11 Questions with 17 year old Internet Marketer

Sandhurst Digital

Sandhurst Digital

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Today I have decided to interview an up and coming Internet Marketer who is only just 17 and has been doing SEO and internet marketing for over 5 years. I have promoted young internet marketers in the past in my post top 15 young internet marketers which I aim to update.

The reason I picked this IM for an interview is he has been making a fair amount of noise in the inbound community recently, he has been testing numerous grey hat strategies and creating a few controversial articles. I was personally impressed by his enthusiasm for SEO and approach to testing methods and trying new SEO tactics.

1. How long have you worked in Online Marketing and for which companies and how did you originally get into the business?

I’m 17, I run my own Internet Marketing Blog and have been doing SEO for the past 5 years (approaching 5 and a half). I’ve worked with and for some quite big names now including .Com Marketing, Foster SEO, Wow Internet (Where I currently reside), Boot camp Media, Bazooka Search, SEO New York and I’m sure I’ll work with a ton more in the future.
I got into SEO when my mum was told by her development company that they’d charge her into the thousands per month for SEO (This was a medium sized company with maybe 10 employees at the times). I was already into computers, though was a bit more mischievous with them then and she asked me to take a look into it, she was giving me £200/month budget to play around with and I quickly started to get into all the tools and jobs.
I picked up Scrape Box when it first came out almost 4 years ago now and I remember picking up SE Nuke Legacy prior to that, they were fun times and I quickly got my first proper client as a referral at 15, whilst I was still in school.

2. You are currently working at Wow Internet, what does your daily job currently involve?

Generally debating with Matthew Barby about ethical things, though he’s been twisted into the world of Scrape Box and he loves it! I’ve also been showing him a few more sides of the black/grey hat world and working with him on a few projects like his Scrape Box and Buzz Stream post for super speedy Outreach.

3. How have you found the move from working freelance to working for a company such as Wow Internet?

I was doing Freelance from 15 – 16 via oDesk until my account got banned, luckily they gave me all the money they owned me as you need to be over 18 to use oDesk.
I think it wasn’t moving jobs that was more stressful it was editing my sleeping and “moving about” pattern. I went from sleeping until 1 pm in the afternoon and working a few hours here and there to 9-5 everyday, it hit me pretty hard and after around 4 months at Boot Camp Media (the job before Wow Internet) I crashed out and have now reduced my days to 4 days a week.

4. What is the best SEO tactic you have personally implemented for a client?

This is a pretty tricky one, the best one I can think of was my niche forum homepage backlinks exploit, I was working with a telecoms company and managed to get them a backlink from Nokia (DA 98) we saw a pretty hefty increase from Position #7 to Position #2 (for a Keyword that is MASSIVE and competing vs the likes of BT, Wikipedia etc.. as well as having over 9,000 monthly searches, I know but it legitimately had over 9,000)

5. Content Marketing is very popular at the moment, I notice you have been talking a bit about it on Inbound.org as well. Have you implemented many content marketing strategies which have yielded great results for clients?

We haven’t been doing to much stuff in terms of content marketing for clients except implementing guest posting on a massive client. We had a chiropractic clinic that had epic success when we added her blog and she even started writing us 3-4 posts every month for outreach purposes, which generated some serious DA backlinks and brought in some great business.

6. Conversion rate optimization is also popular, do you have any tactics which you have successfully implemented for clients you would like to share?

I did a post on my little Schema trick to add the Reviews to products, I’ve been seeing 12 – 15% increases in conversion rates from it, especially if you go to the next level and change the name to social engineer the person e.g. you can change the Schema review author to Your Friend or Trust pilot etc… To make it look a lot more “legit”. Though that was a bit to black hat for Wow clients.

7. What SEO or digital marketing Tools are you currently using that you would like to recommend?

I use Moz.com, though they recently stopped my Pro membership as I’m not 18. So I’ve had to borrow a friend who owns a 30 campaign account and only uses 15 – 20 of them.
I’d recommend Moz purely for On Page SEO.
Other recommended tools –
ScrapeBox.com, this is a MUST right now and saves so much time and money on jobs, Jason king and I are trying to push it as hard as we can in the SEO industry as of right now.
http://thebestspinner.com”The Best Spinner – Manually spin content for automated tools, manual spinning can go into some serious detail and build really good links, look at the Matthew Woodward advanced spinning tutorial if you’d like to see the 500 words to 300,000 characters spin he did.

8. From reading your blog you are fairly into testing Grey hat and Black Strategies outside of work. Have you yielded many long term results from Black Hat SEO for affiliate sites if so from what strategies?

I’m actually working on a pretty large case study from last year, I made close to £6k profit on Word Press themes, where I had Theme Forest affiliate links on a micro site and boosted myself to the top for 3-4 months using private networks. It worked awesomely and I even got a badge on Envato.
Long term, Hashtag SEO is pretty black hat link profile, though the content is pretty epic. I received a manual penalty notice and dropped 3 spaces for 1 keyword in my entire SERPs. Haven’t really spent much time or money on it as of recent but I don’t really need to as it gets me 3-4 leads every week from Organic visits.

9. You are currently running a campaign where you aim to rank for “Rand Fishkin’s” name, have you seen much traffic from ranking for his name? Also nice work on the current rankings I have been tracking the progress on that keyword.

I actually disavowed the entire link profile (after asking the network owners to remove the links, wouldn’t want to hurt the spammers that helped me) about 2 weeks ago. For his own name I’ve actually seen close to 200 visits and a couple 100 visitors from the other keywords I was pushing for. The case study is all written up, just looking for the perfect place to take it.

10. What is the single best win you have had from online marketing in your career?

I posted a YouTube optimization tutorial to black hat world, 2 days later I had a client paying me £1,500/month to do YouTube optimization, my old boss remembers having to go to Western Union to pick up £500 as a tester for me as I was only 16 and couldn’t collect it myself. Walking around with £500 in your pocket is awesome.

11. If other young Internet Marketers (under 18) were looking to get into SEO and Digital Marketing what advice would you have for them?

I’d say don’t listen to everything everyone says, build your own judgments and don’t throw money at something until you know it’ll work. Buy Scrape Box and learn how to use all the features (Which I am still massively far from learning) once you know how to use the features of Scrape Box for outreach etc.
The basics of On Page dive straight into getting small clients, work on a parents or family member’s site or even buy a blog and just spend time reading articles, creating content and trying to rank your site. You’d be surprised how much work I get from my blog and just being active on it. I’m going to London in a few weeks to do some consulting, free hotel, train and meals all for a few hours of talking to people!


I currently own a high performance SEO & Content Marketing Agency called: Prosperity Media.

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