In this new category named Interviews, I will be publishing interviews with famous bloggers and internet marketers.
So in this post, I have one famous blogger from India.
I got the opportunity to interview Akshay Hallur of GoBloggingTips.com
So without wasting your time.
Let’s get started.
An Interview With Akshay Hallur – Founder Of GoBloggingTips.com
- Please introduce yourself to BloggingIndian readers?
I’m Akshay Hallur, a digital marketer, blogger and a trainer. I am the founder of InfoSparkle, a digital marketing company. I also blog at GoBloggingTips. I’m doing digital marketing from 2013. In 2015, I dropped out of the university to be a full-time digital marketer.
- What inspired you to start blogging? What are your favorite blogs that made you what you are today?
Back in the days, I used to wonder who creates content around the web. From high school itself, the writing was one of my passionate skills. I loved the idea that you can write whatever you are interested about, the whole world reads it, and you earn money.
In the initial days, I used to read articles on the web. I was not following any particular blog.
But in the recent years, I follow only some blogs like Matthew Woodward, Neil Patel, ViperChill, Digital Marketer, Niche Pursuits, etc.
I believe in action taking. If you’ve learned some strategy, just put it to play immediately. Test it out.
If it fails, unlike other businesses you won’t lose a fortune. Anyone can read quality blogs, but at the end of the day, action-taking is the thing.
- What are the skills that can help a beginner to start living a laptop lifestyle?
It depends on the passion of the person. If you ask me, I started a blog, wrote content on my own and grew it.
Some people who know the power of blogging and don’t have money/skill for quality content, do freelancing work like SEO, Logo designing, and some sort of unique things.
Skills needed for a beginner is:
- Writing skill/money
- SEO knowledge
- Domains, hosting and WordPress
- Ability to learn new things and adapt to new things
- Basic image editing knowledge
- A creative mindset to do competitor analysis the Pareto’s way.
But as you grow, you obviously need other skills like copywriting, email marketing, CRO, video marketing, to sustain.
As you may know, blogging is a multi-talented job. It’s not like freelancing. Blogging alone is not a skill, it’s a combination of skills.
- What are your income sources? How much do you make every month at an average?
Currently, I earn from my main blog, Amazon affiliate sites, and client work. I believe in diversification of income sources.
If you consider only my blogging income, 50% of my income is from GoBloggingTips and other half is from Amazon affiliate sites.
- Which revenue source do you think is the most effective for bloggers/marketers?
Affiliate marketing is the best to start with. You don’t depend upon a single network for your income. It’s just great. 100% of my blogging income is from affiliate marketing.
AdSense is highly unreliable.
With AdSense, you depend on Google heavily for both traffic and earnings. With a centralized search engine and ad network, they can manipulate a lot to control what you earn using machine learning algorithms to optimize their earnings (at least in the near future).
- What do you think about blogging in India?
Indians are always late adopters of technology, it has its own ups and downs.
Blogging is pacing very fast in India. I can see the content production is really skyrocketing in India. As more and more people are diving online, the demand for content is also growing exponentially.
Blogging will blossom.
I can see many Indian companies hiring professional bloggers for their companies. Employee-based model in blogging is on the rise.
There should be a big mindset shift in the college kids and their parents. They are following the same mantra, get a good degree and get a so-called secure job that pays you less than an Uber Driver. With this mindset, unemployment will be a problem because people will be blind to see out of the conditioned-box.
Yes, blogging will prevail, but slowly at least in India.
- How to convince parents to start supporting their child to start a blog? How did you convince your parents?
If a parent is not letting a child to follow his passion along with academics, it means they are doing a “soul sacrifice” of his child, because doing passionate things feed the soul.
At the time of dropping out, I was already earning good money, and the university syllabus was killing my blog in front of my eyes.
I asked myself – “If you already are earning money good than a job, why prepare to get a job and hope to earn money? Degree for dignity? Come on man!”.
My parents were telling me to somehow balance both studies and blog. I was stuck in a situation like – blogging vs. university. I literally was depressed for a month in this dilemma.
It turned out quite easy for me to convince my parents, as they are educated in this regard and didn’t see the internet as some casino.
- What are your favorite ways to generate traffic to your blog?
SEO is the main traffic source for me.
I’m also focusing on list building and need to focus on building communities where I own my audience. Community traffic is the best source of traffic for any blog.
For my affiliate offers, I occasionally run Facebook ads.
I heard people getting good results by using YouTube videos for getting blog traffic.
- Which blogging tools do you recommend?
Here are the tools I use and recommend.
- KW Finder
- Thrive Architect and Elementor
- GeneratePress or Astra theme
- Mailshake for outreach
- Visme for graphics
- Upwork for outsourcing
- If you had to start from scratch, what would you do differently? What’s your #1 blogging mistake?
#1 Career mistake – Starting a generic blog. Fix – Start a niche specific site.
Obviously, I committed many mistakes with regards to GoBloggingTips too.
Here are the mistakes I would have done fixed if started from scratch.
- I would have made sure that every blog post is above 3000-5000 words and insightful. It’s quality over quality.
- I would have kept the blog name as more professional.
- I would have started list building from day 1.
- What role did school and college shape you in making you a marketer?
I studied in good English schools ever since I started walking, it helped me a lot in improving my communication and language. We used to have frequent essay writing session, debates, speech sessions, so on.
When it comes to college, the things that helped me for being a blogger (not marketer) are:
- Basic programming knowledge (especially HTML and CSS)
- Linux commands – I have some Droplets
That’s pretty much it.
What things college helped me in being a marketer? None.
Even business schools do not teach proper 21st gen marketing.
If they teach the principles of Robert Cialdini, it’ll be the biggest nightmare to corporates for whom our lack of marketing knowledge is the strength.
- What is your life mantra?
Don’t work for money, make money work for you.
Live life with passion.
- How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We should focus on what we want and we will definitely achieve without anyone’s interference.
- The most challenging moment in your Blogging career and How you dealt with it?
I wasted a good 6 months on a site, on which I got no search traffic no matter how much content I put on it. I later realized that it was due to a plugin called “SEO friendly Images” plugin that keyword stuffed alt texts of my images darn bad. It cost me 6 months of my blogging career.
That 6 months hustle was a challenging period for me, and I also learned a lot.
Later, I discontinued that site thinking that it’s due to the fact it was an expired domain.
I started GoBloggingTips, then the same thing happened. Then I dug in deep and found the culprit.
- What special tip you would like to give to newbies who are just starting out in blogging?
- Do proper niche research before starting yet another blog (niche determines 80% of your blog’s success). I repeat 80%! Get a good blogging consultant for choosing a niche.
- Pay careful attention to the things you follow. Don’t follow any theory blindly. Treat blogging as a business, not a quick-money scheme.
I heard some bloggers embracing the idea that – start 100 blogs, earn $10 from each. In the age where everybody is valuing authority blogging, who would start 100 blogs?
So friends how did you felt about this interview?
Do let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
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