Over the years, blogging has become quite the industry to get individuals and content creators started with their own platform online. WordPress has also made the process of content and site creation extremely easy. Once a user puts in the time and effort to understand how to create content of value and use Google and social media to increase traffic to their site, that is when the real magic happens.
Today we are going to be diving into these such topics and more, with Bilal Ahmad of Techmaish.com, in this latest edition of Meet the Bloggers. Through his journey in blogging, affiliate marketing and SEO, we hope you are inspired and continue to hit new goals month after month.
Who are you and how did you get started in blogging?
First of all thank you Zac Johnson for having me on your blog. It is an honor for me to share my thoughts with your readers. My name is Bilal Ahmad and I am from Peshawar, Pakistan. I started my blogging journey in 2008 with a dial up connection. It was hard to surf the web on 56 kbit/s connection but it was quite fun.
I started TechMaish.com in 2008 and started to write about the latest happenings in the world of Technology. With the passage of time and gaining knowledge I also started to share my thoughts about Blogging, SEO, Social Media and other Internet related topics.
Although, the first priority was to make money via my blog, beyond that I was very keen to establish my name in the world of blogging. Initially I didn’t care much about making money and focused only on networking and building my brand. It worked well and now I make enough money to live a luxurious life.
What’s the backstory of your blog and how did you choose the niche?
Back in 2008, when I was using Yahoo Messenger and Orkut daily, I found that people are making money via the web. It motivated me to go deep in the MMO field. I started to dig out and learn how to do it. First I came to know about PTC sites like NeoBux and other scam sites. Although it wasted my time and resulted with just a few dollars of income, in the process I learnt that making money on the web is actually possible.
When I finally knew about Blogging and Affiliate Marketing, I started my blog TechMaish.com and other Niche related Affiliate blogs. Within a year, I started generating money which motivated me further to compete with others. At that time I was following the Raymond.cc blog and wanted to start a similar blog. I did competitive analysis and started to rank for the same keywords the blog was ranking for. Fortunately I succeeded in ranking for some popular keywords. Which resulted in decent traffic coming to my blog.
I was a commerce student at that time and for education I was living in a hostel in Peshawar City. It was hard for me to meet my expenses. However, blogging helped me alot in making my dreams come true. Later on, I not only completed my MBA but also made my life luxurious because of the revenue from my TechMaish Blog and other affiliate niche sites.
Describe the process of launching your blog/site and getting it off the ground.
Due to the non availability of PayPal in Pakistan I had to start my blogging journey with Blogger.com. Because it was free and easy for me to learn its basics. Later on with the help of a friend I managed to buy a domain name and hosting account for my blog. I migrated my blogger blog to wordpress. For the migration I hired Harsh Agarwal from ShoutMeLoud.com because I was having very little knowledge about PHP.
The first thing I did to attract readers to my blog was to post comments on popular and relevant blogs. That not only helped me to build my network but also readership. However, for me it was Google Traffic which helped me in making money. To rank for keywords I targeted Raymond.cc and other blogs to find out low competitive keywords. This strategy worked very well and within a year I managed to reach upto 3000/month traffic from Google.
How do you create revenue on your blog?
The first thing I did to make money from my blog was Adsense. It is one of the best and lucrative monetization methods for all the bloggers. At that time it was hard to get an adsense account approved but luckily I got it approved very quickly.
Along with Adsense, I am now selling Advertisement Spots, Sponsored Posts and Reviews on my Blog.
I also use Affiliate Marketing but for that I am using niche specific blogs because they convert very well. I use ClickBank, JVZoo and some other CPA sites.
What are the strategies you use to build and grow traffic to your blog?
The first and most important step to grow traffic is to build a network. Although Search Engine Optimization is the most popular way to increase traffic but for the long run it is vital to build a network. Which in return will grow traffic. In the Blogging field if you are connected with fellow bloggers, it is quite easy to get backlinks, mention and other benefits from them that can directly or indirectly grow traffic.
My suggestion to new bloggers is to stay connected with your fellow bloggers and always help them when they need your help. This will help you build your network over time and for the long run it will bring traffic and revenue.
How do you grow your email list?
Frankly speaking, this is the only field where I am not so active. As we all know it is said that “Money is in the List” which is true but not everyone can build and hold an email list for the long run. In this field I am still struggling and that is because I have not put much effort into it.
How do you write content that performs well and readers love?
Most of my Content is contributed by other bloggers and I write very few these days. As I receive dozens of articles every day. However, when I write my own articles I follow the following steps.
- The first thing I look for is the trend of the topic. I only write about trendy topics.
- When the topic is decided, I put all my efforts to make the article full of information so that users can recommend and share on social media. I also try to reduce my bounce rate which is very important if you want Google to perceive your content as quality.
- After the content is published, all my efforts are consumed on its promotion. Which is the vital part if you want to grow google rankings.
What obstacles have you had to overcome to start and grow your blog?
English is not my native language and this in the initial days restricted my abilities to write good content or even communicate with fellow bloggers. It took me some time to effectively write and share my content to grow my blog.
What lessons have you learned in the process of building your blog?
Initially I started my blogging career on Blogger.com but due to limitations, it was hard to customize and optimize my blog. I decided to shift to the Self Hosted Blogging Platform on WordPress. I made this decision in the very first stages and that Is what I think was a good decision for growth of my blog.
I also learnt that a lot of articles are not going to help you grow traffic but quality of content is vital for growing traffic. Initially I had to stick with posting at least 1 article per day but slowly I learnt that even 1 article a week can also increase traffic if it is promoted well.
I suggest every new blogger to focus on quality content and then promote it well. This will help you grow your blog traffic in less time.
What platform/tools do you use for your blog?
As I mentioned earlier, WordPress is a very good platform for bloggers. It has a lot of features and works very well with Google Search Engine.
Then it is recommended to use Thesis Theme because of its simplicity, robust coding structure and super fast loading capability.
I also use Semrush tool for finding trendy and the most searched keywords on Google. As this allows me to only write on the topics that will bring traffic.
What have been the most influential people, books, podcasts, courses, or other resources?
I always follow Neit Patel of QuickSprout.com because he knows well about the blogging industry and shares very useful tips.
In the initial stages of my Blogging, I followed Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.com because he was one of the first successful bloggers those days.
Advice you can give other bloggers/entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
For new bloggers I would like to advice the following;
- Start your blogging career with Self Hosted WordPress Platform.
- Write Quality and Trendy Content and make it a habit to write above 1000+ words along with screenshots, reference to authority sources and links to researches.
- Put all your efforts in promoting your articles. Create as many backlinks as you can.
- Build Network as this will help you to stay for the long run in the Blogging Industry.
Where can we go to learn more?
Thanks again to Bilal for taking the time to share his 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.
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