Adam has been blogging since 2006 and started BloggingWizard.com in 2012. He focuses his efforts on providing content on social media, WordPress, SEO and blogging. Even though he’s generating between $2,000/mo – $3,000/mo from his blog, his core focus is not generating revenue but developing resources for his readers and put his audience first. This is why he recently launched his question and answer section for bloggers (find it here) where readers submit their questions and get them answered publicly by Adam, this doesn’t help his revenue but readers seem to find it incredibly valuable.
I was very lucky to have the opportunity to get his thoughts on blogging and what it’s takes to be successful…
Here is what Adam had to say…
Q1 – How long you have been blogging? (Possible Year)
I’ve been blogging since around 2006, although I started BloggingWizard in December 2012.
Q2 – What blog or site is your main source of income? So, what is the main focus of that blog?
My main source of income is Blogging Wizard right now where I talk about blogging, social media, SEO and WordPress.
Q3 – How much do you make online (average) from your blog a month?
It ranges anywhere from $2,000-$3,000/month which isn’t much in comparison to a lot of bloggers, although right now it’s not my focus and far from my main priority right now.
I typically spend the majority of my time working on clients and answering questions from my readers (answering those doesn’t do anything for my income but my readers really love it).
My clients and readers come first, and then the money follows.
Q4 – Starting out online can be very difficult and you’ll face many hurdles. What was the biggest challenge you faced when you started out? How did you overcome this hurdle and do you think if people are facing this problem today that they can still use the same strategy to overcome their challenge?
My biggest challenge was staying focused.
In fact, until a few years ago I didn’t have any goals – it was like endlessly going round in circles and while I was doing cool things, learning more and meeting great people, it wasn’t really what I expected.
I was just burning myself out trying to do too many things.
That’s when my friend convinced me to actually have a plan for my life – sure, I had plans for particular projects but I had never really put everything in perspective.
So then I wrote out (on a good old piece of paper) what I wanted to have and where I wanted to be in 5-10 years’ time.
I then broke it down into measurable goals over the course of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 years.
I created a dream board in PowerPoint that enabled me to visualize what I want to end up with in 5-10 years’ time.
This has helped me to stay motivated, even when things haven’t been going my way and slowly but surely everything has started to fall into place.
Bottom line: have a plan, and execute it.
Q5 – These days it’s very hard to find things to write about and create new content? What would you say is the best strategy you have used to create awesome content? What would you recommend new bloggers do if they suffer from writers block?
Every time I’m struggling to think of a topic, I head over to a forum where my target audience hangs out and take a look at what issues they’re having.
If you are having a serious case of writers block, sometimes the best thing you can do is to step away from your computer and do something else – mundane tasks work best.
Mundane tasks can usually work surprisingly well for stimulating your brain.
Q6 – What are the Top 3 most effective link building techniques that you would recommend over your years of experience? You can include ways to generate traffic to your blog.
Guest posting is still a valid strategy and broken link building can still work very well but like any other form of link building, you need to be careful – far too many people take things a step to far and then lose it all.
Sure a link is great to have but other things play a huge part now like traffic and visibility for your brand.
This is what I typically focus on:
- Creating high quality content and resources for my readers
- Promoting my content and resources effectively
- Contributing regular content to a select number of blogs (not for links, for visibility)
- Going out of my way for my audience
By doing all of the above I have been able to earn links rather than build them and those are always the links that you want to get.
I prefer to keep things as white hat as possible although I know that some people still get results from using grey or even black hat tactics.
I’ve even seen some people criticize some SEO’s for not using black hat tactics.
But, after what I’ve witnessed and the work I’ve had to do cleaning people’s websites after another SEO or someone doing negative SEO has done – I’ll stick to the white hat stuff.
Q7 – Experience and time does teach you many things. What do you wish you knew back then when starting out that you now know has helped your blog grow and become successful? If you can give us your Top 3-4 valuable lessons, that would be awesome.
Here are a few things I wish I knew years ago:
- Don’t launch a blog without a clear strategy
- Launch your blog and have a product ready to sell
- Start off contributing to other blogs before you launch your own and offer a free ‘bribe’ or ‘offer’ for your subscribers – something that has been working well for me on my new site WP Superstars
Q8 – There are many ways to monetize your blog some which have worked and some haven’t. How are you making money through your blog? What other strategies would you recommend to monetize your blog?
The core strategy that I am using right now is affiliate marketing but the real magic happens when you launch your own products.
I’m currently working on a number of products – better late than never 😉
That’s what I wish I had done when I first launched Blogging Wizard but when I first launched I had very different goals with the blog than what I have with it now.
Here is what I would recommend:
- Promote affiliate programs when relevant
- Sell your own product if you can
- Offer a service if you’re able to
- Sell ad space if it fits in-line with your goals (remember that mailing list subscribers are worth more than losing a visitor to an advert
Q9 – I know when I started blogging there were a handful of blogs I read on a daily basis? Do you have any mentors or blogs that you read on a daily basis that provide you with knowledge and guidance when you need it from day-to-day?
There are a few select blogs that I get a lot of value from and regularly read:
There are plenty more that I read too, but I guess I’ve got to stop somewhere!
Q10 – There are several tools & plugins that can help you build momentum when people are on your blog, for example, social share plugins, SEO plugins and many others. What plugins do you think are essential in growing your blog? What Tools & Plugins do you think every blogger should have on their site?
There are some select plugins that you need no matter what:
You will also need certain plugins to expand the functionality of your blog:
- Landing page plugins
- List building plugins
- Social sharing plugins
See the full list of what powers my blog here.
Q11 – Many people have often asked me about the shift in blogging from previous years (Negative or Positive). What is the main difference you have seen while blogging since you started? What do you think will be the change going forward and how can you save yourself from being effective from this change (Positive or Negative).
It’s getting a lot more competitive than it was when I first started.
Everyone is stepping up their game and taking the quality of their content up a gear.
This is only going to continue as the space gets more and more crowded but it does leave room for a select group to rise to the top with high quality and diverse content.
Q12 – I often hear bloggers talk about creating a brand online. What are your thoughts on creating a brand for yourself and what is the best way to brand yourself?
It really depends on your approach – some bloggers swear by branding yourself and it’s something that I know to work very well.
I wouldn’t say there’s a set way that you should brand yourself but you need to think about the implications of it and consistency is always key.
For example, if you’re going to want to hand over the reins of your blog to an editor or sell it at some stage then you would struggle to sell a personally branded blog.
Or if you don’t like your face being all over your blog then you might want to opt for a different option.
I went with Blogging Wizard purely because it was catchy, my intention was never to actually brand myself but due to the nature of the content that I have published, people often refer to me as ‘The Blogging Wizard’.
My family and close friends usually make sarcastic Harry Potter references though – but it’s still worked well for me.
Q13 – Much of the knowledge & motivation I’ve picked up is through other blogs and reading books. We discussed your favorite blogs in my previous question, however would you recommend any books that motivated you during tough times or provided you more insight into creating a successful blog?
I typically look at books that aren’t primarily about blogging because I find they give me a different perspective.
Here are a few examples:
- Cashvertising – Drew Eric Whitman
- Enchantment – Guy Kawasaki
- Don’t Make Me Think – Steve Krug
- Influence, The Psychology Of Persuasion – Robert B. Cialdini
- The Digital Crown – Ahava Leibtag
Aside from the above I have plenty of marketing text books, they aren’t as entertaining to read but they offer incredible insights.
Q14 – How important is writing high quality content in blog success? How often do you publish fresh new content on your blog? Is it weekly or monthly?
High quality content is essential, if you don’t care about the quality then you will definitely struggle to cut through the noise – although, some have managed it in the past.
As for how often I publish content – I usually publish 3 times every week but I’ve slowed down to 2 times per week while I’m working on some other projects that are consuming a lot of time.
Q15 – In my eyes, you’ve been a pioneer in creating some of the best products, content and are a true blogging success story. Can you name some of the products that you’ve created which can help bloggers out? How can they be purchased?
Right now I don’t have any products that you can purchase, although there are free resources that you can access by signing up here.
By signing up to my list you will get access to exclusive VIP content, my Reader Q&A section (where I answer my subscribers questions with full length blog posts) and exclusive discounts when I launch products in the future.
I also have a public FAQs section for bloggers which can be found here. There’s a survey on the page that you can fill in and I work through all the questions and provide answers – I don’t earn anything from it but my readers find it incredibly valuable.
Q16 – How can we get a hold of you: Please include email, social network profiles and Others
Get in touch: http://www.bloggingwizard.com/contact/
That concludes our interview…
Thank you very much Adam for taking the time out of your busy schedule to provide us with your advice. I wish you nothing but success moving forward.
I hope that you enjoyed this addition of our interview series!
To learn more about other bloggers, visit our Bloggers Interview Series