Interview with Shawn Swisher of Ninja Blog Setup

by Jenny on January 23, 2010

Since we love Ninja Blog Setup so much, we thought that we would ask Shawn Swisher of Ninja Blog Setup for an Interview.  Enjoy.

Ninja Blog Setup

1. What is a blog?

A blog is a website that displays content in chronological order with the newest content at the top of the page. When you post something new, the older content gets moved down the page. It’s kind of like an online soapbox where you can talk about whatever you want. Typically, blogs have a comment section that allows readers to post their comments and interact with the blogger. Blogs can be used for many different things. Some people use them as a way for friends and family to keep up with what they are doing. Other people use blogs as a way to share their knowledge with other people and teach them how to do something. Businesses can use them to promote their products and services. Blogs can also be used to post videos or create galleries of photographs. If you want to go online, a blog is probably the easiest way to get started.

2. How did you get into blogging?

My first blog was a political blog that I started just as an outlet for my frustration with how our government was working. I blogged for about six months, then got burned out and quit. It certainly wasn’t due to a lack of available content. I could have easily written multiple posts per day, but I just didn’t have the time to do that and political blogs happen to be more difficult to monetize so I felt like I was wasting valuable time. Here at Ninja Blog Setup, my site is focused on providing technical service and support to bloggers so I use my blog to offer people tips on handling the technical side of blogging and expose them to the services that I offer to make blogging easier. I’m more of a techie guy, not a pro blogger, so I don’t have one of those “I made six figures in seven days” kind of stories.

3.  Do you think blogging is effective?  For what sorts of things?

Again, I’m no blogging guru but there are lots of people out there making a living online, whether it be through blogging, affiliate marketing, providing  services or ecommerce. I think blogging can be an effective way to drive traffic to a site. Whether that traffic earns you any money or not depends on a lot of things that are too numerous to talk about here. In a nutshell, I think you can say that if your site teaches somebody to do something, helps them solve a problem or makes their life easier in some way, then you have the potential to have a group of loyal readers. Once you have traffic that trusts you, you can monetize it by selling a product or service that teaches them something they want to know or helps them solve some problem they may have.

That doesn’t mean every blog is going to be profitable. Most people out there will give up long before they ever see any financial success, but if you pick your niche right and keep at it, success will eventually show up at your door. There are many people out there who blogged for a year or two before they ever experienced any success.

4.  Why do you think WordPress blogs are better than other blogging platforms, like Blogger and Joomla?  Or do you think certain blogging platforms are right for certain businesses or purposes?

Although you can modify Joomla to create a blog, it’s not really set up to be a blogging platform so I’ll discuss WordPress vs. Blogger. With Blogger, all you do is sign up and start blogging. It costs nothing, so that’s a big advantage to a lot of people. Lots of people use Blogger for their family or personal blog. However, when you want to start making money with your blog, WordPress wins the race hands down. For a more detailed explanation of the advantages of WordPress, I recommend reading 10 Reasons Why You Should Use WordPress.

5.  When or how does a blog fail?

Blogs can fail for many reasons. Many people expect success to happen overnight and they end up giving up because they don’t make money or get lots of traffic right away. Many times, people choose a niche that is too broad or too competitive. That’s what happened with my first blog. Not only was it in a competitive niche, it also was in a niche that was difficult to monetize. There are tons of political blogs out there and most people read them for news, information or commentary, not because they need help to solve some problem they have. That’s why selecting your niche is so important to a blog’s future success. It’s important to choose a topic that you’re passionate about or are experienced in, but you have to ask yourself “what is my business model?” If there’s no course, ebook or video you can sell, no service you can provide, no product you can sell or just no reason for anyone to pay you for providing anything, then that only leaves making money from selling advertising on your blog and that’s going to be a big disappointment for most people out there.

If you are interested in setting up a blog with Shawn, please feel free to visit his website or click on the banner below.

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