I normally don’t post reviews of conferences and/or conventions, but this one is worth the mention. Besides, I’m currently sitting in an airport waiting for my flight so there’s not much else I can do besides listen to music for 45 minutes. So I’m going to give you all the top 5 things I heard (tips and realizations). If these seem a little dull and/or more known, forgive me – but with the current state of my body due to alcohol and lack of sleep, I’m going to do my best.
1. It’s not about how not to get caught, it’s how to prolong getting caught.
This is one thing that I definitely had burned into my head after introducing myself as “I do a little blackhat”. The bottom line is that you’re going to get caught doing blackhat unless you are really, really good at “automating whitehat” (grayhat) which is a completely different thing. Automating whitehat would be like … automating directory submissions, trackback requests on a moderately slower level like 5-10 per article and making sure it’s all related content. This would be like posting about blue widgets, and then sending out 5-10 trackback requests about blue widgets. If for some odd reason you can’t see where I’m going with this, check out Splog Ping Crawl …
2. Is Your Out Worth Your In?
Something that Sugarrae mentioned in her talk (and I also think mentioned to me the night before) is “is your time spent on something worth what you’re getting for it?”. This seems like common knowledge, but really think about it. Assume your time is worth 10 dollars an hour, and you work 40 hours a week ($400/week). Is the tool, or site, or method you’re working on going to return that within 6 months? 1 year? 2 years? It’s all about priorities. One thing that rae mentioned was that she doesn’t usually count on something to be really profitable until after a year. Me on the other hand, I’d like to have it profitable by the 2nd or 3rd month. Different priorities, different methods, different guidelines for your projects.
3. Brandable and Long Term, or Short-Term Churn and Burn?
Different projects warrant different techniques and methods, as well as require entirely different guidelines and goals. If you’re going to go longterm on a good whitehat niche, spending $2000-$5000 on a site startup may be warranted if the return would be there. I know I just started trying a few grayhat/whitehat domains and running them with the intent of no return until 6-8 months out. Until then I don’t mind running a few splog networks for testing.
Don’t get me wrong, I do use BlackHat SEO almost on a daily basis. Here’s the rub, most of the time I use BHSEO for testing theories and methods with mass generation. Just wanted to clarify that so you don’t think that Contempt is a whitehat!
4. Stop Thinking, Start Doing
This wasn’t exactly an unknown saying to me. We often throw it around on WickedFire and I’ve found myself mentioning it to someone, pulling back and going “wait, wtf am I doing”. Even I need to reality check myself every now and again. At IMSB I was reality checked by 3 people really. It’s not necessarily what they said, but how and why. First was Steve Plunkett – sitting down with him for nearly 3 minutes yielded the yells of “WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT IS THAT IN YOUR CODE” which made me slap myself endlessly. I also need to mention, the caps are there for a reason – security told him to quiet down right after.
The second person was Rae (who I mentioned above). I’m not quite sure why it hit differently when she said it, but the mention of figures from her put other things into perspective for me about success and non. Thirdly of course, was and always will be, XMCP (SlightlyShadySEO). There’s normally a bunch of passing back and forth between Shady and I but for some odd reason, I listened closer this time (not saying I didn’t listen before bud :P). I’ve put a few things into play and and trying a lot more techniques on different projects. Longshot? Doubt it. Will it work? It will if I’m trying hard enough.
5. GO – TO – MORE – MEETUPS
The people, the information, the drinking (oh and trust me, I set records… ask anyone at IMSB about the cherry bomb har har har), and the atmosphere in general. “Shit just got real” is a line I say in my head consistently as I listen to people I talk to. Hardcore affiliate or beginning SEO, the perspective on it is worth it alone.
Thanks again for everyone I met, the people I got drunk with the Cherry Bomb (you know who you are), the ButterMyRoll Crew (again, you know who you are), and of course above and all Search & Social for putting on another amazing event. If you’ll be at AdTech, drop me a comment we’ll have to meetup.