One of my favorite things about blogging is hearing all of the different stories about people who got into this space and then further transitioned from where they originally were. For example, lots of people start blogging because they found something they were passionate about. Then that passion leads into figuring out how to get traffic to their site and then even monetize it to make some money in the process. It’s a winning formula and we see it happen all the time.
In today’s Meet the Bloggers interview, we have yet another blogging success story which helped Tim go from a mechanical engineer to a blogger, to a successful affiliate marketer. Be sure to read through his story and then check out his sight to see how you might be able to make that same type of transition.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
My name is Tim and I’m a mechanical engineer turned blogger turned affiliate marketer from Seattle.
I started blogging when I was in college. Since I’ve always loved cars, bikes, engines, tools, gadgets, technology, and DIY projects those (along with my college-life experiences) were the topics that I wrote about on my blog.
I had absolutely no intention of making money out of it. To be quite honest, back then I didn’t even know that was possible.
One day, however, one of my classmates mentioned something about Google AdSense and I decided to try it out just out of curiosity.
To my surprise, it didn’t take long for the blog to start making roughly $300 per month on a consistent basis. Little did I know that that was merely the beginning of my blogging and affiliate marketing career.
After graduating, I got a job as an engineer and kept on learning more about blogging and affiliate marketing on my spare time.
When things got really tough for the company I was working for, I knew I was finally ready to jump right in and become a full-time blogger and affiliate marketer.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
My blog focuses on tools, gadgets, technology and DIY projects.
Hopefully, by now, (if you read my answer above) it’s quite obvious why I chose that niche.
I’m basically just following my passion here and building a blog where I write about something that I really love! I love those topics and feel I could write hundreds of articles around them for years to come. That’s what all the best-known bloggers and internet marketers advise you to do, especially if you’re just starting your first blog.
My blog’s mission is to help DIY doers, crafters and tech lovers learn new tricks, tips and best practices, try out and experiment new projects and get to know the latest news, projects, tools and gadgets. I love reviewing new stuff that comes to the market, put it to the test to see if it’s really worth it and can be helpful and useful to my audience.
For some building things is like a weekend fever, for me is kind of my life fever; hence the name of the blog: ToolFever.com
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
Presently I am monetizing my blog traffic and email list through affiliate marketing. I review lots of products like gadgets, tools, books as an affiliate and earn commissions while doing it.
For the sake of transparency, I should make it clear that I only recommend stuff which I believe can really help my readers. I’m an honest guy and hate pushing stuff that either isn’t good enough, won’t help them in any way or simply just sucks.
Under that light, if any paid advertising opportunities come my way I will have to analyze both the brands and products behind them before closing those deals.
In the future, I may be launching my own products (like an eBook or an actual physical product), but that’s still on the consideration stage, far from actually being a real thing.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
Am I allowed to say everything? That’s really what I wish I knew when I started blogging because I learned so much over the years.
Wait, let’s be true here!
If it weren’t for all those mistakes, errors, misses and failures I couldn’t have learned all the lessons I learned the way that I did.
If it weren’t for all those hours “hitting” my head against my room wall, all those sleepless nights and all those endless headaches trying to figure out how to do what I wanted and needed to do I would never EVER have gotten this far.
So my best answer is… I’m just glad I TOOK ACTION, fought and hustled my way to where I am today!
What I wish I could have known just a little bit sooner is that I could actually monetize my blog traffic and earn money from it!
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
I don’t really have much time to visit / read many blogs these days, despite the fact that I think you should keep updating yourself on the latest strategies and continue learning every day.
With that being said, here are my favorite blogs, bloggers and podcasts:
- AuthorityHacker.com: Gael and Mark are really awesome individuals who keep publishing highly practical content that really helps developing your skills whether you’re a blogger, an affiliate marketer or are looking for more advanced stuff.
- NichePursuits.com: If you haven’t heard about Spencer Haws you’re missing out big time! He’s the master who probably knows everything about niche websites and other kinds of niche businesses.
- Buzznitrous.com — Louie Luc writes seriously interesting, in-depth and thorough articles about his internet marketing and online business projects while sharing awesome tips and strategies on SEO, link building, email marketing, paid advertising, social media, etc. that anyone can learn from.
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
My favorite and recommended tools / services that I use almost every day are: Ahrefs for keyword research; BuzzSumo to find out the most shared content (although Ahrefs also does that) and NinjaOutreach for blogger outreach.
And, of course, there are also those tools and services that go without saying (but I will mention them, just the same) and should be considered mandatory for any blogger such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
I would tell someone who is just starting their first blog the very same thing I’ve been told on numerous occasions which is exactly what I followed myself before even knowing about this great advice: follow your passion!
Pick something you really enjoy talking about or doing and that you feel you could write a lot for a long time.
The reason why is simple. There will come times in your blogging career when you’ll just want to give up. But, because you’re doing something that you love, it will be easier for you to keep going on.
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
The most important lesson I learned since I got started was that you need to be consistent. To become consistent you have to stay disciplined, organized and professional.
You’ll have to figure out how to best manage your time and work efficiently so that everything goes smoothly and you don’t get burned out by the large number of tasks you need to take care of.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
First, I would figure out what I like to write about (find a passion of mine, as I referred above).
Second, I would try to think about 50 topics / article ideas to write that were related to the passion I had found on the previous step. If I wasn’t able to find at least 50 article ideas, I would have to go back to the first step and find another idea for a blog.
Third, I would use part of those 100 dollars to get my own domain name and hosting.
Finally, I would basically do the very same thing that I do every day. That is sitting down at my computer desk, and start typing.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
Feel free to stop by and say ‘hi!’
Thanks again Tim 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.