There’s a really great thread going on over at the ProBlogger Community right now where we’re asking members to share their “small victories” in blogging. The reason is so that we can find candidates for podcast interviews and feature them over here at the blog.
With currently dozens of stories there, all of which are really great, we’ve got so many interviews to do! The idea behind this was to not only feature our Community members on the blog, but also to serve as inspiration to others who may think that even these “small victories” can’t or wouldn’t happen to them.
First, we’ll start with Chris Monty (pictured above), owner of Blippitt.
Transcription of Interview with Chris
For those of you who prefer to read than listen – here’s a transcription of the video by The Transcription People.
Lara: Hi ProBlogger readers. This is Lara Kulpa the community manager for ProBlogger.com and I have with me Chris Monty from Blippitt and we’re going to use Chris as our guinea pig for our new feature at ProBlogger.com where we feature our members over at ProBlogger.net with a story about their little small victories. So, Chris, hi.
Chris: Lara, how are you?
Lara: Good. How are you?
Chris: I’m good thanks. I’m excited.
Lara: Good. Good, good. So tell us a little bit about you, like what your background is and how you got started blogging and making money online?
Chris: Sure. Well I was in the mortgage industry which was a wonderful career choice up until around 2007 and the market started to fall and I had kids, a couple of little kids, and was on 100% commission and, you know, I just started thinking to myself, why am I putting myself through all this when, you know, I know … I’d just started to read ProBlogger and I’d gotten to know a few friends online who were blogging and making a little bit of money and I just kind of … when I first started I really didn’t even do it to start making money, I just, you know, I heard about blogging, I’d never tried it, so I setup a free blog over on Blogspot by Google just to have a little fun. And I, you know, I started one about being a dad and I started another one about, you know, one of my guilty pleasures is watching pro wrestling on the weekend. So I started another one where I was …
Chris: … just kind of talking about pro wrestling stories and that kind of thing. And it was really just for fun until one day I guess I hit on a hot story and, you know, I saw that I was getting several hundred hits on my blogger blog and I thought, uhuh, so this must be how this happens. So I decided to actually do some research into and, you know, figure out how to properly setup a blog and spent a long time researching search engine optimisation and social media and …
Chris: … just sort of took it from there.
Lara: Cool. So what is the blog that you’re … that’s getting the most of your attention right now?
Chris: That’s definitely blippitt.com and, you know, I’m not so sure now that it was such a great domain name choice because every time someone emails me about it, they misspell it, you know.
Lara: I was going to say, can you spell that for everybody?
Chris: Yep, it’s B-L-I-P-P-I-T-T .com. So two Ps and two Ts in blippitt.com.
Lara: Gotcha. Gotcha. We’ll put that in the post too just to make sure.
Lara: Now how old is that, two years?
Chris: Well there’s a little bit of a story behind it. I’d been, you know, participating in some make money online forums and that kind of thing and, you know, it started out really as … it started out as one of the many make money online blogs out there. It started out as Montysmegamarketing.com and, you know, I had a pretty good following but I realised that the make money niche is not really where I wanted to be. So I launched Montysmegamarketing.com in July of 2008 and then, you know, after I lost my job in mortgage in February of 09 I rebranded it, I changed the domain name, you know, I moved everything over on the server to Blippitt …
Chris: … .com and turned it into more of a mainstream pop culture, entertainment news, sort of a blog. So it’s, you know, I think of it as kind of like a buzz feed meets the inquisitor meets boing boing, you know.
Chris: You know, it kind of goes, what’s hot on the Internet and have a few laughs and we do viral videos and you’re fail of the day and things … mix in a few daily deals and that sort of thing.
Lara: Nice. Very cool.
Chris: So it’s, it’s been really going well. I mean, it cracked the Alexa top 100,000 within six months and then hit the Alexa top 50,000 just three months after that. So it’s fortunately just been doing nothing but … the traffic has been doing nothing but going up.
Lara: That’s fantastic. Fantastic.
Lara: So what was your small victory? When we put the call out inside ProBlogger.com for our members and said that we were going to do this, you were very excited to put your post in there and you said that it was your new favourite thread and I had to agree with you because I think it’s so cool to hear all these stories. So …
Chris: I think so too. I mean, there’s a lot of people that read ProBlogger that are doing a lot of good things and it’s, you know, it’s nice to hear what everybody’s success story is and …
Chris: You know, certainly my … one of mine was hitting the … hitting the Alexa top 50,000.
Chris: Another was finally making it to the first page of Digg which actually just happened about two months ago. It was a …
Chris: … post we did on, you know … of course it was a list put on which was something like 24, you know, contextual advertising fails. And it was actually … it was a pretty funny post.
Chris: You know, I can see why it sort of took off and went viral.
Chris: But, you know, I’ve never seen traffic like that. In fact that was the main catalyst to make me go out and, you know, instead of being on a reseller server now I went out and just purchased a dedicated server through … through HostGator and …
Chris: … we’re cooking along.
Lara: Cool. Now, I have to ask you this question because I know the answer and I want you to share it with everybody else. How has the ProBlogger community helped you with this whole thing?
Chris: The ProBlogger forums have been invaluable just from everything from how to market my blog better to the technical aspects of it. And just the other day … I use a plug in called WEBO Site SpeedUp to … I run the blog on WordPress which is just a fantastic system as far as …
Chris: … search engine optimisation goes. But as far as hogging your CPU resources on your server it’s …
Chris: … it’s a nightmare.
Chris: So, you know, this plug in got updated and my site basically crashed and I kind of posted this urgent, you know, thread in the ProBlogger forums, “Help. My (6:23) is down. I can’t get it back on,” you know. I know some WordPress but I don’t know PHP anymore than I know rocket science. So …
Chris: … you know, a couple of guys jumped in there and got me back up and running in no time …
Chris: And it’s also been nice to just, you know, ask people, “Hey, take a look. What do you think of these monetisation methods?” You know, “I’ve got these ads running on the right, I’ve got these ads on the top and I’m using these advertising networks, you know, are there any others I should know of?” You know, “How can I go about negotiating a higher per CPM rate from some of these folks?” And, you know, the feedback that you get in there is great. Now, that being said, you can’t just come in and ask questions all the time and wait for people to answer them, you have to give as well as get.
Chris: So I sort of jump in and share my expertise whenever I can with …
Lara: And you do.
Chris: I use the term expertise loosely. I’ve been doing this for two or three years now but, you know, I feel like I’ve gotten to know things about WordPress and things about SEO that a lot of people would benefit from, so.
Lara: Absolutely. Absolutely. You’ve been a big help in there. And the thing to remember is that, you know, just as much as there are people who are in there that have been at this for six or seven or eight years, there are people in there who have been in it for six or seven or eight weeks and you’re kind of like in that, that middle ground now where …
Chris: Right, right.
Lara: … you know, there’s an equal balance and it’s really nice.
Chris: I’ve made some good friends in there too. It’s nice to, you know, we’ve got a few people that, you know, we private message each other, “Hey, I just put up a new post about this and I could use some traffic to it. Would you mind blogging about it?” You know, they’ll do the same to me, like, “Hey, we just put up this post about XYZ, you know. Can we … can you send us a few visitors or maybe mention it on your blog?” And, you know, networking online is not a whole lot different than networking online[sic]. It’s really …
Chris: It’s who you know.
Lara: Right. Very cool. So anything else you want to tell us about Blippitt?
Chris: You know, we’re just … we’re growing. It’s going really well. We just launched an iPhone app that’s … it’s available for free in the iPhone store.
Chris: We’ve got our Facebook page up now and we’re on Twitter. We not too long ago were mentioned in a blog post by MTV.com so that was kind of a rush.
Lara: Oh, wow.
Chris: It’s nice. I looked in the stats one day and I started seeing all these hits coming from MTV.com and they picked up on a post we wrote, a Lady Gaga post that we had written and, you know, it’s great. I do plan on eventually … in fact I’ve already started it. I’m just kind of writing an eBook about exactly what steps I took to, you know, build links to Blippitt the way I did and how I’ve gotten the traffic and how I’ve … you know, I’m basically … I told myself if I can get it to the point where we’re making a good three to four thousand dollars a month then I would consider that a full-time income and …
Chris: … we’re finally now … we’re finally now there. I mean I still, you know, I still have a day job but it’s for the benefits and it’s because I want to …
Chris: … and not because I need to. So it’s really cool just to be able to show my wife, you know, hey, all that picking on me you did because I was spending so many hours online is now paying off.
Lara: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Chris: Once the cheques started rolling in, her attitude changed a little bit.
Lara: Yes, they do. They do. It’s all about the green.
Chris: Yep, that’s right, yes.
Lara: Show me the facts, honey.
Chris: They’re really supportive of the whole process and it helps to have that support system behind you, definitely.
Lara: Yeah, that’s great. Fantastic. Well thank you so much, Chris.
Lara: And we will be happy to watch Blippitt continue to grow and be really cool.
Chris: Yeah, that would be great. I mean, the one thing I can tell folks listening is to, you know, just never give up and never get discouraged. There were definitely times, you know, six or seven months into it and then a year into and a year and a half into it when I thought, you know, I’m really … I’m missing out on this family time and I’m just wasting time and it’s never going to happen, it’s never going to take off. But I’ve got this sign on my bed … on my bathroom mirror that is a quote from Winston Churchill and it just says, “Never give up. Never.”
Lara: That’s awesome.
Chris: And just when you finally commit yourself to doing it and not giving up, you know, that’s when things finally seem to take off. So you’ve just got to stick it out and be dedicated to it.
Lara: I love it. I love it. Thanks so much, Chris.
Chris: All right. Thanks, Lara.
Lara: All right. Great talking to you.
Chris: See you in the forums.
Lara: Okay. See you there.
Chris: All right.
Lara: Bye bye.
So there we have it, our first ProBlogger Community Small Victory Interview! Many more to come, and if you’re interested in having your “small victory” story posted like these, join the ProBlogger Community and share your story!