Something I really love about the world of blogging and doing business online, is how much everyone is open with each other and always willing to help out. This is something I’ve always enjoyed doing as well, as it only takes a few minutes of time and can make a world of a different for anyone that takes the time to message you. As a well-known blogger and entrepreneurs, I get to connect with bloggers of all sizes and get to see how they grow their businesses and brands over time.In this latest edition of “
In this latest edition of “Meet the Blogger”, I’m happy to share the many stories and success tips from Safwan Khan, who I also had the pleasure of e-meeting through my sites as well!
1. Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
My name is Safwan Khan and I have done my masters in international marketing. I currently have several online businesses. I am a partner for an APP, Website and Software development company called Arkotech Software.
I also provide marketing consulting services to startups, I sell business documents such as business & marketing plan templates, financial, accounting, project management worksheets. About 10 months ago I started a blog called Startupily, where I interview and promote businesses from around the world. We are proud to announce that we have interviewed 127 startups.
I got into blogging because while I was consulting I noticed that most of them were having difficulty marketing their products or services and had no idea what to do. I wanted to create a platform for them where they could market themselves to increase brand awareness, get professional PR services and eventually increase their customer base. That is how Startupily.com was born.
Furthermore, I built upon the idea by adding several other services that would enable them to market themselves and help them to get started.
2. What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
The focus of Startupily is on entrepreneurs and startups. I want my blog to be the first choice and go to place for startups to interview and promote themselves. This way their customers will be able to read about them and get an idea on how the entrepreneur started the business and what are his long-term goals for it.
I choose this niche because everyone wants to be an entrepreneur now. Out of a group of 10 people you will notice that 6 are aspiring entrepreneurs. People want to take risks and break free from the corporate slavery. Entrepreneurship will increase drastically over the next few years and I want these businesses to have a platform where they could come and promote themselves.
3. How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
I am always working on trying different ways to monetize my website to gain traffic. Some ways work and some don’t. It’s all about trial and error and learning new dynamic ways to increase traffic. Currently, I use AdSense, affiliate marketing, sell business documents, provide a resources page from where business owners can utilize some great tools and services and I also sell advertising space.
4. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
When I first started my blog I went through various variations of it and did not utilize the most important aspect of a blog and that is email marketing. If I had implemented email marketing from day one I would have built a larger database of subscribers. This way I could have sold my products and services to them. I think I missed out on quite a few email subscribers during this phase.
5. What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
To be honest, I visit and learn from more than three blogs. I believe these blogs are the best in terms of learning how to start an online business, how to sell a product and market your business by using social media marketing.
I visit other blogs as well and signed up for email tips but these are by far the best. If you are going to start an online business then you should definitely consider learning from these guys. They are blogging gurus.
6. Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
There are quite a few tools I use but the best ones are:
- Welcome Mats by SumoMe – In the beginning, I was a bit skeptical about it as I thought my viewers would not want to see an email opt in page when visiting my website. I tested it out for 3 days and I was surprised to see the results. I actually increased my email opt INS by 200% in those 3 days. It was amazing.
- Hootsuite – I love using this tool when I promote my blog posts and services. It makes my life easier when I want to automate my posts. I spend an hour a week in writing my posts in hootsuite and schedule them on specific days and times to be sent out on my social media pages. This way I can focus on other tasks such as writing and posting content and sending out email campaigns to my followers.
- Vidrack – I just added Vidrack to my blog a few days ago and I think its pretty cool. It’s a video recorder plugin that you can add to your website. With a video recorder my customers can simply click on the record button and send me a video testimonial, tell me about their business issues or even send me a video describing their app & website project idea. I am also thinking of using it for the interviews I conduct now. You guys should definitely try it out.
7. What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
The first thing I would recommend to someone who is starting a blog is to think of a great niche to write about, keep posting content and most important of all; have patience. Patience is key as you are growing the blog. You will never become an overnight success. It takes time to build a blog, market it and get people to actually read your content.
There will be days where you don’t want to do anything and may become disheartened. Overcome this and keep writing and posting content. If you don’t post for a few days your blog will just become a graveyard and it will fizzle out.
I am actually writing an ebook at the moment that will help and guide a newbie to start a blog. It will be complete within two weeks. For updates on this ebook make sure you visit Startupily.
8. What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
The best tip I discovered when I started blogging was to just keep writing and posting content on it. Once I started posting I noticed my blog began to grow, ratings got better, gained more backlinks and viewers. Content is king.
I had emailed several bloggers for tips and advice and I still remember, Zac you emailed me back and just told me to keep at it and post content. Thanks for that.
9. If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
When I first started my blog I thought $100 was a lot of money to invest in, so I started off with the free domain extension wordpress.com. After a couple of months of blogging and interviewing businesses I realized that I am getting better at it, my viewership was increasing and there was a huge interest from entrepreneurs who wanted to interview. That is when I decided to purchase the domain and hosting to make my blog official and legit. It actually only cost me $45 for the entire year.
So, I guess if you have $100 to invest then you should definitely think of purchasing a domain and hosting so you can get started. If you have some money left over then consider getting a professional logo created and purchase a blogging theme.
10. How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
In order to get in touch with me they can check out my blog and social media pages:
- Website: www.startupily.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/startupily
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/startupily
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/startupily
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/startupily
Thanks again Safwan 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.