DerekDevlin.Com is a brand new blog for fans of “Inbound Marketing” and “Growth Hacking” run by me, Derek.
A bit about me…
I graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Retail Management in 2002. I looked set to follow a career in Academia following the successful publishing of my first research paper in the British Food Journal. However, I decided not to pursue a PHD and instead opted to gain experience working in industry.
This ‘industry experience’ came in the form of a graduate position with Lidl Foodstores, where I trained to become a District Manager and run a cluster of stores. I was promoted to work as their regional auditor for Scotland and the North-East of England. Although the job definitely had it’s plus points, I soon got bored of chastising managers because there were too many rotten apples in the fruit section!
Leaving Lidl to take up a position with the Glasgow Centre for Retailing Consultancy, I spent a year as their commercial manager and got the opportunity to work with a number of high profile clients, mainly in the retail sector. This gave me my first taste of how consultants can help businesses grow through strategic analysis and market research.
It was around this time that I developed my passion for Digital Marketing.
I was first introduced to the concept of Search Engine Optimisation when I stumbled upon the “Wealthy Affiliate” membership website run by Kyle & Carson. I joined the site in 2004, intrigued to learn about this new phenomenon called Affiliate Marketing. Ordinary people were supposedly getting rich by “selling other people’s stuff” and all from the comfort of their own home… Not surprisingly, this was a concept that greatly appealed to me!
I flirted with trying to make money from article marketing and pay-per-click but it proved difficult at the time because I was more preoccupied by what was happening in my offline career. I had just taken the decision to leave my steady corporate job at Glasgow Centre for Retailing to pursue my life-long dream of starting my own business.
In 2004, together with my best friend out of Uni, we became the youngest people to be awarded a Pizza Hut Franchise in the UK.
Cue the start of 5 long years that would finally come to an end in 2009 when we sold the business. Although, I was working flat out for pretty much 5 years straight, the allure of doing business online never left me. I used to spend hours each night consuming as many ebooks, online courses and video lessons I could get my hands on. I’m quite sure I did the equivalent of a Masters Degree in Internet Marketing with the volume of content I consumed! This is an experience that I’m sure many of us share in common given that this seems to be a rite of passage for many Internet Marketers, particularly those that start out as Affiliates.
Free from the constraints of my franchise, I was able to focus 100% on my affiliate projects and becoming an SEO Ninja – for the next three years I earned a full-time income from affiliate marketing, at my peak I was one of 20 top e-cig affiliates in the world. I became adept at ranking and optimising niche sites and this is where I learned a lot of what I know today. Many of the fundamentals still apply – even now.
In the past, I’ve pushed the bounds of the algorithm with my own sites. I believe this has made me a much better SEO because I was able to measure what worked and what didn’t. This was a great foundation for developing in the early days.
The focus for me in the last few years has been helping others succeed online. I am able to draw on the wide breadth of experience I’ve had in business and marketing and really focus on taking a holistic approach to projects. I’m an ideas guy, I get a buzz out of coming up with strategic insights and building action plans for clients and the level of detail in my analysis is renowned.
I am currently consulting with some of the biggest sites on the Web, as well as SME’s. Recently, I have been working for some of the top UK agencies as a hired gun and troubleshooter.
My specialism is devising tactics and strategies for organic growth but I’m also known for large scale onsite and offsite audits, so just by way of demand I have inevitably been involved in a lot Google Panda and Penguin Recovery work. I set up a dedicated Penalty Recovery Service to help Webmasters struggling with Google Penalties and Manual Actions – Checkout Backlink Surgeon if you need Penalty Recovery. I have experience across a wide array of sectors but I’m especially strong in travel, finance and adult, so if you are in those niches then do get in touch because I have a particular expertise in those markets.
This blog is my contribution to the community. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and the internet is so vast that there’s plenty out there for everyone, so I don’t see any point in holding back what I know can helps others. I figure if you have the ambition and the heart to put in the hours, then you deserve a helping hand.
My first hope for this blog is that it becomes a resource for inbound marketers of all kinds, the focus will lean towards SEO as this is my favourite area but I hope to share my thoughts, opinions and insights into the world of Paid Search, Analytics and Conversion Rate Optimisation.
My second hope is that this blog becomes a place to connect with like-minded SEM’s and Inbound marketers alike so please get involved in the discussion, also hit me up on Twitter – I like to meet new people.
Finally, regardless of whatever field you’re in I’d like to share with you one thought that has stuck with me over the years, whenever I was procrastinating over a new project, or over thinking my next step – I would always try and remind myself that “imperfect action beats perfect inaction… every time!”
I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading my ramblings!
Good luck and happy ranking,