“Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.”
This line is well-suited for the self-made man, a marketer, an influencer, a blogger and an inspiring entrepreneur, Arpit Srivastava. He is marketing experts and works on providing value through his own website https://marketinglessons.in about the latest trends and marketing approaches. His blogs get remarkable 30k visits every month. What makes these stats remarkable is the fact that he is not doing any SEO works for his site and hasn’t even hired any agency for the same.
I think it’s enough for this question to strike your mind that “how has he managed to do that?” Let’s know in Arpit words:
Initially, like every newbie blogger, I started a personal blog named after my name and jotted down everything under the sun. The very soon harsh reality of the web struck me that no one else was interested in the portal except me.
However, I decided to live within over the years and kept writing once in a while. Unintendedly, the content started aggregating majorly towards 2 topics – Marketing and Technology. The portal was then renamed from my name to Technology, Management and What Not. I started to witness some traffic on a couple of articles on Marketing.
Considering that it was difficult to keep pace with tech websites with plenty of resources, I finally decided to drop technology as a category and write only on something which I was passionate about – Marketing. It led to the portal as you know today marketinglessons.in
2. What problem were you trying to solve with your writing and who is your audience? What is the USP of your blog? What you found attractive and interesting which that inspired you to continue this?
I realized that there was a stark difference between what was taught in MBA classes and how was it in the corporate world. My intent was to find synergies between the two and make content more useful for college students and first jobbers. I also found that there were many websites catering to needs of seasoned professionals into marketing and media. So my target was relatively underserved.
So currently 80% of my audience fall into 18-34 yrs old age bracket. This audience doesn’t understand the jargons of the corporate world but loves to learn via marketing examples around them. My intent to be seen as an effective trainer and influencer in this space has kept me going.
3. How much time or effort do you put in to make a post? Share your approach towards research while writing the blog?
Initially, I just used to write something which I read and found interesting (in Marketing of course) but now I have an approach where I divide my articles into different categories like – Academic, Research, Management Models etc- Notably, I do not jump into News articles which I think are fad and come and go. They might give traffic momentarily but are never there to stay for long.
A fully exhaustive article with proper research can take anywhere in between 3-4 hours and most of the times even longer. There are smaller pieces which take 2-3 hours but I prefer to keep it explanatory and long. This time also includes the time taken to fine-tune the article to meet SEO requirements.
Few of the elements I take care while I write an article:
a) Snippet Preview which gets indexed by Google
b) Choose the right Focus Keyword and repeat at the right keyword density
c) Jot down the meta descriptions as per the Focus Keyword
d) Images to get the right Alt Attributes
e) Choose a search friendly slug
Basically, I do take care of on-page optimizations to an extent but do not do any off page SEO.
4. Did you face any hurdles because you don’t have a technical background? Do you advertise your blog or did you hire an agency to popularize your blog?
I take care of the design, content, SEO and promotions single handily. It is definitely not the way to handle it if I want to see it bigger but this is how it all started and continues to do so until I find someone like minded to share the load. I have never had a technical background and most of the things learned are via various websites, video tutorials. I started from the free WordPress followed by a paid URL being mapped to the free hosted portal and into the current state the website is an independently hosted website built on WordPress.
One thing that has remained constant is that I have been on WordPress throughout and with time gained knowledge on how to manage the platform. Few ready to use templates and even a couple of paid tools helps the website to look more professional than what I could have ever developed.
I have never resorted to paid advertising to bring in traffic for the blog. I am a firm believer of organic traffic read about SEO techniques and implement them while I write articles.
The portal has seen many ups and downs form the time I moved from wordpress.com to independent hosting. There have been instances where the website has been completely down with zero traffic to a peak of 56K pageviews per month. Currently, it keeps on fluctuating between 15-20K visitors every month.
Jul 2017 – Dec 2017
With a busy schedule, I hardly get time nowadays to write. As I respond to this the last article I wrote was 1.5 months back. I know the numbers can increase exponentially provided I write regularly.
Ad revenues are not the main motive behind this. For instance, the blog exists form last 6 years but I monetized it with ads only 2 years back. Besides ad revenues, I also get a request to do sponsored (paid) content which I make sure are clearly demarcated from the regular articles.
Also, the objective much broader with marketing lessons workshops in B-Schools rather than only making money via ads.
6. I heard that you lost your entire blog and had to restart. When and how did it happen? What did you do to get back on feet again?
That was one nightmare of an incidence. This happened while I was migrating the blog from one server to another. I hosting was on windows shared server earlier. I learned that WordPress works best on Linux server and decided to move from Windows to Linux. As I had no technical background, I thought this would be an easy move but it wasn’t.
I lost database files in the migration and almost all content, Google search rankings and therefore traffic.
March 2018 has almost NIL traffic
Writing fewer articles off late turned out to be a boon as I had a backup file dated couple of months back. I used that file for getting back the content but still lost 3-4 articles in the process. Also, all media files were missing which I to re-upload the link to the articles individually. I started by building the most popular articles to the less popular ones and finally resubmitted the website for indexing.
Thought could not get back to initial levels but have recaptured 80% of the earlier levels.
With a regular job at hand, the bandwidth to dedicate on the blog had gone down. As a long-term goal, I would want to see the portal as one of the go-to pages form MBA students specializing in Marketing. As a stepping stone, I aim to write more regularly.
If I adhere to a regular schedule I do not a reason why I won’t be doubling the traffic in the next 1 year.
Think about it this way, what is that one thing that you would do even if you didn’t get paid from it for years. If its writing or creating content sit back and pick a topic which will never dose you off. Writing or blogging aside, for instance, if you think that you love dancing just because you are passionate about it, go ahead and pursue it and simultaneously create YouTube content while you do so.
If monetization is the driving factor to start something it might just die away as you might not see it coming for years.
“Success is not just what you accomplish in your life, it is about what you inspire others to do.”
All the best.
With 8 yrs of experience with leading brands in the corporate world, Arpit brings with himself marketing insights across industries – namely Consumer Durables and Media & Entertainment.
He started his career with HCL Technologies where he was a part of the Corporate Brand Team. After his stint at HCL Tech, he went on the lead Product Marketing function at Sony Electronics where he was responsible for the nationwide launch of Xperia Smartphones; including the award-winning campaign of waterproof smartphones featuring Katrina Kaif.
Currently, Arpit leads Marketing (North & East) for Entertainment Network India Ltd; better known as Radio Mirchi, and has played a pivotal role in adding 2 new brands in ENIL’s portfolio – Mirchi Love & Ishq FM.
Work apart, he loves training students and professionals in marketing. He has conducted various workshops in leading campuses in India – Amity, SRM, Thapar, NDIM, Asia Pacific etc-. Pursuing his passion for teaching, he has trained marketing professionals at HSBC, Citibank, Tata Sky, Star and Pernod Ricard as an Assistant Professor with Edupristine, a leading MNC into corporate training.
With awards spanning throughout his career, the latest one in his kitty is the Pitch Top 50 Brands Award which he bagged for Radio Mirchi.