More than 2 million blogs are created everyday on WordPress, let alone the whole of Internet.
According to Worldometers, this number was more than 3 million at the time of publishing this blog post. Shocking, isn’t it?
How many of them do you think are successfully generating business?
In this era that we live in where every second person is a blogger, it has become difficult to differentiate and build a successful Blog Network.
How Pradeep differentiated in this crowded blogosphere and used social media to build a successful Blog Network.
Check out our previous interview on “How I built one of the most active startup communities of India” if you happen to miss it.
I started blogging during my school days and took it as a profession after graduating from college with Slashsquare.
Slashsquare is a Web Consulting Media and Indian Blog Network.
Slashsquare was started as a blog during my college days.
We talk about Blogging, Internet Marketing, Social Media, and other related topics here.
This is our portal for film lovers where we discuss about Movies, TV Series, and Documentaries.
Being a gadget freak, I created this platform to connect like-minded folks who love talking about mobiles, computers, and electronic items.
I started my very first blog during my school days; I think it was in 11th or 12th standard.
At that time, I didn’t have any idea about blogging. I just signed up on Blogger.com and thought that my blog was ready.
But over the period, I learned a lot about blogging. I started to write and share my articles with my online friends. Slowly I started developing interest towards blogging.
Blogging is a medium to share your thoughts, but, at the same time, it’s a weapon to twist human thoughts.
HBB was my first official blog. I decided to write about Blogging so that I can keep track of the things I was learning and also share my learnings to help other similar folks get started with blogging.
Later on in the journey, I realised that I couldn’t control my thoughts to a single blog and I need to expand the list of topics I want to blog about.
That’s when I thought I should start a Blog Network which goes by the name of Slashsquare and launch different categories of blogs under one common banner.
Slashsquare is like a bridge which connects all the blogs.
Our first product was our blog — HellBound Bloggers (HBB).
I remember copy-pasting stuff here when I started out. But over the period of time, I learned a lot of things about blogging. Following ShoutMeLoud and MillionClues helped me a lot. Capturing feedback from my online friends and interacting with other bloggers also acted like a boon.
Eventually, I got an opportunity to review a product and I learned about sponsored posts. I slowly understood how I could monetize my blogs.
Starting HBB was easy for me, but scaling it was tough. I had to think of all the possible ways to survive this overcrowded Blogosphere.
HBB is just another blog in the blogosphere. It is not unique or outstanding.
So to reach out to more people, and most importantly, make them remember our blog, we made branding our USP.
You can use branding anywhere, right from your blog’s logo to the URL. We used a shortened URL hbb.me.
You just have to make them remember you once, it’s more than enough.
It is the easiest channel to reach your target audience. Make use of Facebook Pages & Groups.
Start a Page to promote your brand and start a Group to build your brand.
Thanks to our Facebook groups, I was able to understand Facebook better.
Also, try to make the content more Social Media friendly. “10+ Tips to increase your blog traffic” is good, but what about “10 actions you can do right now to double your traffic”? I’m not talking about clickbait here, just reasonable title justifying the content.
If you are an active user of Twitter, try to start a Twitter chat with #HBBTalk or #HBBChat, a hashtag with your brand’s name. This is a good way to showcase your brand and increase your follower base.
There is a fundamental misunderstanding about SEO:
Yes, you need to optimize your articles for search engines, but before that, you need to write for yourself, then write for your readers, then write for the people who are seeking solutions online, and at the end, write for Google.
Only if you do it in this specific order, you can analyze the other key factors to get more organic traffic.
If you want to make $1000 per month, you need to invest at least $100 per month. Without investments, you can’t get anything substantial in return.
Let them be WordPress plugins or Online tools. Make sure you buy them and utilize them properly.
If you have a blog, then you are the PR agent of your blog. Work on your personal branding to impact your blog performance.
Whatever you post on social media, it directly impacts the way your audience perceives your brand. So, make sure you represent your brand properly on social media.
We networked with several bloggers throughout our journey. Now they quote us frequently in their articles. This helps generate referral traffic and increase Domain Authority.
Find your audience before you start:
We have this habit of starting our Social Media profiles before launching our blog. We build our audience on social media, analyze their needs and then kickstart our blog.
We have already launched a Facebook Group and Page for our upcoming blog BookWritten.
This way, it becomes much easier to find their needs and the things they like. This is how we curate our blog articles, slowly, one by one.
Slashsquare’s Blog Network is a combination of what they like + what I like.
I started my blog without the intention of making money. But, when I decided that this was my full-time profession, I gave serious thought to monetization and prepared various strategies.
When we were starting out, we didn’t really want to monetize our blog without proper content or traffic.
There is no point in bombing your blog with ads and reviews without proper content or traffic.
So, we decided to create an authority and readership around our blog first and then enable Google AdSense.
Google AdSense is all about the people who visit your blog, view the ads and click them. But remember, the visitor’s source plays an important role here.
Google AdSense helped us to make decent money. Eventually, I moved to a paid hosting and started to hire people.
I love the way it works, the whole referral thing. I always had this thought in my mind before:
What if I get paid for the things that I normally do for free? Affiliate Marketing is the answer for that.
We started to keep banners and links and optimize them to get good organic traffic. We did have good conversions during Black Friday & Cyber Monday recently.
We also did reviews for popular brands and got paid for spreading the word.
It’s hard to find someone who shares the same mindset and passion for a specific thing.
Being a solo founder, I respect everyone’s opinion and advice, but the administrative decision and rights belong to me; I just do the things I think are perfect. Of course, I do my research and analysis before jumping into things, but that’s more than enough for me.
I don’t get demotivated quickly; I’m adamant about solutions.
It’s never about winning or losing; it is just about being yourself no matter what. If you are progressing and learning each passing day, then there is no need to get demotivated.
Our future goals are all about expanding Slashsquare so that it reaches more people, who share similar interests and passion.
The biggest challenge I have faced till now is to build an active online community. We have done a lot of experiments, but at the end of the day, it is never satisfying.
We are happy with the way our Facebook Groups and Blog Forums are running, but is that enough?
A prosperous community shouldn’t need any kind of moderation. It should take care of itself no matter what.
If something goes wrong, other members should take care of the violation and prevent it from happening again in the future.
Right now, we have around 17k members in our HellBound Bloggers (HBB) Facebook group, and these are our stats from the past 28 days:
Although this is a decent number, we are trying out the following things to scale it further:
Your startup is like a newborn baby; You can’t comb the hair, put a school dress, make him/her study and expect the baby to get 100 out of 100 marks.
Take your time, don’t fasten the process just because you want to taste success quickly, take it as a learning aka sharing process, I’m sure you’ll reach your stop very soon.
I also blog regularly @ Pradeep Kumar.
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Hey! Neeraj here, the founder of Pushstart, India’s most active entrepreneur community. I release interviews with successful entrepreneurs every week. Feel free to reach out to me on Facebook | Linkedin | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter.