Could you describe what you do and how you earn your living Daniel?
I make a living building websites, basically. Part of my income comes from popular blogs that make money with direct sponsorships, another part from mini websites that make money with CPC and affiliate marketing.
I used to do consulting work as well, but I stopped doing that. Even at $200 hourly it was not worth my time, and working for other people can be annoying once you have your own business.
You run a blog called DailyBlogTips.com where you share tips on being a better blogger. Why did you decide to create this website and what’s been your biggest lesson from running it?
I launched this blog back in 2006. At the time I was already seeing a relative success with some other blogs of mine, so I decided to create Daily Blog Tips to share the tips and tricks I was learning along the way.
Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned is that you must build a community around your blogs and websites. It is the community that will foster the growth over time.
Practically speaking, engage your visitors with your content, interact with them in the comment section, try to answer to all your emails and so on.
I understand that you launched two other blogs related to your niche, just like I have done. Do you think bloggers should branch out and create new blogs or focus on making just one really good?
I think focus is key. If I could go back in time, I am not sure if I would have launched some of the projects that I did.
One of the interesting things of the web is the ease at which you can launch websites, services and products. This is also a dangerous pitfall, however.
If you try to do many things at the same time, you will probably end up with mediocre results on most of them.
I recommend that bloggers focus on making one blog really popular before they decide to follow other projects.
I personally believe that you have to provide value on your blog and the money will follow. What advice would you give a blogger trying to provide great value to their readers?
First of all you need to understand your audience. What are the problems that they face? What information would have a positive impact on their lives? Once you know that, provide it to them.
You need to make sure that you will have a unique angle, however. If you do what everyone else is doing people won’t have a reason to visit your site.
Finally, put an effort into it. Don’t limit yourself to superficial or commentary posts. Do some in-depth analysis, spend time writing and polishing your posts and so on.
You also run a successful membership website for Online Marketers, why did you create a membership website and why should other people consider running one?
The initial idea was to create an info product. I was not sure about the format, but I knew that there was demand for a product that would cover all the aspects of online marketing.
You have many online marketing related products available, but most of them focus on one specific aspect or niche. For instance, you have products about SEO, email marketing, blogging, linkbuilding and the like. But I couldn’t find one product that would cover all those topics in a logical and structured fashion, so I decided to create it.
Then I opted for a membership site format because it is one of the best ways to deliver information on the web. In the past I experimented with ebooks, but the value of an ebook is very limited. All you have is the text.
With a membership site you can create a much richer experience for your members. You can have text, audio, video, interactivity on the members forum, ongoing support and so on.
Since running both, successful blogs and a successful membership website, which one would you recommend to a friend to do themselves and why?
I would recommend him to start with a blog. In order to launch a successful membership site, you need to understand the needs and wants of your market, and a blog is a great tool for that.
Secondly, you also need some authority and a good reach, and again a blog is the easiest way to achieve both.
Once you have authority and an established audience, it will be much easier to launch the membership site. For the matter of fact it will be much easier to launch any kind of project, and that is the beauty of blogs, they give you leverage.
Would you recommend any Books or Courses that you found to be of great value to yourself?
There are two books that are always on my book shelf, and I believe anyone should read them (entrepreneurs even more): The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
As for courses, there is one that I would recommend for people who want to start making money with their blogs, and that is Blog Mastermind, by Yaro Starak. I had the opportunity to work with Yaro there, and I know the huge amount of work that he put into the content.
Running an Internet Business gives you choices and freedom to do what you want, when you want. What would you say the Internet Lifestyle is for you?
The Internet lifestyle is flexibility for me. As you mentioned, being able to do what you want, when you want is great. Other aspects that I really enjoy is the possibility to be your own boss, and to never wake up to an alarm clock.
One myth that floats around is that working on the Internet is easy, or that you can make millions while working just a few hours a day.
I don’t buy into that. I think it would be possible to earn some $1,500 monthly by working two hours a day, yes, but that is as far as it goes.
If you want to build a real business that makes real money, be it online or offline, you will need to work your arse off.
What would you say is the biggest single reason for your success?
Hard work and persistence.
As I mentioned in the previous question, I believe there are no shortcuts to success. It takes hard work and persistence.
Hard work means that you will work long hours, but on those long hours you will also work smartly, focusing on the really important tasks (i.e. the Pareto principle).
Persistence means that you will keep working hard day in and day out, even when the money is not coming and when things seem to be going down hill.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what advice would you give yourself regarding making money online?
1. Make sure to create value
2. Focus on one thing
3. Finish what you start
5. Be patient
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Maybe the best advice I have been given is “start with the end in mind.”
You need to know where you are going to be able to row in the right direction.
Thanks very much for the interview, Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?
For the coming years I will be focusing most of my time and energy on OnlineProfits.com. I can’t talk much about the plans, but I want to expand the scope of that site and grow it as a business.