Exclusive Interview with the Missing 41st Blog Blazer – Finally Revealed

February 4, 2009 - Written by Gyutae Park  

blog blazers

A couple months ago, Stephane Grenier sent me a book that he put together called Blog Blazers. In it, Stephane interviews 40 top bloggers who “share their secrets to creating a high-profile, high-traffic, high-profit blog.” Some of the most prominent bloggers featured include Aaron Wall, Seth Godin, Yaro Starak, Neil Patel, and J.D. Roth among others.

It’s actually a pretty good book on blogging. If you need some inspiration, I recommend you pick it up for a quick read. However, there is actually one gaping hole in the book. I’m not in it. 😛

For some reason, Stephane didn’t ask me for an interview – either because he forgot or because he didn’t know that I exist. Regardless, I decided to take matters into my own hands and answer the interview questions he laid out his book. Here’s the exclusive interview with the missing 41st blog blazer, Gyutae Park.  🙂

What makes a blog successful according to you?  Is it traffic, reach, revenue, etc.?
Blogging success really depends on the blogger.  It could be a defined by level of income, amount of traffic, number of relationships, personal branding, etc.  For me, my blog is successful when my ideas are widely adopted and talked about and when I reach a certain level of income (full-time income).  We’re all at least somewhat in this for the money, no?

When did you decide you finally reached success with your blog?
Well there are definitely different levels of success so I can’t say that there was a certain point in time when I decided I finally reached success.  I’m always striving to improve and “success” is never good enough.  However, it felt great when a couple of my readers recognized me at an industry conference, when I won the 2009 SEMMY award for SEO, and when my blog hit the 4-figure per month income mark.

How long does it take to become a successful blogger?
Again, it really depends.  Some bloggers can gain a huge audience in months, whereas for others it could take years.  The more assets and experience you have, the easier it will be.  If you’re just starting out with blogging, I recommend you enroll in Yaro Starak’s Blog Mastermind program.  It’ll help to cut down the time necessary to learn the ropes of blogging.

Who do you think are the most successful bloggers on the Internet today?
It depends on how you define “successful” but some of the bloggers I look up to include Darren Rowse, Shoemoney, John Chow, Neil Patel, Aaron Wall, Yaro Starak, and Brian Clark.  These guys are amazing Internet marketers who use their blogs to leverage their online businesses. Check out the list of Internet marketing top blogs for more.

Which five blogs do you regularly read?
There are maybe 100+ blogs in my RSS feed reader so it’s difficult to narrow the list down to just 5.  However, according to the reading trends data in my Google Reader account, the top five blogs that I’ve read in the past 30 days are TechCrunch, Search Engine Land, John Chow, SEO Book, and Shoemoney.

Which websites would you recommend for any new bloggers starting to blog?
I’d recommend Winning the Web of course for Internet marketing strategies.  🙂  But other than that, Problogger is probably the best resource for new bloggers just getting started.

Which books would you recommend for new bloggers?
Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett came out with a book called, ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income.  It’s probably the best print book on blogging available.  Other than that, some of the marketing books that I’ve read and recommend are Tipping Point, Good to Great, and all of Seth Godin’s books.

What is your most successful blog post ever?

My most successful blog post ever is How to Be a Top 100 Online Marketer in 2009 – 8 Lessons in Personal Branding.  Basically what I did was I piggybacked off of an egobait piece written on the Invesp blog called the 100 Most Influential Internet Marketers of 2008.  My article provided personal branding tips and outlined the steps you can take to get on the list in 2009.  Many of the top marketers on the list helped me promote it so it was a big smashing success.

What’s your biggest tip on writing a successful blog post?
Be creative and come up with new ideas that haven’t been used before.  Rather than writing about the same things everyone else is talking about, add your own spin with new stories, analogies, and opinions.  The most important thing is to set yourself apart and make friends with people who can help you promote your blog.

What’s your best advice in regards to content and writing for bloggers?

Write with authority and be consistent.  For example, if you’re trying to be humorous in your posts, always stick with it.  You need to establish your voice in a crowded sea of information where attention is scarce.  Build your brand and people will remember you.

How important do you think are the headlines of your blog articles?
Headlines are super important.  They usually mean the difference between someone reading your content or ignoring it.  The same principle applies on social media sites like Digg and StumbleUpon.  Don’t skimp out on your headlines.  Spend a lot of time crafting them and make sure that they’re interesting and intriguing.  Copyblogger has a great article on how to write magnetic headlines.

Do you spend any money and time marketing?
Of course.  This is an Internet marketing blog after all.  Over the past year I’ve spent at least $5,000 promoting the blog via advertising, reviews, contests, tools, etc.  If you don’t have money to market your blog, you can always start off with your time (e.g. being active on social media, developing relationships with other bloggers, marketing on forums, etc.)

What are your main methods of marketing the blog?
Besides writing great content that will market itself, I spend a great deal of time marketing my blog on the social media sites.  I’m active on sites like StumbleUpon and Sphinn and try to get my articles maximum exposure through those outlets.  I also run some big contests that gain a lot of exposure and develop resources that will naturally gain attention.  For example, my Internet marketing top blogs list has received tens of thousands of visits in just a few months.

What are your quick and short five best tips for blogging?
1 – Pick a niche that you’re passionate about.  2 – Find a unique angle that caters to your strengths.  3 – Be consistent and keep blogging even if there’s no money involved.  4 – Provide value to your readers and they will reward you.  5 – Develop relationships with other bloggers and marketers.  You’ll need the support of others to succeed.

What is the most common pitfall new bloggers generally fall into?
New bloggers fail because they chase after the money and can’t keep up.  Blogging is definitely hard work and is not suitable for the faint of heart.  If you want to see success you have to be passionate about writing about your topic and have the will power to keep your head up even though you want to give up.

If you knew what you know now when you first started, what’s the one biggest tip you’d give yourself today?
I’d start an email list early on and begin developing my own information productsBlogging for ads is dead and I’ve learned it the hard way over the past year.

What repels you the most from a blog (animations, in your face advertising, etc.)?
Although a lot of people say that looks don’t matter on a blog and that it’s the content that counts, I’m still repeled by blogs with ugly themes.  It turns me off to the point where I just won’t give it a chance – even if I haven’t read any of the actual content.

Do you make any direct money from your blog through advertising, product placements, etc.?
Yes, most of the money I make through Winning the Web comes from direct advertising and affiliate marketing deals.  As of this writing I’m averaging around $1,000 every month from the blog.

What is your best monetization method (ads, affiliate marketing, etc.)?
Most of my income from the blog currently comes from direct advertising and affiliate marketing.  However, I’m working on an Internet marketing membership site that I will be launching through the blog within the next couple of months.  I’m very excited for this and I know that it will provide tremendous value to my readers – and a new income stream for me as well.

Do you find you get more from direct monetization of your blog or from opportunities that come because of the existence of your blog?

Well I still make the majority of my blog income from direct monetization but the idea for a membership site only came to me because of the blog.  The relationships and opportunities that I obtained through Winning the Web are much more valuable than all of the advertising income I’ve received so far.  As you can probably tell, I’m very excited for the future here.

What’s the one biggest opportunity that came to you because of your blog?
My Internet marketing membership site – to be launched sometime in the next few months.  It’s the biggest opportunity for me yet, and I hope I don’t screw it up!

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25 Responses to “Exclusive Interview with the Missing 41st Blog Blazer – Finally Revealed”

Gennaro on February 4th, 2009

Definately agree with the thoughts on picking a niche you love…there will be tough times and that will help you push thru them. Networking is also essential. It’s a social field and those who don’t build relationships will sink unless they’re famous.

Gyutae Park on February 6th, 2009

Very true. It’s also important to note that people are famous because they’re social with the right people.

tom on February 5th, 2009

Great interview, thanks.

Personally I get annoyed now when I see a lot of ads on someones blog, so when you say ads on blogs are dead, I totally agree.
Provide your own product or service.

Gyutae Park on February 6th, 2009

Thanks for the comment, Tom. Yeah, I honestly believe that ads on blogs are losing their glamour. A lot of people are ignoring them and it’s definitely not the best way to monetize a blog.

Cheap Phone Calls on February 10th, 2009

Adverts are a definite turn-off. I don’t really like advertising at the best of times, but with things flashing up in your face, banners everywhere and Adwords it makes the blog look cluttered as well as turning away readers.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Make Money Online on February 5th, 2009

I am going to give this article a Sphinn Gyuetae. It rocks! Thanks..


Gyutae Park on February 6th, 2009

Hey Ben,
Thanks, but where’s my Sphinn? 😛

ZK@Internet Marketing Blog on February 5th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Nice I ve added this chapter to the book

Gyutae Park on February 6th, 2009

You mean you actually printed it out and pasted it to the end of the book? Sweet.

Ann Arbor Web Design on February 5th, 2009

What a smart idea to answer the questions of an interview and turn it into a post! Enjoyed that.

Gyutae Park on February 6th, 2009

Thanks, I thought it’d be cool to add myself as the 41st blogger in the book. Maybe you should add yourself as well as #42?

Will Lowrey on February 6th, 2009

Very cool post – thanks for sharing.

I look forward to hearing more about your membership site. I hope it goes well for you. Also – picking a niche is very important. I am finding that I need to spend a bit more time understanding what I am trying to accomplish and who is my target audience. Basically – what is my unique selling proposition.

With that – I hope I can move forward and get this blog rolling!

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Hey Will,
Finding the right niche for your business is probably one of the most important things you can do to start off on the right foot. Check out this post I wrote a while back: http://www.winningtheweb.com/find-perfect-topic-blog.php

Good luck man!

Classifieds on February 6th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Wow this is a great interview, I like the creativeness of making yourself the 41st blogger :). Good luck with your membership site

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Thanks 🙂
The membership site is going.. still need to pump out the content and build out the framework. It’s going to be awesome stuff.

Blogging Tips on February 7th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email


You never cease to amaze me with your creativity. I wonder why Stephane didn’t ask you earlier…. 😉 well at least I did… LOL.

It’s nice to read your perspective to those questions. Perhaps the second edition of the book will have yours added….


Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Haha thanks Yan. I was just messing with Stephane.. I didn’t really expect to be included in the first edition of the book. But hey, in the second edition maybe I’ll be added in. I’m glad you like it.

Sweaty Feet on February 7th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I think there is only one thing that makes one a successful blogger and that is persistence.

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Hm, I don’t totally agree with that. Working smart is better than working hard in my opinion (although persistence is obviously very important as well).

Travel China Blog on February 7th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I agree that the persistence is the most important factor for making success in any field, but obtaining some good method inside tips also important to make it happen faster.

Jacques @ SEO Tools South Africa on February 9th, 2009

Well, after winning that SEMMY I feel that the blog title is quite appropriate! Thank you for sharing the “missing” 41st interbview with us, Gyutae!

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Glad you like it Jacques. Thanks for all of the support!

brand4profit on February 10th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Creating brands worth evangelizing about is often misunderstood. The connection between the core values – the soul of the company and the soul of the customer – is why customers evangelize. They have found a temple of core value at which to worship. It’s mythic. It’s epic. The brand becomes icon because it connects to the subconscious yearnings of the customer, imprinting on the brain. The pictured emotional experience becomes a conduit through which the customer can again be touched by those core values.

Those pictures and emotions then become language in the brain of the customer. And it’s the language of evangelism.

Chris Peterson on January 21st, 2010

Mind-blowing article. All blogger or company should be learned before making blog or business. Overall I can say revenue is main important in every business man or blogger.

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