One of the best ways to build a blogging or internet business is to surround yourself with other successful bloggers and individuals that can help grow your sites. That is exactly what we did with one of our blogs at PPC.org. Will Green is one of the contributing authors on the site, which is focused on pay per click marketing, but Will is well versed in online marketing and blogging in addition to ppc marketing, which makes him a perfect addition to our meet the bloggers interview series.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
It’s quite an interesting story actually! It all started back in 2008 when I had my first real exams of my life. Being quite young, most students would revise using post-stick notes and doing past paper exam questions and so on. However, I saw a niche of publishing my notes online. As well as helping myself revise, I will be giving lots of other people access to my notes too! The traffic came rolling in (to my complete surprise at the time) which made me think, ‘hang on a minute, I could make some money from this traffic!’. So I then monetized my website AskWillOnline.com and ever since 2008 I have been publishing my school notes onto the website helping it bring in even more traffic. You see, there is actually no website out there where a student publishes his notes onto a website! I’m one of a kind!
After publishing my notes, I started to realise that as a new blogger, there are areas which are difficult and even sometimes frustrating to try and overcome. Therefore, I also started to make articles on how to blog better be it to increase traffic, SEO or monetisation methods: I experimented quite a lot in the early stages on my blogging career where I learned many lessons which I hope I can bring forward for others in my articles.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
Hopefully, the above answer should make clear that I chose the subjects I studied as my niche being English Literature, Music, Business Studies and Physics. I chose this niche because I needed to revise for my exams. I didn’t have, at first, a financial motivation to start blogging. However, when I started to get a financial motivation, that is when I diversified the website into articles on tips and tricks to do with blogging.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
I have experimented so much when it comes to monetizing my blog traffic. I have tried PPC, banner advertising, in-text and many more. I think, all in all, I have tried around 30 different advertising programs. However, I have always found that the best way to monetize my blog traffic (which I am using now) is through Google Adsense and BuySellAds combined. I give Adsense adverts priority to gain the best possible CTR and then leave BuySellAds in places such as the sidebar where I can make a nice consistent income from too.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
There are many things I know because the more you blog, the more valuable experience you gain. I know now that getting content out onto the internet should be a number one priority for all new starting up websites. Changing the design of your website will not help you SEO-wise as much as new quality content will. For this reason, I wish I would have stopped faffing around with the template of my website in the early days and just pump out articles onto the internet instead. Once the traffic is rolling in, that is the time to waste away tinkering with the template.
I also know that social media is a magnificent tool for gaining traffic to a website. When I first started, I thought the only source of traffic is organic search traffic. However, social media is booming at the moment – everyone should take advantage of this. For this reason, I wished I had linked my website to social media much sooner than I did because this would have definitely sped up the growth of my website.
However, above all, I wished I had created my website through WordPress and not Blogger. Blogger is great for the casual blogger. But, when websites start bringing in serious traffic, that is when WordPress is the far superior program to use. They have the best templates, the best SEO and the best layout and design to blogging. The problem was, at the time, I was a newbie to blogging and chose the simplest looking program to create a website with.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
I don’t really look at blogs although for a little time period, I was an subscriber to Problogger.net where I use to read every article they published. It’s actually quite funny because the three blogs I visit most daily are:
- Eurosport – I am a huge football (soccer) and Formula One racing fan and like to stay up to date with everything that is going on.
- PPC.org – You might think why do I read PPC.org aritcles if I write articles for them? Well, PPC.org have some of the best writers talking about PPC and they are always good quality reads, so why not?
- AskWillOnline.com – I frequently come back to my own website to check up certain school subject topics which I find I need to know about months/years later after taking the exam for a different purpose.
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
I have to admit that I am not a complete expert on search tools and services etc. for my website. I like to keep things simple because I run around three different websites…by myself and that can be quite a large task for just one person who is also trying to study A levels and next year (2014) a degree. Even so, I find that I cannot live without Google Analytics. It is a must have for all bloggers. I find it useful also writing monthly reports about how your own website is going from traffic to traffic sources to the bounce rate (this will give you an idea where to improve your website).
I spoke about how important social media integration is earlier on. For this reason, I use AddThis buttons to integrate social media into my articles. They also supply a great analytical tool which shows me exactly how people are sharing my articles and how many people are clicking on these shares.
I don’t really have anything else that I use that makes significant contributions to the success of my website. After all, I like to keep things simple so I can manage my websites easily.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
1) Use WordPress – It will be difficult at first to become custom to the design but it will be worth it in the long term.
2) Buy a ebook helping you set up a website – I did this and it helped massively for the first month or so.
3) Get help – You cannot do two things at once no matter how good you are! If you want to concentrate on the design of your website, hire someone to write for you during this time or vice versa.
4) Do not give up. I was lucky that, at first, my incentive to blog was to help myself revise for exams. Most bloggers will have a financial incentive of wanting to make money. This will not happen for months! But, do not give up, it will come…
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
The best tip I know is to make as many blogging friends as possibly. On the internet, part of it is what you know. But, it helps greatly if you know lots of people (e.g. that can let you guest post on their website etc.). Make sure you have a range of people you let guest post for you and you guest post for them to help with your SEO ranking and inbound links number.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I would spend the first $20 or so on buying a domain for 3+ years. After that, I would spend the rest on buying a premium template. That will mean the only thing I will need worrying about is the content which I can do myself.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
You can get in touch from my different websites:
- www.F1Insight.co.uk (still in the setting up process)
My Twitter username is also @willGreeny but if you want to follow just my main website, then you can follow @AskWillOnline. Thanks!
Thanks again Will 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.