In today’s interview session, we have Santanu Debnath, a Software Professional and the owner of BloggingGyaan and other amazing blogs where he shares informative articles about affiliate marketing, SEO & blogging tips along with hosting tutorials.
Interview with Santanu Debnath
Let’s get started and take a sneak-peak into Santanu’s mind to find out his success story. Find out if he shares some tips and tactics about blogging and affiliate marketing. Don’t skip and read through this interview to learn more about how to get started with passive earning through affiliate marketing and if you can choose it as a full time earning method.
#1 Hi Santanu, welcome to OnlyLoudest, can you please introduce yourself to our audience?
Thank you buddy for inviting me to your amazing blog. I have been a big follower of your blog for a long time.
Hello friends, This is Santanu Debnath. I am a software engineer by profession, but started blogging as a hobby back in 2009-2010 and still continuing the same. I have created various blogs and failed in most cases. You might find my popular blog BloggingJOY everywhere, but right now I am working on re-branding my blog to BloggingGyaan.com. The purpose is to share only blogging tips & affiliate marketing related articles which will help beginners.
Besides that, I also run another web hosting niche website HostingBrowse.com, where I mostly share reviews, comparisons, tutorials related to popular hosting providers. In short, I am a part-time blogger and able to create a passive income source from blogging besides my full-time job.
#2. Just a quick flashback to your initial blogging days when you used to be a complete newbie, what was your motive to enter into Blogging? Please describe the starting phase of your career.
Honestly, I started blogging to make extra income online. Back in 2009-2010 after coming back to the office & on weekends, I used to surf the internet for “Make Money Online Options” in my free time. This way I discovered the Google AdSense program and blogging.
I started searching for more and gradually discovered a few of the amazing blogs of the internet like BloggingCage, BloggersPassion, ShoutMeLoud etc. I started learning a lot and gradually started working on the Blogger platform.
But due to lack of time, I mostly spend my time reading their blogs rather than implementing much. This continued till 2012-13 when I moved from Blogger To WordPress. From that time I started earning some money (not much) using Google AdSense.
But again, due to other priorities and office work, I hardly give importance to blogging till 2018. That time I met a few of my good blogging friends Sumit Sao, Saurabh Tiwari, Santhosh Gairola and many more. That time I took blogging seriously and started a blog BloggingJOY. From time to till now, I found good success via affiliate marketing. This year I decided to re-branded my main blog so that I can share meaningful content with Indian audiences.
#3. After how much time did you get your first earning from blogging and what was the actual amount you received. if you don’t mind telling our readers?
As I have mentioned, I have created my first blog on the blogger platform in 2010 only and at that time I got Google AdSense approval with a blogspot.com address itself. It was very easy at that time. But I was not aware much about traffic, SEO and content writing etc. And honestly, not that serious also as it was my hobby only. It took quite some time for me to make my first $100 from Google AdSense.
I think it was in 2012 only when I moved from blogger to WordPress and started a multi-niche website. That time I started making $500-$600/mo from that blog by writing on various topics. That time, due to low competition you can rank almost anything. But after 10 months that blog got hit by a Google algorithm update and I lost that website. I hardly got time to get that blog back due to the time issue.
#4. What is your day-to-day work routine? What is something that you BloggingGyaan do the best?
My weekdays are completely occupied with my regular office work and other priorities. Hardly I get any time in the early morning & after 10 PM at night. I mostly work on my blogs on weekends. That’s why my weekends are always very special to me and I plan in such a way that I can create enough content for the entire week.
With my blog BloggingGyaan.com, I want to create a platform where every blogger can easily find every basic information about blogging. I am creating content gradually with all tutorials and blogging tips so that beginners can find genuine information one after another. I also run a Facebook Group by the same name where almost 30,000 members are engaged to share knowledge & help each other to grow together.
#5. As we all know that you are a part-time blogger, please tell our readers about your Job and how you manage to blog with the job?
Well, I am like any other IT professional in our country. I love coding and that’s why I enjoy my work a lot. As I have mentioned, I mostly utilize my free time after my work in blogging. I don’t spend much time watching TV or hanging out with friends.
I love to spend time on my laptop in my free time. I read a lot and that encourages me to write a lot. Writing is like meditation for me. Whenever I feel too stressed, I try to read something and also write something on my blogs or other platforms.
I believe whatever we do in our lives to earn money, we always get enough time to follow our passion. It could be anything from sports to blogging. As I enjoy each and every moment of my blogging life, I am able to find enough time for that also.
#6. Have you ever thought about blogging full time? Please share your opinion.
Blogging full-time looks very cheesy according to me. Honestly, I also got fascinated many times when I saw people quit their jobs and become full-time bloggers. But I don’t think that is an easy path. Because blogging is a very monotonous life and it will be very much isolated also. I am happy with the kind of time I am giving to blogging and the return I am giving. Besides that, I also love my profession and growing here also.
I believe in our country, one should not quit their jobs if they have good career potential. JOB is not only for making money, it has its other benefits also like networking, your social life and many more. Even if you make huge money from blogging, I think one can do that part-time also or you can hire some freelancers to manage. But if you are making even more from blogging and there is less growth in JOB then you can think about that path. But again, I would say, it’s the individual’s decision to quit to continue both together. Always be ready with your PLAN B.
#7. I personally believe that hard work and Patience are the success path for blogging. What do you think about it? What are you saying to newbies who are just struggling in Blogging?
Of Course, blogging is no longer fun. It’s a real business now and that’s why the competition is next level. You just can’t come and spend a few months wondering. Even after spending a huge time year after year, people are not able to make money from their blogs. There are a lot of things to learn and implement.
I found beginners have very little patience and they are mostly looking for shortcuts. Everywhere I can see these days how many beginners are making huge money in quick times from blogging. I am not saying that is not true, but that is not happening with everyone. There are many expert bloggers who have great skills to understand & implement various tricks quickly. But for most of us, you have to learn things and apply and have faith in that system.
You can’t be a blogger overnight and even if you are a successful blogger that doesn’t mean you will make a high income every month. You have to put your efforts all the time to make money from your blog.
#8. What was the main motive behind starting BloggingGyaan.com and what is its main revenue source?
I started this blog to share my blogging tips, affiliate marketing guides and various other educational content. I also have a YouTube channel in HINDI with the same name. From both platforms, I target various web hosting affiliate programs, WordPress themes & Plugins. My main source of income is affiliate marketing only.
#9. Please share some of your success mantras for Affiliate marketing?
There are many awesome affiliate marketing tips already shared by experts. From all of them, I learned one thing that you have to rank your articles on the #1 spot in Google for buyer search keywords so that you can maximize conversion from your articles. Without organic traffic, you can’t make much money from affiliate marketing.
#10. It is said that content is the king, but we can not forget the promotion part. So what according to you are the best ways to increase website traffic?
Yes, the content will always be the king. If the content is not awesome then even if you promote people will ignore or not engage with that content. And after creating an awesome piece of content, one can do blog commenting, Facebook Group share, answer in Quora etc. Many ways to get free traffic to the blog.
#11. This is the most asked question: – How can we get initial traffic to our brand new blog? Please share your views with our readers and newbies.
That’s what I have mentioned just now. As a new blogger, you should start commenting on similar niche blogs. Join similar niche Facebook Groups and other social media groups and start sharing your post.
You can mention top bloggers of your niche in your article and reach out to them. Then they will share your article on their social platforms and your website will get many new audiences. This is one of my favourite techniques to drive traffic to a new blog.
#12. Apart from BloggingGyaan.com what are your other blogs and please share what revenue models you use to monetize them?
Due to the time crunch, I found it very difficult to manage multiple blogs and that’s why in the last few years I discontinued many of my blogs. Right now besides my main blog, I am working on HostingBrowse.com where I share articles related to web hosting tutorials, reviews, comparison & various black Friday deals.
I have a few YouTube channels also, but I am not able to work on them actively. It’s not possible to do many things as a part-time blogger. But still, I always try to produce content on all platforms and update old blogs posts to make my content helpful. My main revenue model is from affiliate marketing only.
#13. Do you still believe in profile creation, social bookmarking, blog commenting, and all? What are your favourite off-page activities?
Yes, I always work on these backlink methods. For new blogs, these are good ways to get quick backlinks. But as your blog grows, you have to create backlinks by writing guest posts and the best way is to get natural backlinks.
If you can write on some trending topics and rank such articles on Google then you may start getting natural backlinks from other sites easily. I need to work on that method to make this link building process worthwhile.
#14. What do you think is the right time to start a blog?
I don’t think there is such time. Already millions of blogs are hitting daily, so no such time. If you want to start a blog then that is the right time to start a blog.
#15. Is blogging dead? Nowadays people prefer video content over text-based content? What are your thoughts about it?
Blogging is not dead. Still, many people are reading text-based content or I would say many categories are still good for text-based content. But there is no doubt that the demand for video is very high.
People want quick information, want to want something interesting and that’s why videos are very popular. If you can create videos then you can easily repurpose the same content in your blog as well as on your YouTube channel and drive traffic. And to rank a video you don’t need to create a backlink also.:)
#16. What was your biggest mistake in the Blogging journey?
Well, there are plenty of blogging mistakes. Let me share a few of them
- I never took blogging seriously in my early days of blogging career. And that’s why I didn’t invest much and continued with the free staff only. That’s the biggest mistake I would say as people should consider blogging like a business and give enough time & money to try before they quit.
- I never made friends in blogging till 2018. You need friends to grow, to get motivated and learn many things. One should make friends, not to get backlinks only. But there are other benefits also which will always keep you uplift to become a better blogger day by day. So always try to like-minded people.
- Another mistake I made many years ago is working on a multi-niche blog. As I mentioned above, back in 2012-13 it was very easy to rank articles due to less competition and quite a simpler Google algorithm. So at that time my multi-niche blog worked very well. But gradually with various Google updates I was never able to get that blog back. And gradually after spending many years I realized that one should work on a focus niche and then grow gradually. Nowadays even a micro niche blog is far better.
#17. How do you collect the ideas to write on your blog?
For my blog BloggingGyaan, I always look for topics that can help bloggers. I don’t bother much about keyword competition and other factors, rather I focus on what problems bloggers’ are facing and I try to share my point of view.
Other than that, for my affiliate websites, I always look for question-related topics, low competition search terms, special buyer intent keywords. As those kinds of topics only convert best to make a good amount of money.
#18. How much time do you take from searching a blog topic to publishing it on your blog? Please share your complete procedure.
Well, there is no fixed time for that and it always depends upon what kind of topic I am writing about. E.g. in my main blog BloggingGyaan.com when I write an article I put a lot of effort so that I can make that very easy to understand and in complete detail. For that, I took enough time to collect various points to cover that article and the structure the same. Structuring is very important as after that I just need to fill up the points with various examples & explanations.
Besides that, when I write affiliate or list-based articles that take a little less time as I am quite comfortable in writing such articles fast. To find the topics, I always look for what problem people are facing and whether enough solutions are provided or not. That’s the best topic to write a blog post for me.
#19. What are the common mistakes that new bloggers make?
I think whatever I have mentioned in my question is very common nowadays also. Besides that nowadays people think they can easily start a blog and make money like other successful bloggers are doing in a very short period of time. That’s the biggest mistake as they come with a wrong expectation and then gradually start feeling the heat of blogging. Just have a clear mindset and be ready to give enough time in case you want to get success in blogging.
#20. What are your suggestions for all the newbies out there?
In 2021, I would like to say that as a newbie one must start with a blog as well as a YouTube channel. The demand for videos is very high and you can easily get a good amount of traffic creating videos. In case you don’t want to try videos, then you must find a good niche where competition is very low.
It is actually very hard to get a niche where competition is very low and the reason is obvious. Getting success in blogging will take some time as you have to upskill yourself and then implement them smartly. Patience is the key and at the same time, you have to work hard on your blog SEO, content and many other factors.
#21. What’s your suggestion for my blog? (If any)
As I have mentioned earlier also, I have been aware of your blog for a long time. Your contents are very useful and you are covering various useful categories. I am really happy to be a part of your interview series. Thanks for considering me.
#22. What do you think about the “Scope of Blogging in 2022”?
I believe the scope will always be there, but the way of blogging has changed and it will change further. One must understand what readers are looking for, how exactly search engines value various websites and accordingly pick the niche & plan content.
Thank you, Shantanu for sharing your views and such amazing thoughts with us. It was amazing to have you here and we appreciate the time you put in this interview.
That’s all for today. Hope you enjoyed the interview and were able to take away great ideas from here. We’ll be back soon with a new entrepreneur to share their ideas and their success story with you. Don’t forget to tune back in.