Why giffgaff

Why giffgaff?
Read on to find out

A couple of months back I decided to reevaluate my mobile phone provider. I’d been with three.co.uk on a business plan for the last 7 years, they had always provided good service and their data offering was by far the best on the market.

Even still it was that time of year when I sit down and examine all my outgoings and make sure I am getting the best value for my money.

I spent quite a lot of time online researching and comparing different deals, and trust me, there are a lot of options out there. As i’d previously purchased my iPhone SIM free and it’s still is mint condition I narrowed my search down to a SIM only plan.

Then I stumbled upon giffgaff.com. I’d seen their TV adverts in the past but hadn’t really paid them much attention, but now they had my full attention:

£10 per month, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of data.

And it’s a lucky day for you good folk reading this article as I decided to take a closer look at giffgaff and share why I decided to move my precious business to them.

who are giffgaff

GiffGaff is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) which means it piggybacks on top of an existing network, in their case that network is 02.

They won the uSwitch network of the year 2018 and are a Which? recommended provider.

You can order a FREE SIM online, pick them up at most major supermarkets or you can ask me for one so I receive a small reward for this post.

Community based support is provided 24/7 – plus you can still speak with giffgaff directly


giffgaff goodybags

Goodybags are monthly SIM only plans that range from £5 .00 – £25.00 per month.

  • No contracts
  • You can switch up or down tariffs each month
  • You can cancel at anytime
  • You can set Goodybags to recur automatically
  • Your existing mobile number can be transferred across
  • Extra credit can be added to your account to cover non exclusive charges

There is also the added benefit of using your tariff while abroad, with the following countries currently supported:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

Get a free giffgaff Sim

Pay as you go

GiffGaff also offer a standard PAYG tariff where you just top-up your account with some credit and off you poodle. Credit lasts forever, just as long as you make one chargeable call or text on your account every six months. You could just set a reminder on your phone 2 days before the end of the 6 month period to send a quick text, then bingo, your credit is good for another 6 months.

Current payg pricing

Mobile data5p per MB
Calls to other UK mobiles, landlines and calls forwarding15p per minute
Texts to other UK mobiles and landlines5p per text
Voicemail (443)8p per call
Calls to freephone numbers starting 0800, 0808Free
Calls, texts and call forwarding to giffgaff numbersFree*

Free to giffgaff:
You need to 
top up at least once every 3 months to receive free giffgaff to giffgaff calls if you don’t other UK rates will apply as above. The free giffgaff to giffgaff calls last for 60 minutes per call, so you need to hang up and re-dial if you want to keep talking, without being charged.

Get a free giffgaff Sim

More detailed pricing can be found on the giffgaff pricing page.


So in conclusion, I am now with giffgaff on their £10 per month goodybag. For me it was the no contract, tariff flexibility, the ability to use my tariff in Europe and the excellent value for money that got me switching after 7 years with three.

Your account can be managed easily online or with an app which is available for both Android and IOS.

It’s also worth pointing out that they have a great referral scheme, if you refer friends and family you can earn some nice cash back, paid every 6 months.

If you are interested in opening an account with giffgaff and would like to show your thanks by earning me a small referral bonus then please use the banner below.

Get a free giffgaff Sim

is fiverr worth it

Is Fiverr worth it?

When it comes to Fiverr.com, I’m late to the party.

Don’t get me wrong, I was completely aware of the brand and website, but had previously only taken a brief curious look. And there was a single reason why…

Quite a few of my online business acquaintances are graphic & web designers, who surprisingly didn’t have many positive things to say about Fiverr.com, and hearing all their stories regarding poor quality work and copyright disasters, I gave Fiverr.com a wide birth like I do with any prospect of a Brexit conversation.

That was until last week

I needed a new logo for PaulOBrien.com and the usual guy i’d used in the past lacked his normal creative flare with ideas, plus he is so busy at the moment that my piddly logo design wasn’t a real priority for him, which I understand.

I needed the logo ASAP so after a quick search I decided to give one of Fiverr’s freelancers a bash at putting together a logo for me. As I was dipping my toe in the water for the first time, i’d decided to try the basic package, which included:

  • 5 Revisions
  • 2 Initial Concepts Included
  • Logo Transparency
  • Printable Resolution File

unbelievable price

The price was a whopping £9.80 (thats right, Nine UK pounds and Eighty Pence) including tax and the £2.00 Fiverr.com service feee, I obviously wasn’t worried about getting ripped off.

Job brief written, £9.80 paid and order submitted, 24 hours later and the logo below was ready for download.

my new logo

The end result – PaulO’Brien logo from Fivver.com

Now, before all the negative comments start, I completely agree it’s not the best in the world, but come on, £9.80 and work complete in 24 hours, that isn’t bad is it?

Obviously my opinion is based on my one experience, but without a doubt at this stage I would give them the thumbs up.

It’s a thumbs up from me

I also think I now understand why my colleagues didn’t speak very highly of Fiverr.com, my guess being UK graphic designers feel the same about Fiverr Gigs as black cab drivers do about Uber.

I totally understand their position, but for fast turnaround digital work which isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg, Fiverr.com is where I will be booking my next project.

If you liked my review and want to use Fiverr for your next project then you can show your appreciation but using the banner below, I will then get a small kickback as a thank you.

Do you remember Click Exchanges?

While pondering about my next blog post, I started reminiscing about the good old days, the days when most websites weren’t lost in a saturated market, SEO (search engine optimisation) was simpler and Google traffic was more and less a given.

Lets now whizz back 20 years to when I had just started out on the WWW.

Online Marketing was much cheaper back then, with plenty of free ways to increase web traffic. One popular method used by webmasters was Click Exchanges.

I was one of those webmasters, desperate to increase my visitor count (also known as hits).

My first website I ever built was called funattack.co.uk and as money wasn’t plentiful back then, I was always on the lookout for cost effective ways to increase website traffic, with Click Exchanges being one of the methods I adopted right from the start.

Funattack.co.uk has been dead for around 15 years, but when I decided to write this post I registered the domain again again, simply for nostalgic reasons.

Click Exchange – A Brief Explanation

For those of you who don’t know what click exchanges are, let me briefly explain.

Click Exchanges come from a family of early marketing platforms called Traffic Exchanges, others included banner exchanges, exit exchanges and link exchanges.

The basic concept of being a member of a click exchange platform was visiting other members sites in exchange for them visiting yours. The exchange UI (user interface) would deliver one member site after another to your browser.

A footer or header bar would show a count down time (normally set at 10 seconds) once the timer had reached zero you could click an icon and advance to the next site.

For every site you visited and stayed for the minimum 10 seconds would earn you a credit and each credit could be redeemed for traffic back to your own site.

The idea was a simple one, while you were sitting there tapping your fingers waiting for the 10 seconds to expire you would take a look around the site, signup or purchase something or even sign their ‘Visitors Book’ (only the old would remember doing that)

Boring as it sounds and boring as it was, many a late & cold night I, like thousands of others would sit hunched over their computer screens visiting site after site, after site.

Did Click Exchanges Work?

High bounce rates, low conversion rates, but completely free traffic. Overall for me it didn’t work out, but that could have also been down to my site being quite basic with amateurist content, so who really knows.

Most people that used this type of marketing were ‘recruiters’ who’s web sites were simply there to encourage others to join an affiliate or pyramid scheme, all they had to achieve was generating form fills, with all the hard selling done after, so maybe for these types of sites it would have been a good platform.

But any website selling a tangible product would have been wasting their time.

In terms of conversions, I could only make an educated guess and say that conversions were miniscule. I was a member of two of the biggest providers, iLoveClicks.com and ClickThru.net and I didn’t generate anything worthwhile from either.

(I tried to find logos for the two mentioned Exchanges on Google but couldn’t find then anywhere)

How Did Click Exchanges Generate Revenue

Owning a click exchange could be a good earner back in the day, with three main revenue streams available to the lucky owners. First off there was banner advertising, a prominent spot on the header and footer bar next to the timer, stared at by thousands of people a day.

A unique opportunity for potential advertisers due to the fact each banner display would remain in front of a person for at least ten seconds a time.

The second revenue was generated by selling website visits. Members and non-members could skip the need of surfing other members sites by purchasing a credit bundle, these credits were them used to pay for, rather than earn traffic. A good earner for the Exchange.

The final and most lucrative way these guys made money was by using the details of their members and captive audience to send targeted paid for email marketing offers.

I was quite friendly with the two guys who used to run ILoveClicks.com and at one stage they were earning $10,000 per month easily.

The Cheats Get in On The Action

It wasn’t long before the cheats got in on the action and once that happened it was the start of the end. Some clever sod designed an automated surfer which would replicate human interactions by waiting 10 seconds and then clicking on > NEXT.

They could make 1000’s of credits by running these programs on multiple browsers and accounts 24/7.

Don’t get me wrong, the exchanges kept beefing up their security by adding extra safe guards, but then the scammers would release a new program to get around them. Once this started to happen webmasters would start to distrust the traffic they were receiving, due to a majority being fake surfers.

What now for Traffic Exchanges?

A quick Google search show some still exist, but I haven’t dug any deeper to make a fair judgement of how they work now. Maybe I’ll do a follow-up post after some further investigating.

Why Not Share Your Experiences

If you have used a traffic exchange platform or thinking of using one then I would love to hear how you got on, i’d also welcome any feedback on this post, good or bad.

Starting your own business

Amongst other subjects, starting and managing your own business is something I will cover in great detail.

With over 20 years of business experience under the belt, I completely understand how daunting the idea of running your own company can be. Important business decisions need to be made from the outset, so having the right information is crucial.

I’m not an accountant, nor can I give any binding legal advice but what I can do is share with you what has worked for me in the past, why I took certain routes and why I choose to do certain tasks myself and outsource others.

In later posts I will explore all the points below in more detail, with some valuable tips, tricks and money saving advice.

Below are just some of the considerations you need to make before starting on your venture.

  • A company name
  • In what legal entity is the company going to be formed
  • Who are you going to bank with
  • How to choose an accountant
  • Do I need to register for VAT
  • Do I need to register as an employer
  • Where to run your business
  • If working from home, a postal address and business phone number
  • Do I need to work mobile
  • Accepting payments online and offline
  • How to invoice & bookkeeping
  • Logistics
  • Fraud Management
  • Terms of business, COD, 30, 60 or 90 days
  • Working capital – How much have you got to get things up and running
  • Website design, domain name and email setup
  • SEO (search engine optimisation)
  • What social media platforms are you going to use
  • Who is your target market
  • What’s your USP (unique selling point)
  • Know your product and industry
  • Marketing, which methods
  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
  • Amount of time you can commit

The list could go on further but I don’t want to overwhelm you so i’ve kept it to a modest size

Look out for the 1st of many posts in this series coming next week – Signup below to be notified as soon as new posts are published.