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.
Who is Erik Emanuelli?
1. When did you start blogging? And what was your primary reason to blog?
After 6 years in the banking field and 7 as Export Manager (traveling around the world), the latest company I was working for was affected by the economic crisis. I started then searching online for “making money opportunities”. This is how I created my first blog with Blogger, it was June 2010.
2. What are the top three struggles you went through with your blog?
If I could go back in time, the first thing I would change is hiring a professional to teach me how to blog. This would have saved me so much time (and money spent on useless courses and “amazing products”). Moreover, I could have avoided doing so many mistakes, irreparable especially after Google Penguin and Panda.
I remember I was crazy for building links, because I had read that having many backlinks pointing to your website, would increase your rankings and, as a result, the organic traffic (and then more possibilities to monetize those visits). In the first months of blogging,
I created so many bad links, it’s nearly impossible for me to enumerate them all right now (web directories, links exchange, sitewide mentions – mostly spam linking, etc). I finally decided to shut down my very first blog in 2013.
The second struggle was creating good content. I remember reading popular websites in the internet marketing and blogging niche, to get ideas for new posts. It’s good to take inspiration, but I think it is more important to find your own path and show your personality, since the beginning.
It’s better having original content (although controversial and questionable), then following the crowd, trying to just please other people, thinking the same way as the others. After all, you want to be unique, to be identified online as such!
The last issue was hiding my face since the beginning, for at least 2-3 months. I was afraid to display my real name and my identity, I think mostly for ignorance. I thought that if I made any mistake, people could not recognize who I was. Completely wrong.
It was only later on, I learned the importance of building your reputation online, based on working on your real image. And most important, the significance of creating connections with people within your niche. Relationships are everything, in business (online or offline), or in life.
3. How did you manage to overcome the above mentioned obstacles/struggles?
With experience, making several mistakes, learning the hard way.
I want to underline the importance of creating high-quality content, with real added value. With this, I mean providing solutions to your audience, solving their problems, satisfying their needs. It makes no sense, to write an entire article, with no mentions, no outbound links, no suggestions.
When I create new articles for my blogs, I strive to add something that has real value for my readers (a useful resource, an interesting website, a practical guide or simply some screenshots to clarify concepts or procedures). In a few words, you want to really help your audience!
4. What was your return on investment like during the first year?
Really low. Barely enough to pay the internet and hosting bills. Must be considered, after all, that I was still doing a 9/5 job during the first 3 years of blogging, so I had a limited time to dedicate to my online activities.
5. What would you like to say to the those bloggers who are just starting off or in their first year of blogging?
Don’t quit your job, just because you find out that some popular bloggers are making a decent amount of money online. Be prepared of at least 2-3 years of hard work, before seeing the results in terms of economic compensation. And dedicate yourself to build relationships online, since the beginning.You will need connections, during your blogging journey.
Finally, I have my motto, I’d like to share with you: “Be Honest, Be Real, Be Yourself”.
6. Are there any tools that you recommend bloggers use during their first year? Paid, Free.
If you want to take blogging seriously, then you need to have a self-hosted blog. I suggest WordPress.
7. What is your position now as a blogger? (Revenue, Growth, Opportunities blogging has provided)
My previous occupations taught me that having different sources of income, will reduce the risks. I make a solid income online, from different streams. I also offer freelance writing services, since last year.
Last month, I started a particular niche project site, which I want to monetize with Amazon. If it goes well, I plan to create 2-3 similar websites (in different niches) in the following months and some others in the future.
8. Finally, was it worth the ride?
Definitely, otherwise I would not be here to tell the tale. :-)
I enjoy the freedom that working online offers me. And I completely understand the infinite potential for expansion, with internet. Hard work pays off, but it takes passion, dedication, persistence.
This brings us to the end of the interview.
You can reach Erik at the following URLs on popular social networks.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NoPassiveIncome
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/chrisnpi
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Nopassiveincome/posts
I hope you learn something from Erik’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.