Blake Denman: My SEO Career Journey

Hi! 👋  We’re so glad to feature you on SEOjobs.com. Please introduce yourself to our site’s readers.

My name is Blake Denman (Linkedin | Twitter), I’m based in Bend, OR, and have been in the SEO industry for more than 16 years.

Can you share with us how you entered the SEO industry?

I got my first job at a telemarketing company because I can type fast. That company sold Local SEO to small businesses across North America. I had no interest in this as a career path, I took the job so I could go back to school. 

During my time there I became a Production Manager and then ran their entire PPC division before I went out on my own. 

What made me want to move on was I took a department that was losing money every month to highly profitable within 6 months. I asked for help and a raise, but received neither. My salary was $36,000 and I was working at least 40 hours per week.

 

How did you start to learn SEO? What are you currently doing to keep up with the ever-changing SEO industry?

Reading and staying current is great but experience is the best teacher. A life motto I stand by to remain teachable. The second I think I know something, I’m closed off to different perspectives.

Can you share what motivated you to start RicketyRoo? Did you always envision owning a large agency?

My main motivation to start RicketyRoo was to enable me to work less and be able to pay my bills and rent while I focused on school. 

I had no vision of growing it into what it is today. When I met my wife 10 years ago I realized it would be kind of nice if I didn’t have to do everything on my own. Moving from being a Freelancer to an Operator is a separate ballgame.

 

What recommendations would you give to someone interviewing for an SEO position?

Mistakes – Even though we’re 100% remote and interviews are done over Zoom, lack of eye contact is a big one. The other big mistake I’ve seen is attempting to answer a complicated question they don’t know the answer to.

Stand out – Have a little bit of knowledge about the company you’re applying with. What types of clients do they work with, anything interesting about their story? That shows me you’re doing some due diligence on us and think we might be a good fit for you. 

If there’s a question you don’t know the answer to, say you don’t know. It’s welcoming to hear an answer like “I don’t know the answer to that right now, I’ll do some research and send you something later today/tomorrow.”

 

What career advice can you provide to someone looking to advance in an digital marketing position?

First, what negative stories are you telling yourself of all the reasons you can’t advance? Realize those are false, they’re not real.

From there, if you’re looking to advance within your current employer, ask. If you want to move up into a higher position, you need to know the path that will get you there. You need to make sure that your employer is in alignment with your professional goals. 

Remain teachable and help other people within the industry with 0 ulterior motives. The industry is ‘large’ but your reputation (good & bad) will follow closely behind.