March 8, 2010

Interview with Internet Rockstar Glen Allsop


Glen Allsop

Recently I had the great opportunity to interview Glen Allsop. He is known for many things, but mostly because he has established himself as one hell of an internet geek and SEO guru that knows exactly how the web works and what people want from it. His latest development is a website that helps people better understand the concepts behind viral marketing online.

Me: Glen, you are well known in the SEO and internet marketing world. Can you please tell us a bit about your history and background?

Glen: Sure. I guess my geeky background started when I was 15 and watched one of my friends at school build his first website. We were using Lycos Tripod Sitebuilder at the time and I thought it was amazing. I decided to build my own and just really liked the idea of having my own content out there for the whole world to see.
Since then I’ve “matured” and started building sites on my own domains, learning SEO and testing everything that so-called guru’s share online. My work has been featured in the book DJ’ing for Dummies, the Guardian newspaper and a few DJ’ing magazines.

I recently returned to South Africa (your home) where I used to work with clients like Land Rover and Hewlett Packard. This time around though, I’m working for myself and focusing on some new projects.

Me: Describe your typical, or should we say atypical, work day?

Glen: Good question. Honestly? I have absolutely no schedule at all. I do set an alarm, but that’s about it. Usually I just write down a list of things that I could work on today, and just pick the one which feels best for me. Most people say that you should pick the most important task first, but doing the most important task is often a forced effort.
Forced action, I’ve found, rarely produces the best results. Thanks to a friend of mine who is wildly successful, I’ve started to work on whatever I’m inspired to work on that day, and then I’ll get to it. Surprisingly, the results that come from this kind of action are pretty amazing.

Most days are spent checking the stats across my sites and buying websites. One or two days a week I’ll write an article for ViperChill, but mostly I’m just looking for new sites to buy.

Me: What are some of your most important personal values that you always stick with?

Glen: I think it’s important to give everyone a chance and be open to ideas from others. However, I’ll never implement a suggestion (without testing it for myself) from someone unless they’re really successful in that area of their life. It doesn’t make sense to take relationship advice from someone who’s had multiple divorces.
Still though, I’ll happily test the ideas and thoughts of anyone, no matter what their background is. I’ve made some great friends and really improved areas of my life thanks to this.
I’ll also only work on things that align with me internally. I could be making far more money than I am (for example, promoting tons of products on ViperChill as an affiliate) but that just doesn’t feel good to me. I also don’t work in industries that I don’t know or care about. I want everything I do to be putting value out to the world, as I only have one life to do it.

The final one is something I’m working hard on and that is keeping my ‘world’ to myself. It’s hard to explain, but basically there are always going to be people who try to tempt you down one route or expect you to be a certain way. I see the world as my own reality, and let people fit into that. Rather than letting people dictate what I do and how I spend my time.

Me: You’ve done so much in so little time. Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years, now that the snowball is fully rolling for you?

Glen: I’ll try and say this without sound arragont or over-confident, but I’m just going to be honest. As long as I’m alive, I have no doubt I’ll own a nightclub, be a multi-millionaire and run a Technorati Top 100 blog.
Again, I know that sounds cocky, but I really believe I’m on the right path. Whenever you feel good about your life and what you’re doing, things start to happen. A friend said to me that you don’t have to worry about the action involved in achieving things, you just have to get your mindset right — feel congruent that you deserve and can achieve what you want.

This really aligns with me and there are just so many examples where I’ve loved what I’m doing and it results in success. I use a lot of my money now to support charities and send children in Bangladesh to go to school, but I would love to build my own school from scratch as well.

Me: That really is inspiring! What are the biggest sacrifices you have had to make to get to where you are today?

Glen: My first sacrifice that I believed helped me grow a lot was moving away from all of my friends when I was 16 to a college that was quite far away. I had a very close group of friends and I was the only one who left that social circle so I could pursue courses that weren’t offered elsewhere.
This helped me a lot socially and really opened my horizons a bit. You’re generally with the same people for at least 8 years in the school system (in the UK, anyways) so it was nice to break away from that.
My biggest one though, without a doubt, was moving to South Africa from the UK at 18. I didn’t know one single person (not even my employer) and was pretty scared about all of the things I heard regarding crime.

Both risks (or sacrifices, if you like) helped me get to where I am now, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Me: Now that you’re past all of that, what are you favourite ways of celebrating your successes?

Glen: I don’t really celebrate what I’ve done because I don’t think of myself as a success. I know I’ve done well for myself and carved a lot out of nothing, but it’s really just the beginning. The people I surround myself with are far more successful than I am in terms of finances and maturity.
I know it’s important to always appreciate where you are in life and love the moment right now (it could be our last, after all) but I’m still stuck in the mindset of wanting more of this or more of that.
Once I buy my nightclub I think I’ll feel more like i’ve achieved something with my life. It will be a physical result of my work and then I’ll continue to focus on giving back (with articles, building schools, giving to charities).

I think as soon as you start to see yourself as something special your Ego just gets in the way of continuing to do great things.

Me: You’ve often said you hate the term “internet marketer”. What’s your official one line bio?

Glen: I’m awesome.
Don’t take that the wrong way though, I think most people are pretty awesome (you too, Mike) ;)

Whenever someone asks me what I do, I say that I help people to quit their day jobs. I like that answer.

Me: What are your most and least favourite things about working online?

Glen: The two things I love about working online are being able to work from anywhere, and being able to reach a large, targeted audience. I hate being stuck in one place and making my living online means that I don’t have to be. Similarly, an offline store or presence just wouldn’t allow me to reach the people that could really benefit from what I put out there.

There’s not much I don’t like about the internet, apart from that I find it really distracting at times. I think it’s turned a lot of us into robots as well, constantly updating this or that site, constantly looking to see who’s talking about us. I’m trying to cut that out more and more though.

Me: What single piece of advice would you like to give to entrepreneurs that want to enter the same industry as you, especially in South Africa?

Use moneybookers because you’ll get nowhere with Paypal in this country ;)
Seriously though…  I say this a lot but that’s because it’s true: build something around what you love. It’s easy to get so caught up in the get rich quick schemes that look so lucrative online, but they are usually just full of fluff by people who only make money by teaching.
I was stuck in the cycle of looking for ‘tricks’ and ‘secrets’ for years, but didn’t find any. It wasn’t until I just kept building sites that genuinely interested me and didn’t let other people convince me I was wasting my time (that’s a big one) that things started working in my favour.

It’s not hard to find the knowledge to make money online, it’s putting it into action that people usually miss. You’ll learn so much more by doing something than anything I can teach you or anyone else can. Be willing to make mistakes, but don’t be willing to stop.

What a fascinating individual! He worked hard to get to where he is today, but still openly helps anyone who asks him (including me). You can find him on Viperchill. Its interesting how this contrasts with my previous interview with CEO of Concargo David Kruyer.
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6 Comments

  1. Richard March 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Great interview. Really cool questions. I’ve been following Glen for 2,5 years now and I can only say positive things about him. For a person that is so successful he still always takes the time to help people.

    He helped me out a lot of times, and learned me how to make money online. This month I will receive my first big check from a affiliate site thanks to Glen.

    Great stuff!

  2. Mike March 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed it! It was a pleasure interviewing him, and I think I’ll get myself a copy of cloud living soon :)

  3. Johnny Laird March 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Nice work!

    You guys make me feel soooooo old!

  4. Mike March 9, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Its never too late to start ;)

  5. MikeA April 5, 2010 at 12:39 am

    This interview has given me some great inspiration. I’ve been reading Glen’s blog and he makes a huge amount of sense.

    Thanks Mike for doing the interview, your questions were very insightful!

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