You are a well known blogger. Can you please give us a brief introduction about yourself?
Well-known blogger! LOL. I am not at all a well-known blogger, but I am trying to become one.
I'm Arbaz Khan, a simple guy who have come from a non-tech family background. I live in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. I am currently pursuing my B.E. in Electronics and Communications Engineering and along with that, I am learning animation skills and designing.
How old are you? How long is it since you started blogging? Is your family involved in blogging?
I just turned 21. I have been blogging since I started my college life. It's been around 2 years since I got into blogging. Currently I am managing only 2 blogs, www.tinyblogger.net and www.thegeekcubes.com along with some niche sites and certain other blogs waiting to go live.
My family members don't know what I do. Only my parents know that I am a blogger and every other member in my family thinks that I do my college work on the computer all the time. LOL. As I said earlier, I belong to a family of non-techies, so no one knows anything about blogging. My parents confronted me once, as I was spending more time on computers rather than studying. They wanted me to study and pass with good grades. Now I give them good grades and they never interfere in my work.
How did you come to know about blogging?
I don't know how I exactly got to know about blogging. But, it was sometime after my 12th exams were over, when I got an internet connection. As I was free during that time, I was searching about how to make money online. From there I got to know that a blog can help you earn money and the very next day, I started my own blog on blogger.com without doing any research.
My first blog was a disaster. I had no knowledge about anything at that time. So I was posting about software hacking with one of my friend but after a week, we got tired and left it. Then again I started another blog, it was a disaster and I left that also. Then I started a blog on blogger.com in December, but that too was abandoned. Then I thought of brushing up my skills. I got down, started learning about blogging, SEO, content creation etc and re-launched my blog again in March 2012. That was practically my first blog. I don't have that blog now, as I sold it this January.
What made your blog popular?
I don't think that any of my blogs are popular. Yes, they do attract great traffic, but still I am not satisfied. Also I haven't yet able to cross that 1000 visitors a day mark. Once I cross that, I will consider that my blog has started becoming popular.
What is your background in the niche you are blogging? Why did you choose this niche?
My first blog that I sold was a tech blog, as in a tech blog you can write on almost any topic. My current blog that is TinyBlogger is based on blogging tips and making money online. As I said earlier, I had dedicated a lot of time to learn blogging and SEO, I thought that it would be right to share that things that I have learned with other people. You can go through my blog and you will find articles dedicated to only things that I have experienced in my blogging career.
I run blogs in two niches currently, blogging niche on TinyBlogger and tech niche on TheGeekCubes; so I have to stay updated with these two niches very well.
Which are your favorite websites and why?
I normally don't go through various blogs or websites, but when I have the time, I browse ProBlogger.net, BasicBlogTips.com, GuideandNews.com on a regular basis.
To stay updated with the tech world, I prefer T3.com, Engadget.com, TheVerge.com and many more.
What are the technology websites and blogs you are associated with? Do you write articles in other sites?
I am associated with many blogs. Other blogs that I am associated with, apart from my 2 blogs are www.gamingtron.com, TechnologyShout.com (not currently live), IDroidSpace.com(Just started) and many other niche sites.
I do write articles on other blogs, but not as a service but as guest posts. I have done many guest posts on popular blogs which has helped me a lot in building new relationships with my fellow bloggers.
What do you do when you are not building software or contributing in technical web sites and blogs?
Whenever I am not working on my blogs, I normally spend time watching new movies. I also find time to carry out a research on different niches and also for my upcoming blog posts. Sometimes I do my studies as well.
How is your daily schedule?
I don't have any proper schedule. Whenever I find the time, I start doing my work. Generally it is around 3-4 hours daily.
Which webmaster/blogger is your role model?
I don't have any role model exactly but there are many out there who have inspired me greatly. I do follow many bloggers in many different niches, but I don't consider them as a role model.
Who are the top 5 bloggers in your network?
There are many bloggers in my network who are experts. They always help me and solve even my silliest questions. Some of them are Ileane Smith, Tony John, Amit Shaw, Nishant Shrivastava, Ehsan Ullah Khoshbakht, Saad Naeem and many more.
What is the future of blogging?
Today, almost every business must have an online presence. If it's not, then it is missing out on a huge audience. Seeing this, you can tell that blogging will remain as a profitable business for many more years to come, but only quality blogs will survive as Google will wipe out other low-quality ones with its frequent updates. The "Future of Blogging" post from ViperChill was the best and can give a great idea on it.
What are your future plans?
I have many future plans. I don't have any expectations from my engineering course. But I do have a great interest in Game Development and designing. I intend to join a course in that and make a career in the gaming field.
I don't know if I will become a full-time blogger, but I won't leave blogging ever and that's for sure. There are no online business plans that I plan to start. I am quite satisfied with what I am currently doing.
What are the sources of your income?
I don't have a solid income source. I make good money by selling blogs on a regular basis. I build blogs, work on them and then flip them. That's the biggest source of my income as of now. However I am now seeing quite good results in affiliate marketing. I have started making commissions.
I don't earn much from my blogs. I write a review on certain products that I use on my blog and earn commissions from it. Other good income source for me are paid posts.
Do you use affiliate marketing to earn revenue? What is your advice to others on affiliate marketing?
Yeah, I do use affiliate marketing. I was not making a single dollar two months back, but in the last few months, I have made quite a good amount.
My advice to others would be that you must believe in yourself. You don't have an email list, no problem, you can still make money with affiliate marketing. My main source of income from affiliate marketing is from niche sites. I find out a product, build a site around it and add 4-5 articles in it and rank it in search engines. This is how I make money with affiliate marketing and you can too.
Which source of revenue do you suggest as an alternative to Google AdSense?
I have not made a single dollar from Google AdSense till now. But I have made great amount of money from many other sources. You can make great money from paid posts, if you know how to do it. There are many other networks that can give you great results. I have written a post some time back on this on my blog. You can read it on best-google-adsense-alternatives.
Which are the online social communities you are most active on?
I normally use only Facebook and Twitter for my social promotions. But there are other communities too that works great. Some of the communities that I use are BlogEngage, BizSugar, Google+ and LinkedIn.
+Most big bloggers have reported that their revenue has been coming down in last few years due to high competition.What is your opinion on the same?
Yes, that's right. Many bloggers have reported that their earnings and traffic are decreasing. The main reason behind this was Google. The Search engine giant rolled out many updates that caused huge influx in the traffic and also its Google AdSense banned many users. Bloggers who were relying mostly on AdSense were slapped with a ban and thus many people reported this decrease.
Fortunately, I am not a big blogger and my blog doesn't get huge traffic. So in my case it was completely opposite. My blogs traffic were increasing and so was my income. No decrease here.
How did blogging help you personally other than making money?
Blogging has completely changed my life. I am a shy guy and I don't like interacting with people I don't know. This caused great problems in my life. I was unable to talk to my teachers, my seniors etc. I used to get nervous when I was asked to answer a question in front of the whole class. Even I was not talking much with my family members.
After I started blogging, I started feeling confident, I started believing in myself. Now I can talk with anyone - teachers, seniors, my family members and others. However my one quality has not changed. If I don't have anything to say or I don't have any topic, I would rather remain quiet than to give silly opinions or start silly conversations.
What does your family think about your blogs?
As I said none of my family members, except my parents, know that I am a blogger. My cousin sisters do know that I make money online, but they have no idea how I make it. My parents support me and never interrupt me when I am working, but their only condition is that my studies should not suffer.
What do you think about the Panda and Penguin updates from Google? Did your blogs get affected by it?
Panda updates and Penguin updates were quite a good move if we look at it in a positive angle. It cleaned the search results and now if you search about anything, you will get quality answers, rather than some spam article.
I didn't see any effect of these updates on any of my blogs. There was never any significant traffic drop on my blogs. If you want to beat Panda/Penguin, then you should use just one weapon, high quality and original content. Your blog must contain articles that are of good quality and are written in a detailed manner. That can save you from all kinds of updates.
What do you think about the future of SEO?
I only follow one rule about SEO - "Never think of it".
SEO is something that keeps changing. Just go back 2 years from now. At that time, you could get to the top of search engine with spam back links. But that's not the case now. With the new and regular algorithm updates rolled out by Google, it will be like survival of the fittest. To stay on top of search engines, you must be able to produce great content and build only highest quality back links. Remember this, 1 high-quality back link = 1000 spam/low-quality back link.
What you advice - focus on a single site or create several sites in various niche?
First of all, you must focus on one single site and try to make it an authority site. Work on one site, till you are making recurring income from it. Once you have recurring income flow, you must start working on other sites as well. Never restrict yourself to just one thing, always try out multiple sources.
But first you must have one authority site, because if your new site fails to meet your expectations, you still have one property.
I have seen in many online blogger communities, many bloggers sharing insulting information about other prominent bloggers. What is your take on such unhealthy practices?
Its one of the worst things I know about. Such things are done to get publicity, but that particular blogger don't know that by insulting a prominent blogger, he is digging a hole for himself. He won't be able to do anything as he will be considered as an outcast by all other bloggers. Blogging is a superb field and it's main purpose is and should be helping others. If you can't do that then better stay out of it.
Which technology company you like the most - Microsoft/Google/Apple? And why? Which company you think will be doing best after 5 years from now?
I personally like all the companies. I use Windows OS on my computer so I like Microsoft. Google is getting in almost every possible business. I am a blogger and Google has been helping me and all other bloggers greatly by introducing many tools and resources for helping us out like Analytics, Webmaster Tools and others.
5 years from now, Microsoft will continue its domination on the Computer operating system, Google will be getting more and more bigger with its new ventures. I have not used any of Apple's products, but seeing its dominance over the people, it would be too tough for any company to get ahead of Apple products.