Mark Nicholson is the owner of reactorr.com SEO. He has been involved in SEO and online marketing since 1996 and has worked with various companies throughout Europe, Asia and North America before starting his own business. Mark currently lives and works in Vancouver.
Are you a morning person? What time do you get up and moving? What are the first few things (work/business/personal) that you do each morning?
I’d regard myself as a forced morning person, since it makes the most sense to get an early start on the day. Truthfully, I’m more of a night owl. I typically start my day with a coffee and look over news aggregators I’ve setup to monitor at least a hundred resources, along with checking Twitter (@markjnicholson) to check the latest in seo, social media, internet marketing, and online branding. I’m a big proponent to online branding as I believe it includes seo, social media, PR, advertising, along with content strategies and more. I’m also a big fan of reddit and visit the site for mini breaks throughout the day.
I’m a big proponent to online branding as I believe it includes seo, social media, PR, advertising, along with content strategies and more.
When do you first check your email? And how many emails do you get a day?
Not including spam, that would be about 70-80. But including the unsolicited offers, it might be double. For some reason I get a lot of offers from overseas with promises of a top 10 listing on my sites after some optimization. Unfortunately, these emails are often the same and all they mention for seo is directory and article submissions.
Do you have any tips for dealing with email? (Any techniques or tools you use?)
My best email tips might be only open what is urgent at the start of the day, and of course client communications. One tip worth a mention is forget your bookmarks and use gmail to save stuff. I discovered a few years ago when you hit 5,000 bookmarks in Firefox that it started to delete others to make room for new ones. Since then I have a gmail account where I email myself and keyword stuff the email to make it possible to find again. It’s actually proven more effective so long as you add a decent amount of keywords to the email, because in 3 to 9 months you’ll be likely searching with different phrases than you would while it’s a fresh thought.
One tip worth a mention is forget your bookmarks and use gmail to save stuff.
What time do you usually arrive at the office? And what does your typical day look like?
The day usually starts about 8am. No day seems to be the same. I might run some rankings updates for a few sites, check analytics, do some keyword research, develop content strategies, create reports, site optimization, various forms of promotion or online pr, manage ppc campaigns, have a few meetings, answer emails, or do some link research/building.
What’s the most interesting thing about your job?
Developing a content strategy that’s a win. Once in a while, with the right timing and topic, and content piece can earn lots of links.
You’ve worked in many cities around the world, were you ever surprised by cultural differences at the office or during business? Can you share a story?
The most interesting times were when I lived in Hong Kong. Although I was working in a different field then, it had the most significant culture differences. No specific examples come to mind.
The most interesting times were when I lived in Hong Kong.
How do you approach productivity? What challenges do you have in this area? How are you overcoming them? Any tips for others?
Lots of lists, and dealing with them a step at a time.
Do you have a good work-life balance? If no, why? If yes, how do you achieve it? What are you beliefs around this?
I make weekdays about work, and reserve weekends for leisure. Long days, but you can’t expect to accomplish much with a minimal effort.
Can you share a personal or business challenge that was hard to deal with and how you overcame it and what you learned from it?
A particular client was looking to see significant gains in short time. With a creative approach I was able to keep them satisfied. Sorry, not really able to offer specifics.
What inspires you?
Tenacity and commitment to win.
What is your favourite quote of all time?
Too many, but one that comes to mind;
“Whatever you are, be a good one”
What’s your favourite book (or top 3)?
- Infuence – Robert Cialdini
- Made to Stick – Chip & Dan Heath
- Competitive Strategy – Michael E. Porter
In your industry, what is the biggest trend or opportunity you are seeing right now?
The shift towards developing brands is becoming more apparent for many.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you be doing?
Domaining for fun and profit