- How Jacob became a digital nomad before it was cool
- Growing your business with focus and intent
- Using affiliate marketing to boost your income
- Scaling your business with SEO
- Researching keywords for SEO ranking
- The tools you can use for SEO ranking
- Understanding domain ratings
- Determining your entrepreneurial personality
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[00:00:00] Brian: Hello and welcome to the six Figure Creative Podcast. I'm your host Brian Hood, and this is a show where I help creatives like you, who are on their journey to six figures and beyond, and they wanna get there without selling their souls.
[00:00:09] Brian: If that sounds like you, then you're in the right place. Today's episode, I'm excited to finally get back into some interviews. We took some time off from interviews during the holidays and while my wife and I were traveling because it was just so hard to get interviews booked while we were in Bali for like all of the fall, and then getting back into the Christmas season and then Trying to get people on the show during the Christmas season where all the calendars are, are messed up. It was just not a, good time to bring guests on the show. So I did a lot of solo episodes, lot of fun. I found that I really like those. There will be more like those for me in the future when I have something I think is worth sharing to our audience it is just something that happened to me or something I learned.
[00:00:40] Brian: I don't know. I just like sharing as I learn and I like reflecting on things that I've learned over the years as well, which is some of the past. Today we're back to interviews. Which means we get to bring people into the show who have outside perspectives that are different from our own, so we can take and learn from their perspectives and apply it to our businesses.
[00:00:54] Brian: This is the wonderful thing about Six Figure Creative is we are agnostic to an industry. We are full of [00:01:00] designers. We have illustrators, we have photographers, videographers, a lot of music producers, audio engineers copywriters.
[00:01:06] Brian: someone was emailing me the other day who, designs homes? blueprints for homes or something. Like we have a, very wide audience here for six figure creative and I love it. And that means that we can learn from all these people in all these other industries are doing that no one in our industry is doing.
[00:01:19] Brian: That's the power of this. I just saw in my background in music production that. Some of the most basic fundamental marketing practices were not being used in my industry. And so we launched a podcast in the beginning of that to help solve that issue.
[00:01:32] Brian: And today's conversation is one of the things that I rebranded this podcast and moved into the six figure creative, world Four. he has a completely different approach than I would've ever guessed anyone would've done. Our guest today, his name is Jacob Cass, and he is an Australian designer or design agency from Australia.
[00:01:49] Brian: So one man shop down there. He's worked with clients like Nike, Jerry Seinfeld, Disney Omega, Nintendo. He's worked with some big hitter clients, but surprisingly, His business has [00:02:00] shifted massively over the years, especially during Covid. And he talked about how he has shifted his business to the point where the majority of his income actually comes from affiliate sales.
[00:02:09] Brian: And if you don't know what affiliate sales are, it's when you essentially pitch or sell someone else's product or service to your audience. he even mentioned a number. It was like a hundred thousand dollars through Black Friday that he earned, from affiliate sales. And it's surprising. cuz it's completely different direction than I thought this conversation was gonna go.
[00:02:25] Brian: But it's, really interesting because he's somehow amassed a million views per month to his website through really dialed in s e o practices called search engine optimiz. He's found that at scale he can earn more selling digital products and software and physical products through Amazon links.
[00:02:42] Brian: Two, all these visitors coming to a site through all of the articles that are ranked at the top of Google. That's what search engine optimization is. When they type something in, you show up at the top of Google and they click your link and go to the thing. And if someone uses your affiliate link to purchase something through that article, you get a commission.
[00:02:56] Brian: And he's used his skills, he used to scale his agency and he's [00:03:00] doing it to bring in passive income. So this is a really interesting episode where he's, graduated from freelancing and agency work and has gone fully into passive income now, and this conversation whether or not you're interested in ever like, graduating from freelancing, You still wanna listen to this episode because unless you're getting a million views to your website a month organically without paying for ads, then you can probably learn a lot from Jacob. So I highly encourage you to stick around and listen. The episode does get technical in a few areas, and I apologize for those of you where your eyes glaze over and you just, your brain goes numb when you start hearing technical details.
[00:03:31] Brian: But it's worth listening to, and it's worth knowing this stuff because I, guarantee you, in your in. there's a few articles you can put out that you can start ranking for, to start bringing in clients to you. And it's not nearly as competitive of an industry as what Jacob is targeting in his content.
[00:03:44] Brian: So wonderful conversation if a bit technical at times, but I think Jacob does a really good job of, distilling it down to really. easy to digest basics. He explains s e o, he explains affiliate stuff. He explains it all so that anyone who's doesn't have any experience with any of this can start to at [00:04:00] least digest what he's saying and we can start seeing a path forward towards getting more traffic to our site.
[00:04:04] Brian: And we talk on this podcast a lot about something called client acquisition. this episode is, Part of that puzzle, getting traffic to your website, There's more to it after that, but this is a huge part and probably the missing piece that most of you listening right now have.
[00:04:17] Brian: So without further delay, here is my conversation with Jacob Cass of just creative.com.
[00:04:23] Brian: Jacob, thank you so much for taking the time to come on the show today.
[00:04:25] Brian: I know it's early over there in Australia, and we were just talking off air about the fact that it's, honestly, to me, it's way earlier than anyone ever should have to be thrown on a show in front of thousands of people when you're still trying to wake up. So thank you, man.
[00:04:37] Jacob: My kid's waking up about five 30, so I'm ready to go.
[00:04:40] Brian: real quick, just to start us off, can you give, uh, everyone listening right now just a quick rundown of what just creative is all about just so everyone kinda understands the experience that you're coming from and where your advice is coming from as a.
[00:04:51] Jacob: Gotcha. So just Creative is my branding agency. It's also a community, it's a platform for, creatives and entrepreneurs to help them grow. There's a [00:05:00] ton of resources on that from everything from a branding podcast to tech articles, to design resources, to free downloads and so forth. So that's Sid in a very short nut nutshell.
[00:05:10] Jacob: Myself, I'm a designer at heart. I love brand, I love marketing. I love business and strategy and the cross section of all those things. So that's where my passions. As well as passive income, So that's why we're here. I run the blog and I've been running a blog since 2007 and I've learned a lot about seo, blog in affiliate marketing partnerships, email marketing, all of that.
[00:05:30] Jacob: So I'm sure we'll dive into all of that. So that's a quick, background uh, of myself.
[00:05:35] Brian: Yeah, so that's actually how I originally found you is through an article that you had posted probably years ago, we will probably get into some SEO and some of that stuff. But I actually wanna start you off a bit further back. I don't fully know your even backstory here.
[00:05:46] Brian: Usually I have a bit more information about my guests, about their early start, but like, give me an idea about your first freelance dollar. Cause I know most of us get started before we even start dreaming about any sort of passive income or anything like that. We're trading our services for dollars [00:06:00] and I believe you're no different.
[00:06:01] Brian: What was your, first dollar as a freelancer?
[00:06:03] Jacob: So I went to university to study visual communication or graphic design. And that was when I learned about design and and that's when I started freelancing. So I was sharing what I learned at university on my blog. So blogging was very different back then. It was very tight. And near 10 it was actually blogs and community.
[00:06:19] Jacob: It wasn't even called content marketing. There wasn't social media and so forth. So it was a bit different. But that's how I got into blog in and design work. So just friends asking for, you things like logos and websites, like $50 logos. It was crazy. So that was the first taste of, you know, getting paid for what I did.
[00:06:38] Jacob: But it was interesting because that interest in design led to blog and just sharing what I learned. And then social media started coming. Twitter and so forth. And I actually got headhunted by an agency in New York City for being in digital media at the time. So I was very ahead of the game in terms of using social media to promote my online brand and presence.
[00:06:59] Jacob: [00:07:00] And I even got onto the front cover our our local news paper for being a top Twitter, so a top Twitter user. that's really how I got into all of this and my career catapulted. So I went from being a design student, to working for brands like Disney and Nike. And that was just like mind blowing I had six months left to graduate and I got this job offer and I obviously said yes, and I packed up left, didn't know anyone, didn't know a thing, didn't know much about anything, let alone working for those brands.
[00:07:28] Jacob: So it was like a major shift, but it just catapulted my career. What was interesting about that? So that's design side design career, but I was also running just creative at the time it was called just creative design back then. It's now shortened into just creative just got more into logging logging and content marketing, which is now it's called.
[00:07:46] Jacob: And that's where I learned about affiliate marketing and just growing a brand online. And I was working in New York for about five. At different agencies cutting my teeth in the advertising industry, while also moonlighting as a freelancer, doing [00:08:00] design. So I was like, definitely burning the candle at both ends for a long time in New York.
[00:08:03] Jacob: went home, worked then went back to work during the day. So it was a big learning experience, you know, in your early twenties you have much more energy and, then you go out on the weekends and party your weekend. So it was like, definitely an early twenties, an awesome, catapult into the career.
[00:08:17] Jacob: So I'll leave it at that. That's where I got into blogging and design.
[00:08:20] Brian: So you kind of, I would say like it's a traditional and a not so traditional background. I don't know if anyone that I know that got their start in freelancing from blogging so you were already like putting content out into the world and that was bringing you people who wanted help with different things.
[00:08:33] Brian: So it was almost like you had the audience and then they were asking you for certain things. Is that how you got
[00:08:37] Brian: started?
[00:08:38] Jacob: It was actually the other way around. So I was literally sharing my design studies. let's say I designed a CD cover, so I'd blog about that, and this is my process. It was kind of like a learning tool for myself, but it got the interest of many people around the world and there wasn't much content on the web around this sort of topic.
[00:08:54] Jacob: And those articles are still live on my blog today, so you can look them up. It's terrible science, but, that's [00:09:00] literally the same thinking that I use today, No matter where I'm in at in my journey, I'm always sharing what I'm learning. So these days I'm more into brand strategy.
[00:09:09] Jacob: However, back then it was more like typical graphic design. You're like, you're doing flyers and CD covers and brochures and things, which is what early career designers work on is the basic principles of design. But yes, it was the, act of sharing my process and what I'm learning, helping others that may be interested in that because you're always a step ahead of someone.
[00:09:28] Jacob: And yours are step behind someone as well. So just share
[00:09:31] Jacob: your
[00:09:31] Jacob: journey.
[00:09:32] Brian: Yeah I tell people like, if you don't know any other way to create content, just share what you just learned. Just share whatever you just learned and someone else needs to learn that as well. So my background is from the music side of that. So we were hiring people like you to make our CD covers, to make our show flyers to promote things that we were trying to sell, like merchant stuff along the way.
[00:09:49] Brian: So That's funny. So our paths might have crossed around then, cuz that's when I was full on in the band world back then. But you took the, this is what I consider the traditional path, which is you went to school and then you get a job at a big agency. That's kinda like the [00:10:00] traditional creative path at least on the design side.
[00:10:02] Brian: When did you fully go off on your own? How long were you part of the agency? You got a lot of experience, obviously you got some good portfolio pieces back then, but when did you actually go off onto your own?
[00:10:09] Jacob: Yeah, so I was in New York for about five years. Uh, I can't remember the exact years but I had a ultimatum, so I had to go, I'm on a visa in the US so I had to go back to Australia to renew a visa for another two years, or I could go traveling and I've always been a big lover of travel, been to 88 countries in total and I wanted to go traveling, So the idea was to either go traveling or renew the visa for another two years. So that was of my ultimatum at that time. We went traveling for a year and that's when I went out fully on my own. And throughout that year I realized I'm actually earning more money and saving more money than when I was in New York because there's less expenses.
[00:10:47] Jacob: And you know, you had more time to work on your business when you're, burning the candle at both ends, working for someone else and, you know, enjoying the pleasures of New York, then your business doesn't grow as much. So that's what I found that one year [00:11:00] of travel turned into four years of travel.
[00:11:02] Jacob: that's really how I turned into a digital nomad for a number of years and, cut my teeth into running my own business and agency. And I was fully booked for a long time for those first three years. Much different now. I was heavily into logo design. I was only working four hours a day.
[00:11:16] Jacob: So when I say fully booked, it's half days since I was doing half days of work and half days of travel. And, because I had set up this business, just creative and had a lot of referrals through seo. everything was organic. I didn't have to market myself. It was all natural. And that's how I could run my business on the road.
[00:11:34] Jacob: And it just proved to be really successful. And then we started a travel blog as well to document our journey traveling as well. So it was kind of like this mix of all my passions into one. I was like so blessed to, be able to do all of that. And, but that's how I got into, being on my own.
[00:11:49] Jacob: And now I could never look back, the foundation's, laid, the brand is up and, I'm still optimized for search. I'll leave it at that.
[00:11:55] Brian: Yeah, first of all, I love the digital o med life. Like, I don't think I do four straight years of it. [00:12:00] my wife and I, we just did like two months in Bali towards the end of last year.
[00:12:03] Brian: you're right, man, like I was more productive during that time. There's less distractions. You have more time to reflect and think and work on your business. And especially when you're booking yourself half days, you don't have to make as much money because it's so cheap to travel. Especially if you don't have even though we were traveling, we had our house to pay for it and bills back home, we had to still pay for it.
[00:12:20] Brian: You just basically got to cut off, remove yourself from the distractions of New York, both good and bad distractions uh, remove yourself from the day job, which was good for income, good for experience, good for learning on the job, good for getting portfolio pieces under your belt, but bad for building your own business.
[00:12:34] Brian: And then you went off on your own for the next several years and, putting a lot of travel under your belt and probably, I'm just guessing here, growing a lot as a person. what sort of things did you have to learn traveling in an extended way like that?
[00:12:45] Brian: To be able to successfully run a business without giving into more distractions? Cause I also know that you can fall into, and I've done this before on one long trip that I did the first time I ever traveled, internationally, was I got about. Two hours of work done in five [00:13:00] weeks because I was so excited to be on the road and traveling and seeing, experiencing new things that I had got nothing done
[00:13:06] Brian: did you have any, any struggles like that with this transition?
[00:13:08] Jacob: Yeah. Many struggles, many learnings. The first, place we went was Europe. it's very expensive you could stay there for about three months on our Visa bee Australian. So we had a very quick schedule to see a lot of places in a short amount of time.
[00:13:19] Jacob: So for that, first few months, there was not much work being done. It was like the summer, and we didn't want to do too much work. It was like our holiday, but throughout that time we were learning the ins and outs of, booking, saving money on hostels and we'll backpacking, right?
[00:13:32] Jacob: It was early twenties it wasn't about the accommodation, it was about seeing the sites, it was experiencing the culture and so forth. So throughout that, we learned how to travel per se. We'd been traveling before, but not for an extended amount of time.
[00:13:45] Jacob: So throughout that, three to six months, we learned a lot. And then the reality set in of like, okay, well we need to start earning more money to keep this going. Europe's an expensive place and we wanted to keep going, We had saved money for the first, like six months or a year.[00:14:00] But that's really it.
[00:14:01] Jacob: But then we started to realize we had these systems in place with my business and logos and identity and so forth, and that really helped us get the money. And then we started a travel blog as well, and that started getting partnerships and we were staying a hotels for free and we were getting free tours and, then we became a travel influencer for a while there as well.
[00:14:19] Jacob: So that was, a good way to offset some of those costs as well. But I do get asked this question about how to become a digital nomad. And say to start in a place that is within your means, right? Europe is an expensive place, but you can easily go to, you know, a place in Asia, it's much more affordable.
[00:14:35] Jacob: Like, Bangkok is like a really great hub, for example, where you can easily travel around Southeast Asia for, much longer, and still, be able to afford it if you have some, runway, So if you are interested in it, that's a great way to start.
[00:14:50] Jacob: Don't just go to Europe straight off the bat.
[00:14:51] Brian: So along this way you're doing mostly freelancing, you're doing some influencer stuff from the travel side to stay, stay at nicer places, up-level your accommodations. [00:15:00] But at some point, did you shift from just like a, a, like an, at a normal freelancing business to more of an agency model?
[00:15:05] Brian: If you did, when did that shift start to happen?
[00:15:07] Jacob: it's all been myself. So throughout this whole time, I am a branding agency, but I'm a sole brander, if you will. I, everything goes through me, the creative, the strategy the designs and everything these days. Now I have a team for the blog inside of it, but I still do all the creative and strategy myself.
[00:15:24] Jacob: So that's how I run my business. I don't really outsource except for, some development needs and maybe some larger, graphic design pieces, like a big ebook, for example. That takes a long time and it's not really necessarily related to strategy or brand building. So that's really how I run just creative these days.
[00:15:41] Jacob: The brand inside is still through myself.
[00:15:43] Brian: it sounds like everything we've said so far, it sounds like the thing that has kept you going through all of this, and it's how you started and it's how I think you're still doing well now, is through s e o search engine optimization. For those who don't follow the acronyms, is that still your mains?
[00:15:57] Brian: Of traffic and eyeballs and leads and [00:16:00] clients and customers, or has that changed over the years? What does that look like
[00:16:03] Jacob: Yeah, absolutely. SEO is definitely the number one resource for me. It's been the backbone of just creative since the beginning. Last month we passed 1 million page views in a month so, oh, sorry. November. And that was a big celebration for us. A big milestone, which is crazy.
[00:16:18] Jacob: just to give you context, so when I was traveling and when I was running this business, we were around the 200 k page views a month. And my business was I don't wanna say plateaued, but it was steady, And over the past, say three, four years, I've settled at home here in Sydney.
[00:16:33] Jacob: Grown a family, and I've focused on this business in the past two years, has grown exponentially five times because of that focused, intentional growth when it came to the blog. As I mentioned, it used to be myself and maybe a couple of other writers. Now we have about 10, 12 writers and editors of va it's totally changed.
[00:16:52] Jacob: And that's because of the intention of growth and having the time to actually grow it versus seeing the sites and [00:17:00] so forth.
[00:17:00] Brian: this is the good part of the conversation to me. This is when I get excited. I got the background, I got the backstory, the travel, the, all that stuff. But to me, this is the secret sauce. Okay. And I'll even see a little story here if we can talk about this later if you'd like, but you even said something about how you did like a hundred grand in affiliate cells for Black Friday at the end of 2022. And I'm going to assume that came mostly from email list, which mostly came from seo.
[00:17:22] Jacob: Your assumption would be incorrect, unfortunately. I do get questions about what is affiliate marketing and it is like an undertapped area of passive income. So I'm sure you've talked about this before on your show, but
[00:17:32] Brian: we don't talk about this much because most of our audience are freelancers. We have talked a lot about building an email list. But affiliate income is a really good natural transition for your first taste of passive income as a freelancer. So I'm excited for us to talk about this today. And this is an area that I can improve I've tasted it, y'all, I've done hundred or hundreds of thousands of affiliated income over my life and I could have done way more because I haven't really made this main part of, anything that I'm doing.
[00:17:55] Brian: So I'm excited to hear what your secrets are here, Jacob.
[00:17:57] Jacob: Awesome. Yeah, so like I said, it's an undertapped [00:18:00] area of passive income. People don't understand it. They don't know how to get started. They don't know how to market it. So those are the three things we can cover. So number one, affiliate marketing. It's where I recommend a product and if someone clicks on a link that I've recommended, then I get a cut if they buy it, add no extra cost to the buyer. it's a big win-win for everyone, especially when you get discounts involved and, you market it heavily and then there's seo.
[00:18:21] Jacob: So it is when you share a link, someone clicks it and you make a commission. And that commission can range anywhere from 1% to 50%, sometimes more can get up to 80%. The most common is probably around. Probably 30% mark. So that's what you can expect. Amazon is on the lower end, just like one to 10% depending on what you're
[00:18:41] Jacob: promoting. But Amazon is our number one affiliate partner I should say. So that's, where this Black Friday, a hundred k in a month came from. And I'll get into that. So I wanna show you how you can apply it to your business.
[00:18:53] Jacob: it is easy to get started. Amazon is the one I always recommend to get started with. You can sign up within a couple of minutes, you enter [00:19:00] your, details, and then once you're logged into the Amazon Associates program, which is Amazon's affiliate program, on every single page of Amazon, there'll be a toolbar at the top of your page.
[00:19:12] Jacob: And that toolbar you have to click get affiliate link. So this affiliate link is your special link that you use to track, the commission. So you have to share that link with whoever you are sharing your recommendation, to. So that is how it works in a, nutshell. But you can get any product on Amazon and refer it.
[00:19:31] Jacob: So let's say you have a favorite book or some top gear that you use, or camera, for example, you share this with someone, they buy it. Let's say a camera is $3,000, you may get $50 as a referral fee. So if you do this at scale, you can understand that, it can be a really big powerful passive income stream.
[00:19:48] Jacob: So how I typically get, creative started in affiliate marketing is to sign up to Amazon Associates and then put together a resources page. This is the top gear that I use every single day. [00:20:00] Places you can put this top gear is places like your website. You know, having a resources section on your website or the link in your bio, on Instagram, click link in bio on that.
[00:20:09] Jacob: first page, you can recommend your top gear, right? This is the camera I use or this is the microphone I use, or whatever it may be. That's where you can put it. And what's interesting about Amazon is if you click an Amazon link and you buy that camera and then you go and buy a diamond ring within that same cart, you get a commission from the camera and the diamond ring.
[00:20:28] Jacob: So that's where it gets really interesting.
[00:20:30] Brian: That's where I bought my wife's engagement ring was on Amazon for sure.
[00:20:34] Brian: But I do love that. It's like I'm an affiliate on Amazon and, it'll actually show you what other products people have purchased from your affiliate links. And it's fascinating to see that you don't know who it is. So it's, there's no privacy concerns there, but it's like someone will buy a book that we've recommended on this podcast through an affiliate link, and then they'll also buy like Huggies diapers and you're
[00:20:52] Brian: like, oh, that was apparent.
[00:20:53] Jacob: it's funny cuz pet food is probably 10% of our sales and I don't recommend any pet food. [00:21:00] But it's something that people buy a lot. that's really why Amazon's such a powerful program cuz people, do grocery shopping on there. So you'll recommend this camera and then you go through the grocery shopping, you can make a big commission.
[00:21:10] Jacob: So that's how we've able to achieve six figures because we've done this at scale with the help of seo. But I really wanna make this actionable for listeners because they hear this six figures and they think, that's not for me. But you can get started and that's by signing up to Amazon Associates and then putting at Lincoln Bio and creating a resources page.
[00:21:28] Jacob: If you haven't done this before, this is a challenge for you. Create that Amazon account, the associates account, get a link. Let's go to your favorite book. that you would recommend to your audience.
[00:21:37] Brian: Which
[00:21:38] Brian: for me is how to win friends and influence people.
[00:21:40] Jacob: There you go. And you can share, I love this book because X here's the link to check it out. If wherever you're sharing it, you can put a, a link in bracket saying Amazon. So that's part of their policy is you have to share that it's an Amazon link. And that will be the first way you can get traffic to your affiliate link and hopefully make a sale.
[00:21:56] Jacob: If you have an audience, a small audience that trusts you and you're [00:22:00] recommending a product, it's a very high likelihood that you can, make your first sale. But this model is not scalable. That's where SEO comes into it. You can have a link in buy, you can have a resources page cause that's, organic people are going there.
[00:22:13] Jacob: But if you are actively. Write in post to promote your affiliate links. it's very hard to scale that, and that's why we can talk about SEO and how we've been able to, scale this over the past few years. And just for context, from 2012 to 2017, I was an Amazon Associates partner, and we made less than a thousand dollars in those six years because I had no idea what I was doing.
[00:22:34] Jacob: I just, it was probably like you, Brian, and signed up and, didn't really know how to, go about it. But throughout that time blogging and learning how to market properly, we've been able to scale this up. So happy to share all that.
[00:22:46] Brian: Yeah, I'm excited to get into the SEO conversation because like you have a lot of pieces of your business, Jacob, you have, education resources for creatives, like I do, you have your creative services that you offer on your website. and now I'm hearing that you have [00:23:00] these, blog articles that are sharing affiliate links for Amazon products or other things like I don't, there's probably way other higher paying affiliate programs out there
[00:23:08] Jacob: So I've just started with Amazon right now cause that's the easiest way to get started. But literally any, I'd say 80% of businesses or services that you use will have an affiliate program. So if you want to search that up, all you have to do is go to their website and scroll to the very bottom of the page and look for the word partners or affiliate.
[00:23:24] Jacob: And then you can click that link to sign up to their partner program. And you either get approved straight away or they'll look at your profile and approve you. Some programs are different, but that's how you get started. For programs outside of Amazon
[00:23:36] Brian: Whether you're monetizing your, services your, like your creative skills or you're monetizing through an affiliate link like this, it still requires traffic. It still requires eyeballs and awareness. And the, problem with this method is if you're struggling to get enough traffic and eyeballs to your website to just fill your, freelance calendar, you're probably not gonna make very much as an affiliate because it takes more scale, more eyeballs, and much higher numbers to make this work.
[00:23:59] Brian: So I would love to [00:24:00] know more about the SEO strategy that you have, I can tell straight off the bat just looking through your resources on your website. You have a lot of blog articles. I'm talking probably hundreds,
[00:24:08] Jacob: Yeah. Thousands.
[00:24:09] Brian: thousands. Yeah. And that's been done over years. I'm sure.
[00:24:12] Brian: Cause you mentioned that you still have stuff from like early in your career on your site. But I would love to know more about your SEO strategy because. do not trust most SEO experts because from anyone I've ever heard of that I trust, they say SEO experts usually don't know what they're talking about.
[00:24:26] Brian: But I do trust people who are actively using SEO in their business to understand the strategy because you are actively utilizing it in your own business, so it works for you. So give us the rundown of Big picture. What is your SEO strategy and then how can that be distilled down to something that's simple for us to get started with?
[00:24:42] Jacob: seo, search Engine Optimization. It's about optimizing your website to be found by Google and other search engines. And there's many different ways to do this, and that's why SEO experts, they can be experts in certain elements of, optimization. So there's different areas. So there's link building, there's content writing, [00:25:00] there's guest posting, there's front end seo, there's page speed, there's backend optimization.
[00:25:05] Jacob: So when people say seo, it's a very wide and deep, skillset. the better that you know, all of these, the better optimize your website will be. And the more authority that you have with your website, which I'll get into, is the higher Google will prioritize your articles. And that's the trickiest part.
[00:25:23] Jacob: So building authority, just to give you context for this, if you think of New York Times versus know, mom and Pop's Fish shop on the corner, what has more authority, right? Clear as state. So if you have a link from New York Times to your website or a link from our mom and pop's shop, the link from New York Times is better.
[00:25:41] Jacob: So Google is suddenly trust in your website because you have a link from New York Times. So if New York Times is linking to you is sending a good signal to Google that, you are an authority website. So you do this at scale and that's what Link building is about. And that's why having links to your website, is the most challenging part about seo, right?
[00:25:58] Jacob: So that's what people don't understand. [00:26:00] However, there is hope for people starting out. You go after long tail keywords. So what I mean by this is if you think of, a term like graphic designer, New York, It's probably a pretty, popular keyword and be hard to rank for. However, if you typed in, restaurant, graphic designer at New York, suddenly that becomes a little bit easier, If you have niche down or you have a standalone page that's for restaurant design, for example. So that's the idea of it. You go after long tail keywords that you can actually rank for.
[00:26:30] Brian: What does long tail come from? Is it just longer terms or there another meaning to it?
[00:26:34] Jacob: yeah, so it just means a longer search phrase. So if you type into, Google, like a short phrase that's a, short keyword or a long tail keyword is where, can actually rank because there's less competition.
[00:26:45] Jacob: So it's about finding this balance between volume and keyword difficulty. every keyword word phrase has a keyword word, difficulty based on how much competition there is. As an extreme example, mortgages, on the highest end, [00:27:00] because if you think about how profitable mortgages can be, it's a 30 year term, it's a lot of money.
[00:27:06] Jacob: in Google for example, a paid ad that could be upwards of 30, $60 a click for a single link, To pay for it. that's an extreme example, but you'll understand that because of how competitive a keyword is, you'll have to go after longer tail keywords.
[00:27:20] Jacob: So, That means a phrase that you could actually, rank for.
[00:27:23] Brian: How do we find out Is it even worth going after? The difficulty, the search volume? how do we know what is, the right words to go after, the right keywords to
[00:27:31] Brian: go after?
[00:27:31] Jacob: it depends on your website. So there are tools that you can use that analyze this for you. So, What I use is a tool called a hfs, a h r e f s.com. There's other tools like seo, Moz, I think they have a free trial as well, so you can just experiment with it for a day, or seven days I think it is.
[00:27:49] Jacob: There's many more out there. They're probably the two, ones that are most popular. The first one is a paid one. So if you're just getting straight into it, it's pretty hefty price tag to get into it straight off the bat, I would try [00:28:00] SEO mos. I think it's a little bit more accessible.
[00:28:02] Jacob: a is an advanced version that SEO experts definitely use, and what it does is you type in your website or your competitors, you can see what keywords they're ranking for. You can see how much authority they have, how much domain ranking they have. So if you have authority your articles will be ranked higher or quicker But if you're just starting out, you have to build that authority. So that's why I recommend getting links back to your website in the beginning. Doing guest articles on other people's sites, that's an easiest way to, get links back writing really great content that other people wanna link to.
[00:28:34] Jacob: That's another way, SEO is a long game. Don't expect results in the beginning. It's a long game, but it's an organic game. And I want to give you an example. think about your social media, right? It's constant hamster wheel. You have to post content every single day, offer multiple times a day, and within, a week that content is buried.
[00:28:52] Jacob: Seo. On the other hand, let's say you invest over a year or two into SEO writing content, building up your links to your website, knowing the [00:29:00] strategy that you want to go after, what keywords you wanna be found for, brand strategy, audio engineering, in your location, audio engineer in New York, or whatever it may be.
[00:29:08] Jacob: That's organic leads, actively looking for a service or product. These are hot buyers, right? You don't have to warn them up. They're looking. So thinking about the difference between organic, natural, unpaid links being found in Google versus a hamster wheel of social media. it's clear as day for me and that's why I've invested so much into it, especially from in the beginning.
[00:29:29] Jacob: Building that up. .
[00:29:30] Brian: this all comes down to setting up your website to have high domain authority so that Google's willing to rank it higher, and that takes time. Creating content that's targeting specific keywords that are like long tail, that have less competition and still have a decent amount of search volume to where it's worth the, at least the amount of time, effort, energy takes to write the article and then putting out consistent articles for a long time.
[00:29:51] Brian: That's, your strategy in a nutshell.
[00:29:52] Jacob: yes, in a nutshell. in terms of writing content, you can think out the box, right? If you're not a writer, you can hire writers very affordably and [00:30:00] even, you know, chat G p T. There's AI that rice articles. A minute now. So like there's no excuses when it comes to content marketing and you can also repurpose things, right?
[00:30:09] Jacob: I'm not saying get rid of social media. That's absolutely part of the mix. It's just how do you, have a strategy and better thinking when it comes to your content and getting found and then that not only helps with your affiliate marketing, but even whatever you're selling your product or service. So it all works together. Just think about your content, What is your audience really looking for? What's valuable to them and how do you actually put that together in a SEO strategy as well as your social strategy? Cause they all work together. I know we're focusing on SEO right now, but it's definitely a system that works together.
[00:30:40] Brian: Yeah, cuz you've got 75,000 Twitter followers, 42,000 Instagram followers. Probably some on Facebook, but I don't really pay attention to Facebook anymore. . I know these are all separate areas, but there tends to be, in what I see in most businesses, there's one that fuels the others.
[00:30:53] Brian: Is SEO the thing that tends to fuel everything else? I know you got an email list of over 30,000 people, is the SEO the one that fuels everything?
[00:30:58] Jacob: It's a system. [00:31:00] It's all a system. So, my strategy's always been as many places as possible, but that's also a downfall, right? So you don't have as much focus on one platform. I know if I focused on one platform for a long time, you would grow cuz what you focus on.
[00:31:12] Jacob: Gross. I focus on seo, so it's a big part of my business. And, three years ago I made a decision to, step a little bit away from social media and focus on this SEO and building up this team. And that's paid dividends. So it's just having, understanding where you wanna focus, where your audience is, what your intentions are, what your goals are, that's really, really important.
[00:31:32] Jacob: Analyzing your data, right? The only way we've been able to scale five x is because of looking at the data, what content's working, what content was not working? What is Google thinking we're authority in? we're focused on graphic design and logo design for a long time.
[00:31:45] Jacob: So we are naturally, our articles ranked straight away. We can publish an article and it'll be like in the top, five very quickly. However, we were exploring our gaming for a while. Let's see if we can get in the gaming niche. But nothing's ranked, everything's tanked. We're just not an authority in this [00:32:00] area.
[00:32:00] Jacob: So it's really about building up an authority in certain niches, whether it be graphic designers, like a high level, and then like buckets, like logo design, branding whatever it may be. So it does come down to your goals and your intentions,
[00:32:12] Brian: when we're just starting out, how many articles do we need to post? How often, like what's the cadence for this sort of thing? And, And I'm not talking about you specifically cuz I know you have a whole team and I wanna get into that cuz I'm more interested in the team side of things.
[00:32:22] Brian: Cause I don't wanna be writing tons of articles. But I'm just curious about for like, the average freelancer listening right now. Like what can they expect as far as a cadence for this?
[00:32:30] Jacob: let's just make it a scenario here. If your goal is to be found organically for search to foot sell in your services, which I'm assuming most people here list in are like their services, perhaps a couple of products here and there, understanding what that service is and having a website that talks about it, right?
[00:32:46] Jacob: A services page or a standalone page that you can link to and can be found in Google. So you have to think about what your keyword is that you wanna be found for. I'm just gonna use an example here. Gimme an example,
[00:32:57] Jacob: Brian.
[00:32:58] Brian: Just use recording studio in Nashville. [00:33:00] Big search term, a lot of studios here in Nashville. Very competitive. People running ads for it. Tons of studios here.
[00:33:04] Jacob: Okay. So we wanna be found for that keyword recording studio in Nashville. So it's a competitive phrase. There's probably a small amount of volume, but is worth a lot that volume cuz they're actively looking. So don't always just think about the volume of the keyword. It's about, what comes from it.
[00:33:18] Jacob: So first step is getting that standalone page up that's optimized for that keyword. Recording Studio Nashville. The techniques you have to use the basics of seo. So there's a page title that keyword has to be in the page title. There's also things called H one tags, H two tags, H three tags.
[00:33:35] Jacob: And although that sounds confusing, it's just like the reference to the hierarchy of the page. So if you think about like a Word document, for example, there's a, header one, header two, header three. That's exactly what websites have built on.
[00:33:46] Brian: a, so it's like a headline, a sub-headline in a, sub, sub-headline is another way of like, I guess thinking of that.
[00:33:50] Jacob: Yep. So these are the basics of SEO on page optimization. So you want to have your keyword in your page title. You wanna have your keyword in your [00:34:00] H one, you wanna have your keyword in your H two. You wanna have the keyword in your opening paragraph, and you'll wanna have keywords that are related to that topic or through your article.
[00:34:09] Brian: Is
[00:34:10] Brian: this not known as keyword stuffing? Like Isn't that a thing that Google frowns upon or is that
[00:34:14] Brian: still a thing you do?
[00:34:15] Jacob: keyword stuffing is when you, write out recording studio in Nashville, xx recording studio in Nashville, and then another keyword all in like a paragraph that's where they've put keyword after keyword, keyword to be found.
[00:34:27] Jacob: It's not organic.
[00:34:27] Brian: you're still writing for humans here. Yeah.
[00:34:29] Jacob: Absolutely. However, let's say you want to be found for 10 different keywords. You'll absolutely put those 10 keywords in the page, just not in the same paragraph. You want to build out a content, say 2000 words. That's a recommended amount. Minimum 500 words, nothing less than that.
[00:34:44] Jacob: Most pages around the 2,200 word mark that ranked however long form content is also really, really powerful as well. 3000 plus words, because then you're a, you're like an ultimate guide, right? And Google is about given the user the answer to that question, right?
[00:34:59] Jacob: [00:35:00] Finding information easily. So you have to out how to solve that user's problem. What's the information they're looking for? is Nashville recording? How does it work? What's the process? how do I get in contact? What is recording?
[00:35:12] Jacob: you become a resource on that. And that way Google's like, this recorded studio knows their I'm gonna give more authority to their article. So that is the basics of, optimizing a page the page title and the headers and the keywords have to be in the page. That is like 80% of the job done, that's the simplest way to get
[00:35:32] Jacob: started.
[00:35:32] Brian: And Google. tracks like time on page, things like that. So if it's gotta be good content or else they're not gonna find what they're looking for, or it's poorly written or typos everywhere and they're just gonna hit the back button. And then Google says, okay, this person left after five seconds, not a good article.
[00:35:45] Brian: And they're gonna thank you
[00:35:45] Brian: for that. Is that right?
[00:35:46] Jacob: Yes. To a point. However, Google is about giving the answer to the user, right? So they came to the page and they got the answer within two seconds, that can be a good thing, right? Because they found
[00:35:57] Jacob: the answer.
[00:35:57] Brian: and they can tell, cuz if you're clicking on other articles then they know [00:36:00] that you still didn't find the answer.
[00:36:01] Jacob: Yep. So if you go back and they go through other things and they're like, oh they didn't find what they needed.
[00:36:05] Jacob: So that's where it becomes interesting if they find it. you know, You've answered their question and they even may make that a snippet in Google, which is a really great thing to have because then you're up the top above So it is not as simple as that. but it is about giving them the answer.
[00:36:19] Jacob: But you do have to have those keyword words on the page. So I want to stress. If you get started with seo, I actually have a ton of resources on my blog, just creative.com/blog that talks about all these basics for you to get started. You can learn about those page titles and what you have to do on a page.
[00:36:34] Jacob: So every single website platform, most people use WordPress. I'll just use that as an example, a plugin platform. you can get a plugin for WordPress. Yost is one rank Math seo, which is what I use, and all on that page, it will give you examples of how to optimize your log post or your articles based on, research into Google and so forth.
[00:36:55] Jacob: So I use rank math cuz it's the most advanced and just powerful, but it's also easy. [00:37:00] So that's really what I, look for.
[00:37:01] Brian: And just to come full circle here, is, let's just say one of our listeners goes to your blog and listen and reads one of the articles about this. I would assume, or at least hope, I hope. that if Rank Math has an affiliate program, that you will have signed up for it and had your affiliate link for Rank Math on that article so that if someone signs up for that link, you then get a commission for that.
[00:37:20] Brian: Is that.
[00:37:21] Brian: specific instance in there
[00:37:22] Jacob: not for rank math actually, so I haven't actually looked into rank. Math SEO is a really competitive segment, so I don't have many articles on seo. And actually most of our articles on SEO don't rank very well because we're not a SEO blog.
[00:37:35] Brian: Like
[00:37:35] Brian: If you Google SEO agency, I would guarantee those top agencies can help you out. They're just not, in any of our price ranges. They are well beyond what we can afford as simple plebs on this earth.
[00:37:45] Jacob: Yeah. So, There are exceptions to that for for sure. You would be surprised that, because they can't be found. They pay for it, you do have to do your due diligence. And when I was looking for an agency, I was looking at their history just to see examples of what they've done and how they did [00:38:00] it.
[00:38:00] Jacob: But obviously you need to have some insight to how things work to be able to make that call.
[00:38:04] Brian: all the things you said so far makes sense. you even said like, longer, time on page isn't better. If somebody reads your article and they're there for four minutes and then they leave, that's not necessarily a good sign for Google because if someone clicks another article and looks for the answer there, that is a signal that oh, they didn't get their answer.
[00:38:18] Brian: So this article, that four minutes was wasted for them how many articles are, you recommending people post? in our world for freelancers, you don't need a ton of traffic. If you're trying to get to more passive income sources, you do need a ton of traffic.
[00:38:29] Brian: But like what's the balance here for somebody who is running it on their own?
[00:38:32] Jacob: Yeah. So it comes down to the strategy and goal like I was using that with the Nashville Recording Studio. If your goal is to sell your services and be found organically for that certain key phrase, or perhaps you have a niche service that you can rank for, then that's the strategy you need to go for.
[00:38:48] Jacob: You need to make sure you are on page seo. So those things are talked about, page title, H one, yada, yada, and the keywords have to be on point. So it comes down to that strategy. We have a different strategy where it's about, affiliate marketing, [00:39:00] that's different to, services, we have resources on, let's say Top laptops for graphic designers or top laptops. Teachers, for example. So we become an an authority on tech gear and that's how we've done that at scale. We're just, all sorts of keywords around, laptops and monitors and so forth.
[00:39:16] Jacob: So that's our strategy. So it's very different trying to get a page ranked for services. So I wanna make that clear difference here.
[00:39:23] Brian: What are the differe.
[00:39:24] Jacob: I'm recommending products, Amazon is a big partner of ours as well as Adobe Skillshare design marketplaces like Envado and Design Cuts.
[00:39:32] Jacob: So our niches design, the difference is that we're recommending other people's products and making affiliate sales. However, if you are trying to rank a services page and sell your services, you'll use a different strategy. You'll be going after the keywords of, recording studio in Nashville, whereas we're talking about best gear
[00:39:50] Brian: intent behind the keywords. If I'm searching up best laptops for designers, I'm looking for a laptop, and I'm a designer, so like, I'm not gonna hire you and your branding services for me, but I might buy [00:40:00] a $2,000 laptop through your affiliate link, which is the goal of that.
[00:40:02] Brian: However, if you were writing articles to be ranked for your design services because you offer. branding strategy design on your website you have links for booking a free clarity call, which I love that name of a clarity call versus a strategy call or a sales call. You would write articles for completely different keywords and topics in that but, what I'm getting at is the strategy's the same, putting keyword in the Title H one in the body, writing certain length articles, putting out consistent stuff. That's still the same kind of strategy though.
[00:40:28] Jacob: Yes, but now that you say that, so I'll give you some how I promote my services, right? So I think about what the user will be looking for. So for example, how much for a logo design, this is someone at the start of their journey. So if you have a, let's say how much for, audio recording that could be a resource.
[00:40:47] Jacob: So I have like a probably two and a half thousand word article on how much for a logo design. I wrote that many, many years ago. Now there's many more articles on that. However, it's still a valuable resource and I still get clients that way from an article like [00:41:00] that. So you have to think about the user, what information they're looking for and consider the stages of their journey,
[00:41:05] Brian: I just found your article. How much does a logo design cost? Of organic search. You are 1, 2, 3, 4. I'm an Incog browser. You're four on Google after all the obvious ads. That's really good ranking for a keyword like that, which I'd imagine is really competitive.
[00:41:20] Jacob: Yeah, super competitive and that changes daily. So I'll be four one day, then I'll be one, the next day and then I'll be off the page. Google is really tough like that because there's a lot of valuable content these days, and I'm sure some of those are better than mine and some are definitely worse than mine.
[00:41:35] Jacob: But Google changes things up and gathers data from those pages and how people use it to see what's most valuable. And over time it'll realize this one's the most valuable, but even that won't stay there because it wants to be a little bit fair and gather data and to make sure it's always serving up the best information to the user.
[00:41:53] Jacob: So, no spot is guaranteed ever. It's really about just being in the game. And that's what we've done at scale. So those keywords, [00:42:00] are very important. So make a very valuable resource for your customer, and that's when this idea of value, spoken about all the time.
[00:42:06] Jacob: But think about the value for your customer. What questions do they have? What are they looking for? Make it easy for them to hire you, you often get questions all the time, it's the same questions. So just make a page with all your answers, or make a resource or an article or an ebook that you can, you know, get them on your email list.
[00:42:23] Jacob: So there's so many different strategies to use, but it does come down to that goal, that intention. So to answer your question, Brian, yes, same strateg. Different content, and different reasons for being on the page, right? Affiliate links versus hiring services. So the content changes based on the goal of what you're trying to do,
[00:42:41] Brian: I understand conceptually like an article like that how much for a logo design and that would bring in people all the way from terrible to like solid leads. the good thing is you didn't pay for any of those, you just ranked for it, which is the awesome part of organic.
[00:42:52] Brian: So it's free traffic at that point. So what do you do to get an article like that ranked in such a competitive area? are you just throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks? I dunno if [00:43:00] that's a term you use in Australia or not, but it's a definitely American phrase I grew up with.
[00:43:03] Brian: Are you just throwing articles out and hoping, or could I literally write one article with a cub like that and get it ranked at the top of Google without posting any other articles? Like is that even a
[00:43:12] Jacob: success leaves clues, when you search for key phrases, you can see what's out there already to understand the competition that you're up against. And, time is valuable and that's why we hire writers now. to give you context for, the cost of articles, it can be from as little as $10 an article.
[00:43:28] Jacob: If you get someone in, say Pakistan or India for example, or, you know, it could be 200, $300, know, someone from, UK or the US as an example. So they're, the, ranges that you can, work within our average is probably around a hundred to 130 an article. and that's for like a 2000, 2,500 word article. So that's what you can expect to pay, where you can find them. You job sites like Fiver online, jobs dot p that's a Philippine specialty website. And there's many more job boards out there, but if your time is [00:44:00] precious, you can outsource writing, you can improve it, Get 80% of it written by them and then make it your language. But you have to be in the game, you have to think about your user and your intentions and then create content around it. Optimize it based on those page titles, those H one s and the keywords.
[00:44:15] Jacob: But the tool a Fs is where things get interesting because it'll tell you how many people are searching for that phrase in a month. And how much, competition there is. As an example, how much for a logo design is probably, they crank it out of a hundred. How difficult is this keyword?
[00:44:30] Jacob: So I'm just guessing at this point, that's probably around about 50 to 60 out of a hundred mortgages will be like, you know, a hundred. very high. But when you're a small blog, you're not gonna be able to rank for a keyword that's has a keyword difficulty of 50. may be able to rank for zero to 20, for example, of keyword difficulty.
[00:44:47] Jacob: And over time, that range, grows fairly quickly if you're producing good content. So you want, the aim is to get authority so that you can go after better keywords that have more volume. That's the aim of the game. [00:45:00] So you have to research these keywords using a tool like a s or s e mos to understand the volume and how difficult that keyword is. that is the secret, cuz otherwise you just, you are throwing spaghetti at the wall, which is okay. It'll get you so far. But today is, it's getting very competitive. It's super competitive.
[00:45:16] Brian: I think a big part of this though, that's, I guess hasn't been said yet is actually having something worth saying I look at you, and I don't know if you consider yourself this or not, but I consider you a thought leader. I see you on Twitter and you're posting things that is getting shares and you've getting followers on there.
[00:45:30] Brian: I look on Instagram, you're sharing things there. Obviously your blog articles are ranking. And then you have a big, wonderful logo banner on your website that has Wall Street Journal, TEDx, the Sydney Morning Herald, New York Post Forbes Entrepreneur Magazine. And so I'm assuming these are publications that you've either written for or guest posted for, or been covered in.
[00:45:48] Brian: And I'm guessing and hoping that these sites have linked back to just creative in some way. is that.
[00:45:53] Jacob: Yeah, they definitely have. So I've got links from many different places and that's why we have authority so every site has a [00:46:00] ranking out of a hundred. So keyboard Difficulty aside, there's something called a domain rating. So New York Times, Google will be a. And then all the other sites based on traffic and content and so forth, will get a rating out of a hundred.
[00:46:12] Jacob: So just creative is 76 out of a hundred, which is pretty decent, because we've been doing it for a long time. We have a lot of articles and there's a lot of links coming back to us. So I'm not sure how many it is, but I think it's around 500,000 different links coming back to us. So that's what you can expect.
[00:46:28] Jacob: But early bloggers or website owners they'll be able to rank for those zero to 30 keywords difficulties. Just to give you context. that's the, what you're working with here, but use the SEO tools at your disposal to make more informed decisions. I know we've got into a lot of technicalities here,
[00:46:46] Brian: Yeah. SEO is that game for sure. It is very technical world, so it, it appeals to like engineer minded people and it terrifies the like
[00:46:52] Brian: pure creatives listening right now
[00:46:53] Brian: if they're even still
[00:46:54] Brian: listening. Kudos to you for still listening. If you're
[00:46:56] Brian: just a creative,
[00:46:57] Jacob: No, totally. But I do want to stress the [00:47:00] basics. The basics of page titles and headers is exactly what you have to learn, and all you have to do is install a plugin on WordPress, rank math or Yost to understand the page title and the description. The description is like what comes up in Google, there's always a description underneath the link.
[00:47:16] Jacob: That's what you need to know, page title keywords and that description, and making sure the keywords in the pages like that is 80% of your job is if you want to rank for a page, that's where you need to get started. So think, forget everything else I've, we've been talking about and just focus on understanding the keyword you want to go after, and creating a resource for that keyword and putting those basics, the page title, headers and keywords in the article.
[00:47:41] Jacob: 80% of your job, like focus on that in the beginning. really where I, tell people to focus.
[00:47:45] Brian: So how many articles are you releasing a month right now?
[00:47:47] Jacob: probably 20, 20 a week. Yeah, 80 a month. And, but we also refresh old articles, so we probably refresh the same amount. 300 or 400 articles are either posted [00:48:00] or refreshed a month. we have a team that does updates.
[00:48:03] Jacob: So tech articles, for example, they date very quickly, you know, best laptops, best monitors. So we want to delete the ones that are dated and add a new one. So it's an on ongoing game of updating, refreshing to be relevant.
[00:48:16] Brian: I saw that we were recording this mid mid-January, right now, January 23rd, and you already have an update on that. How much is a logo for 2023? So it says 4 20 23 in the article, and I find myself, if I'm clicking something and it's not updated for this current year, I'm not clicking it.
[00:48:30] Brian: I'm gonna click the one that's actually updated. So that's, interesting. Your whole team managed that. So like, it sounds like you are more of a media business now than just a creative, which I promise, I'm not trying to pun your business name, just creative, but you're like a media business at this point.
[00:48:41] Brian: So like, what does your day-to-day look like if you're getting almost a million a month or getting around a million a month of traffic, and you're doing that much in affiliate sales on a month to month basis. Maybe not a hundred thousand every month, but you're still doing great.
[00:48:51] Brian: it sounds like you don't need to take on services unless you're just really excited about it. Like you don't have to do any freelance or agency work. So what does your day-to-day look like at this
[00:48:58] Brian: point?
[00:48:58] Jacob: you're right, the [00:49:00] media side has overtaken the services, so it's been flipped. I'm trying to get more and more out of the game, so just hiring people that can manage this. there's still a lot that I have to do in terms of optimizing because I generally know a little bit more, but I'm teaching the writers and editors the intricacies of some of the articles.
[00:49:18] Jacob: So the more we work together, the better it is and the less work I have to do. So it's all about that optimization. So team optimization, if you will. there's that side of it, but I'm also a big believer of practicing what you learn. Being active in the field and practicing and working with clients is way to grow your career because publishing and being a media I don't wanna say giant, but like it's getting larger, right?
[00:49:41] Jacob: We're in the team of 10 when we're competing with, Walmart and Target and the Best Buy and like those big boys. So we're definitely getting up there. But it's not a career, I don't believe. So working on the skills, you know, I work in brand strategy design and so forth, and that's my passion.
[00:49:55] Jacob: That's why I still do services. It's just that balance. I also love [00:50:00] coaching other creatives and sharing, what I've learned and what I've been through, and conversations like this. So it's just, it's all about that balance of like, do I, know, go this passive income route, which is profitable, or do I go the service route, which is like a career, or do I help other creatives?
[00:50:15] Jacob: I'm in this area where I'm doing a lot and I looked at 2022 and I was like, oh man, like I'm just doing too many things. Like I mentioned before that, sometimes it works, but other times, if you focus in one area, perhaps I could even grow even more exponentially.
[00:50:30] Jacob: I'm like a steady. Less risk-taking person. So I'm kind of like in between all of it. And I've done like disc profiling and Megs tests and you can analyze your personality and your traits and that's where I'm at. I'm like a steady, slow goer. that likes to do a lot of things, versus go all in one direction.
[00:50:47] Jacob: So it is really about understanding who you are, what your goals are, where you want to focus and what you want to be doing. Cuz that's gonna be the direction that you go.
[00:50:55] Brian: the whole thought and heart behind Six Figure Creative is I look at freelancing as a gateway to [00:51:00] entrepreneurship. Some people, they just wanna do the creative side and they don't even want to think about business. And then I see people like you, Jacob, who I think the creative side was a gateway to sustaining the life that you wanted to build.
[00:51:11] Brian: And now I feel like you've learned all these other skills that lights you up and excite you. And, you don't wanna go all in on 81 just because you like doing 'em all. I'm the same way. I have three businesses at this point. I have multiple products. I'm juggling.
[00:51:22] Brian: I have this podcast, you have your own podcast, But I do like the ability to. Make that decision versus have that decision made for me. So like, don't listen to other people that say, oh, you could 10 x your business if you go all in in one. If you're happy where you're at, just keep doing what you're doing, man.
[00:51:36] Jacob: Yeah, exactly. It's about choice, right? And, you know, understanding what you want to do. So I did some inner work a few years ago and number one was empowerment, right? Empowering others to be free to do what they love. So that's why I've gone into coaching and I run a community for creatives.
[00:51:51] Jacob: that's the number one value. Number two is, freedom. And that directly relates back to everything I work from home and I'm free to do what I'd like and [00:52:00] The adventurous part of me, the digital nomad, it's also part of that right freedom, balance, adventure.
[00:52:06] Jacob: That, that's very integral to me. And when I reflect on everything I'm doing and talking about here, it's those two things are so, integrated in, the core of who I am. And the last one is curiosity. And I do have the shiny object syndrome, last year I got into NFTs in web three and I started a web three business.
[00:52:24] Jacob: And then, AI has come around. I'm already dabbling in chat, G B T, and, you know, all these AI tools. So like, I am a very curious person and I get, I don't wanna say distracted, but I do a lot of things that works for me and also against me. So just understanding how you work, I think is really important to, as an entrepreneur, or any freelancer really.
[00:52:42] Brian: I'm the same way and I feel like this, I would rather not maximize my life. Income wise, but always be able to explore new and exciting things what other people would call shiny objects. Because you never know what your next big thing in your life's gonna be. And I feel like every six, seven years I tend to make pretty big shifts in [00:53:00] my life.
[00:53:00] Brian: All because I like to pursue opportunities and new things that are fun that come my way. And you seem to be the same way, Jacob. we will continue to go down these paths. We have the freedom, we've built our life exactly how I want to build it. that means we are free to pursue any threads that we want to go, even if they're dead ends.
[00:53:14] Brian: Because until we try something, we cannot say whether or not we actually like to do it.
[00:53:18] Jacob: a hundred percent. I love that. I love that, Brian.
[00:53:20] Brian: is there any last thoughts? That's what we wrap this up and also tell people where they can go to learn more about you and maybe connect with you maybe
[00:53:25] Brian: doing one of your programs or coach or whatever.
[00:53:27] Jacob: Yeah, absolutely. Well, there's a, as you heard, there's a lot of things. Brian, first off, thank you so much for having me. Great questions. Love this chat. I love your philosophy and you know that you're bringing us to so many people. It's really, really awesome. In terms of, where to find me.
[00:53:39] Jacob: So just creative.com is my main website. Pretty much all my handles are just creative because I am a dinosaur in the internet realm. So I have all those handles. Thankfully, I do have a incredible download freebie on the website. It's called a Branded Briefcase, and it has a ton of free e-books, downloads, mockups, everything for designers and business owners.
[00:53:59] Jacob: So it's called [00:54:00] a branded briefcase. It's also the domain branded briefcase.com. If you want to jump straight to it. in return for your email, I do want , uh, asterisk that, but it is like my lead magnet, if you will. But it has so many downloads in it. It's not just one like ebook, it's like a whole briefcase of goodies.
[00:54:15] Jacob: So I'll definitely encourage you to check that out. if you are looking for a community of creatives, This is a paid membership community. It's called Exponential Creatives. And we are a tight-knit community of people that want to grow without the noise of Facebook and so forth. So it's, 29 bucks a month to join that.
[00:54:31] Jacob: We have workshops and a ton of replays, like dozens of replays in there. So there's so much value for what you get for that, but it is really about a community and connection. So exponential creatives.com is where you can find that. But if you want to connect, please find all my social links on my sites.
[00:54:45] Jacob: I'm happy to answer anything, for entrepreneurship, branding, strategy, passive income, s u go. Happy to answer anything. So thanks again, Brian.
[00:54:53] Brian: Jacob, thank you so much for coming on the show, man.
[00:54:54] Brian: And I've enjoyed our conversation.
[00:54:56] Jacob: Likewise. Thank you so much, Brian. Cheers.
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