Thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions.
I am sure you must be running on a little bit of a high from winning a competition against Tyler Cruz, the owner of a blog with a larger readership. Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself, your blog, and the recent competition.
Sure. My name is Gyutae Park and I run an Internet marketing blog over at Winning the Web. I work full time as an SEO but am extremely interested in working on some of my own projects while marketing and monetizing them as much as possible.
Winning the Web officially launched in mid-October of 2007 and has seen huge success attaining a subscriber count of over 350 in just 3 short months. As many know, one of my main strategies in promoting the blog has been to create some crazy contests and competitions that generate huge amounts of buzz, links, and attention. In my first contest I bought a John Chow review to promote a contest for a free John Chow review.
In my most recent competition, I battled Tyler Cruz to see who could get more votes from readers. I was at a big disadvantage in terms of traffic and subscribers but in the end, I won out. Other than the contests, I try to provide readers with useful Internet marketing strategies that can be applied to their own sites. That’s the main priority of the blog.
Why create a blog in such a competitive niche? Hasn’t it all been done before?
Internet marketing is a very competitive niche but it’s something that I truly enjoy and am fairly knowledgeable about. Why should a little competition stop me? If anything this will help me to further establish myself as a top Internet marketer and to prove to my readers that my strategies do in fact work. I think the topic of competition is something that many aspiring webmasters get unnecessarily tied up in. It’s important not to just go after the money, but to go for something that is enjoyable and worthwhile to the owner.
Internet marketing may be a crowded space right now but I think I have a unique voice and perspective that will differentiate me from other blogs. Some of the strategies I discuss may have been done before, but they weren’t executed and explained with my personal flavor. My philosophy is that every blogger has something different they can bring to the table. It’s just a matter of thinking out of the box to gain exposure.
You have been getting a fair bit of notice in the circles I run in, can you tell me the secret to your success?
Think big, believe in yourself, and then just do it. A lot of times we get hung up on negative criticism and we start listening to the people who say it can’t be done. My advice is to put your head down, find some inspiration, and start working. You won’t know whether or not your idea is a failure until you fully execute it and give it your 100%. Success could be right around the corner.
I also suggest connecting with like-minded people and making friends in the industry. This is especially important in the blogging world where networking could mean the difference between success and failure. Other than that, the secret is to be creative and to lead rather than follow what everyone else is doing.
What have been your best posts so far, and why are they the best?
So far my contests have received the most exposure but they have opened doors for me to get my Internet marketing ideas out to a wide audience.
Some of my best posts include: 6 Things You Don’t Know (but think you know) about SEO, How to Brainstorm New Ideas For Your Website, 9 BIG Methods to Pump Up Your Blog Comments, and How to Create a Crazy Contest that Will Explode Your Site.
I lay out the exact methodology that I personally use to promote my sites and try not to hold anything back. Check them out.
What are your goals with Winning the Web in 2008?
My goal for Winning the Web in 2008 is to grow the blog to 1,000 subscribers by the end of June. I will continue to use the marketing strategies that have worked for me (including contests) and will pump out high quality Internet marketing articles on a daily basis – all based on personal experience. It’s going to be a fun ride with tons of growth potential in the new year.
What is your biggest monetization source and do you have any tips for bloggers looking to monetize their blogs?
My biggest monetization source for the blog has been private ads. I do have Adsense running as well but the click through rate is just horrible on all webmaster-related sites. My advice for bloggers looking to monetize their sites is to test everything out and see what works best. Test different ad networks and affiliate programs as well as ad placements, sizes, and colors. Even a small change can make a big difference in terms of revenue.
Which internet personality has had the biggest influence on you?
Honestly, I try not to be a follower and strive to be my own creative influence. However, all of the stories of bloggers going full-time are inspiring and worthwhile. It’s a personal dream of mine to reach the popularity level of guys like Shoemoney, John Chow, and Darren Rowse. But I want to get there by using my own unique methodology.
What three blogs would you want access to on a deserted island?
Hm, I think I’d need access to Zen Habits to keep me sane, some sort of camping survival blog to keep me alive, and of course Winning the Web to express my thoughts and connect with my community.