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Own Your Own SEO Company in the Philippines!

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by lostgringos, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. lostgringos

    lostgringos Senior Member

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    Like many others before me I am going to give back to BHW. I have lived in the Philippines for a number of years now. I am a Canadian and I am hooked on SEO. I did some research when I lived in Canada and came up with two places where I could start my own SEO company. Those choices were India and the Philippines. I ended up coming to the Philippines because I had a friend here who was involved with Search Engine Optimization.

    Initially my partner and I had 25 people working for us. Those were the early days when Google wanted lots of content and few links from link directories could drive your website on the 1st of a Google really easy.

    I ended up leaving that venture and starting my own company in a place called Dumaguete City. I had 10 people working for me at that time. I left for Canada so do some business and started a SEO company in Angeles City, Philippines when I returned. Once again I had 10 people working for me.

    Presently, I am living in Dumaguete City again and am thinking about opening up another company doing SEO and Reputation Management.

    What I want to do with this thread is talk about starting an SEO company here in the Philippines, its rewards and its pitfalls. I will also touch on the culture, housing and food. You won't see anything about how I made $15,000 with one contract and outsourced all the work. Non of the regular bullshit you see! I will be brutally honest with you.

    I have been doing SEO it seems like forever. I have seen many Guru's who were total frauds. Every time someone has some new method to make millions everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Everyone wants a free ride and greed leads them along like the ring in a bull's nose. Quite funny really. Genuine SEO take lots of hard work and this is especially true with the Panda update. Getting ranked today means lots of manual work, knowledge and persistence. Driving massive amounts of links to a website is outdated and mute. So you need an SEO team who speaks good English, works hard and who are fast learners. An SEO team who can do contextual comments/links with blogs and forums.

    But here is the problem. Genuine SEO nowadays is expensive. There is no way around it. Creating unique content and links that are contextual takes a certain amount of expertise and it is time consuming. It cannot be outsourced that easily.

    I am going tomorrow to look at an office where I may start up another company. Ask me any questions about starting this company or SEO. I will add some pictures tomorrow.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  2. flexnds

    flexnds Power Member

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    I feel you. I currently have 4 guys working fulltime for me right now in Oroquieta Philippines. It's very hard to find good filipino writers for starters, which makes it hard to do everything else coz they drop spammy comments and forum posts due to lack of writing abilities. So, content creation and link building become pretty hard.

    Lately, I have really been on them about using a google doc spreadsheet for every project, I usually watch them updating live and critique their work. This has helped tremendously.

    I've also been to Oroquieta philippines twice to visit my employees. It was fun, but hot and humid as hell.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  3. lostgringos

    lostgringos Senior Member

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    I should mention that I did SEO in four cities total; Manila, Baguio, Angeles City and Dumaguete City.
     
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  4. flexnds

    flexnds Power Member

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    How was Angeles city, I hear it's one of the best places to go? I stayed in Manila for a few days, Manila sucks for sure..
     
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  5. lostgringos

    lostgringos Senior Member

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    @flexends I feel your pain. I laugh when people say it is easy to find good writers in the Philippines. I had a former principal work for me. Her writing abilities were terrible. Writing is not one of their strengths. Please feel free to jump in here and comment...the more the merrier.
     
  6. lostgringos

    lostgringos Senior Member

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    @flexends I lived in Manila for around 5 months. Beautiful condo I rented on the 24th floor overlooking Manila Bay. Came with balcony and lovely swimming pool. Cost around $500 a month! Angeles City is ok for awhile but then it gets old. The environment is totally dog eat dog there. Not a nice place to stay for a long period of time. I lasted 1 1/2 years.
     
  7. flexnds

    flexnds Power Member

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    Man, I don't know how you can stay that long in the philippines. Maybe I was just in the wrong city.

    Things I dislike about the philippines

    • Mostquitoes
    • fleas
    • ticks
    • humidity
    • And the whole "hey, joe" thing they say to all white people

    What's the best place to go in the phils with nice beaches?
     
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  8. speedy5044

    speedy5044 Regular Member

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    Best of luck with your venture :) i was there during the last year and its a very good place to live , and i like how you can easily find some really hard workers there , i have 4 peoples working full time for me now and im thinking going back there to make my own company if everything goes fine.
     
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  9. sukataetumba

    sukataetumba Senior Member

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    @ lostgringos start one here in Manila, Quezon City and I'll help you train the people.

    @ flexnds there are alot of places but the best beaches can be found in Palawan.
     
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  10. vampirerocks123

    vampirerocks123 Regular Member

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    After this panda update, its really hard to rank a website with spammy links.. I own a seo firm in india and "yes i am from india" and i work for my client websites..

    We are putting a lot of hard work in handling quality content with quality backlinks, than ever in the past..

    How about the cost coverage in phillipines for the employees when comparing with india??
     
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  11. sukataetumba

    sukataetumba Senior Member

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    The cost here is more or less the same with India. Although most outsource centers here have invested work in Guatemala as they seem to be the cheapest.
     
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  12. lostgringos

    lostgringos Senior Member

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    @Suka I tried one time in Manila. I even advertised. Quezon City...do you like that place??? Yes the best beaches are in Palawan..one of the main reasons is not so many touts...no really nice beaches here..but not too far away you can get some of the best diving in all of the world.
     
  13. lostgringos

    lostgringos Senior Member

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    @vampire I am impressed. Not many people understand that quality backlinks are so important now. You obviously have a grasp on this. Nice to see. I don't know the cost of employees in India. I usually start my staff at 250 pesos a day. That is about $5 US. And I usually supply food for them. A few times I hired a cook. I paid my cook 150 pesos a day or $3 US. I have a maid now in my home and I pay her 100 pesos a day or $2 US. But I also feed her and her daughter at lunch time. A good SEO person gets around 500 pesos a day ($12.50 US).

    But you need to factor in a business license and insurance. Filippinos love to have health insurance. It is a key factor for them to take the job.
     
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  14. jamilv

    jamilv Junior Member

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    If you dont mind me asking, when you had 10 people working for you, what were your total monthly expenses in terms of employees, and their benefits?

    I was thinking of starting something similar in India or Thailand but I would be running it remotely with a friendly on site so I wanted to just compare price points and all.

    Btw how much is office space there? If a nice condo is only $500/month Im assuming you can get a great office for relatively cheap.
     
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  15. lostgringos

    lostgringos Senior Member

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    @speedy take your time and really take a hard look at who you are hiring. Have some test ready for them to take. I like to give them a written test and see how they can structure the content. I caution them all not to paraphrase everything I say. For example, "how are your English skills?" "English skills sir?" Yes, how are your English skills? Oh, ok sir. Do you know what SEO is? "SEO sir?" Yes SEO! No sir. Crap like that drives me crazy lol. They do this to me in McDonalds too..."I would like one cheeseburger." Cheesburger sir. No let's make a hamberger..."hamberger sir?" No just fries "fries sir?" :p
     
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  16. lostgringos

    lostgringos Senior Member

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    @janilv I am looking at an office for around 8,000 pesos ($200 US). I will try and take some pictures of it tomorrow. That is for 1 month. The electric would likely cost around 6,000 pesos or $150 a month. The cost for the month varies. And the pesos do add up. I will try and give you more exact prices in the next few days for everything. You can total them up.
     
  17. lostgringos

    lostgringos Senior Member

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    @jamilv you do not have to pay for health insurance right away. You an do this later. I was also thinking about Thailand but I think you will have a difficult time finding good English speaking people to work for you. Not to mention the fact that foreigners are not well received in Thailand. I lived there for 2 months just a few years ago.
     
  18. SH3RMAN

    SH3RMAN Junior Member

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    Good luck, very interesting project ;)
     
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  19. jamilv

    jamilv Junior Member

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    I know, I was in Thailand for volunteering (setting up It infrastructure in a rural area) and they still didnt like me much. But I do have some contact there, it would be him dealing with the employees...but he is half thai anyways so they wont mind him haha
    I was looking at China but with the big boom and all it is getting much too expensive.
    I am visiting the Philippines in a month so I may look there but I think in the end I will just have to outsource to a pre-exisiting company when it comes down to the dollars and cents.

    I am REALLY looking forward to your future posts, it looks like this will be a VERY interesting thread :D
     
  20. lostgringos

    lostgringos Senior Member

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    Thanks Jamilv. I hope to integrate lots of pictures here too. Maybe a few vids. China scares me. A huge language barrier I think. I lived in Colombia for 3 years. My Spanish was horrible.

    There are some SEO outsourcing in Manila and Davao. But they are expensive and I don't think their SEO is that good. I have a friend in Angeles City who has his own company. He was able to hire some of my former employees. But his does SEO solely for his websites and does not do any outsourcing. If you go to Angeles City (Sin City), I may be able to get him to see you. He is an EXPERT at SEO. No bullshit! The Real Deal!

    If you come this way I would be more than happy to meet up with you.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011