I am Dave O’Hara. I live in the beautiful city of Durham, up in the North East of England. A University City (Durham University), the River Wear is our main artery, snaking through Durham on it’s way from it’s boggy source in the North Pennines to the North Sea at Sunderland, where they used to ‘Mackem’. The Norman Durham Cathedral stands on a loop in the river, dominating the skyline views in all directions. It’s a World Heritage Site, visited by people from all parts of the globe. It really isn’t as ‘grim up North’ as some Southerners would have you believe.
Relocating to Durham
Myself and my partner moved here to Durham in 2014 from a couple of local villages about 6 miles away. (Ferryhill and Langley Park for those who know the area. Good, honest ex-pit villages). It seemed a good idea since we met here and spent a good deal of time supping and socialising in the city anyway. I was in the final stages of my career in SCADA development and website management for a large chemical company (INEOS), making PVC (that’s The PVC bit, and that word should attract the search engines 😂). My other half had just started her own commercial cleaning franchise business. It was time for a change, so we took the plunge and found a nice place in Gilesgate to the East of the city centre. We put an offer in, and within a few months had the keys.
Little did I know at the time we bought the house in Durham that my PVC related job would be made redundant only a couple of years later, in May 2016. Everything came out of the blue. I’d always thought that only happened to ‘older people’, then realised I was already 56, prime fodder for the scrap heap. I’d worked in the same place for nearly 37 years and it paid a decent wage. That was me! The company decided to restructure and my role wasn’t needed anymore, so I was out on my ear. There were several others who went with me, well over 100 years experience gone. I eventually decided to take early retirement as I was over 55. It was a wrench to leave, but afterwards I realised I was probably bored and needed something new anyway. I certainly didn’t miss the early mornings, dragging myself to Aycliffe every day. It was like a long holiday! Still is.
Property Investment and Prosperity
Gathering myself for the new adventure that was the rest of my life, I took my lump sum (Damn you, taxman!). I drew my company pension, paid off all my house moving debts and looked nervously but excitedly toward the future. That was in April 2016 and I’ve never really looked back, other than meeting a few old colleagues for a beer every now and then. I’ve taken a deep breath and have moved into the world of property investment (thanks Samuel Leeds) and it’s a fascinating subject for sure, with a myriad of different ways to make a good living from property. We also started up Orange Pip Properties Ltd. Did you know you can make money from property without even owning it? I’ll tell you about this in my posts, as well as my other passions.
Local Search Analytics and Affiliate Marketing
Having spent all those years working for the large chemical business, I also relished the chance to use my knowledge to help local businesses grow through effective use of search engine marketing. One service I had was providing local search audit services to businesses in my area (S. Durham). However, I soon ran into issues as I tried to work out how to grow things and take on more customers. I needed to automate the repetitive tasks such as running SEO audits, tracking rankings, identifying citations, submitting websites to local directories, and monitoring reviews. I looked around to find specialist tools to help but I couldn’t find any. Sure, there were lots of general SEO tools but none which focused on the needs of digital marketing agencies and local businesses. So I decided to shape them for myself.
In addition to this, I’m investing in myself. By this I mean I have a percentage of my income that I set aside for education (thanks to Samuel Leeds again). This might mean buying a book from Amazon, or taking a training course if I see one that I think will enhance my knowledge. I’ve recently invested in training to become a successful affiliate product marketer.
Book reviews and videos
On my blog i’ll regularly post book reviews. These are typically to do with investing in property and passive income stuff. Please check these out because they’ll also include associated YouTube content which will enhance your experience and knowledge (as well as mine).
Property Investment – Since retirement I’ve been building a passive income portfolio with my partner. The first million is still a long way off, but we are getting there.
Websites/Marketing – I specialise in affiliate marketing, improving web presence and footprint. If you need to supplement your income with multiple income streams, my advice is to join Wealthy Affiliate first.
Meteorology – The summer of 1976 got me interested in the British climate and what it capable of. Phew what a scorcher! Since then i’ve watched weather most days. The British obsession.
Astronomy – The Apollo Moon missions captured my imagination as a kid, so I bought a telescope and started lying on the sunbed in the garden. In Winter. Not a Trekkie though.
Sunderland AFC – My beloved football team. Been a long suffering fan since 1972, and it has been a LONG trip. It’s getting harder all the time, but my blood is still Red and White.
Genealogy – Tracing my family tree since being taught the skills by my old boss in the early 1990’s. Not as lucky as Danny Dyer, but solid roots in Ireland.
SCADA and PLC – I spent 23 years developing control software for my employer. Very boring for a blog, so I’ll not be going there, but my skills are transferrable, including the web stuff.
Photography – Since buying my first SLR (a Canon AV-1) in 1980 I’ve been a keen amateur photographer. Mostly landscapes and weather.
Gadgets and Tech – My other half tells me I have way too many gadgets. It’s true, of course. I’m an Apple fan boy and spend too much time on my Macbook, iPhone and iPad.
Classic Rock – I grew up in the 1970’s, with such hairy influencers as Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I’ll never be influenced by disco, and if a guy who can’t play an instrument calls himself a musician, I’m Out! m/ m/
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