Born into an army family my childhood years were spent in various army quarters around Europe and the Middle East until I was old enough (10!) to be packed off to boarding school for 9 months of the year.
Thankfully those private school fees eventually became too much of a financial burden on my family – so at the age of 16 I was whisked away from a boy’s only, Jesuit priest run, Hogwart’s Academy style institution in deepest, darkest Lancashire in the north of England…
…To a co-ed college in Cyprus! Girls, Sun, Sand and no weirdo priests looking to beat me within an inch of my life for the smallest infraction. To say I was happy would be an understatement! Sun, sea, sand and GIRLS – Yay!
My father had left the army by this stage and had started a small hotel business, followed by a restaurant business in Kyrenia on the north coast of Cyprus. It was a Mediterranean ‘Fawlty Towers’ with my father in the Basil Fawlty role 🙂
But following the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974 we found ourselves evacuated back to England with just the clothes we stood up in. University was not an option, getting a job was a must and so I began a long career in Hotels and Catering that took me from Stratford-upon-Avon, to Switzerland and then to Cairo and Khartoum in the Sudan.
On returning to London in 1981 I was now kind of stuck in the catering world and so began a succession of jobs managing Wine Bars, Restaurants and Nightclubs. But even then, before the era of personal computers I was fighting to get a TV show about computer gaming taken up by a network but no joy. I remember evangelizing to a bored TV executive, from Channel 4, how every home would soon have a PC and that the gaming industry would be more popular than the film industry. He thought I was an idiot 🙂
That was in 1982 so in theory I should be a multi-millionaire by now with that kind of foresight! No such luck.
But when you could buy a Home PC – I got my first in 1997 – I’d found my ‘metier‘ and even though I was still managing various catering enterprises my career as a web designer began, building awful HTML web sites and then, eventually, WordPress sites for big bucks.
The opportunity arose in 2006 to move into a barn conversion here in Normandy, France. So with the profits of selling my London apartment as a financial cushion I set off to France with the view to showing off my self-taught web design skills to the French.
Then my Offline stuff went to s***. Basically it had become a full-time job, but instead of one shitty boss I now had a dozen! My English clients were bad enough when it came to demanding but my first 2 French clients were so bad I fired them ( I later went on the fire all the English ones too) but now I had a problem – no job and very little internet income and my savings were dwindling fast. And then came Adsense 🙂
I found I could quickly throw up well-optimized niche websites and monetize them with Adsense. Four, five figures a month, a real income and life was good until Google changed the rules with various algorithm updates and that income was all but wiped out.
[THEN THE METEOR HIT, THE DINOSAURS DIED AND GOOGLE CHANGED ITS ALGORITHM – AND ALL THAT COOL REVENUE WENT AWAY 🙁 ]
Some of those sites I had built I managed to sell before the Google crack down really took effect and some of them were sites built to promote affiliate products with the traffic, and income, coming from organic (free) search rankings.
So I had come to two realizations. ONE: Affiliate Marketing is great when done right and TWO: never again to put all my eggs in one basket.
In my search for new income stream opportunities I came across the Warrior Forum and was intrigued to see that people were selling courses on how to make money online and doing very well. I was in no position to create a product like that as I simply was NOT making a decent enough amount of money online to brag about it but what I had become good at was design – images, logos, sales pages using PhotoShop and I advertised my services in the ‘Warrior For Hire‘ section of the Forum.
I got quite a few clients some of whom remain friends to this day and I was in a position to get a ‘behind the curtain’ look at what these guys were doing and teaching. One guy was teaching YouTube marketing and he gave me his course for free after I had helped design his sales page ( and money too, I wasn’t a complete idiot!). That got me interested in YouTube.
Using my design skills I was also churning out gorgeous looking niche websites and auctioning them on Flippa.com.
Then a marketing pal told me he had heard YouTube was going to allow users to create ‘clickable’ areas inside their videos. I immediately saw the power of this and used it to generate some affiliate sales – I then created my first product in the Warrior Forum teaching others how to do the same. That product was called Tube Implant, followed up by Tube Implant 2.0
On the back of those two products, and the others I created later, I built a 4000 strong video marketing membership site which has been a kick off point for many successful video marketers and I continue to discover, test and practise ‘out of the box‘ marketing tactics and then share them sometimes freely but often, of course, for cash.
And, most importantly, I practice what I preach!
I don’t pretend to have all the answers – I’ve wasted both time and money chasing down income streams and ideas that were simply ‘pie in the sky‘ that’s a kind of ‘right of passage’ isn’t it? I do know what works, and what does not, online and I also know that being straight and trustworthy is good karma!
Hence this Blog where I share what I do, the tools I use and how I use them and try and cut through all the BS we are subject to online. All that glistens is not gold!
My aim is to help others do what I do but without being ‘salesy’ and pushy about it and sharing not only the tools but also insights into the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Perhaps, more importantly, is that I am a contentious f***er and have no problem calling out BS when I see it. Lord knows there’s enough of it out there but I will TRY and focus on the positive I promise 🙂
The fact is that the people making money online right now, money that means they can work from home full time are NO smarter than you, their days are NOT longer than your days, they have the same amount of time to get things done and the same distractions so as not to.
Thanks for reading my story. It’s ongoing.