As part of today’s launch, I’m actually featuring TWO great interviews. The first one, as you probably saw, was with Justin Cooke from Empire Flippers.
The second interview today is with Tim Soulo from BloggerJet.com. Tim is a professional marketer who blogs about all things internet marketing.
I really like Tim because he has a unique voice with his content and makes a conscious effort to NOT rehash the same internet marketing tips and strategies that you’ll find on most other blogs in this niche. It’s refreshing.
Let’s see what Tim has to say…
(As always, questions from The Daily Interview are in bold.)
I’m a huge fan of BloggerJet – it’s such a comprehensive source of internet marketing-related articles, with a lot of unique tips and strategies that people won’t find elsewhere.
I also know you probably have your hand in a few different businesses, but tell us a bit more about yourself and your primary business. What do you spend most of your time on these days?
Well.. Let’s be honest from the start:
1. People don’t actually care about me, they care about themselves (that’s not a bad thing, that’s how things work… I also care about myself in the first place).
2. I’m not a big blogging/marketing celebrity (as of yet), but sometimes I may shift into “fake it till you make it” mode, so please bear with me.
Keeping this in mind, let me try to answer your question in a way that benefits your readers in the first place and doesn’t make an egoistic jerk out of me along the way.
My primary business has always been my “full time job” in marketing. I know that most people online hate full time jobs, so how about I give you…
4 Reasons Why Some “Full Time Jobs” Rock?
1. You can work with budgets that you can’t afford being a solopreneur;
2. You have resources (designers, developers, managers) that you can’t afford as a solopreneur;
3. You don’t have to look for mentors, cause you can learn from your bosses;
4. You already have a cool team of awesome smart people to work with (no need to look for them).
(I won’t expand on each of the points, but I do understand that all of them are highly arguable and I will be happy to argue with anyone in the comments.)
Throughout my “full time job” career I’ve worked with many cool companies and projects (with Templatemonster.com being the biggest of them) and got tons of amazing experience.
Today I work on several great projects mostly for the Russian market, so I guess there’s no point of mentioning them here. And my free time is being split between BloggerJet, reading books & MMA trainings.
When it comes to blogging and internet marketing, what has been your greatest success (or successes) so far?
Like I said – people don’t care about me, they hardly even know me. So let me talk about some principles that led me to certain success so that people could follow them, rather than just brag about it.
Principle #1: Hard work and hardcore research are the fundamentals of amazing content.
Everyone can do a 500-word article on almost any topic just out of their heads. But only a few of us have heads smart enough to be able to produce something valuable out of nowhere (sorry for the harsh truth here).
So most of the time, in order to produce a compelling piece of content, you will have to work hard and research your topic super deep.
Derek Halpern got so popular so quickly because he was reading tons of psychological studies and sharing what he has learned there with others.
My success story based on this principle is about the very first article that I’ve published online.
It’s called “Facebook Marketing: Ultimate Guide” which is published at Moz.com. It’s a world famous community of online marketers and I was so afraid to fail with this post that I spent tons and tons of time researching and writing it.
But to my sincere surprise, it instantly became a massive success and ended up being a top post of 2010 by “thumbs up”, unique visits & retweets.
So, I guess hard work can easily beat experience or talent.
Principle #2: Accountability pushes you forward
We had a bet of who can attract more traffic to a completely new blog in three months. This was quite a motivation for me and I was working on my blog like crazy (and won).
Even though that blogging race is over now, I still have a weekly Skype call with Dainis, where we discuss our weekly goals and if we’ve succeeded in achieving them.
I’m an extremely lazy person, and if there was no accountability I would just lay and watch Game of Thrones all the time. Since most people in the world are just like me I think this principle can really help them to get their butts off the sofa.
Principle #3: Good artists copy, great artists steal
Like I said, there’s an extremely long road till your brain will be able to generate masterpieces out of nowhere. Till this day you have to learn from a few guys who are already successful.
Don’t be afraid to copy their work, this will build the neuron connections in specific parts of your brain and sooner or later you will start producing great stuff on your own.
And meanwhile you can get amazing results with “stolen” stuff.
Back in the days when I was working on a photography blog named Photodoto, I was obsessed about finding viral topics.
Take a look at this article: 3 Tips to Ruin Your Photo with a Watermark – it has almost 1000 likes and almost 100 comments.
And you know what? The idea was stolen from a famous russian blogger Artemiy Lebedev.
We didn’t just translate the post and stole it as is, but we have created a piece of our own in our own highly sarcastic manner, and it turned into a huge spike of traffic.
You might think that we just got lucky. And at some point you’re right, because not every post you “steal” will take off. But one out of 10 will take off for sure.
And like I said, when you’re “stealing” ideas from others and rewriting them in your own manner, you’re actually teaching your brain to produce this kind of stuff.
The internet marketing niche is so saturated today, but it’s obvious that you still find ways to stand out and remain popular. What do you attribute your overall success to? Why do you think BloggerJet (and other ventures you’ve been involved with) have stood out and been successful?
Yeah, that is true. Not only internet marketing is a highly saturated niche. Every niche you look at actually seems pretty saturated.
And that is why I’m slowly shifting the focus of my blog from being “yet another blog about blogging” to a following micro-niche: “how to invest money in your blog and profit out of it.”
I’ve only started with this topic, but I already see that lots of people are quite interested in learning how they can invest in their blogs to make them grow faster and bring more money.
Success is great, but failure is where the real learning opportunities lay. What has been your most significant failure to date, and what did you learn from it?
The biggest failure of my whole life is not having a concrete goal.
Back when I started BloggerJet I had a clear goal to win that blogging race. And once that goal was achieved the blog was abandoned. That is very-very lame.
So if you have a blog, think of where you’re going with it. What are your plans for the next year? Five years? Ten?
And WHY are you doing this? Maybe you don’t even need that blog to achieve what you want.
I like your point about having a concrete goal – I think this is critical if you want to achieve any decent level of success. So, I’ll turn it back on you: What’s your concrete goal that you’re working toward right now, either with your blog or other online ventures? What are you doing to make sure you reach that goal?
Right now I have three short-term goals that I want to achieve. I guess these goals will be on my resolutions list for 2014.
Goal #1: Attract 1000 registered users at my “Strip The Blog” tool by spring and start developing the premium version of this service.
I have quite a few ideas of how the tool can evolve and there are some cool features that I think users might pay for. But before we start working on that, I want more people to try what we already have and share their feedback.
Goal #2: Release 3 more premium plugins for WordPress.
The plugin is quite basic, but while building and releasing it I got tons of experience. So now I’m ready to move forward with building more advanced plugins that lots of bloggers should find amazingly useful.
Goal #3: Launch premium course at BloggerJet.
I have a few friends among A-list bloggers and I’ve noticed that they quite often ask for my advice (even despite the fact that I’m not an A-list blogger myself). So I thought to myself: “If I have enough credibility to advice to A-listers, then the rest of the bloggers should find my tips and strategies highly valuable as well.”
But before I start working on my course, I want to grow my audience at BloggerJet and ask them what do they struggle with the most.
And right now I have a free email course called “5 Blogging Strategies To Grow Your Traffic By 500%“, which people seem to enjoy.
For all three goals I have outlined the exact steps that will help me to achieve them. And each week I put a few of these steps on my ToDo list and make sure I mark them as “done” by the end of the week.
Let’s take a step back and look more generally at blogging. I know you have a lot of great advice to share, but If you had to take your best advice and put it into one sentence or phrase, what would that be?
Learn the steps that will turn your blog into a full time business and follow them exactly. [Click here to tweet this]
What are your favorite online resources that you can’t live without?
I’ve talked a lot today about the importance of research and copying success of others. I’m such an advocate of these things that I’ve actually built my own tool:
Put URL of any blog there and it will show you it’s most popular articles based on the amount of social shares.
This is a super quick and easy way to research content of your competitors and find topics that you can “steal.”
Other than that, I use a set of pretty common tools: Gmail, Google Documents, Evernote…
Oh!… and Basecamp is perfect for managing projects! I absolutely love it!
For someone who is just starting out creating a blog, what advice would you offer? In other words, what do you wish someone told you about when you first started?
I said it earlier in one sentence and I guess it’s time to expand on it a little bit.
I believe that the earlier you learn how to make a living out of your blog and focus on just that – the better.
But of course it depends on your goals. Some people might be blogging just for fun.
So my advice has 2 steps:
1. Think of WHY you’ve started your blog in the first place.
2. Focus on the things that will bring you closer to your goal.
If you decide that your goal is to make money with your blog, writing an article about free tools suddenly doesn’t make sense.
Finally, where can people find you online?
Here’s my blog:
Here’s my Free Email Course:
5 Blogging Strategies To Grow Your Traffic by 500%
Here’s my awesome online tool:
Strip The Blog – free online tool to discover popular blog posts
Here’s my awesome WordPress plugin:
TweetDis – make any phrase “tweetable”
Thanks for having me, Eric! It was fun answering your questions, hope that your readers will enjoy it.
Thank YOU, Tim, for the great interview. It was a pleasure being able to feature you on our launch day at The Daily Interview.
What did you think of the interview? Do you have something to say about anything Tim wrote? Please leave us a comment below! Thanks!