First off thank you for taking the time to get involved in this interview for our readers.
For anyone not familiar with Matt, you are one of the most engaged search engine optimization guys in the digital marketing space. You run a number of SEO-related businesses that help scale and sell online assets and run the most successful SEO conferences in Chiang Mai.
But this is not really what I wanted this interview to be about.
I wanted to do something a little different in this interview and focus more on your lifestyle and investments outside of digital marketing. You may well breathe a sigh of relief as you talk extensively about your journey into SEO, your process of starting, and incubating affiliate websites.
So, are you ready to go off-script?
So, thanks again for letting me peel back the life of Matt Diggity a little here, and let’s jump straight into this with our first question.
1. It would be good to have a quick bio of who you are and where you’re from, just in case we have forgotten. What’s the back story with your name, is it Matt Diggity or Matt Elmore?
Thanks for having me. I’m from a shitty city called Fresno, California. When I was growing up there, I think we took the crown for the worst per-capita auto theft rate in the world. Cool stuff.
Anyhow, I ended up going to UC San Diego for a master’s in electrical engineering. Hated that too.
I eventually found my way to affiliate marketing through search engine optimization and loved it right away. Who doesn’t love the idea of passive income?
The moniker “Matt Diggity” came from an SEO forum called Source Wave. For some reason, I couldn’t use my first and last name for my user name, “No Diggity” was on Spotify at the time, so “Matt Diggity” was what I used. It stuck.
2. You have been based in Chiang Mai for some-time now (is it like 6 years?). You speak Thai and last year got married to the lovely Niw, you have pretty much-made roots in Thailand. Do you see yourself settling here for the long-term?
I’m building a house, so I sure hope so.
But yeah, I love Chiang Mai. I fell in love with this place the first time I ever came in 2014.
It’s the vibe. Everything is easy. People are so kind. And it’s a major hub for digital entrepreneurship… SEO especially.
3. I often see you online on Facebook and you seem to be online almost 24/7. What’s a typical day in the life of Matt when based in Chiang Mai?
- Brush teeth, neti pot, clean tongue
- Yoga 15 minutes
- Meditation 10 minutes
Then I get straight into work. People recommend against this, but I start with email right away.
People are dependent on me. The most productive thing I can do is enable my direct reports to move forward if they were waiting on me to take action.
I’ll get to zero inbox at this time.
After that, I’ll do my batch social media posting and marketing for the day.
Then it’s time to go to the gym.
After the gym, it’s a rotation of meetings and eating.
Meet – Eat – Meet – Eat. Haha.
Most of my day, in fact, is in meetings.
4. I know you’re big into biohacking and both of us are fans of the Oura ring. What lifestyle hacks have you found most impactful for your body and mind?
Like you pointed out, I’m really into sleep hacking. I believe it’s the cornerstone of everything. Your mood, your health, your hormones, your energy.
Man… I do so many things that some might consider life hacks, but I’ve been doing them so long that it’s just normal now.
I test the hell out of my body. Right now, I’m working on clearing out some gut health issues.
But in general, I have a constant monitor on everything: heavy metals, inflammation, food intolerances (game changer, btw), micronutrients.
Oh, here’s something new…
I started reading kindle books while I’m listening to them on 2x on audible. The speed and retention are amazing.
5. You have a number of successful businesses online, what other investments do you actively make? I am interested to know how to what extent you invest online profits into offline investments like property, commodities, and stocks.
For the longest time, I was big on single-family home investment.
I’d buy turnkey real estate properties in the US in cities like Memphis, Indy, St Louis, etc.
I’d pay for them with cash, plug a property management company into it, and collect checks.
It’s stable, but its decent returns. I used to get 9-11% when the deals were better.
But those deals have dried up as the economy has improved.
So, I’ve switched over to doing things like mobile home park funds. The idea here is that if the economy turns sour, then this should grow at least. It’s insurance.
Now I’m getting heavy into angel investment.
Smart money deals – like trading connections, expertise, experience, mentorship, and (of course) cash are traded for equity.
I’m also going full-cash for equity.
Any business I invest in needs to be tech and at the small business level, just like ones I’ve built. I want to be able to get behind something I believe in.
Oh yeah, and I have one bitcoin… because FOMO.
6. I am still optimizing my longer-term investment strategy by diversifying what I buy. Do you have a particular investment strategy or are you winging like most of us?
My investment strategy mostly involves keeping good friends that know what they’re doing.
I’d be a fool to believe that I know stocks better than a broker.
Or I know real estate better than a flipper or agent.
So, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and also seek out people who are good at these things.
I went to Jr high and used to be on the wrestling team with the guys who started “Flip that House“. That was sheer luck.
But since then I’ve made an effort to find people who are doing smart investments and learning from them.
Right now, I believe angel investment is my best play, but that’s based on where I’m at in life. If I didn’t have the backup with a full real estate portfolio, I wouldn’t be making risky plays like these.
7. You have a number of awesome websites flip case studies, it’s very much a seller’s market at the moment. How do you see the long-term stability of this business model? Does this affect how much capital you have tied up in online assets?
I think the website flipping model will continue to rise as the economy continues to improve.
The reason multiples are so high is because investors don’t have anything better to invest in.
Stocks are still high AF. House prices are high AF.
Then we have the technological revolution on the way. If that doesn’t kill the idea of content websites (we start consuming content differently) then returns will continue growing positively for the website flip model… in an exponential way.
8. You’re soon to be a dad, so congratulations are in order! You must be stoked and a little nervous about the next stage of your life. It’s a wild journey for sure, I know I have two kids. It can be tough juggling multiple businesses and raising a family, are we going to see you step back a little from the business side for a while? Or is this going to be very much a suck it and see approach?
Let’s see. Whatever I say right now might be completely nullified the moment I see my little girl’s eyes, right?
But the plan is to get as much automation in place as I can.
9. From the outside, it looks like you have a lot of your businesses running with great staff and partners. How do you see your role in your business changing over the next few years and even further down the road?
I’m making a big hire right now, trying to groom someone to do what I do now as a digital marketer.
That’s what I always do. I want to groom my direct reports to become better managers themselves and to eventually do what I’m doing.
Like Jay at LeadSpring. He’s a full-blown expert SEO (one of the best in the world) and Chief Operating Officer. He started as a VA. I’m all about mentorship and helping take people to levels they never thought were possible.
What that means for me, is I can find out what’s available at the level above this. Are there better deals up there? Is there a different model we can do?
What’s above the glass ceiling right now? No idea. I’ll find out when I breakthrough.