Interview With Anil Agarwal Founder From BloggersPassion.com
Today I am very glad to announce that we are starting Interview Series on StayMeOnline.
I will be inviting top-bloggers and affiliate marketers from all-over the world and interviewing them here. It will help you to learn about their journey and some secrets that they have used to succeed in blogging or affiliate marketing.
It is going to be super-valuable for you because you are going to learn a lot of things directly from the top-players of the blogging industry.
Not only this, you will also learn about the mistakes they have made and you need to avoid in order to make your blogging journey easy.
If you are a totally newbie then you should read our interviews till the end because there will be some dedicated tips for beginners at the end.
So, totally we have Anil Agarwal who is the founder of BloggersPassion.com and few other blogs where he cover topics related to blogging and hosting.
He is in blogging more than a decade and earning a handsome income as a full-time blogger and affiliate marketer. I’m in touch with Anil Agarwal from a good time and recently featured him in our roundup post, you can read that if you are confused about the future of blogging.
Let’s move to Anil and know further about his blogging journey by his own words.
Interview With Anil Agarwal From BloggersPassion
Everyone knows you in the blogging industry but still following the tradition of interviews, please introduce yourself to our audience.
Ravi, thanks a lot for inviting me on your blog. For those of your blog audience who don’t know me, let me share a few details about me.
My name is Anil Agarwal, a full time blogger from India, currently based out in Gurgaon (Haryana). I own BloggersPassion.com blog where I’m helping my blog readers in taking their blogging journeys to the next level.
I’ve been working on BloggersPassion.com since 2010. My core expertise is search engine optimization. But with time, I developed other blogging skills like Content writing, email marketing, social media marketing etc.
If you want to get success with your respective blogs, try to gain some working knowledge about all the skills you need. Even if you will be in a situation to outsource a few things in the coming days, you should have the skills to judge if those people you hired are doing things in the correct way or not.
Going back to 2010 when you started your blogging journey, what came into your mind and how you started blogging?
Ravi I started working on Blogger.com blogs from 2005 and kept using them for the next couple of years.
I started my first self hosted blog in 2007 or 2008 around the Make Money Online niche and sold it to a UK guy via Flippa in 2011 for an amount of $35,000.
Revenue was the primary motive behind getting into blogging. But I never imagined I would reach the level where I’m today.
With blogging, you can get lots of unexpected results. So sky’s the limit when it comes about the long term benefits of being a successful blogger.
Ravi my core expertise was SEO and I used that skill to kickstart my blogging journey. With time, I developed content writing and monetization skills.BloggersPassion.com is the blog that I’ve been running since 2010. So you can feel It took 10 years for me to take this blog to the level where it’s today.
If you want to get success with blogging, don’t expect overnight success. Things will improve with time if you keep making efforts in the right direction.
How much time it will take to succeed with your blog will depend on your blog skills and how much effort you will be making on your blog.
A good blog name is important, how did you come up with the BloggersPassion as your blog name? And also share some tips to choose a perfect brand name?
Ravi BloggersPassion.com blog was earlier owned by one of my blogging friends. In 2010, I took over this blog from him for an amount of INR 25,000.
When it comes to picking a brandable domain name, I try to pick two word domain names that have some relevance with my blog niche.
You can take an example of HostingMonks.com domain name. HostingMonks.com is brandable and it contains the hosting word which is the niche for this blog.
Don’t go for domain names where people might make mistakes (spelling or typos) in typing the domain name.
Getting new content ideas is the most difficult part I found with newbies, how do you gather new content ideas to write on your blog?
As you will gain more knowledge, it’s going to be really easy to come up with content ideas. Let me share some pointers to help newbies come up with lots of content ideas:
- Make a list of top 10 competitor websites that are doing really well but were started in the recent time or around the same time you started your blog. Make a list of all topics they are doing well on Google search and on social media. You can cover all the relevant content ideas on your blog.
- Suppose you are thinking to cover a specific product on your blog, do some keyword research around that product and cover all the content ideas suggested by the keyword research tool. For demonstration purposes, I’m taking SEMrush as the sample product here.
So you can create content around below ideas with ease:
- SEMrush Review
- Its comparison with other tools like SEMrush vs Moz
- SEMrush Free Trial
- SEMrush Alternatives or Competitors
- What is SEMrush?
- You can also use Google Auto-Suggest feature to come up with lots of relevant content ideas as shown below:
- Suppose you have decided to cover all topics related to SEO on your blog. In that case, you should make a list of all terms (or Glossary) related to SEO and start writing about them. You can find lots of content ideas around SEO from my blog here. You can do the same for other categories. You just need to scan the relevant categories from top blogs in your niche.
What are the methods you are using to make money from your blogs?
Ravi for the last few years, most of revenue on my blog is coming via affiliate marketing only. Those who don’t know about affiliate marketing, we are paid for every sale that comes via our affiliate or referral links.
Let me share earnings for one of top affiliate programs which is doing wonders for us for the last five years.
We made more than $300,000 while promoting a single affiliate program only. Those of you who don’t know, its SEMrush affiliate program. We are one of the top affiliates for them.
Apart from SEO tools, we are also promoting web hosting, WordPress Themes, Plugins and some other blogging related products to our blog audience.
Apart from affiliate marketing, we used to publish paid reviews about selected products or services on our blog. We are very selective about the sites we decide to review on any of our blogs.
From February 2020, we started launching our own products. We started with eBooks. eBooks are our first step towards creating high quality products around blogging niche.
So far we created three premium eBooks around SEO, Keyword Research and affiliate marketing. From eBooks only, so far we made $10,000 plus revenue. Next year, we are planning to launch membership websites and premium courses.
We also promote Black Friday deals on BloggersPassion and HostingMonks.com. From Black Friday web hosting deals only we end up making $10,000 to $15,000 extra income within a week (During Cyber Week) every year.
Google Adsense Vs Affiliate Marketing? Which one is best and why?
If you ask my own experience so far, we are able to generate more revenue with Affiliate marketing than Google Adsense. When I started blogging, I was monetizing my blogs through Google Adsense but when I give a try to Affiliate marketing, I find it more profitable than Adsense. We did lots of experiments with Google Adsense and affiliate marketing.
Quite Note: If there are few high quality affiliate products that match with your blog contents, then you should give a try to affiliate products selling. And if your content is purely educational or has no scope to monetize it through Affiliate marketing, go for Adsense. But I would suggest you give a try to both the monetization methods and stick with the one you find more profitable.
What were the challenges you faced as a blogger and how you got rid of them?
Ravi let me share the few challenges that I can remember now:
- I started with free blogs on Blogger.com. But when I saw a couple of my blogs were deleted by the Blogger team without any prior notice. I understood, my blogs are not safe and thus I started hosting them on my own domains and hosting.
- Next challenge came around Google Adsense. One fine morning, I woke up and received an email from the Adsense team about the ban of my Google Adsense account. Then I started looking for Adsense alternatives. Due to that incident, I got into affiliate marketing.
- One challenge we all face is because of Google Algo updates. Google team makes too many updates every month. So with some updates, our traffic keeps fluctuating. But we are working on our content and link building efforts in a way that we stay safe from future updates from Google.
- This is again one more challenge which is faced by my most successful bloggers. We have to maintain the quality of our blog contents. One content that we created a couple of years back, becomes outdated or needs improvement to match up with the latest contents that are being created by our competitors. Creating new contents and improving the quality of existing contents is an ongoing process .
- Email marketing has always been a challenge for us. We put our efforts in this direction from time to time, but dedicated effort was missing. And we were unable to recover the cost we were putting on with our email marketing efforts. For the last couple of years, we have been trying to become good at it. And now I feel, we are at least able to recover the cost we are putting at email marketing level.
Everyone makes mistakes and mistakes help in improving ourselves. As a blogger, what were the mistakes you made in your blogging journey?
Like most bloggers, I also made lots of mistakes in my blogging journey and still I’m making lots of mistakes. Actually we came to know about the mistakes after a certain period of time. Let me share few of them here:
- When I started blogging on BloggersPassion.com, I was creating short contents only. Later I have to either delete them or improve them. I also wrote a few contents around off topics which I had to delete ultimately.
- I ignored the importance of email marketing for too many years. But for the last couple of years, I started taking email marketing more seriously and now I can see some positive results coming out of it.
- When I started working on BloggersPassion, I was not focusing much on brand building. I was running after Google traffic only and thus was creating backlinks for my target pages most of the time. Now I feel we should focus more on building a strong brand than putting too much effort on individual contents.
- I kept my main blog on shared hosting for so many years. I should have moved to a managed host like WPX Hosting much earlier.
Imagine, Mr.X started his blog one month ago and is struggling to drive traffic to his blog. Can you share some tips that he needs to use to drive traffic to his new blog?
Ravi let me tell you exactly what Mr. X should do:
- Target some long tail tail keywords and write those topics only where he sees few new websites ranking in top 10 results.
- Create better content than the ranked websites.
- Build some backlinks for his blog home and internal pages. Links from blog comments are even going to help Mr. X got a better ranking in Google Search. He should just pick relevant blogs for commenting and guest blogging related activities etc.
Do you have a separate office for blogging or do you work from home? Can you share some pictures of your work station?
Ravi before lockdown, I was using one of the co-working spaces in Gurgaon. Sharing the picture for the same below:
Right now, I’m in the shifting mode. I’m also building my home. Earlier I had a small home. Planning to set up a permanent office in the next couple of months once things get settled.
For now, I’m using one of the rooms at my home as an office. Due to Covid19, I’m not going for any kind of coworking space as well. So I will be setting up a small office of my own soon.
A blogger who is managing his 9 to 5 office job along with his blog, he is planning to quit his job. What should be the perfect time to quit a full-time job and take blogging as full-time?
That’s a very interesting question Ravi.
When you are thinking of quitting your full time job, you should have:
- Funds for the next two years at least to survive.
- You should be making equal money at least that you are getting from your day job. And it should have been happening for the last one year at least.
- And income from blogging should be enough to live a normal lifestyle if not luxuries.
Being a full-time professional blogger, how do you spend your day?
Ravi, I try to give four to six hours to blogging related activities every day. Rest of time gets used while doing household work, spending time with family etc.
Sharing the schedule I try to follow since lockdown:
- Spending 15 minutes in the morning to check emails, traffic & sales stats etc.
- Walking for 30-40 minutes, getting ready and doing breakfast etc.
- Two hours of dedicated time to blogging from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.
- Get busy with lunch etc.
- Again 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM to Blogging
- 20-30 minutes of walking and playing with my kids etc.
- 8 PM to 10 PM dinner etc.
- 20 t0 30 minutes of walking again after dinner.
- 15 to Minutes in checking emails and other stats before going to sleep.
What are the tools that you use daily to manage your blog?
Sure Ravi sharing below few of tools and resources I’m using to manage my blogs:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- GoDaddy for domains
- WPX for hosting purposes
- SEMrush as the SEO tool
- Convertkit for email marketing
- CrazyEgg for heatmaps etc
- RazorPay & Paypal to accept payments for eBooks
- Elementor as page builder
- Rank Math as an SEO plugin.
- GeneratePress and Astra as themes
- Social Snap as social sharing plugin
- WP Rocket as caching plugin etc.
Do you have a team or work solo? If you have a team, how do you hire them and manage them to get work done productively?
- I have a couple of guys who help with all content related needs.
- One guy who takes care of all design and development related needs.
- I used to outsource all image related tasks.
- I also used to outsource video editing related tasks.
- I used to take care of SEO, monetization, email marketing and videos creation part from my end.
Any messages to newbies who are planning to start a blog and make money through blogging?
Guys if you want to get success with your blogs, you need to be consistent with blogging efforts. Try to learn as much as you can about blogging and don’t forget to implement all of your learnings on your blog.
It’s going to take some time before you will see success with your respective blogs. Until then you have to keep the motivation level high and keep working on your blog. Try to do at least one good thing for your blog every day. It could be anything in the form of a new content, a guest post or even writing a new comment on another blog to promote your blog.
Ravi, I hope the above replies are going to help your blog readers in taking their blogging journey to the next level and at the same time, will change their perspective about blogging.
I really enjoyed writing replies for your questions.
Wrapping It Up
This was the journey of Anil Agarwal, he has shared lots of value in this interview from how he came into blogging to how he is making decent money from his blog.
After reading this, you will learn about the mistakes he did in his blogging journey and what you need to avoid, he also shared the methods he uses to make money from his blogs.
Anil Agarwal is a big name in Indian Blogging Journey. Make sure to keep in touch with him by following him on social media and visiting his blog if you want to grow your blog with the use of his valuable content.
I hope you found this interview useful for you and gained a lot of useful knowledge out of this, If yes then make sure to share it with others and keep visiting our blog because I will keep coming with more useful interviews like this.