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An Interview with Co-Founder of Storecrowd.com, Blogger, Affiliate Gun and Musician – Stuart McKeown

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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Stuart McKeown is one of those sort of guys that seems to have a finger in every pie, and like midas everything that he touches turns to gold! While the idea of eating a solid gold pie might be a little off putting, the chat he has ith Web Courses Bangkok most certainly wasn’t.

We’re expecting big things for Stuart McKoewn’s newest endeavor, Storecrowd.com. We recently had a chance to chat to him about his career, his new projects and how he manages his time.


For those who don’t know you can you tell us a little about yourself


I’m originally from Northern Ireland and stumbled upon your fine land (Australia) just over 6 years ago now. You may or may not have stumbled across one of my blogs – Earners Blog which details some of the techniques I’ve learnt over the years in the Affiliate Marketing game. I have two passions in life, one is sound the other is the web. I always wanted to be a world famous music producer, but quickly realised that the web is much much more lucrative.


How many different programming languages do you speak and why choose
those over others?

I’m not a fluent developer (i.e. I don’t do it for a living), I’m sure many of your readers will be in the same boat. I understand CSS/Ruby/Rails/Javascript etc but I’m not confident enough to build an application. That’s why I have a technical co-founder John who specialises in just that. I come up with the ideas, do the designs & we both do the implementation (he does the code). My strengths are Analytics, SEO, PPC & seeing an idea through to completion. We’re currently developing in Rails which essentially is a very productive web framework that allows us to move quickly & often. If we do a weekend of hacking you can probably expect 2-3 new features depending on the complexities.



You recently launched Storecrowd.com, can you tell us a little about

StoreCrowd has been an incredible journey so far for both myself & John, we’ve worked pretty hard to make sure we’re constantly evolving & innovating in the coupon/deals space. We focus on 3 specific areas, Store Coupons, Product Deals & Store Reviews – we’re currently adding somewhere in the region of 100+ new coupons every day, 100-150 new product deals & 5-10 store reviews. We strongly believe that users value a holistic view of a particular store. So lets say your favourite store is Victoria’s Secret – you want to see the current coupons they have available, some of the current product deals/sales they’re running & perhaps what other users think about their experience with Victoria’s Secret – we provide all of that.


What was the inspiration to start Storecrowd.com?

I’ve been in the affiliate space for over 10 years & always found myself losing out quite heavily to coupon affiliates. I figured that if I wanted to get serious then I needed to explore the space in a way that was different, yet challenging.

It’s a beautifully designed site, what steps did you take in the
planning to achieve the end result?

First of all, thanks! I did all the designs myself, it has constantly been evolving over time (John has steam coming from his ears every time I ask for a tweak to coupon rows), we’re up to version 2 currently and still making many many changes every week. We use a few tools to help the design process, I’m an Analytics freak & have everything you can imagine tagged up on the site. This includes signups, clicks (including which affiliate network), email signups etc. We use this data to run split tests against various design features, this has helped us increase our goal conversion rate to 40%. I wrote a more detailed post on this on Earners Blog


How do you feel about the Google – Groupon fiasco and does it affect
what your trying to do with Storecrowd

Groupon is not a concern for us, they do local deals & we specialise in online deals. We do have some plans in progress to start aggregating all the Groupon type sites into a localised view for our users though (rather than having to receive emails from multiple site each day).


You have been involved in the affiliate industry for some time, can
you tell our readers what exactly it is?

The affiliate marketing game in fast paced, dynamic & will always keep you on your toes. The key for me is creating something that provides value for the end consumer, after all an affiliates job is to act as an intermediary to the client’s website. I’ve seen acquaintances make hundreds of thousands of dollars per day only to lose it all when things go wrong, remember to diversify.


Do you think that anyone can get into affiliate work and is it
something a beginner can do?

The amazing thing about affiliate programs is that anyone can get started, it takes away the need to stock physical products or manage relationships with customers. My personal tip is don’t create something just to make money, you’ll grow tired of it quickly (since it’s not something you’re personally interested in). Build something because you love it, the money will follow.


Your also a busy person with the IDM forums and your earners blog,
where do you find the time?

Time is an interesting one, it’s not something I have a lot of. Typical day for me is get up at 5am, work on StoreCrowd until 7.30, go to work (recently been using Telstra Wifi to work on the train), then come home & work from 8pm – midnight + weekends. So you could say that I’m working ~16 hours days. We have a baby due in 7 weeks so, lately I’ve been training outsourced contractors to take care of a lot of the administration work that we do – with a huge amount of success, I highly recommend it (even if you struggle with letting go of responsibilities like me).


What advice can you give our students when they are thinking of their
next big idea online?

Just go for it, if you have an awesome idea just find a technical co-founder & start building. Have a look at something like Reddit, when they initially applied to Y Combinator in the US they were making a product that allowed people to order food from mobile devices. They got rejected & ended up making Reddit instead. The morale of the story is that it doesn’t matter what you’re developing you just need to start & you’ll quickly find your way.


Stuart, Thank you for giving us your time and we look forward to
snapping up a great Storecrowd deal.


Check us out next time you’re looking for any deals or coupons Don’t forget to give us feedback, we LOVE feedback 🙂

Join our Beta: http://storecrowd.com/
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: Storecrowd

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