Internet marketing, content creation and making money online all go hand in hand. You really can’t have the same success in one area, without a key component from another. Before WordPress, it was quite a process to create content and go live with a site of your own — now it’s simply a matter of a few clicks.
With all of this in mind, it’s now easier and popular than ever for people to dive into the world of blogging and affiliate marketing. Many of the individuals featured within our Meet the Bloggers series all share these common traits… and here’s another success story to add into the mix!
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
My name is Louie and I run Buzznitrous.com. I’m a blogger and internet marketer.
If I recall correctly, I owned my first blog back in 2004. I manually installed a blogging software (not WordPress) on my web server and published my first post (which was about the Euro 2004 soccer tournament that was being held in my country) in that summer.
At the time, there wasn’t a clear idea of what blogging was all about — at least, not to me. And, as such, I didn’t give it much thought. In January of 2005, I created an online community for web developers that featured discussion forums and, a few months later, a companion blog. That’s my oldest standing blog ever, it’s 12-years-old at the time of this writing!
During my career as a programmer (although having a college degree in Marketing) I continued launching other projects, communities, and websites aiming to attract more and more traffic and trying to make money online.
One of those projects was actually a personal blog where I wrote every day about what was going on in our society and life. Surprisingly it became one of my most popular blogs and gathered a growing number of readers and followers. By being contacted and reaching out to other bloggers, I finally realized what’s that thing they call “blogosphere” is; it’s a whole world on its own, unquestionably.
For another project of mine, I developed my own CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress from scratch because I wasn’t fully satisfied with how WordPress let me customize some of its core functions and ran a viral videos blog on that platform for about five years.
Following that, I decided to build a new blog to share my money-making-online experiences. I knew there were thousands of blogs of this kind out there but most of them just tell how much they are making and don’t actually show how they do it.
There was a gap to fill and that’s why and when Buzznitrous.com came to life.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
My blog focuses on online business. The goal is to help and inspire people who want to succeed online, regardless of their level of expertise: from beginners to seasoned veterans.
I felt there was a need for a quality resource that would answer and solve this kind of audience’s questions and problems in regards to everything that relates to online business and its different subcategories (such as Internet Marketing, SEO, Blogging and Personal Development) by showing how things are done instead of just telling how much I made online.
I try to achieve my goal by constantly challenging myself to build and reach success in all sorts of endeavors — from the “simplest” ones (like building an affiliate website) to the more advanced (like launching an online startup or developing a brand) — while documenting every step of the process from zero up until the desired outcome, with both my successes and failures included in the mix.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic
At the moment, Buzznitrous is being monetized through affiliate marketing. I don’t promote just any product, though. I only recommend tools, products or services that I’ve used or tried myself and think can be helpful to my audience. I’m not a fan of hard selling stuff; I rather just soft pitch things by explaining how product A or B have helped me reach my objectives.
I make sure to write long, in-depth reviews so that my readers are well aware of what they are getting into if they do decide to go and make the purchase. A good example of that is my review on the Wealthy Affiliate training academy. It’s so thorough that I even get comments from people thanking me and saying that I sure haven’t left any stone unturned.
In the future, I’m thinking about launching my own products or tools for that blog’s audience, but… one step at a time!
On my Niche Website Project Case Study — I’m publicly building a niche website and describing everything I do to make it profitable — one of the rules is to make money through the Amazon Associates Program. The initial goal was to earn $200 a month from Amazon, but that niche website has already reached the $1.5k-in-a-month milestone.
For my older websites, I use Google AdSense — which is not my preferred income source, by the way.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
I basically wish I knew everything about blogging I learned over the years. 🙂
If I did, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time before really starting to blog professionally and launch my online businesses.
To me more specific:
- Take action: This is the number one lesson that I’ve learned: TAKE ACTION! There’s no need to be afraid to fail. Quite the contrary, welcome your failures and mistakes; they are invaluable lessons that will shoot you up to the next level. If you fall down, at least you’ll move one step closer to reaching your goals than you would if you just stood still by not taking action.
- Niches: I wish I knew about niches and that I should focus on just one topic and try to build an audience around it; instead of writing about everything and, in the end, about nothing.
- The amount of work: Blogging is a lot of work! If you want to do it right and come up with something valuable, you have to be aware that researching, writing, publishing, optimizing and promoting will take a huge amount of time. So it takes commitment and you need to be productive and consistent.
- Email list: I wish I had looked at email marketing with another set of eyes. If I had taken the time to really understand and bet on building email lists I would have reached my goals more easily and quickly.
- Outsourcing and delegation: I wish I knew about outsourcing but, more important than that, I wish I had learned to delegate some of the more time-consuming tasks than I can have other people doing for me. Even if you know or are skillful enough to learn something (like video or image editing) you need to realize that money spent on hiring help is not wasted, because your time is your greatest asset.
- Bet on paid tools and services: I wish I wasn’t such a cheapskate and had put aside a bit of my budget to get some tools and services instead of trying to do everything manually or depending on free tools alone. You’re right in assuming that when you start you don’t have much money to spend and you can obviously use free tools (and you should!). But, when the money starts rolling in, it will be the right time to bet on paid tools and services that will help you reach higher business standards and make your life easier.
- Other profitable niches: I wish I knew that the “online business” or “make money online” niches aren’t the only ones or that they’re the only niches people can make money from. There are more than thousands of potentially awesome niches out there and many of them are much simpler to target and more profitable because the competition is low and creating content and ranking high in the search engines becomes easier.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
To be honest, I don’t visit many blogs or have much time to read them these days. There’s a lesson in that too: there will come a time where you just have to stop spending so much time reading online business/marketing blogs or participating in internet marketing forums and start putting what you’ve learned to good use by taking action.
I like having frequent readers and loyal fans and hope they stay for long but I want them to grab my tips and advice and really use them on their own projects. Of course, they — like me – can switch from being frequent readers to becoming readers that come to update themselves on the latest tactics, strategies, and trends, to see what’s working now.
That being said, I can’t really say I pay daily visits to a set of blogs. But the ones I visit the most are SmartPassiveIncome.com, NichePursuits.com, and Gaps.com.
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
Since I can only mention three, here are some of the tools and services I use:
To get new content ideas there’s Buzzsumo (great way to find pieces of content with lots of social shares that you can then replicate — not copy — on your blog). For keyword research, Long Tail Pro is a great tool. And for social promotion, I like to utilize JustRetweet.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
If this is your first blog, my advice is to focus on a specific niche and be sure it’s something you’re passionate about, feel you could write a ton of content around (and for many years to come) and that there’s money to be made there.
Bear in mind that this blogging business is very much like growing a plantation; you plant the seeds now to harvest your crops several months later. Meaning that you shouldn’t just give up if you don’t see any exciting results in the first three to six months or, sometimes, even later. Focus on your daily or weekly task and not on the overall outcome. Be persistent, bet on a strategy and on a single traffic source at first. Try to master it and you’ll see something finally coming to life later on.
Also, don’t mimic anyone else. Be yourself, be different than the pack. Pick a unique angle to try and stand out from the crowd.
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
Readers like uniqueness and honesty. They want to read stuff or consume content from a real person like them with whom they can relate to. A blogger needs to treat his/her readers like real people and care for them.
In this business — if you’re blogging professionally you have to see your blog as a real business — it is very important to build relationships both with your audience and fellow bloggers. If you build relationships with your readers, you’ll have loyal fans that can help spread the word about you and your blog. If you build relationships with other bloggers, you’ll support one another and help promote your businesses along the way.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I wouldn’t need that much money to begin with; just a good idea for a niche, focus, a unique angle on which to base my writings, persistence, determination and commitment. When my content strategy would be all lined up, I would get a domain name and hosting (you can get those for $50 or less a year).
In a second stage, after publishing some pieces of content, I would use the rest of the money to get a professional-looking theme.
People say that “content is king” and it still is but, tell me, who would you rather link to: a nice, professional-looking, freshly updated website or an ugly, amateur-looking one with outdated posts? The beauty of your design and the care you put in your website or blog plays a very important role nowadays and will continue to do so in the future.
Finally, with everything in place (niche idea, unique angle, domain and hosting, some content published, theme set up) I would outreach to other bloggers to try and guest post on their blogs to get to be known in my niche and bring traffic and readers to my blog
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
People can get in touch with me if they go over to Buzznitrous and visit my “Contact” page. They can either send me an email just to say “hi” or to introduce themselves or visit my social places on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. They can also join my mailing list to get my latest blog updates and exclusive content I send to my subscribers.
Thanks again to Louie Luc 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.