speaker 18:18
I mean, to be fair, you could just use suffering, if you will to but that would be expensive. Separately charged more.
Unknown Speaker 18:25
Yeah, no, cool. I really like that. And I’m face value. It sounds like something that makes sense. And would you know factor into the ranking side of things so cool.
Unknown Speaker 18:35
You touched on content there, you know, the content being an important thing. And obviously that’s a pretty good segue into my content pal business you’ve got going there. So I see Link city people can come to you by links its product is link building that makes sense. What’s what’s my content pal? Do you know that’s different from the link city approach? So content is expensive. You need a lot of
Unknown Speaker 19:00
again in the beginning, so like how we started my content power programme today, it’s like the
Unknown Speaker 19:07
end the beginning, we were just trying to get people affordable content that was optimised by software. But since then, like we’ve we’ve taken us two years to get to this point. Like we are constantly working on improving and constantly training. Like we have a weekly workshop where we just look at one part of content. And I told you earlier like I hated content, like it was the worst thing ever. For me. I remember having to write guest posts back in the day. And I found it horrible. It was like one of the most draining things for me. But now I really appreciate it. I appreciate the importance of content obviously because I’ve been forced to with my content pile. The only reason I started my content pile was because there was a big gap in the market back then.
Unknown Speaker 19:46
Software SEO was taking off the wars agencies out there believe like what eight isn’t that a bit of both for a long time.
Unknown Speaker 19:56
But there was still a gap in the market, especially for suffer optimizers
Unknown Speaker 20:00
And then, and then we just leverage that that was the first thing like I managed to get a contract returned your first words, I wrote the whole thing myself and a month.
Unknown Speaker 20:10
Like that content that I wrote back then would never pass just know well, our standards, but then it back then start the company. And that’s how it started. But again, for we have three teams, we have a prep team, we have the writing team, and we have a perfect team.
Unknown Speaker 20:28
I think most writers SUCK IT proven, it’s just for us to do, which is why we put a lot of money into printing, we were very careful with who we have for printing, very careful who we hire for all three parts, to be honest, but most of the peripheral team because that person has to look at content,
Unknown Speaker 20:46
like the camera in snf. And that’s the thing, they have to stare at words all day, huge walls of words, which makes your eyes go square and stuff. So there’s other things you put in place to like, we kept home, how long they can prove per day, how long they can prove per week.
Unknown Speaker 21:01
There’s like strict requirements and like we can’t go over them. Otherwise, we found that deterioration.
Unknown Speaker 21:09
Things could slip.
Unknown Speaker 21:11
With the prep and team, that’s essentially just sign up for SEO success. So I don’t want my writers focus too much and optimization, because I find that writers aren’t like that writers are very creative people, they want to get into flow, they want to just enjoy their craft, they don’t want to have to worry about search engines. So we that we know how to prep. So we understand the basics of it. But we have people that can prep for them. And what they do is they basically look at so they’ll go to Setup, they’ll build their jobs to build a comprehensive page plans, they’ll look at, people suggest people also ask questions to look at your competition, then builder ahead upon from that
Unknown Speaker 21:55
phrase, to use and phrase Love phrase. Now, I think the outline builder is unreal, there’s some really, really cool parts of phrase that I like. And also something I’m playing around with praise just knows that originality score, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but that’s quite a new feature.
Unknown Speaker 22:12
But yeah, back to the prepping team. They have to set the article up for the writer. So they will create software dog, they’ll change the settings in the back end of software.
Unknown Speaker 22:22
And they’ll take the clients brief, and just made sure everyone on that page is ready to go and put in some citations and stuff we know offer advanced briefing service to which incorporates market news, which is really cool. So we use Cypher for optimization. We’re then using a phrase procuration NMR, no planewave marketmuse For topic modelling.
Unknown Speaker 22:44
So again, prefers as their job data and send it to the writer writer comes in great content, I don’t tell my writers to stress over the score at all, like the only reason we’re using software is to give them an idea of the key words, I say focus the top 25% of the keywords, and then that set like actually do that and the prep has done their job, they will almost always had 65 plus and so far without even trying. So then if they then try and get the keywords in, they will usually get to 70 plus, and I’m much like I prefer to go to 70. Plus, do Morocco send that to the client. I don’t think the client should be trying to get to 90 plus 100 plus optimise articles, but I think we should do is
Unknown Speaker 23:29
get it indexed, let it rank for free for six months, then review and Search Console what keywords are coming in, and then such a lesson keywords that can make that piece better. But do that after the first six months don’t do that from day one. Because then you run the risk of all for optimising right.
Unknown Speaker 23:47
So that’s our approach think was the perfect team, they will proof and edit that work and either send it back to the rater or they will send it to the client. And that’s that’s the process really the lot more to it. But I can talk about all there.
Unknown Speaker 24:03
Now that’s brilliant, really interesting. And what would I you know, let’s say I’m a client I, I want to 2000 word article done on you know, X topic, what sort of a turnaround time because it sounds quite involved, they’re quite different to going on text broker and getting you know, something turned out or, you know, using AI tool or something like that. But what is the sort of turnaround time on a typical piece of content? Honestly, depends. There are biggest bottlenecks the perfect team, it’s hard to find prefers. So we aren’t the fastest, we’re not the cheapest but we are the best quality I think so anyway, look in our reviews say that too. We’re just constantly good reviews online.
Unknown Speaker 24:45
With turnaround time, we could get you It depends on what you’re into. Right if you order like we’ve had some clients, like half a million words, like share our content, we had someone ask us for 3 million words in a month. Like we could never do this for you. We just get them
Unknown Speaker 25:00
to do up here,
Unknown Speaker 25:01
but yeah, back to turnaround time, minimum, like Sorry, like, yeah, minimum seven days, like, there’s no way you’re gonna get something quicker than that. The team that was through all three teams took in like two days per team.
Unknown Speaker 25:15
Which Yeah, it does take time, but we don’t rather wait a little bit longer just to make sure it’s done. 100%, right, rather than get a really quick and then send that back, which happens at the margin with a lot of agencies.
Unknown Speaker 25:27
And like that, as well as to, you know, like, I won’t, I wouldn’t say we don’t get anything returned. With the first few articles we, we always say to people to because we used to only have a minimum order of 3000 mods, but then we opted to 10,000. And people stay with us longer now we get more clients now. And the reason I think that is is because when you order just one article, we may match up with the run rate, or we don’t fully understand the content is very subjective. So we don’t fully understand what you’re after yet, because almost every client sucks in brief, and they used to produce really, really bad briefs. And it’s only after they’ve seen the article, they remember to add stuff. And so it’s usually only by the second or third article where we get right and smash it. And then after that point, like we’re saying, like I said, since offering from free foods and worth 10,000 words, or less in volumes increased, and people are staying longer, or they’re more.
Unknown Speaker 26:23
And I think that’s why is because we get a better chance to get to know you as a client and get to know what you’re looking for and your needs.
Unknown Speaker 26:31
But again, watch those diamonds are prefers. So we don’t have that many purpose hard to find prefers. And again, we have to cap them and you know, really do each week. So if I can get more prefers, we can scale a lot more, because not easy to find writers, but
Unknown Speaker 26:46
we can there’s a lot of people out there wanting writing jobs. So what kind of careers that they could fall into they could become a writer, but also, well, yeah, I only like 95% of the people that do testing, they all fail that only 5% actually pass because we have a written test. And that’s quite a long process to be for. So yes, seven days minimum, probably it will be two weeks.
Unknown Speaker 27:11
Okay. Well, what you’ve just covered, there is a good segue to chat about your other business, SEO for high, you know, the difficulties of finding stuff. But before we do that, just on the topic of content, I just wanted to get your thoughts on AI copywriting. And you know, the quality of the tools, maybe the pros and cons, helpful content update. And I guess being a content agency owner, you would probably have some pretty strong thoughts in that space as to, you know, the standard of those tools and whether people should use them or not. So yeah, what do you reckon about AI copywriting tools.
Unknown Speaker 27:46
Unknown Speaker 27:49
I actually like AI, funnily enough, but we don’t use it. And I don’t think writers can use it. I don’t know how you would manage that. We have 50 plus raters. I’m not sure how we would
Unknown Speaker 28:02
give them AI and expect them to use a like saying that implies I don’t have trust tomorrow, or is it but we do have a lot of people. And certainly one person using it wrong runs, the rest guys lives in a massive climb. So we don’t use AI at all.
Unknown Speaker 28:22
I’ve been playing with AI a lot more recently on passive and stuff. And that because it’d be silly not to run a content company. It’s one of the biggest threats that company a long time ago either bought with the idea that AI could
Unknown Speaker 28:36
triple my content. But I really don’t think you can I think people
Unknown Speaker 28:42
Yeah, I don’t think people fully appreciate content. So then you look at AI and you see it produce all this fluffy content. But for me, it’s very, very weird. Like I can show my writers a piece of AI content, and just ask them to AI or not. And look, tell me AI.
Unknown Speaker 28:58
Some cases you can see it, like some cases if the topic isn’t that technical,
Unknown Speaker 29:04
as pretty good, but
Unknown Speaker 29:07
I don’t know I don’t like I think it encourages bad habits, and I think
Unknown Speaker 29:13
encourages people to skip stuff. And in the end, I think Google
Unknown Speaker 29:19
has got a good chance to figure out that’s for sure there’s there’s tools out there just know that can detect AI, they aren’t that good as a mess sometimes, but they can do it.
Unknown Speaker 29:31
Yeah. And also, by the way, we had someone do a test on my content, how they tested my content, how they tested for the free other agencies and any item, which is critical test.
Unknown Speaker 29:44
We came out on top. Luckily, it was good. But the AI that they use to actually suggested information would have killed their user. So in terms of like fact checking stuff is wild like you really do need to
Unknown Speaker 30:00
Ensure your articles are fact check that’s just truthful. It’s not complete fluff fabrication,
Unknown Speaker 30:08
your responsibility to uphold content that makes sense and doesn’t care with someone. So
Unknown Speaker 30:15
yeah, that was quite a cool case study for us.
Unknown Speaker 30:19
But yeah, I’ll put my foot on the side. I think it could be good. I think it’d be good for writer’s block. I think if you get stuck and can’t figure out what to write next, it can prompt good ideas.
Unknown Speaker 30:30
Playing around with it for tweets, I don’t think it’s any decent. Yeah, I don’t think it’s good. Yeah. But again, it’s been good for writer’s block for me.
Unknown Speaker 30:40
That’s the only use case I can see. writer’s block. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 30:46
I’m inclined to agree like I’ve played around with different you know, the the tools for Twitter that supposedly write tweets for you. And they just make no sense or they can supposedly write copy using different copywriting frameworks like sales copy, but you put your your prompts in, and you can see it just lifting passages of text wholesale of some other businesses website and putting that out there. So then you just need a person to edit it and rewrite it all and work on it. So you may as well have it written with the approach that you sort of covered off before with that, you know, planning, writing, editing, and you’re probably going to come out in front anyway. And yeah, sort of see a lot of content services or maybe content, freelancers, copywriters, you can sort of tell when they’re using AI, and a lot are, you know, just trying to bang out articles and I guess, make profit doing it that way. So definitely something to be aware of in the SEO space at the moment, because Google is rattling the cages about AI content and, you know, lifting updates to the algorithm to try and tackle it. And they’re only going to keep doing that. So yeah, be very careful when playing with it would be my advice. Yeah, for sure. Plus, like, we have quite a big checklist of things that need to be done to make an article good.
Unknown Speaker 32:00
You mentioned helpful content. That is obviously one of the most recent things everyone’s talking about.
Unknown Speaker 32:07
We ever looked into it more. And I just don’t understand how people can take off all these things into on the real checklist. We’ll use an AI because it’s so backwards. Why would you use AI and then go back up? I just didn’t read the first time. So
Unknown Speaker 32:22
yeah, that’s my approach on it as well. Yep, totally agree. Well, let’s move on to have a little chat about hiring people, because you mentioned 50 writers there before and difficulty finding editors in the content world. And I know you run SEO, hiring services as well. So it would be good to get your thoughts on, I guess, building careers and recruiting people in this world.
Unknown Speaker 32:48
So I guess, maybe if you can give us a bit of a background first about your business in that space SEO for hire, what it does and sort of problem solving. Yeah, so when a market candidate or market candidates are basically running the show,
Unknown Speaker 33:05
because there isn’t enough talent, SEOs, there’s a lot of money covenant SEO, there isn’t enough people to actually do SEO. And, like, for example, we are finding we have two clients from Australia.
Unknown Speaker 33:19
Because we just can’t find talented SEOs in Australia. There’s not enough. So with a super hire, we
Unknown Speaker 33:28
we basically wanted to be the matchmaker and ICO. We realised as well that people were joining companies that it just wasn’t the right fit. And then they would leave a few months into, it takes a lot of time, a lot of people to sift through. Like when I put up a job ad now I’m getting cheff supply, I’m getting all sorts of random careers because
Unknown Speaker 33:49
I guess there’s a lot of redundancies after COVID A lot of people looking for change careers, a lot of different things. So you want to be a matchmaker, we want to make sure that, okay, so if you’re trying to hire, you don’t waste hours and hours interviewing people ask the right questions. So we created a
Unknown Speaker 34:05
vetting process. We got backed by people on our podcast. So we started running the AC for hire podcast, we started asking them, like, I would say the interview and we do, obviously the podcasts or when we do like taking a warm up and stuff. We would ask them things, get them to look for our process.
Unknown Speaker 34:23
And then we use Best Start vetting Canvas. So say you want to use SEO for hire, we would bring new qualified candidates straightaway. And again, I think recruitment companies are just bulk just in general. We don’t want to be like that. We wanted to make sure that we saved you time but also made sure that it was a good match for both the candidate and you because whether the candidate is going to be spending, what two thirds of the life there I think something like 90,000 hours of their life is spent and work. So why do that for someone that you don’t like a job you don’t have
Unknown Speaker 35:00
Joy, and place is just not for you is silly. So we wanted to just make everyone happy it really and it’s really nice business model too, because we’ve got people making more money, the candidate makes more money because we usually get a significantly higher salary. But the clients happy to pay it, because that’s a talented SEO, if you’re confident in their decision, and that clients, you know what they say that candidate is going to work hard now for the client because it respects them that on a nice salary, they’re motivated, they will work harder for the client and make the client more money. And in the end, everyone’s happy. And that’s our approach is, again, quality over quantity. We’re not these voters that just get everyone jobs.
Unknown Speaker 35:43
We are matchmakers in SEO.
Unknown Speaker 35:47
Okay, well, on the topic of matchmaking, in the current climate, what would you say, you know, candidates, what are they looking for? And then conversely, what things are agencies looking for in their candidates at the moment, that would be interesting to our audience on both sides. So that’s just talking about candidates who
Unknown Speaker 36:07
work from home. That’s like a huge one, almost every kind of expect to want to work from home.
Unknown Speaker 36:13
But we’ve had some agencies come to us they just straight up still want the office, and I get it, I totally get it. I I like the office, I think the whole work from home thing. I don’t think people know how to work from home.
Unknown Speaker 36:27
I think, again, I was working from home before COVID was even a thing. And I remember struggling with it back then it took me a long time to figure it out. I think in the beginning, one big thing that people argue for working problems goods, because they don’t need to commute. And then because during the commute, they can go to the gym or whatever. And they can work harder. But I think that’s cool for the first little while, but then it goes the other way. So they’re not getting social interaction. They’re not getting that they fall into a slump, which then again,
Unknown Speaker 36:58
decreases their output decreases their mental health and happiness by advice. I don’t think people can work from home. But that’s a big thing that people are pushing for. Everyone wants to work from home.
Unknown Speaker 37:07
Everyone’s wanting way bigger salaries. And the GUI sees and candidates ask for unjustified salaries if I’m really honest.
Unknown Speaker 37:16
And then we see some agencies trying to hire
Unknown Speaker 37:20
people with too low of a Saturday. And they are they have old school expectations.
Unknown Speaker 37:29
Yeah, see now and then the question you asked was what what clients are looking for. So
Unknown Speaker 37:36
I don’t think that’s really changed. I don’t think that’s really changed. And but what clients don’t have to pay like 10 15k more than what they used to. So
Unknown Speaker 37:48
when thinking about that, we don’t really work later when we can get by that if you don’t care if you can’t get by that I’d say they wanted like a 22,000 pound salary or something. For an ACO lead, like we just wouldn’t work with them. And because straight away they aren’t going to be open for change.
Unknown Speaker 38:03
But it just depends on the role. We’re getting a lot of kind of SEO manager possessions SEO lead so we abroad job to the UK just now is 150,000 pound for an SEO lead. And the person who’s placed in a place we put on these very last days you just had his last interview
Unknown Speaker 38:22
where he basically has a project he has to wrap up this month so you can start in November so now just waiting for the offer. But wolf again, client and candidate seems very happy, we would have brought 150,000 paying job to the UK for the UK market. That’s insane. That’s that’s such a huge, like the average salary in the UK is probably 45k.
Unknown Speaker 38:43
No, I wonder
Unknown Speaker 38:46
average salary UK CEO is probably Yeah, 42 to 45k.
Unknown Speaker 38:51
Unknown Speaker 38:53
that’s wild 100 fakey salary that’s changing his life. And also it sets the precedent for the UK market like people need to obligate if you want an ACO of that Calibre is very, very good SEO. If you want someone of that calibre, you need to pay for it
Unknown Speaker 39:10
out of interest on this topic, you know whether would there being a dearth, like sort of under supply of candidates at the moment? Where do you see it headed in, let’s say, two, three years time? Do you think the market will catch up in terms of supply, you know, people will be trained up and then those monster salaries will still be around or there’ll be pressure on those people with Monster salaries? Do you have a bit of a crystal ball for what you think’s going to happen? With all the pressure in the market the moment thing gives you things that are gonna happen, I think.
Unknown Speaker 39:40
So there’s no people working in an agency. They’re pretty happy in the agency. But they’re seeing the mace jump job and then getting 510 k plus pay rises. They want the same internally. But if someone comes to you and ask for that internally, you can save swept you don’t see that common like you just
Unknown Speaker 40:00
I want to know, you have to give someone a massive pay rise, this is putting pressure on agencies. So either the the final compromise or that person leaves the agency
Unknown Speaker 40:11
either going into the job, which is fine, or we’ve seen a big increase in consultants now, a lot more people go freelance. And I think a lot of clients prefer not to, because they realise that.
Unknown Speaker 40:24
And some agencies there are a lot of wasted spend, and they just prefer working with consultants more one to one. So I’ve seen that I think some agencies are, they’re starting to put more into their internal training. So I don’t want to use for example, based in Manchester, they have their own internal recruiter, they work with external recruiters, but they have their own internal recruiter.
Unknown Speaker 40:49
And then they have a really good onboarding programme, programme, and they’ve on boarded something like 14 Junior NCOs. And people that don’t have experience just straight out of uni or college. And they’re training from the ground up. And they know that not going to have a profile on them for the next six months. But they’ll have those people for like, one one and a half years, and
Unknown Speaker 41:10
the getting them significantly cheaper. So I think a lot of people will put more money and energy into onboarding programmes and training and stuff. But that’s pretty hard. Like I’ve tried to figure out if I can build that as a product, and there’s not much money and it’s very hard to scale.
Unknown Speaker 41:27
It’s quite a tough one to kind of.
Unknown Speaker 41:30
Yeah, it’s a tough one. It really is.
Unknown Speaker 41:33
Yeah, definitely, funnily enough, we’ve kicked around the idea of what we’ve always said, you know, if you could come up with a training programme that accelerated people’s learnings in the space and like, created these candidates, that could be a business, but as you say, it’s pretty tough business to try and build something like that. So
Unknown Speaker 41:52
sorry, yeah, you can teach them that you can give them a course or allegory take all and did they get real life experience? And what are they actually retained from that course? And I think that’s the problem with courses. So someone can build something where they actually learn something get to apply it, then fantastic.
Unknown Speaker 42:14
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. In this world, you know, and a lot of others, but I would say very much so in this world, that hands on technical skills, getting your hands dirty building sites, building links, understanding it all, you just can’t beat that, that sort of on the ground experience, for sure. Well, I’m looking at this has been great chatting, I think, what I wanted to cover off, you know, you’ve got three different businesses on the go. They’re in different fields, lots of staff systems processes. So you obviously have a lot of lessons in scaling and bootstrapping and stuff that you’ve learned along the way. I was wondering if Well, I thought it could be cool to maybe cover off. You know, if you have three main tips or pointers or things you’ve learned along the way, someone looking to build a business in this space? You know, what would you tell them about bootstrapping, or trying to scale one of these businesses?
Unknown Speaker 43:08
Free Tips. Okay, that’s pretty hard. There’s definitely a lot.
Unknown Speaker 43:13
I think, before we even go into the tips, there’s one book everyone should get. It’s called Scaling up there was a guy called brown can’t remember the scaling up mastering the Rockefeller secrets, as soon as they got to. As soon as you get to, like 1015 people, this book is going to be perfect. And it’s basically my Bible for scaling. And that’s one major reason why I’ve done so well.
Unknown Speaker 43:36
The second thing that I improved on was the main set and realising that, who I am is like a leader. And the reason I keep using that term is because it’s the best way of describing it. But that’s what you are, as soon as you have a team of 10 plus people that you need to become, you can’t manage them, like you’ve never managed a five to 10 person team, like you really do need to change the way you think. And for me, that was being more empathetic. And one of the stuff I found when I did that, that they worked harder and later in the business for me.
Unknown Speaker 44:13
And that’s my focus just now my focus is trying to get more senior people trying to create a really nice culture. We had quite a lot of issues with culture problems in the past I remember during COVID
Unknown Speaker 44:27
or six months after my content dog started that was like Christmas time. Everyone was working from home it was Christmas but we were all locked up locked down. We had like, everyone was sad. We always like sad I think everyone felt that worldwide but
Unknown Speaker 44:43
that was my first experience with Shang to change something here because I need to get these guys out of this and encourage them to keep out the KPIs keep like push the high quality work and
Unknown Speaker 44:57
yeah, I kind of went on a journey after that all
Unknown Speaker 45:00
self development and the guests don’t know how it right I’m still very far from it. But reality is if you have a big team, you need to make them right, you need to make sure they’re getting upscaled, make sure that you, like, some people come to me. And I’m just gonna be very blunt the continuum.
Unknown Speaker 45:16
In my eyes is a list of issues. And like asked me a year ago, I live in LA, and it’s just so stupid. But now I realise shit, I can’t really react like that needs to be able to ethically to kind of hear them out, help them fix it. Because if I just kind of push them off, or just be upset, or help them fix or give like a solution, or whatever, chances are, I can fix it significantly quicker, and then they just go back to doing the job anyway. So if you look at it from a pure business mindset, then it’s the best way of getting an ROI as horrible as that sounds, but you’re also helping people too.
Unknown Speaker 45:50
And I think a lot of people watching these SEO podcast, they realise we’re all money focus to the world to money focus, I think, anyone that runs a an SEO agency as financially motivated, that’s for sure. And that’s why I use that term. But for me,
Unknown Speaker 46:10
investing in my team has helped me grow. This year of sex X. And January, we had a really, really ropey cash flow issue where I genuinely thought we were gonna go under.
Unknown Speaker 46:22
But I also realised as well, this is my last point. And this is a very good point.
Unknown Speaker 46:26
I thought we were gonna go under for we had a cash flow issue, I thought we had one point based businesses, you don’t have that many subscriptions, it’s very, very easy to look gloomy at some points. Because you have a contract that’s done, then no one because a lot of our clients have come by 500 keywords, then disappear for five months, then come back.
Unknown Speaker 46:46
So yeah, it’s pretty easy to have a main set of the cups half fill, so the cups half empty, rather than half full.
Unknown Speaker 46:54
So for me trying to be positive all the time, whenever I’m negative tends to be pretty shit, like the situation is too bad. It goes the wrong way. When I keep a positive mindset and just keep pressure on better energy. I mean, do more things aren’t set and stuff anymore. I used to sit and stuff all the time, and be upset over it. And then the reality is it just wastes four or five hours of my own energy and time and day, when I could just go on what click a dog for another two, three hours in any join or tours wanting. So right now I focus a lot on how I go to bed. I think that integrity is the most important part. So I’ll make sure like I talk about, and the thing is, if you told me this few years ago, I laughed at that and said it’s so silly. Like it’s got nothing to do with front end agency. But
Unknown Speaker 47:40
I would go back No. Okay, so what we’re grateful for today, what actually went right, rather than focusing on what went wrong, because when you run free agency shit goes wrong all the time. But there’s a lot of shit that goes right. And the thing is, it’s easy to look at the stuff that goes wrong, and focus in on that. And then you just go on a downward spiral. That’s been my biggest realisation of 2022. And
Unknown Speaker 48:03
it’s helped me overall grow. Alright, the wine this year teknicks, which is kind of wild, like, really as wild world. For me, thank you.
Unknown Speaker 48:15
Also, I love that I sort of hearing that, you know, celebrate the wins and the downs or losses, they’re never as big as they might seem at the time, you know, often you sleep on it, and it’s seems way less than it did at the time. So
Unknown Speaker 48:30
do I get it? Yeah, yeah. How do you do.
Unknown Speaker 48:36
So why I sort of have with our business that you can, you can sort of start to get, like in the mindset that things are going wrong, or you can be scared, every decision can sort of seem scary, you know, let’s say taking an office, the first office, then the next office and the next office. And at the time, it’s a huge decision, and you’re sort of worrying about it stressing about it. But then a few months later, you’ll look at it and wonder how you lived without it. Or it could be the same as hiring someone taking on a new salary. And it is a mindset thing like you, you can get caught up in thinking that your business could fall apart, and it could all be negative, or you can look at it as a plus, this is going to help you get to that next level. So I sort of agree with what you say that you need to shift the way you think about things. And that helps you sleep better at night. It helps you deal with it or helps you interact with the clients and your team better. So I totally agree with everything you were saying them.
Unknown Speaker 49:27
But yeah, look, I think that’s been a really great chat and discovering a bit more about how you approach SEO
Unknown Speaker 49:34
for people who want to connect with you and get in touch after the show. Is there anywhere they can go to get in touch.
Unknown Speaker 49:42
Yeah, just probably Twitter and Twitter is the best ones on my twitter handles Craig D 041. To
Unknown Speaker 49:49
tweet a lot. And it’s not AI, but I do tweet a lot. And yeah, that’s the best place for me. Renaud Bodum the groups the groups called Charlie Delta groups, that’s my big move. Just
Unknown Speaker 50:00
No, we’re looking to add more businesses to it, which will be like tools and just other things that we’re looking to build or suite so that we can service SEOs worldwide. But yeah, if you’re interested in any of this, just go to my Twitter. So for hire podcast is pretty cool to check that out. There’s more. Yeah, we’re focusing more on recruitment and how people hire people.
Unknown Speaker 50:26
But yeah, that sounds
Unknown Speaker 50:29
awesome. Well, thanks, Craig, for coming on the show. It’s been great chatting to you. Have a great afternoon. Thanks, man.
Unknown Speaker 50:36
Thanks for listening to the SEO show. If you like what you heard, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. It will really help the show. We’ll see you in the next episode.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai