On a Journey to Blogging Success.
My name is Jamie Allan and this is my blog.
I started this blog on 25th Jan 2023 as a side hustle to my main job as a Civil/Structural Engineer at a large global engineering firm in Edinburgh, Scotland.
I would like this website to grow quickly into a successful blogging business that is able to sustain, replace and maybe even exceed the income and simple life that I currently enjoy from being successful in my 20-year career in the civil engineering and construction industry.
I do not have any real budget to start this blog and so I have gathered my spare change together to buy the jeacom.com and jeacom.co.uk domains and hosting from the IONOS.com team for an initial outlay of £3.60 and £1.20 per month for a year I have the hosting platform for this WordPress Website.
I also have been on FIVERR to get myself a professional-looking email logo for £10.40, but I will let you know more about that in good time.
That is a total first-year spend of £27.20. Let’s see what we can do with that!
So what is the JEACOM blog about?
Well, hmmnn, we are not sure yet. I am on a journey of discovery to find out what works best.
So, I do not have a specific niche. I refuse to be pigeonholed. Ha, ha,
Truth be told I do not know.
However, I plan to document my journey on how to create a successful and profitable blog so that we learn together. Hopefully, it is an entertaining tale of self-development and discovery as I try to navigate myself to my first target of creating a blog with 10,000 visitors per month.
This is my first time trying and documenting this. I have some basic experience putting together basic websites which I have been developing over the years, but I have never got as far as writing things down.
JEACOM.com is my journal space where I will document my findings for you.
As I still have a full-time job, I need to be efficient with my time and prioritise tasks with a high return on investment.
I would like the blog to be successful as quickly as possible, so time is of the essence. To achieve my 10,000 visitors per month target, I will work smart and act like a professional business start-up and plan to succeed.
To make JEACOM a success I will put in place some efficient processes that will allow me to scale quickly and efficiently.
These processes will focus on my primary goals for JEACOM, the holy trifecta of:
1. Build Domain Authority.
2. Organic Traffic Growth.
3. Monetisation of JEACOM within 6 Months.
(1st Aug 2023 to hold myself accountable)
Finally taking the plunge!
Well, here I am about to jump and begin my journey into the world of blogging.
Throughout the course of my life, I have tried and failed (multiple times) to get away from corporate life and stop working for the MAN. I have read many self-help books about achieving this goal, but something has always held me back from fully committing.
That is not to say I haven’t tried.
Here are some of my attempts:
In 2010, I created a website called KOTEJ.com “King of the Entertainment Jungle” at this time I loved play computer games and wanted to write reviews and sell games through affiliate links and links to my own second-hand games on eBay. I used to buy job lots of second-hand games on eBay and sell them for profit. Although the profit margins for the products was great, sometimes over 100%, the products were of relatively low cost so you could never really make that much money unless you had a massive volume. Therefore, this business all came to an end as life moved on and my wife and I had our first child. I found that with parenthood came an absence of time or space to keep this operation going.
In 2014, I created a website called Catelbock.com designed to help computer builders choose appropriate computer components to build their computer rigs. As I completed reviews of computing components, I tried to sell them through affiliate links on my site, I also had the bright idea of writing a book at the same time. The problem was that it I took way too long to write a book on this subject and I ended up losing a bit of interest in it and so with regret, the “Computer Builders Manual” was never published.
In 2016, I created a website called FunkyTruth.com a news website. My idea for this website was to create an online newspaper but I got this one wrong from the start looking back at it. I decided it was a good idea to utilise the power of FIVERR. I hired article writers to write articles for my site. The problem with this was I didn’t choose the best writers (I mostly chose the cheapest ones) and they just weren’t very good. I did manage to get my act together on this one in terms of web design, but I missed a critical rule that “Good Content is King!”
Also in 2016, I began an idea that was based on the responsibilities I had in a new job I had at the time as a Marketing lead. The website was called edbja.com and it was a design and marketing agency. If I had stuck with this project, I believe I could have made a success of it however I fell out of love with anything to do with marketing when the workload went out of control. Maybe one day I will return to this project.
In 2020, I created a website called clockdownd.co.uk designed about a challenge that my friends and I had thought up at the beginning of the lockdown. This got a little traction. I was all developed on the premise that you would run as fast as you can over certain distances and compare yourself to others. I proved quite popular, but Lockdown finished and again I lost focus instead switched to a self-named website in 2021 called mrjamieeallan.co.uk a fitness website. Again, a lack of quick results and life distractions resulted in failure.
In 2021 I realised I couldn’t keep giving up so easy although it proved quite difficult managing a full-time job as well as a to help me stick with my ideas, I started a website about something I loved and had lots to say about, So I began a website called lovearran.com. The inspiration came whilst on a holiday on Arran an island off the west coast of Scotland. I wanted to provide a Guide to all that I loved about Scotland’s Isle of Arran. I got so, so, excited when I found that the perfect domain name was available.
LoveArran.com is going strong to date so feel free to take a visit.
What is my story?
When I thought about what should be on my “About Me” page I started by focusing on how I could show how awesome I was and highlight all the professional accomplishments I have had. But then I thought, that wouldn’t be great to read, I much prefer a story of the person who has messed up, got knocked down then picks their life up and puts it back together.
So here’s my story
1980’s – It’s a Baby!
On 28th February 1980 came bouncing into the world in a little town in the North East of England called Guisborough.
Six weeks into my life my family moved to Chicago, Illinois where my Dad had an exciting job opportunity. I have few memories of the US from this time, but I do remember a visit to Disneyland and Soldier Field in Chicago to see the Bears play.
In 1983 we returned to the UK and the Northeast and in 1985 I began school. I was never the easiest child growing up and probably caused my parents many dilemmas. I always seemed to find a way of getting into mischief, but I like to think I was a good lad at heart.
At school, I was always striving to be the best I could be though never quite achieved number one status. I remember the teachers telling my parents that I was always trying to find the quickest easiest way to do something. It was through School that I discovered my love for all sports, and I threw myself into everything from cricket, rugby, football, and athletics.
1987: My family got their first computer and I fell in love. It was an Acorn Electron. I used to play a game called Elite. A game that at the time I thought was absolutely amazing. Looking back it was fairly basic but then again times have changed.
1990’s – Growing up and the Teenage Years
In 1991, I began Laurence Jackson Secondary School and I developed my love of sports, especially rugby. I manage to get trials for the county teams but unfortunately, I never made it. As well as Rugby I got school colours in Rugby, Cricket, Athletics and Hockey. I would have loved to be good at football but unfortunately, I had a massive growth spurt at 11 which left my legs to long to control.
I coasted through school more interested in girls and sports than getting decent GCSEs but I managed to get the grades I needed to go to college to do A-Levels. Of all the subject taught at school, I had always liked maths, much more than English and languages, but it was at A-Levels that I really decided to focus on it. I can remember the moment vividly. My maths teacher, I can’t quite remember his name but I can remember his face vividly. He said to me That I should never do anything with Maths at University. This statement really riled me, and I vowed to myself that I will show him.
1996 was a year that I will remember for other reasons it is the year I had first alcoholic drinks, I quickly graduated from just a few ciders to bottles of whisky getting blind drunk and going out in Middlesbrough. I have some fond memories of those times but also some regrets and images of myself puking up in the back alleys stuck in my head.
In 1998 I moved to Edinburgh to start a Civil Engineering course (A course that need a good knowledge of Maths) as an undergraduate. As with school in the years before at University I did the bare minimum required in class to pass for the first 3 years, but I met some amazing people and partied hard. I suppose I treated it more like an experience than the means to get a job.
2000’s – The University Years
In 2001, my course got serious, and I realised that I needed to pass it to stand me in good stead to get an actual job at the end. I didn’t want my 5 years at Uni to end in failure so I pulled out all the stops and managed to get myself a 2:1 I was officially a Master of Engineering.
From graduation in 2003 within three months I got a job as a Graduate Engineer for Dorman Long Technology who immediately seconded me to Cleveland Bridge which were onsite in Sheffield strengthening a bridge on the M1. Unfortunately, this job all too quickly ended and I was made redundant.
I took this opportunity to move up to Edinburgh where my girlfriend still stayed. It was at my first job back in Scotland where I would meet David a friend whose simple challenge of completing a 10k made me fall in love with running. Later we tackled the infamous Tough Guy challenge an event that almost killed me.
In 2004 with a bit of financial help from my parents I bought my first flat in the Meadowbank area of Edinburgh, I used my civil and structural engineering skills to gain a building warrant to modify the layout of the flat and make it functional for myself and my girlfriend.
In 2009 I got married at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh and after the most amazing honeymoon in Thailand, we moved to Kirkliston in the suburbs of Edinburgh.
2010’s – The Corporate Grind, Disenchantment then The Breakdown.
Early 2010 I was beginning to think that things had to change. My wife was heavily pregnant, and I was feeling stuck in a career that I didn’t feel was going anywhere fast. In May 2010 my first child was born, and my life changed forever I was going to have to get serious.
I began to think of way I could make more money.
In 2011 I pushed myself to pass my Civil Engineering Professional Review and became a Chartered Engineer. I felt very important now as I was able to put some letters after my name, I was Mr Jamie Allan MEng CEng MICE.
This immediately created the opportunity for promotion and a move in the UK Oil and Gas Industry and things were looking up although always in the background I was always working away trying to develop my website creating abilities.
In 2012 my second child was born, and we decided to move to a bigger house in order to get some much-needed extra space. I stayed in oil and gas for 4.5 years until the threat of redundancy got too much and I moved on again back to a role in Civil and Structural Engineering.
In 2015 I finally had some personal time again and decided to pick up my rugby boots again. I am a competitive sole and loved being part of a team again until I finally got a career-ending injury and had to hang up my boots for good.
In 2016 I got a job opportunity in Marketing with an Engineering Company. I took it with both hands. In the two years that followed I learnt so much about business management and marketing working at a small firm of about 10 people. I grew into the role getting better and better at winning new work and selling our services to clients. In the end, I was working over 14-hour days travelling around the country and barely seeing my family and probably drinking too much at all the corporate events I was attending.
In 2018 the stress of this job and having the responsibility of being the face of the company, to win work to keep people employed got too much.
I had never felt anything like it. I had just got into work one morning when I saw and new email pop into my Outlook inbox from one of our more demanding clients. Looking back at it I do not know what it said. Being the “face of the company”, I need to make sure everything was being done otherwise we would not win further work, I think I was spreading myself too thin. The next thing I know I was in tears. I am not usually a crier, but this felt like the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I had to take some time off after that. It took a while for me to recover my confidence. I was never the same in that job. I took a step back, a pay cut and some less stressful roles to build my confidence up again. It took a while, but I feel a lot better again.
Now 2023: The Start of Something New.
So, it is now 2023 and it is time to go all in.
Now let’s go for it.
Thank you for reading and let’s do this!
Congratulations on making it as far as you have down this page, I appreciate the time you have taken in reading this. I thank you and value each one of my readers.
I’m here for you as a blogging companion and would love to hear your stories. I will try to respond to every email I get as new bloggers should all be encouraged to collaborate and work smarter. We are in this together and together we will win.
Jamie Allan 2023