My name is Tony Hsieh and I am the founder of DigitalReadyMarketing.com .
I am a husband and a father of two young children. I am a SEO consultant.
When I became a SEO consultant full time, I only had SEO knowledge to optimize small websites. I needed to learn enterprise level SEO fast so I started DRM as an online notebook to keep a record of what I learned.
Since then, the site has evolved into a SEO education site + sharing my journey to build an online business.
My first job out of college
I used to be a Biological Scientist working in the field of cancer research. My paycheck was ridiculously low so I was always looking for ways to make extra money. I managed to put myself through a business school part-time initially by using Credit Card debt (at the time, they were offering 0% APR for one year) then I would figure out ways (use Tax return, trading stock, get another card) to repay it within a year before the interest rate jumps up to 17.99%.
Fortunately, my understanding boss eventually gave me a raise so I managed to graduate without a substantial debt.
Why did I become a SEO consultant?
Ever since I built my first website that teaches high school Chemistry in 1998 (No WordPress back then. I hand coded it in HTML), I had been playing around with websites on and off until I started working on a few startup projects.
While attending the business school part-time, one of my start-up projects “Eventsburgh” really got me into SEO. The project was to create an online event marketing platform for local non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh, PA and surrounding cities.
I must admit as a business it was a failure. It never generated enough profits to cover the cost, but thanks to its popularity to a small group of people in Pittsburgh, I managed to find a buyer to take over the site.
After selling the site, I switched career and started working as a full time SEO consultant.
Why did I start DigitalReadyMarketing.com?
As you can imagine, the only SEO knowledge I had was from working on my websites, so I needed to learn enterprise SEO best practices fast.
This is why I started DRM as a place for me to write down SEO tips and SEO notes.
Around the sametime, I started learning about building niche websites and how to make money as an affiliate marketer. This was back in 2013.
Since then, I have modified DRM into a SEO education site to share what I have learned from building nice websites.
I must say the mentality and methods needed to run a successful niche site in comparison to a multi-billion dollar corporation site are completely different. I am learning new tricks every day.
What from here?
My aim is to create a profitable online business.
When I started out, I primarily focused on link building and experimented with Black Hat methods. After many failed attempts, I reached to a conclusion that Black Hat is not the way to go.
It requires way too much up front cost and when Google changes its algorithm, whatever strategy worked at the time would stop working.
In early 2015 after hearing a podcast on how Claire Smith makes 5 figures without backlink building, it clarified that it is possible to generate profitable niche websites with only White Hat SEO.
Here is the timeline of what I focused on so far since 2013.
The first website ranked pretty well within few months thanks to the Gray / Black Hat SEO techniques that worked back then. Unfortunately, it was the year that Exact Match Domain would really stop working along with other Gary / Black Hat techniques thanks to Google’s algorithm updates -as a result my first website traffic dropped and most of the twenty sites never got much traction.
This was the year I really learned a lot about SEO. I became full time SEO consultant in late 2013 and started working with large enterprise level clients. Really got to know what “Best Practice SEO” means and learned enterprise level SEO.
DRM became my online notebook for SEO tips and ideas. In August, me and my family relocated to Tampa, FL.
This was the year I decided to use ONLY White Hat SEO for my sites.
I had experimented with various Black Hat SEO methods including Private Blog Network up till March 2015 but the ROI was disappointing.
This was also the year I got my Amazon affiliate account shut down at one point. It was a painful process but was also a good learning process.
We also developed a keyword difficulty checker to find easy to rank keywords.
My primary focus for 2016 is Amazon affiliate and aiming to boost the 3 figure monthly income to 4 figures a month – with ONLY White Hat SEO!
Join me to see how using White Hat SEO can create a sustainable long term online business.