First Year of Blogging is a series of interviews with top bloggers around the globe in various niche markets. As the title suggests these interviews looks back on the blogger’s first year experience and what it was like, what they went through and what advice they can offer new bloggers and bloggers in their first year of blogging.
I’m happy to inform that we now have a sub-reddit for “First Year of Blogging” on Reddit where I will be uploading all the interviews.
Amongst bloggers of recent times, The Blog Tyrant – Ramsay has been one of my greatest inspiration. As I watched the older bloggers whom I grew learning from moved towards a product based company, it was bloggers like Ramsay who kept blogging relevant and fresh. I’m honored to interview Ramsay here and I’m sure that you will learn a great deal from his experience.
Who is Ramsay Taplin a.k.a The Blog Tyrant?
Ramsay Taplin is from sunny Adelaide in South Australia. He’s 27 and works full time from home and has since his early 20’s.
He occasionally consult with businesses and individuals who want to improve their blogs and websites and use social media and online marketing to tap in to new audiences.
1. When did you start blogging? And what was your primary reason to blog?
Way back in high school I started a fitness blog to share my crazy ideas about bodybuilding, martial arts and the results I was getting.
It was on an Angelfire website (but no one remembers them!) and have a flaming logo and lots of scrolling text. It was truly awful! I’ve actually written a bit about that story in my post on how to start a blog which I wrote to help people avoid some of the mistakes that I made.
2. What are the top three struggles you went through with your blog?
I think the main three problems I went through are pretty common to most bloggers: the learning gap, the brand, and the time.
At first there is so much to learn – where do you start a blog, what plugins do you use, how do I get traffic, etc. – and it can seem really full on.
Secondly, getting your brand right and figuring out exactly what you want to talk about it really hard.
Lastly, find the time and balancing it with your job or school can be a huge challenge. I think so many new bloggers go through this and it can be a strangely complicated issue to resolve.
3. How did you manage to overcome the above mentioned obstacles/struggles?
I think there are two really important things here: reading and experimenting.
At first I spent heaps of time reading other blogs and trying to get new ideas from them. But then at some point you need to start experimenting and just trying things out. That is when you really start to find what works and what doesn’t.
4. What was your return on investment like during the first year?
The first year is always hard. I actually spent the mornings from 6am to 10am cleaning a gym to pay the rent and bills. This allowed me to come home at night and work on my blogs and really build them up.
But I think it’s normal for any business to take a year or even two years to make a good return. A blog is like any other business and we shouldn’t get too disheartened if it doesn’t work straight away.
5. What would you like to say to the those bloggers who are just starting off or in their first year of blogging?
The best thing you can do is find a way to connect with influencers as early as possible. Build something of tremendous quality and then find the people you want to connect with and start slowing building meaningful relationships.
You can break through without them, but if you have help from the people who have already done all the groundwork you will find your journey is a lot faster.
6. Are there any tools that you recommend bloggers use during their first year? Paid, Free.
One really big mistake that bloggers make is to wait to start building a mailing list.
I think it’s really important to do this from day one. You can use services like AWeber (aff link) or Mail Chimp to start collecting a database of email subscribers which you can then promote all your posts, products, etc. to. This is so important.
7. What is your position now as a blogger? (Revenue, Growth, Opportunities blogging has provided)
I’m now in a position where I make more money with blogs than I ever could with my job in the “real” world. The money is nice and I get to make some donations and other useful things, but for me the main benefit of blogging is that I can use it to help people.
I always try to make my articles as thorough as possible and, hopefully, I can help a few other people grow their blogs so they can have more free time to be with their family and so on.
8. Finally, was it worth the ride?
Sometimes the stress of running your own business is hard. But it’s 12:30pm and I’m writing this in my pyjamas from my living room couch. The freedom that you can obtain is absolutely worth the ride!
This brings us to the end of the interview.
You can reach Ramsay at the following URLs on popular social networks.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blogtyrant
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/blogtyrant
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/+RamsayTaplin
I hope you learn something from Ramsay’s experience during his first year as a blogger. I know blogging can be a bit overwhelming and sometimes you want to quit.
Its moments like these that you need to be inspired and see the opportunities that lie ahead of you and push forward.
Do you know other bloggers whom you think should be interviewed as part of this series? Leave me a comment with a name and I will reach out to the blogger.