Welcome again on BCIS (Blogging Cage Interview Series).
I am very happy to see you here again, so thanks for being with me in this interview journey.
This weekend we have Daniel Scocco who don't need any introduction as he is one of the top blogger who have contributed in the thousand of lives to teach them blogging skills.
But still I am going to introduce him a little; He is the owner of DailyBlogTips, and you must be aware about this great blog if you are into blogging niche. This is one of the top blog which I was reading in almost all big interview when interviewer was asking from his interviewee, “Which are your favorite blogs?”
I found name of this blog almost everywhere. So idea to interview this blogging guru came in my mind and here I am going to ask few questions from him. Few days back I wrote about Top 15 Internet Marketing Gurus and Daniel was one of the blogger listed in that awesome list.
I am thankful of Mr. Daniel who found time for my loving readers and replied all the questions very gently.
Let's start the interview and read about him.
1. Please tell us about yourself, your nature, your habits, your love and about your daily routine.
Just a guy trying to make a dent in the universe, as Steve Jobs would say. These days I spend most of my day coding and trying to grow my projects. Most are related to software and mobile apps.
2. DailyBlogTips; a big name in blogosphere. Please tell us about history of this blog, like how you started, which problems you faced, how you took it at this level?
I started my first websites back in 2005: one called WebTechToday (which is dead, and the domain is no longer mine) and InnovationZen.com (which is still alive and making some money, despite not having worked on it for years). Initially I just wanted to write about my main interests (technology, business and innovation), but the sites started growing quite fast. After four months or so I was getting over 1,000 visitors per day, and I couldn't believe that so many people were visiting my website.
That's when I decided to create DailyBlogTips.com, to start sharing the tips and tricks I was applying on my other websites.
3. Blogging have changed too much now. What difference you have seen when you started your blogging journey and blogging of today.
Back in 2005 and 2006 blogging was much more intimate. You basically would know every single blogger on your niche and would exchange emails and links with them regularly. Today this is not possible anymore.
I also believe that today the line separating blogs from websites is almost gone. Blogs are nothing more than websites created with the purpose of publishing content regularly.
4. You have traveled various nations. Please share some good and inspirational memories.
One of the places I liked the most was Las Vegas. I went there in 2010 to speak at the Blog World conference. It was pretty cool (both the conference and the poker tables!).
5. What is blogging for you now and how much time you are devoting to it?
Around 60% of the income of my company still comes from my websites and blogs. That being said my work is pretty much the maintenance of the websites, as I have writers that take care of the content. I still write actively on DailyBlogTips, but that is mostly a hobby now.
6. Most of the newbies are stuck with SEO and getting traffic. How you managed to make your blog SEO-wise and drove traffic on your blog?
SEO boils down to two things: content and links.
You need unique and useful content, and you need quality backlinks. If you keep getting those over time your rankings will gradually increase.
7. Please share some of the tools and service websites which you use to grow your blog/business.
First of all I recommend getting a dedicated server as soon as possible. Once your sites start making $500 monthly or so rent a dedicated box, cause this will affect the user experience of your visitors a lot.
Second, use Google Analytics to monitor your traffic, Google Webmaster Central to get tips and warnings, and Pingdom to monitor the uptime of your websites. Those are the essentials.
8. You got a big award “Best Web Development Blog” for DailyBlogTips. Which were the efforts you put on your blog to reach at that level and how this award boosted your blog?
Keep in mind I didn't win the award, I was only nominated. At the time that was an achievement for me though, especially because the other nominees were heavy-weights like Problogger and A List Apart if I remember well.
I believe my readers voted to get me nominated, so having an active community around the blog helped a lot.
9. Every newbie blogger want to become ‘Daniel' and owner of great blog. What you would suggest them to get this level? What should be the approach and what should be the mind-level?
Well, getting to my level won't be that hard! Just keep working on your website for a couple of years without giving up and eventually you'll get there. The important thing is to be willing to put the hard work and to persist.
10. Do you attend blogging meetings also? How they helped you and which were the bloggers who inspired you most in such meetings?
I attended a couple of blogging and media related conferences (e.g., Blog World, WordCamp). I think the most valuable thing you can get on those is the networking with other attendees.
These days I don't go to conferences anymore due to lack of time (and laziness…).
11. Which are your favorite blogs?
These days I consume mostly tech news, so I would say TechCrunch, VentureBeat and Business Insider.
12. According to you how blogging is helping nation and how we can contribute to bring some change in society?
I think blogging and web publishing in general helps society by democratizing the access to publishing tools. 10 years ago if you wanted to have other people reading your ideas and opinions you would need to become a journalist and find a job at a mainstream magazine or newspaper.
Today you can start your own website in 10 minutes, and if you are good or have good ideas people will notice you. So in a way it also makes society more meritocratic.
13. DailyWritingTips; An another great blog of you. How idea of making this blog came in your mind and how much time you are giving to this blog?
I speak English as a second language, so I am always trying to improve my grammar and writing skills. Back in 2006 I started researching more on this topic, and I figured it would be nice to collect all those tips on a single website. That's how DailyWritingTips was born.
Today I have a very skilled editor who takes care of the content, so I just need to keep the site running (update the software, check the hosting, etc).
14. Few months back you stopped accepting guest posts on your blog. Which was the main reason for this decision? According to you how important in guest blogging and how this can help in BlogoSphere?
To be honest I started relying on many guest posts because I was not getting enough time to update the blog daily (which is something I did for the first 4 years or so). After a while, though, the blog started losing its voice, and most of the guest posts were low quality, so readers started complaining.
That's when I figured that it was better to publish fewer posts but to keep the quality high, and that's when I decided to start writing all the posts myself again, even if that meant lowering the frequency of new posts. So far it's working well, and traffic grew 20% or so after I made the switch.
As for guest blogging in general I think it's a good thing, but you need to make sure that the quality and voice of the guest posts you will publish match that of your website.
15. What are your future endeavors?
As I mentioned before I am working mostly with software and mobile projects these days. The plan is to grow a startup and create products and services that other people will like and benefit from, hopefully having some fun while doing it!
16. Message for my readers.
If you don't give up eventually you'll succeed!