At Bitcatcha, we are happy to welcome Jitendra Vaswani, founder of internet marketing blog, Bloggersideas and creator of the WordPress plugin, SchemaNinja. We wanted to learn more about how Jitendra started from scratch and created a very successful internet business. Here are his tips for developing a blog and successfully launching a new product.
Hello Jitendra and welcome to Bitcatcha. Please start by telling us a bit about yourself.
Hey thanks for the interview, first of all.
Let me introduce myself as a hustler. Yes, it is true – I hustle a lot in my everyday life. I work around 16 hours a day on my business. For me, blogging is everything and it has changed my life a lot. My biggest hobby is surfing the internet. I guess you could call me an internet geek. I also love music; romantic songs, in particular. My office is located in Delhi, India but my family lives in a different city nearby.
Let’s start by talking about your blog. Why did you first start blogging with BloggersIdeas.com? Was it for affiliate marketing or some other reason?
When I first started this blog, I was working a regular job. After coming home from my job, I would stay up late at night to work on my blog. I was crazy for blogging and I developed a huge interest in learning more.
When I started BloggersIdeas.com, it was to learn more about SEO. Over time, I have learned so much more. I naturally turned to affiliate marketing as a way to make money from my blog.
This blog started in 2013 and it has positively changed my life. My family didn’t believe in my dreams when I told them that I wanted to be a blogger, but I proved them wrong. I became financially stable and my family now is very happy with my work.
You are a digital marketer. What tips can you give us for creating an online brand?
To create your own brand, you need to be active on social media. For me, social media works great. It has helped me build a huge network. My business totally depends on social media marketing.
I engage with my target market primarily through Facebook. This is where I have made most of my money online.
Most users simply waste time on social media posting stupid stuff, but for me, Facebook is purely business. I don’t waste my time on useless conversations. I use Facebook to build relationships and get leads for my business.
Social media is an excellent place to spend time and get leads for your business.
Social media marketing is definitely a big help for ecommerce site owners today.
Obviously another aspect of your business is having reliable web hosting. What type of hosting do you use for your blogs and why?
I use VPS hosting for my blog. My favorite hosts are BlueHost, InMotion and Digital Ocean. I have most of my blogs hosted with these companies. Initially, I chose the wrong host for BloggersIdeas and I ended up losing around $5,000 due to this mistake.
I will always prefer VPS hosting for blogging because shared hosting just isn’t as good; your website won’t be as safe on a shared plan. I recommend using a dedicated VPS plan so that your site won’t be prone to downtime. It’s important to always choose a reliable hosting service so that your business site doesn’t go down unexpectedly.
I have a list of whom I consider the best hosting providers on my website: Top Best Rated Web Hosting Services.
Here at Bitcatcha, we definitely agree that reliable web hosting is a must for any ecommerce site owner.
With all the different features you can find with various hosting plans, I’m curious as to which one you simply cannot live without for your blog?
I use WordPress as the CMS (Content Management System) for my blog, since it is the most powerful, self-hosted option out there today. So that is definitely the one thing I can’t live without.
When it comes to hosting a WordPress site, you need to select a hosting service that provides adequate bandwidth and disk space. Some of the features I look for are automatic backup and restore features, lots of FTP accounts, one-click installers, powerful security tools and more. The best hosts I’ve found with these features are BlueHost, Digital Ocean and Inmotion. BlueHost, in particular, offers reliable, affordable and inexpensive WordPress hosting.
Never go with free web hosting. It’s just a gimmick and they will insert their own ads and links on your site.
Bitcatcha is hosted on Inmotion Hosting VPS and we have been using our uptime record & server speed data as a showcase. Feel free to check out our Inmotion analysis.
Thanks for the tip, Jitendra. We would never recommend free hosting, either.
You started with a blog, then created your own product, a WordPress plugin. How did you identify a need for the plugin you created?
I first started blogging in 2013 and learned a lot along the way. After working on my blog part-time for a year, I decided to quit my job and blog full-time. This created huge pressure for me to succeed. I had many sleepless nights worrying about my lack of solid income. It was a huge risk but I worked hard on my business and it grew.
I decided to create my first product, SchemaNinja, which is a schema ratings and recommendations plugin. I was looking for this kind of plugin for my own blog. I tried SchemaNinja for quite a while on BloggersIdeas and it worked very well.
So I decided to launch SchemaNinja in June, 2016. I made 300 sales in the first week. After that I launched a free version of the plugin, which you can access here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/schemaninja/
Now I am working on a new version of SchemaNinja with a focus on making it the best recommendation plugin – and also the first – in WordPress. I am not worrying about including a schema rating plugin at this time.
I am really working hard day and night with my developer to make this product amazing. These are some of its recommendation features:
- Popup-based recommendation
- Exit popup recommendation
- Table-based recommendation
- And many more
For readers who may be interested in doing the same with their online business, I’m curious as to what process you used to launch your new product? Did you have to learn about each step of the process first?
SchemaNinja taught me lot of things about a product launch. I launched using the Jvzoo.com marketplace and I got to know quite a bit about this market. The products launched here are very profit-centric.
I found two international partners to help with the product launch, Kimberly De Vries and Sam Robinson. They helped me launch a great product and I am grateful to them.
Initially I was scared to launch my product as no Indian blogger had previously used Jvzoo. I was the first and other bloggers were expecting something big from me. I was afraid that I would not be able to meet their expectations. But everything worked very well and the launch was successful. Bloggers love the product.
What type of marketing have you used to promote awareness of your plugin? What has been most effective?
Good marketing is crucial for a successful product launch.
I mainly used social media and my blog network. I made people aware of SchemaNinja through social updates on Facebook, Twitter and Google +.
I also made videos and written content to introduce people to my product, along with using banner ads, email swipes and affiliate links. I used BloggersIdeas as a successful case study, because I had used SchemaNinja for a long time on my blog before it was available for sale.
I made contact and formed relationships with big influencers in the industry who could promote my product; in return I gave them the beta version of SchemaNinja so they could test it themselves. This played significant role in my product launch.
What type of ecommerce plugins do you use to sell your product online?
As I mentioned, I used Jvzoo for my plugin. I chose it because of its smooth payment gateway integration. I didn’t face any issues with Jvzoo for but for the new version of my product, I am looking for other options.
You’ll have to let us know if you do find a better alternative.
So, Jitendra, why should an affiliate marketer should use your plugin?
Affiliate marketers can use my plugin to increase sales on their niche sites. Suppose someone is promoting hosting offers in his niche. He can easily increase conversion by using SchemaNinja recommendation boxes to entice users to click on affiliate links.
SchemaNinja recommendation features such as popup, exit-based popup, table-based and top 10 recommendations can help affiliates make more money through related sales.
There is even a tracking option enabled.
Great information! Any last words of advice for our readers?
I would advise newbies who want to start blogging and affiliate marketing to always follow the experts in your niche and learn from their mistakes. Find mentors and learn from them. Never stop learning; the field of digital marketing changes constantly.
Thank you, Jitendra, for taking time from your busy day to share your information and advice with Bitcatcha’s readers. We’ve learned a lot and hope that you’ll keep us posted on your future online business endeavors.