Hey folks! I am glad to have got the chance to talk to Mr. Anil Agarwal who is a well-known blogger in the industry about his blogging journey. Anil has been blogging for more than 10 years and sold his first website for 35,000 USD.
There are even more interesting and motivating aspects of his life that he has shared in this interview. To put your opinion, please tweet here.
Before heading further, please let us know a bit about you.
Vashishtha, thanks a lot for inviting me to be part of the blogger’s interview series on your blog.
Those of your blog audience who don’t know, let me share a few details about me.
I’m Anil Agarwal and I have a couple of blogs at BloggersPassion and HostingMonks.
- I sold my first blog from the blogging niche via Flippa for $35,000 in 2009 as I was in need of some funds.
- I’m able to make a six-figure income (in dollars) from my blogs for the past two years. In 2018, we made $106,000 and in 2019, we managed to make $125,000.
A quick flashback to your initial blogging days when you used to be a complete newbie, what was your motive to enter into Blogging?
I started my career in the SEO domain after completing MCA course. For link building purposes, I started using free blogging sites like Blogger.com and WordPress.com.
Later I started using Blogger.com for creating personal blogs.
There were two reasons behind that. One, I can learn more about blogging from there and second for making some money as I was getting a little money from my job.
How did you enter into digital marketing and what do you think is the best thing ever happened in your professional/blogging career?
As I did an MCA course from an average college, there were no jobs waiting for me. I was trying all kinds of jobs but no programming jobs as I was not good at coding.
At that time, I got a job offer from a company as an SEO trainee. I didn’t even know the full form of SEO even when I got that job. This is how I started my digital marketing career.
Can you compare and tell us the difference between the initial days of your blogging career and the modern ecosystem of blogging?
In the initial days of my blogging career, things were quite easy. We were mostly focusing on writing content for our blog. No doubt there were fewer ways to monetize blogs as well at that time. So the earning opportunities were a bit less.
Now things have changed a lot. There are too many options for everything. If you want to blog, next you have to choose whether you want to start a standard blog or want to start a YouTube channel or you want to start blogging on Instagram. There are many mediums to blog now. So there are too many options for everything.
The way we do a blog today may not work after a couple of years. Blogging is evolving. So we should make changes accordingly.
The way we are monetizing our blogs now should keep looking for more ideas to get more success with our blogs. If you are monetizing your blogs through affiliate products, try to create your own products to take your blogging success to the next level. Don’t just stick to one thing.
No doubt earning potential has increased but at the same time, competition has gone to the next level. So keep trying new content types, new platforms and new ways to monetize to keep yourself ahead of other people in the industry.
What is your day-to-day work routine? What is something that you at BloggersPassion do the best?
These days, I try to spend 6-8 hours daily while working on BloggersPassion.com and HostingMonks.com projects. 3-4 hours before lunch and then 3-4 hours after lunch.
There are a couple of things I feel I’m good at:
Improving the overall quality of my blog content while trying to make my blog readers and search engine bots happy.
Getting better conversions from existing traffic. Always lookout for ways we can get more revenue from the pages that give us the maximum traffic. We just wait for the first sale from a blog post. Then we look out for what can be done to get more sales from that blog post.
What do you do to push yourself out of your comfort zone?
I try to challenge myself from time to time. I’m not good with video content. But in 2019, I challenged myself to do a few videos on my YouTube channel here. But again I became lazy and did not publish any video in the last five months. Aiming to start working on my YouTube channel next month.
Keeping a daily task list also keeps me out of my comfort zone. Mostly I keep a list of a few that should be finished on that day. This keeps me pushing to finish all of those tasks on the same day.
I’m not good with paid marketing. So aiming to get good with the PPC advertising model this year.
Do you think there is something that newbies don’t know about affiliate marketing? If yes, what is it?
Sharing a few important tips that should help newbie bloggers do well with their affiliate marketing efforts:
Don’t try to promote a product before trying it. Only promote it when you feel it’s worth buying. When you try a product before promoting, you will be in a better position to explain it to your blog audience.
Talk about problems and how a particular affiliate product is going to help to get rid of those problems in your content.
Make it easy for your blog readers to find the product purchase links. They should not go through many screens to find the buying links or buttons.
To get more success with affiliate marketing, don’t go for well-known affiliate products. Go for really high quality and new affiliate products where there is the least amount of competition.
How important is SEO not only to be seen but also to build a brand?
SEO is really important when it comes to building a better brand. These days search engine optimization is more about making your website readers happy with your content. When someone lands on your website from search engines and if you are able to fulfill their intent with your content, many of them will start coming to your website directly.
This is how you will keep on improving your brand presence. Try to give the best experience to your website readers which will make Google bots as well happy.
To promote your blog as a brand (which it actually is), what do you generally do? Indirectly, I am asking for a few tips that you would give to a newbie/struggling blogger to build a brand in the blogging industry.
Here I’m suggesting few things newbies can use to convert their ordinary blogs into an established brand. Sharing the strategies I actually use to build my brands:
Focus a lot on your content quality. It should be top-notch. It should be your top priority.
Try to be everywhere:
– Write guest posts and leave comments on top blogs in your niche.
– Build a community around your blog on social media channels. We are really active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can pick top social media channels that work with you.
– Quora can help in driving high-quality traffic to your brand new blog. Aim at building a strong presence here. With new blogs, you may not get much traffic from search initially. But you can expect quick results with your efforts on Quora type of platforms. If you want to do well on Quora, recommend checking my Quora Marketing video.
– Try to create a video version for some of your content which you will do well on YouTube search.
What according to you is the best way to build high-quality backlinks for a website?
First of all, I would say, links that you are going to build with ease are not going to help you much. Instead of building too many links, aim at building few but really high-quality backlinks. How to go about it:
- Write guest posts for top blogs in your niche
- Use the broken link building method to get links from top authority websites and blogs
- If you get interview requests from authority blogs in your domain, go for them.
- Writing high quality and well-researched content will also help you gain lots of natural backlinks over a period of time.
In case you want to know how I’m building high-quality backlinks for my blogs, you can check it from here.
Apart from their professional skills, what would you look for in the people you hire?
Most of the time, we approach people on the basis of their earlier work experience. We try to test their skills for a few months before making any long term commitment.
If we find the person we are trying a good fit for us, we try to leverage his/her technical skills to improve things at our end.
Apart from digital marketing, name something that you’re good at. (For example, 8 ball pool or cricket.)
Apart from digital marketing, I’m good at playing Table Tennis. I had a great passion for Table Tennis but recently due to time constraints, I am not able to play much.
How can someone reading this blog post connect with you? (social media links please)
Sharing the links where you can connect with me:
What is your feedback on my blog (vashishthakapoor.com)? What is the scope of improvements?
Vashishtha, the overall design for your blog looks impressive to me. You can improve it further by working on your blog’s typography and sidebar elements as well. Keep the paragraphs short for better readability. I appreciate your work.
Signing out – Conversations are welcomed. Please tweet here to talk about this interview.