Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on. Being successful means that you’re working hard and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard towards it.
Hey Friends, it’s time to have some Expert Chat. Today’s guest Pradeep Kumar needs no introduction to the blogging fraternity. He is the founder of Hellbound Bloggers, an inspiration to many beginners to start their blogging journey. Pradeep is a multi-tasker who is successfully running 7+ blogs under his Blog Network – Slashsquare.
He is one of the top Indian bloggers of current time who considers Blogging as a weapon that can change the world. Pradeep always loves to learn new things and believes that Life is too short to be unhappy. The HBB community is a helpful start up from him where the bloggers can share queries & problems and get assistance from other fellows and the creator himself.
In this interview with WPB360, he has discussed about various topics like the proven techniques to drive traffic to his blogs, important trends of SEO, challenges of guest blogging and how to manage multiple blogs effectively. He has also shared some tips on how to keep up the spirit of blogging. We are very much thankful to Pradeep for taking time to answer all the questions. So without much ado, let’s start the discussion now.
Manidipa: Hey Pradeep, welcome to WPB360. Just to get started, could you please let the readers know a bit more about you?
Pradeep: Hi Manidipa, thanks a lot for featuring me in this interview, and I’m really glad to share my views with your readers. My name is Pradeep Kumar, I’m the CEO & Founder of Slashsquare, it’s an Indian Blog Network and Web Consulting Media. I started my Blogging journey with HellBound Bloggers (HBB), which is my primary blog and my source of inspiration.
Manidipa: How the idea behind HellBound Bloggers (HBB) knocked you? If given a chance again, would you have chosen a different name instead of HBB?
Pradeep: I didn’t really pick this name by brainstorming a lot. I just liked this name, and I didn’t really care about SEO or anything those days back, so I just registered the domain name as soon as I got my dad’s credit card. All the names I picked, I pick them only if I like them a lot, because the name stays with you forever, the logo or the theme may change, but the name can’t. 🙂
Manidipa: How many blogs you have been running successfully under Slashsquare Network? Could you please brief a bit about each of them?
Pradeep: As of now, we have blogs for HellBound Bloggers (HBB), MoviesDrop and DeviceBAR. Apart from that, we also have BookWritten, FoodGravy, MusicBooze, Photovity, GameThem etc.
I wanted to make a valuable community for the ‘topics’ I love, so I started my journey with MoviesDrop, then expanded to DeviceBAR and now we have 5+ engaging communities on Facebook. We are also planning to launch a new brand under Slashsquare, probably within this year.
Manidipa: Running multiple blogs is truly challenging. How do you distribute time in your blogs?
Pradeep: When I started having multiple blogs, I thought multi-tasking will be easy to achieve, but honestly, it’s kinda tedious and hectic. You can do two things at the same time, even three things by managing, but not more than that. If you can do something like that, then you can’t properly give priority to all the works.
I decided to save time by removing myself from unwanted things in my life. I deleted my WhatsApp account and decided to focus only on Facebook at the moment for communication. I stopped reading everything on the Internet, just the things that interest me. I just focus on the things that are really important.
Manidipa: Pradeep, you have made HBB a great platform for the guest bloggers to contribute & get exposure. On an average how many request do you get? What are the challenges of managing guest blogging?
Pradeep: Honestly, it’s very difficult for me to manage. I want to say “NO” whenever someone requests for guest blogging, but at the same time, I badly fall in love with the topics they suggest. I give it a try and then I couldn’t properly allocate time for publishing them. Right now we have 20+ guest posts pending. We get at least 5-10 guest post requests per day and I filter them according to the topics & reasons they have.
Updating your blog with quality content is a good thing, but at the same time, I don’t want HBB to be filled with guest posts and tagged as a blog for ‘guest blogging’. I rather want it to be a community for bloggers & others to engage.
Manidipa: What are the strengths you think have helped you to become a better blogger? Do you wish to learn any new skill that you think will help you further?
Pradeep: I’m a very calm guy. I rarely stress or feel sad; I just believe ‘Life is too short to be unhappy’ and take every day as a new life, a better and challenging one. All these stuffs helped me to become a better blogger day by day.
I learn a lot every day, let it be from our groups, from the TV series I’m watching or even the books I read. I keep it as a habit to learn something new every day, it doesn’t matter whether it’s relevant to my profession/passion or not, I just learn something.
Manidipa: Did you face any beginner’s blogging mistakes or challenges? Would you like to talk about them?
Pradeep: A lot! I was just a curious guy when I started blogging, I didn’t have any plan or intention or even the goal to make money online. I just started it because I was curious and I badly wanted to have a blog, it’s just that adamant thing.
Everything was fine, but then one day, I decided to migrate my old Blogger.com blog to a new WordPress.org blog. So, without even referring any tutorials or asking anyone, I just migrated it and ended up with corrupted backup. I lost so many things, RSS feeds, Broken links, Images, etc. I realised some things that day, Blogging is not just about writing articles, it’s more than that.
I faced lot of challenges as well, I can’t be specific, but being a student + blogger is really difficult for me. It took some time for me to get a computer + internet connection, so browsing center was my home for few days.
Manidipa: What are some of the proven traffic generation techniques for your blog/blogs? Please provide some suggestions how one can drive traffic to their newly started blog?
Pradeep: SEO (or Google) is probably the best method for generating quality organic traffic. But apart from that, if you want to get quick & viral traffic, then explore Social Media. Don’t just limit yourself to Facebook & Twitter, go ahead and explore Quora, Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube, etc. Each and every platform has the potential to generate good traffic, if properly utilized.
Manidipa: What are the most important SEO trends in 2016?
Pradeep: As of now, almost 60% of the Google Search traffic are coming from Mobile devices. So it’s wise to optimize all our online assets for mobile. Pick a fast loading responsive theme for your blogs. Make it perfect for both smartphone screen + a tablet screen.
Apart from this, quality content + backlinks will last for years.
Manidipa: There are many monetization techniques for the bloggers & online marketers. Pradeep, according to you which one/ones are the best for any beginner to start with?
Pradeep: I wouldn’t really suggest beginners to rely or focus on AdSense at the moment, you need good traffic for generating decent income out of AdSense. So work hard, focus on generating traffic and not $$$.
If beginners badly want to monetize their blogs, then ‘Affiliates’ come really handy. You are not doing anything special, or you don’t need to do anything special. You write an unbiased review, you promote on Social Media, optimize it for good Search Results, but instead of using a normal ‘buy now’ link, you are going to use your ‘affiliate’ link. It’s as simple as that. Start with Amazon Associates, ShareASale, ImpactRadius etc. They have some good deals.
Manidipa: I have seen many people start a blog of their own or in partnership and discontinue after some time. What do you think is the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
Pradeep: The most frustrating aspect of Blogging is, just like we have engineers everywhere in India, we almost have the same scenario for Bloggers. It’s not wrong to study engineering or start a blog, but don’t do it just because others are doing it.
Even if they do that, kindly make sure you do it properly. In one way or another, you become an inspiration or a reason for someone else to start a blog, you shouldn’t really be a bad example of starting a blog for money and quitting it when you can’t make it. There is more to Blogging than that.
Manidipa: Blogging is the one of the most misapprehended business/job. Do you see any difference in the behavior of people around you knowing about your online engagement?
Pradeep: Haha. Well, it’s obviously very difficult to explain my job to others, when I say “I’m a Blogger” to someone and they automatically reply back “Oh, so you can make money out of it?”. Blogging is kinda growing right now, but it’s not really reaching to the right people. We can call ourselves as ‘Online Journalists.’ 😉
Manidipa: Now a days many people are a bit concerned about the sleep deprivation of online marketers. The facts are really disturbing. Could you please share about your average blogging routine & how you have been able to manage your health?
Pradeep: I’m not exactly a fitness freak, but I do go for jogging/walking every day, at least twice. I don’t force myself to sleep – I dunno whether it’s a good move or a bad move. But I rarely force myself to sleep, I sleep when I’m sleepy. Whenever I’m tired, I’ll obviously feel sleepy, but when I have work, I just give proper preference to both and sleep for some hours.
It’s kinda complicated to explain, since I have a network to run, I dedicate my sleep sometimes. But please don’t follow this or anything, I’m trying to complete all my pending works soon and live a normal comfortable life with proper sleep.
Manidipa: What is your best blogging moment so far Pradeep?
Pradeep: I created a community where people help others without expecting anything in return. I’m blessed to be a part of this community, each and every day we have such moments. 🙂
Manidipa: What do you love to do when you are not in front of the screen?
Pradeep: I sleep. 🙁 I take proper rest. But apart from that, I hang out with my friends, read books, go to theaters and watch movies. Last but not least, Marina Beach. 🙂
Manidipa: Could you please share some tips for the new aspirants who want to become a problogger?
Pradeep: There isn’t much difference between ProBloggers and Amateur Bloggers these days. I recently saw a blog post about a smartphone review, it was so detailed and I came to know it was written by someone who started to blog few months before.
If you work hard, if you trust & respect your passion, then you are already a ProBlogger. You don’t need a Degree, but Discipline. 🙂
Thanks again Pradeep for sharing your insights with the readers of WPB360. In case you want to know any other tips on blogging, please feel free to ask in the comments below.