It’s just one week I have started this Blogger Interview Series, and I am feeling awesome. The very first interview of Saurabh Tiwari of Techibhai.com was shared on social media more than 300+ times on different platforms.
So, to continue the same series I got an opportunity to ask some questions to Navon Rao of Questioncage.com. But honestly telling, I never thought that Navin will answer them with so much honesty & in-depth.
Friends, let’s read the complete blogging journey of Navon Rao of Questioncage.com on my blog BloggingJOY.com.
1) Please introduce yourself and your blog?
Hi Santanu, Thanks for having me at your blog BloggingJoy.
Basically, I was born in Kolkata and completed my studies over there itself. After my college, my father got transferred to Hyderabad and we decided to live over here.
A sneak peak into my personal story:
I continued pursuing my studies and after my academic and technical studies, my first job was as a Software Tester, I worked there for a year, and as my skills were developing I got more opportunities and eventually joined another company, where I worked for Google’s GPS Navigation System, around for two years and that was a big add-on for me. And currently, I work for VR (Virtuality Reality) for another organization.
Okay, enough of my personal profile.
My blogging Journey:
Yeah, my first blog is QuestionCage.com. It was started in 2016 as a technology blog, where I use to share all Google related software tricks along with my full-time job. It wasn’t easier, but I wanted to do it.
Later on, as the blog grew, my knowledge towards Internet Marketing, SEO and WordPress were also growing so I even thought of sharing those through my blog. And fortunately, my domain name also permitted to do so. 🙂
My Further Steps
Along with QC, in early 2018 I partnered with Saurabh Tiwari and we both together transformed a blog alldigitrends.net as an SEO Agency, which started making money sooner as the launch happened.
Although that wasn’t enough, I accidentally started one more blog and failed to find time to work on it and closed it in just 4 months. Seldom we need to make some quick decision, that’s what I did 🙂
2) How did you get introduced to blogging? Any story behind starting your first blog?
Haha, yeah there is a small story behind it.
Santanu, I haven’t had any idea about blogging at all. I didn’t know this world even exist.
But, my work consists of a lot of techie stuff, I used to do a lot of RND at that time. And during that researches, one fine day I landed to a blog called labnol.org. I loved it.
But, I didn’t jump the gun right at that time. Perhaps due to the curiosity, I started digging who are all the people behind answering such questions. Then realized it’s Amit Agarwal, one guy managing the whole website. Surprising factor for me. I even Started digging further and got to know more about bloggers and their lifestyles.
The whole thing forced me to fantasize to see myself at their place as well. Obviously, who doesn’t want to work right from their home in their night pants. haha 😀
I generally read a lot of stuff online and offline. By the way, this habit was not there while schooling. I was always thinking to share the technology stuff with the world and realized writing blogs could be the best way, and I started QuestionCage.com without any hesitation in mind.
Thinking for that domain name wasn’t too complicated for me. I wanted to answer the technology related questions so the name stuck into the mind and I registered it quickly. I still love it, as it brings up that uniqueness and easier to remember as well.
Although, there are many domain name generators to take help from, which would suggest the perfect domain name for your blog according to your keywords. But, if you need a branded blog name, listen to your instinct which comes first in the mind.
Tip for choosing domain name:
- A branded name for your first blog.
- No numbers or extra characters in the domain name.
- Choose a blog name, which should be easier to remember. (think as readers)
- Think for the long run.
4) Why technology & blogging niche? It is highly competitive.
I agree with you Santanu. Blogging and technology niche is certainly too crowded.
But, that’s the thing. More competition, that means more opportunities. Blogs can be monetized much effectively.
Instead of thinking too much of all those aspects, write what you love to write, slowly your skills will make you stand out from the crowd.
5) How do you plan your content and how frequently do you publish?
In my initial days of blogging, I had a proper schedule and use to publish 3-4 How To Guides every week.
I use to pick the topics by researching on Quora and through some Competitors Analysis with the help of SEO tools.
Once I am okay with the topic. I research on it and analyze the other blog posts written and ranking on the search results for those keywords. We all know the skyscraper technique, isn’t it?
Though you don’t have to write all the blog post so thorough, it’s all that the topic demands. Your readers might be happier at times reading some precise and to the point articles as well. You need to serve with the variation. No one like to eat the same food every day.
There is no perfect schedule of publishing the blog posts, but yeah I make sure to publish 1-2 blog posts every month.
This is one important step for any blog’s growth. You are writing awesome content, but if you are not promoting it well, it’s… a huge mistake.
Basically, I make it very simple here. I do a lot of Guest Posts, be active in Social Media, and few forums. I write on quora as well and it is one of my traffic sources.
My profile consistently receives above 10k+ views every month despite of not being active too much these days.
But, yeah in coming days I have plans to answer more questions on it. Apart from that, I will make LinkedIn and Medium my buddies. 🙂 I love writing.
7) Do you provide any service through your blog? Or, have any such plan?
Thanks for that question as I am excited to provide some services through my blog.
Through QuestionCage, I don’t offer any services as of now.
But, yeah Santanu, I have plans for my service website and going to launch it on, early April 2019 itself. Working in the backend right now. And this time domain name is with my name navinrao.com. 🙂
It is basically going to be a website on WordPress niche. So you will be able to find all the WordPress solutions at one place and slowly I will offer WordPress related services as well. And I am very focused on this one. Fingers crossed, my plans to be executed.
Somehow, we all provide some services. Whether you are a Blogger, Affiliate Marketer, Digital Consultant, or Freelancer. We all provide services through our skill-sets.
Beginner or experienced, be ready to help fellow bloggers and other businesses. There are several benefits of providing services,
- It will sharpen your skills
- You will have a chance to engage with more people
- You will make money
- This gives positive vibes and you will feel confident and motivated.
For Beginners, question yourself, what you are good at, Content Writing, Graphics, Technical Stuff, Creating Websites whatever. There are several platforms Freelancer.com, Upwork.com and even Fiverr.com where you can create and develop your profile to get more work and eventually you can invest that in your blogs. It’s a future investment so that you can earn passive income. THINK ABOUT LONG RUN.
9) Which one do you prefer affiliate marketing or Adsense? Why?
I never rely on one monetization method at all. I open the doors for all the streams, whether it could be Adsense, Unbiased Product Reviews, Sponsored Articles and yeah without any doubt Affiliate Marketing is the favorite one. I love, when I get emails, from the vendors saying I got rewarded with a commission for selling their products.
I was SHY!
In my initial days of blogging, I wasn’t so active on social platforms at all. One day, my partner provoked me saying you got skills, but why are you not building a strong network around you. Why are you not being active on social media at all?
Then, I realized I was doing a Huge mistake, not connecting with fellow bloggers.
You need to be active on social media to connect with new people.
And, yeah that did work.
- Learning new things
- Share tips with them
- More traffic
- You will be known better
- More money $$$$
Can any blogger afford to lose all those?
A blogger’s work is not just restricted until writing the blog posts. In fact, that is where the job BEGINS.
Although, there are no certain rules at all. All I can say, generally it all starts from Social Media and building a strong connection with like-minded folks.
But, yeah I do agree to meet new people, digital meetups would be really helpful. Personally, I need to focus on more such meetups.
12) How do you see blogging as a career in India?
Certainly, it is Booming. India has accepted the Digital World with open hands. Now people are more aware of it. You might have observed nowadays a lot of businesses are increasing their digital advertising budget compared to their offline promotion activities.
Smartphones are in every hand and people are likely to engage more through the content. And without any hesitation companies are after those.
People have any issues, they Google it.
That itself shows the scope for bloggers. Earlier there were just a few handfuls of bloggers existed. Now the scenario is completely changed.
So, if someone thinking to see blogging as a career, a BIG heads-up. Just start a blog the right away.
It wasn’t easy initially to manage my full-time job along with blogging at all. The task was daunting on its own.
But, I needed to figure out things. Being a blogger there are several tasks involved.
- Structuring and writing a blog post
- Performing OffPage SEO
- Social Promotions
- Have to be active on Social Media and what not!
You need to use effective tools to make your work easier.
A few tips for Time Management, for those who are into the same boat.
- While writing a blog post you need to make sure you are not distracted (Close Social Media Tabs) and write it in less time.
- I listen to music to relieve my 8 hours job stress and simultaneously take care of writing (No big deal for me, as I had already researched the topic)
- Take small breaks to be more productive.
- Social Media Promotions – Use tools like Buffer and Crowdfire and create your strategy for social promotions on the go.
14) If someone asks you to suggest whether to choose among a career in Digital marketing or becoming a blogger, what would be your suggestion & why?
Both require skills in their own genre. Quite relevant and worth a try. I would say, start as a blogger learn from the basics and expand your wings as a Marketer.
That doesn’t mean you have to leave blogging. Both can go hand in hand. Never leave the roots.
15) How do you make sure to up-skill your knowledge from time to time?
Santanu, as said I read a lot. Ebooks, SEO relevant articles. Listen to podcasts. Especially I love podcasts of Pat Fynn from smartpassiveincome.com. I subscribed to many good industry relevant blogs, whether it could be SEO updates, Affiliate Marketing or WordPress.
Subscribing to such websites will keep you updated. And this is one of the important aspects to be a successful blogger. The more you are updated, the more you could be benefited.
Basically, my favorite topics are WordPress and Affiliate Marketing. I tweak a lot with my websites in the backend. And I do feel one needs to take care of the website like a baby. The more you pamper it with care and precision, the outcome would be better.
If you have a blog on WordPress, it’s easy to set up but optimization and the security process is an ongoing process. I see many beginners start a blog and install a security plugin and that’s it. Tools cannot do all the things itself, you need to direct those.
I have already written a detailed article on WordPress security, which should be followed as your blog is your vault, only you should have the keys to it.
Along with that always have a good Hosting provider for your blogs, it’s always recommended. And if you think you can not afford, then simply switch to the free blogging platform like Blogger.com. As it’s Google’s product, so security is robust. But, still, WordPress is the best. Flexible and scalable.
16) What are the core skills every blogger needs to run a successful blog? And how to acquire them as a beginner?
Anyone can be skillful in their own genre, but everyone can not be a blogger.
- Blogger should have extreme patience.
- Think always for the long term (Easy money always leads you to the wrong direction.)
- Your Online presence will expand your business. Be active. Grab Opportunities.
- Be a giver, don’t hesitate to promote others.
- Provide Value – No CRAP (You don’t have to write always long-form articles for the sake of writing). Hearts can be won by providing solutions in smaller articles as well.
- Strive to learn new things.
If you are a blogger, your blog is your store and your readers are your customers. Treat them with complete authenticity. Be genuine. They are looking for a query, have an intention to solve those.
They are looking for a product requirement, recommend them the best, not just anything. Make them happy, they will come again and again and you will build a long term reader base and loyal customers. 🙂
17) If you get a chance to start your career again, what would be your preferred option and why?
Fortunately, I don’t have any regrets in my professional career. As from the first day and now, I had fantastic growth in my career in all the aspects and as my current position offers me good stability.
Though I always think of one thing, as I started blogging in 2016, maybe someone would have introduced me about blogging before that, things might have been even different. 🙂 What do you say?
18) How do you handle the competition & pressure in blogging niche and what would be your advice to newbie bloggers about this?
Don’t Panic at all, you can’t deliver your best when you are not stable in your mind.
The world is too competitive, Agreed!
But we all have our own space defined. Just create content which solves problems, things will be on place. Though not overnight at all.
Don’t complicate things with a lot of technical stuff about blogging initially. Those can be learned gradually.
Succeeding in blogging is a long process, but it will be fruitful. Learn things, and implement it slowly, but importantly think of the long term.
Don’t get trapped in easy money. It won’t take you anywhere. Think to blog as your future career.