I discovered affiliate marketing in summer 2005. After much persuading that had nothing to do with multi-level marketing or pyramid scheme scams, I earned my first commission – a whopping £5 from Empire Direct (RIP).
I was hooked. I worked into the early hours night-after-night desperate to escape the nine-to-five.
I quit my day job in London a few months later in January 2006, when revenue from my part-time business overtook the struggling six-man startup where I worked.
Today, I have two internet businesses.
#1. Quality Nonsense Ltd
My business Quality Nonsense Ltd publishes websites for webmasters.
The best-known website is WhoIsHostingThis.com, a buyers guide to web hosting that has published over one million words of user generated reviews and now serves one million plus page views each month.
Our other sites include HTML.com and guides to domain names, affiliate marketing and digital downloads.
The company is based in London, with a remote team is based around the world. I’m an ex-Londoner who has spent most of the last five years living out of a suitcase.
(After 8 years working together, I’ve still never met my general manager in real life – we’re saving it for the 10 year anniversary).
The company also owns a portfolio of 1,000+ premium domain names, including Digital.com.
Since launching in 2011, Wish.co.uk has received press coverage in 50+ countries across every continent except Antarctica, including the BBC, CNN, Fox News, Daily Mail, The Times and The Guardian.
I’m interested in hearing from very young startups looking to raise early-stage funding. I’m looking for businesses that tick all of these boxes:
- Business model: affiliate marketing or digital downloads or subscriptions
- Existing userbase (however modest)
- Crystal-clear route to revenue
(More: “We sell digital downloads now”. Less: “We might try to sell ads later”)
- There’s a “moat”: a sustainable competitive advantage
I’m particularly interested in businesses which are:
- “Lightweight” (ie, small core team with low overheads)
- Highly scalable – but ultimate scale unlikely to be of interest to other investors
- My experience in affiliate marketing/remote teams can help raise margins/cut costs
- In need of a killer domain name
Get in touch here.
Speaking & Conferences
I’ve spoken at conferences like Search Marketing Expo, Social Media Week and Performance Marketing Insights (when it was still A4U Expo). I’ve also given the odd private talk, like one at the FreshEgg.co.uk agency.
I speak on topics I know from personal experience, like:
- How to get press coverage for startups
- How to start an ecommerce business on a budget
- How to run a remote team
- Buying & selling websites
I rarely accept formal consultancy projects. In the past, I worked with an exotic mix of clients, from a British loans company to a extreme sports publisher.
I still offer consultancy by phone, usually on affiliate marketing, and recent clients include two Silicon Valley private equity funds and a major European bank.
My Blog (Now Retired)
I used to blog, mostly about internet marketing and SEO, at QualityNonsense.com.
My favorite post? Why Nobody Gives a Damn About Your Big Idea.