Another rapid-fire episode where Bala Ayya shoots questions at Sameer Panjwani. This time the topics covered relate to blogging, content and making money from blogging.
Bala : Alright folks, Thank You very much for joining for another rapid fire round that we are doing with Sameer Panjwani, the CEO and founder of Mondovo. And today’s episode is pretty interesting Sameer, because this is for the bloggers and this is the bloggers’ edition of rapid fire. Most of the bloggers have asked these question to us and we are going to throw the same questions back to you.
Sameer : Let see how I can answer.
Bala : You know the rules.
Sameer : Yes
Bala : Absolutely it’s gonna be short, crisp and to the point. Right so are you ready?
Sameer : I am.
Bala : Fantastic. Now here is the question. What are the avenues to make money through a blog?
Sameer : There are so many, there are actually so many. The traditional way that bloggers go about it is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is where you subscribe as an affiliate to various products and you link to those products within your blog post, then there is adsense or adrevenue or you could even sell ad space.
Then the not so traditional is when you become popular enough you can sell products, sell products mean you build information products like ebooks and stuff like that and you can also review other people and people are willing to pay you for the reviews. So, those are some avenues I think bloggers can make money. Apart from the fact that when you build a brand big enough, if you do build a brand big big enough then you can be invited as a paid speaker for various events.. So ya avenues are there, you just need to get it right.
Bala : Alright, fantastic yes there are lots of avenues that comes the next question.. If I have to start a blog, what is the first thing I need to do?
Sameer : Focus on a niche. Don’t broaden or try to go for big spaces where just because lot of people lot of demand is there.. I would look at 2 factors – one is where a field that you are really interested in, passive blog that you can really write about and two it should start with something very micro, micro niche.
So if its about, say blogging about fashion or beauty, I would say narrow it down to just say make up for the eyes may be, I don’t know, I have no idea but I would say just narrow it down as specific to a niche as possible because you can then attract a very specific segment of people.
Bala : Very good that makes me ask you other question – what are the common mistakes people do when they start off, when they do blogging?
Sameer : They go too broad. They try to attract everybody and anybody and I think that’s the strategy that if you cannot filter down your audience, you cannot write for one set of audience then your content is not its going to be diluted but the same readers who you are attracting for your previous post if they find the next post not so relevant they will not value your blog. So, I think it should be thematically at least you should have one theme, don’t be too generic. I think that’s the mistake that one to many bloggers make and they don’t pursue the passion and that comes across.
Bala : True so it all depends on the content what they actually is.
Sameer: Yes yes and sometimes they do it for the sake of just doing it for making money online and they have no interest in that product and that comes across and people authenticity plays a huge role in blogging.
Bala : Perfect so that was the next question – what if you would suggest before bloggers to have their content standout?
Sameer : Invest a lot of time, lot lot of time in each piece of content.. Don’t just hash out content for the sake of it, do your research.. If you have to make an article, make sure that you are covering everything that everyone else is covering plus more plus offer your thoughts, give personality, offer an opinion, don’t be generic and ya be authentic because if you are fake, I don’t think people will relate to you.
Bala : Got it Got it. So now this is a interesting question so we do blogging today and that’s what most of the people doing today, what’s gonna be the next thing in your opinion what’s the next thing that’s going to happen?
Sameer : Its hard. Blogging is a way of creating content expressing oneself and I feel that as the web evolves then there will be more and more mediums and already those mediums are coming to play like Instagram and then there’s Facebook, there’s Snapchat, their people, many celebrities needs space – YouTube has it own YouTube stars so I think that channels and mediums, which, if you are blogger today, you can also explore other avenues. If writing is not your medium you actually have more mediums available. If you are more of a person who can speak better than write and many are there like that I know many people hate writing they have writers block but if it comes to speaking, you can speak so consider the avenues like YouTube may be even Facebook so ya I think now blogging is like it’s just one avenue you can explore. Luckily the web is evolved to an extent where you can explore many other avenues.
Bala : Vlogs have come in.
Sameer : What’s a Vlog?
Bala: That’s a video blog.
Sameer : Ya vlog. Yes so many different avenues.
Bala : I think many options like that is going to be the future right that is going to be coming.
Sameer : Ya
Bala : Any new platform that comes I think..
Sameer : I don’t think one’s going to die over the other but I think we all gonna be because there are users like sometimes I prefer reading, some people prefer watching. So I think there are audiences for every medium essentially out there.
Bala : Perfect. Ok so you know when you actually say like that particular thing because when the mediums kind of increases, the core business or the core idea what you are is the SEO. So, you think that SEO is going to go off in coming days,?
Sameer : As long as Google, Bing they survive, SEO will be there. So, essentially SEO is all about optimizing for the search engines and I think they are not going to go anytime soon. So, SEO is going to be alive and the practices that you follow will evolve, will change that we are going to adapt but as a principle, search engines are always going to survive I think the test of time. When I think, I don’t think there is going to be an immediate replacement.
Bala : Its going to be evolved. Maybe people will try to do SEO for Youtube and other things and its already happening.
Sameer : Yes yes even when voice search comes across, it’s going to be different ways to conversational optimization but ya I mean we have to adapt. SEO is all about adapting.
Bala : That’s an untapped area altogether. You have voice search and other things.
Sameer : It is it is.
Bala : Perfect. Next question is – This is one of the people have asked us they have a company like say gear manufacturer and they are basically into the B2B side of it and does it make sense if they do any kind of blogging?
Sameer : What kind of industry you mentioned?
Bala : They make gears, a boring industry lets kind of put it in that way.
Sameer : Ok that’s a tough question I would say if you feel that you have an audience online for that sector, don’t do it just because others are doing it that’s what one mistake people will make. There are creative ways to go about it that you can attract your audience online. So, if you make gears and you feel that your target customers are going to be found online then there are creative ways like whitepapers or case studies or even talking about manufacturing or how you can save efficiency, there are various articles that you can share not only for the sake of getting traffic but also for brand enhancement. So, I think for the sake of branding, yes. For the sake of getting leads from SEO, may or may not work but definitely branding is a key component out here so I think for that reason alone may be yes.
Bala : I just want to add one point there because if it’s a boring industry and if you are doing blogging, you know, you will be the only one who is actually going to do that so its easier for you ramp up things.
Sameer : Yes perhaps of course you are going to realize many people are advised to also start blogging so many companies in boring industries have actually started doing it but of course they are doing it also in most boring manner possible so there are better ways to go about it.
Bala : Cool very good now comes the million dollar question here – can I make a living through blog?
Sameer : Of course there are so many people who make money through blogging, just search online how to make money from blogging you will find dime a dozen blogs out there. Is it easy no, is it going to be get rich quick?
Bala : Get rich quick
Sameer : No its going to take time, its going to take effort, its going to take lot of content writing, lot of video creation if you are not going to be a blog you are going to be a vblogger. I mean its not easy if you think then one easy way of making money online no unless you are no its just not easy its not going to be easy it is a crowded space.
Bala : True fantastic alright so thank you very much those are the questions we have from the bloggers for you and I am pretty much sure most of the guys have got their answers ,if you have any more questions that you want us to ask on blogging or any other subject that we have covered in the past please do let us know and we have many more interesting rapid fire rounds like this that are going to be coming out there until then will be kind of watching you next time, good bye.