It’s been one month I have started this Blogger Interview Series and so far featured 4 awesome bloggers. The best part is that my readers started finding these interviews very much helpful and I got almost 100% positive feedback. Thanks a lot for your support.
Today, I am going to share one of my very close blogging buddy & the guy who actually motivate me to turn around my blogging journey back in December 2018. It’s Sumit Sao of BloggingLift.com. I met him on Facebook and got the first kick to start a Facebook Group from him only.
Highlights: Sumit is running a Facebook Group of 15,000+ members and motivates people by sharing exclusive blogging tips to readers regularly. He is applying a lot of methods to keep the members engaging to take actions.
Sumit bro, thanks a lot for that day discussion which has come out seriously awesome in my blogging journey. Let’s explore some awesome facts I tried to extract from Sumit Sao in through this interview. I am sure you will find this very helpful.
Interview With Indian Blogger, Sumit Sao
1. Please let us know about you & your blog.
Thank you, Santanu for giving me this opportunity to share my blogging knowledge with your audience.
Hey Friends, I’m Sumit Sao founder of BloggingLift.com. I’ve been blogging from last 3 years and seen many ups and downs in my blogging journey.
You can understand it by the fact that after 3 unsuccessful blogs, I’ve started my blog blogginglift.com. Apart from this blog, I’m also running a Facebook group “Blogging Lift VIP Group” in which I’ve more than 14,000+ members. This Facebook group help me to understand the real meaning of blogging i.e. helping others.
I’m very active in my Facebook group. You can ask any blogging, SEO, WordPress and Affiliate Marketing related questions in that group to get help from me and other expert bloggers like Santanu Debnath.
2. What is your educational background and how did you come to know about blogging?
I’ve completed my graduation in B.E. (ECE). When I learned HTML in college then I decided to make a webpage. So, I started a single page website by writing HTML codes but at that time, I didn’t know about Google Blogger, WordPress, and any monetization options.
But I started learning gradually and knew about Google Blogger and WordPress. Then I created a blog in blogger.
And after 3 unsuccessful blogs, I finally started a successful blog which is BloggingLift.com
3. I have read your interview where you said about 3 unsuccessful blogs. What was that story?
Yes, it’s true.
When I started my blogging journey in October 2015 with an educational blog then at that time I didn’t know about WordPress and Google Blogspot. I designed my blog by writing HTML codes. So, It was impossible for me to maintain this blog. So, I leave that blog.
After that in 2016, I knew about Google blogger and again created an education blog. I monetize that blog with Google Adsense but don’t know why It was suspended due to invalid click activity. And I have to stop that
blog because it was not making money for me.
Then one day I came to know about WordPress and Affiliate Marketing. So, again I started a blog on Blogging in the WordPress platform.
But again I was not getting traffic and sales. Because:
- I didn’t know 80/20 formula.
- Didn’t know the power of link building.
- Didn’t focus on SEO
- Low-Quality Content
Then I think pro blogger like Anil Agarwal, Ankit Singla, and many others are making thousands of dollar every single month.
Obviously, they must be using some strategies to increase their affiliate sales & bring traffic to their blog. So, I shifted my entire blog from WordPress to Blogspot. (because it’s free).
Then I started learning about SEO & Affiliate Marketing gradually. And within 3 months, I made my first affiliate sale with Bluehost.
Then I purchased new domain name BloggingLift.com from GoDaddy and shift my entire blog from BlogSpot to WordPress. This is all about my blogging journey.
4. Finally, when and why did you choose this niche? It is highly competitive.
As I told you earlier, I choose this niche when I knew about Affiliate marketing but at that time, my main aim was only to make money from my blog.
But now I love this niche because it helps me a lot to connect with like-minded people. And it feels amazing when people appreciate your work.
I agree with you that this niche is very competitive. But think about it, There is huge competition in this niche. It means there is a clear indication that this niche is very profitable. So, If we work hard then there is a huge profit in this niche.
5. Your design skills are awesome. How quickly did you learn and what is the story behind that?
I work a lot on my blog layout, designing of the featured images, etc. Because we all know user experience (UX) is a top ranking factor. Before purchasing anything like Theme or Plugins etc, I read as many tutorials I can. (I mainly use YouTube to learn it in the fastest way).
Recently, I purchased the GeneratePress theme. I learned some basic tutorials about it before purchasing this theme.
But when I install this theme. I found that this theme was not looking attractive.
Then I decided to change the overall design of this theme and within 2 days, I read around 90+ article in GeneratePress Forum by searching for terms like highlight menu button, the border around content, change footer width, etc.
I also watched lots of tutorials on YouTube and finally, I made this theme super attractive. So, anyone can be an expert in designing if he/she really want to learn it.
Note: Sumit uses Thrive Architect to make his blog visually attractive & create awesome landing pages.
6. How important is blog design in 2019 from the SEO point of view?
Blog design is a very crucial part of SEO. Because, as I told you earlier that User experience is an important SEO
factor. If your blog design is not attractive then the user can click on the back button immediately.
It may increase your bounce rate and your ranking will be decreased. That’s why I worked a lot in designing my blog and UX.
7. I know you are a part-time blogger. How do you manage your time?
Frankly speaking, It’s very difficult to manage time because of my office timing 8 AM – 6 PM. But now I change my schedule and now I wake up around 4:30 AM and following this schedule:
- 5 AM – 6:30 AM ( For Blogging)
- 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM (For Blogging & My Facebook Group)
And at the weekend, I work around 5-6 hours.
You may also like to read how Swadhin manages his time by following a strick Blogging schedule.
8. Talk something about your Facebook Group. How did you create such a huge follower base?
I started this Facebook Group “Blogging Lift VIP Group” on 18th March 2016. I’m using these tips to grow my blog.
- A banner about my Facebook Group in the sidebar
- A page section about my Facebook Group (Designed by Thrive Architect) at the end of every article.
- Exit intent popup box. (You can easily create them using Thrive Leads)
Also, this Facebook group got featured in “best facebook groups” list by many bloggers. Which also helped me a lot to grow this group.
I generally do these things to connect with my group members:
- Blogging Tips Series: I’ve started a blogging tips series in my facebook group where I share blogging tips on a regular basis.
- Facebook Polls: I also create polls in this group to connect with awesome bloggers of my Blogging Lift Family.
- Blog Promotion Thread: Every Sunday, I start a Facebook Thread where group members can share their blog post to get some social shares from other group members. (I got this idea from your group)
- Blogging Related Help: I allow group members to ask their blogging related doubts in this group to get help from me and other awesome bloggers like you.
- Sharing Helpful Articles: I also share articles related to blogging, SEO, Affiliate Marketing by other bloggers to help my group members.
NOTE: I rarely share my blog posts in this group. Otherwise, it’ll look like that I’ve created this group only to promote my articles. I’m planning more strategies to make my group super helpful.
Thanks, Santanu, Glad to know that you found my blogging tips series helpful. Some of the best blogging tips for beginners are:
- Use the 80/20 Principle: it means you should spend 20% of your time in creating new content and 80% of the time in promoting that content.
- Use Premium Theme: If you want to make money from your blog then treat it like a business not like a hobby. And we know that to start a business we need to invest in it. So, you should at least invest in a premium theme from top vendors like StudioPress Themes, MyThemeShop, GeneratePress, Astra Pro etc.
- Hard Work & Patience: If you really want to get success in blogging then don’t forget hard work and patience is the key to success.
- Build Email List: You should focus on building your email list from day 1. Because Money is in your list.
I hope these tips will help newbie bloggers.
11. Did you try Google AdSense? If I ask which one is good AdSense or Affiliate Marketing?
Frankly speaking, Affiliate Marketing is far better than Adsense. Firstly, I want to talk about Google Adsense. I accept this fact that there are a lot of bloggers who are making awesome money from Google AdSense. But it has lots of limitation.
Pros of Google AdSense:
- You don’t need strategies to make money.
- Just need to place banners.
Cons of Google AdSense:
- You need lots of traffic to make money from it.
- Don’t have any controls on which ads will display to users.
- If someone starts clicking on your ads with wrong intentions. (then your account may be suspended by Google Adsense)
- The overall look of the website gets affected due to Ads everywhere.
Now Let’s talk about Affiliate Marketing.
I like it and recommend everyone to use Affiliate marketing (If possible) because:
- You don’t need lots of traffic to make money from it. ( If you’ll use proper strategies then you can make money even with 50-100 daily traffic.)
- You’ve full control over which banner or product you want to show to users.
- It can make 3x money than Google AdSense.
I hope you understood why I love affiliate marketing.
12. If a beginner asks you about affiliate marketing, how will you guide him/her to start?
If anyone wants to start doing affiliate marketing then the very first thing he/she needs to do is to find the product related to his/her niche which has the affiliate program.
It’s not difficult.
Here is the tip to find affiliate marketing program related to your niche:
Just go to Google and search
- “Your Niche” + “Affiliate Program”
- “Your Niche” + “Join Affiliate Program”
It’ll show you all the affiliate programs related to your niche. So, you understood how to find the affiliate program related to your niche.
But to make money from affiliate marketing is not so easy. You’ve to use some solid affiliate marketing strategies to make money from it.
Here are some tips to increase Affiliate marketing sales:
- Write the review article. E.g. check this SiteGround review article.
- Product Comparison article also works great.
- Use Affiliate link in Footer.
- Use the middleman method to transfer link juice to your money making the article. It’ll help you to rank your money making articles.
- Use selling without selling approach.
13. What are the major challenges you are facing to grow your blog?
The main problem I’m currently facing is that It’s very difficult to manage time for my blog because I’m a part-time blogger.
But as I told you earlier that now I changed my schedule. And now I’m planning everything in advance.
14. This blogging & WordPress niche is becoming very competitive. How do you plan to stay ahead of this competition and make sure you are getting the expected results from your blog?
I know that this niche is very competitive that’s why I’m mainly focusing on these 3 strategies:
- I’m updating my blog posts which are already getting traffic from search engine.
- Growing my Facebook Group to build my audience.
- Purchased premium tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush to do detailed Competitor analysis to steal their search traffic.
Did I get any result after updating blog post?
Yes, I tried this strategy in one of my blog post called “100+ Blog Directories to Submit Your Blog Post” You can check this blog directories list.
Previously, It was ranking in Google 2nd page but after doing keywords research and stealing the keywords of top 3 ranking page (using Ahrefs & SEMRush), I updated my blog post.
And now It’s ranking on Google first page for lots of keywords.
Before Updating Article: It was on the 2nd page.
After Updating Article: ranking in top 3 positions for keywords like blog directories.
So, If we use proper strategies then we can definitely get good results even if the competition is high.
15. How much do you spend on your blog on a monthly/yearly basis? Many beginners are not keen to invest in premium tools. What is your stand on that?
Whenever I feel that I need any theme, tool, plugin etc for, my blog I purchase it.
Last month I purchase these things:
- GeneratePress Theme (to make my blog more attractive)
- Ahrefs SEO tool (for advanced keyword research)
- Freepik Licence ( to get attractive vector graphics for my blog posts)
There is no fixed amount which I spend on my blog. I purchased the tool or service whenever I feel that I need it. I know many newbie bloggers are not spending on their blog because they want everything for free.
I’m not saying that they should purchase all premium tools. But at least they should spend on a premium theme.
Because user experience is everything.
FOR EXAMPLE: Even if you’ve written a 10,000+ words helpful article with lots of screenshots etc. But if your blog design is not good (due to the free theme) and the user feels any difficulty in reading your article then they’ll immediately click on the back button and may never visit on your blog.
So, I recommend every newbie blogger that they should at least purchase premium theme.
16. How do you motivate yourself to keep your passion for blogging alive?
I always do these things to motivate myself:
- Reading pro bloggers income report.
- Watching motivational videos of Sandeep Maheshwari, Dr. Vivek Bindra, etc.
Try these two things it really works.
Almost every newbie blogger think that they can make millions of dollar within one or two months. And when their blog doesn’t make money for them they quit blogging. So, I’ve one big suggestion for newbie bloggers that blogging is not a rich quick scheme.
If you want to get success in blogging then it requires these 3 things:
- Hard work,
- Dedication &
So, never give up!