James Norquay

James Norquay founded Prosperity Media in 2012 after working in the SEO and content marketing space for over 10 years in Australia and the US.

James started working in digital marketing by developing his own network of content websites, which went on to generate well over 22 million unique visitors from organic search with a strong focus on the US market.

These websites were later sold to a US media company.

James then moved into enterprise-level consulting, working for large businesses such as Virgin Mobile, Optus, David Jones, Woolworths, BWS, Apparel Group, Maurice Blackburn, Slater & Gordon, Travel NT, Citi Bank, and many more large-scale Australian and global businesses to drive SEO and inbound marketing growth.

James also developed numerous training courses to assist with the SEO development of these large-scale businesses.

In 2012, James decided it was time to start his own business; this is where the team at Prosperity Media was formed.

The first offices were located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD at Pitt Street.

The Prosperity Media team works on complex and large-scale SEO projects for ASX-listed companies, funded start-ups, affiliates, and midsize businesses.

How did you start out as a marketer?

I was in school back in 2004, and I was always on car forums.

I was chatting with another member of the forum who owned a car wallpaper website and was making several thousand dollars a month with ads and SEO.

I chatted with him on MSN Messenger to learn as much as I could as a 17-year-old. Back in 2004, there wasn’t much information about digital marketing online, so I had to be self-taught and test many different things over the next few years.

This meant digital blogs, digital forums, and networking with people.

I ended up making some decent income from SEO as a youngster via a network of sites I built. I had entertainment sites and also a Myspace layout site.

I also went to university and studied an e-marketing course, which didn’t teach me much, though I did make some good contacts who I am still good friends with.

After I spent a few years working on my own sites, I went into large agency consulting and also worked in-house at Virgin Mobile as the SEO lead.

Looking back what is your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?

Working on larger companies can sometimes present delays due to the time it takes to have changes implemented, you could find a technical SEO win which could mean a large traffic increase though it might take 3 months to implement.

This is where you have to befriend developers and also work with senior team members to push changes quickly or work out which changes can be made quickly.

How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?

When I started my agency Prosperity Media one of our first clients was actually via a internet forum, where I shared some blog content on my personal blog and they reached out and asked if we did consulting work.

What do you find most rewarding about what you do?

Usually helping business grow rapidly is a great feeling, we have had several clients businesses get acquired or receive investment rounds on the back of digital growth we have assisted with.

It is also good to give back where possible we run a monthly digital event in Sydney where we donate 100% of the entry costs to a new charity each month.

We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers. Aside from freelancing, how else can someone earn online? And what is your advice?

Freelancing is a good way to earn money, though you need to ensure that you are a quality freelancer.

There are 100s of ways to make money online; it could be selling items on an eCommerce site, running affiliate ads, selling random things on Fiverr, or doing translations of content.

My advice is to do something you like, and you will make a good job out of it.

If you were given the chance to build your career all over again, what would you do differently so that you could achieve your dreams faster?

I probably would have left my old job at an agency and started my own business earlier, though that being said, working for someone else also provided years of insights on many areas of how large and medium businesses work.

How is your typical work day structured?

Usually we have a team catch-up in the morning, review industry news, and catch up on emails.

Afternoon usually I have calls and meetings to attend and also check up on our team to see how things are going.

Different days mean different things happening.

I still work on many strategy elements and deal with some of our clients, so plenty of client work happens. I prefer to be hands-on in the business.

Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort up front and then wait a long time for success?

Probably on some Google penalty recovery sites, you work for hours and hours to rebuild a site’s link profile, content, and fix technical issues, and it can take months for Google (example recovery project attached to show you the time it can take).

You’ve been tasked with redesigning the company’s brand strategy from the ground up. Walk us through your process.

Probably pick a name for the company first and ensure the domain is free on.com and.au.

Work on high-quality logos and content for the new business, and then run some PR when it is ready to go live.

Can you tell us about a past situation where you had to juggle multiple projects with competing deadlines?

Every week we have numerous deadlines as we work on numerous clients.

The best way to manage deadlines is to ensure you have team members working on projects early to manage projects on Asana or Trello and ensure that things are completed early. Also, it is important to set deadlines with realistic timelines for your team members.

What recently developed marketing strategy, technique, or tool interests you the most right now?

Facebook ads, Snapchat ads, and LinkedIn ads are areas of paid media we are interested in at the moment.

Tools we love using at the moment: Ahrefs, Link Research Tools, Majestic, et cetera.

What do you do to stay up-to-date with new marketing techniques?

Read blogs like Moz, Search Engine Land, Inbound.org, and GrowthHackers.com, and also network heavily via LinkedIn and private Facebook groups to stay up-to-date with exclusive content.

Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?

This project for a client where we increased traffic by 400,000 uniques a month was a good one – https://moz.com/blog/increasing-organic-seo-traffic-by-400000-unique-visitors-a-month

Plus working on many well known brands is a lot of fun also giving back to the community via charitable donations and training many staff over the years is always memorable.

Which one book/blog post would you recommend every Marketer should read?

A good book you should read is – Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares 

Blogs just look at Inbound.org and Growth Hackers for the best content weekly.

What advice would you share with other Marketer’s who want to become more productive?

Use project management tools like Trello and Asana, keep your calendar filled daily and ensure you get things done.

If there’s one Marketing Guru you’d recommend who and why.

I like Wil Reynolds because he has done great things building his agency SEER and I like his view point on specific elements of digital marketing.

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