Adam Connell is the founder of Blogging Wizard, WP Superstars, Funnel Overload, and some other exciting blogs. He helps bloggers and entrepreneurs to grow their sites and reach more people online.
Adam has been building websites since he was 12 years old. He launched his first website for his non-profit record level. In 2012, he launched Blogging Wizard. Now he is one of the top bloggers of UK.
1. First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got into blogging.
Hey folks, Adam here.
I specialise in content marketing, and I have a strong background in SEO. Before I became a full-time blogger I was the operations at a marketing agency here in the UK.
But, how I started blogging probably isn’t what you might expect. I never set out with the intention of blogging.
I started building websites in HTML when I was 12 years old. I didn’t launch any of those websites, but I picked up some skills in Dreamweaver. When I was at college, I decided to launch an online record label to promote music my friends and I were producing. It was initially a regular label before we converted it to a “netlabel” and released all music for free.
So, I began building a website in Dreamweaver and launched the site. As time went on, I developed several other iterations of the website. It was a lengthy process, and so was the process of updating the website.
I needed something easier so I searched for content management systems and found WordPress. I quickly rebuilt and relaunched the website with WordPress.
Since the platform was great for sharing blog post, I started publishing notifications about new releases in the form of blog posts.
Fast forward to today and despite closing the label years ago, our releases racked up millions of downloads. While I never made any money from the label, it taught me what was possible with a blog. And is probably one of the main reasons I got into digital marketing.
2. How many blogs do you have? And how do you manage them?
I have 5 blogs at the moment, including my new guitar blog called Tone Island. Some are more active than others.
For example, I rarely publish on my personal blog as I’m more focused on my other blogs like Blogging Wizard.
But, still, that’s quite a few blogs to juggle. I do this with the help of my girlfriend, Nicola, who is my editor and social media manager. As well as some great freelance writers like David Hartshorne and Colin Newcomer, and sometimes guest contributors.
I also outsource all of my graphic design work because, well, I’m a terrible graphic designer. In the early days I’d spend over an hour designing a single image that looked pretty bad. Now, I just spend 2 minutes writing a quick brief and send it over to my DesignPickle designer. I get some great images back the next day.
In terms of staying organised, I have two main things for each website:
- Master “site management” spreadsheet in Google Docs – this is where I’ll keep track of logins, priority keywords, post ideas, etc.
- Task management dashboard in Plutio – this houses my editorial calendar, so I have something setup in a similar to how Trello works. I have different lists like “In progress”, “With writer”, “With Editor”, “Scheduled”, etc. And then I add cards for each post and move them between the different lists so we know exactly what’s going on.
I could manage editorial from my site management spreadsheets in Google Docs but I like having the ability to drag content and arrange them on Trello style boards.
3. How many hours do your work on your blogs every day? And how do you manage your time?
Good question. It’s not actually something I think much about.
Generally, I’ll block out different days of the week for essential tasks for each project, such as publishing content. On some blogs, we’ll publish more often. Blogging Wizard is weekly at the moment (but sometimes that changes), whereas my personal blog will be moreso when inspiration strikes.
When it comes to managing my time, I have a default calendar each week. So, Monday is mainly admin tasks, another day will be allocated to publishing & promoting content on Blogging Wizard, other time blocks will be for whatever my priority task is that week.
I like to gear things around the “one big thing” type of concept, so most of my time in a week is focused on one thing. That could be content writing, content promotion, or product planning/creation, or something else.
4. Do you outsource any blogging tasks? If yes, share with us some details like from where and what type of tasks you outsource.
I outsource a bunch of different tasks. Some editorial tasks like proofreading, adding posts to WordPress, and social media management is handled by my girlfriend, Nicola.
Then, I’ll outsource some content creation and design work.
Over the years I’ve experimented with outsourcing to help with content repurposing. So, I occasionally use a designer on PeoplePerHour to turn blog posts into infographics and Slideshare presentations.
And the logo designs for all of my sites are outsourced too.
Initially I avoided outsourcing anything, but eventually it became aparent that if I wanted to scale my blog, I’d have to find some way to free up my time and outsourcing is an easy way to do it.
5. How do you promote your blogs and latest blog posts?
Over the years, I’ve developed a step-by-step promotional checklist that I use whenever I publish a new post.
It’s designed in a way that keeps me focused and able to get initial promotional work done. The checklist is broken down into several section. Here are some examples of what it includes:
Getting everything prepped for promotion such as:
- Writing multiple headlines.
- Preparing social media messages.
- Finding Twitter accounts of everyone mentioned in the post.
Typical content promotion tactics such as:
- Email article to subscribers.
- Share to social networks.
- Submit to Quuu Promote, Zest.is, Triberr, etc.
Tactics to get more mileage out of the content by repurposing it:
- Creating Slideshare presentations.
- Creating infographics.
- Republishing to Medium, and other platforms.
Additional tactics such as:
- Supporting with guest posts on other sites.
- Social media outreach to those mentioned in the post.
- Email outreach to those mentioned in the post.
- Additional email outreach.
6. How do you monetize your blogs?
Mostly through affiliate marketing and advertising. On WP Superstars, we’ve published sponsored content too which has gone down well (we don’t do it often though).
I’m in the process of working on some courses and other products.
7. Which devices and gadgets are you using now for blogging?
I prefer to work on iMac if I’m at home (or office). Or MacBook Pro if I’m working elsewhere.
I’ll sometimes use my phone for checking analytics/data (social media, Google Analytics, etc). But, I prefer to work on a desktop computer when possible.
8. What apps, tools, or plugins do you use to make your blogging journey easier?
I use a lot of different apps, tools, and plugins.
Here are a few of the main ones:
- Plutio – task management.
- Google Drive and Dropbox – file storage.
- Google Docs – writing, making spreadsheets, and presentations (the collaboration functionality and deep integration with Google Drive are incredibly useful).
- Sendible – all of my social media management is handled within this tool. I used to use Buffer for scheduling, and a bunch of other tools. Now I just use this for everything. The team and task management features are great, and the social scheduling is extremely powerful. The most robust and full-featured social media tools I’ve tried so far.
- Ahrefs – my go-to tool for most marketing research, competitor analysis, backlink checking, rank tracking etc. One of the reasons I love this tool is how much they listen to their users and how they keep cranking out new features.
- ConvertKit – the perfect email marketing provider for bloggers. The interface is slick!
There are plenty other tools and plugins that I use frequently, but these ones in particular, I consider “top-level” tools for my business.
9. What’s your workspace setup like? If possible, share a picture of your workstation or home office.
As I write this I’m working at my home office that I also use for music production. Here’s a photo:
10. What’s the best blogging advice you have ever received?
Wow, difficult question. There’s been a lot over the years.
But, there’s one particular piece of advice that has always stuck with me about writing headlines.
I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the best advice I’ve ever received, but everytime I write a headline, this piece of advice pops up in the back of my mind.