How My Blogging Journey Actually Started
2007/2008 — Few years ago, I was waiting outside a browsing centre in my area, eager to check my email (which I created 2 days before). I didn’t get any emails (I was weird to think I’ll get any), I was not surprised, I had no contacts, probably the first in my gang to have an email address, so I just checked those good-for-nothing spam emails and used Google for.. searching random stuff randomly. So again, I wasted some 20 bucks (they charge Rs.20 for 1 hour) for *nothing*. 20 bucks matter a lot to me. Then I came to know about Google’s Blogger platform through my elder brother and also about Google Adsense. Their combination was very popular than GoDaddy and HostGator those days. I forgot to mention that I was a school student, who was academically very poor, remember the rank system like 1st rank, 4th rank, blah blah. I barely get a rank, and even if I get any, it’ll be a huge two digit one. 😛
During my next visit to the browsing center I remembered about this Google’s Blogspot Platform, I thought of checking out their website and eventually started a blog called mailexpress.blogspot.com (later changed to hellboundbloggers.blogspot.com), it was my very first blog, my entry into blogging.
I was very happy to have a blog even though I don’t know what it was completely, I was just happy like I won something. I loved to write something and share with my friends on Orkut (remember Orkut?). I started to write about various stuff, it started from Socrates, Dexter’s Laboratory, Bikes, Nokia Music Xpress, Orkut Scrapbook tips, etc. I was very confused for a moment, I started to ask myself for whom I’m writing this? Then I came to know the difference between a personal blog and professional blog. I was not able to start a personal blog because I had no identity on the web, a simple Google search of “S.Pradeep Kumar” showed “no results found” at that time. I waited for years to create something which I’m enjoying now.
What I Did To Make It Better?
So I picked few topics related to the Internet, Orkut, and Technology, then I started to write about them. I wrote about 20 to 30 posts, I barely got any comments or feedback for them. Suddenly I saw a comment on one of the blog posts, I was really happy (it was crazy to know that I got a new reader). It took me some time to realize it was a SPAM comment. Bad luck! It was very hectic for me, I didn’t have a computer at that time, because of some reasons, which includes my academic performances as well. So I need to go to a nearby browsing centre every day, I used to wait for some time and get a good system to browse.
Browsing Centre Investment: Visited almost 50+ times, and used for almost one and half hours on average, they charge 30rs for that. So 50×30 = 1500rs. I spent 1.5K bucks + my time for nothing, no one read my blog posts, no one commented.
At that time, I used to browse so much of websites and blogs, used to read random topics and comment blah blah there. One of the blogs I used to visit frequently is MillionClues.com, I really loved this blog at that time (yes now too). I interacted with the founder and got to know about things I needed to learn. So I decided I needed a domain name to start my journey properly. I thought of so many domain names with numbers, symbols and words. Finally settled with HellBoundBloggers.com (not *really* inspired from HellBoundHackers.org) but I used to have a Rediff email address with the word “HellBound” and it automatically made sense to it.
I Bought My First Domain Name
2009 — I was very careful to pick a good domain name with .com extension and like I said I registered HellBoundBloggers.com. But the thing is I didn’t have money to buy it, like it’s 600 INR, and it was not even my pocket money those days. Somehow I managed to get my dad’s credit card, that was the first time I’m using it online, I was scared like hell. On January 29th, I went to the same browsing center, used my dad’s credit card and registered the domain name through Square Brothers. I was really happy, I own a domain name now. I took a printout of the receipt and kept it safe (I dunno why I did this). So I used this custom domain name on Google’s Blogger platform. After some hours, HellBoundBloggers.com was live. *Happiest Moment* This is how my blog looked after some days (screenshot below). I never really believed I’ll own a domain name or more exactly a website on my own. Some of my friends never really believed this, and I was like, okay fuck off.
I was a newbie at that time and I was learning each and everything very slowly, very slowly. Then I got a mail from a lady, requesting me to write a review about their software for a fee. I was confused, it took some time for me to decide whether it is a genuine email or a spam one. I took a leap of faith (again), and replied something like, “Yes, we are interested, do let us know how we can proceed.” That’s it, my first online income. *Bliss* I got 20$ for that, I was really happy. It’s like OMG 1000 bucks and it’s a huge amount those days. I can spend almost few weeks happily with that money. Only after that email, I came to know about PayPal and also created one account there. Also, I created my first Bank Account (State Bank of Travancore – SBT). Tada! I started to learn so many things after that, for example, SEO, Social Media, Server, WordPress, etc. Traffic also started to improve eventually.
But the happiest moment was when my first online interview was published. I read that interview almost 50 times, I was so happy to see something like this. I used to monitor that post, like whether it is getting any likes or comments. I used to check it minute by minute. You can check out all the interviews [here]. Meanwhile, I also understood the concept of “Guest Blogging” and its benefits. I wrote some guest posts on various popular blogs like Techie-Buzz, Techpp.com, etc. I wrote my first guest post on MillionClues.com on April 21, 2009.
By October 30, 2009, HellBoundBloggers.com got PageRank (PR) 3. We also managed to complete 100 posts and also receive 1000 comments as well. We, then, started to accept guest posts on our blog as well, pretty tough decision, but I made it right. I thought this is the best time to take my blog to next level.
Introduction WordPress – The Next Level
So at the end of 2009, HellBoundBloggers.com was finally powered by WordPress.org. It was pretty confusing at the moment, but I believed I had the interest to learn. Before using WordPress.org I had several doubts and issues, like “Am I ready to pay for the hosting?”, “How do I backup?”, “Will I lose my blog comments?”, “Should I know Programming?”, etc. I took a leap of faith, and I did the conversion without any help. Did I complete it successfully? NOPE! I did a hell lot of mistakes, and the result caused loss of Feedburner readers and unimaginably broken links. This is the first mistake I did on Blogging, also the first lesson I learned.
I thought of using a free web host initially since I don’t have enough money to buy it. (I just had my pocket money powered by my dad.) So I used a free webhost and successfully installed WordPress. Now we are powered by WordPress.
The Year Which Changed HellBoundBloggers.com
2010 — To be honest 2008 and 2009 were really hectic, I have been blogging without having any goal or intention. Not even “Making Money Online”. I realized I can gain attention only by writing good content, without that I’ll be yet another unsung blogger. So I spent some quality time and published some detailed posts, like:
- 30+ Tips To Reduce Your Site’s Bounce Rate — 29th January, 2010
- 20+ Tips To Optimize Images For Better Search Engine Rankings – 10th February, 2010
- 20+ Tools To Optimize Images For Search Engines — 26th February, 2010
- 15+ Reasons Why I Want To Marry A Female Blogger! — 10th May, 2010
I started to promote my blog by commenting on other similar blogs and they in turn commented back on my blog posts. By this, some people became regular readers of our blog. 2010 was the best year for our blog, in terms of traffic, exposure and also income. I started to learn more and more things, which eventually lead to our blog’s success. Many people asked us why we are not using Google Adsense on our blog, two reasons, we were once banned (though we got approved again) and I thought keeping Adsense restricts the blog somehow, I didn’t like that idea.
So on April 3rd 2010, HellBoundBloggers.com got PageRank (PR) 4. It was a very proud moment since most of the popular blogs at that time had PR 4.
Some of my Favorite posts on HBB
I started to write on topics I find challenging and that challenge lead to these posts. I love these posts very much personally.
- 15+ Blogging Tactics I Learned From ‘Porn’
- 10+ Ways How Porn Websites Make Huge Bucks
- The Hard Truth Behind Your Daughter’s Pocket Money
- Ditched Your Boyfriend Recently? He Might Pay You Back Like This.
Other Blogs I Started – How Slashsquare Started
Like I said I love sharing information, and HBB was a great platform for that. But I couldn’t cover all the topics under it, I believed it will look odd. Then I realized it is time for another blog. I was very passionate about Movies, I still remember the time I used to bunk classes and watch movies in theatres. Movies are viral as well. You can debate about “Vijay” vs “Ajith” for hours, even days. So I decided my next niche is “Movies”, that’s the era of “MoviesDrop”. I’m lucky to find a name I’m happy with, but I was confused whether I’ll be able to make it better, so I decided to experiment with a Facebook group. This is my first Facebook group and the best ever!
I loved the way things worked with MoviesDrop group and I launched the blog as well. I’m having several plans for that blog. Then I started another one. So finally I got three blogs now, I wanted a hub for connecting all these blogs, like a strong connection. I never really thought of making a company for this hub, I started “Slashsquare” to make the connections. Now Slashsquare is not just a hub but also the pioneer in my life. Being a blogger helped me to gain so much of knowledge and experience. Just like having a Facebook profile, I suggest you to have a blog, at least on Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Nowadays, even Medium.com is preferred by many. You can try any of these. This is My Blogging Journey. I’m still a learner and a passionate blogger. 🙂