In this episode we talk about:
- Why and how the Internet marketer needs to stay healthy – In fact, Timbo’s lost 1o kg and James has lost 5 kg in the past 3-weeks. Listen in and find out how.
- How James’s business is tracking and what we can learn about some of the things he’s been implemented over the past 6-months. Remember the clean out he had in January? Well, it may just be paying dividends … literally!
- What’s happening in the wonderful world of SEO.
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TIM: Welcome back listeners to episode 43 of your favorite internet marketing podcast, Freedom Ocean. Right here is Timbo Reid, that’s me and over there is James Schramko. Good day James!
JAMES: Good day Timbo! How are you?
TIM: Couldn’t be finer-69er. Thank you very much. Thank you for asking.
JAMES: Last time we spoke, I think we’re talking about your carb diet. I was wondering how that turned out.
TIM: I couldn’t tell you what you just said, two ways, my car dying or my carb diet, both of which have happened. So, the car dying is a really quick one and I think we touched on that or maybe not. We certainly touched on the fact that it was died, it’s now died. So, I’ve got a new car that was an easy fix. Not something I wanted to do but it’s something I had to do. The carb diet is rocking. It is rocking mate. I am, wait until you see me, people are freaking, it’s freaking me out when people see me because they’re freaking out. I’ve lost 10kg in 4 weeks and about 7% body fat and I feel pretty good.
JAMES: Excellent! Well, that’s really good.
TIM: It is good.
JAMES: That means we’ll be both a little bit lighter when we catch up.
TIM: We will. We will.
JAMES: I lost about 5 kilos in the last 3 weeks.
TIM: I’m interested to hear about that, before we do, because clearly, the new listener’s going to be tuning in going what this show…
JAMES: It is a weight loss blog.
TIM: Yeah. Yeah. Who are these guys? What are they? But, interesting, because I do think and I’ve done, I’ve had numerous discussions about this but us desk jockeys need to remain healthy and I’ve finally learned that after however many years. So, this is actually a really important discussion. So, how have you lost 5 kilograms in how long?
JAMES: Just the last few weeks.
TIM: Okay. What have you done?
JAMES: Went to Manila. Got a bug,
TIM: Got sick.
JAMES: And basically just completely lost my appetite and had a nice detox all in one.
TIM: Yeah, right.
JAMES: Just basically not being able to, not feeling like eating and not being able to hold anything in anyway got me back to just, basically I went straight off everything, I just went back to plain foods and stop taking coffee and obviously no milk. So really, it was just a massive reduction of appetite and I just went from 97.9 down to 92.9.
TIM: So, without any intention, it’s not like you want, did you want to lose weight?
JAMES: No, I mean, I was still chubby anyway, but this was just a side effect of getting a bug.
TIM: So you’ll probably put it back on because you’re well again and you’ll be back eating or like you used to.
JAMES: Well no, I think it’s actually because I’ve gone a couple of weeks with a modified diet, I think my stomach shrunk a bit, my appetite won’t be as strong and I’m not taking as much caffeine. So I think I’ve got a better chance of keeping it off than you do when you get back into carbs.
TIM: Yeah. Well I don’t know if I actually intend to like famous last words but I am enjoying it. I’ve had, in fact I’m being interviewed by another podcast this week because they heard of what I’ve done and completely redeem the carb diet and all that type of stuff. So, I’m open up to different ways of thinking. But, look mate, I had to do this. I really had to do it just from a mental health point of view and a physical health point of view because I was feeling sluggish and that impacts on your thinking and you’re tired and you know, like deep down, like I’m quite a motivated person but I was just kind of realizing it was a dead-end straight and the fact that I had spinal surgery in September last year, it was like, has to be a wakeup call. For me, I was around at a mate’s place about 3, no it was longer than that now, 5 weeks ago, and he’s a good mate and he tells me how it is, a bit like you and he said, “Hold these weights Tim.” And he gave me two 15 kilogram dumbbells, he said, “That’s what you’re carrying that you shouldn’t be.” and at that time, I kind of go, “So it’s funny Andrew. Good one.” But, it actually had a little bit of an impact on something absolutely.
JAMES: I did something similar to my kids this morning. I showed them a 600ml bottle of coke and I laid out 20 sugar sticks from those little sugar packets and I said, “That’s how much sugar is in this bottle because there’s 67 grams of sugar in those 600ml bottle of coke. It’s like 23 milligrams.”
TIM: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
JAMES: When you see 20 sticks, like if you go down to the coffee shop and someone says all three sugars, everyone gasps like, “Ugh! 3?”
TIM: Yeah I know, exactly.
JAMES: But 20, if someone sat there and tip 20 sticks of sugar into that coffee, you’d think they’re a freak but that’s what’s in like a 600ml bottle of coke.
TIM: Yep. Yep. My big 3’s at the moment. I’ve got one in front of me is Coke Zero. Never thought life would come to that but, look, I’m not complaining mate. I’ve had 45 years of eating donuts and actually I’m loving it. I actually don’t have clothes anymore that fit. I haven’t had that for a while. I keep going to the bloke up the top of the street in the village, getting the belt, they show you a pair of tools, he puts an extra buckle in the belt and has a laugh each week.
JAMES: This is great. To tie it back on topic, I think 2 things, you’re right, we tend to be in a recently sedentary environment if you’re working on the internet a fair bit and that’s why I like to go and travel every few months. So I bust out, I get on a plane, I go to another country, I move around, do things, walk and stuff. And the other thing is, it’s all mental, the whole game is mental. The more you can master your mind, the more success you’re going to have.
TIM: Okay. It’s clearly, but what you mean by that, tell me, go a bit deeper on that.
JAMES: Think of your brain like an operating system and that the cleanest software you can run like the most efficient software that the best program that you can install on your brain, the more it’s going to be able to produce, and I think a very overweight person or someone who’s stuck in their job or they’re just looping bad software programs around and around. That’s an external manifestation of what’s going on inside their head.
TIM: Yep. Very true! I may even just, in those last 4 weeks, hopefully I’ve been thinking clearly for the last few years but I’ve just noticed, there’s a greater clarity, I’ve been really busy, as you know, and it hasn’t helped the busyness, just help me managed the busyness because I’ve done a bit of travelling the last couple of weeks. It’s been hard. It’s been good to get out but even travelling, like it’s interesting you say, travelling is kind of your way of moving around, I just found I was sitting on my ass in airports and the hotel rooms and taxis. But, I know what you mean. A change of environment is good but, tell me a bit more because I reckon you’re one of the great desk jockeys. You’re at your desk a lot. How do you not get sore. Maybe you’ve got, I certainly do, my body’s different than yours and we’re all different. But what do you do? How often do you get up and move around James?
JAMES: Well, we’ve discussed before I’ve got the stand-up desk and the sit-down desk. I’ve got some hand weights and kettle bells lying around the office here. So, I also use an extension lead on my headset. I don’t use a wireless headset because I hate the fact that batteries run out every 3 seconds. So I’ve got this 3 meter long extension USB cord. So that’s my tip for anyone with a home office. Get an extension cord. That way, you can move the cord to where you want to use it like I can carry it over to my camera and not have to bring the camera to the desk. But also, I put my headset in and I can do weights while I’m standing up and doing a
coaching call, I can stretch or whatever. But also, I think my routine is good. I get plenty of sleep. I think most people don’t get enough sleep. I certainly had far too little sleep for the last 20 years of my work. And, especially the last 5, when I was really crossing over into this new internet thing, I just didn’t get enough sleep. Now, I go to bed when I’m tired, I wake up when I wake up, no alarm clocks and I think that’s a really good start. So then I’m not trying to overcompensate with putting sugar into coffees or add things to pep me up like energy drinks and all that crap which is just going to kill you. So, I’m now just alternating two bottles of water. I have two bottles of water in the fridge. I grab one in the morning, I drink that, I go and fill it up and put it back, and then I grab the other one and I’ve just been cycling those so I’m keeping…
JAMES: Hydrated. I’m not sitting at my desk for long periods. It might seem that way and I maybe on the present on the web but I’m really not. I chip away at it in small sessions. I do a burst of stuff and then I’ll get up and I’ll walk around. I’ll go walk up to this table so I’ll see what my daughter’s up to or I’ll go out the back there and see what the dogs are doing or I’ll hop in the car and I’ll pop down to meet someone at a café or whatever. So, I do actually move around a fair bit during the day on and off. And of course I live in a two level house, so there’s stairs, I’m going up and down the stairs a fair bit and I’m walking around the yard. I’ll grab my camera, I’ll walk out somewhere into the field, take a video, come back, set it up, download it, then I’ll go and see what the others are up to, come back, yeah. So, basically, I’m using a lot of different movement.
TIM: Yep. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You’re getting very different to being trapped in a cubicle.
JAMES: I also have a really good quality chair and a footrest which the guy in the office furniture said, “You must have a footrest if you’re going to sit.”
TIM: What’s that do?
JAMES: I don’t know. Something about the angle of the feet but it takes the strain off your back. And a really good quality chair, not those big, fat, leather, American director’s chairs that you see with the wood paneled off it. So I’m talking about a more of a European meshed back ergonomically correct chair and that was one of the best things. When I went from that $99 office works chair to $600 chair, my back pain disappeared.
TIM: Do you get mouse pain?
JAMES: I just got a new bed yesterday.
TIM: There we go.
TIM: Was that a big decision or you just went and bought one?
JAMES: Well, I didn’t even go but it was just, let’s get one.
TIM: Yeah. Okay. Okay.
JAMES: Because, when I went away, I slept so much better than at home like I was out just like a lot and woke up feeling fantastic.
JAMES: And I presumed that it was the bed which is firmer and flatter.
TIM: So did you ask the hotel what bed it was when you got one of those?
JAMES: When the brief for the new bed was get the same ones they have in hotels.
TIM: I started a hike last week and the bed was sensational but the pillows were like bricks. I used to go to Sydney for an agency that I used to work for and they put me up at this hotel called The W at Waloo-Waloo and they actually sold their beds in reception, their bed and bedding in reception and it were bloody good too.
JAMES: It makes sense.
TIM: Absolutely! Absolutely! Anyway well that’s, there you go mate there’s 30 nerds of health and fitness from James and Tim. But I think it’s really important.
JAMES: It is because I’ve been doing this for about 7 years and I’ve been through stages where I hated my computer, I just absolutely hated sitting at my desk in my computer and I think it was partly poor posture, being tired, the fact that I wasn’t able to make it pay for itself at some points and that I just built up a resentment, even my wrists was sore, I just couldn’t even type at one point with my hands. And so, I seriously think that getting the right mouse, the right keyboard, the right sitting, the right extension leads for your headsets, that sort of stuff is going to make this sustainable and that’s really the key point, I have a sustainable routine now that I could maintain for the rest of my life.
TIM: Yeah. I actually agree. One of the things that, and just to finish on the health topic, although we could go on for ages but we’ll rewind, we’ll talk business, what I’ve done the last 4 weeks is literally remove carbs and I’ve been to the gym for half an hour every day. So, it hasn’t been, the hardest part’s been getting up early and waking up to an alarm, freaks me out. You can never wake up happy to an alarm I think.
JAMES: I don’t do it. I just don’t do it.
TIM: That’s freedom right there. No alarms, no alarms whatsoever.
JAMES: That’s my gauge of it. Yes.
TIM: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly! What is freedom? That’s a good topic for a future podcast mate. How’s business?
JAMES: Business is good. At the time of recording, I just easing in to the end of the full financial year, it has definitely been a record year for me, it’s been a record 6 months, and if you recall at the beginning of that 6 months stretch, I think we had that discussion, remember you were back from holidays and I was just chipping away through January?
JAMES: I firmly believe the biggest incremental gains I’ve made this year have been in the quiet times of others. So I really get that focus.
TIM: You had a big clean out. You had a big clean out and you really repositioned your whole kind of approach, didn’t you?
JAMES: Repositioned massively. I recall I went to a centralized news hub channel strategy with daily videos or 3 or 4 a week, that has increased, well that particular site is up 60% on a 30 day running average just continuing hours seems to be set up.
TIM: What do you mean? What particular site is up 60% and what traffics?
JAMES: SuperFastBusiness where I split it into channels by websites, traffic, reviews, software and internet marketing and business. So there are about 6 different channels and I make a video every day or every two days for that and lately I’ve been able to really get linkage on that.
TIM: I’m loving the videos mate?
JAMES: Yeah, ask me about it.
TIM: Well, I’m enjoying the videos. I’m interested to see and this is something that’s been on my mind because I’ve experienced it with small business big marketing podcast as well is just measuring the success of those. So you were 60% up on traffic, Google likes what you’re doing, you’re clearly…
JAMES: It’s not just Google traffic.
TIM: completing your descriptions or whatever it is that you’re doing to get an index.
JAMES: You know, SEO again, I just want to remind people, it’s just one little piece of the pie, that the other traffic is coming from the direct referrals, it’s coming from brand-able type-ins which is such a huge point. You’ve got to create a brand-able, memorable impact. It’s coming from Facebook. It’s coming from press releases. It’s coming from my email lists which I again, I exported 160 segmented items from A-Weber and I imported the whole lot into the Office Auto-Pilot and then I segmented every one by tags and now I have one customer record per person. Some people might be in there a couple of times if they’ve used different email addresses but if they’d only use one, then they’re in there once. And now, they’re able to communicate with the exact right person for the exact right thing, exactly where they’re up to depending on sequences and tags. So, for me, to answer your question, “How do you measure it?” I go in and look at the heap maps of the video, I see what they’re repeatedly watching and where they drop off the video, and from that, I know exactly what interests them. I’ll give you a specific example on one of my SEO videos. There is a specific spike at the 2 minute 49 mark. So I log in and I look at that 2 minute 49 mark and guess what I’m talking about, Penguin, Google Penguin, how to fix it. So I know that my SEO customers are very interested in Penguin. So that drives my content for the next episode and it helps me label that video on my website. And then if I’m doing a press release, I may want to put Penguin in the headline. The other thing I can measure, open rates and click-trough’s for my email lists. I can look at my analytics and see how long people are staying for. I can see how many people are repeat customers, how many people are there for the first time. I can then look at my stats on my Facebook page to see which posts get the most interaction and to see if they happen to be the ones with the videos or not. And, I can also measure my shopping cart and see what sales are up to. I can pretty much control my intake of sales from my products. But here’s something that’s happened in the last few weeks that hasn’t really kicked before, in the last few weeks, I’m getting a huge amount of direct referrals for my services. People are coming to me saying, “I hear you’re the go-to guy for good quality, safe but effective SEO after Penguin and Panda because I’ve been communicating what I believe has happened in the market, I believe it’s always coming where these small time operator was going to get squeezed out by slightly large and more mature companies. We’ve probably talked about these maybe a year ago. It’s happening now. 2 or 3 man SEO guys with a subscription to a blog network cannot now offer reliable, safe, advanced SEO. They’re just a Band-Aid solution, so they’re being squeezed out. And now, I’m picking up accounts of 2 or 3 or 5 or 10 customers from resellers who need to look after their customer but don’t want to hire, train, manage, learn, stay in front of all these changes, they just can’t, they’re getting moved out by big companies like Google changing the game. June was the most changed I’ve ever put out in a whole month. So, it’s just speeding up and for that reason, we just add more people to our research and development team, we add more people to our support team, and we put a lot more focus on curating and keeping our own properties of which we just keep expanding and reinvesting into the business. So I think there’s huge change going on right now. But how do I measure the impact of that strategic change? It’s there right there in the shopping cart but it’s also reflected in all those metrics I just mentioned.
TIM: So, one of the things that I want to ask you, and that was a great rant James, love it. And, one of the things I’m keen to ask is, going back to your videos, and I reckon they’re great, they’re full of quality content, clearly they’re working for you, as a measurement of engagement, you’re not getting a lot of, there’s not a lot of likes or a lot of comments and I see that on the show notes of one of my podcasts where, I’d rather people listen to them and act on them than like them, don’t get me wrong. But what’s your view on that?
JAMES: I don’t need to see that evidence to know that they’re being watched. I can see the actual engagement in Wistia and they’re averaging about 79% which I’m really happy with and most people stick the entire way through because they’re only for about 2 or 3 minutes long. But, what I did notice, and to put this in perspective, I blogged for about a year and a half until anyone commented on my internet marketing speed blog. I think they are, they were commenting when I had them going to my SEO partner site, they were clearly decided to comment each week and when I migrated it across, what I have noticed in the last week, the more popular ones are getting comments. I don’t know when you look at them like if you back and look at a few of them that are maybe a week old, you will see that people are starting to comment. I think the tribe’s just moving across to their new site and then we’ll see that it gets picked up. But my prediction is that there will be a lot more comments in a month from now because I’ve been doing it for about 8 or 9 weeks and the 8 or 9 week ones are good. The other thing to consider is the internet marketing one is also going into my forum and the business one is going into my business community and some of them are getting syndicated across 4 or 5 different blogs. So, you may be looking at a very small part of the overall syndication. So, I’ll give an example, an SEO one, it’s going to be on SuperFastBusiness, YouTube, SEO Partner, Link Juice, Reputation Management Authority, and that’s 5 separate places, plus Facebook, that’s 6. So if someone commented in a few of those places, the overall picture is quite solid.
TIM: The ones that are worth looking at weren’t getting comments. It just wasn’t, I guess, from my point of view, given the amount of time you’ve been doing it and I’ve been doing it too, like you kind of think, “Gosh, sometimes it’d be nice to get a whole lot of comments.” And, it was actually interesting, I was in my LinkedIn group this morning and people were saying, “It’d be great if you could for each episode of the podcast have a discussion happening.” And I sort of came back and said, “It’d be nice to see if, I’d rather the discussion happen in the show notes but people were much keener to do it within the forum than they were in, just add them to the bottom of the show notes.” You might see that in your SuperFast.
JAMES: Yeah. That’s a fact. A lot of people asked me about my video in my community. So, I put out a video on for business tips and then someone in Fast Forward Formula will say, “Regarding that video blah, blah, blah.” And then, they will ask you in the place that is the right medium for them. But looking here though, even from a few days ago, there are comments and they’re giving suggestions as well such as put times and stuff. So we started adding that and we’re getting tweets and likes and whatever. But, the important thing is, and this is so important for new products and new magazines or new blogs, you’re not going to pick up all the audience in the beginning, it’s going to be continual slog until you get traction, and once you do, that’s when the true power of it is there. So, I think I’m not yet at the point where we get that traction but I’m going to keep doing this because I think I’ve seen enough evidence for it to work when I was just doing it on the SEO site and I’m seeing also, people are definitely referring me now, they know who I am and they trust what I’m talking about because I’ve consistently put out new content each week and it is
definitely driven around fact and I do my research and I’ve now got a process in place that allows me to put these videos out in about 15 to 20 minutes. So, it’s such a small amount of effort to get such a big result.
TIM: Mate, at the 26th minute mark, I’m going to cut this episode short a little bit because unfortunately my Skype is pretty ordinary. It won’t come through in the end result. The listeners will hear a very, very clear podcast but it is hard for me to hear and we have stopped a couple of times to try and fix it. But anyway, that’s alright, it’s good to get back on the air. I reckon next week mate, we do a listener question and there’s quite a few stacking up there. So, we’ll get in there and maybe just knock off 5, 6, 7, 8 listener questions in quick succession. What do you think?
JAMES: I love the listener questions very much.
TIM: Love it mate. Well listeners, thanks so much for being a part of Freedom Ocean episode 43, hope you enjoyed it. Go to FreedomOcean.com if you want to find out a little bit more about James or myself and what we can do for you. Until then, see you on the ocean. See you James!
JAMES: See you Timbo!