I’m a bestselling author, online instructor and I run a web and graphic design business. I blog regularly (from RobCubbon.com), create courses on Udemy and other online platforms, publish Kindles and speak at conferences.
Please tell us something about yourself and your website – when did you get an idea to launch your own website and how important is it for you be online?
I bought RobCubbon.com ten years ago in order to have somewhere online to put my graphic design portfolio. I started blogging a year later.
Did you have someone help making the website or did you do it by yourself?
I did everything myself for a long time. The first website was really bad static HTML. I then installed WordPress in a subdirectory called “wordpress” whereas “blog” would have been a better choice. 🙂
The right domain name is important. How long did it take you to come up with the domain name for your website?
5 seconds? It’s my first and last name. It’s unimaginative and it’s not a brand I can ever sell but it works for me. It means I can pivot about what I’m blogging about from time to time.
Otherwise, I might have chosen a domain name with the keywords “graphic design” in and that would have tied me down to a niche I got bored of after a while.
What kind of Theme do you use on your website and what are the “must have” plugins you would recommend?
I don’t think there are any “must have” themes or plugins with WordPress. Content is the most important thing. After that it’s speed and responsiveness. I use Genesis child themes and I have done for a while so I’m used to them.
Plugins-wise: I use WordPress SEO by Yoast, a caching plugin, a redirection plugin, a subscribe to comments plugin, a security plugin, anti-spam plugins and a few more – I like to use as few as possible.
What CMS (Content Management System) do you use on your website? How hard is it to navigate within your CMS (making a new post, inserting images, moderating comments, etc.)?
WordPress. It is what it is. If you are blogging, or running your own business online, there’s a 99% chance that WordPress will be the right CMS for you.
How much time do you spend writing/posting your articles? Do you communicate with your readers through comments?
I probably spend 2-4 hours creating one blog post every week. Yes, I’m lucky that I get comments and I answer all of them. I also spend a few hours every week communicating with my readers through social media, email and Skype.
How do you promote your website?
I do very little. I just promote my latest blog posts through my Twitter, Google+ and Facebook profiles.
Do you have any current projects?
I have just written a book Free Your Thoughts: How I Re-programmed Myself For Happiness And How You Can Too which has just gone live in Amazon. It’s a bit of a departure in terms of subject matter as it’s about the mindset shift that I enjoyed before I found happiness and business success. Now that I’ve finished that I’m going to create a video course on logo design.
What are your plans for the future?
Write more books, create more video courses and further develop my membership site at learn.robcubbon.com.
Would you encourage other people to make their own blog/website/online business?
In a heartbeat. Before I started my website I was spending 2 hours every day commuting to boring, dead end jobs. Now I’m earning more money doing something I really love which is also helping people. Added to that I can live anywhere in the world that I want. I got all this freedom because one day I set up a website.
It didn’t happen overnight but it happened pretty fast. It first started when people contact me through the website to ask me to do graphic design jobs for them. I then was able to supplement my income a little bit by working in the evenings and weekends. Slowly I worked less for other people and more for myself at home. After a while I was able to stop going to work for other people completely. And then I started creating products so I could earn more passive income and work less for clients.
Please give us some advice for new bloggers and for people who are still not sure should they start a blog of their own?
My advice is “go for it!”
If you think you’ll enjoy creating good content then you should get out there, create great content for free and build an audience. Action is more important than anything else. Very often you will not know the answers to the many questions in your head (what to blog about, about the audience, etc.) until you actually start putting out content.
Try different types of blog post – tutorials, opinion pieces, personal, humorous, contrarian, etc. Experiment with various types of content – blog posts, slide presentations, video, etc. – see what you enjoy doing. See what gets traction with an audience.
By taking action you will see what sort of content you’ll enjoy creating and with what sort of audience you will enjoy engaging. You’ll never know unless you try!
Photos ©: Rob Cubbon