Today, I would like to share what Santanu has got to say about Facebook Groups, SEO and Blogging.
He is known to me for a long time as a friend, a client and as a fellow blogger.
I won’t waste any more time and let’s see what he has got to say!
Q:Hey Santanu please introduce yourself to the SBT community!
Hi, I am Santanu Debnath. A software consultant by profession and a passionate blogger from heart.
I have been blogging since last many years, and have found my peace of mind through this.
I always wanted to help people in some way, and I found this platform is the best way to connect with people and help them.
I am very much active on my Facebook Group and you can ask me anything there related to blogging & affiliate marketing.
Q:What is your online business? What are the websites that you own and what are your income streams?
Frankly speaking, I am pursuing blogging as my passion. I am a developer on professional level and am quite happy doing that.
Due to curiosity & passion in different topics, I have started couple of blogs which performed well.
Many of you may not know, Jane Sheeba is the person who guided me to WordPress blogging in 2012.
She is an awesome person and have answered many of my questions through email and helped me to set up my first blog on WordPress.
So, I stopped focusing much on other blogs and decided to concentrate only on this one.
Regarding income, yes I am making decent from Google Adsense & affiliate marketing.
I would say I am very happy with the earnings considering it as a passive income source.
I am not depending much on blogging income, however, this is helping me to support my blogging expenses like hosting, premium tools etc.
Q:You have recently started a Facebook Group and you are actively maintaining it (I’m a member :)). Let us know what motivated you to start a FB group in the first place?
As mentioned above, I have been blogging from last many years.
Throughout those years, I always tried to generate some extra income source through my blogs. It went really good for me in last few years.
But one thing I realised is that, I am not able to help anyone or get connected with anyone with this kind of blogging.
In my personal life also, I am an introvert. And don’t have many people around me besides some good friends.
These things always kept bugging me. I was not satisfied with my way of blogging or the way things were going on.
Always wanted to do something good for people with my learnings & knowledge.
I have joined 100+ Facebook groups, just to promote my posts. I know those blind shares never worked. Then in December I came across 2 new FB groups:
I realised that people are building their groups to create their own audience or blog visitors.
I got connected and started responding to people’s queries. Very soon I have decided to start my own group as well.
But, I wanted to do something different. So I thought to start a Group for Like-minded Bloggers to create a friendly community.
In fact, I have not named my group with my website or blog name.
The decision was taken on 9th December 2018 and it felt like a rebirth of my blogging journey.
With the launch of this group, I found a purpose of my blogging, a purpose of my life, a way to give back to the community.
Q:How is the group’s growth and progress? Does it bring the results you expected?
In one word if I have to say, it’s amazing. I am not comparing with any other group or community, but the response has completely blown away my expectations.
I never thought that I will be able to make so many awesome friends within just a few months after starting this Facebook group.
Frankly speaking, I don’t consider the traffic as a result of creating this group. Yes, I started this group with the similar mentality of increasing my blog traffic.
But gradually I found a totally different purpose of helping people & get connected with so many awesome people around.
I can say that it actually brings the result for myself. Personally, from many years, I wanted to do something for people in some way.
I am considering this Facebook group as a platform which helped me to explode my actual character to people.
I am also coming to know about this side of myself and I am very much happy for that.
Besides that, of course I am getting traffic from the Facebook group.
People started sharing my articles, reading my articles which feels awesome. Not only that, my work started getting noticed by authority bloggers. E.g.
- Kulwant Nagi has mentioned my blog on his recent List of Best Indian Blogs
- You have invited me to share my thoughts 🙂
- Get couple of mention from Ryan Biddulph (Bloggingfromparadise.com)
This is giving me a huge pressure of responsibility too. As people started caring for my work and views, now it is my responsibility to always create something useful or awesome for their benefits.
I think this is the true purpose of blogging and I am enjoying this phase.
Q:What strategies do you use to keep the group active and engaged?
In last 3 months after starting this Facebook group, I have read a lot of articles to understand how to grow a Facebook group effectively.
I saw many groups with huge number of followers, but hardly any interactions.
That is the biggest concern going on my mind too. I know that we can’t get 100% engagement, but still how to encourage people to engage?
Gradually, I have built few strategies and now working on them continuously.
- I am running a weekly blog post sharing thread on Saturday. As I can give my time and engage with people smoothly.
- On normal days, I try to create interesting questions or some discussions.
- I made couple of good friends though this Group, they also contribute or create useful threads, polls, ask questions.
- I am trying other different things like sharing some motivational Quotes, asking Quiz (WordPress knowledge) and many more.
- I don’t like to stick with blogging too seriously, so always interact with people with light hearted jokes or humour. I try to discuss personal life stuffs, experiments as well, which is helping me to connect with people even if they don’t have any blogging expectation from me.
Q:At the moment, what do you think are the pros and cons of starting and maintaining a FB group?
I think I have shared enough PROS of starting a Facebook group. Of course, those are specific positives which I consider as per my expectations.
This may not be true for majority of the people who are running their Facebook groups.
Regarding disadvantages, I would say, there are hardly any. Though, I am getting less time for blogging or other things, but I am happy that I found some purpose with this Facebook group.
It is just like my kid, I always feel a responsibility to share something useful, interact with my friends, engage into some healthy discussion and of course help someone who is seeking knowledge regarding blogging & WordPress.
On my free time, especially during the weekends, I also check other Facebook groups and try my level best to help people by answering to their questions.
Q:I am sure you are part of other Facebook groups of your fellow bloggers. Which other group(s) do you think is(are) doing great?
I am waiting for this question Jane. Because I got the idea of starting a Facebook group after being active on some of the Groups for few weeks. Two of them are:
- Anil Agrawal’s Group
- Sumit Sao’s group
- HBB Group by Pradeep Kumar
Personally, I admire Pradeep a lot for his kind-hearted attitude of helping people selflessly through his Facebook group since many years.
Q:What are your views about the relationship between social media platforms like Facebook and SEO?
There is a significant relation between SEO and social media. SEO is one of the most interesting topics I love to read & explore about. In fact, you will find many resources related to SEO on my blog.
Over the years, I have read hundreds of articles on SEO and understood few things clearly. There are 2 types of SEO:
- Actionable SEO: We put efforts to create those signals
- Auto SEO: Things happen automatically
After starting this Facebook group, I have discovered that the 2nd option has started for my blog. Of course, a big reason for this is the quality of content.
I would say, there is a big relation between SEO and social media. Each share & reaction in social media from genuine people is an upvote for that content.
And this is nothing but natural & positive SEO, which will surely help the search engines to understand the usefulness of that content with time.
Q:Can you give three SEO tips that works for you?
I have mentioned about the 2 broad types of SEO that I have realised in last few years of my blogging experience.
If I have to summarise them in 3 points, they would be:
- SEO starts with your website content. If your content is not 100% SEO optimized, then there is no point to go for other SEO techniques. So, start to learn the key on-page SEO factors and optimize your articles for both users & search engines. But remember, user experience is a major ranking factor. So, keep the dwell time high by creating visually appealing content with more insights like infographics, videos etc.
- Earning backlink is really tough. This is only possible with hard work and great content. One must focus on both earning backlinks by creating good content and at the same time go for quality guest blogging.
- Social media is the place where people are living in this age. So, the more people will share your articles, recommend your articles, the more upvote you will get. Social signals are one of the crucial ranking factors. But remember, social media like Facebook knows very well whether the person sharing your article is a genuine person or a fake profile.
Q:What is your best piece of blogging advice?
Blogging is no more just a way to pursue passion or hobby. People are jumping into blogging just to make money quickly.
Frankly speaking, if someone asks me how to make money from blogging quickly, then I have to say sorry as I am the wrong person to answer that.
My advice to every new blogger:
- Consider blogging as a career option very seriously. Learn from top bloggers, how they reached to their current position by putting their effort for so many years.
- Build an intent to help others. You don’t have to go anywhere, just look into Facebook or go to Quora where people are seeking for solutions. If you think you can help in any niche, go and help them.
- Starting a blog is very easy, but building a community or audience is difficult. In 2019, blogging is completely different than 2009 (The year I have started).
Thanks again Jane for giving me this opportunity to share my views on your blog. I have really enjoyed answering your questions. Hope the readers enjoy them too 🙂