Recently, I caught up with Rafi Chowdhury, who owns several sites, including: rafichowdhury.com and myCampusHacks. Read his interview as he talks about Digital Marketing, algorithms, and one tip that every entrepreneur should know about web traffic.
1. Q: Can you tell us about yourself and your companies?
A: Sure, so, let me introduce myself very briefly! My name is Rafi Chowdhury, and I am a Digital Marketing Consultant based in Los Angeles, California. I work with mid-size to large companies and help them improve their web presence by driving targeted visitors to their website and improving their rankings in search results. I work under my personal brand, Chowdhury’s Digital.
Currently, my other project is myCampusHacks, which is a social networking website for college students. The goal of this site is to increase connectiveity and efficiency among students on campus. The site allows students to buy, sell, and trade books, class notes, and other college items with one another. It also acts as a platform for students to share helpful hints, tips, and shortcuts about their campus, as well as college life as a whole so that students can better navigate their college campus while gaining collge life wisdom from fellow students. The website even allows students to connect with others to find a room, roommate, schdule events on campus, as well as update their personal profile with all relevant information about themselves and their college identity (such as whih classs they are taking, which organizations they are part of, etc.)
And that’s all I am busy with right now! In my spare time, I like to blog about internet marketing, personal branding, and consumer psychology from my personal blog at rafichowdhury.com
- Q: What inspired you to get into SEO and marketing?
A: My personal blog. While a senior in college, I was very impressed when my fraternity brother launched his personal site showcasing his passion for music. I wanted to do the same with myself and chess. But it took me several developers before I could get my site built properly. From then on, I just kept trying and testing different things to try to get traffic to my blog. Eventually, I was getting some traffic, but of course it did not convert into any sort of money, because I was not selling anything from my site. That’s when I thought well may be if I can send this traffic to a businesses’ website, it could turn into actual sales for them.
My first few clients were small companies who I helped for free. I told them they can give me some little money if I actually got them any results. Eventually. I got better at it and then started working with larger clients.
And that’s how I got into SEO and marketing…just trying to figure out how to get more traffic and how to rank higher in Google!
- Q: How many businesses do you own, and about how many hours a day do you typically spend on running your business(es)?
A: Right now, just those two I mentioned above. I have had several others including a chocolate chess pieces business and a chess leadership coaching program, but right now, I am just focusing all my attention on my digital consultancy and myCampusHacks.
I typically work around 13 hours a day…Yeah, I know…it’s kind of crazy!
- Q: As technology evolves, there are occasional changes in how Google and other search engines factor in their algorithms. How have you evolved with these types of changes over the years?
A: Everything I know now I have learned in one of two ways: following some key industry Experts and by doing a/b split testing. I do not know of any other way to learn this stuff. I don’t think you can learn it in college or anything like that. So, I personally chose to learn from just trying and experimenting and reading articles from people like Rand Fishkin, Brian Dean, Ryan Deiss, Neil Patel, etc.
You gotta change and evolve every day. Best thing to do is follow the Experts, try it on your own, and be very well-connected with other professionals in the industry. If you can afford it, go to some conferences. They help a lot!
- Q: Biggest challenge this year? Biggest accomplishment?
A: Challenge: Being so far away from my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
Accomplishment: Rafichowdhury.com reached 30,000 visitors per month just recently. I am kinda happy about that! Other than that, well, I now moved to Los Angeles, so I am getting a chance to work with larger brands now where even little tweaks can bring huge results.
- Q: One guru tip that every entrepreneur should know about SEO and web traffic?
A: Create content that is exceptionally good (I mean, better than the best on the internet) and that answers your audience’s question completely. They should be able to go home and implement, step by step, whatever they learned from your blog post or whatever content you have created for them 🙂
- Q: Future goals and aspirations (personal or professional)?
A: Professional: Keep doing more of what I am doing now. Work with larger brands and establish myself as one of the top online marketers in the USA. Grow myCampusHacks into a thriving college campus social networking community. Later on, I want to try my hand at SAAS companies.
Personal: Be close to God, friends, family, and fun…and leave the world a better place than I found it, while having a serious good time doing it!