Ashley Faulkes Interview
When and how did you get an idea to launch Mad Lemmings and how long did it take you to come up with the domain name?
Mad Lemmings was a name I chose because I wanted it to be different. Not like all the other sites out there – eg. “amazing blogging tips”. I wanted my site name to inspire curiosity, be intriguing and memorable. Hopefully I have achieved that. A lot of people have certainly asked where I came up with it.
One of the bonuses of such a name is that if and when you decide to change your focus (I started more on blogging and social media, and now do WordPress and SEO) you can, without changing your site name! I could even write about Lemmings if I wanted :>
What about your shifting from a traditional career – was it instant or were you creating your internet presence on the side? And for how long did that take?
I was lucky (if you can see it that way) to be home for a long time recovering from a serious leg injury. So, I had time to use to start my online business.
Having said that, I also spent quite a few months with zero income figuring out how to make money online outside of just “blogging”. The first phase of that was to offer services (and I still think this is one of the fastest ways to make money). I offered WordPress websites and still do. This has since expanded into SEO services as well as some courses and some affiliate marketing through my blog.
For most people though, I would always recommend some form of transition. Moving to an online business takes a lot of time, and unless you have a huge amount of savings, it would be suicide to just quit your job today!
As we can all see, blogging is something you’re quite passionate about and like doing 🙂 So tell us, how much time do you spend blogging – you know, from research to creation of your useful content that we all enjoy so much?
I spend a lot less time blogging these days because of my business commitments. However, I still spend a lot of time figuring out what content I, or my team, should write – either for my blog, clients or side-projects.
For me, what content to create comes down to two main things. Things that most people often forget (or don’t know) when creating content/blog posts.
- Figuring out what your goal is. Not just writing to create another post. But actually thinking about what your main goals are and how to drive traffic there. Then, working backwards, you can decide what kinds of content you need to create and the topics you want to focus on.
- Once you have that, it is time to find out what keywords you can rank for on Google. I focus on SEO, so keywords are crucial. Without the right keywords you are wasting your time writing content that will only be seen for a short time (a little social media when it is published, and perhaps an email to your list). Instead, I like to create content that has a big chance of ranking on Google and bringing me targeted traffic for years to come. An example of this is an SEO post I wrote in 2013 that is still one of my biggest traffic sources!
If you had to pick the top three reasons for your success what would they be?
I never quite feel like I have reached the top, so I hate to say I am successful. However, the things I would recommend people do to get “there” faster are:
- pick the right niche (try to be as specific as possible while still making sure you have a market)
- get to know people just above you in that niche (contacts helps more than anything else)
- help people as much as possible (it will come back to you sooner or later)
If you had to pick the top three things people do wrong, the things holding them back from success, what would those be?
Off the top of my head here are three things I think people should worry less about:
- what other people think (your goals and how you feel is most important)/p>
- becoming a huge success (you only need to keep you and your family going, not drive a Ferrari)
- copying what other people are doing (figure out what works for you, instead of worrying about what all the famous people are doing)
You’ve got a pretty good thing going, obviously, but if there’s one truth of the internet, it’s that things change. Where are you going from here?
I am trying to be less bound to my clients and more free to travel. It is a hard transition to make but I am slowly working out ways to make money through courses and services where I am less in the center of it all.
Let’s wrap up with a bit of fun: if you could get a guest post from anyone, living, dead, or mythological, who would you tap for it?
Now that is an interesting question…
I would love to get some answers from Tim Ferriss. He has inspired me to leave my job as well as question many other things in my life and business. I really admire people who don’t fear doing things differently and aspiring to achieve great things, even without the promise of huge rewards. Sure, he is famous but I don’t think he really cares. That is why I would pick him!
Photos ©: Mad Lemmings