How To Create A Successful Blogging Empire – Interview With Sam Milner
I took part in Sam Milner’s A-Z blogging challenge over at MyEasyPayOnline.com which taught me a few things about blogging. I find setting a challenge like this helps you get things done that you might otherwise avoid and I recommend that you sign up to things like this or set your own challenge. During the challenge I asked Sam if she would do an interview and she graciously agreed.
Sam is a successful, full time internet marketer/blogger and her passion for the topic really shines through. I asked her questions that someone new to internet marketing might be interested in, principally what it takes to succeed, what she would do if she started as a newbie and how she runs her blogs on a day to day basis.
So here it is…you’ll pick up some great tips that can help you move your internet marketing forward.
When And How did you get started in Internet marketing?
I originally caught the eBay bug like many other people that wanted to earn a living from home. I had just started at university at the time and was looking for some extra cash to make it through my student life. We were also struggling to make ends meet with my husbands factory job and also having a three year old to support.
We sold a whole variety of things on eBay (mainly intangible goods) and about 7 months later realized that it was getting way too expensive in eBay fees and decided to branch out into the wonderful world of internet marketing.
This was in 2005 and we haven’t looked back since and we now run the business as a partnership from our home in Portugal.
What motivated you to get into internet marketing?
I liked the idea of working from home with the internet. I just sort of fell into it and it was never pre-planned.
You seem to write a post a day on your blog.
It depends on the blog I have some that have up to 6 posts a day and others that run off one blog every 10 days it totally depends on the niche and what you are planning to get out of the site.
How do you come up with ideas for content?
I am passionate about the niches that I am involved in so I constantly have ideas running through my brain over what to do next and I am always jotting them down. I can just be having a conversation with my husband and a post idea will come up.
Do you do any keyword research, if so what tools do you use?
I do limited keyword research as I have found that my traffic can be built up very naturally. I always build a site with about five major keywords involved and will use Wordtracker for those and check out what the competition has and make sure that my site is better!
Do you batch process the writing of posts?
No, I have freelance blog writers on the majority of my sites and they write them as they are needed. Occasionally posts are scheduled within WordPress but not very often.
- Do you seo blog posts and how important is search engine traffic to your blog
Yes I do SEO blog posts but just with the use of the all in one seo plugin, as I am all for keeping things natural.
- Do you promote every post and if so how?
Whenever I post to my blogs it will then make its way onto my social media channels and then a week later it will be social bookmarked. I also do the same with images used on blogs and this can help spread the word about the blog post. It also automatically sends out an email to my blog mailing list so that they are aware of the new content.
- Have you changed the way you promote your blog and other websites since the recent Google Algo changes, how?
Not really, I have always been a fan of unique regular quality content so I haven’t suffered because of Google and I was never a fan of the link farms. My traffic has actually increased since the updates when other sites that have linked to death have lost their positions.
You also seem to have loads of ebooks available, how do you come up with ideas for the ebooks?
From personal experiences. When you think of what you would like to read if you were starting out making money online then you have your content. Many fellow internet marketers forget what it was like to be a newbie and then there products are too advanced for the market.
It must be different to blog posts as you have to invest far more time writing an ebook, what convinces you that a topic is worthy of writing an ebook ?
Many of my ebooks have been written in a weekend and touch wood I have not had a failure. Though I have had some that have been much more successful than others. But it is often about following trends. Looking out for what people are interested in right now and providing them with the information. I still have ebooks that I published even as far back as 2008 that generate daily sales.
How much does feedback from your audience influence the products/ebooks you create?
It can make a great difference to your business and you know that you are on the right track when they are happy.
If you had to start from scratch, what business model would you use to create a sustainable business?
I would choose a blog every time. They are very easy to set up and generate an income from in a short space of time. The beauty of them is that you can have multiple streams of income and not have the worry that if one method fails that they all will.
Again starting from scratch, what would you do in internet marketing if you had to generate fast cash, say $100 a day within the month?
I would write an ebook (if I have to I can write and create a quality one in a day) and then offer it through my signature in forums, run a facebook campaign, put it on Amazon and also make sure it had affiliate links in it and then watch as the money rolled in.
If your readers don’t like the idea of writing an ebook from scratch, grab a really good quality PLR product and brand it to yourself.
How important are connections with people in the internet marketing/make money online industry to you or your business?
Not very important to me at all. The only connections that mean something to me is a good team of staff and freelancers that I can turn to for the smooth running of my business. I don’t follow other people’s blogs or go to conferences because I can do so much better on my own and much rather spend spare time with family and friends. I went to one conference a couple of years ago and swore never to go again.
How do you keep you to date with the current trends in the industry? – ebooks, forums, courses, conventions
I read a lot of ebooks and that helps me keep up to date with what is going on. I am always on the internet looking at new trends so I don’t miss out. Though, there are only so many hours in the day so you can only follow so much.
It seems to be getting harder for internet marketers, especially affiliate marketers, to succeed online given all the Google changes that seem to favor Big Companies.
Are you still optimistic about the future of internet marketing for the little guy?
Yes. The little guy can still make it if they want it and they put the effort in. The ones that assume you will do everything for them and walk them through internet marketing are the ones that fail miserably.
One of my mentoring clients came to me and in a month was making a complete success out of his affiliate marketing efforts. There is a lot more information available these days and a lot more people to help you and there is a career out there in internet marketing if you want it enough.
- Is it still realistic for a newbie to succeed online, if so what qualities does a newbie need to succeed online?
They need to be well organized and disciplined. You cant just spend all day on Facebook just because you work from home. You have to have a plan of action in place to make you succeed. Are you going to run blogs? Or operate an internet marketing services company? Or are you going to do both?
You need to be able to manage a team – because you will soon see as your business grows the need to outsource.
You also need to be confident. I see way too many internet marketers, begging you to sign up to their affiliate link instead of explaining to you why it is good for them.
You also need to be able to take some knocks – you could put out a special offer and hardly get any takers. Many will quit when this happens and this is when you need to really decide if you have what it takes.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions Sam.
After talking to Sam for the past few months, I’d say she really knows what she is talking about and, more to the point, does what she talks about. She has an excellent blogging course over at bloggingwithpride.com which goes through exactly how she does it. I recommend you check it out if you want to succeed with your internet marketing endeavors.