An Interview With Kevin Muldoon From Blogging Tips
Kevin Muldoon is the man behind Bloggingtips.com – a popular blog on blogging tips,news and resources for bloggers.Kevin has been blogging since 2000 and has an established company named System 0.Apart from Blogging at Bloggingtips.com he also runs a WordPress theme Website at Blogthemesclub,where he sells premium WordPress themes at an affordable price.
1.Tell us something about your main gig System0.How did you get the idea of Blogging and starting websites ?
I purchased System0.net in 2002 to use as a ‘company website’. It was used to list the websites and domains I owned and the domains and websites I was looking to sell. I was buying and selling a lot of domains at the time (and a few dozen websites too) so it was mainly used to display my portfolio.
Blogging was a natural progression. I had been using Content Management Systems (CMS) since 2000 as a way of building websites. Blogging scripts were fairly limited at first but soon became the best way to publish content on the web.
2.How many blogs do you have or write for currently ? How much time do you devote to your blog everyday ?
I have sold most of the blogs I have purchased or developed from scratch to allow me to work on some new projects. At present my main blog is BloggingTips. Though I occasionally update System0 with job announcements and my personal blog (KevinMuldoon.com) with random rants :)
I don’t have too fixed of a schedule. I’ll sometimes work 12 hours one day and then 2 the next, it just depends. BloggingTips is updated daily by a very reliable staff team so I only actually blog myself a few hours a week.
3.What are your favorite sources of learning ? Where do you find information and Inspiration ? Tell us some blogs you Love to read.
My reading habits change frequently. In the summer I purchased a few books on writing to improve my overall writing ability. More recently I have purchased a few books on marketing (email marketing and traditional).
Seth Godins blog is inspiring in this regard, as is Yaro Staraks Entrepreneurs-Journey. I’ve got close to 100 blogs in my newsreader though I mostly check them in order to stay up to date with the latest blogging news, which is important since I run a blogging advice blog.
4.Are there certain things that all websites should do to make them more effective and what might some of those things be?
More effective? It depends on what you mean by that. More earnings, more traffic, more readers?
For me, the biggest factor is drive. The website owner has to have the drive to develop his website. If he loses interest then it is unlikely they will find success with it.
5.Surprisingly none of your blogs are monetized using Google adsense or other contextual advertising programs.Can you tell us why ?
I do use Adsense. In fact, I’m currently building a website which will have 400-500 pages of content and will be using Adsense as the main source of revenue. However, it depends on the niche.
I don’t think that adsense is a particularly good choice for most blogs. There are usually much better alternatives, though tech blogs might convert well.
6.Lets suppose that search engines do not exist.How would you market your newly started blog ?
Think the internet would be a completely different place without search engines. It’s difficult to think about what you would do as everyone would be struggling to promote their website. Though I’d probably target directories, write guest posts on high traffic websites and perhaps some traffic exchanges.
7.According to you,apart from writing quality and unique content what are those things on which the success of a blog depends ?
A good design will get you far as it presents a professional image to the reader. Marketing is important, reader participation is important too.
Again, it comes to drive, good old fashioned hard work. The more you put in, the more you are likely to get out.
8.Apart from SEO and social bookmarking sites, what techniques can new bloggers adopt to drive traffic?
Other than making sure my design is optimized for search engines (which is very easy with blogs), I don’t think too much about SEO. I would rather write for the reader than spend all my time worrying about keywords etc. If you write good articles, other people will link to them, which will help your overall ranking in the SERPS.
I’m not a big social media person either. I have tried to correct this and get involved in some social media circles but I find it all to be a huge drain on time. I do twitter sometimes but not that frequently. I’m much more productive by not being active on Digg, Stumbleupon etc.
9.How did you network with other bloggers in the early days of your blogging career?
I commented a lot on other blogs and emailed some bloggers directly to introduce myself. I also helped some new bloggers with basic problems. I didn’t do too much networking though if I’m honest.
10.Do you think a blog can survive with good content and a bad design ? Give some design tips that every blogger should keep in mind while designing their blogs and websites ?
It depends on what you classify as bad design. Great content can survive on a blog with a plain design however it cannot do well on a blog with bad design i.e. a design which makes it difficult or unenjoyable to read the articles.
The number one mistake I see new bloggers make is over saturating their blog with too many advertisements. Too many bloggers with less than a few hundred readers cram adsense ads into their blog posts, dozens of images into their sidebar and in links into their content. It’s overkill.
You can add advertisements to your blog before it is successful however you need to make sure that is not obtrusive.
11.What has been some of the challenges ?
I had already been working online for 5 or 6 years before I started blogging so I never really had any problems from the technical side of things.
Suppose frustration has been a challenge at times when things didn’t work out the way I planned. When good articles did not generate much interest etc.Though the best way to deal with this is to analyze why things didn’t work out the way you wanted and adjust your plan accordingly. Setbacks can be a great way of becoming more experienced with anything in life.
12.What is the biggest blogging mistake you did?
I probably wasted a lot of money on competitions at the start trying to drive traffic to the site. Competitions can be good if done well but if they don’t work out, it’s pretty much money down the drain!
13.What has been the most satisfying part of growing System0,your other blogs and your company?
The most satisfying part is working for myself. I worked in the finance industry until I was 25, which is when my online income was enough to stop working in it, and the thought of working for someone else drives me to work harder.
It’s also great to see hard work being rewarded. You never know if a website will make money when you develop it, you never know if that article which took 5 hours to write will be well received, but when they do it’s rewarding.
14.How has your blogs audience changed over the years ?
I think the target audience is still the same for BloggingTips, that is, people who are new to blogging or have been blogging for a year or so.
Though I think that over time, many will stop visiting. Not because they don’t like the blog, but because they don’t need the blog anymore. Once they have reached a level where they can develop a blog without any help, are confident about promoting their blog and can make money with it, they no longer need advice on blogging on a daily basis.
15.Your Biggest Blogging Success?
Well since I’ve sold the majority of my other websites, it would have to be BloggingTips :)
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