Blogging is one of the top platforms available for anyone to become a powerful voice and brand of their own. It doesn’t matter where you are located or even your age, and today’s “Meet the Blogger” interview is a perfect example of this concept in motion.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
I’m Charles Floate, I’m a 17 year old internet marketer and I currently run the God of SEO blog as my main blog, but also own a ton of other side projects that I do blogging on as well.
I got into blogging through being an SEO, I was following Matthew Woodward for a LONG time and he released a tutorial on starting a blog. I already had the “GodOfSEO.Co” domain sitting in my NameCheap account and thought I may as well setup a blog. It pretty much started from there and now has ended up with me quitting my job and working full-time for myself.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
I focus my blog on Internet Marketing, more specifically SEO but as of recently it’s marketing across the board. I focus’d on SEO for a while and wanted to expand my blog even more. I really, really like SEO and have a passion for making sites work with it, but it’s hard to just dedicate yourself to one thing as it can get boring…
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
My blog has 2 sources of income. The first is my clients, I run Godlike Marketing and push a couple leads a week through to Godlike and have a number of clients including the likes of 48HoursLogo and a number of other agencies looking to outsource to someone when it comes to the likes of grey and black hat SEO.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
I wish I knew how to handle my emotions, I’ve got into a number of arguments and gone into the “I hate the world” bit when people give me criticism, but now I realize that there is no such thing as hate/bad feedback… I try and push myself as hard as possible and any feedback I do get (good or “bad”) I take on board and try to improve for the next time.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
The main would be Matthew Woodward, I’m pretty good pals with him and we’re working on a few thins together as well as I’ve now done 2 guest posts for his blog. I base a lot of my writing style and content around his and I owe him a lot of thanks for helping both promote my blog and giving me so much of his time.
The other 2 would be more shoutouts, I don’t really visit them all that often but am good friends with both of them and have done work with both – Jacob King and Matthew Barby’s blog Find My Blog Way. Jacob’s a fantastic affiliate marketer and we’re constantly DM’ing each other on twitter and giving each other a bit of abuse in a very friendly manner. Matt on the other hand I Skype and run businesses/projects with almost every day, we’ve been friends and worked with each other for the past 6 months or so now and it’s odd to say that as it seems like only yesterday we were sitting in a pub which felt like 10 minutes, in reality it was about 6 hours discussing SEO.
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
Before I list the tools, I’d like to give a quick heads up to a tool that is coming out soon by me and Dinesh (An excellent states based programmer who I’ve been working with for about a month now) so stay tuned for that!
The first service I’d suggest is the Envato Marketplace and more specifically CodeCanyon and ThemeForest. I buy all my premium themes from TF and it has an epic selection of themes available. My blog and Matthew Woodward’s is based on the Convergence theme available on CodeCanyon, though we’ve both hacked it to pieces! I also use CodeCanyon for most of my plugins, the newsletter popup and sidebar is done with NinjaPopups (and their 2 extension theme pack and widget sidebar plugins) as an example of the epic things you can do with some of the plugins on there.
My 2nd service would be MailChimp, I only use their Free version and my emails have always been well received as well as their API is integrated into a ton of other services and they have some awesome WordPress plugins available.
The final service/tool would be FollowerWonk, I started using FollowerWonk to “cleanup” my follows and find some cool niche related blogs. It’s free but does offer some more epic tools if you go with the Moz Pro bundle.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
Post as much as you can! This is what I did to start with. The first 25 days of running my blog, I did 31 posts to try and pull in as much search traffic as possible from keywords, then after my blog started receiving some good traffic I went back and edited the posts I’d done previously to make them even better by looking at the posts that were pulling in the most search traffic.
Once you have some good traffic going and have a couple newsletter signups etc… I’d suggest pushing some BIG pieces of content and promoting the hell out of them!
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
This has got to be a comment I received from Victor Pan, who’s a good friend of mine and longtime LoL tip discusser! His comment inspired me so much, I even wrote a blog post on it here – http://godofseo.co/content-
He made a really simple remark – “Is it really for your target audience though?” and that got me really thinking, I mean REALLY thinking… I spent a good few hours trying to think of what my target audience really was and weather I wanted to pursue links or clients for my blog.
I always now ask that question to myself when I’m creating content – Am I looking to gain links or leads?
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I’d start by buying a domain, that’s the easy part! Find a really good domain name, either expired – Using http://www.expireddomains.net/ to find some good domain names that people have left to expire or look for a new one via the NameCheap search (Always look at the suggestions, I’ve found some golden domains with the search function) so that’s about $10 – $20 off our mark.
Then, I’d use Fiverr to find some epic guest posting opportunities, for just $5 I’ve managed to secure some sweet links ranging from DA 20 all the way to DA 55! Make sure though, that you’re ordering content you write, otherwise you’ll end up with some un-readable garbage! I’d buy 4 or 5 guest posts at $5 each to give me some good quality links.
The rest of the money would be spent on running contests, you’d be surprised with a bit of effort how many emails, follows and likes you’ll get from running a contest for a week! Matthew Barby recently did an awesome post on running competitions online here – http://findmyblogway.com/running-online-competitions/
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
Well, my blog is God of SEO – So you can check it out and use the Contact page or my Questions page if you’re interested in asking me something or getting in touch. Alternatively I have Twitter that I’m ALWAYS active on @Charles_SEO and I have a very unused Google+ and Facebook page I hardly ever use and should really aim to use some more!
Thanks again Charles Floate 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.