Meet Joe Williams of ZenOptimise.com

Many successful bloggers first find their way into the world of blogging, thanks to the current industry that they are working. This can often be the case when working with a business, brand or organization and they realize the power of blogging and they need to hire someone to take on the task of building out the company blog… the same holds true with anything relating to online marketing, such as SEO, social media and viral marketing. Taking the knowledge you learn from these experiences is a great concept for building out a blog of your own, and this is exactly what Joe Williams did and explains in the latest post in the Meet the Bloggers series.

1.)  Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?

Joe Williams I’m Joe from Zen Optimise and I live in London. I stumbled into blogging back in 2006 when an old employer asked me to write a monthly SEO newsletter. It was a fun paid gig and I thought it would be good to turn it into a blog.

2.)  What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?

It’s mainly an SEO blog that also covers Social Media and Content Marketing.

The first website I built was in 2005. It was hand-built and called openinghours.net. Back then it was hard to find opening hours on Google or on the big retailors’ websites. So I built a website to help with that and made some money through affiliate marketing. I later sold the website and discovered my love for SEO was more than building websites.

3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?

Zen Optimise offers in-person digital marketing courses. This is mainly in London and it’s where all our income comes from. Around 75% of our customers come from SEO traffic and the blog plays a big role in SEO.

ZenOptimise

4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?

I wish I took more of a systematic process e.g. 25% of my time planning posts (headline and outline), 50% writing and 25% editing. Ali Luke blogs for us and she is great at this – and she explains how to do it in an in-depth writing process for bloggers video.

5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?

  1. Moz is great for SEO and Inbound Marketing advice.
  2. Search Engine Land for staying up-to-date on Search Engine news.
  3. Nuzzel isn’t a blog but it curates blog posts based on what people you follow on Twitter are sharing.

6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?

  1. Buzzsumo is great for researching competitors most shared content.
  2. Headline Hacks is a free ebook helping you write killer headlines for your blog posts.
  3. Keywordtool.io is handy keyword suggestion tool.

7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?

Write about topics you’re passionate and interested in.

8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?

It’s like any skill. The more you do the better you become!

9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?

1.    $25 on a one-month membership on Lynda.com. It offers online courses in things like blogging, SEO, social media and writing well.

2.     Use WordPress.org as your blogging platform and install Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin (both free)

3.     $10 on picking the right domain name

4.     $50 for annual self-hosting for your WordPress site

5.     Any leftovers spent on further education

$100 will get you so far. If money is an issue, I’d consider freelancing to build up more income e.g. copywriting, design, SEO or any other talent that you have that people are willing to pay for.

10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?

You can visit our digital marketing blog, follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Thanks again Joe 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.

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