Bumps, bruises and the story of how I ended up here.
My name is Antti, and I’m a regular guy from Lapland, Finland. After working for almost ten years in the restaurant industry (from cleaning toilets to teaching aspiring bartenders), I decided it was time to do something different with my life.
I quit my well-paying job as a Red Bull ‘Musketeer’ and went backpacking for a year around South East Asia. During my time there, I stumbled upon an article about online marketing and SEO. I ended up landing my first SEO gig in Bangkok, Thailand, which taught me the basics and foundations of the digital marketing sector.
Inspired after working for a few months in Bangkok, I decided to move back to Finland and study web design. This was probably the hardest period of my life. I was flat-out broke. I was living in a 20sqm flat in Helsinki. During the winter months, I had to sleep my clothes on, since the isolation in the flat was so poor. I was bartending on the nights and weekends, studying SEO and online marketing during the day. On Sundays, I was going through the nearby supermarkets to see if they had discounted food items. I was trying to apply for SEO jobs from Helsinki, but the answer was always the same – you don’t have enough experience. It was quite a contrast to the previous year; living in Thailand, eating out all the time and enjoying life. For a while, things were not looking great, but then everything changed.
After spending eight months in Finland, the iGaming affiliate giant, Catena Media, contacted me via LinkedIn and wanted to recruit me to their SEO-team. One month later and I was sitting on the plane on my way to Malta.
The time I spent at Catena was rewarding and provided an excellent learning experience, but during that time, I had the desire to start my own business.I’m forever grateful at Catena Media for taking a chance with me. In summer 2017, I, Kirmo Kolehmainen, and Mika Kujapelto decided to co-found a company called Cashcow Ltd. Nine months later and we won the affiliate newcomer award at the 2018 IGB Awards. Today, we are employing 15 people as our team continues to grow. We are operating across various verticals and several different languages.
In the past, I founded a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Malta, which I successfully ran for over three years. As my company Cashcow grew, I decided to let go of my Academy and focus exclusively on Cashcow.
I founded Cashcow Ltd together with my business partners Mika Kujapelto and Kirmo Kolehmainen in 2017. Cashcow Ltd is a lead generation company that provides high quality leads to its customers. Currently, Cashcow employees 15 people and operates in several different markets and verticals. Cashcow is best known for its flagship product, Casino Professor. I'm in charge of the marketing activities that align with our SEO efforts.
After Moving to Malta, I realised that I couldn't train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as much as I wanted too. The local clubs were located too far away, meaning I would have to commute over an hour to get to a local gym. In the summer of 2016, I had an opportunity to sublease mat space from a local Muay Thai gym. Mind you, I was still working as a full-time employee for Catena Media when I started running regular classes. The gym was actually a garage that was turned into a gym... The gym looked like a place where Rocky would train! I used my SEO and online marketing skills to attract new customers, mainly by SEO and social media marketing. In spring 2018 we got a new venue for the academy. The gym was financially sustainable, but I was really struggling to find time and motivation to take the gym to the next level. On the other hand, Cashcow was growing and it required more attention from my end. In summer 2019 I found new owners to take over the club. Admittedly, it was pretty tough to let go of the business, as it was something that I had built up from the ground with very little money. But ultimately, it was the right decision.
Responsibilities included developing and managing websites; creating and publishing content for websites; tracking, valuing and managing the process of buying and setting up domains; planning and setting up website packages and thereafter the websites themselves; co-operating with other apartments to develop new and improve existing sites; monitoring and tracking website performance; reviewing web hosting status and domain ranking factors; on-page optimization; link building; planning internal linking.
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