1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
It all started for me around 4 years ago after selling a hobby site for a few hundred dollars. Once I realized you could actually make money online that was it, I read everything I could on SEO and Internet Marketing.
Flash forward a couple of years and I now have a handful of niche sites that pull in a nice income each month. With the knowledge that I have gained building niche sites and private blog networks, I decided to share that information via a blog at CloudIncome.com. So that others could learn from my successes and failures.
The blog is only in its 2nd month, however I have managed to gain a good number of followers and subscribers already, and I am really enjoying blogging.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
The focus of my blog is Internet Marketing & SEO. My primary reason for entering this niche was that I became fed up with all of the ‘Guru’ blogs out there. The ones that provide very little value to their readers and rehash the same content over and over. I wanted to bring a breath of fresh air into SEO & Internet marketing by providing a completely honest and open approach to how I make money online.
I think my readers appreciate how open I am and I can see the community growing as I produce more content which is both helpful and actionable.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
Monetizing my blog has not been a priority of mine as it is still in its early stages. My focus has been centered on finding out what my readers want and producing quality content.
I do have some affiliate links for tools and services I use, however they are few and far between. Once I have built up a good reputation and following, I may then look to increase my earnings potential, until then I am happy to produce what my audience wants.
I think people make the mistake of trying to make money too early and this can devalue your site and content somewhat. If you’re in it for the long haul, what’s the rush?
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
Networking is a must. You need to connect with other bloggers and site owners in your industry and build relationships.
That doesn’t mean asking for links, but being genuinely helpful and interested in their site, contribute to the comments and offer help and advice. Don’t just self promote as that’s the quickest way to get a bad reputation online. Using Twitter is a great way to find key influencers in your niche, by following them you will learn a lot about them and their audience.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
QuickSprout.com by Neil Patel – Neil writes some great articles and it’s always good to go back and refresh on topics from the past.
Source-Wave.com by Alex Becker – Great up-to-date SEO advice. He does a lot of video type content which I think is great for the SEO niche as you can see what’s working and how.
SearchEngineLand.com – I like to stay fresh on what’s happening in the Search Engine world. You will find many of the Algorithm updates reported here first.
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
Long Tail Pro – for keyword research. I’ve been a user since its launch and it keeps getting better and better. It has saved me so much time assessing the competition for keywords that it has paid for itself 10x over.
Pingdom.com – A free tool to test your site speed. Make your blog fast and your readers will love it.
Clicky Analytics – An awesome free analytics tool, much faster than Google analytics and provides everything you need to track your blog traffic and make improvements based on your analysis.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
Go to those places where your target audience hangs out. Forums, blogs, Google+ pages etc.
Join the community and contribute to the topics and conversations by being genuine and helpful. People will appreciate your input and you will start to get some traffic to your blog.
Once you have them on your blog you need to entertain them and provide them with what they are looking for. You will get to know over time what content your readers want, however by visiting other sites in your niche, you will get a great understanding for exactly what that is.
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
Guest posting is a great way to build an audience and gain followers. The more you reach out and the more time and effort you put in to writing your blog posts and guest posts the better they will be received. I often spend 10-12 hours working on a post, checking and rechecking for mistakes or a better way to present things. I think that is evident on my blog.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I would say $100 is plenty to start a new blog. The first step I would take would be to pick up the Genesis theme framework from Studiopress. It’s what my blog runs on, it’s really nice and clean looking and fast. There are lots of plugins available and along with the support and sheer number of Genesis users, it means you’re never far away from help or a ‘how-to’ guide if you need it.
I would spend $20-$30 having a logo created, I use DigitalPoint but there are loads of forums with part time designers looking for work.
Subscribe to Aweber or you can use MailChimp for a free email marketing option.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
Thanks again Lewis Ogden 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.
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Source: Blogging Tips
Meet Lewis Ogden of CloudIncome.com