In addition to having an awesome looking blog, Tim Soulo of BloggerJet.com has a lot of experience in the world of online marketing and has done a decent amount of writing on other sites as well. I occasionally exchange emails with Tim and we discuss different ways we can cross market posts and different ideas. This is one of the big benefits to being a blogger, which is that it allows you to connect with a lot of really smart and great people. Learn more about Tim Soulo and his many adventures in the world of blogging in today’s “Meet the Bloggers” interview.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
Hey Zac, thanks for having me for this interview. Will do my best to make it interesting and valuable.
So my name is Tim and here’s my story.
The very first article that I’ve published online is called “Facebook Marketing: The Ultimate Guide”. It was published at Moz.Com (previously SEOmoz.com) which is one of the world’s leading resources on SEO and online marketing.
At that time I was working at Flashmint.com (these guys sell website templates) and among other things, I was doing SEO for them. So this post at Moz.Com was actually written for the sake of the link to their website.
But I was so afraid that my guest post won’t get accepted by Moz.Com, that I’ve spent like 3 weeks researching and writing it.
And when the post was finally published, it happened to become a big deal in the community and ended up being a Top Post of 2010 in 3 different categories: by the amount of upvotes, tweets and unique visits.
That’s when I thought that I might actually be good at this.
Next year I’ve launched my own blog – BloggerJet.com, which was originally a “blogging race” with my good friend Dainis Graveris (founder 1stwebdesigner.com). But I really didn’t treat it seriously, since at the time I had a full time job at TemplateMonster.com (world famous provider of web templates) that took most of my time.
So after our blogging race was over, BloggerJet was closed for almost two years.
But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t involved in blogging. I persuaded guys at Templatemonster to purchase Photodoto.com – a photography blog that was abandoned for about four years.
Within a year we turned this near-dead website into one of the best photography blogs out there. And yet I only wrote two or three articles as I failed to make photography my passion.
So I decided to leave Photodoto and concentrate on something I’m really passionate about – online marketing.
Just recently I relaunched BloggerJet and now I’m really serious about making it a big deal.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
To be honest, BloggerJet doesn’t have a clear focus at the moment. It’s about online marketing and blogging, but that’s quite a broad topic, which is not cool.
I think I know a few untapped niches that I can possibly fill. But let me keep that a secret for now.
One thing I know for sure – I didn’t launch BloggerJet to be yet another copycat. I’m going to focus on something unique (but that’s what everyone says, right?).
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
I don’t really like ads or adsense for my blog.
Right now I’m promoting a few cool products as an affiliate and that’s it.
Eventually I want to focus on selling my knowledge (webinars, courses, trainings) and building some authority for myself as opposed to generating tons of traffic and converting it into random ads.
My personal belief is that blogging for the sake of traffic and ads is a dead road, while helping people achieve their goals and thus building authority for yourself has tons of opportunities for future growth.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
Now I know what really matters.
In the early days I used to be obsessed with my traffic numbers, which led me to publishing “entertaining” posts like “50+ Amazing Steve Jobs Tribute Artworks (Huge Collection!)” that were bringing tons of traffic from StumbleUpon. But that didn’t bring me any closer to my goals.
The community is what matters for me now. I track my success by the monthly growth of my email list, open rate of my letters, the number of comments on my articles – because that is what really matters.
I mean, if people follow you – you’re probably worth something.
I don’t think that a collection of stolen Steve Jobs artworks will ever land me a speaking gig (which I love to do).
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
I’m afraid I rarely read any blogs these days. I was following all the major marketing blogs for about 3 years, till I’ve realized that they just repeat the same stuff over and over.
I’m not saying it’s bad. Every day thousands of newbies decide to join the blogging forces and they need all this information outlined for them.
How about I offer three amazing books, that influenced me a lot?
- Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers: The Story Of Success
- Robert B. Cialdini – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
- Harry Beckwith – Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing
(Ok.. I somewhat lied to you. There’s a blog that keeps impressing me even today. It’s ViperChill. I’m sure you’ve heard of it.)
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
Obviously I’m going to start this list with a tool I’ve created myself, because I really needed it.
- Strip The Blog tool – Use it to research which articles go viral on the blogs of your competitors. (In case you don’t know why it matters for you, read this post: “3 Reasons To Spy On Your Fellow Bloggers and 1 Free Tool That Does It”)
- PopupDomination – that’s a premium thingy, but it’s well worth it’s money. Once you install it on your blog, your email list will grow like crazy.
- Triberr – now this one actually shouldn’t be free. With this service you can almost double your blog traffic in one day.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
Become an expert in what you’re going to write about. Make sure you read everything there is on that topic – this will allow you to come up with unique ideas of your own.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t start a blog until you’ve read it all. I’m suggesting that when you write an article about something, make sure you research the topic to the tiniest detail. Google is always there for you!
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
If you don’t have a blog yet – don’t launch it. Write a free ebook to be exchanged for emails of your visitors first.
Once you have something that people will give you their emails for – you’re ready to start blogging.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I would invest that into looks of my blog. For $100 you won’t get yourself a custom design, but you can pretty much buy an awesome theme at Themeforest and probably have enough money left to purchase PopupDomination.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
Just drop me a line at “timsoulo -at- Gmail” if you need me.
Thanks for awesome questions Zac, I really enjoyed answering them.
Hope I’ve managed to inspire a few people and give them some cool ideas.
And I’ll be glad to continue this conversation in comments.
Thanks again Tim for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.