In the world of blogging many people have built up a name for themselves by creating a blog about that they are good at. For Spencer Haws, he’s become a master at building niche web sites. Not only has he found success in niche marketing, but in addition to becoming a well known blogger has has also released some great software that many of us use as well. All of this combined makes for Spencer to be a perfect fit for this weeks’ “Meet the Bloggers” interview.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
I started blogging about 3 years ago. At the time, I was still working a full-time job in the corporate world as a business banker. However, I had also been finding some success with a side business of mine; building niche websites. So, I started blogging to document what what working in terms of building these niche sites. Shortly after starting my blog, my niche websites business grew to the point where I was making enough money to quit my job. I continue to blog about business ideas, niche sites, SEO, and more at NichePursuits.com.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
My primary focus is niche business ideas. Although it started with me building niche sites; I’ve really tried to expand the focus of the blog to niche businesses in general. The reason for expanding it focus is really to mirror what I’ve been doing in my real life/business. I still build and blog about niche sites, but I also have a few other business ventures. And as such, I try to provide tips, advice, and lessons learned from those businesses as well.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
I have a few affiliate links, but that’s a very minor portion of my overall business. My focus is building a brand and community. I also have a related business that is a natural fit for my blog audience. I sell the keyword research tool, Long Tail Pro. So, although indirect, the sales of Long Tail Pro is how I monetize my blog.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
That its a lot of work! I knew when I created my blog that it was a big commitment, and it truly is. If you want to create something valuable, you really need to spend time and energy making your web property great.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
SearchEngineLand.com, TechCrunch.com, and CNN.com.
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging? (search tools, keywords, content, social)
Obviously I recommend Long Tail Pro. It really is a great keyword research tool. Google Analytics is also critical (or some analytics tool). And finally an email opt-in provider; I recommend either Aweber or Infusionsoft.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
Try to be different! If you don’t have a unique angle at all for your blog, its likely going to get lost in the crowd.
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
Probably the previous answer I gave. Be different and unique; try not to copy others.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
Logo design and theme most likely.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
Thanks again Spencer for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.