Courtney Tuttle is a bit of a phenom in the internet marketing world. In 2 years, he's achieved significant success for his business by leveraging blogging and search engine optimization. I asked him a few quick questions for the benefit of our readers.
- According to the Website Grader free SEO tool , your site has a score of 99/100. Your website has been around about 2 years, you have 2,500 pages indexed by Google, almost 100,000 inbound links and a PageRank of 5. How did you accomplish this in such a short amount of time?
During the first year, I simply put the site online and let it age. To Google, there is a huge difference between a site that is over a year old and a site that is brand new. For this reason, I focused on other projects until my site hit the 1-year mark.
After the entire first year, I had less than 5 inbound links, a Page Rank of 0, and exactly 1 page in Google's index. It was at that point that I started blogging. Since SEO is my background, that's the primary method that was used to build the site, which now gets over 1,000 visitors each day from search engines. Add social media, direct traffic, and referral traffic to the mix and it makes for some pretty big days. You then have to take those people and provide them with information that they can trust, which will turn them into a regular reader.
Regular readers that are industry-related bloggers will produce a huge amount of links for you, in any niche. If you can provide that traffic with something that excites them, they will link to your site to tell their readers. I was able to generate 100,000 links in one year because I was able to do that again and again.
- You write a lot about how to generate income from blogging through advertising. At HubSpot, the majority of our clients are interested in using blogs in order to attract traffic and generate leads for their more traditional product or service business, where a sale usually occurs offline. Do you think small and mid-sized businesses that sell more traditional products and services can duplicate your level of success in their market?
It's funny that you mention that Pete. While I talk a lot about advertising as a model to make money, most of the income on my site comes from generating leads that we sell to offline. Using the blog to generate leads has allowed us to establish strong relationships with our clients before the sales call ever happens and this makes for a much easier sale. We also have a nearly unlimited supply of leads because of the residual nature of our traffic.
Many small businesses could find success much greater than ours. The internet marketing industry is crowded with competition even though the amount of people interested in it isn't as large as many other industries. When I have created sites that cover other industries, the traffic has come more easily.
- For a marketer with more of a traditional marketing background, what skills would you recommend they acquire in order to equip themselves for an increasingly "inbound marketing" world where lead generation is most effectively done through SEO, blogging, PPC and social media strategies?
Copywriting is, without a doubt, the most vital skill of the " inbound marketing " world. Many traditional marketers are pretty solid at writing copy, and they will have an advantage going forward. They will need to refine their writing ability to focus on two major areas: SEO copywriting and link building . Those skills will allow them to develop residual search traffic that will always supply them with leads.
Originally published Apr 24, 2008 11:09:00 AM, updated October 20 2016