I have started blogging in 2016. In the beginning I have inspired by Harsh Agarwal founder of Shoutmeloud. After a few days of my blogging journey I have got a chance to introduce with a top Bangladeshi blogger Istiak Rayhan who started his blogging journey in 2012. He is the founder of “RoadToBlogging”. Since last year I am following his posts regularly. Mostly RoadToBlogging sharing about Blogging, SEO, WordPress. As a Bangladeshi blogger I am getting much motivation from him and he is very helpful for the new comer.
Few days back I have had a chance to talk to Istiak Rayhan and I took an interview of him where I asked a few important questions that are unavoidable for every novice blogger to know. Let’s have a look on our conversation-
Please tell us about yourself first.
Hi, I am Istiak Rayhan. I am a full-time blogger and an internet marketer from Bangladesh. I’ve been in blogging for last five years. So far it’s an incredible journey. Currently, I am running three blogs – RoadToBlogging.com, HostLater.com, and TechThumbs.com. I have another blog for the local audience that I haven’t revealed yet.
How did you know about Blogging? And what was the reason behind start blogging?
Back in 2012, I used to work on a micro freelancing site. There were some works where I had to write posts on specific products/services and publish them on a site. I created my first dot com site to do those works. At that time, I was not aware of the term “Blogging.”
And there was no particular reason behind started blogging. It just happened.
Why did you choose your domain name “RoadToBlogging?
My first blog was TechThumbs.com where I used to share tech related stuff. I learned many new things about WordPress, SEO, Blogging, AdSense, etc while running the blog. And I started sharing that knowledge with my readers. After running that blog for few months, I realized that it’s not a tech blog anymore. Then I decided to change the domain name. As I was sharing blogging related stuff there, I chose the name Road To Blogging.
Do you prefer either niche blog or authority blog?
I prefer authority blog. Every blog I create has a story. It’s not based on a profitable keyword/niche. However, there is nothing wrong with the niche blog. People are making a good amount of money through niche blogs.
What type of obstacles did you face when started blogging?
I didn’t face any obstacles except that I was not sure where I was heading to.
Have you ever wanted to quit blogging?
No. But there were some difficult times. One of them was getting hit by Google Panda update. I lost half of my traffic overnight. It was heartbreaking. But I was able to recover my traffic and earnings. In fact, it helped to learn a lot of new things about affiliate marketing and SEO.
Who helped you to start your blogging career and how?
My family. My younger brother Imtiaz Rayhan is a WordPress developer. He solved all the technical issues I’ve faced. He is still doing it. My elder sister lives in the USA. I am using her PayPal account. So I never had to worry about payment issues. And my all family members were supportive from the beginning.
Did you start blogging as your hobby or profession?
Back then, it was a hobby. But I was aware that I could make some money through AdSense. I had no idea that it could be a profession.
As I know you start blogging while you studied in a university. How you maintain Study and blogging together?
Ah, great question! I have a feel that I was more productive in my university life than now. At that time, I knew that I had only 4 hours to work. And I utilized that every hour properly. Now I have a whole day, but I cannot use it properly.
And talking about the study, I didn’t sacrifice my study for blogging. My CGPAs are pretty good in both BBA & MBA. But I had to sacrifice a lot of things like hanging out with friends, watching movies/series, traveling, etc. But it paid off. After completing my MBA, I didn’t have to worry about a job. I became my own boss.
What is your future plan on blogging?
I am trying to diversify my earnings. Currently, most of my earnings come from Affiliate Marketing. I am planning to publish an eBook and a course on Udemy. Other than this, I don’t have any plan to create any new blogs this year.
Do you prefer affiliate marketing more than other monetization programs?
Yes, I think it’s easy to make money with affiliate marketing than other ways. Advertising requires a lot of traffic to make a right amount of money. But I don’t think it’s wise to depend on only one monetization way. I am planning to explore other ways too.
As an Asian, have you ever thought that running a blog internationally quite harder?
Yes, we have some disadvantages. First of all, English is not our first language. Writing something with your second language is not easy. And the second thing is, native speakers do not enjoy reading blog by a non-native English speaker. But you have to generate traffic from countries like USA, Canada, Australia to make your blog profitable.
At the same time, we have some advantages. People from all over the world can understand our writing. Watch this TEDx video to understand what I am talking about.
Who is your targeted audience?
For RoadToBlogging and HostLater, our targeted audiences are bloggers, webmasters, internet marketers, small business owners, etc. My another blog, TechThumbs is for techie lovers.
Do you think blogging is the most sustainable way to make money online?
Yes, it’s one of the most sustainable ways. But it has some risks too.
As one of the top Asian bloggers, what would you like to say to beginner blogger?
- Don’t write about everything under the sun on a single blog, select your niche as early as possible.
- Start monetizing your blog from the day 1; it will help you to figure out what works and what does not.
- You don’t have stick with a niche. Switch your niche when you feel so.
Please mention your top 3 posts that are unavoidable for every novice blogger.
- WordPress Guide for Beginners – Step by Step Tutorials
- On-Page SEO Checklist: Make Your Blog Posts SEO-Friendly!
- 5 Best Ways to Monetize Your Blog Without AdSense
Thank you for reading this interview. Hope you enjoyed a lot and wonder how a Bangladeshi successful blogger started his journey.