My name is Rob Powell and I was born in Africa, grew up in England, and have lived in Australia since the age of 17 (when not in South America).
I first ventured on to the Internet in 1999, because of Hugo Chavez.
Let me explain...
In 1998 my wife and I went to live in Venezuela.
Her father-in-law had assured me that with 2 degrees and my fluency in Spanish I’d have no trouble getting a job in the corporate sector in Caracas.
My First Foray Onto The Internet
But 6 months after we arrived Hugo Chavez was elected President.
The economy descended into chaos as Chavez imposed his socialist vision on the country and began appropriating factories and businesses. Capital fled the country.
No one was hiring anyone, and my dreams of landing a high paying job in the corporate sector evaporated.
Although Google didn’t exist back then (those were the days of Alta Vista, Hot Bot, Lycos, Excite, and Web Crawler), people were discovering that targeted content would bring traffic to your site.
Newsletters were the big thing (‘Ezines’ as they were called) and I started writing for them and getting a lot of traffic. That prompted me to write an eBook, which I started selling through ClickBank.
I can still remember the thrill of selling my first copy of that eBook. And the extraordinary feeling of waking up in the morning to find that I’d had more sales while sleeping. I was hooked on digital marketing!
But storms were gathering.
In April 2002 a massive protest by Venezuelans followed by a military uprising resulted in Chavez being removed from power.
It was a tense, exciting time as we watched live coverage of heavily armed soldiers and columns of tanks. Middle class Venezuelans were euphoric. But their celebrations didn’t last long.
48 hours later, the same generals who removed Chavez put him back in power.
I could see where the country was headed and decided to move back to Australia. My wife followed me a few months later with our 6-month old baby.
Back In Australia
With a family to support I went back to my profession in the social sciences.
But juggling career with family was difficult. I would often have to spend two or three weeks away from my family, doing fieldwork in remote parts of Australia.
I didn't enjoy being away from my wife and two young daughters for such long periods of time.
Ditching My Career
And so I ditched my career and started freelancing as a copy editor on Fiverr.
That, plus my wife’s income, gave us some financial stability and I started thinking of going back to writing content for the Internet.
I knew the whole scene had changed a lot in the 10 years I’d been offline. For one thing, ‘blogging’ had swept the Internet and had become the key to successful marketing.
Launching My Blog
I decided to learn all about it and jumped in.
And that’s where I am today, fascinated by this strange new world. And everyday learning a bit more about how it works and how to stand out from the 150,000,000 other blogs!
I feel amazingly lucky to have found this new vocation, as blogging combines two of my passions: research and writing.
If you're on this journey as well, I hope I can help you. Either though my blog posts or more directly.
If you need help with something, just use the contact form and I'll get back to you within 24 hours.