Welcome friend! We have a new guest on our interviews section this week. Our guest is one of the Probloggers around. He is a friend and has been running his blog successfully since 2012. He loves his family so dearly that he decided to resign his secular job in order to look after them.
Tim Bonner is the owner of Tim-Bonner.com. Tim is one of those few bloggers with highly interactive blogs. When I sent him an invitation for an interview and he gladly accepted my offer, though it took several weeks to get him to respond to the questionnaire, because of his tight schedules. Eventually he was able to get the questionnaires answered and so here is the interview with Tim. Please relax and enjoy every bit of it.
Welcome to Business Success Guide. Could you please introduce yourself to my readers?
Ans: Hi there. I’m Tim Bonner and I’m a stay at home dad and blogger. I live with my wife and family in a small town just east of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Prior to become a stay at home dad, I worked in the financial sector. I also studied classical music at university and enjoy playing the piano in my spare time.
How long have you been blogging, and how has the Internet changed your life?
Ans: I’ve been blogging since May 2012 when I started my blog, http://tim-bonner.com. I’ve been involved with other projects on the Internet though for almost 10 years.
The Internet has made everything so accessible and information is now readily available at my fingertips. Blogging has become a big part of my life and that’s really all thanks to the Internet.
It gives me a focus away from looking after the kids and has opened up a new community for me to be a part of.
In your own opinion, is the time we invest on blogging really worth it?
Ans: From a personal point of view I would say it’s definitely been worth it for me. I’ve made lots of friends and have started to earn a small income from it. The problem is most people are in it for the money and if that doesn’t come quickly and lots of it they get disillusioned and give up.
Blogging is hard work and if you don’t work at it, you’re not going to see any rewards from it.
What do you make of the Google Hummingbird update?
Ans: I’ve been disappointed with the search results on Google for some time and they only seem to have gotten worse with this update.
From my point of view, it made very little difference to my main blog, although it did have quite a big effect on my niche blog in terms of traffic.
Does your country of origin or residence affect your blog customers? How?
Ans: For me, not really. The Internet has no borders. I guess in the future if I decide to sell products and I use something like PayPal as the method of payment it would restrict people from certain countries from buying my products. Something to ponder for the future!
How do you ensure you deliver the best quality to your blog readers?
Ans: First of all, I spend time researching ideas for each post on the Internet. I store all of my ideas on Evernote so I can refer back to them when I come to work on the post itself.
I always plan the outline of my blog posts before I start writing. So, I think of the main points and relevant headings and add this to a draft post. This helps to make it easier when I actually come to write the post.
Once I’ve written a post I always leave it for a day or so before I review it. Coming back to it with fresh eyes can bring a new perspective on things and help to find any obvious errors.
How did Tim Bonner get to the point he is in blogging today?
Ans: Reading lots, researching lots, making blogging friends and taking lots of advice from them.
Do you believe in automating our blogging process?
Ans: Other than sharing posts on social media after they’ve been submitted, no. Automated blogging doesn’t lead to quality posts.
How often do you accept guest posts on your blog?
Ans: Generally monthly depending on the requests I receive, their quality and how relevant they are.
Do you accept sponsored posts on your site? If no, why not?
Ans: I haven’t done so far but I wouldn’t rule it out.
What strategies do you adopt to increase interactivity on your blog?
Ans: I ask readers questions at the end of my blog posts to try and invoke conversation in the comments section. I also share on social media sites and ask questions there that relate to the blog post.
How many hours do you give to your blog daily?
Ans: It depends but on a typical day usually around 3 or 4 hours, although that also includes things like social media and answering blog comments.
How much impact do the social media have on your blog?
Ans: Since I started using Triberr, Twitter has become quite a large source of traffic to my blog. I’m also making inroads with Google+ and am seeing an increase of traffic from there too.
As a family man who has resigned his secular job to look after his family, how do you handle your blog and your family?
Ans: My family comes first so I have to work on my blog around that. It can mean I write a blog post over a few days or it takes longer to respond to comments or emails.
What is the best thing you have learned in the past five years on the Internet?
Ans: How CSS works. It really comes in handy when I want to style something on my blog.
At what stage should one monetize one’s blog?
Ans: Many people suggest not doing this when you’ve only just started out but I don’t see any harm in monetizing from the beginning so long as you don’t overdo it.
A few carefully placed ads won’t do any harm and there’s no reason not to be trying to earn an income from the start.
How does Tim Bonner build relationship with other bloggers?
Ans: I connect with them on their blogs through comments and I regularly reach out to them on social media and email.
In your opinion, who do you think deserves to be featured on our interviews section? And why do you think he/she deserves invitation?
Ans: Ashley Faulkes, who has a blog at http://madlemmings.com. He always provides value in every post he writes and gives some great hints and tips that will make blogging just that little bit easier.
Do you own any other blogs?
Ans: Yes, I’m currently trying my hand at niche blogging and I set up http://pottytrainhelp.com as it was relevant to my current situation.
My first attempt at niche blogging though was a failure. From my experience I’ve found you need to have some enthusiasm for the subject and a certain amount of knowledge, otherwise you won’t keep going with the niche site.
The potty training site was my second attempt and has earned affiliate commission currently of just over $500.
What is your advice for young and upcoming bloggers?
Ans: Don’t give up at the first hurdle. Blogging isn’t easy and you need to try things out to see what works for you.
Get to know lots of other bloggers and reach out to influencers in your niche – you never know how things will develop and what they may be able to do for you.
Thank you so very much Tim. We appreciate you for finding time to attend our interview. God bless you.
Over to you now. You have heard from the guru himself. Tim would be so glad to answer any of your questions. Any question for him? Please leave your question or comment using our comment box below. You will get Tim’s response as soon as possible.
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