Adam Connell is a person that we do follow for some time now and that does have a very optimistic and interesting view on practically anything he talks about. We invited him to take part in a small interview and share with us some of his experience. Thankfully, Adam accepted and took part in the first ever interview on the Digital Muscle Blog. Make sure that you follow Adam (details at the bottom of the page) in order to learn more about blogging, SEO and marketing. His advice is valuable for both beginners and many experienced marketers. We can all learn from each other and grow together.
Without further ado, let's jump right into it:
1. Thank you for accepting our invitation and agreeing to an interview. Let us start by asking you to share some things about you so that our readers can get a better idea of who you are, what you think is important.
Hi, thanks for the invite to take part.
A bit about me:
I currently blog full time, running several successful blogs and before that I was the operations manager for a digital marketing agency based here in the UK.
I started off in retail and gradually worked my way towards working in the marketing industry after some initial inspiration from a lecturer at a University when I was studying music.
As a person, I’m all about helping others. Probably to my own detriment at times but it’s something I enjoy to do. My blog (Blogging Wizard) allows me to do that in a big way.
2. There are so many that struggle with blogging and do not manage to reach the next step while others did succeed a lot faster in the past. Why do you think that happens? Is it a problem with a lack of technical skills or is it just a lot harder now than it used to be?
There can be so many reasons for this.
Right now there are so many blogs in all of the popular niches that it can be very difficult to cut through the noise.
Although there are still niches where you can cut through the noise pretty quick just by being more savvy in your approach to optimizing and marketing your blog.
For some bloggers, it stems back to the niche they’ve chosen. I’ve seen so many bloggers create a hugely popular blog and end up letting it gather dust because they’ve lost interest so quickly.
Others can struggle with the technical elements, although there are so many resources available now that you can find an answer to almost anything.
While it’s always going to get more competitive, the best approach is to identify what other blogs in your niche don’t do that you could. Find a unique angle, understand your audience, identify key influencers, and use them to put your content in front of the right people.
There aren’t any real shortcuts here so patience will always be important.
3. Is SEO really a big part of being a blogger and knowledge that has to be known, together with marketing, or does the quality of the content stand out as being more important?
The quality of content will always be important but if you can’t get the word out about your content by SEO or any other means then it will all be for nothing.
I see SEO as being a big part of being a blogger purely because of how effective it’s been in growing my blogs.
In fact, if you think SEO is a waste of time you’re missing a huge opportunity.
Just knowing about SEO isn’t enough, you need to know what to do and what not to do because the alternative is that you do something you shouldn’t and Google doesn’t just send you less traffic, and they penalize you then send you hardly anything.
SEO isn’t the only part of it either; you need to promote each of your blog posts effectively. The hard work doesn’t stop when you hit the publish button, it’s just the beginning.
4. You say in your About section:
“Failure isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning.”
Can you share with us a moment when you failed and how you recovered from it? Maybe what you learned from it so that we can learn how to react when we fail.
My first ever business venture was a record label.
I was really into music throughout my teenage years and after I found out how easy it was to set up, I thought that being fairly internet savvy would carry me the rest of the way.
After a lot of time and effort, we launched the record label and made a profit of around £6. Hosting cost over £15 for budget shared hosting so we really didn’t get anywhere.
My first thought was that I failed and that was it, game over.
But it really wasn’t, I ended up talking things over with the other artists I was promoting and we agreed to release the music for free.
Fast forward to today - I’ve helped artists from all over the world release over 60 records and reach over 2 million people.
In the early days, we ended up reaching about 100,000+ people in the first 6 months. After that, I was sold on blogging and internet marketing in general.
I didn’t make a penny but it was one of the catalysts that enabled me to get to where I am today.
5. What is the one thing you would recommend a beginner blogger to do?
Think about where you want to be in 5-10 years’ time – have a plan.
Starting a blog isn’t enough if you don’t know where it’s headed.
Know what matters to you, what you want to achieve, and how you can realistically achieve your goals.
6. What is the one thing you would recommend a more advanced blogger to do? Maybe you noticed some common mistakes that bloggers do when they reach a certain level.
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you most likely have goals and a plan that will help you get there.
Building your email list is probably an essential part of your plan (if it isn’t, it’s well worth considering).
Adding regular opt-in forms to your blog is one thing but there’s one tactic that has been responsible for increasing my email subscribers more than anything else.
It’s a tactic called the “content upgrade”.
The idea is that you create a post-specific bonus that you can give away with your blog posts.
Let’s say I write an article about how to get more Twitter followers, I would offer a step-by-step checklist in exchange for email addresses.
I talk about it in more depth in this post (see tip #24, there are a total of 37 tips to help you).