When is Too Much Too Much?

I feel a bit guilty about blogging with a bit less passion recently, and perhaps coming off as a bit infomercially, but that is largely a function of me taking on far too many things at once while also changing my life REALLY fast. So some of the things I am doing right now include...

  • rewriting my ebook (which has been tougher than expected...not so much due to market shifts, but due to how much I have learned about marketing recently...by playing on the social web and reading books about linguistics, history, markets, value / authority based systems, and business. when my book first was created it was moreless "here is how to spam google" but as time passes it is becoming "everything you need to know about internet marketing"

  • working on the ReviewMe launch (and reading endless streams of feedback that we need to integrate into improving the system)
  • working on Elite Retreat (check out the flames I got here)
  • speaking at Pubcon a couple times this week
  • answering about 100 or so emails every day
  • fighting off about 300 blog comment spams a day - how low is the person who comment spams about the Holocaust and doesn't even check if the links stick? WTF?
  • learning a lot about the social web
  • keeping up with search news (this is getting more difficult daily because Google wants to make any and every type of communication and advertising a free service which runs through Google)
  • helping run Threadwatch (thanks to the editors and community members over there for kicking ass)
  • working for larger corporate clients with the Caveman
  • working on about a half dozen large content websites (including implementing associated viral marketing ideas)
  • I mention some of the viral marketing ideas heavily on this site because to me showing examples really helps solidify what I am trying to say...some people learn much better by seeing or doing than just reading about a concept.

In addition to doing all of that online I have been doing quite a bit offline. And this is what presents the real pinch point because up until a couple months ago just about everything I did revolved around telling myself that it was OK for me to work on the web 18 hours a day. But out of that I was in terrible physical shape, depressed, and quite lonely. I was making comfortably over $1,000 a day, but in spite of sitting in a sweet Aeron chair and having a Tempurpedic bed my back was hurting... I was anything but comfortable, so I decided to start living again. In the last few months:

  • I decided I am moving to San Fransisco bay area before the year is out

  • I started eating healthy (cut the drinking, junk food, and sugar - did you know just how much sugar acts like a hardcore drug?) and started working out (about 3 hours a day) and lost 40 pounds
  • I went from always depressed self destructive guy to always happy guy (and it is really hard to balance how much you work when your motivation, outlook, and perspective on life suddenly and totally flip)
  • I met a kick ass kick ass girl (who played a large roll in all of the above items)

So sorry if I have been spotty with blogging or email responses and for the delay in updating my ebook. Am trying to do more offline in conjunction with doing way too much online. Thanks for reading this post and even reading my blog at all (especially after the recent uninspired / infomercially blogging). It is you who reads this site that makes all of my happiness and other opportunities available. If you see me in Vegas please do say hi and let me buy you a drink...but don't buy one for me...I usually drink too much and I am on a diet! :)

Published: November 13, 2006 by Aaron Wall in aaron matthew wall


November 20, 2006 - 1:06pm

Keep the girl, loose the rest!
Just Kidding.
Tip from a computer junkie: "Put the girl in your schedule!" Keeps both of you happy, hopefully.

PS1: is there a list of "must read" SEO blogs? I loose to much time wrestling through all the junk.
PS2: when is the new book arriving?

Andy H
November 14, 2006 - 12:03am

You'll be drinking in Vegas. I will make sure of it.

November 14, 2006 - 12:19am

Keep up the good work Aaron! You are doing great and I look forward to your posts and updates on your book.

November 14, 2006 - 12:33am

Don't beat yourself up, Aaron. You have a lot of big projects on your plate that all of us in the industry will benefit from.

Thanks for everything.

November 14, 2006 - 12:40am

Don't apologize for enjoying your life and having someone to play with, for gawd's sake.

Pennsylvania will miss your presence (at least this PA-girl will), but the whole planet benefits when Aaron has his zing. :)

btw, I always like your posts.

November 14, 2006 - 1:07am

Maybe it is just because I am an SEO noob but this blog is the best thing I have found on the web in a long time! Keep up the "uninspiring" work. Please.

November 14, 2006 - 1:17am

Aaron, you're a gem. I've learned so much from you - thank you. I love your book, and can't wait for the new version, it's sure to be great.

Congratulations on extending the SEO Book brand into new areas.

Re ReviewMe, great interface. It's like an Apple app on the Web: completely streamlined, easy to understand and to navigate.

Re your recent posts, I haven't noticed a drop in quality. SEO Book is always a must-read for me.

Keep up the excellent work.



November 14, 2006 - 1:19am


Personally I'd take you out back and beat the c#$% out of you for daring to remain commercially viable. Disgraceful!

Sounds like your days are full, your belly smaller and you heart full of love (Geeez, I should have been a romance writer).

Keep it up mate.


November 14, 2006 - 1:47am

I've learned a ton from you Aaron, this seems like an appropriate time to say thanks. Glad to hear you're enjoying life and the fruits of your labors, that's what all of this is about.


November 14, 2006 - 1:49am

Glad to hear about all the positives in your life right now.

November 14, 2006 - 1:55am

congrats on the girl, amazing what a difference they can make. i always notice it too.

November 14, 2006 - 2:08am

You go Aaron!!!!!! Glad to hear about it. :)

November 14, 2006 - 2:53am

Hi Aaron, don't cut out too much of the drinking I've heard doing that makes people go mad :)

Anyhow just wanted to say I'm half way through your SEO book and really enjoyed it so far. Even found the interviews which I read first really usefull too.

Another Aaron

November 14, 2006 - 3:28am

Glad to hear that Aaron... You're doing great. Enjoy life and don't think you have to do everything at the same time. If you keep up the balance you;ve been working on lately you'll be happier and you'll get more of the really important stuff done.

November 14, 2006 - 4:06am


No need to explain...you give a ton of your time to people that appear as typed characters on a computer screen, and I would like to thank you for all the time and energy you put into this. I didn't understand a thing about websites when I started this about a month ago and now I'm starting to get it (okay, it may not show from my site...but I'm feelnig like I understand more).

As long as you keep your head level I think will have success beyond what you ever could have anticipated (and I suspect that has already happened already on many levels).

Point being...relax, eat an energy bar (can't tell you to have a beer now) and ENJOY LIFE!!!

Take care,

November 14, 2006 - 4:13am

Sometimes taking a break from it all is the best way to get re-motivated.

November 14, 2006 - 4:34am

Woot!! Aaron met a girl!
Well done, dude - Always good to hear :)
(I'm such an old softie)

November 14, 2006 - 5:07am

i've noticed that most blogs i read go in cycles, with stretches that are particularly strong and other periods where posting is not quite link bait material. i think this is normal and understandable. we all need a life away from the keyboard. your material is great though aaron so don't worry about that.

i'm new to both working out at the gym and blogging. for both i find i can't take too many days off in a row or it's tough to get back at it. even a quick workout or short post keeps me in touch though and its not as hard to get back into the swing of it.

great to hear an updated seobook is on the way!

when i have a stretch of many days with a lot of hours at the computer i also feel it physically and start feeling like a slug. one thing i keep telling myself to do is set up a keyboard and monitor where i can stand and work. i hate sitting for so long, i think this winter is the time to do it for me.

dr. james levine from the mayo clinic in rochester mn (my home state) is doing a study on having a treadmill computer station. it looks a bit goofy and i wonder how tough it is to walk and type at the same time. anyways, i like the idea of it. here is a link to the mayo clinic news article. check out the pictures on the right menu labeled "Pictures of the Office of the future".

yabba dabba dooooo!

November 14, 2006 - 5:27am

It's important to stop and smell the roses from time to time.

If you can do all your doing and have found time for a life I suspect you're doing better than most.

Thanks for the inspiration.

November 14, 2006 - 6:55am

Well Aaron, where Do I start?

I visit this blog every week not every day. I visit because I know that every week I will LEARN something as opposed to just reading something every day that I already know. So the posting frequency is more an issue to you not me.

The more that you do the better that you will be as a content developer here on this site to me.

And finally, I run a fitness blog and I know just how important it is for someone to get, stay, and promote good health as it helps them become a more solid person but also helps others to be more healthy in their own lifestyles.

Thanks again for everything that you always give freely

November 14, 2006 - 7:19am

"I met a kick ass kick ass girl"

this thread is useless without pics! ;)

November 14, 2006 - 7:37am

Hey, those are nothing if not the best possible motivations for taking some time away from blogging. You write great stuff - but there's no way that all your contributions, however much we appreciate them, can be worth the trade against waking up happy.

November 14, 2006 - 10:28am

I'm a long time health centric person and one of the best resources on being healthy and getting your diet in shape is 'fantastic voyage'
its written by Ray Kurtzweil, someone you may have heard of - (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil)
he invented OCR, so hes a geek hwo got into fixing himself up

just thoguht you would find it interesting

November 14, 2006 - 10:31am

Hey Aaron,

from the past months and all your work my gutfeeling was true that you really improved your offline life.

Be it the girl , be it the weight/diet - you're feeling a lot better - you deserved it.

And I'm happy to have read this post - see you tomorrow at the conference


November 14, 2006 - 11:48am

Ah, normal!

There has to be a bit of normality in life or you end up burning out or sinking into depression.

I think you're exceptional , I've learned so much from you that my head swims with it all.

So GREAT! Chill out for a bit!

November 14, 2006 - 11:57am

Hi Aaron

Ive visiting your site for past 3 months and havent really noticed any drop in passion or interest level. Same as everyone else who comments here, Ive learnt a great amount - very much appreciated !

I cant make it to Vegas, but if you ever make it over to Paris at some point, drop me a line and i'll buy you a nice strong French coffee (no sugar) :o))


November 14, 2006 - 12:42pm

Hi Aaron,

First of all keep up the good work, since your are one of the best seo blogs around.

Regarding your low times I'm feeling the same the only problem is that I don't earn $1.000 a day, so finance is another problem.

But since we always get better after we are down you should now be much happier than before depression.

Good recovery Aaron



November 14, 2006 - 2:33pm

Hey Aaron, congrats on losing weight, getting healthier and happier, and meeting a lady friend! I'm happy to hear that your life is improving across the board. Also, hooray that you're moving closer to the moz! I may have to visit you in San Fran :)

November 14, 2006 - 3:09pm

Hi there, can´t wait to get the new Book, but nothing is as importent then to enjoy your life - hm, i stop working now and will go skiing :) - greetings from the austrian alps

November 14, 2006 - 3:39pm

What a bunch of great news - we're all glad to hear.

The situation you've occasionally touched on in your personal life is pretty common. Many Educators/Writers/Entrepreneurs that have a real heart to reach others often forget to take care of themselves as well as they do for others. My wife works as a therapist and her and all her coworkers face the same challenges. Fortunately it is much easier to cope with than a person who tends to care about little more than themselves (speaking from experience here).

Seriously dude, hire somebody part-time to at least do some of the more menial aspects of your expanding "Internet Empire." Time is way more valuable than money - Maybe you can spend it enjoying the weather in Frisco with that great girl you mentioned :)

November 14, 2006 - 5:26pm


I've struggled with schedules and getting everything done most of my life as well. I eventually came to the conclusion that there are no easy answers other than working at it consistantly and knowing when to put it down.

Still it's refreshing when others that I view to be succesful in their fields, such as yourself, stepping up and saying that they struggle with it too.

Keep up the good work and congrats on your recent victories,

November 14, 2006 - 6:09pm

Hey Aaron, congratulations on your lifestyle's improvement.

"When is Too Much Too Much?" If you are questioning yourself is because you definitely need to review what is going on around life. In your case it looks like you are doing great, it has taken you to improve your lifestyle.

Questioning ourselves is healthy and we should keep it as a permanent practice in our lifes.

Thanks for all the great information.

November 14, 2006 - 6:15pm

Aaron great to hear things are going good for you. You have earned the right to live a great life bro. The assistance you give people through this blog is priceless.

Above all have fun, help people and you will help yourself. Life is to short. TY for all the great information and I look forward to reading more.

November 14, 2006 - 7:30pm

"i met a kick ass kick ass girl"

I see! That's probably what motivated much of your recent changes. I gotta admit - we can have money, respect, momentum in business, even great friends - but still feel empty unless there's someone to share it with.

Best of luck with your new ventures - and congrats on getting some 'female perspective' in your life :-)

November 14, 2006 - 7:34pm

Great to hear that you are finding balance in your life. Congrats on the girlfriend.

November 14, 2006 - 9:32pm

I wouldn't worry about the flames you've received from Jon @ wickedfire Aaron. You've consistently output informative, sometimes contraversial, worthwhile blog entries for quite some time now in addition to operating one of the most authoritative SEO related resources on the 'net to date. All Jon has succeeded in doing in the public eye is demonstrating how immature of a child he is (check out his forum posts blasting Lee Dodd who at least had the decency to not respond in kind) and generating a massive fanbase of "yes-men" that hang on his every word in his forums. Anyone with common sense knows that you're not only in this business only for the purpose of helping others, but that you need to eat as well. Good luck with your retreat and congrats on your new lady!

November 14, 2006 - 10:20pm

Hey Aaron. Just wanted to let you know I really like the SEO Book and am looking forward to your next release. There is just TOO much information about SEO so I've come to rely on your as my primary resource. No pressure or anything!

November 15, 2006 - 12:40am


You bring up an excellent point about transitioning your emphasis from SEO based information to "everything you need to know about internet marketing."

I'm a web usability geek who is integrating even more "Internet Marketing" into my consulting.

I've come to realize a good sound internet marketing strategy, with all other things equal, seems to be the biggest payoff.

Matias Bulox
November 15, 2006 - 2:56am

To Aaron and everybody in this blog,
this blog and website is the best on the web. everybody helps each other, sharing thoughts, ideas and being friendly. ain't it cool?....not like other blogs or forums where everybody fights and do not agree with anybody.
Aaron....this is the best blog in the entire web, congratulations to everybody for being such good people and sharing. '...bless success and successful people (Aaron); and success will come back to you...', god bless you Aaron and keep up the good work.
We're learning a lot from you.

PS: it's perfectly fine to enjoy life.

November 15, 2006 - 10:03am

Aaron, you rock! Life is full of surprises (like this). Wish you good health, happiness and shitloads of money for your hard work.

Thanks for everything you do, I appreciate it tremendously.

Saludos Amigo!


Frank Miller
November 15, 2006 - 1:07pm

As a developer I was used to coffee, pizza, coke,
but I had to learn the hardway that this leads to unhealthy living. To get rid of all this old bad stuff, I tried to make some cleanses, look at www.homemadebodycleanse.com if you know what I mean.

November 15, 2006 - 2:17pm

It's fantastic that you are managing to achieve some balance in your life. It's very important to enjoy yourself as you go along. This blog and you other projects have been amazing, keep up the good work.

I am at PubCon too, and I'll definitely let you but me a drink! (But, I'm only worth 1 point in the game.) Maybe I can but you a low-fat smoothie or something. I'm looking forward to hearing you speak and hopefully meeting you.

November 15, 2006 - 2:45pm

Hi Aaron,

Taking a look at yourself and cleaning up your act is bloody good and takes alot of effort! No doubt you've just extended your web career and will go much futher in being honest and mature to yourself. Your writing is inspiring I just wonder if this post is for real or you just want to measure your love meter? Remember the more you market the less we believe.

November 15, 2006 - 3:29pm

....and I just left San Francisco.

Life will become a lot more enjoyable for you there old chap - so much action.

It's so easy to be who and what you want to be in that great City.

You will stumble upon some really cool folks and good luck to you!

Just don't go nicking any of my clients (near the LookSmart office ;)

David the Limey

November 15, 2006 - 4:06pm

Aaron, take care of your health. Money is one thing but health is more valuable.

I suggest you take a deserved vacation with that girl of yours, get away from your pc for a few weeks and just plain rest.

When you get home, buy yourself a massager, a dog and a juicer. Throw away those coffeemakers.

You'll feel better and live longer, as most fans of yours are hoping. Take care dude!

November 15, 2006 - 7:04pm

very nice

November 15, 2006 - 7:16pm

Buy a bike ....a good blast along the bike tracks does wonders for you brain and bod. Oh ..get a helmet as well!

Keep up the good work...

November 15, 2006 - 7:41pm


I'll bet you met the girl first... then all the other pieces fell into place. Good for you! You deserve it and you should enjoy it to the maximum. Given the new terms in your latest contact with life, I personally will not mind hearing less from you!



P.S. I'm a happy owner of your SEO eBook, and I'm wondering how to go about getting updates. Before you disappear into the wilderness of your new found love-life, could you please let me know?!

November 16, 2006 - 5:33am

Here is a review, the reviewer found the web services to be reviewed to be very short coming.


Would it be better you chose better your advertisers as well like you do bloggers?

November 16, 2006 - 8:20pm

>Your writing is inspiring I just wonder if this post is for real or you just want to measure your love meter? Remember the more you market the less we believe.

My intent of this post is not to check my loveometer. I actually wrote a poem about that very concept of selling things beyond their value to the detriment of society

old and new
stuck in a sand dune
staying warm in a home made of snow

stripped from the elements
keeping warm
on what is good
what is right
and what is important
me me me

rewrite history
and if you can
make them believe
you have a value system
upon which you can trade

the harder you push
the more they believe
but the more you must make up
to keep selling

stripped from the elements
past the point
of diminishing returns
me me me

technology and evolution
making things better
one day at a time
transcribing words
that will live after you die

believe me
give me
me me me

relationships are removed from random
and the natural order
revolves around profit models
that strip the Earth

here is one about falsely enriching your life by wrongly focusing on arbitrary numbers

Today yesterday tomorrow
its all numbers
focus on the number

don't let your eyes dance
focus on the numbers
they work for you or against
stay focused

do what your told
trust the numbers
up and to the right
it is all about the numbers

endless growth
in your comfort zone
endless growth

and here is another about believing what people tell you too much

you are doing everything right
and you are doing everything
doing everything right
I look up to you
you are such an amazing person
he eventually got too comfortable and fat
to do anything right

everything is a fine balance

Hi Jean
Why should we heavily screen our advertisers if the bloggers are giving honest reviews about things they are interested in?

can you email me seobook at gmail d0t c0m

November 17, 2006 - 2:14am

Ugh Aaron.. poety is not a good look. How about updating your blog already? No offence, but I come here for SEO info, not to hear about your love life.

November 17, 2006 - 3:11am

are you sure you haven't written this post before, hmmmm...? I'm joking, you have been doing alot of shit you should take a breather. Isn't the whole point to all this (ie. owning your own business online, seo ,working from home) to give you the opportunity to chill out a bit. I recently started working from my laptop at the dog park here in Sunnyvale CA. I still have a day job but there's something about working on the fly that keep pulling me back online.

Anyway You do good work, just get off your ass and start living life...the good life ;-)

November 17, 2006 - 7:28am

I can relate, Aaron. Keep up the good work.

Peace be with you.

November 17, 2006 - 12:39pm

Glad to hear you are getting healthy. I truely feel that working out and eating healthy helps people lead a more menatlly and physically balanced life. It also means we can look forward to years and years of great posts from you! Thanks for sharing all your wisdom.

November 17, 2006 - 6:10pm

Keep of the sweet stuff and drink lots of water and excercise. I used to spend 18hrs in front of the pc except for an hour of squash and food (when I remembered). I have now lost 15Kg's (no idea what that is in pounds) and feeling great. Also getting out more and meeting many awesome young nubiles ;-).

I have included your RSS in my internet marketing forum - you have some great content keep up the work.

Very interested in viral marketing and what I like to call earned one way link building (I create cool and useful tools).

Keep up the good work!

- Brendan

November 17, 2006 - 6:11pm

Moving to SF ahe? Good stuff. It's a great city to live in. See ya when you get here.

November 17, 2006 - 11:55pm

Seems like your doing just fine and thanks for the inspiration. Your speech on Thursday was one of my favorites at the entire PubCon. Nothing wrong with trying to chill a bit! I thought you had to drink at PubCon?

November 18, 2006 - 4:56am

I think that all of your articles, as well as the book have helped a ton of people trying to make it on their own, keep up the good work man.

November 18, 2006 - 9:56am

Congrats on all the changes Aaron. It was nice to see you in Vegas, and I was happy to meet "your girl".

I like seeing you so happy!

I heard you may have strayed away from the program a few of the nights while in Vegas???

BTW how is that spider bite doing? They sometimes take a while to heal.

November 18, 2006 - 1:37pm

Man you are busy!

I totally sympathise with the mood swings - I have experienced that in the past.
Sounds like you have battled through in grand style.

Good luck!

November 18, 2006 - 5:27pm

May be i think so...

November 18, 2006 - 8:04pm

Hey Aaron,
Let me know what I can do to help you with your move to the Bay Area. Happy happy joy joy times ahead for us!!!

November 18, 2006 - 9:46pm

I know how you feel. Although I've only been at the blog for about a month and a half now. My other project is keeping e busy too. I've just decided not to post anything on the days I struggle to write anything worthwhile. As somenoe else alluded to above, don't beat yourself up. I'll continue to be back regularly. :)

November 19, 2006 - 1:40am

What a cool post Aaron! I've always known it would be this way, when my ship comes in. Apparently, your experience is normal, based on the number of responses from those who identify. I have already started planning on how to schedule my day so I'm not broadsided by success.
When I first saw the potential of the interntet, I spent thousands on the travel agency I now head.
Sure that success would jump in my lap, I soon found that
all of the overnight success stories belonged to people that had done there homework and worked long hours.
I've always known that it would be so easy to become a slave to my computer, once I fine tune everything.
What am I saying? I already feel that way--trying to learn html with toddlers climbing on my keyboard, and my preteen wanting to log on--God only know how hectic it may be when I'm really cooking.
Maybe i should be grateful that success is slow in coming.
p.s. a gravity chair will take the weight off of your back
p.p.s even though you are chained to your computer, I still was touched that you personally answered my email. Thanks

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