Hey, Do you want to excel your blogging and digital marketing skills? Then today Interview of Pro blogger and digital marketer Bishnu Mahali will help you.
He is running Blog Blogger Self, YouTube channel, two Podcasts etc.
This is the second interview in the Blogging Ray Interview Series.
The response from the first interview is amazing.
Interview of Bishnu Mahali ( Pro Blogger and Digital Marketer)
You can find insane value from this interview.
Let’s jump into the Interview without any further delay.
Hey Bishnu, Can You Introduce Yourself To My Community?
Hi Guys, I’m Bishnu Mahali from Siliguri, West Bengal, India. I am a digital nomad who likes to blog, make videos, do marketing & everything business demands. And I also did freelancing for a long time.
As you can notice in my introduction, I’m not someone who’s completely focused on things only. I’m learning everything possible and doing whatever I love to do.
But I know that you must focus on something or be great at it to make it a profession. For me, that’s business & marketing.
I started as a web developer, then went with blogging, then I switched to freelancing and I’m blogging again, but this time I’m everything with business in mind.
I turned my freelancing career to a complete Digital Agency and now I have a team that is working with me on my projects.
I aspire to be one of the top entrepreneurs in India and to provide services that will employ a lot of jobless people and will also educate others to start their own businesses.
I’m someone who likes to explore different things and opportunities in life, and I’m a person driven by aspirations and goals.
Can You share your educational background?
I don’t really talk about my educational background because there’s nothing much to talk about but as you are asking about it so I’ll talk about it today. I was an average student, and I didn’t like to study. It’s a demotivating story for those who are studying, and that’s why I don’t share it.
I hated the education system, and I always wanted to quit or change. I’ve heard a few things about the change in education policy in 2020, and they are fantastic.
Students should take this opportunity seriously. I wish it would have happened when I was studying. I might have studied long in that way. But it is what it is.
I studied in a Hindi medium school for up to 12th standard. I studied science for my higher education while also studying computer science.
I wanted to pursue computer science in my engineering college, but I made a terrible decision and went with Electronics & Telecommunications engineering. Which I didn’t like, but still I went ahead.
I don’t know what I was thinking. It was the wrong decision, taken because of pressure.
I was just thinking of getting done with it to get a secure job at the end to comfort my family and future, but it wasn’t my thing.
I was never good at doing other’s work. I was thinking about creating my own business since my childhood, and that was my dream. I wanted to generate employment for people instead of seeking a job.
So, later, I went on my way and dropped out of college and focused on what I really wanted to do.
I used to feel that I wasted all my time, but now I’m thankful for everything that happened in my life. Including those poor decisions!
In the end, we always learn from all the mistakes and decisions we make to become a better version of ourselves.
Who Inspired You To Start A Blog & Digital Marketing?
It wasn’t an inspiration; it was just curiosity and the desire to do something great that I can be proud of.
I was developing websites since I was in my 9th standard, that’s 2009. But that was just the love of coding, I wasn’t thinking about business.
Later I got introduced to Blogger.com and then there was the Google Adsense option, which introduced me to the possibility that we can also make money with websites or blogs.
So I did a bit of digging and got to know about all these blogging things and making money online. But I only knew about earning via ads at that time.
ShoutMeLoud was one of the blogs that I found during all this research and it helped me to get started, but later I found out a lot of websites were doing the same. So I started too.
And the Digital Marketing business started when I got to know about Neil Patel and his business. I was already doing it but I didn’t know I was doing it.
When I researched Neil Patel, I got to know about everything in the Digital Marketing world and that became one of my biggest business.
What Is The Reason Behind The Selection Of Name “BloggerSelf”?
By 2017, I was already very good at Blogging and I started a blog that would teach about blogging while making money in different ways such as affiliate marketing.
I wanted BloggerSelf to become a community of Bloggers, eventually.
So I was looking for a name that would represent that the website is all about blogging and would also represent the bloggers. I went ahead and looked for many names, and most of them were already registered.
Eventually, I came with the name BloggerSelf by replacing words like myself, herself, etc.
It may sound stupid, but I think it is a great brand name. Just like myself represents me, herself represents her; BloggerSelf represents Bloggers.
The brand name has all the qualities of a perfect brand name, including the verb potential.
BloggerSelf & Bloggerselves (plural) is now a word that can be used in sentences like the words Google, PayTM, etc.
BloggerSelf means “the person who blog” and Bloggerselves means “those who blog”. Cool, isn’t it?
What Is Your Daily Routine? Can You Share Some Productivity Tips?
[ Take it from BloggingExplained here: https://www.bloggingexplained.com/bishnu-mahali-bloggerself/ ]
Which Hosting You Recommend For Beginners? And Why?
If you are a beginner and budget is not an issue for you, then I would highly recommend SiteGround anytime. They are the best shared hosting provider at the budget range.
I recommend it because it’s amazing in every way and I use it. I love it, to be honest.
And if budget is an issue for you, then you can start with A2Hosting. That’s great as well.
Once your business does great, switch to managed hosting like Kinsta, WPX, etc. or go with cloud hosting. If you are looking for managed cloud hosting, then you can go with Cloudways.
I have used all of them and if I’ll rank them based on my experience then it would like this:
You can use any of them and you’ll be satisfied, but it depends on your needs so if you are not sure, please feel free to consult Venkat or me on my Instagram.
What Are Your Thoughts On Blogging VS YouTube?
I think both of them are great and it depends on the person. If you are good with videos then you should work on videos as well. But if you don’t, it isn’t necessary yet.
To make yourself future proof, I highly recommend taking small steps towards videos and if you are already doing it then that’s awesome.
Profit or revenue-wise both are very competitive. If you are looking for revenue using Google Adsense, sponsorship, membership, donation, etc. then YouTube will give you more money than a blog in my experience.
But if you are depending on affiliate marketing or selling your own products then blog works better. So it’s completely your choice but I highly recommend doing both.
If you can’t manage both, I would recommend blogging instead of YouTube. Simply because YouTube is owned by Google, not you. But if you create your blog then you own that blog and the brand you create.
With YouTube, you don’t have much control while you can control your blog or website as you would like.
So to conclude, both of them are good but I’ll choose a blog if I had to choose one.
What Are The Most Tools You Use Daily?
Like anyone else, I use my computer, laptop, phone, and the internet connection to get my work done.
But I think you wanted to know what I use on those devices. So daily, I use Frase, Grammarly, Canva, LongTailPro, SEMRush, Adobe Premiere Pro, Telegram, Notion, Hootsuite, Hubspot CRM, Streak CRM, MailChimp, etc.
It’s almost impossible to tell you guys everything here so I would recommend you visit my resources page where I’ve mentioned all the tools and services that I use and recommend.
Also if you open the all products list, you can see all the products that I promote as an affiliate and the best thing about that list is that I’m sorting that list based on my total earnings.
So you can see that list and find out which products are selling the most and making me more money.
By the way, apart from those digital devices I always use a notebook that is always beside me even when I sleep to take notes or write ideas.
I also use stick notes for the important stuff. I don’t like note-taking on digital devices yet.
I still prefer a plain notebook where I can write with a pen or pencil. It also helps with remembering what I write and that is scientifically proven by the way.
Can You Share Some Email Marketing Tips?
I’m not that great with email marketing yet because I haven’t utilized it much but I have had more success than many others who tried email marketing. So I’ll share what I did right.
When I started email marketing or collecting email leads, I wasn’t just collecting emails as many people do in the beginning. It was always a bigger plan for me. I always like to plan ahead and I did the same in this case as well.
Even though I wasn’t sending emails very often, and I still don’t. I’ve tagged and segmented each user since the beginning which is very very useful when it comes to marketing or sales.
I know exactly who is suitable for what and I only send those emails to them. So basically what I’m saying is, not all my subscribers are getting the same emails.
I customize them for each type of user and make them very relevant or appealing for the user. I also collect their first name to further make it more compelling and I use their name to make it feel like it’s just for the user and no one else.
I personalize the emails as much as possible and I never send irrelevant emails to them who don’t like it or have selected to opt-out of them.
There’s a page on my website where people can update their details such as name, language, etc. They can also select the type of emails they want to receive and category wise.
So if you don’t want me to send you, affiliate marketing tips, or WordPress tips, just uncheck those boxes and you’ll never get those emails unless you check them again.
To conclude, my email list is for my users’ benefits first and I also get a few benefits along the way. But I’ll always work with the user-first approach. That’s the thing I’m doing differently.
Which Books Do You Recommend For Bloggers & Marketers?
However, please don’t limit yourself with the number of books recommended. Make it a habit and you’ll love the changes these books can bring in your life.
And as I said, there are thousands of books that you should read and there’ll be always something to read.
I’m thinking of starting a book club page soon where I would recommend books that I read and for now you can start with the suggestions above and make sure to follow me to get more book recommendations.
Which Affiliate Products You Are Promoting Mostly?
Again, to find out the product that I promote as an affiliate, you can visit the BloggerSelf resources page and you’ll find everything there.
The complete list is available as a table and it’s sorted based on my earnings. You can find the link to that page as well form my resources page.
Black Friday is nearby, So can you share some of your Black Friday strategies?
There are so many things that you can do but I’ll share some basic strategies here and later I’m going to make a detailed video on my YouTube channel based on this year’s performance.
Okay, based on my last year’s experience I would highly recommend you prepare for it months before.
I spent more than 8 months as of now and I’ve created a separate website just for Black Friday. It’s an event blog that I created but I don’t wanna talk about it publically.
So the thing is, you should be working on it months before the real event. Last year, I hadn’t done anything in advance so I only created a single Black Friday WordPress Deals page and made money out of that.
Although I made enough money through that page, I could have made much more if I was prepared.
Apart from that, be ready to offer more value to your visitors because almost everyone will be competing to get the sale and will offer something extra.
I’ll just say good luck to everyone as of now and let’s see how this year performs for all of us.
By the way, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to learn about the result of this year’s strategies and plans.
You Are Creating a lot of content on social media, can you share some social media marketing tips?
I am not following any specific strategy on social media.
I’m just focused on being available there every day and I’m reminding my followers about me and my work. Social media is just marketing for me. I’m not taking it seriously yet.
In fact, I don’t like social media at all and it is being managed by my partner. I did it in the beginning and sometimes I still post something but mostly I no longer use social media.
Anything that you see on my social media profiles is the work of my team. Mostly!
You are also producing some podcasts, can you tell us which platform are you using to host your podcasts along with some podcasting tips?
I’m using Anchor to host all my podcasts, currently, I have 2 podcasts but I’ve some more ideas as well which will be launched as soon as possible.
I’m also new to the podcast so the only tip that I have is to keep experimenting and keep your audio quality as much as possible and make it as good as possible.
Think it like YouTube but only audio. Treat it like that and everything would be great.
And please make sure to submit your podcast everywhere possible. There are too many platforms out there but it is important to be available on all those platforms if you don’t want to miss your audience.
You can also embed your podcasts to your blog or website using plugins like Fusebox if you want.
How to promote affiliate products on YouTube?
You can share your affiliate links in the description and also talk about it in the video if possible and also use a visual for the link if possible. That will maximize the impact.
And the videos that would work the best to sell affiliate products would be demo videos, tutorials, how-to videos, reviews, and comparison.
So make those type of videos and generate a lot of sales.
You can also make “top” videos. Like for example, “Top 10 Web Hosting That Provides The Best Experience”.
What are your thoughts on my blog Blogging Ray? Can you share some suggestions?
It is a great blog and I went through it recently. For a start, the design is very basic but could be improved in the future and the contents are good enough already.
Maybe focus on some marketing and design and the rest would be okay.
Everyone figures out things while working on them and I’m sure you’ll too. There’s no hurry though. Just keep learning and improving.
Can you share some tips to get affiliate sales?
As I said in the previous answers, it’s all about trust and placing the link at the right spot. You can make videos, blog posts, social media posts, etc. and that should work pretty well.
Just make sure you are focused on building authority and your videos are based on buying keywords or intention.
Learn about sales, it’s not difficult but it requires a lot of practice and experience. So be patient and keep learning and trying different things.
Be honest, and recommend the products that you have used and trust if you want to be on this game for a lifetime. Do not ever lie or promote something terrible just for money.
I’ve seen people doing that a lot and that doesn’t last very long. And patience is the most important thing. So please be patient and keep learning and trying, it won’t happen within a few days but it will happen in the future.
Can you share some tips to get ShareASale account approval?
A lot of people were asking this to me so I had a chat with someone working on ShareAsale.
She said that they are not only looking at the numbers but also how the person is promoting or presenting other brands or their own brands and business.
Surprisingly, she said that most of the applicants are so casual and take nothing seriously, which is terrible for brands so they reject them without thinking much.
The thing is, they look at your brand presence and how you are doing your work. Plus, they judge based on the information available if you can bring enough sales or not.
Even if you have 20M followers but do not understand the business world then you won’t get approved.
They need proof that you can bring a consistent amount of sales each month. And they judge it based on your online presence and the submitted details.
Google Adsense VS Affiliate Marketing, What are your thoughts on it?
If I’ll have only one choice then I’ll choose Affiliate marketing any day. But that doesn’t mean Google Adsense is bad. Both are great in their own ways and suited for different types of people and niche.
For example, a news website can make more with Google Adsense than affiliate marketing and a web hosting blog will make more with affiliate marketing than Google Adsense.
It really depends on you.
You can use both but I prefer affiliate marketing over Google Adsense because of my niche. And now I don’t use Adsense on my blog at all.
However, I have enabled monetization on my YouTube channel which is still making me money via Google Adsense while I also promote my affiliate products on YouTube.
So a combination is always good but if you have to choose one then consider your niche and profitability and choose the one which would make more sense for you or your business.
What are the best platforms to build a personal brand? Can you share some personal branding tips?
To build a personal brand, you don’t need a platform to be honest. It can be done offline too. But if you are talking about online presence then you can choose any famous platforms or even your own blog or website to do it.
However, I highly recommend being present on Twitter at least if you are building your personal brand online.
The rest of the platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc. are also important but not necessary. But it’s always better and safe to have a presence in multiple platforms, so if you can manage then at least have 2-3 social media accounts along with your website.
In the end, it’s all about you. So even if you are not on any online platforms, you can still make your personal brand because it’s simply you. I want you to remember that.
Can you share some tips to get brand deals?
Usually, it starts to happen automatically when you create a noticeable presence on the internet or even offline in your particular niche or industry.
Simply don’t forget to provide or include the ways they can contact you.
For example, in my case, I get emails on my business email or DM on Twitter/Instagram. That’s the major source of brand deals for me.
However, if you believe you can add value to a brand or provide them several leads and sales then you contact them as well for the deals you need. But most of the time you won’t need to do that because you’ll already receive the deals from them if you are good enough.
Make sure not to ask for deals where you can’t return the benefit to the brand. That will lock you away forever for multiple brands because they are managed by agencies that work for multiple brands.
So one bad deal means “see you never” from dozens of other brands.
Where can we find you?
I’m just one Google away whenever you want to find me. Just search “Bishnu Mahali” on Google and you’ll see all my works, websites, social media, etc.
Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to connect with you guys. Looking forward to a healthy and productive chat!
I hope this interview of Bishnu Mahali will help you to excel your blogging and digital marketing skills.
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