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December 1, 2013 by Sarah Hazelwood
The online space is brimming with websites and blogs covering the latest developments in the world of mobile technology, and here at Phones 4u we’re lucky enough to be able to share our knowledge with some of them.
One of our blogging partners is mobile enthusiast Darren Wall, founder and editor of comparison site and tech blog, PrePayAsYouGo. We first teamed up with Darren in July 2012, and in that time we’ve seen him work tirelessly to bring his readers only the very best content.
We wanted to find out more about what inspires Darren, and soon realised it just takes a small dose of passion, hard work and dedication to get where you want to be.
Name: Darren Wall
Job title: General Manager of PrePayAsYouGo
Job spec: Responsible for all business activities, including website development, content management, business relationship development, marketing and much more.
Qualifications: BA (Hons) business management and accountancy at Manchester Metropolitan University
Top tips: Know your industry and be a jack of all trades i.e. have some programming skills, content development, social media, financial management, people skills and business knowledge. And most importantly don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Everyday Essentials: Smartphone, laptop and some downtime
Can you tell us more about PrePay and what the reason was behind setting it up?
“After a few earlier endeavours and gaining experience in the mobile industry I knew mobile communications was the tech I loved more than anything else. I spent the next few years developing mobile comparison sites and helping companies with their promotional activities. Then I finally decided to start PrePay in 2008, with the idea of bringing consumers information that they could easily understand.”
How long have you been writing about mobile technology and what other bloggers inspire you?
“Content writing and producing product descriptions were two of my many jobs when developing an earlier business, so I suppose I’ve been writing about mobile phones since 2001. However, due to my management responsibilities I don’t have a lot of time to put pen to paper these days.
“There are many bloggers worthy of a mention in the tech industry, but one woman who I believe deserves a shout out is Ann Smarty of MyBlogGuest. She has advised and helped many bloggers find their way through the mind field of information which is available online.”
You have lots of guest authors contributing to your blog, why is it important to have such a varied team outside of your internal writers?
“It took some time to build the team I have today and I guess I’m still looking for the perfect balance between subject writers, so for that reason guest authors play an important role in the development of the blog. That said, I don’t see a day when the blog no longer accepts guest authors – I believe life is about making connections and these writers play their part in this.”
What do you hope to see from mobile technology in 2014 and why?
“Next year I hope LG and Samsung come up with some truly flexible handsets. It’s been rumoured that LG is going to release a device which is flexible up to 90 degrees – I hope this is the case.”
The PrePay website/ blog is growing month-on-month; what are your plans for 2014 and where do you see your business in the future?
“I have many plans for 2014 which include re-development of the blog and comparison site, but my main focus is social media growth and the continued building of the team. I have a business plan in motion which encompasses the next three years.”
Being an editor is an extremely demanding job. Do you ever get any time to relax and how do you switch off from it all?
“Switching off is something I find extremely difficult to do. Having said that though my health is important to me and I’ve learnt that stepping away from work can help me gain a fresh perspective on things.”
There’s so many tech websites out there, do you find it hard to compete with them or do you channel your efforts elsewhere?
“When it comes to blogging, competition is something I don’t generally concern myself with as I cater for the readers I have and not those who are somewhere else. Having said that, the content I generate should always be interesting and engaging, and this along with other promotional aspects of the business I believe help to bring a steady flow of new readers to the blog.”
What phone are you using at the moment and why?
“I’m currently using the original Samsung Galaxy Note and to be honest I’m very happy with it. I have until May before I can upgrade, I’m just hoping there’s a nice flexible handset with my name on it when the time comes.”
You’re a keen social networker; if you had to use just one site which one would it be and why?
“Personally I prefer Twitter, I like it’s short and sweet approach. Also its ability to focus entirely on one subject and reach those with a specific interest is, in my opinion, superior to all others.”
How important do you think social networking is to get your brand noticed, and do you see positive results from pushing your content out frequently?
“Without a large budget for advertising and marketing I feel social media has become a cornerstone of the business, it enables the blog to reach those it would have been impossible to only a few years ago. The effects of the popularity of social media can be seen on the blog on a daily basis, with many people choosing to share content across a diverse range of social platforms.”
Your company is based in Crewe, Cheshire and you’re certainly proving that you don’t have to be in a big city like London to be a success in this field. How does that feel?
“At this moment in time I don’t feel like the business has been successful in a commercial sense! There are a number of hurdles for me to overcome before I feel it could be considered a success. I’ve never even considered venturing to a bigger city because I believe hard work and dedication, along with a small amount of luck, will always pay dividends wherever you are.”
If you want to find out more about our partners and get an exclusive look at what goes on behind the scenes at Phones 4u HQ, why not delve into our collection of The Tech Files.
Android Ice Cream Sandwich
Android Jelly Bean
HTC One X
Samsung Galaxy Note
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S III
Tips 'n' Tricks
Windows Phone 7
Windows Phone 8
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