I thought I’d give a link here to my SEO Pictures.
Update: May 8th, 2006 (new introduction)
I am best known as the CEO of We Build Pages (an Internet Marketing Company). I am also a regular speaker at Search Engine Strategies Conferences and Webmaster World Pubcon’s. My specialties are (and I speak on) "Link Building Campaigns" and "Search Engine Marketing Tools". My company has also built Free Award Winning Internet Marketing Tools, (and we’ve built several that we don’t give away as well). About 80% of our client income comes from "Link Building Services".
I got into this game early in 1999, right after I got online. Once I saw this, I knew what my calling was. All I saw was amazing potential. Since very early on I’ve been an admitted Internet Marketing-a-holic, spending more of my time than I probably should analyzing rankings, training my staff, doing sales, responding to clients, managing, writing, and answering phones. I’m a pretty busy guy, but ya know, when you love what you do, it makes it all one big great SEO game of chess with Google and with a Business, and I’d lovin’ playing it.
On a personal side, I was born in 1971, I’ve been married since 1996, I have one son, Sammy Pagerank Boykin (just kidding on the "pagerank"!). Sam was born on Oct. 29, 2005, and we’ve got another baby due in Mid November of 2006. I get great kicks out of hearing by boy going "hoot hoot" for the sound of an owl, or when he raise his arm and goes "hwaaaaa" imitating en elephants trunk and the sound it makes.
I’m a pretty busy guy these days, but of course, don’t plan to be at this pace forever (and with second baby coming, my team is getting lots of extra training now, so I can feel relaxed about being away for a few weeks, and working less overtime in the future). The best thing is, is that I’ve got the best team I could ever dream for and a new system that’s kick ass. I think 2006 is going to be a great year, and 2007 should be a dream…did I mention I’m a dreamer too? But often, my dreams do come true.
I’m Feeling Lucky,
jim -at- webuildpages.com
The information below is from a ramble I did the night before my blog went live…but it’s there if you want to see how I reflected on things in September of 2005.
A start of a story about where I come from: I was born in 1971 in Upstate NY and lived there until I left for Rider University in New Jersey in 1989.
While at Rider I was a Marketing Major and a Political Science minor. Also, during my stay at Rider I worked in the computer lab as a Computer Consultant (the guy behind the desk). I knew DOS, BASIC, and bits of FORTRAN and COBOL. I also worked with several software programs by Bill Gates. Through this work experience, I had basically worked on every computer assignment given in any computer class by virtue of my work in the computer lab. By the time I left college, I was the one whom professors and computer room teachers came to when they couldn’t find a solution to any problem.
I left college in 1993 with one semester to go and headed for Alaska. I worked in Alaska starting as dishwasher, advancing to line cook, and then to Assistant Kitchen Manager. From there I went to New York, met my future wife, and worked at Stewarts as Shift Manger (where I’d worked for during college breaks).
Then I went to California to travel more. Ended up homeless on Haight Ashbury, then working at Donner Ski Ranch in Lake Tahoe working on ski lifts, then off to Death Valley working as dishwasher, busboy, host, room service, housekeeping, and hotel night audit . Then I went back to New York, worked for Schwan’s (The guys with the Big Yellow Trucks whom sell ice cream and frozen food) for a little over a year as a Route Manager. I hated driving the trucks, but I loved meeting people and learned how to sell. I ended up about doubling the sales for the route, as was able to create 2 new sales territories, and sold 2 of my existing territories. I was often in the top 10 weekly for most new customers out of the North East States Region, and when I left them I was #4 overall for most new customers during that quarter. I was never bashful about going door to door and knocking and selling. (Never saw the internet during this time…heck, I was working from 8:00 am to 11pm mon-fri!)
I married my wife during this time, and then we bought a 14 foot RV (14 foot is very small). We then left to travel the USA together (by this time I had already driven around the US twice). We started by going south and ended up at Shenandoah National Park where we found they were desperate for help of any kind and were closing in 6 weeks. We choose to do the night maintenance together from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am, working 6 days a week for 6 weeks. With them feeding and housing us, we saved more in 6 weeks than we had in 6 months back in NY (as they do in national parks).
We then took a few months "off" and traveled around, and then ended up in Big Bend National Park in Texas where I worked as hotel front desk clerk, store clerk, busser, host, and some bookkeeping.
After Big Bend we went north to Grand Teton National Park area. I work as a waiter there. Then we headed over to Death Valley in California where I had worked a few years prior. At Death Valley I waited tables at a very fancy restaurant.
After Death Valley we headed north to Crater Lake in Oregon where I worked as a waiter.
After Crater Lake we headed back to our roots in Upstate New York in late 1998.
In early 1999 I got a computer, logged on to AOL, and the internet blew my mind. Once I saw the internet, I knew that this was what I had been waiting for all my life. Day 2 I had ordered a book from Amazon called Learn HTML in 24 hours. I got an Angelfire free Webspace and started coding. 2 week later I bought 2 domains, one being WeBuildPages.com – I thought I was going to be a designer. About 2 weeks later I got a call from Atlanta Georgia and that lead me to AltaVista and from that moment on, it was all about Internet Marketing (sadly my design and graphic skills never got beyond "I can get by").
I did door to door with businesses and attended every chamber meeting and about 5 other organization meetings on a regular basis. I loved my opening lines…
"Do you have a Website?"
If "No" then "You should have one, I can build it"
If "Yes" then "Are you getting lots of traffic to your site"
If "No" then "I can help you"
If "Yes" then "Do you want more traffic?"
At one point I got a job at a local web design company where they wouldn’t allow me to design, but I was an official "Internet Marketing Specialist". I then left them to work with another design company as their internet marketing specialist.
I then spent a lot of time with a company called Aimster/Madster (was the next Napster…same lawyer…long story).
During this time I was lucky enough to plead (brown nose) with Jill Whalen to gave me a free pass to SES San Jose 2002 (I’ll never forget this Jill – Thanks!) and I sat in the front row middle and took mad notes in each session. I met Matt Cutts, and ended up later meeting Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and got some autographs and pictures with these men. At that time, my goal became to one day become one of the speakers at SES (Thanks Danny, Chris, and JupiterMedia for fulfilling this dream…please let me be on a "link" panel Danny
When Aimster/Madser went the way of Napster, I was left with "Do I work for another web design company as their SEO, or do I try to go it alone on We Build Pages. I chose to put full effort into trying to make We Build Pages all it could be.
I was sick of working for companies that didn’t take SEO at the #1 priority. Applying good SEO, with barriers in the way (CEO’s designers, non-understanding clients, etc) is like fighting with one hand tied behind your back. It’s a loosing battle.
For 3 months I put all I could into We Build Pages as far as SEO knowledge I had gathered to that point.
I went from nowhere to #246 (in Google and Yahoo (as these were the same results then)) for "internet marketing" in September 2002.
The October dance brought it to #80 for "Internet Marketing".
November – #24 Google/Yahoo for "Internet Marketing".
December 2002 – #4 Google/Yahoo for "Internet Marketing". (see the site as it appeared then)
The phone began "ringing off the hook" and 2 days later I hired my first employee.
We stayed in the top 4 for almost 14 months. Every day I bowed down in a westerly direction and gave thanks for what I had received. I knew then that I had been lucky, and that the rest of my life I’d be chasing what I had at that time. (I still bow for Yahoo for having us #1 for "internet marketing" but wish they’d change the link text (another post I’ll do)).
We had ups, we had downs, and we had changes, and we continue to change, but we’re growing and I think the company is a bud about to blossom. The potential is HUGE. The Huge is not just in clients…we’re about more than that….the huge using what we know, and can do, on several of our own sites.
On a personal side, last year my wife and I had a wonderful little addition to our home with Sam.
My parents sold me their house last year, so I live in the house I grew up in, and Sam has my old room…I think it’s cool, and the old hometown isn’t as bad as I thought prior after being away for 10 years.
I’ll update this as my life updates!
I’m Feeling Lucky,
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