Making money with SEO: 4 Experts reveal the most common mistakes new marketers make & tips to avoid them

There is no better time than the present to start making money with SEO and online marketing!

The digital world is mushrooming at a record pace with more local and global businesses seeking new markets and new prospects. It’s also easier than ever with more tools, more free training and more communities to get you started in the right direction.

Even with all of these resources it’s still easy for even the most diligent SEO’s and marketers to find yourself broke, frustrated and ready to give up.

To help you avoid this fate I’ve asked 4 industry experts to share the most common mistakes they see new SEO’s and marketers making and tips to avoid them.

SEO’s and Marketers we’ll be interviewing:

  • Jonathan Kiekbusch – Local SEO/Global SEO – 8 years
  • Matt Diggity – Affiliate SEO – 6 years
  • Charles Floate – Blackhat SEO – 7 years
  • Patrick Whitson – Web design/Local SEO – 5 years

Let’s get started!

Jonathan Kiekbusch – Local/Global SEO

Business Ambassador i2W Limited & PBN Butler


  • Co Founder of PBN Butler
  • Local SEO Agency
  • Global SEO Agency
  • Amazon Store

Your primary skill set/ discipline?

  • I am one of the 2 founders of PBN Butler, we provide services to online marketers.
  • We also have an agency that does local SEO and global SEO.
  • We have an Amazon store
  • We work with a load of different businesses, helping them with their online marketing efforts from the concept stage to rolling something out.

How long have you been in the industry?

I’ve been in the industry since about 2007. In 2014, we founded i2W ltd., which then gave birth to PBN Butler and other brands.

Most common mistakes when new to making money with SEO and marketing?

I think the biggest issue is that new marketers are so overwhelmed by the amount of information that is out there. And that they really, really struggle to make a decision as to what to try out first, or what tool to use.

I think that is really one of the biggest issues at the moment that there’s just this tremendous amount of courses and free information as well as paid information. One group of people is saying that this one thing is great, and everybody else is saying the same thing is terrible.

Some people say you should follow that one marketer, but the other people are saying that that marketer is a massive rip-off, and I think that that’s making it really difficult for everybody.

So really I think that the biggest mistake that people make when they are starting out is that they get overwhelmed by data and don’t take action.

Any tips to avoid beginner mistakes?

I think the main tip that I could give anybody trying to get into the marketing industry is to build structure in what they are doing.

Take notes of what you’re doing. Record everything that you’re doing, and build a really solid structure.
The more you do that, the more success you’re going to have in the long run, because you can pass things on to other people in your organization.

I also actually think that one of the big beginner mistakes is to promise people all sorts of stuff, let’s be honest, in SEO, you should never promise page one or top three rankings. It’s just bad business. 
The fact is, you don’t know who you’re going up against, and what they’re willing to do in order to prevent you from reaching that goal you just promised.

Hey, I’m not saying don’t make promises. What I’m saying is don’t make promises you can’t keep. Why don’t you talk about return on investment for the customer? Or why don’t you talk about how many leads you’re going to generate? Those are really the metrics that you can actually succeed in.

Or maybe, the customer is already getting traffic, and you can make a promise based on how much you’re going to improve their conversion rate just by doing some good, old school user experience optimization. HotJar (free plans available) is a fantastic tool for that. 

So in conclusion, record what you are doing and don’t make promises you can’t keep.

If I ever had to start over again and could only have three tools, what would they be?

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BIO: Jonathan is one of the founders at PBNButler and specializes in consulting large and small marketing businesses on process optimization and outsourcing. You can read his blog at and connect with him on Skype: Johnkiek

Matt Diggity – Affiliate SEO

Owner – Diggity Marketing


  • Affiliate SEO

Your primary skill set/ discipline?

  • Affiliate SEO
  • Testing SEO
  • Data driven SEO

How long have you been in the industry?

I got started in SEO in 2009.

Most common mistakes when new to making money with SEO and marketing?

I think everyone will agree that a common attribute amongst newer SEO’s is that they get stuck in the education phase and delay taking action. 

I’m also going to add another newbie pitfall: being afraid to spend money.  I understand that as a newcomer, there’s a hesitation to spend money when you’re not making any. Avoid this at all costs.

It’s just going to lengthen the time it takes for you to be successful. For example, if you’re writing your own content, it’s going to occupy time which could be spent on cultivating money-generating skills like niche selection or SEO testing. 

If you’re being a cheapskate about backlinks, this is simply going to give you a poor result and further confuse your data.

Invest in yourself and your business, as if your end-goal was to become an industry leader.

Any tips to avoid beginner mistakes?

Ideally, find yourself a mentor. 

SEO is so complex these days that it really takes an experienced mindset to answer most of the questions you’re going to come up against. 

If finding a mentor isn’t an available option for you, join an online community or forum with active participation. 

Ask a lot of questions.  Don’t worry about looking like a newbie, it’s going to save you a lot of time and money down the road.  And for future reference… Yes. That Fiverr gig is probably not a great idea for backlinks.

If I ever had to start over again and could only have three tools, what would they be?

I’m not that big on SEO tools.  Most of what needs to be accomplished these days with SEO needs a personal touch. 

However, there are some amazing exceptions…

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BIO: Matt Diggity is an test-oriented SEO who specializes in affiliate marketing.  On a daily basis, Matt leverages his former career as an engineer (M.S.E.E.) to create SEO experiments which produce data-driven SEO techniques.  You can read more about his results at

Charles Floate – Blackhat SEO

Owner – Charles Floate SEO Blog


  • Blackhat SEO

Your primary skill set/ discipline?

  • Parasite SEO
  • SEO Case Studies
  • Affiliate SEO
  • SEO Consulting

How long have you been in the industry?

7 Years

Most common mistakes when new to making money with SEO and marketing?

People like to jump into things, it’s kind of human nature…

I like to master things before I do anything “competitively” – It’s a mind-set I’ve taken on from my pro video game days.

“Learn before you earn”, you can quote me on that.

Develop out your skillset so that you can effectively manage any campaign you decide to go into. Even if you’re just doing SEO, it’s never JUST SEO…

You have to:

  • Design your site
  • Hack your CSS
  • Setup an email list
  • Sales funnels
  • Retarget visitors with ads
  • Write content
  • Do outreach
  • etc etc…

You’ll need to learn and master several different skills to ever be really effective with one.

When you’re just starting out, you have a lot more time than if you have already made it. So use that time to learn. It doesn’t require money, there’s SO much information out there for free it’s unreal.

Any tips to avoid beginner mistakes?

Don’t get shiny object syndrome…

Just because you like someone’s personality or you like their “style” doesn’t mean what you’re buying from them will ever be beneficial to you. That includes me, if you don’t have a f’ing clue about SEO and are just starting out then my paid pieces really aren’t for you, perhaps even my free stuff isn’t as some seasoned SEOs have told me half the sh*t I shoot goes over their head.

Use free resources until you’re comfortable enough with your own knowledge to be able to understand what paid content or tools will actually be helpful to what you want to do.

If I ever had to start over again and could only have three tools, what would they be?

This is actually a pretty difficult question.

There are that many tools I use on a daily basis that contribute to my success… but the 3 I’d stick with if I had to start it all over again would be:

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BIO:Charles is a British Internet Marketer and Author of Parasite SEO in 2016 who specializes in Black Hat Marketing techniques and SEO. He’s been in the industry for over 7 years and makes 6 figures a year from affiliate marketing and consulting. You can read his blog at

Patrick Whitson – Web Design, SEO, lead gen

Owner – Lapeer Website Design


  • WordPress website design
  • Local business marketing
  • Local SEO
  • Video Marketing

Your primary skill set/ discipline?

  • Local Marketing
  • Lead generation
  • Local SEO
  • Making the phone ring!

How long have you been in the industry?

I started website design in 2010 which lead to SEO. So a good 5 years!

Most common mistakes when new to making money with SEO and marketing?

Looking back, I believe the most common mistake that is made is doing something just for the money. Whether that be affiliate marketing, SEO, local SEO or a mixture of those.

What I would recommend is

  • Assess your skill set
  • Start with something you enjoy
  • Have good experience with and
  • Are comfortable providing to a business

For example, if you have a graphic design background, you have a variety of services you bring to the table.

Such as:

  • Designing logos
  • Banners
  • Business cards
  • Letterheads
  • Graphics for website assets (icons, boxes, guarantees, etc.).

Once you’ve assessed what you can do, get out there and market your services to bring in clients.

Any tips to avoid beginner mistakes?

Nurture & Build Relationships – Everyone, no matter if you are coming out of a corporate job or not, has nurtured some relationships with people. Don’t forget that these are your biggest assets when first starting out.

What do I mean by that? Simple, go tell them what services you are offering and find out if they need them or if they can refer others that may need what you offer. In most cases, they will use you or refer you to others who need your services. You contact those referrals, bring them on and provide outstanding service to them.

Now you have things rolling… and continue to nurture those existing relationships.

Stay away from the N.N.S.O.S. (Next New Shiny Object Strategy) or “The Next Best Thing” – This applies across the board, whether you are doing SEO or not.

A lot of this is hype and gets you off-track of what you “should” be doing. I know, I’ve gone down that road and it can be hard to get yourself back on track.

Good advice is, build great content and promote it to others within your niche and you will be good to go.

If I ever had to start over again and could only have three tools, what would they be?

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BIO: Patrick started off in computers with the U.S. Navy and eight years later became a computer consultant for fifteen years doing programming & database design for companies such as Ford, GM, MSX Intl., J. Walter Thompson, Flint Comm. College, and McLaren Health. He loves Yahweh, His word and has been happily married for 28 years along with three children, two of which are now adults. You can connect with Patrick on LinkedIn or at Lapeer Website Design


How’d all that hit you? Find some gems?

We all make mistakes when we start something new. SEO is getting more complex by the day! The actionable advice provided to avoid many of these mistakes is spot on.

Here’s a quick recap:


  • Take action
  • Focus on providing value, not rankings
  • Conversions matter more than rankings
  • Document your business
  • Build Systems
  • Testing is vital to success
  • Get a mentor
  • Join active communities
  • Master your skill before trying to compete
  • Do something you enjoy
  • Reach out to existing contacts and build trust
  • Grow your list and get people to know, like and trust you


  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep
  • Don’t be afraid to spend money on quality (links, tools)
  • Stay away from shiny object syndrome
  • Don’t jump into things, master them before trying to compete

I want to thank Jonathan, Matt, Charles and Patrick for their time and effort helping make this post possible. If you haven’t already, take time to get connected with them. They’re influence in the community is strong and it’s a connection well worth your time!

What are some struggles you’re having right now with your SEO or digital marketing? Sound off in the comments below and we’ll see if we can help you get back on track.

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