The big question that remains unanswered even after ages has found a challenger today. Yes, following the enduring mystery behind egg and chicken’s birth, it is impossible to answer whether Web 2.0 has led to the evolution of search engine optimization (SEO) or search engine optimizers have discovered Web 2.0. But let’s not discuss the impracticality now as we have Neil Patel, a deserving elite blogger with us today. Neil is fortunate to have experienced diverse traits of business (SEO and Web 2.0) during his graduation days and today is found engaged amidst Pronet Advertising, ACS Social Media Optimization Agency, QuickSprout, CrazyEgg and holds a strong view point about social media.
Roll over to know more about Neil, a perfect example of a young and successful entrepreneur.
Neil, kindly introduce yourself to my readers and take us through your usual day at work?
I am the CTO at ACS . My usual workday consists of talking with clients, managing employees, and talking with potential clients. When I have spare time I try and write a blog post or two.
Other than that, there isn’t much more to Neil Patel. I finally graduated from college, which means work is my life. When I am not working, I am usually watching TV, eating, sleeping, or traveling.
What led to the inception of ACS? Why you named it as ACS?
I started ACS with my brother-in-law in 2003. The main reason for starting it was that people I knew needed help with SEO, so I thought I would create a company that would provide the service.
As for the name, I have no clue on why it was picked. The easy answer was that my business partner and I were typing random stuff into Godaddy.com and it recommended Advantage Consulting Services. We decided to pick it because we couldn’t come up with anything better and it started with ACS, which means it would be at the top of most business directories. Sooner or later we realized the name was too long, so we changed our name to ACS.
What strategies do you follow to promote a particular website as a part of providing Internet marketing services?
There are a lot of strategies I would follow, but here are a few:
1. Have a good product or service first. A good marketer can’t market crap.
2. Write great content. As we all know, content is king. The more you have, the more links and traffic you will get.
3. On page SEO. It is amazing on the traffic increases you can get from modifying your website code/structure.
4. Link building. You can never have enough quality links.
When did you venture into blogging and why? Is growing traffic or link building the indicator of a blog’s success?
I ventured into blogging around 2 years ago. I did it because I wanted to share my knowledge with others. I measure a blog success by traffic, links, and RSS subscribers. Once you figure out your blogs stats, you then want to compare them to your competition and see how you stack up.
Is it important to have an individual identity of a blog or run it as a form of a community/network?
Ideally you want both. A blog should have an individual identity, but you also want a community around your blog. If you are able to do both then you will succeed in the blogging world.
Having carved a success story for yourself by establishing ACS and holding the flag of CTO for the company, do you still feel the need to continue with your bachelor’s degree?
I don’t think it is important, but I just graduated. I only had 1 class left for over a year, so I decided to finish it so I could get my degree.
How active are you on social networking sites/engines viz. Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon or Reddit? Which one of them is the great traffic-puller?
I used to be very active on all of them, but do to my traveling schedule I am not active on them anymore. The best traffic puller for me is either Digg or Yahoo Buzz.
Do you think RSS feeds will have a great future?
I think RSS feeds will have a future because they make life easier. Instead of going to thousands of sites to read their content, you can now do all of this through RSS.
What are your daily-reads or favorite blogs?
Everyday I visit TechCrunch, Gigaom, and Venturebeat. There are tons of other blogs I read, but these are the three I read most frequently.
Pen down five favorite posts written by you till date
This is a tough one because I am not sure if I really wrote any great posts. Either way here are my 5 favorite posts I have ever written:
What Does Your Business Card Say About You?
Whose Shadow Are You Standing In?
It’s on me!
Blogging has moved from experimental to mainstream. What social or technical features would you like to see enter the world of blogging?
Tough question because I am not 100% sure on the exact features I am looking for. None-the-less, I know that I want blogs to become more social. Ideally as a blog owner I would like to put a face on every visitor that visits my blog. I know MyBlogLog does something similar, but it doesn’t do it for every visitor and it doesn’t provide as many stats as I would like.
If asked to give three tips to a novice blogger, what would those be?
Write great content, write great content, and write great content. I truly feel that content is the most important thing for a novice blogger to concentrate on. But if you want three different tips I would recommend: write great content, create a conversation with your readers, and create baity content.
How would you like to be known as?
I would love to be known as all and hopefully I will one day. ;)
Hours you invest digging net: Used to be 2 hours a day, now 5 minutes a day.
Biggest blogging mistake you did: Writing content for the sole purpose of increasing my traffic instead of writing content to provide value to others.
One hidden truth: One way my blogs became popular is that I had other popular bloggers blog about my blog and tell their readers to subscribe to my RSS feed.
If asked to post only on one blog (not PRONetAdvertising), which one would that be? Quicksprout.com, my latest blog.
Advice you would have given yourself five years ago? Write more detailed blog posts.
If not a blogger or SEO expert then venture capitalist.
Life without Internet: I would do something related to television or film.
First SEO project you took: Elpac.com
What are your interest areas besides networking, software, technology and the Internet?
I love anything related to television and films. One of my first jobs was working at Hollywood video and to this day it was my favorite job. Other than that I love basketball.
Your clientele includes TechCrunch, AOL and many others. What chief services you have delivered to them and how was experience in working with the major players in the internet industry?
Most of the services delivered to them were related to SEO and helping them increase their search traffic. It was fun working with them, not only because they are great companies, but they also taught me a lot about their space.
Give us your views on EliteChoice.
EliteChoice seems like a cool blog and concept. I think it will do well as long as you can figure out how to create more buzz about it.
Whom would you recommend as my next EliteBlogger and Why?
If you already have not interviewed him, I would recommend Stephen Spencer. He is a great Internet marketer, entrepreneur, and father.
You can ask me one question.
What is your goal by interviewing all the top bloggers?
Two reasons! To bring all elite bloggers under a single umbrella wherein they can share and learn from each-others’ experiences. And secondly, I am hoping that the community of elite bloggers would offer lot of meat to evolving bloggers, hence making the blogging medium as strong as any other form of media.
We thank Neil for sparing time for our readers and wish him luck in his journey to explore more hidden geographies.