Hey!

I’m Tom De Spiegelaere

I’m a digital marketer based in Brisbane, Australia (web designer turned full-time affiliate marketer – a decision that tripled my income in 7 months and reduced required work hours by about 80%).

You can find out more about how/why I made the switch to affiliate marketing in this interview from 2017, and this updated interview from 2019.

If you’re interested in starting an affiliate project yourself, or want more info on what it’s all about and how it works, head over to my tools/resources page.

Anyway, I like building projects for this whole “internet web” thing. Collaboration is my secret, working with people that have complementary skills is incredibly powerful!

Sometimes you find you work so well with a specific partner, that a single JV can grow into multiple projects across different industries, introducing the need for a parent entity to house all the projects… which is how Search District was born (a collaboration between Adam Morris and me).

I have a constant urge to make a difference on the web, and my many projects are my attempts at doing just that… some actually succeed!

MEDIA / FEATURED ON

TIMELINE

This is a rough timeline and doesn’t include every single failure or success (there are more failures than successes, but the monetary value of the successes far outweigh that of the combined failures… guess this is called “failing forward”?)

08/2011

Moved from Belgium to Australia

08/2011

2012

SEO learning time

Started creating sites with the sole purpose of ranking them in Google, got smashed down… a lot. Dabbled in affiliate marketing, failed… a lot.

2012

01/2013

Started a web agency

Created so many sites throughout 2012 I actually started becoming pretty good at building WordPress sites… and ranking them (if the competition wasn’t too hard). Maybe I can offer this as a service… become a web designer!

01/2013

03/2013

Domination + way too many leads

Started dominating Brisbane for web design and seo related keywords. I was more on the phone with potential clients than actually building sites, so I contacted another agency to help me take the excess leads.

03/2013

10/2013

Google penalty #1

Ouch, restart!

10/2013

11/2013

Dominating again, yay!

Yes, back in 2013, it was that easy…

11/2013

12/2013

Penalty #2

On Christmas day, this was a hard one!

12/2013

01/2014

New, more expensive, but safer strategies pay off!

Dominating again!

01/2014

03/2015

My PPL site phase

Built 5 PPL sites (pay-per-lead) at the end of 2014, 2/5 are ranking well, one is making $1k+/mo.

03/2015

11/2015

Doubled my income!

A combination of finally raising my prices, and going into a co-working space (it’s hard to work with kids in the house).

11/2015

06/2016

Want something different (Part 1)

Started a new affiliate project.

06/2016

10/2016

Want something different (Part 2)

Working part-time as an SEO manager in another agency.

10/2016

11/2016

Chiang Mai SEO Conference – The one that changed my life

The info gained in Thailand boosted my affiliate income from $500/mo to $3k+/mo… and I was only there for 4 days.

11/2016

06/2017

Affiliate income is exploding!

Affiliate $$$ overtakes the income from my job + web agency clients combined… so I quit my job and start letting agency clients go. Any new leads coming in go to the agency I worked at, for a nice commission if they close the sale.

06/2017

07/2017

Empire Retreat 3.0 in Phuket

A mastermind retreat organized by Empire Flippers, it was pretty epic :).

07/2017

11/2017

Chiang Mai Conference 2017

Damn I love this place!

11/2017

09/2018

Empire Retreat 4.0 in Phuket

09/2018

11/2018

Chiang Mai Conference 2018

The tradition continues…

11/2018

12/2018

AWA Conference in Bangkok

12/2018

10/2019

Visiting Singapore (popped into Ahrefs HQ)

Ahrefs HQ

10/2019

11/2019

Chiang Mai Conference 2019

Networking, masterminds, conference, chilling, working…

11/2019

04/2020

Interview: Family Life As A Digital Entrepreneur

04/2020