Episode 82: AJ Saunders – Digital Marketing Story, How We Learn Our Craft, SEO & Content Strategies

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Description:

On this episode we are joined by AJ Saunders. AJ is the founder of AJS Digital Group and has been doing digital marketing for over a decade. We start by chatting about his background and some things we have in common. We both were members of the Warrior forum.

I go back a little further.. early 2000s on that forum. He joined around 2010. But we both have similar experiences and it played a roll in both of us working out how to make money online. We talk about the benefits of such forums and where their true value lies.

Then we get into his businesses and specifically around his experience with digital marketing and affiliate marketing. Today he’s really focused on helping businesses with SEO (including affiliates!) and guiding them with their content strategies. There are a lot of great nuggets around that in this episode. Enjoy!

AJ Saunders is the founder of AJS Digital Group. He’s run an eBook publishing company, a global eCommerce shop and has been in the trenches doing affiliate marketing. A couple years ago, he realized he had never had a website content strategy or even KPIs. In fact, he had no plan to use SEO and content marketing to grow his website’s traffic.

But after spending many hours developing a unique SEO content framework and showing it to a few contacts, helping them use the system, he realized that his framework could help e-commerce businesses grow website traffic using blogging.  That continues to be his focus today through his agency!

THE MEAT OF IT!

  • Intro
  • What’s our guest do?
  • His background ..
    • Taught to code at 15 ..
    • London doing music
    • 22 years old .. back to home town of Bath, UK
    • All the people he started hanging around .. Warrior forum (2010)
  • Couple years ago.. Friend suggested consulting ..
    • Been encouraged to do more consultancy.
    • Still does affiliate stuff.. in the trenches.
  • Importance of real world experience.
  • Has help clients with websites.. but more focused now on Digital Marketing.
    • What he enjoys ..
  • His experience with the Warrior Forum.
    • Googling.. how he discovered them.
      • RESULTS: Neil Patel, Warrior Forum.. and something else.
    • Jumped around there and discovered others ..
    • 2010 ..
  • Matt’s .. history of Warrior Forum.
  • What he got out of it..
    • Didn’t purchase anything..
    • Read great threads.. how to get started.
    • Building income websites.
    • Fun place to be ..
  • His years on music forum ..
    • Used to be bulletin boards ..
    • Warrior .. similar, people with similar interest.
  • What were the first opportunities did he chase online.
    • Music.. building websites based on what he was trying to make money doing.
      • Events
      • HTML/CSS skills .. to build the sites.
      • Wasn’t focused on traffic ..
      • How did he promote?
        • Emailed hotels, cold-called
      • Website .. just used as a biz card.. show his legitimacy.
      • Building sites for each act .. 20 websites
        • The pain
        • Hard to SEO 20 micro-sites ..
        • Rather than having one, mega-site
    • Built a global eCommerce company!
      • Self-funded ..
    • His experiences – sees everything as a skill rather than an outcome.
      • Finding others with the skill if you don’t have it.
      • Attained in a variety of ways..
      • The path of working for someone else.
      • Learning the fundamentals
    • The principles before the Internet stills applies today. It’s just translated for the Internet and is repackaged every few years.
    • When he started doing affiliate marketing..
      • Writing eBooks
      • Basics of building sites that rank.
      • hrefs, semrush, neil patel ..
      • eCommerce site .. jewelry.
      • Kindle books ..
      • Discovered Affiliate programs – adding aff links
    • His first affiliate sale?
      • Probably something ridiculous like soap. 😆
    • Matt’s first affiliate sale
    • More about his eCommerce company he built
      • His? with Others?
      • “Buy stuff on eBay” … and resell it.
      • Wholesalers .. repackaging.
      • Discovered Magento – built his site on that.
      • Selling watches
      • Problem self-funding ..
        • Corp Credit Card
        • How he funded the biz.. not the ‘best’ route.
      • That’s where he learned a lot..
        • Things that work and don’t.
    • The trust his clients have because his advice is grounded in experience ..
    • Stories – People Buy Stories!
    • Even having a plan, you can’t anticipate everything.
    • SEO – His approach with clients.. his own framework?
      • What they are trying to achieve and what he can do for them?
      • PAIN, WEBSITE OUTCOME AND CASH
      • Building User Journeys..
      • Building the content
      • eCommerce vs Other Models
    • Small Business .. blogging, blogging, blogging.. dog sh*t 😆
      • He helps people get away from the model of ‘just posting lots of content’
      • It doesn’t help convert users..
      • How do the get people?
        • More focused content.
        • Educate on a journey ..
      • Using custom personas to drive engagement.. instead of just noise.
      • Giving loads of stuff for free..
        • People pay for the implementation.
        • Example of someone we know.. where the magic happens
      • People pay to get the results quicker or adapt it to what they are doing.
    • How does he get the initial traffic.. SEO
      • Backlinks?
      • User Journey is related to keywords.. keyword rich articles.
      • Content distribution
        • Repurposing content ..
        • Social, Webinars etc.. feed back into websites.
      • Dirty secret about backwards.
        • You just need… ( listen to the podcast! :wink: )
      • Where can you get in touch with him!?
Matt Levenhagen
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