So this is an about page, so I guess I will tell you a bit about myself. My name is Tom Buckland, I’m an freelance SEO consultant working through Ghost Marketing which focuses on the promotion of businesses primarily in the UK.
And then I have my seo blog which is what your on now.
As you probably know I’m all for mixing business and personal life in the right ratio. I’m an entrepreneur at heart and living that through SEO. If you don’t enjoy what your doing you should change…. Its also an excuse for me to put weird pictures of myself on my about page…. Like so —>
Just a heads up, this is a mini life story below (1,500 words) so you’ll need 5 minutes…
Started learning about SEO/Affiliate Marketing (2010)
2010 is when I started to learn about internet marketing, and came across the process of SEO (but ignored it for the most part at first). I brought a $37 product, and to this day it was the worst thing I think I have ever seen. If that course was good, maybe I would have been successful quicker/earlier who knows. Or maybe I would have quit….. Who knows.
Sidenote: I am the firmest of believers that money can be created quickly but never easily! Make money fast is real, make money easy is not.
In the beginning (first 6 months) like most SEOs or internet marketers, I didn’t really know what I was doing and I ended up wasting a lot of time and some money, buying a few products and didn’t really even implement any techniques as they were either too expensive or just didn’t look like they would work. But I continued to grind through and learn more and more about I.M. and SEO. Looking back, where I was getting my information was one of the worst places possible and this slowed down my success ten fold.
This was for 3 years, my primary problem, trusting the wrong people. Surround yourself with successful individuals and don’t be afraid to pay for the best information. The best individuals in their respective industries won’t charge $37 to “give you all of their secrets” Methods and strategies are better than secrets!
Late 2010 saw my first bit of success. I set up a campaign promoting a clickbank product. I invested a bit of money (£100) which was quite a lot at the time, I also invested a lot of time and made this quite successful. In the final 4 months of 2010 I made $700 (£450 at the time) of pure profit (which for a 16-17 year old was pretty cool). Better than working in retail for £4.50 an hour. (Although my hourly rate probably would have been well below that if I actually calculated it.)
Sidenote: I’ve always been extremely good with tracking costs and profit, mainly so I can chart it in the future (geeky I know) and also just because it’s important to know exactly how much you are making or have invested.
Good times (socially not business) 2011
2011 was a good year, spent with good friends, sixth form, turning 18, road trips and generally just having a good time. Business took a severe back seat. And my clickbank promotion method was also hit when hubpages banned my account (previously getting 100 visitors a day) so earnings dropped off. But social life was more important this year and at 18 I didn’t feel the motivation to work hard.
Profit for the year a cool: $300 (£200) – Don’t get too jealous guys!
University and the worst job to date (2012)
2012 was just a crazy year, split the year into thirds and it looks exactly like this: Jan-Apr good, may-Sep bad, Oct-Dec good. Weirdly everything fell into those categories; business, school, social, relationships, money if it happened in the first 3 months or the last 4 months, it was good, if it happened in the middle it was BAD! I sum this up with “The spring and summer to forget”.
Including the worst most boring job I’ve ever had, which was working in the homewear department of M&S….. If I ever have to fold a towel again, that was already folded I will kill someone! People say working in an office is bad? Retail is 100 times worse!
But anyway the final few months of the year did see a good pickup, starting my finance degree at Bournemouth Uni and meeting some cool people, drinking a lot and generally not really worrying about anything.
Also ran a marathon 🙂
Year earnings (including the worst job ever) = £1200.
Tough times, Uni and HQ SEO (2013-July 2014)
In 2012 I started my degree at Bournemouth University studying finance. Looking back now this wasn’t the best course for me to choose (marketing would have been the obvious choice) and simply starting a business would have been even better, but social protocol says “go to Uni” so I did and finance showed the highest wage after graduation so off I went.
Obviously 1st year continued into 2013 and year 2 finished in June 2014. apart from the drinking it was a tough 18 months; course stresses, personal issues, arguments and poor living conditions made the first half of 2014 a pretty poor time and hence business work took a back seat for the most part.
The plus in this 18 month period was a small success with HQ SEO, which is a business I set up providing client SEO services. Looking back it wasn’t the right time to do something like this but I did take on 2 clients for a few months which = £2000. This was also the time in which I set up about 15 websites in different niches, mainly focused around the model of affiliate marketing, and earnings through adsense or clickbank.
This led to an extremely annoying disease (I made up myself) called “information overload” – Symptoms include, having so many things going on you end up doing nothing and having no clear plan for any of these ideas.
Sidenote: I only cured myself of the information overload in September 2014 with the 30 day challenge and working 14 hours a day, it was tough but 100% worth it and to this day was the most important step to moving forward!
Tom Buckland – The SEO Consultant (end of 2014)
July 2014 – I started a placement year (not in Uni) at a company doing their online marketing as well as other extremely medial tasks (being the intern).
This, although incredibly boring, was the push I needed to get my mind focused. Working 9-6 every weekday, for pittance in a boring job, really motivated to put my ideas in motion.
The end of 2014 was the time everything started to click. I started to generate some good rankings for myself, my SEO knowledge was at an all time high, I began to put some plans into motion, I followed the right people in the SEO industry, I worked 14 hour days and most importantly I cured myself of information overload.
September 2014 “the click” This was when I decided I don’t want a job, (ever again), I don’t want to work for anyone else, whatever the wage, I don’t want a degree (particularly) I just want to work for myself, providing awesome services or products and make a lot of money by doing so (that’s the truth!)
I also decided I wanted a fresh start from HQ SEO, although I would keep this site for the future, I decided to set up my seo freelance/consultant front, where I would promote my seo services without all the BS usually associated with SEO. This is why Ghost Marketing was born.
My aims were (and still are) to rank ghost marketing page 1 for “SEO Freelancer”, freelance seo related terms. As well as ranking specific pages for where I was based. For example Salisbury/Swindon/Bournemouth areas. This is what I did and continue to do.
In late 2014 I was approached by an old boss to set up an SEO company with him. No financial risks from my part and a London address made this very interesting, but later that same month we “mutually decided” (I said) it wasn’t worth the split we had created, he didn’t want the site, so I took the site and the finances and the SEO Division was mine.
Sidenote about this: A few of my friends called me crazy (and worse) giving up an opportunity for a risk free business, doing what I was setting up already with no costs on my part….The reason I decided to turn it down was although I would have been the MD/co-founder of the company; first it was only: 50% of the profits and secondly it still had the “tied down” feel to it like a job did. That’s why I decided to not go ahead with this, although the site lives and I’m currently deciding what to do with it.
Personal: Aside from business, I love sport and fitness. Watching/playing whatever really. I’m a huge ice hockey and rugby fan and love just about any sport. Also pretty keen on my own health and fitness. At this moment power lifting is a passion of mine.
As of 2014-2015 my primary focus is on growing the seo oasis, ghost marketing, seo division and HQ SEO. All with their relevant takes on SEO and all being promoted using different methods.
If the near future (mid 2015) I will be branching out into creating an authority site, being in the investing/forex niche, there are likely to be many posts on here about that, so stay tuned.
The reason for forex/investing is:
- Its super profitable.
- I have (almost) a finance degree.
- I’m interested in it.
My aims for 2015 are simple and although I have almost 100 “mini aims” (I know I like lists…) they can all be summed up to 2:
1.) Be a full time SEO – Self employed entrepreneur. I currently (as of December 2014) still do SEO/Marketing in house, and no offence to the company, its just not for me, I’m an entrepreneur and need to be self employed to be successful and also happy!
2.) Reach my financial goal of £10,000 per month – This has been the figure I’ve had in my head since I first began internet marketing back in 2010. I’d love to push on to 20/30/50k per month eventually, but at this figure I would consider myself financial free and achieved what I set out to do back in 2010.
2015 – January – July (6 months in)
We are now officially half way through 2015 and it’s been a busy 6 months for me. An amazing start to the year meeting a beautiful lass and still being together 6 months later, from a business perspective, here is what happened:
I quit my full time job **High fives nearest entrepreneur.** I’m now officially self employed (ain’t that crazy!) As of March 1st 2015 I begin my entrepreneurial quest to success.
Grew Ghost Marketing – My main focus in the first half of 2015 was to expand my SEO consultancy Ghost Marketing. I’m happy to announce this has grown really quickly (despite a slight dip in April-May due to cash flow). With more clients than ever I’m expanding and becoming an authority in the UK.
Re-branded and re-designed HQ SEO – This was my initial SEO baby and now ranks well for Cardiff based keywords but still a lot of promotions to go before this becomes an authority.
Other Business – In the last 3 months I’ve been HUGELY into testing. With the motto “If you know exactly what you did to make £10, you can make 10 million”. Although this is an exaggerating the point is valid – If you test and refine any strategy in business and then scale and rinse and repeat you can become extremely successful in a short period of time!
I also own 50% share in another venture providing social media solutions to business, the site is called SixFortyOne if you want to check it out.
Other ideas – In this time I’ve also seriously looked into launching another business (product based) although cash-flow unable to achieve this yet, so will continue.
Full review at year’s end.
I’ve also began my dream business venture of owning a business in the fitness industry. The business is called Ghost Fitness and we will slowly become the leader in gym accessories. Watch the space.
If you are looking for an SEO consultant and I sound like someone you would like to work with, hop over to my hire me page and give me an email :).
Thanks for reading.