Keith Dsouza readily accepted my request for an interview and we both had no much talks about this, but only the direct questioning and hist answers. This is what i love about the techies. They don’t like to waste time! He is the owner of Techie Buzz, which is a blog you should surely subscribe to and enjoy reading things there.
So here goes the Interview –
Some insights on your personal background?
I am Keith Dsouza, originally born and brought up in Mumbai. For the past two years I have been living in the US, working here for a company that provides services to top ISPs in the US.
My profession includes being a Software Engineer and a blogger along with being a freelancer and WordPress plugin developer. I enjoy all of the things I do. Of lately I have been more into social networking and you can follow me at twitter where you can see what I am doing all day long. You can also learn more about me, at my personal site.
Since when are you blogging and which is your only main blog? Tell something about it.
I have been into blogging for more than 2 years now. Though I loved to write I wasn’t much into blogging, I brought my personal named domain just for kicks and for 6 months did nothing with it, that was when blogging was the most happening thing.
I eventually started out blogging at my personal domain and networked with several bloggers who I still interact with today, but after a couple of months I realized that blogging technology on a personal blog is not working out, which led me to establish Techie Buzz. Over the past two years I have been writing on this domain.
Though it has had its up and downs and is still at a undeserving place due to me having several sabbaticals in between blogging, one which lasted 6 months and another 3 months. Though those setbacks were at crucial times, I have pretty much recovered the blog and have huge plans for it in future.
I have already written almost 1000 articles on Techie Buzz and the count would have been much higher, but alas you make mistakes and learn from it, that’s the way you grow up.
Was blogging your passion or profession or there was some inspiration behind your blogging habit?
Neither a passion nor a profession, it was just a honest love for opinions one could give to users. Deep Ganatra and me were talking one day while driving through, and he talked about how Google sends him traffic for certain keywords and so on, that thought sparked something in me, to start blogging.
Though I did not start blogging right away, I started following several blogs including Lifehacker and Digital Inspiration which was still on blogspot then, their views and opinions about simple things made me realize, hey I know these things too, and I can write about them.
That was the eventual nail in the coffin to make me start blogging, I enjoyed writing since school days and having to do it for fun and making friends rather than for some grades in school inspired me to start writing on the Internet.
How do you monetize your blog? Do you get advertisers or is it the ad networks like adsense etc.?
Monetizing a blog is important, but that said over-whelming readers with ads is not good too, in the past 6 months I have made several changes with regards to ad-placements so that regular readers get non-obtrusive content. In-fact I don’t run the main ads on posts that are less than two days old.
Coming back to your question, I use several ways to monetize the blog, on the ad-network side I use Google AdSense and Kontera, whereas I use BurstMedia for CPM based ads. Using CPM based ads make sense when you get a lot of traffic or else your simply adding too much ads into your site.
On the personal front I sell direct ads as well as reviews, I get offers for 5-10 reviews a week, more than half of which i reject. I only review products that I feel will be useful to the readers and add value to their money.
Also I am against placing text link ads on my blog, they make you money but I was banned for three months by Google which hugely affected revenue and traffic.
I would like to add that placement of ads play a great role in how it affects your regular readers, I have seen sites whose content look like ads, so choose wisely or else your driving away potential loyal readers, and to add to that my concept of not displaying ads on newer posts was also slightly influenced by the fact that social networking users from SU and Digg despise ads.
List out some essential plugins and tools you feel important for a technology related blog.
Well plugins are really essential for enhancing the core WordPress platform and I use several of them. Here are a few of them which are indispensable to me, and they are usually stock plugins for any kind of niche blogs including technology.
1. Google Sitemap Generator – name says it all
2. Better Comments Manager – my own plugin which allows to comment from admin dashboard
3. All In One SEO Pack – definitely must have for SEO
4. Feedburner Feedsmith – A plugin that redirects all feed requests to your FB account
5. No Self Pings – Prevents sending pings if you link to your internal posts
6. Related Posts – Adds related posts based on keywords
7. Show Top Commentators – To encourage comments from readers.
8. Subscribe to comments – allows readers to follow conversations.
9. WP Super Cahce – A must have for high traffic blogs
10. Full Text Feed – Makes sure full feeds are displayed to readers.
There are quite a few more, but I guess these are the first few I would install.
List out at least 7 favorite blogs of yours which you read on a very regular basis.
Well to be frank I am bad at picking favorites. I have more than 500 subscriptions in my feed reader, more than 70% of those include news resources. I usually segregate the feeds into different sections such as daily reads, blog friends, apps news, must reads etc.
Lastly, do you have any honest suggestions on improvement of our blog www.thewwwblog.com?
You have a great blog here, and I enjoy reading your views and opinions. However if you are asking for a suggestion on improvement, I would say that go in more for stock posts, those are the things that differentiate one tech blog from another.
What are those stock posts you have to decide, for me it’s writing original tutorials and tips which make readers think hey I did not read this someplace else, that thought defines growth. For blogs to survive in the long run originality does matter.
Finally, thanks for the answers! You have given some good insights there and yeah, will work on the stock posting! Thanks again for the interview and spending some time with this.