Meet Matt Banner of OnBlastBlog.com

MATT_BANNERThe ultimate goal of OnBlastBlog.com is to help bloggers get the right information from the beginning. Matt provides strategies to grow your blog and drive traffic which convert making YOU money. His strategies are very easy to understand and seamless to implement into your blogging journey. He goes into great detail when writing content for his blog which is important to be successful. Here’s a little quote from Matt Banner…

 “When I initially began blogging, I had a very difficult time figuring everything out. I can’t even count how many times I wanted to give up (luckily I didn’t, and here’s 10 reasons why you shouldn’t either!).”

Now, let’s get into the real in-depth questions…

Q1 – How long you have been blogging? (Possible Year)

I have been blogging throughout the Internet for around 8 years, since 2006.

Q2 – What blog or site is your main source of income? So, what is the main focus of that blog?

My blog is www.onblastblog.com, a website that offers a step-by-step guide on how to start a blog, as well as many different articles that offer tips and tricks on how to grow your blog, your social community, and much more!

Q3 – How much do you make online (average) from your blog a month?

My mother always told me never to share my income numbers unless I can actually share my income with the less fortunate 🙂

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?

When I first started out, there weren’t many articles and videos on how to start and grow a blog like there are today! I had zero technical and SEO knowledge. So just getting up hosting and my WordPress blog was a major hurdle that I had to initially face.

I overcame these hurdles by researching deeply, asking questions on relevant forums, and emailing people who wrote useful articles on starting a blog. I took the initiative to do everything that I could to get my blog going, and I strongly believe that anyone who is facing this type of issue can do the exact same to overcome their challenges. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, and don’t feel discouraged if they don’t answer at first, persistency is the key to success!

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?

There are a few different useful strategies that anyone can use to find new content topics to write about. One of the main strategies I personally use is OpenSiteExplorer.com. I take my competitors URL, put it into OSE, and then I click on the “Top Pages” tab, which shows me their most popular articles (based on the amount of inbound links and social shares the article has).

For new bloggers, I would recommend checking out my awesome article that lists out 151 different blog post ideas.

Q6 – 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.

Building an email/subscriber/newsletter list is definitely something that I wish I did when I first started blogging. Getting someone to subscribe to your list is a great sign of commitment from a visitor, so it’s something I would recommend getting set up right away (Two good companies are getresponse.com and aweber.com).

Another valuable lesson that I had to learn the hard way was SEO. For new bloggers, I would highly recommend reading up on Search Engine Optimization (two great resources are www.quicksprout.com and www.backlinko.com). Properly optimizing your website ensures you get the best chance of getting ranked in the search engines.

Mobile is the future. I wish that I properly rendered the mobile version of my website years ago. Definitely do this, as Google now factors it in when ranking websites.

Q7 – 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?

In terms of monetizing a blog, there are a handful of different avenues that new bloggers can take. Typically starting off with Adsense is the quickest and easiest way.

Pretty much you sign up to Google.com/adsense and you can place advertisements on your website. Based on what your blog is about, Google will place relevant ads to display to your visitors, and you get paid a certain amount each time someone clicks on your ad.

I actually wrote an article on my blog on Google Adsense and how to make money from it recently.

Q8 – 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?

Most definitely!

Check out www.quicksprout.com, www.backlinko.com, www.smartpassiveincome.com.

Q9 – 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?

I believe SEO WordPress by Yoast is an absolute necessity for any blogger. It ensures that your website is properly optimized and submitted to the search engines.

In addition, utilizing speeding plugins (such as Wp-Rocket and W3 total cache) and social plugins (such as addthis) are essential as well for growing a social community and keeping your speed and load times fast. The last thing you want is a slow website!

You can see my article on the top 20 plugins that you should utilize for 2015 and beyond right here!

Q10 – 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).

I think the emphasis on social media is the biggest shift in change over the years, and it’s definitely a positive thing. Nowadays you can create fantastic content, grow a social community and share your articles with them (and have them go viral and spread like wildfire). Years ago it was much more difficult to get the word out about your content.

It’s very important to build your social accounts, engage with your targeted audience and ultimately grow your social fan base.

Q11 – 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?

I think creating a brand is crucial to becoming a successful blogger. The best way to brand yourself is to be completely open with your visitors. Add your life history and experiences to your About Me page. Get heavily involved within your industry via social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google +. All of these things can help you build your own brand, which in return will help you grow your business from all angles.

Q12 – 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?

There are none in particular that I can think of off the top of my head. I would recommend researching online and reading article posts on websites instead, as they typically are much more fresh and up to date than books. Trends and strategies change almost daily, so books sometimes are out-dated in my opinion.

Q13 – 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?

Writing high quality content IS the most important factor to becoming a successful blogger and building a successful blog.

I typically strive to post once or twice per week, but this can vary from time to time. Consistency is key here.

Q14 – 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.

1) Writing high quality content and sharing it via social.

2) Utilizing the skyscraper technique (http://backlinko.com/skyscraper-technique)

3) Analyzing your competitor’s backlinks, and personally reaching out to the most trusted links and building a relationship with them.

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 you can review all of my tips and tricks for free on my website. In addition, you can sign up to my FREE Blogging Course and Newsletter to find exclusive tips and strategies not listed on my blog.

Q16 – How can we get a hold of you: Please include email, social network profiles and Others.

I provide free support to answer any questions, comments or concerns via email at matt@onblastblog.com.

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Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

That Concludes Our Interview…

Thank you very much Matt 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