About James Parsons

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James Parsons is the founder and CEO of Content Powered. Having founded and grown several multi-million dollar eCommerce businesses solely through blogging, he created Content Powered to help other business owners grow their websites and sales by publishing useful, optimized, and well-researched content.

He’s also worked at several different agencies with roles ranging from Business Development Manager to CMO and was a major part of content marketing strategies for giant brands like eBay and Expedia.

You may run into him at PubCon in Las Vegas, Google’s Startup Grind in San Francisco, and Social Media Week in Los Angeles. He’s a writer on Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and many other publications, and enjoys writing about content marketing, conversion rate optimization, and search engine optimization. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, here.

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Hey there! I'm James, the founder of Content Powered.

I was introduced to SEO and content marketing when I started building websites nearly 20 years ago in high school. My teacher taught two classes simultaneously in different classrooms (art and graphic design). Sort of.

She wasn't in the graphic design class very often, so most of the students played games on Newgrounds and messed around on the computers all day. After all, who was there to supervise?

After finishing my classwork, I messed around on the computers too, but I used that time to teach myself how to design and code websites for local businesses. After a few months, I formed an LLC and my first web design business!

Building sites 20 years ago was a lot different than today. Strict XHTML was still a thing, and mobile-optimized websites were rare. WordPress was in its infancy, and easy website builders like Squarespace or Wix didn't exist yet. To build a good-looking website in 2006, you pretty much needed to hire a web developer or know how to code.

When I built my first website, I purchased web hosting, installed WordPress, coded a WordPress theme, and published a dozen blog posts. Then I waited, and I checked Google Analytics every day. Nothing. Months went by, and they weren't doing much. Finally, after I stopped checking my stats every week, I hopped on there one month to see how I was doing and found out that my traffic exploded! All my highest traffic pages were blog posts, and visitors from those pages were discovering the rest of my website! My AdSense revenue was up, and I was starting to make some decent money (for a high schooler). I re-invested that money back into content, and - I was hooked.

I started another SEO blog, appropriately named SEOBlog.com. I had dozens of websites like this one and was always starting new projects (most of which I've since sold, like SEOBlog.com to our friends at Thrive Agency).

I decided to go all in on blogging and put less effort into paid ads, social media, email marketing, affiliate marketing, and everything else floating around.

I committed to learning everything I could about SEO and content marketing and doing things the right way so that my blog posts were ultimately a profitable investment. After a few years, my first eCommerce site took off and earned its first million dollars in revenue with a content marketing approach.

As my business grew, I started to form a team. I needed to hire a writer, and like most people at the time, I turned to Textbroker. I would pay freelancers to write my content, clean it up a little, and then publish it to my site.

But, it was very hit or miss. Many of my articles weren't ranking, and some were so bad that I didn't want to publish them.

Every now and again, I'd find a decent article, but it was exhausting trying to get content that wasn't a waste of time and money.

That's when I hired my first full-time writer, and everything changed. I could talk with him and communicate easier without going through some website portal. Quality was consistent because it was the same person writing it, and every article was fantastic. I hired an editor, a graphic designer, and a project manager to help upload and format new blog posts. Before long, we had a dream team!

Back then, my business was mostly automated, so I packed up my laptop and traveled the world with my best friend. I've been to 15 countries, and I hope to visit 15 more with my family!

When I returned, I was approached with a senior-level job offer at an SEO agency. I had a pretty sweet thing going with my remote business, but I had a good friend that worked there, and I knew I would learn a lot. But I was torn. During my interview, we discussed salary. I named a figure significantly higher than what was offered to me, hoping that I would be too expensive for them and they would turn me down. Later that week, I discovered they had accepted my offer.

Crap! What if I don't like working for somebody else? How flexible is the schedule? I was already comfortable working for myself, and it would be an adjustment, but I knew I would learn a lot working with dozens of other SEO experts.

I ended up loving it. I had great mentors and got to work alongside Neil Patel, and I was coached on sales, technical SEO, link audits, lead generation, and so much more. Before long, I ran most of the company's operations and received a promotion to Chief Marketing Officer.

The coolest parts of the job were flying around the country to grab dinner with Neil and the rest of the team in Seattle, meeting new folks at PubCon in Vegas, or going to Google's Startup Grind in San Francisco. I'd see McLarens and Lamborghinis in the parking lots, and I was rubbing shoulders with the founders of huge companies. There was a lot of money to be made in SEO and content marketing.

I met the editors at sites like Entrepreneur, Inc, and Forbes and even met Ariana Huffington, who set me up with an author account at The Huffington Post.

This helped me network with other prominent websites and bloggers and build a name for myself. I went to a VentureBeat conference right after and met the lead editor, who set me up with an author account at VentureBeat!

After some time, I used what I'd learned to start my agency - Content Powered. I have many people to thank (Drew, Jayson, Neil, if you're reading this, thank you!), and I think I have had a unique set of circumstances that led me to where I am today. My time as a web developer, programmer, graphic designer, salesman, SEO, content creator, and business owner all focused me on one core element: content.

"Content is king." Bill Gates said that first in 1996, right? Websites are primarily a place for people to interact with your content. SEO helps more people see that content. Programming ensures that content loads quickly and provides a great user experience. Graphics enrich those pages and adds value and context. Content is at the top of every sales funnel. Content really is king.

Nearly 15 years later, Content Powered is over a dozen employees strong and growing every year. We work with small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, other marketing firms, small eCommerce sites, professional service businesses, and forward-thinking companies worldwide.

I grew my company from the ground up with content marketing and SEO, and we've helped hundreds of others do the same. And I can do the same for you!

Thanks for reading and for stopping by!

James Parsons, Founder & CEO
Content Powered

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