Kulwant Nagi is the founder of Blogging Cage, a blog where you can learn how to become a great blogger and make money on the way.
One of your goals with BloggingCage.com is to help newbies who are struggling to start their first blog. What were some of the things that you struggled with when you first started blogging? How does that inform the work that you do with new bloggers?
The biggest struggle was finding the right ingredients to build a successful blog. The Internet is filled with tons of information and every blogger claims that their blog is better than others. So finding the right elements was a big struggle for me.
Being a complete newbie, I was not aware about the nitty-gritty of blogging. Your content plays a big role in blogging, so writing compelling content was one of the big struggles for me.
Another of your goals is to find the hidden potential in writers to become top bloggers. What are some common characteristics of successful bloggers, in your experience? How do you help cultivate those skills and talents with the people that you work with?
Writing skills and eagerness to learn new things separates a blogger from most of the crowd. If a blogger can put their thoughts in words and help the world with your unique ideas and learning, they can become a great blogger.
I write in very simple words which an average English reader can understand very easily. Once you are at my blog, I invite my readers to join my Facebook group where I treat them as a family members.
Here they can ask any question related to blogging and get instant help from the experts in the industry.
This is how I am helping people right now to increase the chances of success.
One of BloggingCage.com's final goals is to help people make more money off of their blogs. How possible is it to monetize a blog? What are some unexpected ways a blog can be profitable that bloggers might not be aware of?
Being a blogger, the biggest goal is monetization. Either it is coming directly (from the ads on the blog) or indirectly (speaking at big events), the ultimate goal is having some money in the pocket.
I have written an article about 10 tips to make money with a blog.
You work extensively as an affiliate marketer. For those who aren't familiar with the concept, can you explain what an affiliate marketer does? What are some affiliate networks you've found to be particularly profitable? What are some things that are particular about affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is one of the most beautiful and legit ways to make money online. This is a business model where big companies let you promote their products by giving you some fixed percentage of commission. You simply pick the products by analyzing the audience of your blog, grab your unique affiliate tracking URL and place it on your blog.
If someone will buy the product after clicking on your link, you will get a notification that you made a sale.
This system is 100% legit as you can track the number of clicks on your affiliate links and the number of sales you made.
According to the website BlogHer, 81% of U.S. consumers report trusting brands that bloggers recommend. What does this suggest about the power of blogging and inbound marketing? How important will things like affiliate marketing and social reviews, going forward?
Bloggers are unbiased. They recommend the product if and only if it is really worth it. In marketing we see ads making people white after using any skin cream for 30 days, which is not a reality.
So a blogger will use the cream themselves for 30 days and write about it if it really brings any change.
So there's more of a trust factor with bloggers, compared to direct ads.
Inbound marketing is particularly important right now, with so much interruptive advertising coming from all around us. What are some of the benefits of Inbound Marketing, both in terms of getting content seen as well as a brand's reputation?
It's all about making a picture in customer's mind about your brand. They see you on different blogs, videos, podcasts and many other marketing channels, so the trust factor increases.
Customers have ad blindness now. We don't look at ads because they are everywhere. But one research revealed that if your customer see your ads 7 times in a day, he/she is more likely to remember your product.
So inbound marketing can play the same role here. If your brand is visible on multiple channels, and your customer is seeing it on a regular basis, he/she will have a picture in his/her mind.
Local searches are becoming particularly important for businesses, as customers extensively research companies before buying anything. Can you afford any advice in how to rank for local searches, and what are some reasons a business should put energy in that direction?
As the internet users are expanding, the trust of websites is increasing. If we go back 7-8 years back, people were afraid to share their cards online and they were not taking the helps from the websites.
But today we shop, travel, plan, and do almost all things online. So local searches are increasing day by day.
I would recommend to register your brand on Google business, list it on all directories in your country, and very importantly target the right keywords on your page.
Being a customer, we always put a query like "buy iPhone 6S in new york" so targeting your keywords on your brand page must be your priority.
A business must have their brand visible locally, because we trust more people in our local area rather than going to a new territory. Further, if the product they are looking is very near to them, they feel comfortable to visit your office rather than going to a new city. So making local visibility is a must to do activity for any kind of online business.
Another digital marketing trend that is becoming more prevalent is the integration of Internet and physical marketing, mostly via smartphones. How might a marketing team use things like Push Alerts, SMS marketing, and in-store promotions for a truly exceptional, comprehensive marketing campaign?
This is scary too, ha ha..
Companies are following us so badly that they have all the data about us. When we get up, when we go to college, party, go shopping, and almost all the minute details.
Everything is integrated with the location tracking on your mobile phone. And the scariest thing is, they are tracking you even when you aren't online. With you mobile SIM card, you can be traced.
I am sharing a real incidence here.
Recently I visited a shop in Cannaught Place, New Delhi. I was looking for brown shoes. I went into the shop and picked the shoes which I liked the most. Unfortunately, my size was not available so I came back empty handed.
I got into my car and planned to go to another store nearby. I went to the new store and opened my mobile to check Facebook updates. To my surprise, I was seeing exact same shoes in my Facebook newsfeed as an ad.
They re-targeted me even when my internet was switched off.
The point is, you can target your potential customers by understanding their location from the phone, by understanding when they open any specific website and what type of products they are looking for.
Categorize them by using different online tools and then re-target them with the compelling ads.
Social Media marketing continues to be important, although it's not being talked about as much. Can you offer any guidelines as to how often a blogger might want to publish on Social Media, depending on the channel and the industry?
Social media is a big platform to make your presence and build a big business. There are some pages on Facebook which have millions of likes, some accounts and Instagram with millions of followers and the same with Twitter.
But when I open their blogs, I don't found them as big in terms of traffic and other stats.
A big business can be built around social media when you know who your target audience is and how to target those people.
We are more likely to open Facebook newsfeeds and Instagram accounts, as compared to checking out blogs. So with the right mindset and proper planning, a big business can be built around social media.
Although blogging was quite the buzzword about 8 years ago, and we're hearing a little less talk about it, at this point, what are a few reasons why every business and brand should be blogging if they're serious about Digital Marketing?
Blogging is a tool to spread more awareness about your brand. You can find the problems which people are facing in your industry and then write an informative article around that topic.
Let's say you have a 'weight loss' product.
See what kind of problems people are facing in your niche.
Let's say you found that obesity invites heart attack. So you can write an article around this problems and mention your product's name to get rid of obesity.
Blogging can be utilized in a multiple ways to promote your product or your own brand.
Just find the channels and promote your products.
Want to learn more about blogging and inbound marketing? Check out our Blog and get inspired!