Get to know Stan Bogdashin, Co-Founder & Director of Marketing, Comrade Web

August 29, 2017 | Interview

Masters degree in programming. His first IT job was teaching gifted kids of age 12-17 programming in C++ in Siberia. At the age of 21 Stan decided to move to Chicago to start his own digital marketing agency with his classmate and best friend Ivan (they both had no previous experience in web design or marketing). Their first office was opened in the basement of their apartment. By the age of 27 Stan had worked on over 100 local web and SEO projects in Chicago together w his business partner, moved to his 3rd and biggest office in Chicago and had a team of 5 people. But business was not growing as fast as they planned. Many things started to change after Stan attended the Burning Man festival, started to offer a wider range of marketing services (not just SEO) and executed a few very bold and creative marketing campaigns, making Comrade Web a one-stop shop for all digital marketing needs. At his current age of 32 years old Stan is still passioned about helping small and medium size businesses and ambitious startups with good products to be heard, grow their businesses and win battles with big enterprise-level companies.

Please introduce yourself and where you work.

Stan Bogdashin, CO-Founder and Director of Marketing
Started to learn about SEO and digital marketing 11 years ago when my friend who had a window washing company in Chicago asked us to build a website for him, we did it, he asked “now what? How can I get leads”. I started to google “how to get leads”, found out about SEO, started to read, it took me 7 days and approx. 40 hours to understand what SEO is. I met with him after 7 days and told him that I can get him leads if he will pay me $500 / mo, I had no idea how to do the work but I was confident that we will figure it out.

It took me approx.. 300 hours over the course of the next 3 months to figure out how to do onsite SEO, bought hundreds of backlinks overseas (cost me another $250), placed keywords in hidden places of my client’s website (these shady schemes were called blackhat seo which were the quickest and cheapest way to get results). After 3 months my friend started to get 35 leads / month from SEO, he was on a first page on Google for “window washing company chicago” and many other keywords. I started to have an additional stable income of $500 / mo and significantly decreased the amount of monthly work by months 4 and started to offer this service to all our clients. After a few years we had more than 10 SEO clients.

How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years?

In 2013 a lot of our clients who were very happy with our work suddenly lost their rankings, that was the time when Google came out with the first anti-spam update called Pinguin. Pinguin and it’s latest versions seriously changed the SEO game, we’ve lost a lot of clients, our SEO empire started to fall apart. I was depressed, started to drink more alcohol and ended up closing the SEO department of our company for almost a year while I was travelling to Tibet to figure out what to do with my life. After a year I reconsidered my views on world and came up with another strategy for SEO and digital marketing which was white-hat and was in perfect balance with new SEO guidelines from Google but at the same time was still delivering great results for our clients. Here is how the industry have changed:
· Shady tactics of Buying thousands of backlinks from Sape or Fiver doesn’t work anymore. If you do it – Google will penalize your site and it will take you at least a year and thousands of $ to recover.
· $500 / mo SEO doesn’t deliver any results anymore, don’t even think of outsourcing it overseas or hiring a local guy who will do it. Good SEO takes time to build and quality links should be purchased. If you’ve never done any SEO want to have top results and good leads in 6 months, be ready to invest at least $2,500 / mo for SEO
· Don’t use article directories, tools which will rewrite popular articles using synonyms and place it online – it will never work anymore
· Invest in quality content, with unique pictures, infographics and bullet points
· Submit not to 1000 directories, but to 50 good directories
· Use guest blogging on industry-related platforms
· Invest in onsite seo, cross-linking, optimization of titles, H tags, etc – it still works
· Figure out a strategy for user-generated content. Encourage your customers to write a review each time they buy a product, reward those who will write the best product description. That’s how you can generate a lot of free content which is very important for SEO without investing in copywriting
· Learn how to use Google Analytics, keyword tools, Google webmasters. Utilize the most useful SEO tools: BuzzSumo, SEMRush, AWRCLoud, ahrefs, Majestic SEO, MOZ
· Consider using marketing automation

How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?

At the age of 21 Stan decided to move to Chicago to start his own digital marketing agency with his classmate and best friend Ivan (they both had no previous experience in web design or marketing). Their first office was opened in the basement of their apartment. By the age of 27 Stan had worked on over 100 local web and SEO projects in Chicago together w his business partner, moved to his 3rd and biggest office in Chicago and had a team of 5 people. But business was not growing as fast as they planned. Many things started to change after Stan attended the Burning Man festival, started to offer a wider range of marketing services (not just SEO) and executed a few very bold and creative marketing campaigns, making Comrade Web a one-stop shop for all digital marketing needs. At his current age of 32 years old Stan is still passionate about helping small and medium size businesses and ambitious startups with good products to be heard, grow their businesses and win battles with big enterprise-level companies.

What are the services you provide to your clients?

Digital marketing strategy development
SEO (Local SEO and eCommerce SEO)
PPC
Content / Inbound marketing
Kickstarter marketing
Social Media Marketing
Amazon marketing
Marketing Automation integration
Email marketing

What strategy according to you will prevail in 2017 for SEO?

· All Out-of-box strategies – don’t do what everybody are doing. If all your competitors are bidding for key words on adWords, try BING
· Use new platforms, clicks on new social platforms are always more affordable
· Video marketing – Facebook live, consider all platforms providing video streaming, YouTube
· SEO and PPC will still have good and predictable ROI’s
· Invest in quality content and create a unique buyers journey on your website
· Use marketing techniques to target more millennials, they are slowly capturing the market

What would your advice be to people who are looking to take up digital marketing as a career choice?

· Do it now – it’s a lot of fun!”

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As the Head of Strategies and Planning at RankWatch, Devanshu is also an avid reader and loves his technology. Spending at an average of 4 hours a day, he instills himself with the latest tech related news and insights. Aspiring to be a author of a technology coursebook for young entrepreneurs, Devanshu is leading in the right direction.

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