Meet Nicole Beckett of PremierContentSource.com

PremierContentSource.com was started in May 2010. The main focus of her blog is to provide people with an inside look at content writing. Writing high quality content can be difficult for people new to blogging so Nicole NICOLE_FEATUREoffers tips & tidbits which she’s learned over the years. PremierContentSource.com has gained a reputation for being informative, interesting with plenty of personal stories that has allowed Nicole Beckett to earn enough money from her blog to live comfortably.

I had the privilege of asking her a few questions and want to thank her for providing insight into some common questions that many new bloggers have.

Here is what Nicole had to say…

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

Since May 2010. Once PremierContentSource.com started to gain some real momentum, it made sense to offer ongoing content right on the site.

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

PremierContentSource.com is my main source of income. The blog (premiercontentsource.com/ blog) is handled exclusively by me, and I like to give readers an inside look at the content writing world. I offer tips and tidbits that I’ve learned over the years, and I try to include as many personal stories as possible, so that it’s informative AND interesting.

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

Enough to live comfortably 🙂

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, they can still use the same strategy to overcome their challenge?

The biggest problem was trying to dig through the giant sea of information. There is a ton of advice floating around out there — and not all of it is good! I learned that it’s important to stay focused and learned how to tell real authorities from the wannabes who didn’t really know what they were talking about. If you try to learn about everything at once, you’ll suffer information overload! Instead, learn each step at a time — like the best way to write a headline, the best way to “talk” to your blog audience, the best way to promote, etc.

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?

One of the best tools you have is something that most people overlook — your email inbox!  I can’t tell you how many blog posts I’ve written in response to a question or comment that someone emailed me.  The real plus to working this way is that you’re writing about EXACTLY what your audience wants to see.  After all, if one person took the time to email you with a particular question, there are probably countless other people who were wondering the same thing — but didn’t bother to send an email.

If you’re so new to blogging that your inbox isn’t overflowing with ideas, head to Google News and search for your keywords/industry.  Chances are you’ll find a new study or some other type of recent development that you can analyze for your audience.

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 blogging is definitely #1.  After all, you’re getting a link AND wowing people with your expertise.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

Social media is also great.  The links on Twitter/Facebook themselves don’t mean a whole lot, but they help reach new people who can link to you.

Instead of coming up with #3, I’m going to share one BAD way to try and build links — blog commenting!  For some reason, people still think that’s a good technique, but it’s nothing but a waste of time.  As a blog owner, I can spot the people who are just trying to drop a link, and I never approve their comments.  Take the time you spend commenting, and go write a great guest post!

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.

Jot ideas down when they come to you!  These days, I’m always scribbling some idea for a post on my notepad that I can refer to later.  When I first started, I tried to commit ideas to memory, and I probably wound up forgetting some good stuff!

Also, take the time to promote.  You can promote your newest post on a variety of social media/sharing sites and update your RSS feed in a matter of minutes.  If you think the world is going to come through the virtual doors just because you’ve published a new blog post, think again!  You’ve got to tell people to come read it!

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?

My blog isn’t monetized the “normal” way — like with ads, affiliate offers, etc.  Instead, I use my blog as a “pre-sell” of sorts for Premier Content Source’s services.  People who read my blog can see that I know what I’m talking about — and that I have the talent to write about the information in a creative way.  Those are 2 good things for people to know when you own a professional content writing company!

No matter how you try to monetize, though, you’ve got to use your blog to build a relationship with your readers.  The more people like you, the more willing they’ll be to buy your products.

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?

I read Copyblogger.com every day and also read Seth Godin’s blog.  Both are proven authorities that share unique information, instead of rehashing the same ol’ stuff you see everywhere else.

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?

Social share plugins are crucial because they give readers an easy way to promote your posts.  You’re going to see a much bigger social media presence if you’ve got the actual buttons on your blog, rather than hoping that people log into Twitter/Facebook/etc. and copy & paste the link into their feeds.

I recently found a great plugin from Repost.us.  Basically, their website is a syndication site (where other site owners can log in and search for the most recent blog posts on a variety of topics, and then share them on their own sites).  Their plugin actually lets people syndicate your post just with the click of a button.  Again, the easier you make it on people, the more likely they are to take action!

Q11 – Many people have often asked me about the shift in blogging from previous years (Negative or Positive). What is the main difference you’ve 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’ve seen more people take blogging more seriously recently — especially as content marketing has gotten to be such a popular subject.  I don’t know why it took people so long to realize how beneficial content marketing can be, but I’m glad they’re paying attention now!

The only concern I have is that people are going to blog just to blog.  They’ve been told how important fresh content is, and so they post “just anything” because they need something new.  Personally, I’d rather wait a day or so and come up with a post I really love, rather than post something that’s not as good, simply because it’s a certain day/time.

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?

You absolutely have to create a brand!  Otherwise, people won’t really know what you’re all about.  And if they don’t know that, the odds of them spending any of their hard-earned money on your products/services are very slim.

The best way to brand yourself is to publish content that shows who you are, what you know, and what makes you different.  A blog certainly plays a big role in branding, but so does guest blogging, video marketing, email newsletters, etc.

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?

Hmmm… I don’t think so.  Most of the book reading I do is away from the office to help me unwind after a long day! 🙂

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 the only thing that matters.  Yes, promotion is important, but unless you’ve got really awesome content sitting on your blog, it’s not going to generate any results.  Or, if it’s bad enough, it could actually damage your reputation!

Personally, I update my blog once a week.  I used to do it more frequently, but I’m so busy with other projects that I simply couldn’t keep up with that schedule.  (If something big happens, I’ll do a post on it right away, but for “normal” weeks, I only updated it once.)  I often joke that I’m so busy writing for my clients’ blogs that I don’t have time to write for my own! 🙂

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?

Thanks for the kind words!  All of my products are actual content — from articles, to blog posts, to press releases, to video scripts, to email newsletters, to ebooks.  I also offer content marketing consultations, where I help clients one-on-one develop a content strategy for their business and answer all of their content marketing questions.  You can find all of these services on our website, http://premiercontentsource.com.  Or, feel free to contact me anytime at Nicole@premiercontentsource.com

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

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I’m also a member of American Express’ OPEN Forum (openforum.com).  Simply search for “Nicole Beckett”, and you’ll find my profile.

That concludes our interview…

Thank you very much Nicole 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