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Could you tell us a little about yourself – how did you end up in the hosting industry and when did you get an idea to start WebHostingSecretsRevealed?
I started affiliate marketing in 2004 and in 2007 I managed 30-40 websites on different web hosts. WHSR was created as a side project along with a few other smaller sites about sharing my hosting experience and reviews.
The right domain name is important. How long did it take you to come up with the domain name for your site?
Honestly, I didn’t sweat too much on the domain name back then – which is a big mistake! I’ll always regret that I didn’t pick a shorter name for my site…Also, it’s difficult to introduce people to my site in person.
What platform does WHSR run on?
It runs on WordPress, on InMotion Hosting VPS.
Are you satisfied with it, or looking to change?
As mentioned in my InMotion Hosting review – I am very satisfied and not looking for any change at this point of writing!
What are your top three plugins, the ones you can’t live without?
On WordPress –
- Revive Old Post – to auto share my evergreen content on social media (mainly Twitter).
- Edit Flow – to oversee my writer’s team and manage our blog posting operations.
- Optin Monster – easy to manage, beautiful-designed tool to build my email list.
Outside WordPress –
- Adespresso – to manage and A/B test my Facebook ad campaigns.
- SEM Rush – this tool has everything I need for SEO.
- Bitcatcha – to measure and benchmark site speed from various locations (important when you are marketing your site/blog worldwide).
You also love blogging – as we can see from your blog section 🙂 So, how much time exactly do you spend blogging?
I used to spend at least 5 hours daily on blog-related work… But, I didn’t blog a lot at WHSR in 2016 so that number is hardly accurate these days. That said – I work at least 50 hours a week nowadays and spent most of my work time on managing my writers, marketing, research, and guest posting.
How do you promote your content? What would you recommend for others to do to when it comes to content promotion?
- Select the right topic: Our content promotion campaign actually starts before the content is created. To make sure that our writers are producing the right content – we run through every post ideas and points in detail to make sure that it’s something that our audience wants. This can be done by looking at our Google Analytics (see which type of content gives the best engagement results) or by looking at others’ content (using tools like SEM Rush and Buzz Sumo).
- Marrying our niche to other topics: We merge two topics together (for example, blogging + golf; or web hosting + financial investment) to expand our reach on social media and search platforms.
- Pour oil on fire: The idea is to look closely at our existing traffic for more traffic ideas. There are lots of tactics we are using to build traffic – blog commenting, guest posting, social media marketing, Q&A platforms, forum marketing, and so on. Once we figure a tactic that’s working exceptionally well for a type of post (say, Pinterest marketing for mom blogging tips), we will double our effort and investment on it.
- Facebook Advertising: The importance of Facebook to us has grown 200 – 400% over the last two years and it’s the most cost-effective way to grow new traffic and subscribers. Luana just updated her Facebook marketing guide last week and I think it’s a must-read for everyone who wish to garner the power of FB!
- Freebies marketing: We give out freebies that people actually want to promote our brand (then our content). I mean – who doesn’t like freebies, right? When we offer freebies – I think that we gave a reason to bloggers talk and promote our blog. And it has worked out very well for us.
How do you maintain good relations with your audience/customer base?
- Sit in audience shoes – I strive very hard to think like my audience and produce what I think is best for them.
- Be genuine and stay humble – blog readers – even the non-techie, aren’t stupid and can detect bullshits from miles way.
Has your life changed a lot now, when you’re an entrepreneur?
Definitely. The biggest plus of being an “Entrepreneur” is the opportunity to shape your everyday life and to develop yourself the way you wanted. I can hop onto a self-drive family trip for weeks while working on WHSR at night, read books till 4am, or go gym at lunch hours without the worry of a boss or work politics.
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?
We have just release a brand new design at WHSR and introduce some new tools to the users. Personally I will spend more of my energy on site development in 2017 … and hopefully we can launch a few more useful tools. Oh by the way – you are absolutely welcome to tell us what you think about the new design!
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