Today I am going to feature an awesome blogger on my interview series, who quit his job to follow his passion for blogging. Friends, let’s welcome Sumit Bansal of Craftofblogging.com. But I would say, he is more famous for his successful blog Trumpexcel.com.
Without wasting much time, let’s jump into the discussion. We are going to learn some awesome tips on email marketing. Sumit is highly experienced in building an email list and various lead capture techniques.
Few of the awesome Blogging Stories I have covered so far.
- Ankit Main, the SEMRush contest winner
- Navin Rao, a passionate WordPress Geek
- Saurabh Tiwari, a cool minded Tech Blogger in India
Interview With Indian Blogger, Sumit Bansal
Apart from these, I am also experimenting with Amazon affiliate sites.
2) What is your education & professional background?
I graduated with a degree in Biotechnology and then got an MBA in Finance from IIT Delhi. In the initial few years, I worked in a couple of boutique consulting firms and then I worked with IBM for about 3 years.
3) How come a guy from biotechnology background enter into blogging?
I graduated with Biotechnology but never worked in this area. My job was always about marketing and a major part of it involved research and data analysis.
Since I was using Excel spreadsheets a lot in my work, I started a blog to share whatever I was learning. It started with an experiment as I saw there were many Excel related blogs that were doing really well.
If you want to start a blog like Sumit, then follow this Free Blogging Course To Start A Blog From Scratch.
4) How did you take the toughest move of quitting your job?
While a lot of people say that it’s an extremely hard decision, it wasn’t so hard for me. I was already making some money at the time I decided to quit.
I didn’t hurry into it. I spent a few years working on my blog as a side-hustle. Only when I had a sizeable audience and some recurring income then I decided to quit my job.
5) How did you decide the time to quit and excel your passion? Many people want to do that. Would you give them the same advice?
I launched my first online course about Excel and it did alright. I also spent a lot of time building my email list and I decided to quit before launching my second course.
Want to grow your email list? Then you must have any of these email list building tools on your WordPress blog.
I don’t advice people to follow their passion blindly. First, validate your idea. Make sure there is financial viability of your idea, and then only jump into it. Passion is important, but financial viability trumps passion.
6) Are you financially independent? How did you plan for that before quitting your job?
I am financially independent now. But I wasn’t when I quit my job. I was making about half of what I was making in my full-time job, so the initial few months were hard.
I relied heavily on my credit cards and also looked for extra ways to make money. This was the time I started experimenting with affiliate products and courses to make extra money.
The process was slow and there was no option but to grind through it. My decision to leave my job was driven by the fact that my blog was growing and I needed to put more effort into it, which wasn’t possible with a full-time job. I could have waited some more months, but I felt it was the right time to quit.
There is no secret recipe. It’s all hard work – day in day out. There are some amazing Excel blogs out there and I have learned a lot from many (and I still do every day).
The only reason my blog started growing was that I was putting in the effort to create content which was useful for my audience. I would write tutorials after a lot of research and would make sure it helps people understand a topic easily.
I also started creating videos (my YouTube channel has about 37K subscribers as of now). I did this every single day, and slowly the blog started to get traffic.
8) How many blogs do you have & what are your next plans?
I currently have 7-8 blogs. I am experimenting with a few niches and Amazon affiliate model. I still plan to spend most of my time on my Excel blog and try and grow these other blogs on the side.
I am getting some good results with Amazon affiliate sites and I look forward to growing these and make these into authority sites.
I have a Facebook Group for my Craft of Blogging audience. I created it to build an audience and learn and share stuff about blogging.
Since I am a solopreneur, I have too many things going on at the same time. I find it hard to manage the group as it’s growing, but I still plan to continue to build the community and see where it goes.
To be honest, I have no concrete plans for it. I am testing out if having a FB group works for me and my audience or not.
I have prepared a list of best Facebook Groups for Bloggers.
If you’re not building an email list already, start doing it right away. Email marketing is a beast in itself, and if done right, can bring a lot of growth and money.
The first step is to try and capture emails, which can be done by offering lead magnets and free content. But you should also experiment with email automation.
- What happens when someone joins your email list.
- What do you want them to learn?
- When is the right time to pitch a product/service?
- Are these people engaged or not?
You can create a journey for your audience using email automation, and it can be really profitable to learn this skill.
I wake up and aim to write 1000 words, every single day. I may not succeed every day, but I still end up creating a lot of content. Rest everything else is secondary.
12) What are the tools you are using to run your blogging business?
I use a lot of tools, but the main ones are Drip (for email marketing), Ahrefs (for keyword research and SEO), and Thrive Leads for email capture. Apart from this, I experiment with a lot of tools every month.
I am also using Thrive Leads to capture email. You just have to pay a one time fee of $67 to get this amazing list building tool. This is the best OptinMonster alternative at the cheapest price. Read the complete review of Thrive Leads.
Blogging is no different than any other business. You can start small (even for free), but as you grow, you need to invest in the right tools and products.
And I am not just talking about tools related to blogging, I also recommend investing in things that make you better and more productive – be it a faster laptop or a good productivity app.
14) What are the blogging mistakes that helped you to grow? I am sure people will love to learn from your mistakes.
I wasted a lot of time before learning the nitty-gritty of blogging – such as SEO, or content writing, or email marketing. So if you’re starting now, make sure you keep on learning about these things as it helps you grow your blog and make money.
Another mistake I made was to not network with other bloggers in the beginning. If you’re starting now, make sure to build relationships.
15) Are you content enough with your current decisions or you have some bigger plans?
I don’t think I will ever be content enough, but I am happy with the decisions I have taken so far. I do have plans and I will continue to learn and grow.
16) Blogging is no more a hobby. People are making money and building it a full-time career. How do you see blogging in the context of resolving the unemployment issue in India?
Blogging is still a niche area and for every person who makes money, there are many who never see a penny. A profitable blog is like a small business that helps generate revenue and some employment. But I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s anywhere close to solving an unemployment issue.
17) As a beginner, people get excited by reading success stories of people like you and they think making money from a blog is easy. What is your advice to those people who want to start a career in blogging?
Be patient. Making money from blogging have a nice vibe to it, but it takes time and a lot of effort. There are too many moving parts when it comes to blogging and you need to learn every single day. If you want to be successful with blogging, focus on one niche and try and solve problems. And did I say – be patient?
How Is This Interview With Sumit Bansal?
Every blogger interview is very special to me. I believe that the best way to learn things is by exploring someone’s experience only. I really enjoyed reading this awesome blogging journey of Sumit Bansal, his future plans, his courage to trust his plans and experiments.
Even if there is a hell lot of competition, if you know what you are doing exactly then no one can stop you to become successful. That is what I learned after going through this awesome interview of blogger Sumit Bansal.
Best of luck Sumit for your future plans. And for all my readers, please feel free to connect with Sumit for any blogging tips or advice. You can write a comment below and share your feedback about this interview.