Alexander van Dijl is a traveling entrepreneur. He started his business from a small student apartment and has grown from there. Alexander has always been interested in customer satisfaction and has helped companies large and small achieve their goals of growing through customer service.
In this interview, he talks about his blogging journey.
Tell us about your blogging journey. How, when, and why did you start blogging?
My blogging experience started before YouTube, before Google, I guess before blogging was called blogging. For me, it was (and still is to a large extent) all about sharing knowledge. The knowledge I share is all about how to reach a customer service department.
As a frequent traveler, the customer service for companies in many countries has become very hard to reach. Phone numbers are often so well hidden that they are near impossible to find. International service numbers can even be impossible to reach from certain countries.
What’s life like for a blogger?
It used to be a lonely life. Spending many hours at the computer researching and typing away. That has changed a great deal. The 2017 blogger talks to companies and people and spends time researching online and offline.
The market has become more competitive. For that reason, I will share my personal life and sometimes go off-topic for just a few blog posts. If the content turns out to be popular, I will write more. If not, I will keep the posts online and switch back to the regular style.
What needs does blogging fulfill?
Blogging helps me share my message. My goal is to have the best customer service for all companies here in the Netherlands.
The more I write, the more I see changes coming. The media is finding my blogs allowing more and more traffic to the website.
If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?
My first change would be focus. Start with laser focus and do not branch off until you have reached at least 1000 daily viewers.
Combine your blog with YouTube and social media from day 1. Re-publish all content to social media from the start.
What was your biggest challenge when you started?
Since my blog goes against the system, company lawyers know how and where to find me. In sharing a phone number, the cost of customer service has increased for many businesses.
Dealing with lawyers used to be a challenge. In recent years I have learned that lawyers tend to agree with me and my way of thinking. Any problem can be solved.
How do you monetize your blog?
My primary monetization is promoting the telephone number. The blog itself is monetized for 25% through AdSense (Google) and for 75% affiliate marketing. One of the blog items that has worked is AliExpress, the Chinese webshop.
Other streams of affiliate income include VPN systems, cloud-mining for virtual currency and other new technology.
How long did it take for you to make your first $1000 a month?
Looking back, it took quite a while longer than needed to get to my $1000 per month. I still had one of those J.O.B. things, which I have come to understand means “just over broke.” Since changing to running my company full-time, new income streams have appeared, including renting out my own home through Airbnb!
What platform or CMS do you use?
My website has been on WordPress since the start. It is the best and easiest way of running any blog or website.
What are your favorite blogging tools?
Other tools that I use include SEO by Yoast, Business Directory Plugin and several other tools to spread the word about the content of the blog.
What is that one strategy that has generated most of your blog traffic?
Getting into the mainstream media has helped a great deal. Other than that, Google. Write great content, and you will be found eventually.
How do you network with other bloggers?
My site gets content from several other bloggers, which helps keep the content dynamic and allows new topics to be added onto the site.
What advice would you give someone just starting off as a blogger?
Firstly, do not spend more than $100 on your blog and only invest money when you start to earn money. Most important, be sure to get started! No one ever became a successful blogger by planning, thinking and not getting started.
Alexander van Dijl blogs at https://vraagalex.nl/blog. Readers can connect with him there.