This week in our ongoing series of interviews with leading industry figures running successful websites, we turn our attention to web marketing as we sit down for a chat with Erik Emanueli.
Erik Emanueli is a blogger, traveler and freelance writer that makes his income online. He is the author of: How to Build Your Online Business and runs the popular site NoPassiveIncome.com. According to Alexa (As of now), his site is one of the top 90k sites most visited in the world.
What do you think are the most important skills every new site owner needs to know (or have his/her staff know)?
It really depends on the niche you are working in.
However, if you want to start a blog (and make money with it), the best investment of your time at the beginning (and even later on), should be connecting with people within your market.
This means networking is, in my opinion, the most important skill new bloggers should have.
I have learned a lot from the friendships I have built during these years, and without them, I would not be able to reach my goals, such as creating a community around my blog or build a solid reputation online.
What would be your most important recommendations to new site owners with limited budgets, what would you tell them to focus on based on your experiences?
Buy a domain name, get a basic shared hosting plan, set up WordPress and invest on a premium theme. All the rest will come after you realize what you are doing.
Depending on the niche you are going to choose, you will find the appropriate plugins to help you jump start your site quickly.
How much effort do you put into Social media, SEO and Traditional Marketing (banners)? Which do you think is the most important and which is the easiest one to gain traffic?
I do not invest money on banners; I think as established bloggers, there are many other ways to promote my product or service.
I consider SEO a basic subject you should learn at beginning of your blogging journey. With time, you will practice on how to write for readers, while still optimizing your content for search engines.
Social media can be a powerful weapon to market your content or product. However remember, you want to naturally engage and connect with people (or with your target audience), without promoting your stuff too much.
Keep in mind the 80/20 rule — 80% of content shared from other blogs/websites and 20% yours.
Like mentioned before, building relationships and connections with people of your niche should be your first priority.
Some practical tips? Visit relevant blogs within your market, leave meaningful comments, mention useful articles created by other bloggers, all while writing new content for your site.
I have a motto that worked during these years: Be Real, Be Honest, and Be Yourself.
Managing a site is a complicated task if you’re running a brand new site on your own or have a very popular site with a support staff. In your case, how do you manage your time? Do you have any tricks that help you become more productive that you would like to share with our users?
I believe that personal organization is very important when working online.
Make a list.
Think about priorities first.
Set a working time.
After you accomplish a task, take a break. You will come back with renewed energy.
I use email a lot (I have many email addresses connected with my different blogs and I forward a copy of each message to a single inbox I use most).
I then create different and specific folders to organize the work on my computer.
Remember to back up every week (or month). You do not want to lose hours and hours of hard work.
In your opinion, how critical are core development skills in owning a successful site? If you think they are critical, what skills do you recommend anyone wanting to own a site know?
The technical part of setting up a site has always been a challenge for me.
Nevertheless, with time, you will learn to use and manage cPanel, for example.
My sites are no longer hosted on a shared server; since a few months ago, they are now on a dedicated one..
Now I have a whole server to manage (and completely new software to learn “WHM”– other than cPanel).
It is a new challenge, but with time, passion and dedication, I will eventually learn how to use it.
If your main skill is writing or marketing, I suggest you look for some professional help (at least at the beginning, for those technical processes or issues you know you will not be able to manage).
This way, you will avoid making some serious mistakes you will regret in future.
Do newsletters account for an important segment of your site’s success? If so, in what way?
Building a mailing list should be one of the first priorities for each new blogger.
There are many ESP’s available online; some of them offer free plans up to a certain number of emails sent each month.
Consider your newsletter as a solid base of your fans to which you will offer your best content and suggestions (and even your products). Also, they will become an alternative source of traffic for your blog (remember, do not rely all your efforts just on search engines or social media; having different traffic methods will reduce the risks of losing all your visitors at once).
- Treat your subscribers as real people, not just as consumers to sell your product or service.
- Pay attention to give them interesting content, which means solving their problems and/or needs.
In this way, your audience will feel that sense of recognition, which will turn in reciprocity.
You will then be able to build a good number of passionate followers.
Where can our users go to hear more about your insights?
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to mention my websites.
My main blog is NoPassiveIncome : http://nopassiveincome.com/
Here I share my knowledge once a week with new content. However, you can search the site per keyword or per category, depending on your needs.
I own a blogging community : http://www.klinkk.com/
I built Klinkk with the aim of creating a meeting point for bloggers and sharing good content.
My personal website : http://erikemanuelli.com/about/
I have a portfolio there, plus mention of all my social media accounts.
I would love to connect with you!