Hello Bloggers.! Today is a great day for all of us, as Tony John of Techulator is here with us to answer a few questions. He, according to some sources, is known as the India’s First Blogger. Here is the Online Interview with Tony John – India’s First Blogger (according to some sources).
Greetings To Tony John
Thank you for accepting my request for the Online Interview. Your work to your site Techulator is really appreciable and you’re a motivation for many. Following are a few questions that I would like to get answers from you.
Let us start…
Online Interview With Tony John
Please Introduce Yourself To Our Readers
Thank you for inviting me to this interview. I’m Tony John, a professional blogger from India, and has been engaged with the webmaster world since 1998, even before the word “Blog” came into existence. For a long time, I was doing blogging as a part time hobby and business while I was working as a software architect. I recently abandoned my American permanent residence status and returned to India to settle down as a full time blogger and internet marketer.
According to various sources, you are the first blogger from India. I don’t think there are any other Indian bloggers who have been in this field so long. How were you introduced to the World of Blogging?
Most part of my career was spent abroad in countries like USA, Japan and Korea. Even though I was working full time, I had a lot of free time since I was living away from the commitments in my native place. I had plenty of free time and blogging was a hobby I found to keep me busy and utilize my time effectively. We used to call our websites “web logs”, where we log our day to day activities on the web and share with the world.
Today, I no longer work for any employers. Blogging is my full time profession and that’s what I do for living. I’m operating multiple blogs with the help of a well established team, spread across various parts of India and abroad.
When did you first start your blog & What made you choose this niche? In addition do you have any other blogs? If yes, please mention them.
As I said earlier, I started my first blog in 1998 and that was not really targeting any niche. It was just a personal blog, hosted on a free web hosting platform and there was no CMS. We had to develop custom html for each new post and upload to the server. I’m still keeping that old blog just for the memories of the good old days. The niche focused blog concept became popular only in last few years. I switched to custom domains in year 2000 and since then I didn’t have to look back. At some point of time, I had nearly 60 blogs.
Are you starting any more new blogs? Which is your most recent blog?
I used to start many niche blogs a few years ago. However, these days, it is hard to start a new blog and make it popular. So, I’m trying to consolidate my efforts into a few blogs. My most recent blog is a travel blog. The Indian travel blogs focus on sharing travel experience on the tourist destinations across the country.
What is your strategy to get good content for your website and promote the new blogs?
We all know Content is the King. And this has become more important these days. The latest Google algorithms penalize most of the SEO activities and so, getting good content is the most effective strategy to promote the new blogs. For my new travel blog, I am allowing people to post real travel experience as guest posts.
Do you allow guest posts on your blogs? How does it affect your website’s ranking?
I usually do not accept guest posts since most of the guest posts are spun content or machine generated, which adds no value to the site and also gets the site into trouble in terms of search engine ranking. If I get guest posts, I personally review them and will accept only long, well researched articles. In case of travel blog, I would accept only genuine travel experience as guest posts.
Do you think students must have their own blog ? If yes, how will it help them? If no, why is that?
An unfortunate situation in the current scenario is, a lot of students get into blogging expecting they can make huge money. And majority of them are involved in unethical practices to make some quick money. By seeing such quick money, a good number of them will lose focus in studies and switch to full time blogging. They will not survive long term in the industry. I would strongly recommend everyone to focus on their studies and primary job and look into blogging only as a part time activity. I continued blogging as a part time business for more than a decade, even though I was making more money from blogging than my American salary.
It is a fact that people earn through their blogs. But, how could they make more from it? Any long term or short term strategies?
Not every blogger is making huge money. Many people are making a few hundred dollars by putting efforts that are worth thousands of dollars. Their ROI is negative, which they don’t realize. The best long term strategy is, produce best and unique content. Give your sincere efforts and quality time to your blog than running everywhere looking for backlinks and unethical practices. Getting a few high authority backlinks to your blog will make miracles in terms of search engine ranking. You don’t need to build hundreds of links to make your blog stand up from the crowd.
Are you saying people are not making easy money from blogging?
There are many bloggers who focus on unethical practices and make big money. For example, a lot of people start quick websites on event blogs and earn money by posting stolen, spun, crappy content. Many others simply create blogs that have nothing but images and videos taken from other sites. Fortunately or unfortunately, many such people are making good money but not for long term.
What sites do you often refer to? Why do they interest you?
To be frank, I do not regularly follow any particular websites. I occasionally look at Search Engine Land to read important announcements on search engines. Also, I follow the official Google blogs to get first hand information from Google on webmaster related topics. I depend on Google to find what I need.
If there’s someone who doesn’t have any skills but writing, is Blogging the only option? Or are there any other better & genuine ways?
Writing skills is the most important aspect of successful blogging. Any other skills can be easily developed. Exceptional writing skills combined with some basic SEO and internet marketing experience will be the right combination to build a successful blog. Offering article writing, internet marketing, social media management, search engine optimization etc are some of the services that people can offer online and make good revenue.
How do you make money online apart from Blogging? And can everyone try them? If yes, please tell us HOW?
I’m a full time blogger and that’s what I focus on. I do offer SEO and internet marketing services to a few clients who are well known to me. Also, I sometimes offer training on blogging and internet marketing. I usually do not advertise these services since it takes a lot of time and efforts to offer such services. I have invested most of my earnings from early blogging period into real estate and that has given me good financial stability and backup. Anyone with good experience in this field can try this and better monetize their skills.
Finally, what suggestions do you have for the new generation bloggers?
If I look at the top bloggers list, I always see the same names for last several years. Unfortunately, not many new bloggers are coming up as true professional bloggers. I’m not talking the toppers in terms of the money they make. If revenue is the criteria, there are many people who run crappy event blogs who make a lot of money. I would like to see the new generation bloggers come up with great, appealing blogs that will succeed in the long term. My suggestion is, when you are into professional blogging, give your best to it. Publish useful information that you collect through genuine efforts and not by stealing content. For example, if you are a travel blogger, travel all over the world and share real travel experience. Such blogs will definitely succeed in the long run.
Thank you for your time and efforts in sharing your experience with us.
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