Interview with Yan: Author of Thou Shall Blog

When I first started blogging I searched the web for hours on end to find the “know how” I needed to make this site. I can’t even tell you the untold hours I have spent trying to find ways to build this blog and make it better. I must have visited over a hundred blogs that talked about blogging and how to blog to learn what I needed to know.

Enter Yan and his blog @ ThouShallBlog.com. Unfortunately for me, by the time I found him, I had figured out the majority of what I needed to know to get this blog started and make it a success. However, I did find myself going back to his website often and digging through his archives for some nuggets of gold that I could use.

And that describes Yan and his website perfectly. I don’t think I have found a more honest writer in his niche anywhere. He has a lot of great little nuggets of truth in his site that you can use to make your site better. He loves nothing more than to help people. He even offers a free service to help people setup their own WordPress hosted site. I don’t think anyone else has made this kind of offer anywhere.

When I found out that this guy commented EVERYWHERE I was commenting I decided that maybe I should interview him and find out why he is so successful. He has graciously offered to accept the interview and also allow me to write a guest post on his site. So without further adieu here is Yan…

1. So Yan, when & why did you originally decide to start blogging?

Truth is I didn’t plan it at all. Being an ever inquisitive creature, I was trying my hand at wordpress.com to have an idea of how to create a blog. That was six months ago. Due to inevitable limitations of what you can do with it, moving to a self-hosted platform was a natural thing to do.

In retrospect, it was fun learning everything there is to learn on WordPress every single day. So I started to document and share what I have learned on my blog for the benefit of others and the rest is history.

2. Who or what inspires you to blog?

Good question. The answer is WordPress, but with each passing of time, it’s my readers who inspire me to continue to write for my blog. All the best compliments, feedback and “Thank You” emails have given me the extra motivation to carry on with what I’m doing.

3. I think we all love to get that great feedback and the thank you’s from readers we have helped. Tell me, besides that, what else do you enjoy most about the things you do today? (Tell us more about “fulltime” blogging and your consulting work.)

A big part of my consulting work is to solve someone’s else problems and being able to be part of their solution has been the biggest motivation for me thus far, monetary rewards aside.

Today, my blog is pretty much an extension of what I’m good at – providing solutions. I aim to make it into a one-stop place for beginners to find all the solution there are to blogging.

4. Who is your current audience and why should they visit your site?

My blog is a culmination of what I have discovered, learned, experimented, applied and experienced first hand as a beginner. As such, everything is written by a beginner, for beginners and with beginners in mind. Everything is written in a language even the greenest newbies could easily understand.

Not only is it a great place for beginners to learn the basics of blogging, it’s also becoming an open community for non-beginners to discuss any topics related to blogging. In fact, it’s one of the friendliest blogs on the planet..;)

5. You mention blogs being an open community to discuss the topics they are most interested in. What do you think is the biggest benefit of blogging for society as a whole?

I haven’t been blogging long enough to comprehend its effect on society but if there is one thing I personally think that blogging can do or probably has achieved is to make this world a much smaller place to live in.

Getting first hand news from the other side of the globe that perhaps would never make it onto CNN is just one good example of its implication on society. Another notable example is the recent Blog Action Day when 12,000 bloggers united on Oct 15 to help raise awareness of global poverty. These and more are what blogging can do to make a little difference to the society as a whole.

6. What are your top 5 tips for new bloggers?

One of the common mistakes most newbies make is thinking that blogging success can be achieved overnight with little efforts or at the very least, that’s what they are taught to believe by some “gurus”. That’s false reality.

For the sake of simplicity, here’s my personal tips for new bloggers who have just entered the blogosphere:

  1. Know yourself
  2. Be honest
  3. Interact well with your audience
  4. Read and research more
  5. Be passionate

7. Who are your favorite bloggers that you read often and why?

As a matter of practice, I do spend a great amount of time reading other blogs and if I were to narrow them to a few blogs that I hardly miss and group them into their own category, they are as follows:

Blogging
Problogger
Chris Garret

SEO
Jim’s Blog
BigOak Blog

Copy Writing
CopyBlogger
Daily Writing Tips

Internet Marketing
The Net Fool
John Cow

Design
Noupe
Web Designer Wall

8. Sounds like you spend a lot of time online. How many hours a day do you spend blogging? (Give us a day in the life of Yan)

Contrary to popular belief that you should write at least one post a day, I have a rule of thumb by which I go by. That is to write when I feel the need to write and not because I need to fill in the gap. Let’s put it this way, I blog to live and not live to blog.

That said, I’ve committed at least 6 hours everyday to manage my blog and a couple of other niche sites. On a normal non-writing day, I spend the best of my blogging hours reading other blogs, brainstorming for the next article, and connecting with fellow bloggers through commenting.

9. Do you have any mentors?

No, I don’t have one yet. I wish I had. However, I do read a lot of books and if there is one book that has had the most profound impact on my life and everything I do today it is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill. In this regard, I rely on his wisdom as my guiding light in the worst of times.

10. What do you credit your initial success to?

Success is in the eye of beholder. To others, I might not be successful enough to join the ranks of Darren Rowse, John Chow, or Zac Johnson, but that’s not important. Personally, success has everything to do with how I feel on the inside.

Do I feel successful? Yes, I have succeeded in meeting whatever goals I have set for myself so far and I attribute this to my laser-sharp focus on what I’ve set my mind to do. Not even the strongest wind could sway me.

11. I truly believe that a laser-sharp focus is what is really needed to succeed. It is certainly a character trait that builds a great foundation for success. What else do you think will help you to succeed even more in the future?

If I’m able to keep the same kind of passion 3 years from now, I don’t doubt I will achieve greater success than what I already have today. What keeps me going is the small wins, small success that will add up to the big reward eventually.

12. Anyone who has started a business such as yourself has had a lot of personal growth experience in doing so. What is one personal growth tip you can give our readers?

You become what you think all day long. The subconscious mind is one of the most powerful forces that can either make or break you. So learn how to harness it to work for you and not against you.

I love ya all… Yan

Thank you guys for reading! And thank you Yan for participating! I hope to make web interviews a common thing here at Insight Writer. Hopefully I can post them every other week or at least once a month. If you would like to be interviewed or know of anyone else that you think SHOULD be interviewed please let me know.

Also, please give us some suggestions about how we can make these interviews better. I do appreciate your comments greatly!

Lastly, I already have another great blogger lined up to do an interview. I’ll keep her name a surprise for now, but to give you a hint, she has been a fairly successful guest writer on a number of popular blogs. I hope to ask her some great questions on guest writing so check back in a week or so. Until then…

Originally posted 2008-10-27 08:13:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Comments

  1. Jeremy

    It’s an honor to be part of your great community here and I look forward to more opportunities to collaborate with you in the near future.

    Cheers
    Yan

    Blog for Beginners’s last blog post..Ask My Readers #1

  2. Awesome interview! I’m so glad you were able to find a resource such as Yan’s blog to help you further your blogging skills. I enjoyed reading the interview. I love reading about how each blogger got his or her start, and what inspires them to keep blogging. Thanks for posting this!

  3. Great article!

    The cool thing about this interview is the person being interviewed really is a talented blogger! Yan has shown me uniqueness and originality which is hard to find these days! This isn’t just sometimes it’s all the time. The quality of Yan’s blogging makes me work harder on my own personal blogs every read!

    Well deserved interview!

    Hey… if Yan can blog… so can you! Right Yan?

    bbrian017’s last blog post..Increase your blog traffic, Increase your comments

  4. This is a really nice interview and I really like Yan as a blogger! I would probably like him as a person too, but I haven’t had the chance to really have a conversation with him hehe. I voted it up on blog engage! 😉

    Ben Tremblay’s last blog post..Doing crap vs Changing the world

  5. @ Ben – I am hoping to meet a lot of my fellow bloggers one day. Yan happens to be one of them. 😉

  6. Great Interview Jeremy. Yan is a great person and I have learned things from him to make my blogging better.

    Larry’s last blog post..The Power of Outgoing Links in SEO

  7. @Brian & Ben : Thanks, guys for all the nicest words…I really appreciate it. I’m glad that we could all be part of Jeremy’s blog.

    Actually, I have one great idea that I’m going to experiment with a small group of bloggers. No concrete plan yet but it’s more on viral promotion using social sites.

    That’s about it all. We’ll be in contact..

    Yan

    Blog for Beginners’s last blog post..12 Lessons in My First 12 Days as a Professional Blogger

  8. Great interview. Some important lessons to be learnt from Yan. Thanks for the share. Looking forward to more interviews from you.

    Wei Liang

    Wei Liang | ABloggerBlog’s last blog post..Lesson 14: Article Marketing

  9. Great interview with Yan, and, like you, I love reading his stuff. However, since I haven’t seen anyone else mention it yet, under question #7, both the name and link should be John “Chow”. LOL Great interview; you should do it more often, because you’re good at it.

    Mitch’s last blog post..Can You Stomach Sales?

  10. Thank you guys for commenting!

    @Mitch – Believe it or not, there is actually a John “Cow”. He has a great story about how he seized on the opportunity to beat John Chow in Google rankings for his name after they (Google) pushed John “Chow” down in the rankings. Its a must read story for any blogger who deals with SEO and Internet marketing.

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

  11. My goodness, so there is; I never knew that before. Weird stuff!

    Mitch’s last blog post..Credibility, Article Writing, And Marketing Products

  12. @Mitch:

    The cow is absolutely better than the “Chow”. Just in case you aren’t aware the present owner of John Cow dot com bought it for $50K.. quite an impressive amount of money at that point of time.

    Yan

    Blog for Beginners’s last blog post..7 Deadly Sins of Highly Ineffective New Bloggers

  13. Seeing as how I didn’t even know about the “Cow” until today, I certainly didn’t know about the rest of the story. Man, that’s an impressive amount of money now!

    Mitch’s last blog post..Credibility, Article Writing, And Marketing Products

  14. Great interview, I loved reading the answers. Yan’s a pretty cool guy, and it’s cool to read about some of his opinions from a new perspective.

    Corey Freeman’s last blog post..Build a Better Website with My Free Typography Outline

  15. Nice interview. Yan’s blog is always good to read, his posts are always informative. It’s interesting to see his outlook on things and where it has got him, especially to an aspiring blogger like myself.

    BTW, I found your blog from the guest post you made on his site!

    Dot Com Dud’s last blog post..How I Promoted My First Blog Contest

  16. Hey I stopped in again to see what was happening on the article! Have you got a new template?

    If so it looks great and if not I’m embarrassed

    bbrian017’s last blog post..Is it time to upgrade your hosting account?

  17. Hi Brian,

    Yep, got a new template. The old one seemed to pretty for me and this seems to load a lot faster. The coding allows the article to load first and then my sidebars. So if the site is loaded with visitors people can still usually read the article right away. Thanks for being a regular visitor. 😉

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

  18. It’s no worries! I don’t visit often but I remember I was here once! I think the template looks great and the article load pretty nice! I just upgraded blog engage servers to Virtual Dedicated I was starting to overload my shared hosting account! Feels nice to have the resources of a Virtual Dedicated Server!

    bbrian017’s last blog post..pornhub.com – Adults ultimate community

  19. I can’t wait for the day when I have the income stream to justify upgrading to a VDS. Im a bit jealous now. 😉

  20. What’s VDS? Is it the same as VPS? Oh how ignorant Yan is….

    Blog for Beginners’s last blog post..How I Increase My Email Subscribers by 60 in 7 Days

  21. They are more or less the same. Here is a link for a bit of detailed info…
    https://yourshelter.net/en/linux/comparison/

  22. I have known Yan for about 6-7 months now, on the blogoshere and am happy to state the fact! He’s one of the most down-to-earth persons I have ever come across and true to his words, he interacts well with people and is honest!
    I wish him success for all his future endeavors!

    rampantheart’s last blog post..Are we escaping reality?

  23. After reading this article I can definitely say… Yan is the mahn.

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