Jerry Low is the founder of WebRevenue, a content marketing company based on Singapore. He runs some popular websites like Web Hosting Secret Revealed, HostScore, and Build This.
He has been building websites since 2004. He is one of the top bloggers in Malaysia.
1. First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got into blogging.
Thank you for having me today. Jerry Low here – a geek dad based in Malaysia and founder of the company WebRevenue.
I started blogging for fun in the beginning – I needed a place to share my Flash animations and travel photos and Blogspot offered a free platform where I could do that. That experience drew me in towards the Intricacies of web technology, so I experimented.
Dozen of blogs and varying platforms later (I tried a little of everything such as Blogspot, WordPress, ModxCMS, B2Evolution, and Joomla) I found that I had a mixed experience of success and failure.
The important thing to realize was this the majority of this was a learning experience. Yet blogging became a necessity in the mid 2000’s since Google was constantly looking for freshness and more users expected website owners to interact and communicate.
That was when I got serious with blogging and began to follow a standard process in brainstorming and writing posts. In part, my early experimentation came in handy as I had unknowingly built a foundation upon which I could develop.
Fast forward to today – I work with a small team of writers / bloggers / editors and manage several popular blogs / sites in the hosting and web development niche. I speak occasionally in local bloggers meetups and my company has been a sponsor for the local WordCamp (WordPress bloggers community) over the past three years.
2. How many blogs do you have? And how do you manage them?
I have more than a dozen blogs at the moment – some are experimental, some for business. Some are more active than others, and some are managed personally by myself.
On the web hosting and development front – I have Web Hosting Secret Revealed (WHSR), BuildThis.io, and HostScore. Technically these are not “blogs” but we constantly publish new content on these sites every week.
On a personal level – I have a not-so-active blog that records my life experience as an Internet marketer.
All my blogs and sites are powered by either WordPress or Ghost. I use AHREFS, SpyFu, as well as Answer the Public regularly for market research. My team uses Google Docs for content creation, Slack for communication, and Asana for project management.
3. How many hours do your work on your blogs every day? And how do you manage your time?
This is a little difficult to quantify since as a small business, the scope of what I do can be immense. I would say it averages out to about 10 hours each day, perhaps five days a week. Most of my time is spent on improvements, search optimization, market research, content creation, and team communication.
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 don’t outsource that much these days as I have a fixed team. Occasionally we will pass some data mining or translation work to freelancers on UpWork.
In the past, I do have experience working with freelancers from Codeable, UpWork, Fiverr, Content Runner, and People Per Hour – they are all great platforms to scout for talent and fit certain types of needs in blogging. For example, Codeable is a great place to look for real WordPress experts that can help with site development and customization. Content Runner is another great platform for that as well.
Almost every area in blogging can be outsourced – this includes programming, graphic design, writing, blog administration, video production, SEO, and social media marketing. To some bloggers, “outsourcing” is a dirty word, but I strongly disagree. Outsourcing a task does not mean that you are going to settle for poor quality. Instead, it should be the opportunity to connect with experts and other professionals around the world to expand your experience.
5. How do you promote your blogs and the latest blog posts?
For a particular blog post promotion – our efforts usually start even before the content is produced.
As the lead, I do extensive market research to ensure that we are producing in-demand, relevant content and avoid competing directly with the giants in our industry. Finding the right, profitable blog topic is vital to your blogging success – regardless if you were just starting out or an experienced blogger.
Once a piece of content is published – we run marketing campaigns on either one of Facebook, Quora, or Twitter. Jason – my outreach manager, sends out emails to people who we think would be interested in our content and runs guest posting campaigns whenever possible.
For general blog promotion, the best way is by improving it consistently (which explains why most of my time is spent on improvements and optimization). To do this, I follow a simple process:
- Dig into your web metrics – On Google Analytics – Sessions / User Acquired, Traffic Channels, and Average Time on Page are three good metrics to start with)
- Spot a winner – Look for a particular post or traffic source that outperform others
- Invest more resources (time, money, effort) on winners
6. How do you monetize your blogs?
Through affiliate marketing and on-site advertising. We are also considering a subscription model on HostScore – which might be implemented in 2H 2020.
7. Which devices and gadgets are you using now for blogging?
I am using a custom-built Windows desktop and MacBook Pro for work. I use an old iPad to read sometimes. While I understand that this is the age of mobile, I still find that I work better on larger displays, which is why my main tendency is to lean towards my desktop. For communications however, anything goes.
8. What apps, tools, or plugins do you use to make your blogging journey easier?
Operations-wise, AHREFS, Slack, and Asana are three key tools I use to plan my work and communicate with my team every day. The latter two help me more closely integrate a team that is based in different places, while AHREFS is simply invaluable for research.
On WordPress – Swift Performance, Yoast SEO, WordFence are three vital plugins that make blog setup easy. Also, I think the plugins you recommended in this post are useful and worth trying.
9. What’s your workspace setup like? If possible, share a picture of your workstation or home office.
I am based at a townhouse located in Ipoh, Malaysia. That’s my desk in the first picture and we have a small common workspace for everything else (second picture).
10. Which book are you reading now? Do you have any recommended books for bloggers?
I am currently reading The Club: How the English Premier League Became the Wildest, Richest, Most Disruptive Force in Sports and Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All – both offer great business lessons and entertainment if you enjoy reading.
I don’t read many blogging books so I am not sure what to recommend. I do, however, read about blogging and Internet marketing extensively online. I highly recommend these sites for learning purposes: Kevin Indig, Kinsta, as well as CMI Blog.
11. What’s the best blogging advice you have ever received?
12. What do you do when you are not blogging?
I enjoy playing basketball, Muay Thai, and reading during my free time.
Do You Have Any Questions?
Now it’s your turn.
If you have any questions to Jerry, feel free to comment here.
Jerry would be happy to answer your questions.
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