Mike Marko on SEO Blog Tips and Internet Marketing Consulting
Mike Marko is an internet blogger, marketing consultant, and SEO wizard. Here’s our interview where we discover some of his best methods.
I really appreciate you taking the time for this interview, Mike!
Last time we talked you were heading off to China. How was your trip and was it for work or play?
Thanks, Erik. The trip was absolutely amazing. Three weeks of experiencing the country from one end to the other. I accomplished my goals (like finding a Mongolian hat and taking a picture of me on the Great Wall of China) and then some.
It was mostly for play, but of course everything I do I use to help promote my business. The main challenge when working from China was the restrictions on social media. Luckily when I went to Hong Kong I had my “fix” of marketing on social media.
I think a huge take away from the trip was that my work ethic of my business had paid off. Even though I didn’t have idea internet connection for a lot of the trip, it didn’t stop me from creating content and publishing it when I had the chance.
You have a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. Do you still do that on top of internet marketing?
I started off internet marketing WHILE I was a full time engineer. I was an evening warrior. On top of that, I also have rental properties so I literally was burning the candle from both ends. But when you have a vision of where you want to be ultimately, you’ll stop at nothing to get there.
I’m now full time with internet marketing, and I’m not turning back. When you take the income of internet marketing with my internet marketing consulting business, I’m totally loving what I do now. It’s like I “play” all day long on the computer. I also get to meet a TON of cool people around the world, helping them achieve their goals and dreams.
Let’s talk about your blogs. I discovered your sites about a year ago and got hooked on your expertise on SEO and blog traffic generation.
So, first off, How old is your primary blog, how many posts are on it now, and what is the traffic like to it?
Well… good question. It’s funny how when I started 4 and a half years ago that I didn’t know what a blog was… seriously.
I just followed “the steps blindly” and didn’t question my mentors (much). I started off with a basic blog that was tied to an affiliate marketing company, but within half a year I found Influx Entrepreneur and loved the flexibility of the platform. Hector Guerrero created an amazing platform that I love and help promote.
So my primary blog is now almost four years old. There are presently 710 published blog posts, and 280 published static pages. Wow… just realized almost hit the 1000 page mark. A goal I’ll hit this month for sure.
The traffic is amazing! Very targeted traffic that has helped me build my business over the years. Just from SEO alone, I have had 27,000 sessions from visitors just over the past month. I’ve been ramping up paid traffic again and expect to double or triple the traffic by year end.
You offer various services on your blog, including mentoring, online marketing consulting, and Aspire. What’s your most popular service right now and can you tell us a little about Aspire?
My most popular is Aspire because it is a “business in a box” opportunity. I love it because I can build my passive income on autopilot by just driving traffic through the funnel and let their coaches do the upselling. This allows me to focus on the core business.
My consulting business it taking off. In addition to mentoring and helping small businesses, I am also CMO for a new network marketing business with a lot of money behind it.
This company will literally compete with the big players and change the way network marketing will be done in the future. I can’t say too much about it at this point, but me and my team are the marketing department for this company and it’s been incredibly exciting for us to be the driving force to growing this company.
Is Aspire and Influx Entrepreneur both training platforms and how do they relate to each other?
While the surface Aspire is a business opportunity, Influx Entrepreneur is an amazing marketing platform. It really has been the driving force in my marketing online. It makes ranking in Google easier than many other platforms out there, plus when you get Optimize Press with it, then you literally have a powerhouse for internet marketing.
If someone wanted to make money by blogging, what would you tell them?
Blogging is a great way to make money online… and the thing I would tell them is that they have to put in the work.
If you look at any of the leaders in blogging and those successfully monetizing their blog, they typically have 400 to 800 blog posts or more. When Hector pointed that out to me four years ago, I realized that I had to blog regularly with that goal in mind.
Remember that when I started I didn’t know what a blog was so it took a LOT of trial and error. I still have my old blog posts as a reminder of where I came from.
I’m very proud of them not because they were quality work (they weren’t) but because it represents that you don’t have to know what you are doing to start. Just keep blogging and learning as you go.
I’m fascinated by your SEO knowledge and I was interested in knowing more about generating traffic to my blog posts, what would be the best free and paid things I could do?
Free methods are on page SEO (just do the basics if you are new to it). As you build out your blog the thing about the linking structure between blog posts, and between blog posts to your static pages.
I use static pages as the main goal of my traffic because they are written to rank and to convert traffic to leads. Pass that “link juice” from blog to blog to static page to blog.
Think of it like running water throughout the blog: don’t let any page go dry or have stagnant “link juice”. Use syndication tools like Onlywire. It was the first tool that I used to help get traffic to my blog.
On the paid traffic side I use Facebook Ads and Bing PPC. They can extremely effective in getting very targeted traffic. I do some paid traffic but really I’ve done mostly free techniques up until recently. Paid traffic is great when you really want to scale things up.
You also use Press Releases to send backlinks and SEO juice to articles. What kind of PR packages do you offer?
What’s the quickest and most effective way to get traffic back to a blog article, besides social media?
Press releases are a great way to help with link diversity for your blog. I have a special service where I offer press releases that typically get 200+ pickups from news and article sites across the USA from sites with a pagerank of 2 to 7. This has really helped my fire barrages of powerful links when I want to dominate keywords.
I offer a basic press release for $150, and if you want Yahoo Finance to also pick up the press release I charge an additional $150.
What has been the best blog syndication?
Like I mentioned earlier, Onlywire is an amazing way to get traffic to your blog (outside of social media). SEO is A M A Z I N G but takes a while. It should be part of a long term strategy, but you need to get your posts syndicated in the meanwhile.
What has been the best free SEO hack that you’ve done on your blog?
Interesting question. The truth is in SEO there is no real “hack” or “shortcut”. Those don’t pan out long term if you want to weather the Google zoological updates. Instead it’s sticking to the fundamentals and making everything look as natural as possible.
What is your favorite social media platform right now and why?
Let me start off by saying my top four are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
In my opinion, anything outside of that is often a distraction unless your niche really talks to one of them (always follow your target audience).
That said, now choosing from them is like asking me to choose my favorite from my children. The four are really powerful.
But if I had to choose it would be Twitter than Facebook if I were starting from scratch. I know I’m probably causing a lot of heads to shake, and I understand that. For years I thought Twitter was… well… dumb.
I thought it was a waste of time and not worth the effort. I didn’t get tweeters, and all that. But after taking a course on it a year and a half ago, it quickly became my favorite platform.
I get the most traffic to my blog from it and the most clients for my business. You just need to really understand niche marketing to make Twitter a powerhouse tool for you… and by the way I don’t recommend Twitter ads if you have to choose. My first pick for paid social media ads is reserved for Facebook.
Do you still do Network Marketing, and if so, what has been the best lesson you have learned from it?
Yes, I still do Network Marketing. The company I’m CMO for is a network marketing company. That said, the best lesson I’ve learned is when you do network marketing don’t sell.
Instead you need to get people to want more and more from you. Content marketing in my opinion is the best way to grow a network marketing business. Takes more time, but it’s the most effective way long term.
What are your plans for 2017?
Same thing as every year… plot to take over the world. Bwahahahahaaha
I’m going to 10x traffic to my website, build a new membership site, and give even more value.
My consulting business will easily 10x in business over the next six months, and I’ll continually be adding to both full-time and consulting partners for IM Consultant Services.
There are a lot of people and businesses that need clear direction with all the noise out there and I stand out from the crowd with my team’s integrity and genuine desire to put our clients first.
What’s your favorite quote and why?
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
I had the Einstein poster since my days of working on my Bachelor’s of Engineering. It holds even more true now than back then.
With a strong imagination one can find ways to stand apart from everyone else, and do things differently than “from the box” techniques.
Few know that I also have a very strong art background and almost went the art route instead of engineering. Imagination is VERY important to me.
Wow! This is a value packed interview, Mike! Thank you so much for taking time out to do this interview with me!
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