Matthew Hooper has made it his mission to help people build their internet businesses through his site MatthewHooper.com
Who is Matthew Hooper?
I was originally from a small town in northern British Columbia but I eventually ended up in Taiwan for over seven years after getting tired of the rat race lifestyle. Now I help individuals, small businesses and organizations build an internet presence.
Why did you start MatthewHooper.com? How does your website make money?
MatthewHooper.com has had many incarnations over the years. It started nearly a decade ago as a personal site. In its current incarnation, I originally started to use it as a way to answer questions that I got asked repeatedly. Anything from software recommendations to website best practices. I started to get asked more about websites and then to make websites for other people. That is what led to what it is now.
The site itself doesn't really make money directly. I don't run ads but I'll occasionally have affiliate offers. I mainly use it as a way of drawing in new clients or students which led to me creating an online course. I build websites for people and I also coach them. A lot of this comes as a result of the website.
How do you come up with the content that meets your readers' needs? Why did you choose this niche?
The content on the website is almost like an FAQ. If I get asked the same question more than once through email, it ends up being a post. That way when I get asked again, I can direct them to a better written article on my site instead of hastily written email.
The niche was something I have always been dabbling in. I started using WordPress way back when it was just getting off the ground and I have been growing with it. It started more as a hobby but I then found it was something that I could make a living from.
What's your marketing strategy to drive more readers?
The biggest thing that I do to get more readers is guest posting. I wish I had more time to do more guest posts because this is something that has brought the most traffic to my website.
I noticed that you have a WordPress course - what is that about?
The course is something that I developed as a low priced alternative to what I offer as a service. I find that lots of people want to get a site online but it's hard to find a single resource that will take them from start to finish. This is what my WordPress course does. For someone that doesn't have the budget to hire me but has the time to put into learning how to do it themselves, this is a great option.
As some of our readers are bloggers and one of their challenges is how to be more efficient in their writing. What lessons can you provide for them in not getting overwhelmed in writing frequent blog posts and still have time to market their website.
I don't really think of myself as a blogger. The content that I create falls more under the inbound marketing or content marketing umbrella. My main goal is to either get people to hire me for my services or to take my courses. I'm not really trying to gain a huge readership, just my "1000 true fans". Because of this, I write content that appeals to those types of people. If I have nothing to write about, I won't write a fluff piece just so that I can say I publish every day. I think if your website is small, your better off writing a guest post on a site with a large audience that overlaps with yours. Go for quality over quantity.
With the Panda and Penguin updates, writing great original content has become even more important in promoting your blog. Some industry insiders are saying that the SEO industry will disappear entirely in a few years as optimization will be replaced by content marketing - what are your thoughts?
The SEO industry will never disappear, it will just evolve. The days are gone when you could spin a bunch of crappy articles and blast them across the internet hoping that would be good enough to get you on the first page of the search results. Content marketing is SEO. Guest posting is just a more acceptable form of article marketing. Writing good content that shows up in search engines and gets shared across the web is what every content producer should strive for. Social signals are only going to become bigger keys to gaining search rankings especially as Google+, Twitter and Facebook gain greater momentum.
Although you are a big fan of Wordpress as a CMS, are there any other platforms that you would highly recommend for new bloggers?
I am 100% biased in favour of WordPress. Mostly because it's what I use for myself, my clients and my students but also because I feel it's the best option. There are other CMS solutions out there but they tend to be overkill for the needs of most small to medium size businesses or organizations.
There are some workhorses out there like Drupal or Joomla but those are good if you really need a specialized solution. You can also expect to pay a lot for a Drupal or Joomla developer.
On the low end, there are solutions like WordPress.com (which is a crippled version of the WordPress.org version that is common among bloggers) or simple solutions like Blogger or Typepad that a lot of people soon outgrow. They aren't really a true CMS anyways. WordPress has a huge support community with countless themes and plugins that will help you accomplish most of what you would want to do with a CMS these days.
What are some of the mistakes that people do in creating a blog?
I think one of the mistakes that people make is not putting enough thought into what people do when they get to their website. I often ask students or clients what they want visitors to do when they get to their website. "I'm on your site, now what do I do?" Do you want me to buy something? Sign up for a newsletter? Fill out a contact form? Whatever it is, it should be the easiest thing to find on your website. There should be a link to it from every page or every post. If you just want someone to share your post or leave a comment then tell people that. Don't assume that people see your website the same way that you do. Ask friends or family for their opinions, at the very least.
Where do you see MatthewHooper.com in the future?
I want it to grow into a resource that helps solve all kinds of problems people have when they are trying to build an internet presence. This may either be through the free articles that I post on the site or through some of the products or services that I offer.
A great way to keep up-to date on the newest online marketing tactics and trends is by learning from the best. Many of them share their knowledge on their their own blogs and Twitter feeds . We have a small list of some of the top internet marketers, their blogs and Twitter accounts. Read and learn from them! Jill Whalen ( @JillWhalen)
is considered to be an old-timer of the online space. She has been involved in SEO since the early 90's as CEO of High Ranking, a SEO agency in Boston. She maintains a great SEO newsletter called the High Rankings Advisor
and is a prolific tweeter. She is highly engaged with her followers and provides some great insight into the SEO world. Rand Fishkin (@randfish)
is the CEO and one of the founders of SEOmoz.org
. He has managed to grow SEOMoz to become one of the most respected companies in the SEO space. His knowledge of online marketing, SEO and social media is great. He and his team write extensively on internet marketing and have some great insight on how to rank well. Todd Malicoat (@stuntdubl)
is an SEO teacher who creates and organizes certification programs in online marketing for Market Motive. Another one of the old-timers in online marketing, he has been involved in the internet industry in many capacities. Most recently as a consultant for various companies such as Meredith Corporation, PBS and Real Networks. He has a great blog on StuntDubl.com
, where he writes about SEO, social media and online marketing. Dan Zarella ( @danzarella )
for lack of a better term, can be considered a geek. He is the original madman scientist of social media for Hubspot, always experimenting and trying to figure out how to improve online marketing. He also maintains a blog at DanZarella.com
outlining some of his experiments. An interesting experiment he recently did for a federal intelligence agency was the use of Twitter to predict social unrest
and map it.
We were lucky to interview Kellie Leigh when she came into Montreal for the MTL140 conference..She kindly took the time from her busy schedule to answer our questions about her newest gig for Zoocasa.com (Rogers Communications owned real estate based website). Being in the media industry since 1998, she brings a lot of experience to her position, handling social media marketing, online branding and content marketing. What is Zoocasa and how does it benefit home buyers?
Zoocasa is Canada’s Fastest Growing Home Search website. It benefits buyers by providing them with valuable and up to date information about the neighbourhoods. We have extensive neighbourhood demographics on each and every listing. People can see the age, ethnicity, occupation, education and age of the people in every neighbourhood across Canada We also have Google street view, a mortgage calculator, gas calculator and Walk Score.How does Zoocasa make money?
Zoocasa.com is fully supported by our local and national advertisers. We offer targeted, neighbourhood level advertising to local Realtors as well as standard IAB banners.How are you reaching out to potential users or prospects?
I have used Social Media such as Twitter, Facebook & YouTube as my way of reaching out to Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals. Many of my clients also introduce me to their colleagues in the industry. I also write a blog called What Is New @ The Zoo!
We educate Real Estate professionals on how to use Zoocasa. They see the value, and take it a step further to educate their clients.
Are you supporting Zoocasa's social media with other marketing tactics?
Zoocasa has partnerships with companies such as Re/Max of Western Canada, EXIT Realty, The Real Estate Book, Homes & Land, OBEO & Point2.
We have also been actively sponsoring events such as Realtor Quest, Agent Reboot, REBar Camp, Richard Robbins IGNITE as well as many other events & golf tournaments nation wide. These events get us out into the community and allow us to have conversations about our product. From there it is all word of mouth.
With so many social media platforms out there, how do you know which to use? Which has worked for you?
I believe that one should be actively involved in all of the top Social Media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn. The reason why I am active on all is because people usually have preferences for one. I connect with different people in different places, the place or places of their preference.
How would you measure the success of a social media campaign?
I measure the success of our Social Strategy by increased awareness of our product, which has contributed to Zoocasa’s audience growth at 95% year over year.
How did you create a social media strategy for Zoocasa? And where does content fit in?
My social strategy has been to connect with the Real Estate community across Canada and engage in conversation with them, getting to know everyone as a person before it translates into business. I have built very real relationships with agents and that has translated into full support of our business. My clients promote Zoocasa on their websites, and we promote them.
As far as content goes, What Is New @ The Zoo is focused on marketing efforts of the Real Estate community, comparing different mediums to advertising on Zoocasa. There is no medium that is as targeted as Zoocasa. Over half a million people come to our site per month, 66% of them are looking for an agent, and 54% don’t have a pre-approved mortgage. You can’t get more targeted than that considering that online is where people begin their search!
Are there specific formats that you follow when you create content for social media?
The content ranges from Real Estate Marketing to commonly asked questions about Zoocasa from the Real Estate community. I believe that the only rule to social media is that you be authentic and I am a true believer in sharing the knowledge of marketing that I have gained in the last 14 years.
Twitter has been used as a communication tool to stay in touch with agents I have met with as well as to introduce myself & Zoocasa to the community.
What social media trends can affect the way Zoocasa use content?
Zoocasa is always at the forefront of technology, so staying up to date on all of the latest Social Media trends is very important. It’s also great to be able to listen to our community and take their suggestions on how we can make a better user experience, for people searching for a home as well as Realtors and Mortgage Brokers.
As part of our ongoing series on successful bloggers to answer the question - what makes a successful blog, we've interviewed Nick Thacker. He is the owner of Livehacked.com, a great blog for writers on how to achieve success in the publishing world. 1. Who is Nick Thacker?
I'm a creator. Writing books, blog posts, articles--or music, building businesses, or whatever--I enjoy the process of creating something from nothing. I've been an entrepreneur for around 7 years, most recently at LiveHacked.com, where I am trying to help people find out their inner passion for building and creating cool stuff, then find the confidence to "ship" it!2. Why did you start Livehacked.com? How does Livehacked.com make money?
LiveHacked.com is part personal blog, part resource center for budding writers, entrepreneurs, and creators. Its target focus is "productive writing," "platform building through blogging," and "getting more done in a distracting world." The current stage it's in is solely as a content-center--the monetization will come through books and paid resources for people who like what's going on (for example, I'm just about finished with a book on creating a business plan for a blog by answering 101 "questions" about your passion and topic.).
The next stage will be community-driven: creating a tribe and launching a movement of people who want to engage and interact with others and create content out of it.
Eventually, I hope to roll out a publishing resource site for authors and bloggers--we'll see!3. Why not a video blog? Or a podcast? What made you choose to write a blog?
Truthfully--quality control and consistency. I don't have good enough equipment to create high-quality video and do the lighting. I know I could do something simple with my MacBook Pro, but spending years doing A/V production in church sort of ruined my ability to accept that quality! If I do it, I don't want the quality to be a hindrance to the brand.
The consistency part is why I haven't done podcasting. I read and write all the time, so blogging is easy (or easier!). Podcasting, though, might be fun for awhile and then become a chore--I don't want to either be stuck producing a podcast that's not fun for me, or worse: produce something people can TELL I don't enjoy!
Both mediums are amazing ways to capture and exchange ideas, though--I hope to be able to incorporate them into my platform soon, but for now I'm sticking to my guns!4. How do you come up with the content that meets your readers' needs?
The first thing I do is ask myself what I would want to read--is there a question I had (or have) that I can try to answer? If so, I'll do some research and write about it.
Second, I ask anyone who reads the site--if you sign up for the newsletter, I ask, "what are you struggling with?" (thanks to Derek Halpern for that AWESOME advice!
), and then personally respond to the email, thanking them for their response. Then I try to help. If it's a question they ask ("how do I promote my book," or "how can I get people to read my blog?") then I can do some more research and provide an opinion. If it's a more intangible response, like "I'm struggling with getting started on my big projects," I might try to offer some insight based on what got me through the bigger projects, etc.
The last way to come up with content is to steal it! Not steal the actual content, necessarily, but to steal the subject matter or the idea: if there's a post a certain subject that's getting massive response, there's a good chance people want to read about that subject! If it's something I know about and have an opinion on that might help others, I'll write something on the same subject, or from another perspective, that explains a different aspect of it. That way, I'm not actually "stealing" anything--just writing on a topic I know is currently popular!5. How long does it take to create a blog post for you?
I'll spend anywhere from 2 hours to upwards of 4, but the longer I spend on a post the more I tend to think it can better served in another format, like an ebook or course or something. Length isn't really the issue--I write quickly enough--it's the organization of my thoughts into a coherent format that makes sense, and finding the research/studies/images to support the post.
I have the exact same process for posts on LiveHacked.com as I do for guest posts--neither is "more important," and both are permanent, so I try to write equally in-depth stuff for other websites as I do for my own. The only difference is that I might try to leave a guest post more open-ended to get traffic to my site, and on my own site I'll end with a call to action ("sign up," "leave a comment," etc.)6. What's your marketing strategy?
- Always add value. If it doesn't directly add value to someone's life, I probably won't put it in the rotation. Buying ads might generate traffic, but they won't "add value" for someone, and you'll pay a premium for less of a result. On the other hand, engaging and interacting with people through social media sites, guest posts, and email courses is cheaper and much more effective.
- I try to position myself and my blog in front of people the way I would want to see myself. If that didn't make sense, I try to pretend like I am my own target market--what would get me motivated? By that measurement, I don't respond as well to "free ebook!" as I do to "how can I help you?," so that's what I try to offer. Furthermore, I want to read highly actionable and immediately useful content--so that's what I create, no matter where it gets posted.
- Be consistently helpful. This is two things in one: be consistent, AND be helpful. So I'll consistently write for other blogs, consistently use things like Buffer to leverage my social media reach, and consistently try to add value to every connection I make with other people.
Those are the lofty, idealistic things you'll find in my marketing plan. Here are the things in my marketing "bag of tricks:"
- Guest post. It's free, positions you in front of the perfect audience, and is "evergreen" in the sense that as long as the blog is there, your content is pointing back to your site.
- Create an "In List" for social media interaction. We can't connect with everyone, even in our own niche. So we need to seek out the people we can directly and consistently affect and be affected by. For example, I have an In-List for Twitter: a private list of about twenty people who have audiences slightly larger than my own, and I promote their content and their stuff way more often. That means I'm going to be in their face much more often, but I'll be promoting THEIR stuff, not MINE, and they don't have a massive following, so they're not totally swamped by people shouting their name. By the time I want or need some help promoting my own stuff, they'll know my name, hopefully like me, and help me get the word out.
- Build cranes. I started with a newsletter list of 200 (personal and professional emails, none of which actually signed up! oops), and it sat stagnant for TWO YEARS while I did nothing.
In February, I relaunched my site as LiveHacked.com and focused on building a small "crane" that could build a small "platform." That meant I guest posted on some small blogs and urged people to sign up for my list--it grew to 250 by March.
In April, I focused on the next size up: a bigger "crane," that could help me build a bigger "platform." I wrote a bunch more posts, and sent people to my Fiction Writer's Guide to Writing Fiction
20-week free course. The results? I DOUBLED the signups in about two weeks, and am now focusing on the next biggest phase:
An even bigger crane--more posts, more content, more courses, and more books...
Basically, the crane/platform strategy is an exotic form of "start small." But it really works, and got me in the right mindset!7. I noticed that you have a free course on writing a novel. Why's that?
I've always read fiction thrillers as my escape from the real world, and so I decided to write one awhile ago. I learned so much during the process--not just on writing fiction, but on goal-setting, productivity, and creation in general--that I thought it would be helpful to other writers as well. Half of my readership is made up of people who love to write, but can't get to "The End." The other half is people wanting to build something from nothing; to get noticed. Writing a novel may not help, but the tools I found and used certainly help me build other stuff as well!
And it's free because it's a crane--leading to a larger platform!8. On Problogger, you mentioned that leaving comments on other blogs is a great way to drive traffic back, however, with Google disallowing any backlinks from commenting, is this still a good strategy?
I think it's a great way to develop the long-tail in your overall traffic strategy. Looking at Analytics data over the few years I've maintained my site, I see tons of incoming traffic from sites I've left an insightful, thoughtful comment on. Sure, I REALLY want to leave a comment on those sites that aren't rel="nofollow" or whatever, but I've had real traffic in the long run from people who clicked over from another site.
It's not something I'm going to recommend as an SEO tactic--there's just too much work involved for too little payout. But for overall traffic and engagement, absolutely. Plus, as a blog owner, I understand the feeling of getting a great comment on a blog post--so it's a way I can "pay it forward!"
"...I can bet that our current understanding of SEO won't be anything close to the future understanding of it--except that people like great content, and they want to figure out how to answer their questions and solve their problems..."
9. What is the best way to discover guest posting opportunities as a way to drive traffic back to your site?
I start by looking at the sites I already read! What works really well for me is to find a search bar on a site I read, and search for "guest post" on it. Many times I'll find a long-forgotten page detailing the guest-posting policy, or at least a contact form. I don't spend too much time seeking out sites I don't already read--it takes too long to get acquainted with the readership by commenting and interacting.
However, whenever I come across a site I love, I'll subscribe immediately and start the process of becoming a "regular reader"--and whenever I'm ready to guest post, I'll already have more of an "in" with the site owner.
10. Is guest posting one good way to create backlinks or part of a larger strategy?
Definitely part of a larger strategy; that of getting targeted readers. To me, there's no reason to focus only on SEO--my site will be successful by building long-term relationships with actual readers, not by generating traffic and clicks. Yes, the backlinks help--but they don't pay the bills.
11. What is your opinion on Google's action against blog networks such as Buildmyrank and others? How does it change your blog marketing strategy?
You know, it's upsetting that the Panda update and Google's recent actions have hurt certain "repository"-style websites. But if you build an entire business model around a proprietary algorithm that you don't fully understand nor control, how can you be expect to maintain the status quo at all? In all honesty, I've always focused on SEO as an integral part of an overall strategy, but nothing more. I'm focusing on capturing long-term readers, and whether or not a backlink increases my external SEO or not, it definitely increases the chances someone will find LiveHacked.com!
Google has a stranglehold on the entire Internet currently, but it won't last forever. I have no idea what it's going to look like ten years from now, but I can bet that our current understanding of SEO won't be anything close to the future understanding of it--except that people like great content, and they want to figure out how to answer their questions and solve their problems.
If we can help them do that, it won't matter what Google or any of the other search engine players decide to do.
12. What are some of the mistakes that people do in promoting their blog?
I can answer this one very well, because I've made most of the mistakes! First, thinking that the online world is any different than the offline world in terms of what people want. They want engagement and relationship, NOT self-promoted hype and hyperbole.
Second, I made a big mistake when I first started in online marketing by trying to offer what I thought people wanted, rather than what I was passionate about. The result was a quick level of growth, then a plateau after I lost interest, then a decline.
A third mistake is trying to do a little of everything. The web makes it easy to try so many new things in promoting our work, but that doesn't mean we should. It's great to explore the traffic strategies to see what works, but we can quickly become spread too thin and fizzle out. Instead, it seems like focusing on a few or a handful of proven growth strategies and sticking with them for some time would be the best long-term strategy.
13. Where do you see Livehacked.com in the future?
Planes, trains, and spaceships, entire branded theme parks, and becoming a household name. No, really--I hope LiveHacked can grow, for sure, into something that more people can get use out of. Everyone has a "big project" or "lifelong dream" that they're completely and totally capable of accomplishing, but for whatever reason, don't.
I want LiveHacked.com to become the site that helps people figure out what that reason is, and get over it. Eventually, I see LiveHacked moving from a personal blog to more of a community-driven publishing and content-creation project. We'll see!
Brad Smith is the founder of Fixcourse.com, a lead generation agency for small businesses. He’s a digital marketing consultant, who’s worked with clients in a variety of industries.. Today he provides us with insight as to how a small business can compete effectively with great content... How different is small business marketing online vs. online marketing for corporations?
The most obvious difference is resources (more money to invest/spend and more people to help out).
But the other thing is that successful companies in online marketing understand how to systematically scale and grow their businesses.
They know what the Cost of Customer Acquisition is, and the Lifetime Value of a Customer. So they know how much they can spend on paid channels, and how to optimize conversions and testing to improve.
They have a long-term strategy set in place, and the individual tactics they use or experiment with follow that strategy.
Smaller companies, or less successful corporations spend too much time obsessing over tactical issues (that usually don’t have a huge influence), and may lose sight of their goals because they don’t/can’t quantify their effort.How can the small business stand out online?1. Have a voice (personality):
I was once at a conference, and one of the panelists was in charge of PR for a large multinational. She literally had a list of “social media responses” that her legal team blessed. She (and her team) weren’t allowed to deviate from that.
That is the exact opposite of how social media works. No one will feel passionate about a brand that hides behind a list of standard responses.
So you can be more human, and use speed to your advantage. 2. Stand for something:
SImon Sinek has a great TED talk
about how people buy “why you do it”. Almost every product or service you can sell today is a commodity. So what you need to realize is that people don’t buy your “product” or “service”, they’re buying a solution.
So Simon’s talk hits this point home and gives you pointers on how your business can stand for something.3. Have enemies:
If your business is going to stand for something, then there needs to be examples (whether it’s other companies or ways of doing something) that you don’t agree with. You’re not trying to market to every single potential customers. You’re trying to market to customers that buy into your worldview.
So these customers will respond when you get them emotionally engaged and committed to your cause - not the other persons.What is content marketing in your eyes?
Content marketing is the process of creating content for the purpose of increasing awareness, attention and engagement around your brand.
It can help companies create their own media marketing asset - which gives them the ability to build an audience and market directly to that audience over time.
The result is that you’re able to acquire customers for much less, and keep them around longer (all while decreasing your costs related to advertising, etc)Which forms of content marketing are effective for small businesses?
What are the 3 most important criteria that a business owner must look out for in creating a content strategy?
- Blogging: It gets people “in the door” and keeps them coming back. This format is also most widely adopted and distributed - giving you the best option for reach.
- Email newsletters: Email is still the best converting online channel by far. So invest in creating email marketing campaigns for prospective, current, and past customers. You can even automate and schedule lifecycle emails (http://fixcourse.com/lifecycle-email-marketing/) to give you the best return on your effort.
With all the talk about social media (Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest), should I have a blog or just use social media instead?
- Why should my target customers care? Most businesses produce terrible content, so it doesn’t compel people to take action (like share their content, subscribe for updates, or purchase).
- Are your expectations realistic? Successful content marketing is really difficult. Even coming up with one post could take a long time. So you need to have realistic expectations. Not only in terms of success, but also what it takes to succeed. You can’t hire cheap writers, produce mediocre content, and expect huge results in the first 90 days.
- How does this support my business?How are these actions going to support your revenue goals? Most people start social media because they hear about it on TV and in the news. But a bad social media presence is worse than none at all. So don’t fully commit unless you understand what you’re getting yourself into.
Your blog, hands down!
Why should a business (or any person interested in making money online) get involved in social media / blogging in the first place?
The answer is to get attention. (That’s why blogging is like a media marketing asset). You want to provide value (by doing these things) in exchange for their attention.
So the most valuable thing to an online marketer needs to be their audience’s attention (and data).
When you’re on other social networks, you don’t have control or ownership over your customer’s information. If your company page violates Facebook Guidelines (which is really easy to do), then you’ve just lost all that data and valuable information. Is there a great example of a small business using content marketing and the web to stand out and increase sales?
The best (and most well known) that come to mind are Copyblogger, SEOmoz, and HubSpot.
They’re all software companies that use content marketing as a way to get customers.
It helps them reach new customers, but it also helps them keep existing customers around longer (so they buy more products, or buy more frequently).If you believe having a blog is important, what are your top 3 words of advice on how a small business can leverage it today?Define
- What does your company/brand really stand for? Who do you serve? And what is the unique solution you provide? This helps answer #2 below.Positioning
- How will your blog be different from all the competition? Make sure you come up with a unique positioning (i.e. Blue Ocean Strategy), otherwise people won’t remember you.Goal
- What is your content marketing/social media goals? Unless you have realistic goals set, you won’t know what daily actions or tactics to use.What advice do you have for the small business owner who has trouble coming up with engaging content?
- Niche down to focus on a specific market segment
- Focus on what your product/service does for your customers (experience, etc.)
I just wrote a post about this -> http://fixcourse.com/blog-content-ideas/ What are the biggest mistakes that a small business owner could make in online marketing?1. Can’t define success
- You need to be able to define success, or what success will look like, before investing time and effort into this. Because it will take a lot of commitment, and consistent actions to achieve anything significant. 2. Chasing latest shiny tactic
- Most small businesses owners get obsessed about the latest social network, etc. because it’s “all the rage”. You’ll waste a lot of time and effort if you chase everything. Instead, identify the biggest priorities for your business - no matter how sleek or sexy - and get to work on those first. For example, if you don’t have email marketing campaigns set up for prospective, current and past customers, then don’t even think about other social networks.Did you like this post? Subscribe to our RSS feed at the top of the blog
Benny Hsu is the founder of the Get Busy Living Blog and author of the Get a life that doesn't suck ebook. He writes a great blog on personal development and how you can achieve your life goals. We interviewed him on how you can get started in blogging and live a balanced life... Who is Benny Hsu?
I'm 34 years old and I live in Florida. I have a regular job, but I have my passion in making iPhone apps and in blogging
. What is your blog about? How did you start it?
My blog is about helping people bring out the best in them to live a better life. I started it in the beginning of 2011, but I actually had the domain for almost three years. I just didn't know what to write about so that's why I didn't start a blog earlier. Finally I found a topic, personal development, that I really wanted to talk about and knew I would be interested in it to write for a long time. When did you realize you made it as a blogger?
Well I don't think I've made it as a blogger yet (still shooting for the top), but I do remember my first post that went viral for me. It was a list post about 40 bloggers that were doing great things online. I got so many comments and retweets from it. Brought me a lot of recognition and new readers.
Since then I would say being asked for an interview makes me realize I've done something right with blogging. How does your blogging career differ from your previous careers - especially in terms of life satisfaction?
It's much more satisfying. I love it. I could spend all day reading about blogging and working on my blog. It allows me to be creative which I love. I get to meet people all over the world. I get to inspire people and hear from people how much I've helped them. It's really rewarding. What were your challenges in starting the blog and how did you overcome them?
Getting readers was a big challenge. We always want more readers. We don't just want ten visitors a day. I overcame it by constantly commenting on other blogs. I would share other great posts. I would focus on writing content worth sharing. It wasn't an overnight success. I had to do everything a little at a time. How has your success as a blogger affected other aspects of your life?
It's given me more confidence. It's opened more opportunities that I would have never had before. I've been able to meet some amazing people. How did you grow and market your blog?
I did it one step at a time. I did a lot of commenting on other blogs. It wasn't a quick "Great post" comment, but I took the time to really read their post and leave a good comment. I created a Facebook page and slowly got followers. Now Facebook is one of my top sources of traffic. I created a free ebook
to give away and that's helped with gaining new readers. I love Twitter so I use that to share any new post. What are the most effective revenue generators for your blog?
Right now my biggest source of revenue is affiliate marketing. I'll promote products I trust to my readers and make a commission from them. Blogging takes a lot of work - how do you balance your life?
I try to focus on only blogging when I have time. I try to not let other distractions bother me when I'm blogging. What would be the best advice for people new to blogging?
Just get started. Don't wait to be perfect before you start. Every A list blogger started as a beginner. Start now and focus on learning as you go. It's much better that way. What is your vision - where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself as having a media empire. I love being an entrepreneur. I'd love to be in video, writing, speaking, and creating products. I'd share my experience and knowledge with others to help them perform at a higher level and make more money.