Holly Starks Interview by Matt Diggity (YouTube SEO Master)

I’ll just start off by saying that Holly Starks is one of my favorite SEOs.

Holly has been in the game for quite some time now.  She started off with various flavors of black hat and has currently settled into dominating YouTube SEO.

She’s ranked for some crazy terms such as “fidgit spinner” and “weight loss” in a matter of hours.

But things weren’t always easy for Holly.

Like most SEO’s, she had hit major setbacks along the way, and had to pick up pieces and re-invent herself as an SEO.

Her story is awesome, and in this interview you’re going to hear everything: how she got started, how she found YouTube SEO, and everything she does to get YouTube videos ranked for competitive keywords.

In this interview we get into:

  • Holly’s background in SEO
  • The two major setbacks which almost made her quit
  • Holly’s crazy YouTube keyword ranking achievements
  • Youtube SEO
    • Niche hunting
    • Keyword research
    • Video optimization
    • Backlinking
    • Engagement and Retention
    • How to convert on videos

Resources:

Transcript

Matt Diggity:                    Hey guys, this is Matt Diggity. In a minute I’m going to be introducing you to Holly Starks. Now, if you don’t know who Holly is already, in my opinion, she is the most capable and bad ass YouTube SEO I’ve ever met in my life. And this is an interview that I’ve been highly, highly requested to give. I’m really excited about it, and I hope you’re excited too. Hey Holly, how are you doing?

Holly Starks:                    Oh, how are you guys?

Matt Diggity:                    Doing really, really good. Thank you so much for coming on. For everyone who doesn’t know who you are already, can you go ahead and introduce yourself, and maybe say your name, where you’re from, and what is it that you do?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. So I’m Holly Starks, also known as Holly Starks Cooper, and I live in cold ass Wisconsin right now. It is like one degrees. I am I guess famously known for YouTube and being a in general backlink spammer, and that’s kind of my claim to fame is YouTube.

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative). And before you got into YouTube … Well, let’s go way back before you every got into internet marketing in general. Tell me a little bit about your background. What is that you did before this? Did you ever have a jobby job? Did you go to school?

Holly Starks:                    So about 12 years ago … I have two kids of my own, and so my husband worked at General Motors, and we had a really good income. So I didn’t really need to have to work. I raised my kids. So I didn’t actually have a job until I left my husband, and at that point, I worked for an insurance company doing their data entry, making like … I don’t know. It was like seven dollars an hour. Something like that. From there, I pretty much bounced around to places because obviously, you can’t raise kids on like seven dollars an hour. But the highest income I ever made outside of internet marketing was like eight dollars, and that was working for RateWatch, which calls banks and asks for their bank rate. So I’ve had like maybe … I think I’ve had like maybe four jobs until I started doing internet marketing.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay. And was SEO your first form on internet marketing?

Holly Starks:                    No. So my first form of internet marketing … I don’t even think I’d call it internet marketing. I’d totally be calling it stuff that was absolutely illegal. But I did like bootlegging a lot. I was one of the first people that sold DVDs of TV shows on Ebay. So the first series I ever put out was Married with Children on Ebay, and I made, I don’t know, it was like 20 thousand dollars in a weekend. It was crazy money. And then obviously that got shut down because I got becease and … You know, one of those orders that you can’t sell online.

Matt Diggity:                    Cease and desist, yeah.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah, yeah. So I did that for maybe like, I don’t know, like a half a yeah, and then I was like, “Yeah, this is super illegal.” I couldn’t do it anymore.

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Okay, so when did you get first into SEO, and how did that happen?

Holly Starks:                    So I guess the first time I started even looking at making money online was I was trying to transition from RateWatch to coming home. And the only reason why I wanted to come home and work was because I had … And then I met my wife Dawn, and we have four kids, and they all go to three different schools in the next coming year. And there’s no way that we could’ve took the kids to school and then to work. So I kind of had to figure out how to be an at home mom and make money. So I literally worked at RateWatch for eight hours a day, and then I would come home and get on the computer until like 10, 11:00 at night and just research how to make money online. And I went to forums, I went to like … Excuse me. It’s so funny, but I went to places like Digital … What’s it called now? Digital Forum?

Matt Diggity:                    Digital Point?

Holly Starks:                    Digital Point. Yeah. WickedFire, Warrior Forum. Those were like the three places … Oh, BlackHatWorld … Well, those were the four places that I read for like … And it was probably like a good six months that I just read method after method after method, and I was like, “That looks too hard to do. How do I have enough time to do this one?” So I took in a lot of different methods. That kind of was the problem was that taking in so many methods, I didn’t actually go and do anything. So it was good that I read about it, you know? But that’s kind of where it all started, it was just reading about it, and forcing myself to do something I guess.

Matt Diggity:                    And what was the … Okay. So you were distracted by all these different ways of making money online, internet marketing, whatever. What was the first methodology that you stuck with, and you were like, “Okay, I’m going to sit down and learn this one”?

Holly Starks:                    So the first thing was AdSense. I made a AdSense blog about legos for girls.

Matt Diggity:                    Oh, nice.

Holly Starks:                    And I bought the domain legos for girls, and I actually ranked it over legos in a very quick amount of time. And I was excited about that, and I made my first dollar. I was like, “Oh my God. I made a dollar. It’s so hard to even make your first dollar, right?” And it was l ike, I don’t know, six months, three months? Something like that, I get a letter from Legos saying that they were going to sue me because I used their trademark in my domain name.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah.

Holly Starks:                    So and I had to show up in court, and it was like in the United Kingdom or something. And I was like, “There’s no way I can do something like that. I haven’t made more than like a 100 dollars on the whole domain.” So I just let them take it at that point. So that was my first taste of being sued also.

Matt Diggity:                    Oh, okay.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    And so this was a traditional website. It sounds like it wasn’t a Web 2.0 or something.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. It was a … So I think I bought a template off it must have been like BlackHatWorld. It was like the green AdSense template. It was the ugly looking template where it was all this orangy green, and they said it was the best template ever because it will get people to click on your ads. So I spent $35 to get the template, and I asked them to upload it because it don’t know WordPress, and I went like, “I don’t know how to do this, any of it.” And I still don’t. But so they uploaded it for me, and then I just wrote some pretty basic content, and I just did backlinks that I learned from like Digital Point.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah, yeah. So like Web 2.0, blog comments, stuff like that?

Holly Starks:                    It was all blog comments. It wasn’t even Web 2.0s at the time. It was just blog comments. And I knew ScrapeBox for the blog comments.

Matt Diggity:                    So were you doing all your learning from the forums at this time? Did you ever take any courses or anything like that?

Holly Starks:                    No. I’m 100% self-learner. I didn’t start buying courses until maybe like 2015ish. I read freely about the information. And I would test it, and then I would test like split test, and if this didn’t work and this did, well then I don’t know why this did, but it works. So then we would go that route.

Matt Diggity:                    Sure. Yeah. And I think you once said … Well, what I remember was in Chiang Mai when you were giving a workshop on YouTube ranking, you had said something quite inspirational to the people that are watching about how you had identified someone that you thought you could learn from at a conference, and you got up the guts to go ask for help. Did I get that right? Was there something like that that happened? Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. So that was in 20 … That must have been in 2014 I think. Tim Parker invited me out to Raleigh to the Warrior conference. I don’t know what it’s called now. It’s the Warrior conference. They invited me out. It was before my course, so nobody really knew me. And Derek Pierce was there, and I was so scared to go up and talk to Derek. I was so scared to talk to anybody because it was a first time on a  flight, it was the first time out of my comfort zone of even going to a conference, and Riley and Makenny was like, “Come down to the bar and hang out.” And it was 8:00. I go to be early, right? So I’m like, “No, I’m in bed. I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow at the conference.” And they’re like, “No. Where the networking happens, and where you meet a lot of people, and where you make deals is in the bar afterwards.” A lot of the times it’s not in the conference because they’re so busy.

So I didn’t come down that night because I was scared of the to talk to everybody… I was so petrified. And then I came down the next day, and like nobody would let me out of their sight because they were like, “If she leaves, she’s not coming back.” So that’s how I met Derek. And if I did not meet Derek, and Tim, and Ryan, and all of those guys out there, I can 100% tell you I probably would be working still at RateWatch, because they were the ones that pushed me into building the course, and they were the ones that were like, “People would like to know your story. And you’re a self learner, so you can go quite far in it.” But I didn’t see that. I more seen like I was in my little box, and I was really scared. So it was the best thing I ever did.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay. That’s awesome. I mean, kudos to you for like having the guts to go talk to someone, and then you were rewarded right away for it. That’s awesome. And this course that you’re talking about, which course was this?

Holly Starks:                    It was Easy Hangout Blueprint. I put it out in 2014. It’s not even on my own domain. The guy hosted it for me, he did the whole thing… I don’t know how to build a funnel. I still don’t know how to build a funnel. He did all the funnel work, he did the sales page, it was on spring break for my kids. I was in a hotel, and they were like, “Just show up. You have like three hours to do a webinar on three weeks in a row, and just show up.” And I was like horribly sick, but I still I showed up. And we had 100 people on the webinar, and then we had 100% conversion rate. Everybody bought the course.

Matt Diggity:                    Wow.

Holly Starks:                    It’s 100% on the front end, and it was 80% on the back end.

Matt Diggity:                    Well done. I think you do have a little bit of sales in you.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah, but you know I think it was that like it was a legitimate business. I could prove everything that I was saying, and it was a very soft pitch because I was like, “I don’t know what you want to know.” You know what I mean? It was just a conversation. It wasn’t like a hard pitch or anything like that.

Matt Diggity:                    Right. And well, congratulations on that success. And I remember around this time before we’d actually met face to face at the LCT conference last year, I remember seeing like a bunch of your services. Like you had a PA boosting service. What was that one all about?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. So the PA boosting service was for page authority. And basically, what the page authority boosting does is simple is that we watch the Moz page authority, and it updates once a month. So once it updates, we send a ton of links to buffers, and the buffers go to the domains. And if you do it right within 30 days, that domain or that Twitter, that Web 2.0, whatever you have, it will gain page authority. So we have … We would take ones that had page authority of zero, and add a brand new domain, and within 30 days it had PA of like a 50. It was like super powerful.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah.

Holly Starks:                    So that’s been around for I think like two years. I don’t get as many… In the beginning, I got a lot of orders, and then it just kind of backed off just as people move on to other things.

Matt Diggity:                    Right. Yeah. I think back in the day, we thought it’s all about the metrics, you just want links from the metrics, right? Yeah. But people wisened up, right?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    And you also had … I bought this one. The Bad Ass Indexer. Tell us more about that one. And if you don’t mind sharing, what’s the technology behind it?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. So here’s another it’s a little funny story about the indexer. My original indexer was called the Incredible Indexer. And an Incredible Indexer competed with Nuclear Indexer and Express Indexer. So that indexer did site maps, and what it would do is it would call the YouTube site map bot. So when it would come to your website, it would think it’s a video, so it would index right away. That’s what they still do to this day. The Bad Ass Indexer, which was the first of the kind also at that time two years ago, it does the same thing as things like … I don’t know if One Hour Indexer does it, but there’s a lot of the new indexers out there that do it now.

But essentially what it does is it logs into your Google account. It’s very simple, it goes to Google submit URL. It submits the URL. It fills the capture for you, and then it just submits it. So it gets indexed right away. They all like LSI, those indexer, all of those, they all do the same thing as my original Bad Ass Indexer does. They’re all the same quality and everything. There’s some that takes the mobile indexer, like LSI will do the mobile indexer versus so you don’t have to use Google accounts to use proxies. For a Bad Ass Indexer, you use Google accounts.

Matt Diggity:                    Cool. And so it still works?

Holly Starks:                    Oh, yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    Nice.

Holly Starks:                    It’s been up, and I think we’re maybe in our third year, and it still works the same as it always has.

Matt Diggity:                    That’s awesome. Cool. Yeah, I’ll have to try it out. I got some stubborn citations that simply won’t index. Any luck with citations indexing with the Bad Ass Indexer?

Holly Starks:                    Not all the citations will, but I mean, if you put in like 50 citations, at least 20 to 30 will. It depends on what the platform is.

Matt Diggity:                    That’s not bad. Okay, I’ll fire that thing back up again. Cool. So we had talked about before like back in the day, everyone needs to hang out in the forums and whatnot. And these days it’s all about Facebook. I’m just curious, do you miss how it was like on the forums, or do you like the Facebook format?

Holly Starks:                    I hate the Facebook format. I hate it because I find that if I have my Skype turned off, I can’t even put it on the red do not disturb button. They have it totally off, and Facebook will not open. I’m so way more productive, but I still have it on my phone, so I can see everyone tagging me, and messaging me, and posting. But in the forums, I would only go on when I only would schedule a time in to go on. And I also don’t like that I can’t search very well in the Facebook forum or the Facebooks. I mean, I know they have the search thing, but a lot of people will remove their posts, I do it all the time too, once they get it answered. So that’s just a little bit annoying to me. But I like the forums much better than do like the Facebooks.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah, I kind of agree. The forums did have a nice aspect that once it was there, it kind of stayed there, and it was easily archived. And Facebook, it’s kind of like it’s there for the week and then it’s gone.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah, I kind of agree. So but where do you hang out? Which Facebook groups do you hang out in?

Holly Starks:                    So I’ve been transitioning from the traditional SEO to video marketing. So I’ve been trying to do more in the video marketing forums. But the main ones are you’ll always see me in LS or LCD.

Matt Diggity:                    LCT?

Holly Starks:                    LCD.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah.

Holly Starks:                    What is it?

Matt Diggity:                    Local Client Takeover, right?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. LTC.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah. LSD, yeah.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. The Proper PBN Group. I will sit in there every once in a while. The video marketing ones I’m in, but I don’t post as much as I used to just because I post … If I start posting, then people will start tagging me. Which is okay, but it’s like a bat signal to me because my phone goes off.

Matt Diggity:                    Oh.

Holly Starks:                    You know what I mean? So it’s a little bit … It’s time consuming. So I’ll do more of it on the weekends than during the week. I’m much more active on my Skype. I’m in the Skype groups. I’m in as many Skype groups as I can because it keeps the backlog of all the conversations. So if I’m working on something, and I can’t find something from six months ago that I knew that I wanted to remember, I can just search it a lot easier.

Matt Diggity:                    Right. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. Okay, so question. At what point did you realize that you were good at this internet marketing SEO type stuff?

Holly Starks:                    I still don’t think that I’m good, I just think that I get it. And I think anyone can do it if they just sit down and try to do it. I just think … I don’t really know why everyone likes me. I don’t understand that part of it. That kind of just blows my mind in a sense. I’m good at video, but I always can learn, and I can always get better at it I guess.

Matt Diggity:                    Right. I think that’s a good stance to take. I guess along the way it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Did you ever face any huge setbacks or anything like that?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. So originally, before I started YouTube, I had a huge PBN network of about 1,200 sites. I don’t know if I had the biggest at that time or not. Probably not, but I had like PR4, PR5, PR6s and some PR7s. I spent a lot of money on it. I had 20 clients paying me a good amount of money every month, and I had it for six months. And I finally decided to quit my job. That’s where I quit my job. Not because of YouTube, because of the PBN network.

Matt Diggity:                    Oh.

Holly Starks:                    And I quit my job. Dawn is someone who needs stability, so we got in this huge fight about quitting my job because she was like, “If Google could take you out, you’re going to be back in the same place.” And I had a I’m untouchable type of a attitude at that time. I still kind of do, but I’ve learned a little bit. And I quit. One morning, I think it was 20 days later, one morning I woke up, and 1,000 PBN networks, or 1,000 PBN domains that I thought I made the right way were all de-indexed. So I lost, it had to have been like $120,000. It was ridiculous how much I lost.

And at that point, that’s when I went offline, and that’s when I really taught myself YouTube because I had to figure out how not to get de-indexed, and how I could still have clients and still made money. So that’s where I went into the YouTube. So that happened in I think it was 2013, and then in November of 2016 is when I lost my entire YouTube network, which is 3.5 million videos, I lost 65,000 mass page websites, I lost 1.5 million Twitter accounts. I mean, I could go on. With the 2016 update was like something that I never thought could happen. So that was probably the biggest bad thing that hit me hard.

Matt Diggity:                    I mean, obviously there’s a financial impact from that, but how did that affect you emotionally if you don’t mind me asking if it’s all right?

Holly Starks:                    So that one in 2013, that wasn’t like a too big of a deal because I’m pretty resilient, and I knew I taught myself once, I could teach myself again. But in 2016, that happened in November. I kind of walked away from the SEO YouTube world for almost 4 and a half months. I considered going to work at the local Menards here because I hated it. I was leading up to the point when I lost all the videos, I was hating what I was doing because I was pulled in so many different ways, and I didn’t have enough time.

So I was depressed. Me and Dawn were not … We were not in a good point at all. I was ready to walk away from the SEO world. And the only reason why I came back is because we go camping every year in June, and I was like, “Either I’m going to reteach myself this again, and I don’t know if I want to do it, and I’m going to do it an entire different way if I do or I’m going back to work at Menards, and we’re going to have to back off on buying so many of our little toys, and going away on trips and stuff like that.” And that’s something that we do. So I kind of like … After a long heart to heart talk with Dawn, then I was like, “Well, I’m going to try it again, but if I get caught within the first year, I’m not doing it anymore.”

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative). That makes sense. Wow. So I mean, everyone who gets into IM or SEO or something like that usually faces a big setback, some penalty, something happens. Do you have any advice for these people on how to get back on your feet when you’re really just beat down and demoralized like that?

Holly Starks:                    I talked to my … I call my mentor. I talked to Derek a lot in those four months about how I was feeling about SEO, and that I was taking so much time, and I wasn’t feeling like a mom and a wife because I couldn’t do two things at one time. So he kind of helped me with my time management. And really all I can say is that if I didn’t have that, the support of everyone around me, then I probably wouldn’t come back because I just … As an internet marketer, our friends are online. You know what I mean? So if you don’t have your friends online and supporting you, you’re not going to go anywhere. You’re just going to be like honestly depressed all the time.

Matt Diggity:                    Right.

Holly Starks:                    So I guess if you’re resilient, then you can come back, and you can bounce back. But if you’re easily frustrated, it’s going to be hard for you.

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative). And what I’m taking out of that is one of the great things about working online, especially doing affiliate stuff, is you can be a lone wolf. But if you are the lone wolf, you don’t get to bounce ideas off friends, you don’t get to collaborate with people and say, “How do you pick up the pieces after this update” and stuff like that. That’s really good advice.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. And that’s important. And I know a lot of people don’t like telling each other their niches, or their properties, and stuff like that. I think you just have to find that trusted person. I have Derek. Derek I know would never go into my area, and I would never go into his area. So he’s a trusted person for me.

Matt Diggity:                    Right, right. Awesome. So okay. So what I understand is the PBN thing went down. That was devastating. And then the next turn you took was for YouTube, right?

Holly Starks:                    That was like majorly devastating. That was like a six figure a month that went down to … I don’t even know if I was three figures a month. And when everything landed, and everything was gone, the only thing I had left was my email list. That was it. Everything was gone.

Matt Diggity:                    Geesh. Okay. So let’s back up a little bit from that point. Let’s talk about the transition from traditional website SEO into YouTube. Where was it that you found YouTube, and what made you decide to get into it?

Holly Starks:                    It’s a kind of dumb story, but the only reason I found YouTube is because so I have four kids, and they play Steam consistently in my house. And I literally was just sitting upstairs and I was talking to the kids about what kind of stuff they want for Christmas. And everybody was talking about Steam. And I guess I just kind of bounced ideas off of my kids, and kind of just watched what my kids were doing, and what they were into. And they were all about YouTube, and learning about how to play these stupid games on Steam.

And so and I’m still not … To this day, I’m still not a YouTuber in the sense of I use … It’s my working platform, but I don’t watch YouTube. So I kind of would just bounce ideas off them, and ask them why they’re watching it, and why they’re clicking on it. So I kind of took the same aspect of what you would look at in a website to get a person to click on, and I did it in a video sense. It was really like a shot in the dark. It was pure luck that I picked YouTube. There we not reason why I specifically picked it other than that my kids were on it all the time.

Matt Diggity:                    Hey, it worked out, and these kids know best.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    So I know you’re a humble person, but let’s put that aside for a little bit because this is always fun, especially with the capability you have on YouTube.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    If you can share, and maybe you’re done with the niche, so maybe you can share. Can you give some examples, some crazy terms you’ve ranked for in YouTube?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. So if you follow me on Facebook … I hate it when people do this, but I do it too because I think it’s funny. So I’ll put teasers out there. So let me see. So I was doing a campaign before Chiang Mai. It must have been in October. And I love challenges, and somebody was like, “How you can’t rank for weight loss.” And I was like, “The last time you guys challenged me, I did it for under three weeks. So you really want me to rank for weight loss?” And they were like, “Yeah.” And I said, “Okay.” I ranked for weight loss in 24 hours on YouTube.

Matt Diggity:                    That’s insane.

Holly Starks:                    And they were like, “There’s no way. There is no way.” I said, “Yeah.” So I will give you the screen shot, but I’m not going to tell you what I did, because if I tell you what I did, then that hole will be filled, right?”

Matt Diggity:                    Sure.

Holly Starks:                    So I ranked for Pruvit, I ranked for weight loss the weight loss, and then weight loss together, and then I ranked for supplement reviews in five hours on YouTube.

Matt Diggity:                    That’s insane. I wouldn’t even go for those terms in normal search. You’re just never going to beat, I don’t know, WebMD on that kind of thing. That’s insane. But it seems like YouTube is wide open. Did those rankings stick?

Holly Starks:                    They would’ve sticked, but the reason why I ended up pulling it down … So I ranked for that, and then I did fidget spinners also. So fidget spinners was a little bit longer. It was like eight hours I was just going crazy because I’m like, I want to rank right away, right? So I took my screenshots, and I pulled them down. The weight loss one I didn’t pull down for almost 30 some hours because I thought I would get traffic, but the funny story with that is that I was linking to my Pruvit page, and once you clicked on it, it went to a 404.

So I didn’t even have a damn link. I didn’t have my link right. So, yeah. So I was up there for two days, and I never got traffic. But to my Pruvit site. So I took it down, and then I posted the screenshots. And if I wouldn’t have took them down, they would still be number one today, but I took it down because I knew people were watching what I was doing, and I didn’t want the hole to be exposed I guess. So even though I can rank within hours, I don’t use that method very often because YouTube could close it, and I kind of use that method just as like the last resort type thing.

Matt Diggity:                    Sure. That’s your Hail Mary so to speak.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah, yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay. And wow, those are some crazy terms. And it leads me into another douchey question, and you can just say no if you don’t want to answer it. I never like talking about money, but maybe we can dissect it down into like a bite sized money question. What’s the most payout from affiliate you’ve ever garnered in one day of ranking?

Holly Starks:                    So we can do it in three different ways. So in 2014, I made an affiliate video network for this guy, and he was in Mexico and didn’t know I did it. And he came back, and I ranked for my videos for every possible term, I mean, every term. Ended up paying me $30,000 for that network in 2014. At the end of 2016, I was getting around 1,500 calls a month for lead gen. So if you want to do the math on that, you can. Obviously it’s six figures a month. I’m not at six figures a month now, but I can close people at the highest that I’ve closed people on YouTube per month is $45,000 a month.

Matt Diggity:                    Nice, nice.

Holly Starks:                    And that was a YouTube creator. So I have people at 500 a month, and then I have people at 45,000 a month. It just depends upon what I want to do with them, and what they need.

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay. So and that’s interesting. And so you do affiliate and you do client with the YouTube stuff?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. So I didn’t do client for about two years because I didn’t need to, but when everything came down, I had to get my income going again. So the only way that I could get my income coming in without Dawn killing me was taking back on clients.

Matt Diggity:                    Sure.

Holly Starks:                    So my video club that I have, at the most I’ve had 40 people in the video club. It fluctuates because I’ll get a client in, and I’ll rank them in two weeks on YouTube for like seven of their terms. Well, it’s not their video, it’s their client video. So their client fires them because I ranked it. Then I’m like, “Well, that’s what you hired me to do. I don’t dick aroudn when I’m ranking, right? I rank you. That’s my job.”

Matt Diggity:                    Right.

Holly Starks:                    So it kind of comes and goes. I enjoy some of that, the client work. I like working for myself, but I think I had too many eggs in one basket before, so I’m kind of spreading it a little bit now.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah, that makes complete sense. And that’s a good segue for me to ask a little bit about the ranking. I won’t ask you to get into the extreme details, but enough to get a beginner started if you don’t mind.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    So the first question I have is if you’re doing client video SEO, you get the niche handed to you. That’s what they want to rank. But what about affiliate? How do you decide to go for fidget spinners and stuff like that? How do you do your niche research?

Holly Starks:                    So I go use the site AnswerThePublic.com. So you go to AnswerThePublic.com, and you put your base term in. It will output the questions, and it’ll alphabetize the terms. And then Keywords Everywhere are posting the volume from it. I export that list, and everything in that list I rank for. That’s my key word research. It takes me seven minutes.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay.

Holly Starks:                    That’s it.

Matt Diggity:                    So sorry, the keyword research, is that for video search? Like there is keyword research tools for video volume?

Holly Starks:                    No, there’s not .

Matt Diggity:                    Ah. Okay, so you just have to guess based on desktop normal search, and you try to apply it to video?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah, it’s like throwing shit at a wall and seeing what sticks essentially.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah.

Holly Starks:                    But if you’re … Okay. So if you’re ranking for 400 terms for one video, you’re going to bring in the long tail, you’re going to bring in the short tail, so you’re going to get the traffic no matter what.

Matt Diggity:                    Sure. Okay. So you just go for all of the words basically.

Holly Starks:                    I do. Yeah. Because I have such a powerful backend on tools that I can go after as many keywords as I want. As a beginner, I wouldn’t advise doing that. I would pick like 10 keywords that are good traffic buyers for you. You know what I mean?

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Holly Starks:                    As a beginner, that’s what I would do. But-

Matt Diggity:                    That’s very similar for websites too.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah. I didn’t mean to cut you off, but yeah. It’s similar for websites in the sense that you can rank a single page for a whole slew and a whole topic of keywords. So it does make sense to go for all the words so to speak. The next question I have for you is what do you call onsite SEO for videos? Do you call it onsite? Do you call it like video optimization? What’s it called?

Holly Starks:                    I guess it’s called video optimization, but it’s really like … Okay, so straight up. I do not know how to build a website. I don’t know how to … I know how to install WordPress. That’s it. I couldn’t even tell you where meta tags are on a website because I don’t know. I think meta tags are keywords, but that’s just because that’s what everybody says, but I don’t actually know where it is in a website. In a video, it’s so stupid easy. That’s why I like video because I am the stupid easy lazy ass person. It’s like title, you put your keywords, and your CTA, your description, you put what the video’s about, and then you put your tags. And you’re never go more than seven tags.

Matt Diggity:                    That’s it.

Holly Starks:                    That’s it. And then if your location wise, you go into advanced and you switch the location to Wisconsin or whatever. But it’s not hard at all.

Matt Diggity:                    How about the description? Can you or should you or should you avoid keyword stuffing in the description?

Holly Starks:                    I do not keyword stuff in the description. I know people do, and in 2014, we would put hashtags in, but I don’t see any difference if you put a hashtag in or you’re keyword stuffing it because they’re reading the tags, so that’s really where you want your keywords. And all you’re doing when you’re putting your list of keywords in the description is you’re giving me your keywords. And I’ll just copy them out.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay, good to know. All right. Okay, cool. That was a question from one of the people in The Lab Facebook group, and I asked them what kind of questions they wanted to hear. I had a bunch of those actually, but this particular gentleman wanted to know if hashtags do anything in the description. So thanks for clearing that up.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    So what about for offsite SEO for videos. Do links matter?

Holly Starks:                    So I mean, so the thing with YouTube is that what matters to YouTube is staying on your video, and watching the video, and not clicking off to another video. So your watch time is huge. If your watch time in the percentage wise is like 50%, and your competition is 70%, then your competition will win every time. So it’s not about backlinks as it used to be, your first reason why you bring because your watch time, your second reason, is your engagement. Those are the two big things. So if you’re getting an engagement from your backlinks, you know backlink click into your video and they’re watching the video, then that’s okay. But if they’re watching the video, and they’re there for 10 seconds and click off, YouTube is like, “No, no, no. We don’t want that. We want you to stay on YouTube.”

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative). Can you define the difference between watch time and engagement? Would watch time just be they’re watching a certain percentage of the video, and then what would engagement be?

Holly Starks:                    So engagement to us is like the person liking the video, the person staying on your video for 85% of time, and the person leaving a comment. And then you go back and you heard their comment, and then you comment on their comment. And then they come back, and they’re like, “Oh, Matt. I’m going to have to comment on my comment.” So then they’ll comment back. So it’s just it’s normal commenting, and it’s normal engagement I guess is what I would call it.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah. It makes complete sense. So number one is watch time, number two engagement. What would you say number three is?

Holly Starks:                    I think number three would … It would be your keywords, because if you’re … I can’t tell you how many people I’ve looked at, and asked me to look at their videos why they’re not ranking. They have no keywords in their tags. How does YouTube know? How does Google know that your video is supposed to rank for Xarelto if you have no tags? That’s a huge thing.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah.

Holly Starks:                    But you got to have your keywords in there.

Matt Diggity:                    I think that’s just it’s funny because probably these people are coming from website SEO where the keywords, meta keywords, did nothing. So they just assume this is just something we can ignore. So thanks for clearing that up. That’s really interesting. And so I know you said links don’t matter that much. Hey doggy. I know you said links don’t matter that much, but when we’re talking about links, are we talking about actual hyperlinks, or are we talking about embeds? Which one’s a link for YouTube?

Holly Starks:                    One minute. I’ve got to pick him up.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah, yeah. Go ahead.

Holly Starks:                    Okay. All right. Sorry. He sits on my lap all day when I’m working, and he’s feeling neglected. Okay. So in the sense of backlinks, backlinks would be embeds.

Matt Diggity:                    Embeds.

Holly Starks:                    The backlinks are not like naked links, or just the URL. It’s your embed. So if you’re going to do embeds, you want to have embeds on high quality sites. You don’t want to have a brand new web 2.0 because that embeds not going to do anything for you versus a Twitter embed, which is like a page authority of a 40. You know what I mean? It’s still the same sense of the websites how you get backlinks. You still have to look at the metrics still.

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Holly Starks:                    But it’s not a major factor. I have not built backlinks. So I started backup in YouTube in May. And from May to the first of December, I did not build a backlink to any of my networks.

Matt Diggity:                    Interesting.

Holly Starks:                    So I’ll run engagement.

Matt Diggity:                    Cool. Very cool. And so let’s get back to the main ranking factors, watch time and engagement. If I know you, if these are the high pivot items that get the rankings, you’re manipulating them.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. Heavily.

Matt Diggity:                    Totally. So where are you outsourcing the engagement to? Because I’m assuming you’re not sitting at home and watching videos over and over again.

Holly Starks:                    No. So there’s a couple interesting ways that you could do it. So I’m not going to say them all, but there’s a lot of people that have the program called … And it totally went out of my head. It’s the one that you can have … Simon is the owner of it. It’s like Mr browser, but it’s not. It’s basically like you can log in on a bunch of different YouTube profiles, and you can do your own engagements. I can’t think of what that software is called. So that’s one. And we also have a ZennoPoster template, and that template will log into our YouTube accounts, and do our own comments, and do our own likes. So we have those templates, and it also will watch the video. You can do things like MTurk.

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Holly Starks:                    If you’re going to do MTurk, it’s a complete … Can I swear?

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah.

Holly Starks:                    It’s a complete mind fuck to set up. I am pretty computer savvy, and it took me an hour, plus someone had to make a video for me to set my job up. I hate it.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay.

Holly Starks:                    The other things you can do is easy ones are like Craig’s List. Get people to watch their videos. We hired our college kids. We have hired high school kids who we pay our mommy bloggers five dollars a month to go to certain videos and watch them. We don’t really care how you get your engagement as long as you get the engagement. If you’re going to do it buying views … So the interesting thing with buying views is before Chiang Mai, I would buy them at Social Media Garden, okay? But after again, on my plane ride home from Chiang Mai, this always happens when I go to a conference. It’s nothing to do with you guys, but on my flight home from Chiang Mai, YouTube did a views update.

Previously views with YouTube were exported by the API. And so you could order millions of views for really cheap because they were just hitting the API for a view. And it was all full retention view if it was under two minutes. That’s how I hand a lot of my videos ranking is I would just hit that API. But they did an update, and they closed it. And they’ve done probably eight updates on that particular part of that API. And the panels that I go on frequently cannot do those views anymore.

So I haven’t bought views since November. And I just recently did a small test of views three days ago, and I had … They’re not like … They’re actual real people, but the problem is that the views are coming in on ads. So somebody would go to a YouTube ad, and they click on it, but you’re getting redirected to a Xarelto video when you think you’re coming in on a cure cancer video. So then my videos are getting all these dislikes, and my retention went from 97% to like I don’t know, 35%. It’s not going to work. That’s going to kill your channel. So those channels that did that are now destroyed.

Matt Diggity:                    Interesting. So do you have a solution?

Holly Starks:                    My solution right now is that I’ve sworn heavily at the people who have decided to do that. And I said, “You know, it’s okay that you are buying the ads, and that’s how we’re getting our views. But you have to have a niche views, and you’ve got to have niche ads.” Because they’re getting the dislikes and the click offs because they’re not coming in on the right niche.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah.

Holly Starks:                    So I’ve had like discussions with three different panels, and I’m like, “Can you just … If you can build a list up, I don’t care if I have to wait six months for the views, but if you can build the list up, it’s going to be worth more.”

Matt Diggity:                    Sure.

Holly Starks:                    You know what I mean?

Matt Diggity:                    Sure.

Holly Starks:                    So the views is not a good alternative anymore unfortunately.

Matt Diggity:                    All right. I mean, you can still take it into your own hands and hire family members and break out the MTurk again if you have to, right?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah, yeah. But like we would do like 30,000 in day one, 30,000 day two, and then list the video day three, and then it would be ranking right away. You can’t do that, and I mean, you can’t. I’ve tested it.

Matt Diggity:                    Interesting. All right. So on the topic of channels, is it important to have a good YouTube channel? Is that like your domain itself?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. So like a bad YouTube channel would be retention rate under 50%. A good strong YouTube channel is going to have retention of 85%. Your retention at 85% is like your pretty spot. That’s where you always want to be at. That would be like a website on page one at like number one. It would be very hard for someone to come in and beat you.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay. And is it worth it to buy an existing YouTube channel, or just like build it from scratch?

Holly Starks:                    So we’ve been playing around with buying new channels, and making a retention rate at 85% by buying views. That’s what we were doing, but it’s not … You can’t do that now. So we have just recently bought 20 accounts from someone else, and their retention rate is at like 60%, so we’re going to try to build it to 85 and see if that’s like a viable situation or not.

Matt Diggity:                    Should you ever abandon a channel? Like if the retention just sucks, should you just abandon it, or do you try to fix it?

Holly Starks:                    No. A YouTube account is cheap. It can be like a $1 to $35, and if your videos are sucking, and no one’s watching them, and you’re getting dislikes, and your retention rate blows, YouTube is not going to rank your video. You can try to fix it, but as much time and money as you’re going to put in fixing it, it’s like just dump it.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah. Yeah. It sounds like there’s an analogy between YouTube and normal websites where the channel is your domain, and the video is a page on the domain. And if your domain’s penalized or it sucks, it’s just no matter what you put up there, the pages aren’t going to rank. And the same for YouTube, right?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. I mean, I had that. I had thought I had a pretty strong channel, and I put a Xarelto video up, and as strong as that channel was, it should have been at number five, and it was nowhere. It was like I don’t know, number 30. And I’m like, “What the hell? This is not normal for this channel.” And I pulled another channel with the same metrics, just a little bit different on the retention rate, but not that much. It was like a maybe a 5% difference, and that video was like number five. So I knew that other video, that other channel is shit.

Matt Diggity:                    Interesting. And okay, so onto the videos itself, is there anything special you need to do for really hard SERPs or searches in YouTube that you wouldn’t normally do? I think this is what you were talking about with the fidget spinners and stuff like that.

Holly Starks:                    I mean, there’s only … Most people aren’t going to be like, “I want to rank for weight loss.” Or they shouldn’t be in their right mind, you know what I mean? Because they know it’s going to take forever. So ideally the reason you rank is because of your engagement. So if you want to come in and rank for 4,000 terms, it’s not as hard as you think because it’s the same sense of a website. If I had a video about blue shoes, and I want to rank for green shoes, and it’s not in the tags. It’s not going to pull it in, right?

Matt Diggity:                    Sure.

Holly Starks:                    So your engagement, you have to force YouTube to pull it in. So on your engagement, you would ask people to look for green shoes. And just based on that engagement, it’ll pull … Because that modifier of green, it’ll pull that video in within three to five days. So YouTube is way easier to trick than Google is. You can still do it on Google, but we don’t focus on Google because they have updates that annoy me, and I understand YouTube’s updates. I get it. I don’t get the Google updates. I get YouTube. So that’s how you focus there. But that was … I mean, that was a little offhand.

Matt Diggity:                    Sure.

Holly Starks:                    As long as your engagement is what your keyword is. You can rank you video for whatever term you want.

Matt Diggity:                    Got it. Okay. So what would you say like for the beginners out there, what do you think is the biggest pitfall with YouTube SEO? What’s the biggest misconception that beginners fall into that you can clear up right now?

Holly Starks:                    Well, there’s like tons of them. I mean, I get pushed back from SEO people all the time about YouTube, right? They say their conversion sucks. It’s probably one of the biggest things is the conversions is if you put up a website versus a YouTube video, which one do you think is going to rank, or which one do you think will convert better? A website depending on niche, will always convert better, right? So you have to get your YouTube person to watch your videos as long as you can get them to watch and then click off to go to a website, which is it’s an art. And if you don’t know what you’re … If you don’t know what the consumer is looking for, it’s not going to convert.

So you have to have thumbnails. I’ve never done thumbnails before, but you got to have thumbnails now. Your CTA has to be strong. So now we are capturing emails, and then we put them in an email funnel. And which of course I don’t write that because I don’t know how to make a freaking funnel anyways. But that’s kind of a big thing is that people think is the conversions suck, but they don’t suck. YouTube traffic is gold. It is absolutely gold if you know how to convert it. I was on a live stream this week of a guy who was selling his course. He had a 180 people consistent through four hours. He sold at a $500 level for his course, he sold about 50 to 60 in that four hour span from YouTube. And these are … I mean, I was reading all the questions, and I was just like, “This is like a gold mine for people who know how to convert it.” That’s the art is learning how to convert it, right?

Matt Diggity:                    Interesting.

Holly Starks:                    And another big conception is your face has to be in the video to make it convert. It doesn’t have to be. My videos that I do, my face is not on it. It’s a simple PowerPoint. I give people three tips, say something like, “I have acne,” or I give you three tips how to remove the acne. If you want to find out more tips, go to this website, I capture your email, and then we send you 50 days of emails to get you to convert over to a product.

Matt Diggity:                    Interesting. And do you do the voice yourself?

Holly Starks:                    No. I hate my voice, so I sent it to Fiverr, and I have someone do it Fiverr gig on it.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay. All right. That’s a good transition. I wanted to ask you because you said you’re building millions of videos, what are you doing to scale? Are you using VA’s first of all for helping with labor and stuff like that?

Holly Starks:                    So that was a transition for me from 2016 to 2017. I’m not doing millions of videos now. I’m doing national videos that rank for thousands of turns.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay.

Holly Starks:                    So for an example like garage door repair, I would rank that one video for as many thousands of turns as I can in local cities.

Matt Diggity:                    Sure.

Holly Starks:                    And it gets to be a huge job, but if you can … That’s where you would come in with your backlinks and your Twitter postings on your IFT, and get them posting for you so you don’t have to do so much engagement.

Matt Diggity:                    Sure. And do you … I mean, do you do this all yourself? Are you a one woman show, or do you have staff helping you?

Holly Starks:                    So previously I had high school kids working, but when everything went under, obviously I couldn’t have my kids working for me. So that brought me up to the summer, and then it was just me. I just recently hired a couple of VAs who are in the states who are building the landing pages for me, because I don’t want to build them and it’s not going to Get Response. And everyone’s like, “I can’t believe you’re building these massive websites on GetResponse.” But I’m like, “I don’t want to host anything anymore. I’m done with it.”

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah.

Holly Starks:                    I’m totally like wiping my hands of Google as many places as I possibly can. And I don’t want to … I guess I don’t want to learn the skill, and I’m being lazy. I don’t want to learn GetResponse. So I hired a guy to do it. He makes the landing pages, thank you pages, and he does all the email stuff for me.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay. Cool. Awesome.

Holly Starks:                    There’s two of us right now. Or three of us. Another guy will be starting, so three of us.

Matt Diggity:                    All right. And how many channels do you have right now?

Holly Starks:                    So now I mean, I do have a decent amount. I have 240. So 240 channels would equal out to 240 niches. So each niche is a new channel.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay. And do you just track it all on spreadsheets, and just really detail oriented? That’s a lot.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. Everything is spread on Excel. Everything is.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah, yeah. Makes sense. I’m assuming not Google Docs.

Holly Starks:                    No. Nothing with Google. I totally absolutely like … It’s so funny because you know like the update that happened in Christmas, right? Everyone was like, “All my sites dropped. Why did my sites drop?” And I was like, “I didn’t do anything.”

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah, that was quite the drama.

Holly Starks:                    It’s refreshing to wake up and not have to worry about Google.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah, yeah. I get that for sure. Okay. And are there any tools or services that you would just never live without when it comes to YouTube ranking?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. So Pro Ad tracker or Pro Rank Tracker, it does all my YouTube tracking.

Matt Diggity:                    I didn’t know that. That was my next question. Awesome. So it has a feature to track videos?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. It’s the only tracker I use, and it’s pretty accurate. My second tool is ZennoPoster. ZennoPoster essentially is like a VA to me because it goes out and automatically will build my links, and it’ll do some of the engagement for us. So that’s a … It’s a very cheap tool. And then I guess I just as a tool, as a website, just all the places that I would get all my engagements. I don’t really use that many tools per se anymore. I have them all, but I don’t … Like I have XRummer. XRummer I would use as profiles to the website or to the videos.

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Holly Starks:                    But when ranking engagement, once the engagement hits that wall, because as you know, you know websites. It’s going to hit a wall. As soon as it hits a wall, you have to add something in. So once my engagement hits that wall, then I know I have to add in backlinks. So then I’ll decide what kind of backlinks to add I guess.

Matt Diggity:                    That makes sense. Complete sense. Okay.

Holly Starks:                    Money Robot. Money Robot is the other one. Sorry.

Matt Diggity:                    Ah, Money Robot. Okay, good.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    And you’re using Money Robot for?

Holly Starks:                    For embeds.

Matt Diggity:                    For embeds. Got it. That makes complete sense. Okay, so-

Holly Starks:                    I mean, I have like 40 licenses with Money Robot. 40 licenses, 80 installs, okay? So I have a reason.

Matt Diggity:                    They must love you. Okay.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    Awesome. All right. So all right. So what else are you working on now besides the YouTube stuff? Do you have anything else up your sleeve that’s exciting you these days?

Holly Starks:                    The only thing I’m working on is the YouTube bootcamp, and then in February, besides the YouTube bootcamp, like no. My day is … I’m looking at new niches every day, and I’m watching a lot of Netflix. I literally don’t work that hard with YouTube. I love it.

Matt Diggity:                    Well, that’s great. That’s great. But tell us more about the bootcamp? This is what I’ve had a lot of people ask me about, people that want to learn from you.

Holly Starks:                    So the bootcamp is in Chicago in February. It’s February 15th to the 18th. If you’ve ever been to Chicago, February is a great time to come here because you will be freezing your toes off. It’s terribly cold here. But basically what I’m doing is you get homework leading up to the bootcamp, so everyone’s on page. We all understand the basics of YouTube. It’s like a bootcamp, it’s not a conference. So I teach, and a couple other people teach that I flew in, will teach YouTube how to build your channels the right way, how to rank your channels, how to do the right engagements, how to set up some of your campaigns.

And then in the afternoon, you actually build what I’m telling you to do because that way when you’re … It’s like instant ROI, and that way if you have any questions, I’m right there to answer you. Versus you’re going to go home and not two months from now have you started it. You know what I mean? So it’s all about YouTube, it’s all about YouTube rankings. There’s a lot of tricks that I talk about that people don’t know about that I don’t normally talk about. I guess it’s three days of YouTube.

Matt Diggity:                    That’s awesome. And I heard you say that you were keeping it kind of intimate, so you can keep your secrets contained. I think that’s a wise move.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. The room is only set for 30 people, and we only have 10 spots left.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay.

Holly Starks:                    And so two price points, 2,500 is standard, 5,000 is the VIP. And I did the 2,500 thinking like, “That way the newer people could come in and get kind of a taste of it.” And it actually like backfired because I have almost everyone coming in at the VIP, which I didn’t actually want that at all. But that’s what’s happening.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah. This is the internet world. We’re all spoiled, so that’s like the same thing with the Chiang Mai SEO Conference. All the VIPs gone, and like two standard tickets sold, and then the standard tickets sold. Yeah.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    I feel you on that one.

Holly Starks:                    I’m happy with it, and people who do courses, and people who are trainers are not coming because I can’t afford to have the information out there. So I’ve had people say, “Can I come? I’ll sign a non-compete.” And I’m like, “But you have courses, right?” And they’re like, “Yeah.” And I’m like, “Yeah. I’m sorry. You’re my friend, by you’re not coming. I can’t.” This is where I make the money, and this is … It’s a big deal to me to let it out. Do you know what I mean?

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah. Well, congrats to the people that make it to the bootcamp.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. It’ll be good.

Matt Diggity:                    Awesome.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay, cool. So on a personal level, tell us more about what you do in your spare time. Are you into books? You’re into Netflix. Do you like-

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    And I think you like watching sports. So tell us about that a little bit.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. So I’m a huge Wisconsin sports fan, so I watch the Packers every Sunday. In fact, when I was in Chiang Mai, they played on that Sunday, and I set my alarm for one in the morning to get up to watch the Packer game.

Matt Diggity:                    What’d you watch it on? On your computer, or did you go to like a sport’s bar?

Holly Starks:                    No, I watched it on a computer.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay. All right.

Holly Starks:                    So but I don’t go to the games in Wisconsin because it’s so cold. So the places that I will fly to for the conferences, I’ll make sure that if there’s a game there that I go to the game while I’m there. And I always take my clients so I can use that as a write off, right?

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Holly Starks:                    So we got to March Madness games, we go to anything that’s Wisconsin related. Besides that, I’m a … We camp from June to the end of August.

Matt Diggity:                    That’s amazing.

Holly Starks:                    A camper is literally seven miles from our house, but it doesn’t have … Our dogs are not there because Jan is here with the dogs. And we don’t have the kids for the summer. We have the pool, and I have to bring in a fiber line every time we go out there because they don’t have internet. So internet for me to go out there is super expensive, but I get to watch Netflix out there too.

Matt Diggity:                    That’s awesome. That’s a long stretch camping. That sounds amazing. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. And Netflix, and when you have a wife and four kids, and two kids are in college now, so my time is a lot throughout the day that with just spending time with the kids and texting me and stuff like that, so I don’t … I mean, I work a lot, but a lot of it is talking to people.

Matt Diggity:                    Got it.

Holly Starks:                    It’s not like my YouTube. My YouTube structure, I have a lot of it just in the systems so I know what I’m doing on that day. And I always know what I’m doing three months ahead of time because then I have to schedule things out like that.

Matt Diggity:                    Right. Makes sense. And this is a weird question perhaps, but what’s your ultimate goal with all this hard work, or sometimes hard sometimes not, but what’s your ultimate goal with this? Do you have a number in your head where you’re just like, “Enough’s enough. Now I feel like I’m just going to let it be.”

Holly Starks:                    No, no. I get bored easily, and I like to learn new things. So I’m trying to stay very focused on just YouTube and not like do things like mass pages anymore, or learn ads, because that’s something that I want to do. But I know I’m too competitive to do ads. I wouldn’t jeopardize my budget, right? I only have a number where I would stop on my niches. I don’t have like plans of leaving Wisconsin in three years, and moving probably to San Diego where it’s warm because as we age, it gets colder here too.

But business wise, I had intentions of making a massive agency with all of my high school and college kids. Last year kind of changed that just because of everything that I lost. I’m just kind of … I don’t want to go the route of being an agency, and I don’t want to go the route of having to rely on Google I guess. So I am kind of like up in the air on where I want to go in the business now just because I know I want to stay on YouTube, but I don’t know … I don’t know which way I want to go. I enjoy speaking, but I also enjoy the SEO world of it. The SEO world of YouTube I guess.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah. That’s exciting. And if you like to learn, you like to learn new things, the interesting thing about this industry is we can stay focused on this thing, YouTube SEO or SEO in general, and it’s just going to change. We’re going to be learning new stuff anyways just by default. That’s good.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. And there’s always … With YouTube, there’s so much traffic, and there’s so many different niches that you cannot run out of things to do on YouTube. Every day, I send the guy a list of 10 niches that I want to go in, and I have him do the followup on some of this stuff like finding affiliate products and stuff like that. So I’m kind of like pretty comfortable with just not stretching myself as far as I did before.

Matt Diggity:                    Yeah.

Holly Starks:                    I’m not like in the end of 2016, before I lost my YouTube empire, I was like that six months of time, I hated YouTube. I hated Google because I was doing mass pages, and I was doing so much blackhat that I had to worry about stuff. And now I’m just I’m very super focused on YouTube and not doing … I mean, I wouldn’t consider anything that I’m doing as very blackhat anymore.

Matt Diggity:                    Interesting. Good. So, all right. In closing, let’s close up pretty soon. The next question I have for you is do you have any advice for beginner YouTube SEOs that just want to get started, and they’re inspired by you, they want to do something like what you’ve done, and get into ranking YouTube videos? Any advice for these folks?

Holly Starks:                    So the best advice I can do is to find a YouTube mentor, and follow them. And when I say follow them, whenever they do a live video, watch the live videos. Whenever they do a video upload, watch them. Watch how they do the CTAs, because the CTAs matter. And follow their funnel in, and sign up for their … If you find someone and you know it’s their channel but they’re not their name … I’m on a ton of people’s lists from YouTube to see how they’re promoting it even if I don’t know them. I watch their channels.

Matt Diggity:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Holly Starks:                    So I think a big stepping stone is just start making your videos and upload them because they’re not going to be perfect, and you don’t want perfect videos because a perfect video does not convert. A legitimate video is someone laughing, and screwing up, or saying a word wrong, or like sneezing in the middle, whatever it is a more legitimate video. It’s going to convert.

Matt Diggity:                    More believable, huh?

Holly Starks:                    Yeah.

Matt Diggity:                    Right. That’s really good advice. That’s awesome. Okay, very cool. So where can people find out where you hang out, where can people find you, learn more about you on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever?

Holly Starks:                    So I’m going to be starting … Is the Monday, is that the 6th? I think it’s on Monday. On Mondays I’m starting 100 day challenge. So the 100 day challenge is 100 videos in 100 days. And I’m going to be doing reviews of different softwares that I use that helped me along the way. So one of the first things I’m doing is Money Robot. So if you want to follow me on my YouTube channel, just look up Holly Starks, and it’s my YouTube channel. The second place is obviously on Facebook. If you just look up Holly Starks and find me. I’m actually really close to my 5,000 friends, so if you’re going to do that, you better do it before I go over that.

Matt Diggity:                    First world problems. Okay.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah, right? So those are the two places. And then my Skype. And I don’t have a problem giving my Skype out. It’s Greenie12322. So Greenie12322, and I talk all day on YouTube about my email. And I talk all day on Skype about YouTube. So you can connect with me there too.

Matt Diggity:                    Awesome. And where can people find out about the bootcamp if you haven’t filled up by the time this goes live?

Holly Starks:                    So for the bootcamp, the best place to find me is send me a message on Facebook. We have 10 spots left, and I know two of them are just waiting on payment. So we’ll probably be down to eight. But yeah, I mean, we would love to add anybody to come who wants to come. That’d be great. Like Matt. Matt you should come.

Matt Diggity:                    I thought you said you don’t like people that have courses or that teach things.

Holly Starks:                    Oh shit fuck, you’re right. Okay. So because Jonathans coming, PBN butler.

Matt Diggity:                    Okay.

Holly Starks:                    And he has courses, but I think he’s like a safer person because he doesn’t put out training classes. Or maybe he does. I don’t know. But I asked him to come.

Matt Diggity:                    All right, Jonathan. That’s cool. You’re safe, but I’m not. I hope you enjoy it buddy. All right, no it’s no worries. But I might crash it if I find out where it is. Anyways Holly, thanks so much on being an open book. We’ve gone through a lot. We’ve gone through like what you were doing before SEO, we’ve talked about your ups and your downs, and you’ve gave away a lot in terms of ranking. I know people are going to be super happy with this interview, so again, thank you so, so much.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. Thanks for having me on. I always enjoy talking to you, and I’m so looking forward to Chiang Mai next year when it’s nice and warm and not cold here.

Matt Diggity:                    Right. Yeah. And I have a question for you. That leads me into something. Here’s a surprise question for you. Would you be interested in presenting and being a presenter at next year’s Chiang Mai SEO conference, or this year’s Chiang Mai SEO conference?

Holly Starks:                    Is it the same time of the year?

Matt Diggity:                    It’s late October.

Holly Starks:                    Late October. So it would be definitely a yes. I definitely would just have to know way ahead of time just so that I can have the kids organized. But yeah, that would be like super. And anyone who’s like watching this video, it was an amazing conference to go to. And my level of business just from going to the conference easily went from like … My level of business is pretty high, it’s right here, and it went like … It went straight up the ladder. It was the best thing for business, so it’s definitely one that I would make it to every year.

Matt Diggity:                    Thanks so much. I really appreciate that. So after this, I’ll look at the dates and I’ll let you know, and we’ll see if we can get you there. We’d love to have you.

Holly Starks:                    Yeah. It’d be awesome.

Matt Diggity:                    All right. Again, thanks again so much, Holly.

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