This week, I have the pleasure of introducing one of the most successful social media marketers and blogger. Our guest owns one of the busiest social media communities and he is a work at home dad.
In this interview with Brian Belfitt, he would be revealing one or two secrets that have made him a successful online marketer. Brian Belfitt is the owner of Blogengage.com, a bloggers’/business community that has helped drive traffic to blogs over the years. So try and visit his community and create an account if you desire to make more friends and drive more targeted traffic to your blog.
Brian has been a very good friend; he’s one of those few people who gave me the opportunity to publish my first guest posts on authority blogs like his. Brian has also sponsored some giveaways here, including giving out 5 free Standard Blogengage accounts. He even promised to be there for us whenever we need him to sponsor more giveaways in the future.
Recently I asked if he could do an interview here and he willingly agreed to my request. Though it took several weeks to get the interview come on stream (because he is very busy), he still made it possible; and today we have the privilege of reading this interview.
Hello Brian Belfitt! You are welcome to our interviews section. Could you please introduce yourself?
Ans: My Name is Brian Belfitt, I’m from Canada and work in Marketing and Sales. I’m a graduate of Canadore College, with a three year Business Administration Marketing Diploma. I’ve worked in Marketing and Sales my entire life, from Merchandising with Walmart Canada to ERP Software Sales worth over $500,000 USD. Over the past 7 years I’ve been working online generating income from social media marketing services I offer to bloggers. I enjoy working for myself; I’m a stay at home dad and at times find myself very busy. I plan to grow my online business, sell it and retire young.
How long have you been doing business online?
Ans: I started working online in 2007 but at that time it was more for fun, I wasn’t blogging as of yet but I was marketing and getting my feet wet. I was installing open source software scripts and having fun learning the ropes of server management and script installation. From there I learned about blogging, created a community for bloggers from a script I found and started marketing it online. Overall I simply enjoyed installing website scripts and testing them out.
Which has been more profitable for you, online or offline business?
Ans: I’ve only had an online business, sure as a young teenager I owned a grass cutting service but it never generated near the cash flow I’m currently seeing from the Blog Engage community. The cutting grass business was for fun and a summer job really. I remember I got my first credit card, ran out and purchased a lawnmower, from there I started knocking on doors looking for work. To date and by far Blog Engage has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
As at the time you quit your secular job, did you have some fears you might fail online?
Ans: Yes, like anything in life, its hard work. With that said, sometimes hard work doesn’t cut it and you need some good luck. I’m thankful to have had both of these and have made Blog Engage a great online success story. I think we all have some fear of the unknown but I believed I could make this business a success, and I did.
What has been responsible for the success of Blog Engage and other websites you maintain?
Ans: If you ask anyone what has made Blog Engage a success they will most likely say my hard work and determination. My persistence to continue moving forward, adding new functionality and Blog Engage features is what has made our community a success. I like to think it’s been our members, you can have all the features in the world and it means nothing with our members.
How much is Blog Engage worth?
Ans: I’m not too sure what the site is worth, the domain name is old, it’s been branded perfectly and the company generates a substantial income from subscribers. If I was to sell it, let’s say it would have to be enough to retire! Some say a website is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it, I guess this answer is almost impossible to say.
How were your first few months with Blog Engage? How did you survive the tough moments?
Ans: The first few months were hard! Many users (Top Bloggers) consistently told me the idea of self promotion and blog article submissions would never work but I didn’t listen. It was hard listening too considering I believed in the idea of Blog Engage so much. So within the first few months’ negative feedback was the most difficult challenge to face.
What are the relationships between social media and blogging?
Ans: Social Media allows bloggers to drive traffic, make new connections and create an online presence for their blogs. It’s an amazing way to create a popular online blog as well as new relationships. Social Media was one of the initial reasons I started blogging, I enjoyed the aspect of meeting new people and then I got into SEO; both of these topics led to me blogging at SEOMKT (www.seomkt.com)
Should I really use a social bookmark site or should I rely on quality content?
Ans: Quality content is great but you need a way to connect with new users and meet people. Driving traffic is a key element to successful blogging; social media and bookmarking websites allow you to do this. I like to also think social sites are no longer about bookmarking, that’s more of a 2008 saying, Social sites today are communities where users engage with one another. I don’t think it’s about bookmarking anymore, there’s a ton of elements that a blog needs for success in social media sites.
Judging by your experience, do blogs really make money?
Ans: I’ve personal never made much money blogging but I’m sure if it’s done right money can be made. There’s a ton of great affiliates out there that provide great commissions. If you have a great post, using affiliate links and can drive a lot of traffic sales will start converting.
How were you able to convince Blog Engage users to start paying membership fee?
Ans: I don’t think it’s about convincing the users, I provided a service that took care of post submission, it also included social media marketing and the users loved the idea. If you have a good product and believe in it, the product sells itself. The general idea is to find an issue and create a solution, I found users didn’t want to submit posts, so I created the syndication package, I also found users wanted social media sharing, I create syndication to many social media accounts. Find a need, create a solution.
Your word of advice for my readers?
Ans: Blogging is hard, and at times discouraging. Chances are it’s not going to be what you expected. It’s a hard job to do and requires you to wear many hats. We learn so much from hosting, installation, management and more. Blogging can easily become a full time job for many people especially if you want to make a success from it. My advice is to not give up, don’t base success on money or comments, base your success on how happy you are with your blog.
Thanks for the great interview my friend, also thanks for the patience and waiting so long for it! As you know, I’m a busy guy and the only reason I had time to do this interview was because of your patience. I’ll subscribe to the comments below and answer any questions our blog reader may have.
This interview with Brian Belfitt has been a great one. We have all heard from the social media guru himself, Brian Belfitt. You may have one or two questions for Brian, right? Please drop your comment or question using our comment box below; Brian would be very much available to take care of your concerns.
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