Interview with SEO Rockstar & Personal Development Guru Glen Allsopp


Image: Rockstar by N1NJ4.

As a regular SEO 2.0 blog reader you probably know who Glen Allsopp is. I have linked his blog postings quite often in the past and he even blogsitted SEO 2.0 once a year ago while I was absent.

For all those who still don’t know him: Shame on you! Glen Allsopp is an SEO rockstar due to his meteoric rise and rapid career and a personal development guru as the publisher of a popular blog on that topic.

Glen Allsopp has been doing at the age of 18 and 19 what most people still dream of.

Moving to another country, working as a crucial specialist for the biggest companies in the world and traveling the world since.

His search and social media marketing blog ViperChill and PluginID, his personal development journal are widely known. He’s respected in both niches, search marketing and self improvement.

Glen revived his ViperChill brand recently so I decided to interview him about his career secrets and his current endeavors.

Tad of SEO 2.0: You’re one of the youngest SEO rockstars it seems. Tell us about how you made it happen and what your current projects are.

Glen: Well, first of all I started at a very young age. At 16 I was connecting with industry leaders such as Lee Odden and Aaron Wall and interviewing them for my blog on the subject. I literally spent hours every single day devouring information from one of the top forums at the time, Webworkshop, and then testing things out for myself.

I started having some great results early on for some competitive keywords and I’ve pretty much spent most of my time in the SEO / Social Media fields for the last four years.

Right now I’m writing for two blogs, PluginID and ViperChill and I’ve also invested thousands of dollars in a soon-to-be-launched games website. It is not your ordinary site though and I’m going to try and launch it through nothing but viral videos. If it doesn’t work out, at least I’ll have tried something new and had a lot of fun in the process.

T: You resurrected your old ViperChill blog and online brand after a year. How come? Why did you pause it in the first place?

G: I had been planning to do this for a while as, despite being well known in the personal development niche now, most of the blogs in my feed reader are about marketing. I also feel like I “know” many people in the industry so it’s nice to be back. It has always been my real passion and now I have enough time to relive it again.

I paused the site because I didn’t just want to be the marketer who just wrote about marketing. I didn’t really have many side projects going on so spent the last year turning that around and building PluginID and a number of affiliate websites. There is another reason I have brought the website back but I can’t reveal that until January for legal reasons. I promise everything will make a lot more sense around then.

T: You’ve worked for Fortune 500 brands and for yourself and last but not least you seem not to work at all at times, which of those scenarios is your favorite and why?

G: There is no way I would go back to working with clients again if I can help it. Although I loved my job in South Africa, there are just far too many challenges to implement social media into big companies that it starts to eat away at your desire to help them. I have no problems getting overly excited about my own projects though and they’re definitely what gets me out of bed in the morning.

It may seem like I don’t do much work at times, but the next day you’ll see me with two 3,000 word blog posts published or a 120 page eBook that I’m giving away for free. When I’m not interacting or hanging out with friends I’m working hard. Very hard. Based on my income now, I have no doubt I’ll spend the next few years travelling the world and working on my three main projects, two blogs and a games site.

T: By now your personal development blog is quite successful to say the least. Was it easier to start in a new niche? Did your “old” SEO network assist you with that as well or did you have to start socializing from zero?

G: No, it’s a lot more difficult starting out in a new niche. However, one benefit is that people in the personal development niche are far more likely to link to you and accept guest posts than any other industry. At least, that’s what I’ve found to be the case. On top of that, there are also many ideas I took from the marketing niche (with credit) such as a list of the top blogs and I did the personal development face-off which was similar to the bloggers face-off by Daniel Scocco.

Nope, not one of you guys helped me ;). Actually, Al Carlton of has been a great help and is an awesome guy. Apart from that though, I started socialising completely from scratch but with a bit of work, it wasn’t too hard to establish myself in the niche.

T: In case you would be able to give only one piece of advice to the SEO 2.0 readers, which one would it be?

G: I’m going to share a tip that is boring, common, and something everyone has probably heard before. But I’m happy to say it again because people still fail to follow it: Be consistent. It took me a whole 7 months of hard work just to reach 500 subscribers on PluginID. Two months later I had reached 1,000. 3 months after that and I was at the 4,000 mark.

When you’re trying to build an audience or anything online, the first hurdle is without a doubt the tallest.

If you can just keep going and push through that, your efforts will not go unrewarded.

T: Do you practice SEO 2.0 or how do you call it what you actually do?

G: If your definition is that SEO is now much more about being social rather than robotic (directory submissions, social bookmarking links etc.) then yes, without a doubt.

There are over 12,000 backlinks to PluginID now and not one has been paid for or automated.

Every link I’ve managed to build has come from nothing but:

  • Writing excellent content
  • Engaging in my niche
  • Repeating what works

I watched a great video recently by Trevor “Toecracker” Crook in which he said that when people ask you what you do, answer in a positive statement about how you help others. So, what I actually do is help people be who they want to be and make a living from it. My aims with PluginID and ViperChill have slightly different messages, but they come from the same core.

A truly inspiring guy, isn’t he? Even for an old fart like myself! In case your are in your late teens and need a role model try copying Glen. Then follow your own path. It doesn’t have to be blogging but I wish blogging would have been there when I was that age.