In todays interview we are going to be talking with Henri Junttila from Wakeupcloud.com Born and raised in Sweden. Henri helps people turn their passion into an online business that supports their lifestyle. Read more on Henri at his about me page.
1. Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
I got into blogging because it seemed interesting to me. I felt alive, and it felt magnetic. Thats why I do anything in my life. I follow my heart.
At the time, I was building niche and affiliate sites, but I wanted to share what I had learned, so blogging seemed like a good option.
So I started a blog, got a simple design done, and went from there.
2. Walk me through step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today?
Here are the essentials:
1. Start Before You Feel Ready
I had my fears before I started. I didn’t think I had anything to say. There were bloggers who knew more than me. This held me back for years, but I eventually got so sick of my excuses that I started anyway.
I wanted to see for myself if I could build a popular blog. And I could. The assumptions we have about life are often wrong, which is why you have to start before you feel ready.
Just because I thought I wasn’t good enough didn’t make it so.
2. Focus on Your Newsletter
I got lucky, because I knew from the start how important it was to build a newsletter list. I created a short ebook that people received when they signed up to my newsletter, and I began guest blogging to build my list.
The advantage of having an email list is that you don’t have to know how you’re going to make money right away. I certainly didn’t. I just gave away great content. I helped people.
After a while, I began noticing what problems my readers had. I created products. I offered coaching. I listened, and I helped in the best way I knew how.
3. Find What Works for YOU
People often ask me what the best way is to build a popular blog. While I could give a pat answer, the real answer is that there is no best way.
Sure, there are guidelines. There are paths other people have taken. But ultimately you have to find what works for you. In order to do that you have to experiment.
When I started, I played around with different traffic generation strategies. I tried commenting. I tried guest blogging. Once I saw the power of guest blogging, that’s all I did.
And I kept refining my guest blogging efforts. I noticed that just a few blogs sent me the most subscribers. So I began spending more time on those blogs.
I kept refining what worked, and I focused 100% on that.
3. How would someone describe your blogging style?
Words I’ve heard are: Direct, honest, calm, and encouraging.
For many years, I tried copying writer’s I liked. I tried to find my voice. But eventually I rested into my own style.
Looking back, that’s the journey I had to take. It’s a journey most writer’s take. You have to copy several styles before you find your own.
My writing and blogging style is still evolving. It’ll never stop. That’s why I try not to be too hard on myself. I write. I do my best. That’s it.
4. A lot of people are interested in blogging for some money earning potential.
What are some tips for people interested in making money from blogging?
First, you have to build an audience. That is, if you want to build a long-term business. You could build niche sites, or affiliate sites, but I’d really recommend going for an authority site on a topic you’re good at (or want to become good at) and that you enjoy.
Begin by building your email list. It is through that email list that you will build a relationship with your audience. You’ll learn what problems they have, and how you can help.
In the beginning, you don’t really know what you’re doing. But you can still build your list.
And please, don’t just blog to make money. Blog because you enjoy it, otherwise you’ll likely end up burning out.
What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
I don’t know. It will depend on your previous experience, how many hours you put in, what you focus on, and so on.
But knowing how long it’ll take doesn’t matter as much as doing something you enjoy. You can’t know where the path will lead. All you can do is follow what feels magnetic in your life.
So forget about how long it’ll take, and ask yourself: What do I want to do, right now?
5. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
Steve Pavlina (StevePavlina.com) was an inspiration when I first started my blog in 2009. I liked him because he did his own thing.
He shared his truth, and his story. He didn’t do things just to get more traffic, or to sell something. He did them because they were right for him.
That’s what I do with my blog, and that’s what I wish everyone would do. People read blogs because of the people behind them. So share your story. Help people by making your story relevant to them. Share how you’ve solved problems, and how you’ve overcome struggles in your life.
6. What tips can you recommend that you’d only share with a close friend about blogging?
I don’t have any secrets. I spill everything on my blog.
The only tip I have is to follow what makes you come alive. If that means blogging, and writing, then do that. But if it doesn’t, forget about it.
Listen to your heart. Your mind will worry about money, and sometimes you have to work a day job until you find your own path, but do what you love, because why else are you on this planet?
7. How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
How I monetize depends on my audience, and how I can help them the most.
But at this moment I monetize through: Coaching/consulting, books, an online course, and a membership site.
8. Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
I don’t use any fancy tools, so I’ll give you the basics you need to get started:
1. A solid web host. I use HostGator. They’re a good place to get started.
2. An email service provider. I use Aweber. Start building your list right away, and don’t try to save money here because it’ll end up costing you in the future.
3. A solid WordPress theme. I personally use the Genesis Framework, but there are many others out there, such as WooThemes and Thesis. Pick something you like, and just get started.
9. What is next for you? What can we expect in 2015?
I honestly don’t know.
I don’t have a fixed plan. I notice what opportunities come my way, and I act on those that feel alive to me. The question I keep asking myself is: How can I help my readers?
10. How can readers of my blog get in touch with you?
You can reach me at http://www.wakeupcloud.com/. Join the free newsletter, and feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions.
You can find my books at http://www.wakeupcloud.com/
And if you prefer video, you can find my YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/
Thank you Henri for such a great interview! I am happy to be able to share this interview with my community.