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Archive for August, 2013

Blog Blazer Friday – Andy Brice of Successful Software

Each week I am publishing an interview from the book Blog Blazers (in alphabetical order) which can be purchased on Amazon here. The interviews were all done in 2008 and the full list of bloggers interviewed can be found by clicking here.

This week the interview is with Andy Brice of Successful Software

AndyBrice

successfulSoftware

Andy Brice
Successful Software
http://SuccessfulSoftware.net

Biography:

Andy Brice is the founder of the software company Oryx Digital Ltd. He is also the creator of the software called PerfectTablePlan (sold by Oryx Digital Ltd.), a table seating planner for weddings, banquets and dinners. In addition to this Andy writes a blog about developing and marketing software called SuccessfulSoftware.net. He makes his living from the sales of his software product PerfectTablePlan through his company.

The blog SuccessfulSoftware.net was originally a sideline to his main software business however it has since generated significant interest and traffic from the community. On it you will find many useful and interesting articles, especially if you’re a small independent software vendor (ISV).

Interview:

Steph: What makes a blog successful according to you? Is it traffic, reach, revenue, etc.?

Andy: It depends on what your objectives are for your blog. But obviously readership is important. I don’t think there is much point writing something if no-one else reads it.

Steph: When did you decide you finally reached success with your blog?

Andy: I don’t think I have reached that point yet. Getting lucky once doesn’t count.

Steph: How long does it take to become a successful blogger?

Andy: Ask me again in a few years.

Steph: Who do you think are the most successful bloggers on the internet today?

Andy: Amongst the thousands of people blogging about software, I would guess that Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood are the most successful, in terms of readership and influence. They have very different styles, but their blogs are always very insightful, well written and entertaining. Although you could argue that Joel On Software isn’t strictly a blog, because it doesn’t have comments.

Steph: Which five blogs do you regularly read?

Andy: I track about 30 different blogs in my RSS reader, nearly all related to software development and marketing. It’s tough to single out a few. But three that stand out for me are:

Steph: Which websites would you recommend for any new bloggers starting to blog?

Andy: None really. Blogging is far too incestuous as it is. Just write about things that you care about that you think other people will care about.

Steph: Which book(s) would you recommend for new bloggers (these can range from marketing books, blogging books, etc.)?

Andy: I haven’t read any books about blogging, so I can’t comment.

Steph: What is your most successful blog post ever?

Andy: I wrote a minor investigative piece showing that many software download sites were giving out bogus awards to get back links. I think every software author who submits to download sites knew this was going on, but I proved it by getting a page full of awards for a program that didn’t even run (it was a renamed text file). I hoped a few hundred people might read the article, but the response was quite overwhelming.

It made it to the front page of Digg.com, Reddit.com and Slashdot and even got a mention in the Guardian newspaper. According to my WordPress stats it has had 157,000 hits in the three months since I wrote it, with 53,000 hits on the peak day. I hope that the article will make some small contribution to ending this ugly practice.

Steph: What’s your biggest tip on writing a successful blog post?

Andy: Write well. Don’t listen to people like me who got lucky once.

Steph: How important do you think are the headlines of your blog articles?

Andy: I think the headline is important to draw people in. But they won’t stay long if the rest of the article isn’t well written.

Steph: Do you spend any money and time on marketing?

Andy: Not really.

Steph: What are your main methods of marketing your blog?

Andy: I include a link to my blog in my email signature. That’s it.

Steph: What is the most common pitfall new bloggers generally fall into?

Andy: Too much commentary and not enough content. Try to write something interesting, rather than comment on something someone else wrote.

Steph: Do you make any direct money from your blog through advertising, product placements, etc.?

Andy: I don’t run ads on my blog and I always try to make clear any interests I might have.

So far I have managed a free t-shirt from Eric Sink, $10 in e-junkie referral fees and 2 additional sales of my PerfectTablePlan software. I don’t think I will be retiring from writing software any time soon.

Steph: What’s the one biggest opportunity that came to you because of your blog?

Andy: Writing a blog takes a lot of time and effort. I think most people who write a blog hope for something in return for their efforts. One of my goals is to raise the profile of the consulting side of my business. But I currently don’t have any time to spare from PerfectTablePlan, so it’s a long-term goal. Also I like writing. It’s nice to be able to sound off about things you care about.

Steph: Any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share?

Andy: Register your own domain. Don’t rely on a blogging service to provide one for you. It is very cheap, convenient and easy to use a free service, such as WordPress.com. They are also very well set-up to handle the inevitable traffic spike if you get ‘slashdotted’. But it does come with its own risks. WordPress can shut down your blog without a warning, without a reason and without any right of appeal. It happened to my blog not long ago. Apparently it was an honest mistake on their part and they restored full access. But if they hadn’t, at least I would have been able to redirect somewhere else from SuccessfulSoftware.net.






Blog Blazer Friday – Alex Papadimoulis of The Daily WTF

Each week I am publishing an interview from the book Blog Blazers (in alphabetical order) which can be purchased on Amazon here. The interviews were all done in 2008 and the full list of bloggers interviewed can be found by clicking here.

This week the interview is with Alex Papadimoulis of The Daily WTF

TheDailyWTF

Alex Papadimoulis
The Daily WTF
http://www.TheDailyWTF.com

Biography:

Alex Papadimoulis lives in Berea, Ohio. He is a managing partner at Inedo, LLC. which brings custom software solutions to small and mid-sized businesses and helps other software development organizations utilize best practices in their products.

He is also the creator of TheDailyWTF.com. It all began when he initially posted an entry entitled “Your Daily Cup of WTF” on his old blog in 2004, complaining about the quality of development at his then current employer. Three days later a reader suggested that Alex should start a new website dedicated exclusively to “bad code” postings, and a few days later he indeed went ahead and registered TheDailyWTF.com where he began posting stories from readers.

Within a few months the traffic exploded and he had to switch from self hosting in his basement to a dedicated server. TheDailyWTF.com now receives approximately 5 million page views and 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

Interview:

Steph: What makes a blog successful according to you? Is it traffic, reach, revenue, etc.?

Alex: Readership. With marketing and SEO, it’s not a huge challenge to drive one-time click-throughs and traffic, but I think what’s really important is a real readership. Folks who visit every day or two and read what content you have to offer.

Steph: When did you decide you finally reached success with your blog?

Alex: When I realized that I could no longer use the Internet at home due to all the bandwidth WTF was using up, and had to move the site from my basement-hosted server to a “real” dedicated server at hosting facility.

Steph: How long does it take to become a successful blogger?

Alex: A lot depends on luck and timing of course, but I’d estimate two to three years. At least, that’s what I’ve seen from colleagues who now host successful blogs.

Steph: Who do you think are the most successful bloggers on the internet today?

Alex: I guess I’d have to refer to what the “authorities” say on the matter, Technorati.com, Alexa.com, etc.

Steph: Which five blogs do you regularly read?

Alex: In no particular order:

Which book(s) would you recommend for new bloggers (these can range from marketing books, blogging books, etc.)?

Alex: None specifically on blogging, but any book that teaches one how to write better would certainly help.

Steph: What is your most successful blog post ever?

Alex: It’s hard to say, especially by how I measure success (steady readership). But the one that comes to mind is a series of posts, The Virtudyne Saga. It was a four-parter that told of the rise and fall of one of the industry’s worst software disasters.

Steph: What’s your biggest tip on writing a successful blog post? As well what’s your best advice in regards to content and writing for bloggers?

Alex: Write well and write consistently.

While a typo here or an improperly used word there may not seem like a big deal, it really hurts the overall quality of the publication.

Readers aren’t nitpicky, but mistakes certainly come through in the writing. It gives it an “unfinished” and “rough” feel, and a lot of readers aren’t looking for mediocre content.

As for consistency, generally speaking, no one wants to read a publication that’s about cats one day and politics the next. It’s important to stay on topic and write on deadline. If you want to write daily, then write daily. If it’s weekly, then make sure to write once a week. Too little or too much variation on the schedule hurts, too.

Steph: How important do you think are the headlines of your blog articles?

Alex: At first, they’re critical. In a sea of posts from other blogs, there’s just no other way to grab someone’s attention. But a title alone won’t keep readers; good content is key.

And on that same line, a deceptive title doesn’t help anyone: sure, readers will click it, but no one’s going to come back, and eventually, no one will trust the blog.

Steph: Do you spend any money and time on marketing?

Alex: I’ve been fortunate not to have to do any marketing.

Steph: What are your quick and short five best tips for blogging?

Alex:

  • Write well
  • Write consistently
  • Be accurate
  • Develop policies
  • Take it seriously

Steph: What is the most common pitfall new bloggers generally fall into?

Alex: The biggest mistake that I’ve seen new bloggers make is meta- and linkblogging. Meta-blogging is writing about blogging (“sorry I haven’t updated in a while, I promise to soon…”) and link blogging is merely passing along a
single link to another blog without any additional insight or commentary on the matter.

Steph: If you knew what you know now when you first started, what’s the one biggest tip you’d give yourself today?

Alex: I would have told myself, “Are you sure you want to get in to this? It’s going to be a lot of work, and take up a lot of your day, and will be almost impossible to get away from.”

Steph: What repels you the most from a blog (animations, in your face advertising, etc.)?

Alex: Intrusive advertising.

Steph: Do you make any direct money from your blog through advertising, product placements, etc.? And if so what is your best monetization method (Ads, affiliate marketing, etc.)?

Alex: Yes, and by far the best has been ads.

Steph: Do you find you get more from direct monetization of your blog or from opportunities that come because of the existence of your blog?

Alex: It’s hard to place a value on the opportunities, especially in my line of work (consulting). While I think it has certainly helped with networking, no one has come up to me and said, “I read your blog, I’d like to pay you for your
services.” Well, unless you count writing services—I certainly have had the opportunity to write articles for other publications as a result of blogging, but the rate for writing articles is certainly less than advertisements (and a whole
lot more work).

Steph: What’s the one biggest opportunity that came to you because of your blog?

Alex: As a direct result of the blog—probably the opportunity to write in other publications. I’ve written in a few books and magazines, and am a regular columnist for Redmond Developer News.

Steph: Thank you for your answers and taking this interview Alex.






Blog Blazer Friday – Al Carlton of Coolest Gadgets

Each week I am publishing an interview from the book Blog Blazers (in alphabetical order) which can be purchased on Amazon here. The interviews were all done in 2008 and the full list of bloggers interviewed can be found by clicking here.

This week the interview is with Al Carlton of Coolest-Gadgets.com

Al-Carlton

coolestGadgets-logo

Al Carlton
Coolest-Gadgets.com
http://www.Coolest-Gadgets.com

Biography:

Up until 2004, Al Carlton was a full time coder/programmer, designing and writing financial systems. During that year (2004) Al decided he wanted to leave the rat race and experimented with various web ventures. Towards the end of 2005 he created the blog Coolest-Gadgets.com which after a year of hard work was generating enough income to replace his salary and enable him to leave the 9-5 rat race. Today Al spends most of his time traveling and building his growing portfolio of websites and blogs.

Interview:

Steph: What makes a blog successful according to you? Is it traffic, reach, revenue, etc.?

Al: With blogging success means different things to different people, for me a successful blog means traffic and revenue, the two of which are closely related, the more traffic you get the more revenue you can earn.

Steph: When did you decide you finally reached success with your blog?

Al: I’ve had an element of success but still have far to go (I hope). The pinnacle so far would be when my blog income overtook my 9-5 income (Jan 2007) and I was able to leave the rat race

Steph: How long does it take to become a successful blogger?

Al: I’ve known some bloggers really make a name for themselves and a decent blog in 6 months others can take a lot longer. From a revenue perspective I’d allow 12-24 months before expecting a decent return,

Steph: Who do you think are the most successful bloggers on the internet today?

Al: I think a lot of the successful bloggers have other sites and business as well as their blog. Darren Rowse or ProBlogger.net is probably one of the most successful purely from a blogging perspective.

Steph: Which websites would you recommend for any new bloggers starting to blog?

Al: Problogger.net would be a good place to start, I also like DailyBlogTips.com.

Steph: What is your most successful blog post ever?

Al: It would probably be the the about a GPS tracker it’s been viewed something like 100,000 times and has generated well in excess of $2K, not bad for 15 minutes work!

Steph: What’s your biggest tip on writing a successful blog post?

Al: Research and be interested in what you’re writing about.

Steph: What’s your best advice in regards to content and writing for bloggers?

Al: Be unique and let your personality show.

Steph: How important do you think are the headlines of your blog articles?

Al: Very. The headline is the first and often only thing people see, so it needs to grab their attention and make them want to read more.

Steph: Do you spend any money and time on marketing?

Al: Normally no but for this Christmas season I have been promoting some of my product based posts by paying other bloggers to write about my post (with a link of course) and so far the results have been very good, more from the traffic off the search engines rather than traffic from the other blogs.

Steph: What are your main methods of marketing your blog?

Al: Mainly I rely on quality unique content to bring the visitors

Steph: Which marketing tactic has surprised you the most in terms of its effectiveness?

Al: The Digg.com front page that brought about 20K visitors in a day. That was nice and free.

Steph: What are your quick and short five best tips for blogging?

Al:

  • Be unique
  • Persevere
  • Network with fellow bloggers
  • Write about something you have a passion for
  • Interact with your readers

Steph: What is the most common pitfall new bloggers generally fall into?

Al: They expect instant results and when quit too early

Steph: If you knew what you know now when you first started, what’s the one biggest tip you’d give yourself today?

Al: Start sooner, if you have an idea for a post do it ASAP.

Steph: What repels you the most from a blog (animations, in your face advertising, etc.)?

Al: Popup ads, plagiarized content, really crappy English (must be really bad as mine isn’t great)

Steph: Do you make any direct money from your blog through advertising, product placements, etc.?

Al: Yes

Steph: What is your best monetization method (Ads, affiliate marketing, etc.)?

Al: On my gadget blog it does best from ads, closely followed by affiliate sales. The most lucrative ad program for that site is AdSense which is closing in on $20K per month.

Steph: Do you find you get more from direct monetization of your blog or from opportunities that come because of the existence of your blog?

Al: The business blog SelfMadeMinds.com has brought us a fair amount of opportunities with other companies whilst the blog itself makes very little.

Steph: What’s your most interesting story related to your blog and blogging experience?

Al: Probably going to Vegas to cover the Consumer Electronics show which just happened to coincide with Adult Video Expo, I remember trying to get served at the bar surrounded by porn stars. I gave up waiting to be served in the end.

Steph: What’s the one biggest opportunity that came to you because of your blog?

Al: The opportunity to quit the 9-5 rat race

Steph: Thank you for your answers Al.






LandlordMax 2012-2013 Fiscal Year – 10 Year Anniversary And a 10th Record Year!

LandlordMax Property Management Software - Fiscal

It’s that time of year again. Our fiscal year just closed and like I’ve done every year, at least for the past 6 years (since 2007), I’m posting our sales revenues graph and highlighting some of our achievements over the year. And like every year before, with no exception, this year we achieved another record fiscal year!!

But before I begin, here is the link to all the previous years posts:

First things first, this is our 10th year anniversary!! It’s amazing to think we’ve been in business for 10 years already. That’s a long time in the software world. So firstly I will self-congratulation LandlordMax for its 10th year anniversary.

Getting back to the post, to all those naysays that say desktop software is dead, it’s very well and alive!! In some categories owning the software and your data is much better than using a web based hosted subscription service. It can actually significantly lower your risks and costs compared to a hosted subscription service. Yes I’ve talked about this a number of times, but for those who are new, when it comes to the critical data of your business, where losing the data is not an option, hosted services can come with very high unexpected risks as I’ve outlined in this previous article. There’s also a new article that just just came out titled The Unprofitable SaaS Business Model Trap which I recommend reading that explains why we see so many hosted services come and go. So although SaaS have pros most people kinda forget there’s one very very very big con that comes with them until after it’s too late to do anything.

And now onto our achievements. This year our biggest achievement has been the release of the all new LandlordMax Network Editions of the software! In addition to these Editions, we’ve also added some new features to the Desktop Edition to match the new Network Edition (which is included as a free upgrade for existing users of the 6.05 Desktop version). The release of the Network Editions has been our biggest ever in terms of effort and scale. We’re very excited by it and we’re already seeing a very noticeable impact. It’s only been a little over two months and we can already tell that next fiscal year is going to be exciting.

Above the software of course we’ve also had to implement a whole slew of other items. For example the website purchasing system has gone through some major changes and improvements to support the new Editions. The user manual has been updated. Basically everything that goes along with such a major launch has also happened along with the release itself.

Beyond that, and I hate to admit this, we didn’t execute many new additional marketing initiatives this fiscal year. Most of our efforts went into getting the Network Editions released. This was a big effort. I know I’ve said it before that a lot of work went into it, but a LOT of work did go into it. As a result a lot of our other initiatives were put on hold as we re-allocated efforts to the release of the Network Editions. For example marketing projects were transitioned to release efforts. You may also have noticed that I didn’t publish any posts here for almost 6 months, this is why. It was an all hands on effort to get the Network Editions released. No one was spared. So our marketing efforts stayed pretty consistent with the previous fiscal years (neither up or down).

And on that note I do want to take a minute to thank everyone who helped us release the Network Editions. Above those who worked beyond their job roles and descriptions, we also had a lot of people who volunteered their time to help us in our testing efforts. To all these people I personally thank you very much.

Since the release of the Network Editions our main efforts have focused back into the next major “feature” release of LandlordMax. That is we hope to release a major new version of LandlordMax Property Management Software before the end of the year, possibly within as little as a few months. It will include many new features and lots of new functionality. Not only features, but we’re streamlining a lot of the processes within the software so that many actions will be even easier and quicker to process. Basically more automation in your regular tasks along with new features and functionality.

For example, and this is still unofficial because as a rule we do not officially state anything until it’s fully completed to avoid any vaporware statements, we’re working towards offering a built-in word processor with the next major version, which will potentially include “templating”. The major benefit of this feature is that you can import your legal documents into the software as “template documents” from existing Word documents. From there, you can say go to a tenant, create a new lease agreement, and the software will grab your templated lease agreement from the templates, fill in the tenant’s information, and then save the new lease document under the tenant, allowing you to print it, export it, and so on. This is really beneficial in that it lets you manage all your documents with your data, from tenants, property owners (for property managers), etc., all within the software.

And this is just one of the features we’re looking to implement for the new version. There’s a lot more where that came from!!

In addition to the new release, we’re also planning to really ramp up our marketing efforts this fiscal year. Like I just said a few moments ago, our marketing efforts did not increase much during 2012-2013. Yes we’re still marketing at the same levels as the previous year, but we didn’t really grow our efforts with new initiatives. Which on a positive note says a lot about our revenue growth in the last fiscal year. People like the software. We know there’s a significant amount of word of mouth promotion going on from our loyal customers. People recommend LandlordMax to other people. And that’s where most of our growth for the last year has mostly come from. So one of our big goals this fiscal year is to really improve our marketing efforts beyond what we’ve done in the past. In two years we’ve doubled our revenues, it would be nice to be able to double them again but in just one year this time.

And on that note, I really look forward to 2013-2014. There’s absolutely no doubt we’re going to have another record year. We’ve just launched 3 new Network Editions. We’re on the edge of releasing a new major feature release. And we’re planning on significantly improving our marketing efforts. And we’re already seeing an upswing from the new Network Editions in just a couple short months. Fiscal 2013-2014 is going to be exciting.

After 10 years I continue to be excited by our progress and how love there is for LandlordMax. Here’s a sample of some of the new testimonials we received just last month (July 2013):

“I have been using LandlordMAX for a little over 18 months. Not only was the program easy to setup but has made tracking of expenses, late payments, etc. much easier. With quite a number of apartments on our books it was always difficult to see when payments were not made. The year end accounting has been a dream. My accountant no longer needs to go through our books to get the EOY numbers. Also I wanted to add that customer support has been terrific. And best of all when I have reasonable suggestions for improvement of the program they are made within weeks.” – Murray Acheson

“I have been looking for a program for the past couple of months and was getting very weary and discouraged.  Especially for a ‘smaller’ complex, such as ours.  It seems  the  market for automated recordkeeping has gone to  mostly online with monthly cost, which is probably great for large complexes but not economical for us small operations.  I have been relieved to find your program and the great support from you as I learn the program.” – Ann Noel

“Love the program!! JERRY” – Jerry Carr

“Knowing that I have Help/Support for the future is like having insurance on your car.” – Gil Rheaume

“And again – thank you for the absolutely amazing customer service and product support” – Doug Doody

“Once again, thank you for the outstanding customer support. It’s incredible easy to use. Using it is very intuitive. When I run into a problem or have a question, I can always count on FAQ, discussion forum, screenshots and an outstanding customer support to solve my problem and/or answer my questions.” – Christine Chan

I also want to include one of my personal favorites we received just the month before:

“I’ve been using your software since 2007. I was one of the ones that started asking about a network version long ago. Even on its first release, your network Landlordmax software is awesome! It does EXACTLEY what I was hoping for. I’m a tech geek, and I’ve been willing to pay any amount for good property management software for my brokerage. I’ve tried every other competitive solution (all of which charge substantially more), even the big name networked versions, which charge outrageous monthly fees. Yours outperforms them all. Really brilliant software. You did great Steph. You’ve really helped my brokerage succeed as it rapidly expands. My employees all love it too, and it save’s me a king’s ransom in training cost for new employees do to its simplicity.” – Ed Dimarco






Blog Blazer Friday – Abdylas Tynyshov of AdesBlog.com

Each week I will be publishing an interview from the book Blog Blazers (in alphabetical order) which can be purchased on Amazon here. The interviews were all done in 2008 and the full list of bloggers interviewed can be found by clicking here.

This week the interview is with Abdylas Tynyshov of AdesBlog.com

abdylas-tynyshov

adesLogo

Abdylas Tynyshov
AdesBlog.com
http://www.adesblog.com

Biography:

Abdylas (also known as Ades) was born in 1978 in Kyrgyz Republic, popularly known as Kyrgyzstan internationally. It’s a tiny republic in Central Asia with a population of approximately 5 million people .It’s one of the former 15 countries that gained independence after the collapse of USSR in 1991.

This important incident brought along a lot of opportunities to Kyrgyz people from the outside world. Suddenly lots of countries were opening businesses, schools, and universities in Kyrgyzstan. One of these schools was his high school, which was opened by Turkish educational organization called SEBAT, in conjunction with Kyrgyz Government.

After graduating from Kyrgyz-Turkish High School in 1996, Abdylas applied to International Islamic University, in Malaysia (IIUM). He was accepted to the Department of Information & Communications Technology (ICT). He then graduated from IIUM in 2002, and went straight into the IT Industry. Initially, he worked as a Web-Designer, with his last position being a Creative Lead. But after working for about 3 years, he decided to concentrate on his own projects and pursue his education. By this time he was running a few online projects generating some income, so much that in November 2005, he was officially self-employed.

Today Abdylas is doing his MBA at Management Centre of IIUM, majoring in Strategic Management. He is also actively involved in several personal projects, including his blog and a few other websites which generate over 2 million unique visitors a year combined.

Interview:

Steph: What makes a blog successful according to you? Is it traffic, reach, revenue, etc.?

Ades: Personally I think the person behind the blog makes the blog successful. His or her ideas, expertise in certain field, his or her thoughts and predictions make the blog stand out from the crowd.

However on internet, mostly traffic, monthly revenue and the number of RSS subscribers determine the success of the blog. Not always, but most of the time.

Steph: When did you decide you finally reached success with your blog?

Ades: Success is very subjective. Personally I believe that I have a long way to go. Some people might consider me successful already, however I think I still have a lot to learn. So for me, success is a lifelong journey.

Steph: How long does it take to become a successful blogger?

Ades: It takes several months to fully grasp how various tools and technologies related to blogging work. It takes another few months to perfect your writing skills. So basically, it could take up to a year to be a successful blogger.

Steph: Who do you think are the most successful bloggers on the internet today?

Ades: It would be Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net and John Chow of JohnChow.com.

Steph: Which five blogs do you regularly read?

Ades:

Steph: Which websites would you recommend for any new bloggers starting to blog?

Ades: I think Problogger.net is a great place to start. Darren has covered most of the blogging related things already.

Steph: Which book(s) would you recommend for new bloggers (these can range from marketing books, blogging books, etc.)?

Ades: I personally think you don’t need to buy a book to learn how to blog. There are plenty of websites and blogs that teach you how to start your own blog for free. However new bloggers can consider this book The Rough Guide to Blogging 1 by Rough Guides

Steph: What is your most successful blog post ever?

Ades: I have written a post (guide) on blog posting frequency that consists of three parts. It’s one of my favorite posts. You can read it at http://www.adesblog.com/2007/10/06/guide-on-blog-posting-frequency/

Steph: What’s your biggest tip on writing a successful blog post?

Ades: The first and foremost, the post must be useful to the reader.

Steph: What’s your best advice in regards to content and writing for bloggers?

Ades: Always incorporate your own thoughts and analysis when blogging about particular issue or topic. Because at the end, it’s your personal opinion that counts. Your thoughts and ideas are your competitive advantage that differentiates you and sets you apart from other bloggers.

Steph: How important do you think are the headlines of your blog articles?

Ades: Extremely important. Because people like to scan the headlines, especially the new visitors. Your regular readers might read the whole post from beginning till the end, but new visitors will often scan the headlines first. Thus it’s important to have catchy and descriptive headlines that will turn these new visitors into regular readers.

Steph: Do you spend any money and time on marketing?

Ades: Yes, sometimes.

Steph: What are your main methods of marketing your blog?

Ades: Sometimes I would buy a banner advertisement from other blogs for a month or two. I have also used StumbleUpon’s advertising service. Other than that, I try to concentrate on producing quality content. After all, it’s the quality of the posts that matter the most (at least for me).

Steph: Which marketing tactic has surprised you the most in terms of its effectiveness?

Ades: StumbleUpon. If you have great content, you will be surprised how well StumbleUpon can perform. StumbleUpon can have the multiplier effect that other advertising programs don’t. You can read more on this effect on my post titled “Effective advertising strategy using StumbleUpon” available at http://www.adesblog.com/2007/07/02/effective-advertising-strategy-using-stumbleupon/.

Steph: What are your quick and short five best tips for blogging?

Ades:

  • Blog in a category that you have expertise
  • Register your own domain name
  • Use WordPress, it has many advantages over other platforms
  • Blog in your own style, do not imitate others
  • Have a professional design for your blog

Steph: What is the most common pitfall new bloggers generally fall into?

Ades:

  • Start blogging on free blogging platforms like blogspot.com
  • Being carbon copy of popular bloggers i.e. talking exactly on topics that these popular bloggers are currently talking
  • Monetizing the blog too much, filling the blog with all sorts of advertisements

Steph: If you knew what you know now when you first started, what’s the one biggest tip you’d give yourself today?

Ades: Register problogger.com and problogger.net (wink).

Steph: What repels you the most from a blog (animations, in your face advertising, etc.)?

Ades:

  • Too many ads inside the content.
  • Too many posts a day, anything more than 5 would be too much for me.

Steph: Do you make any direct money from your blog through advertising, product placements, etc.?

Ades: Yes. Most of my income comes from advertising, and some from paid reviews.

Steph: What is your best monetization method (Ads, affiliate marketing, etc.)?

Ades: Text links ads. Text-Link-Ads.com and LinkWorth.com has been working really well on my blog. But it might not be the case in the few months to come, because of Google’s tough stance on paid links.

Another method is of course direct advertisements. This includes text links, banner ads, and paid reviews for me.

From affiliate marketing programs, Shutterstock.com has been doing really good for me. It’s a website where people can sell their digital photos. When you refer people to ShutterStock.com, you get paid for every sale that the referred person makes.

Steph: Do you find you get more from direct monetization of your blog or from opportunities that come because of the existence of your blog?

Ades: At this point in time, definitely from the direct monetization methods

Steph: Thank you Ades for the interview.






 
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