Beginning bloggers will soon find out that blogging is more than just writing.
To maximize the results from your blog, you need to learn how the best digital marketing practices. By learning SEO, PPC, SEM, and all these strange acronyms, you have a good chance of getting more readers.
As an internet marketing expert, Joe Balestrino already has his work cut out for him.
His knowledge with all things digital marketing primed him for success in blogging, which is unsurprisingly achieved.
In this post, learn how Joe struck it big as a blogger with his marketing background.
1. Before you started blogging, what were you doing as a professional?
Before I started blogging and SEO, I started my career as a web designer in the mid-nineties. I used to deliver great interactive websites for my clients, and quickly I realized that the site alone rarely translates into increased amount of visitors.
Then I started out experimenting things, tested Google’s sayings about search engine optimization and worked live for my existing clients. I wanted to educate and help businesses about how they can increase their web traffic exponentially with the use of online marketing techniques, and that’s how I started my SEO agency back in 2004.
2. What was the biggest obstacle that you had to overcome as a beginner blogger?
I had real experience of creating websites that Google loves to rank, but the thing made me think not twice but several times – why would anyone care about my advice?
Though I just wanted to help people and online businesses, but would my tone have a right connection with the audience? I was thinking about all these things and, finally, I came over it when my initial posts draw some engagement from the readers.
I have spent 20 years in the business now, and I still read all SEO, PPC, B2B and B2C related blogs and attend conferences to see what other marketers have to say about marketing trends. I love reading, learning, experimenting and brainstorming ideas.
3. Any horror client stories you’d like to share with us and how you dealt with the situation?
I had a customer who was hit with a Google penalty for selling links.
The site was practically gone from Google. We implemented no follow on the site where it made sense. However, that didn’t settle the issue. We found an old sub-domain that had tons of outgoing links. The client wasn’t aware of the site, and Google was passing the penalty from the subdomain to the main domain. We took down the subdomain, and it cleared up the issue.
4. Which blog posts you have written that you feel the proudest?
That’s a tough one – I write across many web and print publications, but if I need to mention only single post, I will name it “Get Google Penguin Penalty Lifted in 6 Days”. That was the time when several websites were struggling with Penguin impact, and I lifted the action from a couple of sites. I write what I experience from my day-to-day operations during the audits, back-link profile checks, blogging, CMSs and marketing for law firms and enterprises.[clickToTweet tweet=”I firmly believe that knowledge speaks louder than anything else. @joeybalestrino” quote=”I firmly believe that knowledge speaks louder than anything else. “]
5.Who among your blogging peers do you consider the best and why?
I like many. There are lots of good writers and blogs and mentioning a few names will be cumbersome. I appreciate every single writer who tells actionable tips to get marketing things done right. Helping the community is the biggest thing a marketer does. I attend webinars, listen to podcasts, read good blogs and watch videos listen their ideas. I never hesitate to thank someone socially if I like their advice. We all are friends here.
However, I like posts with:
- Case Studies
- Real To-Do actionable posts
- Not a fan of posts which are get written for SEO benefits rather than helping people.
6. What do you think separates yourself from other good bloggers out there?
I would like to mention that my primary goal of blogging is not the traffic for me but to help businesses to draw them targeted traffic and increased revenue. I don’t get much time for writing, but I try my level best to post new findings on my personal blog, 4Point Digital Blog, and other publication outlets.
When I talk to business owners and management, I find that their obstacles are the same as they were ten years ago for similar businesses. So based on these conversations, their problem areas, and the suggestions, I schedule my blog posts to guide them.
7. List down the blogging tools that you use and explain why people should use them for their blogs.
I use and recommend following tools to everyone:
- Buzzsumo for finding writing ideas which went successfully recently or in past.
- Good Adwords Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and MOZ tools for identifying keywords potential
- Yoast SEO plugin if you run WordPress blog
- Exploring Quora and Reddit for finding common problem areas
- Twitter Trends
- Google Trends
- Canva, PicMonkey or BeFunky Image tools, etc.
8. How “successful” would you consider your blog?
I don’t measure the success of my blog with the number of clicks it gets, subscribers list or some user comments. I am not recommending anyone to ignore these statistics, but my goals are different. I am not chasing any number but if a business gets any benefits of my marketing skills and knowledge; I get self-satisfaction, and that is the purpose behind my writing.
I also wrote a book on local search marketing so I can deliver my best to the people looking for a definite guide to rock rankings and visibility in their geographic area.
9. What do you think are the upcoming blogging trends people need to watch out for?
All the recent surveys and statistics prove that long-form content posts perform better in search results. Not only they rank, but they do get good social sharing and inbound linking. That’s my favorite pick – getting resource linking out of your blog posts. That is real, natural and powerful link earning way. So writing should cover the latest trend (can be checked using Google alerts, Buzz Sumo and Google search using special operators) and all the related segments which people care about.
10. If there’s any one advice that you would say to a starting blogger, what would it be?
New bloggers need to have expertise on the topics they write and care about. I firmly believe that knowledge speaks louder than anything else. For me, quality matters over quantity. I would recommend bloggers to build a relationship with the readers and gain their trust. That doesn’t come over the nights but requires lots of efforts and dedication.[clickToTweet tweet=”Write what you believe in and spread your word in the community. @joeybalestrino” quote=”Write what you believe in and spread your word in the community.”]
Yes, one thing which will always help you with your goals – be in touch with influencers and media editors. That will help you gain real mentions on blogs, social and get you referral audience.