Editor Note: This was originally an email sent to my subscriber list over 18 months ago. If anything bears updating, it'll be marked in red like this announcement.
I said I'd only mail you 1-2 times per week?
I really meant 1-2 times per year.
So why break that sweet sweet silence now?
I probably should try to sell you something, the goo roos say that Always Be Selling is the whey.
But really, I just want to talk about SEO.
I assume that you're on this list because you too enjoy the optimizing for the search engine.
If not, scroll down and hit that unsubscribe button yeah?
If so, stick around. Things are going to get good.
First though, I should probably tell you a little about myself.
Who I am, why you should or shouldn't listen to what I have to say.
Things like that.
Most of you know me by Grind, Grindstone, that dickhead from Wickedfire or some variation thereof.
That's just a nickname though (shocking, right?).
My real name is Pasha and no, I'm not Russian. It's a long story. Short version, parents were hippies. 70s were hard on their brains methinks.
Before I decided that fighting with Google for dollars was my future I also was a (mostly in reverse order, best I can remember):
web designer, owned a vinyl graphics and screen printing brick and mortar, owned a drive thru espresso stand, bartender, operated a mobile espresso business @ festivals and whatnot, owned a tree removal and landscaping business, rappelled out of helicopters for the US Government, worked on a Hot Shot Crew (wildland firefighting), grafted fruit trees, cooked in a restaurant, bucked hay bales, peeled logs and chinked log homes.
That takes me back to about age 10 or so, and I'm sure I forgot a couple things.
Been a full time SEO since 2007, first started dabbling in it in 2005 when I was spending $6k/month in PPC for my graphics business and asked the infamous question we've all probably asked at some point:
'How do those guys on the left get there without paying?'
This was before Google started running ads on top of the SERP to the fold of course, back when #1 ranking positions were even MORE valuable than they are now.
And the without paying part is hilarious, because we all know that you're either paying in time or money and the former is more expensive than the latter.
From the mouths of babes indeed...
Anyway, I've always been a quick learner and when combined with full immersion tactics, it wasn't long before I started ranking sites well enough to get traffic and start making monies online without handing over large chunks of the profits to the Google. Editor Note: It would have taken a lot longer if I hadn't been lucky enough to be exposed to Eli at BlueHatSeo.com and Rob over at Contempt in my formative years. Thanks guys, you have no idea how much those first couple conversations steered my life.
Needless to say, I was hooked. And I'm still hooked because I'm still here, in the trenches, day in day out, figuring out how to best make Google submit to my tactics.
Some days go better than others but one thing that all real SEOs know is that Always Be Testing is the only consistent route to success. Yeah, you'll take your lumps. You'll have those days when it feels like nothing is working and Google is winning.
But then you get lucky (where preparation makes hard work) and twist just the right knob the right amount and suddenly everything clicks and everything ranks and even updates don't matter anymore because You.Have.This.Shit.On.Lockdown!
Those are the times that make it all worth it. Those are the days that fuel our soul.
And they're pretty freaking kind to pocketbook too...
To be honest, I've only been testing variations of the same thing for the last 2.5 years with consistently great results. Google gave it up and I'm not letting up. Editor Note: 4+ years now. Deal with it, Mueller.
At this point, I'm just trying to 80/20 my 80/20 to get to that sweet 64/4 spot.
Where 4% of the actions are responsible for 64% of the results.
Smarter, not harder.
Speaking of the number 4, it's one of my favorite numbers.
When I'm trying to explain SEO to n00bs, I use it often.
Because at it's most pared down Pareto Principle, there's only 4 SEO factors that matter.
Links - How and What
Content - How and What
That's the whole enchilada.
I can hear you now...
'But Grind, what about __________'
'Wrong, you can't ignore __________'
'Grind, you're forgetting about ___________'
No. Have a big drink of Shut Up and sit down over there.
Yes, you can focus on 1000 things in SEO but most of them would be sub-factors of those Big Four Factors (BFF forever from here, because I just made that up on the fly and am feeling particularly smug about it) and, more importantly, aren't the needle movers.
Most of the shit SEOs concern themselves with are good for looking busy.
Or making reports shinier.
Or making them feel like they're really on that hustle grind.
Screw all that.
We want to focus on the primary drivers of the BFF.
Because that's the only way to scale SEO.
And scaling SEO is where you start stacking zeros.
And stacking zeros when you're not spending 60-80 hours/week in the office is a life well lived.
No, I don't have a pitch here to teach you how to stack zeros without spending 60-80 hours/week in the office.
It's not easy, if it was everyone would be doing it.
If you can figure it out, you'll never regret the time you spent making it happen.
What I can do though is help you figure out how to Pareto Principle the heck out of the BFF.
And we will.
Just not today, this is already too damn long and I still have to proofread and edit it.
Watch your inbox, whitelist this email, go shopping for links over here and we'll dig into that soon.
I promise it won't take another year. Editor Note: It did. But you can read Part 2 in this series here.
(He said, hopefully)
Until then, Cheers!
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