“You need three things to create a successful startup: To start with good people, To make something customers actually want and To spend as little money as possible.”
― Paul Graham
This entire article is dedicated to a Passionate Startup Founder, Pradeep Kumar who is the CEO and Founder of Slashsquare. Pradeep started Slashsquare network to bridge the gap between all his blogs and provide services which he is capable of. Blogging has a strong hold on his mind since his college days and he went on achieving this. He’s also the founder and editor at Device Bar and Movies Drop.
He is a Blogger, Internet Marketer, Striving Entrepreneur, Atheist and a Proud Indian. He loves to hang out with friends: addicted to movies and music; wannabe photographer; tech lover and pretty much living an Internet powered life. He completed his studies from SMK Forma Institute of Technology, Chennai. Hell Bound Bloggers (HBB) is an Internet Web Magazine covering topics like Social Media, Blogging, WordPress, Internet and Technology. They are powered by hundreds of posts contributed by eminent bloggers and techies from all over the world. HellBound Bloggers (HBB) is a part of Slashsquare Media Private Limited.
Let’s discover this hell of a personality down below:
1- So how did your blogging journey started ? When did blogging captivate your mind, making you fall in love with it?
I started my first blog during my School days. It was not something I planned and did. It interested me all of a sudden. It appeared quite cool to me when I realized that I have a platform to write something and share with others. Slowly I understood that it is more than writing something and publishing. I have a platform to share quality information with people from all over the world who read my blog posts. And that was the time from where I started taking blogging seriously.
2 – Tell us about Slashsquare and HBB? When and how did you start them?
Slashsquare is my company and I started it during my college days. Being an Indian Blog Network, it’s also a Web Consulting Media platform. HellBound Bloggers (HBB) and HBB Forum are a part of the blog network. HBB is my first official blog. I randomly created it because I just wanted to have my own blog. Thereafter, I realized that I couldn’t write on all the topics I love, under HBB alone so I wanted to have another blog. I started a blog called ”moviesdrop.com“, a blog purely dedicated to every stuff related to movies. Thereafter, I decided to form a network of Indian blogs and therefore, I launched Slashsquare.
3 – What are the total number of blogs you have written till date? What are your Weekly/Monthly targets that you keep up with?
I don’t have a particular count at the moment, but at present, while I’m typing this, I’m sure I would have written more than 1000 articles for Slashsquare blog network and other sources. I don’t set any weekly or monthly targets but I have two sets: 1) The topics I love and 2) The topics which are trending/popular. I’ll focus on both and brainstorm the strategies to get more traffic.
4 – As a successful blogger, what are the major areas wherein a blogger should always focus to bring in the maximum traffic?
There are several ways to get traffic, but the actual question, is it Relevant? Good quality? Targeted? I would suggest them to focus on two sources: SEO and Social Media. For SEO, you need to build your website with quality content, back links, and enough authority. Once you become an established or standard website, you can easily rank on Google and get substantial traffic. This is the permanent and most reliable one. Apart from this, you can write articles for Social Media, yes, writing exclusively for them. If you take a look at Facebook or Twitter, it’s a great platform, but if you are going to write an article like “20+ Best Android Battery Tips” and share that on Social Media, I’m not sure how many folks will care to click on that and read. Whereas, if you tweak that a little bit and make that as “Here is a simple trick to boost your Android battery life,” then trust me, your traffic will be at least doubled or even tripled. It’s all about experiments and reaches. Increase your friends, followers and social media (online) circle.
5 – We usually come through articles delivering a large number of ideas for successful blogging. What’s your funda of success that helped you set such high standards in this field?
The term ‘success’ is pretty complicated in blogging field, I don’t know how I should describe my progress in this area. Is this because of a regular income per month, is it because of the authority, is it because of the social circle or is it because of this interview? The only success I can think of is ‘satisfaction,’ if you are happy with what you are doing, if you are comfortable with the results, then I guess you are a successful person.
6 – What are the key themes and services/tools that you use in your blogs? Why do you prefer them over others?
I use tools majorly for Social Media and SEO. For Social Media, I use Buffer, Tweetbot, and Bitly. For SEO, I use all the Google tools, Ah Refs, SEMrush and Moz Pro. I don’t use all of them regularly, I just use some of them whenever necessary. All these are very good, but they are too expensive for moderate users, so you can sign up for a trial version and see if you really find them beneficial.
7 – When you started, what were the marketing / promotion / branding strategies followed to uplift your works and reach out to the larger audiences? Any new ideas/tricks that you would like to share with us?
I would like to go back, like, go back to the Orkut days. I remember starting a community called “Help With PCs” (I didn’t even have a PC back then) on Orkut and started a blog around it. So I was mostly updating about USB Tricks, Pen drives, Web cams etc. I was very childish back then. I didn’t have a PC, yet I browsed everything online and gave them solutions. I slowly realized, this is what a community is about, even if you don’t know the answer, you shouldn’t give up, you need to make them happy and satisfied. After a few months, Facebook happened and rest is history. I created a group for HBB on Facebook; I didn’t add anyone because I always thought I’m not ready for this. But slowly my friends gave request and they supported me by asking questions etc. We had ten members, then 100, after a while it was 1000, now we have like 10k+ members. I don’t know, if I can say this is a marketing or promotion or even branding strategy, but this is community power which helped me to network with 10k+ folks who are aware of HBB – HellBound Bloggers.
8 – What are the most efficient monetization methods you found out and have used till now?
There are three effective methods which worked for us; they are AdSense, Affiliates, and Sponsored Posts. Google AdSense is not for everyone, we get plenty of queries related to these, they keep on asking how to get AdSense approval and stuff, but man, without traffic you can’t do anything with your AdSense account, you just have to refresh the page again and again without any change. Affiliates (or Affiliate Marketing) is good, but you need targeted traffic for this. If you are writing about “10 Best Travel Accessories” and if you are getting good organic traffic, then you can easily convert them into sales. Last but not least, we have the “Sponsored Posts” method. So your advertiser won’t actually see your brand value or traffic much, if he/she needs a backlink from your website, then they see your site’s authority (in the form of DA, a score out of 100). If it’s good enough, then you can make some enough money out of it. When I said ‘Sponsored,’ people often think it’s a biased post, but, nope, it’s just a post for which we are getting paid, nothing else, nothing changes.
9 – Tell us about your struggles in this journey so far? What were the lessons you learned?
I wouldn’t call them as ‘struggles,’ but I was honestly worried when I was a student + a blogger. It was hectic; I was not an academically excellent student, I needed to clear my arrears and stuff. But slowly I learned about time management, eliminated unwanted things in my life and tried my best to come out clean. I didn’t face that much of struggles during my blogging journey; I’m always a student in this field. I have so much to learn and share with our community.
10 – What are your future goals? What would be your message to the aspiring bloggers seeking to take their interests to higher levels?
Future goals… well, I don’t have any at the moment, but I do have some serious plans to expand Slashsquare network, planning to launch DeviceBAR forum within a few months, so I’ll start my work on this very soon. When I started Blogging, I never thought this will be such a huge platform right now. People search for almost anything online, and we have to make sure that we provide quality reliable information. So my only message to aspiring bloggers is, don’t underrate this platform, you can do this as a business and make money, but don’t make it a mess.
His Social Media Handles !
Facebook and HBB https://www.facebook.com/hellboundblog/posts/298621860218358