Interview with Inspiring Blogger Pradeep Kumar: Founder Slashsquare & HBB
Last week, we did interview with Harsh Agrawal, one of most popular and inspiring blogger from India. In today’s interview series, we have one more inspiring and young problogger from India. Let me introduce you to S. Pradeep Kumar. He is the founder of Slashsquare network.
Pradeep Kumar is very popular in blogging community for his famous blog HellBoundBloggers.com (HBB). HBB is part of Slashshare network along with some other blogs that Pradeep owns.
If you are new to blogging or want to do well with your blog, you must read Pradeep’s interview, one of most promising blogger from India. Lets start the interview with Pradeep.
1. Pradeep First of all Thanks a lot for accepting my interview request. As a formality please tell us a bit about you and your blogs?
Pradeep: Hi all! This is Pradeep Kumar, founder of Slashsquare network. I’m an Engineering Graduate, Proud Indian and Atheist. I have been blogging on HellBound Bloggers (HBB), MoviesDrop, HostLater and also on my personal blog. These are under Slashsquare network. Slashsquare is also a Web Consulting Media. I’m a fun loving guy, loves to hangout and bunks classes even for watching average movies.
2. How you get to the idea of starting HellBoundBloggers and how this domain name came to you mind?
Pradeep: I love to share information, no matter what kind of platform it is. I was just a normal school student addicted to Orkut, and I found Google’s Blogger platform a best way to share information. Then the fact I can earn money from that, made me to think further. I found the name “HellBound Bloggers” like a gang of Bloggers who are hellhound or the way the name sounds, I liked it. 😀
3. We all know lots of bloggers start their blogging journey and soon end due to various reasons. What are the things which make you so successful? You are named among the most successful bloggers from India.
Pradeep: I’m glad to be a Blogger, especially an Indian Blogger. India’s population is a big plus point and big minus point for us, just like a Facebook profile, now everyone owns a blog and then eventually competition increases. I consider myself successful because I never defined success in terms of money or good results, I considered success in terms of satisfaction.
To get satisfied you don’t need to earn, sometimes learning itself is a big satisfaction. Being satisfied is the most important thing in this world. Never consider money as a success factor, it is just a part of your blogging journey and not the main intention.
4, Which theme and web hosting service you are using on HellBoundBloggers and any specific reason for choosing them over others?
Pradeep: Theme: I’m using a customised version of Swift Themes. Swift Themes, undoubtedly, one of the best themes I have encountered, so fast and light.
Hosting: Slashsquare’s blogs are right now powered by KnownHost VPS. This is one of the best and economic web hosting services I have used, few months before we migrated to KnownHost and saved few bucks as well.
5, Please share few of the mistakes that you had made in your blogging journey so far.
Pradeep: I made several mistakes in fact. 😀 I’m also making some huge mistakes currently, but I can’t reveal them before rectifying them. Mistakes are nothing but failed experiments sometimes.
One of the biggest mistakes I did was during HBB’s “Blogger to WordPress” migration. I didn’t analyse the procedure and the drawbacks. I simply made the decision and migrated without knowing the fact it can generate hell lot of broken links and loss of subscribers. Learned some things that day, badly.
6. Do you have any bad experience to share about blogging things? Also share the most successful moment you have even in your blogging career so far.
Pradeep: I never defined such experiences as “bad”, those are just “experiences” and I learned a lot from them. Sometimes we win and sometimes we learn, both are very important. Like I said I had a very different definition for success, but still, there are some moments I felt extremely happy. A visually impaired madam called me and thanked me for this post – 10+ Special Browsers For Visually Impaired Users – I was extremely happy. That’s equal to more than 1000 times my online income.
7. How you go about promoting your latest blog posts? What are steps you take to promote any of your blog posts which you think has the potential to do big?
Pradeep: If I think I’m having a great idea for a blog post, then I’ll probably search the whole internet finding other similar topic posts. I’ll compare my blog post with them. I’ll see what’s lacking in that post and I’ll also check the comments in that post to know how the readers react to it.
Before promoting my blog posts, I’ll make sure it has an attractive post title and image. These two are very important when you are sharing something on Social Media. Also find the right time, check when most of your friends or readers are online, and share your post.
8. Pradeep you must have used lots of monetization methods on your blog. Please share few methods that you found most effective and any tip or suggestion around blog monetization.
Pradeep: HellBound Bloggers (HBB) experienced limitless monetization methods, I did various experiments on our blog and found the one suitable for us. I have no comments about Adsense as of now.
One of the easiest ways to earn bucks is sponsored/paid review. There are several brands and advertisers out there looking for reviews. Find the brands related to your niche and approach them for reviews. No matter what you do, make sure you write a review which doesn’t look like you were paid for writing that.
9. On the SEO Front, how you go about the algorithmic changes Google is doing these days. What kind of changes you are expecting from Google in the coming days. Please share few tips other bloggers should be using to keep their blogs safe from Google Animals.
Pradeep: Google is doing a great work by cleaning the web, they are removing unwanted piece of chunk. But the problem is, it’s not done by Government or any Non-Profit Organisation, it is done by Google.. they are like the owners of the internet right now. Probably if they own Facebook, then I would say, they are indeed the owners of the web.
Google is very clear with its updates. Don’t cheat, don’t use blackhat SEO, don’t produce cheap content, and don’t SPAM. If you are following the basic stuffs of running a quality blog, then you don’t need to be afraid of them.. at least not fully.
10. Please share few of your favourite blogs that you use to visit quite often to read their latest blog posts?
Pradeep: I have a very big list of my favourite blogs, I keep on updating that list. Due to my lazy busy schedule I’m not really able to track them properly these days. I use apps like Flipboard to track popular blogs. I use Feedly to add my favourite blogs.
11. According to you, which is the best way to build quality backlink to a website keeping in mind the kind of updates Google is doing these days?
Pradeep: As usual, “Guest Blogging” is evergreen. The other interesting way to build back links is to create “Infographics” and make them viral. By this, other fellow bloggers in your niche will use them on their blogs and give a proper back link. If you are a developer, you can also create plugins and themes to generate enough back links.
12. How you go about picking the topic for next blog post? Do you used to do some keyword research before making decision about a topic?
Pradeep: Mostly we’ll work on trending topics, as it is both informative and hot. But to be honest, bloggers should have more pillar posts to make their blog resourceful. Pillar posts?! They are nothing but a list post or rather like “20+ Resources to download free fonts” or “20+ Useful Sites..” or “30+ Tips To..”. They are handy and useful to several readers.
13. Please share few tips novice bloggers can use to drive targeted traffic to their blogs?
Pradeep: Bloggers should analyse their target audience first. It’s very essential and it’s more like teachers knowing the names and characters of the students present in their class. Find out why they need you, or more like what they need from you. Give that to them 100%. Congrats now you have converted your visitors to loyal readers.
14. Are you using any free or paid SEO tool, plugin or add on to help you with SEO things? If yes, please share them and reason behind using them.
Pradeep: To be honest, I don’t really play with SEO. The only way to deal with SEO is to act natural. Understand the basics and you are safe. I prefer Yoast SEO plugin, it’s good. Apart from that, you can also try his (Yoast) SEO Audit stuffs, you could get your blog or website analysed for a fee. Worth it.
15. Please share few tips bloggers can use to build a strong community on their blogs.
Pradeep: Whenever I see this word “community” another word comes to my mind, that is “interaction”. Readers should interact with the author and other fellow readers. They should share, debate and fight with their knowledge. That makes a strong community. Give preference to comments, also try to embed some social commenting platforms like Disqus, Facebook comments and Google+ comments.
16. Pradeep please share few of your future plans. Where you want to see yourself in the next 5 years time?
Pradeep: I started with a single blog and now I have 3 blogs. I want to share information, no matter how, but being a blogger I find blogging is the best way to do it perfectly. That’s the main reason for the rise of “Slashsquare”, my blog network, so probably I’ll be starting some more blogs.
The key to run a good blog is to find people who are passionate like you. I need a team badly, and hope this year (2014) gives me that. I’ll be upgrading Slashsquare, want to take it to a new level.
17. Do you see any change in your approach towards blogging today what it was when you started?
Pradeep: Nothing much I would say, but I understood the kind of people out there, so it’s easy for me to meet their requirements.
18. Please share your message or suggestion for Bloggers Passion readers.
Pradeep: Blogging is like a sport, more like team work I would say. Many people would say know your opponent well, but you should ‘first’ also know your team. Your team matters, not your opponent.
Now is your turn. In case you have any questions for Pradeep, please use the comments section to ask your questions.