Hey You bloggers I am Vashishtha Kappor here with amazing interview. As part of BloggersIdeas interview series, today we have Katie Keith From Barn2Media who have over 5+ years experience in affiliate, SEO, search, social and content marketing for small businesses. She will be answering various questions related to Digital Media & other Internet Marketing stuffs . So lets get started with the interview.
1) Please introduce you to my blog readers? Explain who are you apart from online business life?
I’m Katie Keith co-founder and Operations Director at UK WordPress agency Barn2 Media. I live in the beautiful Devon countryside in South West England with my husband (and business partner) Andy, daughter Sophia and cat Popple.
2) What’s your thoughts on Barn2.co.uk? How did you settle for this domain name?
As with any blog these days, the only way to choose a name is to type all your ideas into a domain name checker (I use 123-Reg) and see which ones are available. I did this for lots of ideas and barn2.co.uk was only of the only domains this short and neat that were available.
I blog from our home office at ‘Barn 2’ (a converted barn). The domain name reflects who we are and let us create a strong brand that people will remember. We called the company ‘Barn2 Media’ which makes it more obvious that we’re a web and media company than Barn2 alone.
The drawback of using your address for a domain name is what happens if you move house! We’re in the process of moving to a new address that isn’t in a barn, so the name will no longer be accurate. However the domain is now so well established with good Domain Authority that we wouldn’t dream of switching. I think that’s ok because the domain name reflects our roots, even if we won’t be based in Barn 2 any more.
3) How many days you have been blogging. What do you feel about blogging?
I’m not sure my maths is good enough to calculate the number of days! I’ve been blogging to promote our business and build our brand since the business was founded in late 2009.
When we started, I was very skeptical about the power of blogging. I felt that it was a distraction from core business activities.
Since then, I’ve learned that blogging is an invaluable marketing technique for any business. It’s a huge opportunity to improve your search engine position for a wide range of keywords, which wouldn’t be possible from your static pages along. Blog posts are supposed to be long, so you can take advantage of this opportunity to add lots of keyword-rich content and provide quality content to your readers. It also gives your brand a face and helps potential customers to learn more about you. And above all, it’s free!
4) How many blogs do you have. Which blogs do you follow regularly?
I have 2 blogs:
- The Barn2 Media Blog – Our main company blog where I write about a wide range of issues relating to WordPress web design. This includes tutorials and news about our WordPress plugins and other services, and general industry-related issues and tips.
- Best Toys for 2 Year Old – An affiliate blog that I set up in 2013, largely as an experiment. I use this to blog about the best toys for 2 year olds. Each post links to toys on Amazon where I am registered as an affiliate.
5) What are your tips on traffic generation. Please reveal some must use techniques to get more traffic to new blogs?
There are 2 sides to generating traffic to your blog:
- On page SEO relating to your website and your blog post itself. If you have a well established domain name that you can use, this will give you a big head start – it’s far harder to start a blog with a new domain name from scratch. Choose a good keyword with a reasonable amount of traffic and optimize the post for that keyword. It doesn’t have to be the highest volume keyword in the world, the most important thing is that it’s not too competitive. Look at the other posts ranking for that keyword and make sure yours is better.
- Off page SEO such as links to your blog. This is affected by how you promote your post after you publish it, for example by commenting on other related blogs, linking to it from your own posts (internal linking), tweeting key influencers in your industry asking them to link to you, social media sharing, etc.
6) How to get prepared for next google updates and stay safe?
People worry about Google algorithm changes far too much. If you’re worried about this, you’re not blogging right!
Google’s algorithms are designed around common sense and reflect the way people actually use the web. If you follow some general SEO best practices and blog with your readers in mind then you shouldn’t need to worry.
My article ‘How to blog to boost your WordPress SEO’ contains lots of timeless tips that aren’t affected by Google algorithm changes.
7) What is secret of your success. Followed by your inspirational person?
We were lucky to discover WordPress at a time when the platform was growing and very few companies specialised in WordPress web design. We have always had several income streams from offering different services and having multiple blogs, so we have been able to analyze what is successful and focus our energies in the right places.
8) Could you tell us best way to earn money online even for new blogs and online businesses?
I would recommend building multiple income streams. This acts as a safety net in case you ever lose one, and you can learn from your experiences and put more resources into the income streams that are most successful. For example, our income streams include:
- Web design projects for clients.
- Ongoing website services for clients (e.g. hosting, maintenance, SEO and support retainers).
- A new affordable hosted web design service called MySimpleSite.
- Premium WordPress plugin sales via our e-commerce website.
- Best Toys for 2 Year Old, our affiliate marketing blog.
- A cardiology job site that we inherited from a web design client – Cardiac Output.
- Commission payments for affiliate links on our main blog.
- Commission payments from WordPress web design agencies who we refer enquiries to that we don’t wish to take on ourselves.
9) Best recommended off page SEO techniques in 2017?
Link building is undoubtedly the most effective off page SEO technique. I’ve read that you should spend more time promoting your blogs than you do writing each blog post. This is definitely the case.
Think creatively about how to attract links to each blog post. NOT your whole site (although this helps too), but you should be individually building links to every post. For example, Google your main keyword for the post and contact the people who wrote the top ranking articles in the search results. Find a convincing reason why they should link to your post. If possible, send them a whole paragraph that they can slot right into their article.
Another good technique is to quote key influencers in your industry in your blog post. When you publish the post, email or tweet to tell them that you quoted them. They’ll be flattered and will hopefully link to your post or share it on social media!
10) How to attract new bloggers to new blog as you did in commenting and traffic?
You can attract readers to a new blog using the off page techniques I mentioned above. These are only suggestions and you should think of how you can build links to each blog post that will drive traffic and improve your SEO.
11) What are the Secrets of Affiliate Marketing and are you associated with any kind of affiliates?
Yes, I use affiliate marketing on our blogs. To keep it open and transparent, I only use affiliate links for services that I would genuinely recommend, even if we weren’t getting paid for it. (e.g. we’re affiliates for Envato/ThemeForest, WP Engine and Codeable). WP Engine in particular have a particularly generous affiliate scheme.
I try to find an affiliate scheme for everything that I would recommend anyway. For example, if you’re blogging about the best WordPress themes then you can sign up as a ThemeForest affiliate. Amazon Associates is great because you can buy almost anything on Amazon, so if you sign up with them then you can create affiliate links for all sorts of products.
12) Do you use Blackhat SEO tactics in a white hat way. Like scrapebox?
Absolutely not. Black hat SEO techniques are a short term way to grow rankings and very risky. It’s best to write and promote good quality blog content following widely accepted white hat SEO best practices.
13) Do you think 3rd party blog post links and eBook submissions are playing vital role these days?
I think guest posting has a vital role in building a blog. While the old days of spammy guest posting are over, high quality guest posts on authoritive blogs in your industry are a big opportunity. We generate a lot of sales for our premium WordPress plugins via guest posting.
eBooks are useful because they’re an opportunity to get more than 1 spot in the Google search results for your chosen keyword. The first page of Google has 10 results (not including AdWords etc.) and you want as many as possible! Your actual blog post will only take up 1 of these posts, and you can further enhance this with rich snippets, sitelinks etc.
You can get extra posts by selling (or giving away) an eBook on a 3rd party website, publishing a YouTube video, creating a SlideShare presentation, a Pinterest board with images relating to the topic of your post, etc. That way, you can dominate the first page of Google AND use all these slots to link to your main post, thus driving it even higher in the results!
14) Do You Share Your Strategies Transparently With the SEO Community?
Yes, we do things properly have nothing to hide. As well as sharing our techniques with the SEO community, we offer ongoing SEO services in which we use the same techniques to promote other bloggers’ sites.
All our SEO strategies are evidence-based. For example we use Google Analytics conversion tracking to monitor our WordPress plugin sales and affordable website orders. We regularly analyse what works and what doesn’t, and use this to inform how we promote our blogs.