Today, we are going to Interview with Blogger David Leonhardt of thgmwriters.com. He is a full-time blogger and blog is about writing. Let’s talk to him and know more about him in this interview.
1. Please tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
I run THGM Writing Services from rural eastern Ontario. Our team writes books, screenplays, speeches, blogs and other documents.
My blog is called Always Write, a title that hints at an anthem for writing, while at the same time implying that you can trust what we have to say. The blog really is all about writing.
The chief goal is to build and increase credibility and visibility. Secondary goals are also to help with networking and SEO.
2. Walk me through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did? Next?
There was no step-by-step. I took advantage of a lot of accidental opportunities. I also missed a lot of opportunities along the way.
I left my full-time career as a consumer advocate when my first daughter was born. The downtown Toronto condo just wasn’t what we had in mind for raising a child. We moved out to the country, with the intention of becoming a motivational speaker. I had already written my book, but landing speaking gigs turned out not to be my talent.
People started to ask me about SEO, which I seemed to be doing much better than actually getting speaking gigs. Before I knew it, I had three SEO clients. And the rest is history.
Over time, SEO became more about great content than anything else. The writing was my first love, so I started building a writing team and focusing more of my websites on writing. In 2014, I built THGMwriters.com, focusing solely on writing, and Always Write was born as part of that new site.
3. What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Networking has helped the most. I have joined many blogging communities. This includes formal ones, such as Triberr and Viral Content Bee, as well as informal ones, such as Skype groups and Facebook groups. In these places, I have been as generous as possible sharing other bloggers’ posts. This, in turn, has led many of them to share mine. That has raised my profile with both them and their social media followers. I have landed many, many projects directly as a result of having a strong profile among bloggers.
This networking has also helped with the search engines because bloggers who like my posts sometimes link to them. And the social media shares also help with SEO.
The bottom line is this. Be visible everywhere and be generous with sharing and/or commenting on other bloggers’ posts.
4. Please tell us some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging?
There are two.
I write really well. A blogger needs to be a good writer to be really effective. That doesn’t just mean you can write correct grammar.
It means you have to be able to think of a really good idea, one that will fundamentally touch your readers.
Then you need to find a fresh angle that has not already been beaten to death by 100,000 other bloggers.
Finally, you have to be able to write in a clear and captivating way.
I’m also good at developing images that make good shares on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Just dropping a stock photo into a post doesn’t give people something interesting to share. When it is shared, it doesn’t give people an incentive to click through or re-share.
Take a look at the images on Always Write and see how most of them work as stand-alone social media posts, and most of them also generate some curiosity, so that people might want to click through from social media to the actual blog post.
Here are a couple examples:
5. How active are you on a weekly basis? How often do you communicate with your followers?
I am really, really bad at this. Please, nobody, follow my example. I mean to post every week. In reality, I average one post per month (and while reinventing my hand-coded websites onto WordPress, I’ve all but stopped blogging). The fact that paying clients come first, and my family comes even firster, has also slowed me down as my daughters reach the crescendo of high school.
6. What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to his readers?
That really depends on the nature of the blog. Some blogs offer thought leadership. Others offer tutorials. Others offer commentary or strategy. Whatever your readers come to expect becomes the best service.
7. What was your greatest failure in blogging and what did you learn from that?
I’ve had business failures, but not blogging failures. Unfortunately, the business failures cost more. But I’m still swinging.
8. Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and explain why they are your favorites?
Gail Gartner of GrowMap is a favorite of mine. She is constantly churning out new material, with the help of one of the widest personal networks. But it is her leadership among bloggers that impresses me the most.
I am also a big fan of Ann Smarty, who covers SEO strategy and marketing tools. She is all over the place and is really considered an authority by so many people. She is very impressive.
Uttoran Sen is a great example of a blogger who is helping other bloggers get better known. He’s become quite a community leader in recent years.
Shane Barker always has solid information on marketing to share. He’s been getting more and more active over the past year in the blogging community.
As you can see, I get most impressed by people who interact with others.
9. How much time do you spend blogging?
Not enough by a long shot. I’ll leave it at that.
10. A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from the blog?
I use my blog to build a business. Every business should have a blog to support it. The blog itself is not a money-maker for me, but rather a form of marketing. In that respect, it has been extremely successful.
As for making money through ads or affiliate sales, I’ve never gone that route.
11. What promotional techniques work best for you and why?
I mentioned a couple of blogging communities earlier, and those really are the best ones. There have been others, but many of them have been short-lasting.
12. What do you find to be the most gratifying aspect of blogging?
I love crafting the text and the images. I am a builder and a creator. I love seeing it all come together, like a typical creative geek.
Thanks again David Leonhardt for taking the time to share your tips and story with the Blogger Meet community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are getting success online, be sure to keep reading through our blogger interview series.