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Joost De Valk – Why I’m Successful

By:     Topics: Interviews

How Joost De Valk Became an Internet Entrepreneur

Joost De Valk is someone I am sure that you all know of, he is very well-known throughout the blogging industry and he is a fairly high-profile personality within blogging. Joost has been interviewed by many people and companies, one of his most recent being the interview he did with a well-known offline magazine; talking about his WordPress plugins. I have personally known Joost for a while and think that his online presence is fantastic. His plug-ins just work, very well I might add, his sites are always aesthetically pleasing and professional.

On top of this he actually practices what he preaches, he isn’t some unknown self-proclaimed “Guru” he is a master of SEO an expert in online marketing and a very nice man to boot. If you haven’t already checked out Joost’s websites, you should definitely head over there after reading this great interview that he honoured our site with. You can find him over Yoast.com should you want to contact him or just check out his amazing website and plug-ins.

Quick Fire Questions

Best Business Purchase?
Has to be my Macbook Pro.

Favourite Business Resource?
Redesign’s of my websites, the latest yoast.com redesign almost doubled the conversion rate.

Biggest Inspiration?
John Gruber of Daring Fireball and Brian Clark

Favourite Business Website?
Copyblogger and Daring Fireball would top my list.

How I Got Started

I started my blog back in 2004, with the first “real” stuff being on there in early 2005, at that time still on joostdevalk.nl. In 2006 I started css3.info, which I now no longer own, and in June of ’08 I moved my own blog to yoast.com. Around 2007 I started making “real” money with my blogs by selling ads. At that time I still had a full time job as an SEO though. Only half way through 2010 I decided to really make the move to go on my own, with finally in december of 2010 giving up my job entirely.

What Motivates Me To Continue To Be Successful

My business is really “me”. I do what I like doing: blogging, reviewing sites, developing plugins for myself or for companies, optimizing sites. I just do what I like and what people approach me with. If I don’t like a project, or don’t believe in it, I turn it down.

How I Work

I work from home. Because I’ve got two kids, one of whom goes to primary school, I get up a reasonably decent time and work during office hours, then have dinner with my wife and the kids, and usually work a bit in the evenings as well. I communicate with Frederick, with whom I do a lot of projects, over Skype, and use that as well to communicate with other clients. I don’t have any employees and don’t plan on getting any as I have a hard enough time managing myself.

How I Have Expanded My Business So Rapidly

My blog and plug-ins, combined with the fact that I can speak in public reasonably well, allowing me to reach an even bigger audience.

What Makes Me The Most Money

That really depends from month to month, although SEO consultancy is the easiest one to make a lot of money with, but I don’t tend to do too much of that because that’d get boring very soon.

The Day I Realized “I MADE IT”

I still don’t feel like I’ve really made it yet. Like I’m “not there” yet. I’ve got some big things planned for the coming year which might lead to me actually having that feeling a bit more.

I Would Have Been Successful Sooner If…

In retrospect, I should have started working on my own about a year, a year and a half earlier, but then I’d have missed working at OrangeValley, which was a great experience too. So, in all, no real regrets.

What You Should Be Focusing On

There’s many roads that lead to Rome, you might as well pick the road you actually enjoy. The most important aspect of all of this is having fun and stopping every once in a while to consider what you’re doing. For me it also meant outsourcing as much of the financial part of the business to an accountant, so I don’t have to worry about all that.

Why I’m Successful and Why You May Be Not

What makes people succeed is a combination of intelligence, marketing “feel” and the sheer luck of being in the right place at the right time.

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