When I started this Blogger Interview Series, I thought to publish awesome success stories and inspirational journeys of bloggers every week. But after publishing a few awesome stories I got busy with some other activities and I was not able to publish any further bloggers’ stories.
Consistency is the key to get success and that is what very difficult to maintain for many bloggers. As a part-time blogger, it is quite obvious to me. But if you are planning to make blogging as a career, you have to solve this problem first.
In today’s Interview, I am going to share the success story of Anil Agarwal and highlight how consistently he is blogging for the last many years and able to make huge money every month. Right now Anil is making $10,000/mo or even more. In Indian currency, this is almost 7 lakh/month from his blog BloggersPassion.com.
Highlights: Anil Agarwal is of the most popular pro-blogger in India. He is running a very successful blog BloggersPassion.com for a long time. He is making more than $10,000/mo through his blogs through affiliate marketing. He shares his experiences to create a successful affiliate marketing blog & various strategies to live a life out of full-time blogging.
Anil Agarwal Interview On How To Make Money From Blogging
Let’s start this interview. This is going to be a little long, as I have asked a lot of questions. I am sure you will find it very useful and learn a lot of things.
1. Hello Anil, welcome to my blog. I’m sure you need no introduction, but for people who don’t know about you please tell a few words.
Thanks a lot, Santanu for inviting me to your blog.
For those of your blog readers who don’t know me, my name is Anil Agarwal and I’m the founder of Bloggerspassion.com and HostingMonks.com blogs. I started Bloggers Passion in 2010 and Hosting Monks was started this year only.
For a long time, I was doing blogging side by side with a full-time job. But after a certain period of time, It became really difficult to maintain both things together. Also, I want to give enough time to my blogging efforts.
That’s why I quit my full-time job. From last year, I’m doing full-time blogging. I’m based out in Gurgaon and using a Co-working space as my office.
2. Please tell us about your blogging journey. From a beginner to one of the Top Indian Bloggers.
I was working as an SEO professional in my full-time job and as a way to drive more traffic to business websites, I was using free blogging sites for creating backlinks. Soon I realized the true potential of blogging.
As everyone else does, I started with free blogs. I used them for a couple of years and in those years, I got a better understanding of the blogging industry.
I set up my first self hosted WordPress blog in 2007 on blogging niche and sold to someone via Flippa in 2009 as I was in need of funds.
In 2010, I started BloggersPassion while taking learnings from my first blog and mistakes I should avoid here. I was sure I can do a much better job with Bloggers Passion.
With BloggersPassion I’m trying to help newbie bloggers in their blogging journey so that they can do well with their own blogs.
3. Why do you think that you are able to make a living out of Blogging? Especially when in our society it is very difficult to convince.
That’s very true. It’s very difficult to convince our society about blogging. NO one knows about Blogging, it’s a new term for them. For a long time, I was doing a job due to the typical mindset of my family members. But ultimately, I decided to take blogging as a full-time career.
4. I am sure all of your friends are also established in life. How do your friends accept you as a blogger? Are they satisfied with whatever they are doing or they feel you are doing better as you are successful now?
We don’t think much about success or failure among friends.
Since I did an MCA course, so most of my friends are in the web development domain and some of them are abroad as well.
All of us are doing great in our respective domains. Whether I choose to blog, web development or any other career, that does not make any difference. They know me for a long time (since my college time).
People with whom I get in touch with during my professional career, they are really happy with whatever I’m doing in the blogging domain.
5. How do bloggers like you actually make money?
If I talk about me, most of the revenue comes while selling affiliate products through my blogs, Newsletters, Quora Answers, and YouTube videos, etc.
I’m promoting web hosting, SEO, WordPress Themes and Plugins related products on Bloggers Passion and Hosting Monks.
I may give a try to creating online courses around SEO and affiliate marketing in the coming days if time allows.
If I talk about the monetization methods being used by some of my blogging friends:
- They are doing affiliate product selling
- Some of them have created their own courses and selling through different platforms
- Some are getting into the content writing business
- Few are still using Google Adsense kind of platforms to earn revenue from their blogs
6. How many blogs you need to generate a decent income every month? Feel free to share your other blogs.
Earning potential is huge even with a single blog. There are bloggers who are able to make $200,000 plus amount every month from a single blog. I’m able to make approx $10,000 each month from Bloggers Passion blog only.
I’m trying to improve my revenue from BloggersPassion blog every year. In 2017, we made $67,000 and in 2018 we reach $106,000. Have a look at our income to expense ratio for the last 2 years.
We are aiming at taking our revenue somewhere around from $130,000 to $150,000 by the end of 2019.
Since we were getting lots of revenue while selling web hosting related affiliate products, we started HostingMonks with the aim to capture more space for web hosting related queries on Google.com and other platforms.
7. What are your major sources from where you make money?
We are making money while selling affiliate products on our blog these days. We are promoting top web hosting, SEO tools, Premium WordPress Themes and plugins on our blogs.
When I started Bloggers Passion, we were using Google Adsense, paid reviews, banner ads and text link ads to earn revenue from it.
Quick Note: If a few of you don’t know much about affiliate marketing, let me explain to you briefly.
With affiliate marketing, we are paid a commission if someone buys a product while using our affiliate link. A person who will be buying using your affiliate link will not be paying anything extra. In some cases, they could actually save some money by using your special affiliate links (with special deals and discounts, etc).
We should pick a product that we are already using and happy with. You need to check if that product has an affiliate program in place.
Then we should try creating content where we can talk about users’ problems and how that product can solve those problems.
When people will be finding solutions to their problems in your content, they will not hesitate to buy that product via your referral link.
8. Google AdSense or Affiliate marketing? What is your point on this?
For me, it’s affiliate marketing which is more profitable than Google Adsense.
If you have a blog or website where you could promote a great affiliate product, affiliate marketing could give you more revenue.
But if you have a blog where you have most of the information content, you should use Google Adsense. But you need huge traffic if you are aiming at making decent revenue from Google Adsense only.
If you have a blog where you have mixed content (informational plus commercial), you can try Affiliate marketing and Google Adsense together.
Suppose you have one post which is driving huge traffic but where you cannot promote an affiliate product, why waste that traffic. And try running Google Adsense ads to start making some money from that waste traffic.
You should avoid showing Adsense or any other ads on those pages where there is potential to earn an affiliate commission.
I have written a detailed guide on Google Adsense vs Affiliate Marketing here. I hope BloggingJoy readers will like it.
9. What are a few of the top affiliate products that worked well for you? How a beginner can easily find such profitable products?
Sharing a few affiliate products that are doing well for me:
- Hosting: Bluehost, WPX Hosting, SiteGround, WPEngine, etc.
- Themes: Elegant Themes, StudioPress Themes, GeneratePress etc
- SEO Tools: SEMrush, LongTailPro, SpyFu, WebCEO, etc.
Here are a few things you can do to pick profitable affiliate products:
- If you are a beginner, make a list of premium products that you are using. Join the affiliate programs for those products you like the most. And start blogging about them.
- Make the list of affiliate products that are promoted by top blogs in your niche. And then start approaching those product owners for a free copy of those products. This way some of them will give the chance to review their products. Start promoting those products that you like the most. If you can afford, try buying a subscription for a few premium products which look promising to you.
Note: This year during Black Friday Cyber Monday Sale, I made $7,200 by promoting different products. Out of all, SiteGround Affiliate programs work best for me as the majority of the income is from SiteGround sale only. SiteGround is a very good web hosting company who offers plenty of features at affordable prices only. I always recommend you to host your blog on SiteGround. This will give your blog a fast-loading experience, high security and you can easily promote SiteGround to make money as well.
10. Please share a few tips about how did you increase your affiliate sales from blog posts.
I will try to create 10x content around the products that I want to promote on my blog and then create high-quality backlinks for them so that they can rank for target terms on Google.
Here are a few content types I will try to create around a product I want to promote:
- Review with a call to action
- Comparison posts with other similar products
- Deals or Coupon posts
- Case Studies
- How-to Guides
- Round-up posts
- Posts about specific features
- List posts where I can mention the affiliate product
- Black Friday & Cyber Monday Pages (If a product offers a special discount during these events) etc
Apart from this, I will try to spread awareness about the product and my affiliate posts via Quora, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube type of websites.
11. What are your tips about accepting sponsored posts and how much a blogger can charge?
For a long time, we are not accepting sponsored posts on our blogs. If sponsored posts are one of your monetization methods, here are a few things you should take care of:
- Don’t accept sponsored posts just for the sake of making quick money. Accept only those opportunities that match with your blog niche and are liked by your blog audience.
- Keep a certain ratio of free and sponsored posts on your blog. You could think of doing 5 high-quality blog posts after each sponsored post (It will be a 5:1 ratio).
- Consider sponsored posts like a normal post and try to give as much value you can share through your content. Suppose a leading SEO tool company approaches you for a review. First, ask them for access to the tool and then study the tool for the next 10-15 days. And once you get a complete feel of the tool, start working on your blog post. Keep your review unbiased, try to cover the pros and cons and who should buy that product, etc.
12. How do you ensure the right balance between information articles & affiliate articles?
That’s a great question.
We have to keep a balance between information and commercial articles. When we think about covering all topics related to a chosen niche, this problem will not arise.
Let me tell you by an example. Suppose we are promoting SEO tools on BloggersPassion blog. We don’t only talk about SEO tools but talk about every aspect of SEO through our blog posts. We have already written 100’s of educational content around SEO topics and are planning to write many more in the coming days.
We want to become the ultimate source where people can learn everything about SEO. You can also think of covering all relevant topics about your niche on your blog.
13. Did you work on Amazon affiliate websites? How is your experience so far?
I have worked on an Amazon based niche website recently. The experience was very similar to working on any other affiliate on Bloggers Passion or Hosting Monks.
There as well, we have to create content covering different aspects of a product and then promote them.
Like normal affiliate blogs, we have to make efforts with Amazon based websites. It could take from six months to one year’s time before you will start seeing any significant number in your Amazon affiliate account.
14. How do you keep yourself motivated to continue this laptop lifestyle?
By looking at other bloggers in blogging niche who are doing great, I keep myself motivated. I still have a long way to go. Need to master lots of skills. I’m not that good with videos and paid advertising.
I keep listening to interviews and podcasts of top bloggers with the aim to stay motivated and to learn new things.
15. How frequently do you meet with other bloggers offline?
There is no fixed schedule as such. Sometimes I happen to meet 2-3 blogging friends within a week and sometimes, even after a month, I don’t meet anyone.
I stay connected with my blogging friends through phone calls, WhatsApp, Emails and social media accounts.
16. People still prefer to get GOVT jobs, as they give security. Do you feel the same while blogging?
Since I finished my MCA course, I had never thought of getting into a Government job. To get a Government job, there are lots of factors that play a big role apart from your academic skills. I see the limited scope of progress in Government jobs.
17. What are your future plans to stay positive in blogging?
I will keep working on my blogs and networks where I’m active. And will try to help the bloggers with their blogging needs. There are lots of things that keep me motivated towards the laptop lifestyle:
- Generating revenue which is enough to live a comfortable life
- When seeing positive comments coming against all the contents we are creating on our blogs, Facebook Groups, Quora and YouTube channel etc.
- Whenever I see Bloggers Passion blog being mentioned by top bloggers and emerging bloggers like you on their blogs and in their Facebook Groups etc.
18. How much time it will take for a beginner to make money from a blog?
It will depend on lots of things. How much time that guy is giving to his blog and his blogging skills. If you are good at blogging, you can expect some revenue from your blog within a year. And it will keep growing as you will put more and more effort into your blog contents and their promotion.
19. Where exactly beginners make mistakes that are ruining their blogging expectations?
Sharing a few mistakes that are being made by lots of newbie bloggers:
- They don’t remain consistent with their blogging efforts.
- They are not that much productive as they waste lots of time here and there on the web.
- They happen to work on multiple blogs at a time. Not a good move especially when you are starting out.
- Even if they work on a single blog, they have picked a very wide niche or too many categories. When starting, it’s better to get success with a smaller niche.
Lots of people start blogging after seeing the success of other bloggers. But they don’t see the efforts that are being made by those bloggers to reach to that level. They expect to get success with their blogging efforts overnight. But that’s not going to happen. And in many cases, they leave their blogging journey within 6 months. That’s the worst thing.