Interview with Nirmal Sarkar – His life , journey and goals

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Interview with Nirmal Sarkar

Introduction of Nirmal Sarkar

So here I kick start Inspire Buddy with our first ever interview featuring Nirmal Sarkar from HiTricks. Well , Nirmal seriously does not need any introduction as we all know him from his blog HiTricks and if not from HiTricks, certainly from his android application Freebies Club(Links shared later in this post)
In case you still don’t know about him , He is a BTech engineering student from the city of joy , Kolkata. He is a part-time blogger and likes to write web articles on Android stuff and latest Freebies. Have a look at him.

Nirmal Sarkar Nirmal with his friends

Let us start with the interview 😉

1) Hi, Nirmal. First of all a warm welcome to Inspire Buddy. I am glad that you are here.

Ans: Hey Pranshu, A lot of congrats for kick-starting your new blog. Glad to know you are beginning your new venture on interviewing people and Thanks for choosing me for the interview. I am happy to be here and spend some moments with you 🙂

2) Tell us something about yourselves. Do include your professional career, your hobbies, your passions , your interests and your education

Ans: Well, I am just a Biotechnology Student by education, and a blogger by passion. I won’t say blogging is my profession or I want to make it as a full-time income source for my life. I am just a ‘normal’ part-time blogger.

The word ‘normal’ is important to state, as I am no mastermind.

Yes, I am in the field of blogging for more than 1.5 years, and have seen growths and downfalls of blogging, gained experience, learnt SEO, and now I have a good knowledge of how a person should blog. I have inspired and motivated people to blog, to start making an online identity for themselves. But that’s me only. I haven’t taught anyone about SEO, or I don’t know any secret ingredient to boost your blog traffic in small time! So, don’t take me for an SEO Guru!

My best hobbies are to read stories and watch English TV Shows. I won’t go into much details here, but all I can say that watching an episode of an English TV Series regularly helps to improve English Vocabulary and listening skills a lot. Those who are still dependent on Hindi-dubbed versions of movies, it’s time to switch to English. You will feel the good vibe later on.

As I have already mentioned above, currently I am studying Engineering in the field of Biotechnology at Techno India University, Kolkata. At the time of this interview, I have just finished the final Semesters for the 2nd year, and gearing up for the 3rd year to begin.

3) So,what you used to do before getting into Blogging?

Ans: Before coming to this field, I used to run my first Android Application, Freebies Club. The app collects mainly free recharge offers and shopping deals under one roof. The main purpose of making the app is to gather popular deals bloggers of India and make their updates available in the form of a user-friendly android app.

I am happy with whatever exposure this app got, as I never promoted this app, and the only way I earn from the app is via small banner Ads, which is also negligible.

4) How you entered into blogging? How has been your experience so far?

Ans: In a sentence: By seeing other bloggers’ income screenshots!

That’s a weird confession but that’s the bitter truth. And I have suffered for it, like many others.

I know many blogs and bloggers share their online income screenshots, and they feel it’s like a motivation towards the newbies, but little does they know that most of the newbies misinterpret it. And this goes fatal for them. I was not an exception.

Seeing income screenshots, I made a primary concept that it is very easy to earn via blogging, and it does not require any special skills. So, I started blogging without proper understanding, without any SEO skills, and I suffered badly.

I did not get AdSense approval (I know now why I didn’t get it back then), and didn’t generate much traffic. Still, I continued, only to completely shut down my blog after some months. : (

That was my experience before I restarted (February 2015), this time equipped with guidance from some friends, and help from the meta blogs. And since then, blogging was a lot easier and rewarding to me.

5) Tell something about your primary blog.

Ans: My Primary Long Term Blog is HiTricks. It goes with a tagline: Learn Earn Gain, Stay High! My niche of blogging is technology, mainly focussing on windows, android, software tutorials, Facebook updates, internet tricks, tech reviews, and SEO.

I started HiTricks on 15th Feb 2015. And till date it has been a wonderful journey blogging on HiTricks. I have successfully brought it under 150k Alexa Ranking, and am getting around 2k page views per day. Most of my page views are organic (Around 50-60%).

6) Do you own any other blogs or sites? If yes, tell something about them and if no, are you planning to start in the near future

Ans: I own two more domains, one of them is my own online portfolio NirmalSarkar.com, and the other one is a niche site based on .co.uk domain. But I am yet to work on the latter. This is because currently, I am focussing on growing HiTricks more and more. I have a lot of interesting topics to write and hopefully, you can soon find them one by one.

7) What is the biggest mistake you ever did in your blogging career?

Ans: The first and foremost mistake was to get into blogging without the proper justification of the working principle of a blog. You cannot just hope for huge profits and start to blog. No, that doesn’t work that way. You need to make blogging as a passion, as an interest, as a medium to represent yourself to the audience, the income will follow. : )

I was almost going to make my next big mistake, which was spamming to create backlinks in any possible ways. Luckily I was stopped beforehand by my well-wishers in the blogging field, and I learnt about creating high-quality backlinks 🙂

8) Describe a moment of extreme happiness in your blogging career.

Ans: To get 100+ real-time traffic on my long term blog for the first time. There was a contest organised by a mobile recharge company related to a reality TV Show. All I did was to provide answer to the questions asked at the show.

I successfully managed to rank on the top of search results, as many people started googling to find the answers.

After two weeks, I managed to rank above the Official Contest Page of the company, and the real time traffic was amazing.

I gained a lot of knowledge about google SERP at that time. It was inspiring as well as a joyful moment which still gives me immense happiness as I look it back.

9) Describe a time when you were very disappointed. How you tackled the problem?

Ans: There was a time I felt bored about blogging. The boredom was due to mixed reasons. Firstly, extremely low incomes even after hard work from my part. Secondly, lots of posts went total flop, as they failed to rank on search engines and generated no traffic.

Tackling the problem was not easy at that instant. It took me some time. To reduce the boredom, I took a break for a few days and just restarted back. And for the second issue, I started internal linking my non-performing posts and now I am able to generate views for them too.

10) Apart from blogging, what you love to do?

Ans: Other than blogging, I love to watch lots of movies. Apart from that, I am an audiophile. I admire Folk Songs, Ghazals, Devotionals and mainstream Bollywood songs. Music is an integral part of my life.

11) How many hours do you blog a day?

Ans: As I have already said, I am a part-time blogger. I blog less than 4-5 hours per week. Usually, I blog in the weekends, say around 2 hours on Saturday and Sunday each. My busy schedule of college life prevents me from blogging actively during the weekdays.

12) When did you make your first dime online from blogging? Describe the moment.

Ans: There were times when I earned 0.01$ to 0.1$ a day. That was small and I don’t have much memorable incident to share the first income. However, I still remember the day I got my first ad click from the USA, it earned me 4$ from that click alone. It taught me another lesson: to target tier one countries as an audience.

13) Share the stats of your primary blog and something about your earnings.

Ans: Well, I have said earlier I get around 2k page views daily. Here are the Google Analytics stats for HiTricks.com for the past 30 days. (The stats are displayed by Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress Plugin)

Analytics Dashboard

As you can see from the Graph, more or less my traffic was 2k per day.

In the last 30 days, I got 59,412 total page views, out of which 32,883 were organic views. So, you can easily make out that most of my blog’s traffic is organic traffic.

Well, there are other points to notice in the stats. Have a look at the bounce rates. It is close to 24%. I use internal linking so that a user keeps on visiting other webpages from my blog instead of just quitting after reading the article. Per article I try to interlink at least 5 of my old articles. This ensures I have low bounce rates, high traffic and it’s good for SEO.

Below I am giving a pie chart from my Google Analytics, showing how much percentage of my blog is a new visitor and how much is returning visitor.

So, as you can see, I target mainly Organic Traffic and about 80% of my users are fresh visitors. This is good for pushing up a blog to new people.

I won’t share any income related stuff here, it is not good at all and develops a false belief in newbies. I have suffered myself from the same.

14) Any tips for writing a successful blog post?

Ans: Write long, really long posts: We all know the phrase ‘Content is king’. But rather than stuffing our post with keywords, write bigger posts. It is also good for SEO as it increases the on-page time a person spends on your blog and helps to better interlinking thereby decreasing your bounce rates. You will find most of my posts on HiTricks are lengthy.

LONG POSTS = MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU TO TRAP YOUR VISITOR

SHORT POSTS = VISITOR READS ARTICLE QUICKLY AND LEAVES

15) Which themes and plugins do you use?

Ans: I have purchased Newspaper Theme from Themeforest and am happy with that. It includes the Visual Composer Plugin through which I can design any webpage of my choice. I also have a 10 min quick video tutorial to set up a custom homepage using the Visual Composer.

Other than this, there are 3 paid plugins I use.

The first one is Wp-Rocket for speeding up my blog. I have compared page speeds with Wp-Total Cache and Wp-Super Cache and Wp-Rocket performed a lot better than the other two.

The other paid plugin is Bloom email opt-in plugin. I find it better than other email opt-ins and have integrated MailChimp with it and it works automatic. If you visit my website you will see an email popup, that is triggered by the Bloom Plugin.

The last paid plugin I purchased recently is Let’s Review Plugin for Schema Ratings and Recommendations. It’s good to use it in writing review articles. Here’s a post of mine where I used the Let’s Review Plugin.

Below is the list of Free Plugins I use, please check them out yourself to find out their features. You can find them in the WordPress plugins directory, just search the names.

  1. Ad Injection
  2. Clef
  3. Commentluv
  4. Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress
  5. Mango Buttons
  6. Reduce Bounce Rate
  7. TablePress
  8. Updraftplus
  9. Wp-Smush
  10. Wp-Spamshield
  11. Yoast SEO

 

16) Which are your most favourite blogs on the internet?

Ans: Shoutmeloud, IftiSEO, Wp-Beginner, QuickSprout, Moz, SearchEngineLand The list is really long, but these are some blogs one must follow to stay updated with latest blogging tricks, especially for newbies and intermediates.

17) Who are the bloggers, you draw your inspiration from?

Ans: I draw my inspiration from all of my blogging buddies in this field. I get to learn new stuff from everyone. Plus, whenever I faced issues, my friend bloggers helped me a lot. Thanks to the secret community PTI set by Iftekhar Ahmed, what I am today is due to the friends I got to know from that community.

18) Any tips for newbies who recently started blogging?

Ans: Yes. Firstly, take blogging as a passion and work hard. Give it a try whole-heartedly and the earnings will follow. You don’t need to fetch it.

Secondly, on page SEO is more important than off page. What I mean is don’t start making backlinks without making a good content. After writing a content, ask yourself, am I satisfied? You will most probably get your response.

Thirdly, Investment is a must if you want to achieve success. Gone are the days when people used to work on BlogSpot and fetched traffic. Now even a custom domain won’t work if you work on blogger. You must need to get into WordPress and to do that, you must avail web hosting.

WordPress makes it far easier to rank, get traffic and get AdSense approval due to its SEO friendly structure. So, invest some pennies and start professionally. Remaining on Blogger is a complete waste of time.

19) What is your mantra for success?

Ans: My Mantra for success is DON’T GIVE UP. You shall see rise and fall, a lot of them. Many things will be going to disappoint you in the course of blogging. But never give up. : )

20) So,who next do you want to see here interviewed?

Ans: As this is going to be the first interview on your blog, instead of suggesting name for the next interviewer, I want to suggest a group rather. Try interviewing the other ‘normal’ bloggers like me, instead of reviewing ‘pro’ bloggers. Trust me, they have more experience in this field as they have struggled (or are struggling currently) and have seen the ups and downs. So make sure you get them for interviewing. However, you can ask pro-bloggers from time to time.

Wish you all the best for your blogging career Pranshu! Keep Blogging, keep experiencing, keep earning. : )

 

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