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 (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.
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?
Steph: Which five blogs do you regularly read?
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?
- 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?
- 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.)?
- 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.