In around 20 minutes I’m meant to be leaving to head to the airport to board a flight going to Istanbul.
I’m about to get a hair transplant from the same place that Craig had it done.
Incidentally, I WhatsApped Craig after a while of going radio silent – for maybe 2 months or so.
Ironically that was on Craig’s advice.
I’ve got to know Craig through the ‘SEO circuit’ or rather ‘SEMRush circuit’ over the last year more or less.
He’s a pretty noticeable guy anyway, with the tattoos, shortly cropped hair, and Glaswegian accent.
Basically – (as it turns out) a pretty nice criminal.
Or at least the impression I had was – this is a man you DON’T want to screw with ha.
As I’d discover via his Facebook page he was looking for people to interview for his new podcast he’d launched in around March 2020 (if memory serves) and then I ended up interviewing him about himself on his own channel:
(As it turns out he’s actually growing a decent barnet here so what do I know)
From there we got speaking, and I’d ultimately go on to buy an affiliate golf website from him.
He’d seen I was looking at buying an affiliate site and hey – when you put 5-figures into a man’s pocket – it’s the perfect pretext to build a pretty decent relationship.
In and amongst the banter (compromised of me sending him pictures of myself being on the crapper and then Craig responding in force) – I got to know him better.
Craig’s one of the most outspoken people you will meet – he will tell you exactly what he thinks about things and exactly what he thinks about people.
It’s extremely southern European actually (my partner Strawberry is exactly the same). Maybe that’s why I appreciate Craig’s insights so much.
It’s not coded through metaphors, aphorisms or anything of the like – it’s Craig telling you unequivocally what he thinks about things.
His advice has actually led to some pretty big changes in my life which I can specifically list out:
- Getting into affiliate marketing (I have 4 sites I’m working on now)
- Removing Gmail + social media apps from my phone
- Having someone check my emails for me
- Not responding to emails after work
You can read more on this here
Ironically it also meant that I came off Whatsapp/Facebook for a little while so I didn’t speak to Craig much for a few months.
But then most recently it’s all come back.
I’ve been looking to take my SEO knowledge to the next level – and it was only after Craig asked me what the f*ck I’d done to his affiliate site (Golf Gear Hub) – i.e ruining it….
To his credit it’s pretty obvious why he was annoyed – during the period I was buying it from him we have several conversations and he gave me 3 hours 15 minutes of his time.
This was to go through exactly how to manage the process as well as the actual buying phase:
(No I’ll never send you this so don’t ask in case you’re wondering haha)
A couple of his friends actually pointed out how Golf Gear Hub had fallen since I’d taken over.
That was depressing of course, but a great wake-up call to go out and improve it – as lack of effort has never been the issue in my case.
Fundamentally though – this had me realise there was a lot of value in getting Craig formally involved in helping me make strategic decisions with Pearl Lemon:
And so hopping on a weekly call with him has begun.
Within just a couple of phone calls – I’ve got rid of (i.e 301 redirected) 3 websites which were costing me unnecessary time, money and resource that I could be investing into fewer websites.
I’ve fired 2 people (he knows of one, but in the end, it was two), reworked how we build content (by demonstrating how crappy some of our content is), and also introduced us to a couple of tools the team now rave about.
I’ve not believed in ‘coaches’ and ‘gurus’ for a long time. But I guess ultimately it’s a matter of finding the right mentor or advisor.
Craig’s been in the game for 20 years as an active practitioner, I’ve been in the game 5-8 years – so he’s exactly the kind of person I want to take advice from.
Anyway, it’s weird writing a blog like this because it’s not ‘the done thing’.
Many people aren’t comfortable with telling others the extent to which someone has helped them.
That frustrates me because I think that everyone should be given proper credit, and this is my way of referencing someone who’s helping me build my SEO career.
Writing in a private WhatsApp chat to my internal team that ‘Craig really knows his shit’ isn’t quite the same thing.