Today I am feeling proud after continuing my interview series once again. In last series I covered 20 great blogger and entrepreneurs who revealed their secrets to teach us more about blogging. In last interview series I covered some bloggers like Neil Patel (QuickSprout), Zack Johnson (BloggingTips), Bamidele Onibalusi (Writers in Charge), Daniel Scocco (DailyBlogTips), Mohammad Mustafa (MyBloggerTricks) and few entrepreneurs like Vishad Shanghvi, Ricky Ahuja and Ritesh Sarvaiya.
It was an awesome experience to know more about them and share their story with you.
Today I have just started this journey again and let's see where will we go this time.
Today we have Sandip Dedhia with us who is a very big inspiration for Indian bloggers. He is inspiring many young blogger by writing great tips on his blog BlogsDNA and by helping them to grow in many ways.
I requested him for the interview and with my surprise he said YES at the same time.
Let's read more about him.
1. Most welcome on Blogging Cage Sandip. I am feeling great to have you as first interviewee in my second interview session.
Thanks for giving me this honor, I hope my interview will be like all other interviews which motivating the prospective readers.
2. Please tell us about your educational background and how you stumbled across blogging?
I hold a degree of Bachelor of Engineering in Information Technology, in younger age when I first heard about computers I got fascinated and my fate was decided to become part of this industry of bits and bytes.
The hungry mind to learn every possible thing about computers and programming kept me driving to try to learn new things and becoming internet addict in my engineering days, I am glad that I spent more of the time in learning though I never mastered one thing, but it has helped me a lot at my job as well as in my blogging journey.
My encounter to blogging happened with one call from friend asking for help to fix his computer issue. While searching for that particular error message I landed on Sizlopedia.com (Saad Hamid – a blogger from Pakistan) and while browsing through his archives and monthly income reports I got shocked and surprised by the possibility of making money online and that’s when I decided to start a blog.
3. Which was your first blog and what efforts did you make to promote it?
My first blog was Blogsdna.com and I am glad that it's been five years that this blog is still running and helping me to earn my daily bread and butter. Back in 2008, blogging landscape was quite different and there was opportunity for every one many army blog.
You could just jump-start a blog without spending time on promoting and SEO and still get the traffic and make money. So you can guess there was little or no time I had spent on promoting my blog at the start.
4. What is blogging for you?
Blogging and my blog is my second life.
5. In Indian society blogging is not considered as a good profession and most of the people are not aware about this platform. How do you explain your profession to other people and how they react after hearing it?
Yes, in India the concept of blogging is less known partly because Indian people are less believer in Internet and making money online. When I get question of what I do, I explain them by giving offline journalism and newspaper example.
6. What is your biggest blogging struggle now? And what were in those days when you started blogging?
Back in 2008, “time” was my biggest struggle. Having a day job I often found hard to get time for blogging. But now when I look back I feel I did so well back then even with job and today I am not even 10% of productivity level of that time.
My biggest blogging struggle has been finding good writers for the blog. Despite paying best pay rate, the articles are never up to the mark or writers are never self-motivated or have research oriented mind to come up with exclusive articles.
7. When did you make your first dollar online and what efforts you made to earn it?
When I started my blog I was less focused on making money but rather on gaining more traffic. About 5 months from start of the blog I didn’t had single ad on my blog. Only after I had enough traffic that I could expect some revenue from this blog, I added Google Adsense and made my $100 in a month of August 2008.
8. Your blog is a very famous Indian blog now, how are you managing all the work and how much time are you devoting to build it?
To be frank this blog is not much popular now. It had its glorious days back in 2010. After getting stuck by Google Panda algorithm, my struggle has been trying to recover this blog. Out of frustration I started a couple of new blogs but then this panda creature keeps demotivating me and now I have lost most of my blogging interest.
But I am in no mood to completely abandon blogsdna.com and that’s the reason I have team of writers to keep up the daily posting and readers interested.
9. From where do you get all latest information to write on your blog? Do you have some paid writers or partners?
As I said earlier, I have completely lost my interest in blogging and I am no longer keeping up with latest tech happening. But back in 2008-2010 when I was running this blog single-handedly I had one strategy of adding as many RSS feeds as much I can to my feed reader. And every day morning I would go through the feeds of all the blogs/news websites/forums and get the content ideas.
I don’t mind in rehashing content but then I never had 100% content sourced from other blogs. I used to thinker around and come up with tutorials and guides on my own the get them covered on blog. This strategy had helped greatly in building huge traffic.
10. Do you give importance to SEO? If yes, then what are your top most suggestions to newbies while doing their blog’s SEO?
When I had started blogsdna.com I never gave much thought to SEO but yes there was always hunger for more backlinks and for that I had released two WordPress themes and got tons of backlinks. Though this did helped me back then but now I feel stupid to do so, as bulk of footer links are no longer good for blog. And there is no way I can get rid of those mass backlinks.
Given the opportunity I would give more thoughts on SEO now and systematic plan acquire the healthy links. But trust me SEO is not everything which makes or breaks a blog. The viral content can get your from nowhere to top of the blogging.
11. Had you ever thought about quitting blogging?
NO, I never thought about quitting.
12. Do you think that blogging will be considered as a good profession in coming years? What efforts should we make to promote this platform?
Well blogging will be there in future but the marketing and scale of this platform will change. Gone the days of one man army blog, now you need a good team and funding to be successful at blogging.
13. If you were to start all over, what mistakes would you avoid?
Avoiding cheap writers and have proper fund at hand for promotion, marketing and SEO.
14. Niche blogging vs building one brand. What do you prefer and why?
Building brands any day, the success and fame lies at building brand which you can also sell later.
15. Most of the people are starting blog to make money online. According to you what should be our main motto while starting a new blog and how should we proceed?
I don’t see any issue on having goals of making money from blog. I would rather say have clear goals of what you want to do from blogging and you will be more focused. Treat this as a business and you will achieve your goals faster.
16. Do you use social media to promote your blog? Please share some of your personal ways to get more exposure from social media.
I am pretty bad at social media marketing. But if I have budget at hand I would opt for paid social media marketing by gaining more fans and followers and then promoting blog content.
17. How much money are you making with your blog? (Just a roughly idea)
Currently blog income has come down to the level that I feel sad to share this figure. The blog makes just around $1200-1500.
18. What are your future plans and how are you going to execute them?
The future plan is to go for new blog with huge funding at hand. This time I want it to be more professional and at very big scale. My current obstacle is funds and I have been trying to gather as much funds as much I can for my next big project. Unfortunately the progress is very slow and it might take year to have access to that kind of fund and execute my future plan.
19. Message for my readers.
Stay Hungry, stay foolish – Steve Jobs.