It was in 2012 when I first got to know Jupiter Jim. We both were members of a Facebook blogging community whose admin was doing some house cleaning. The admin wanted to let go of community members who weren’t participating in activities.
To stay, a member should be nominated by another community member. Jupiter Jim and I agreed to vouch for each other. It was the start of a friendship.
Jupiter Jim is a WordPress consultant and website design expert. He blogs about WordPress, Thesis theme and blogging at JupiterJimsMarketingTeam.com.
To get to know him more, here’s an interview that I am most delighted to share with you all.
1. When did you start blogging? What is the purpose of your blog? What prompted you to blog?
I started blogging seriously and regularly in January 2011, so that’s a little over two years ago. The purpose of my blog is to share my own video tutorials on WordPress and the Thesis Theme.
As time went on, I realized there were some important topics that did not require video, but were important to write about. A good example of that would be the two recent posts I did on WordPress blog security.
Here’s what prompted me to blog: I was building WordPress blogs and websites for clients. I thought that all I had to do was just build a WordPress website and hand it over to the client like we all did with the old HTML sites.
Then I realized that there is so much more to blogging than posting an article and replying to the comments. I realized that in order for me to be of any real value to my clients, I needed to become a real blogger myself – not just a blog designer.
2. Do you consider yourself a better blogger now than when you started? If so, why?
Well, I do write better blog posts now. They are better now because the way they are written and formatted make the posts easier to read, yet still have better SEO. In the beginning I was told to “just write good content and you will have natural SEO.”
For a beginner, that is probably good advice. I still write the same quality content, but now I will spend some extra time making the article (also called ‘blog post’) more SEO friendly while keeping it “human reader” friendly at the same time. For instance, I make proper use of H1, H2, H3 tags.
I also try to sprinkle in just the right amount of internal and exernal links to keep Google happy. The cool thing is that stepping up the “onpage SEO” actually makes the article more useful to my readers, as well. (because better formatting makes them easier to read and the links provide additional relevant resources)
3. What lessons, if any, has blogging taught you so far? If you were to start blogging all over again, what particular mistake would you dare not repeat?
I can honestly say that I have not made any major blunders as a blogger … so far! I have been rather cautious and conservative in building my blog following and email list. So I have not done any crazy contests, or promotions, or blog posts that were deliberately controversial just to get blog visitors.
Neither have I engaged in any blackhat SEO techniques.
So by being conservative in my approach, I would say that blogging has taught me patience. I figure that it’s going to take me a total of at least three years of hard work before I become “an overnight success” as a blogger.
4. Who do you consider your blogging mentors? Why?
Kimberly Castleberry, Nile Flores, Ana Hoffman. They are the three that I follow on a regular basis. They blog regularly. They post quality content that I can actually use to improve my WordPress blogging right now — today. They practice what they preach. They are not full of hype. They are thorough and meticulous and professional.
I have a list of the “Top 20 Bloggers” on my website which lists other bloggers that I hold in high regard for the same reasons.
5. Do you believe blogging helps bridge cultural and communication gaps between people? Why or why not?
The answer would have to be a definite YES! I have blog followers that I regularly communicate with from countries like India, Pakistan, UK, Australia and, of course, the Philippines with its friendly people and warm, balmy weather like we have here in Jupiter, Florida.
6. Was there any particular incident in the past that made you want to quit blogging? If so, why?
This is such a great question. It’s a great question because so many people start blogs and then quit within months. Very, very few make it one full year as a blogger. Why? Because writing blog posts, creating video tutorials, monitoring blog comments and comment spam, promoting your blog posts on social media, maintaining site updates and security can get to be a real grind at times.
It’s not always fun. It takes discipline. And sometimes it seems like you’re getting so little in return for your efforts. So yes, there have been times when I’ve been discouraged, but it never lasts very long. I have seen some very successful bloggers write that they’ve felt like quitting at times (even while they were being successful!) but didn’t.
So that helped give me the encouragement to get back on the saddle, write another blog post or shoot another video tutorial and keep moving forward with my blog. When people from around the country or around world just randomly write a comment on my blog telling me that they were totally stuck until they watched one of my video tutorials, that helps keep me motivated as well.
7. Where do you normally find your blogging inspiration, like ideas for blog posts and such? Given your schedule, how do you find time to blog? Do you have a particular blogging schedule?
Well, as you know, my blog, Jupiter Jim’s Marketing Team, is about WordPress blogging. So every time I run into a problem, or one of my clients has a problem, I realize that there are probably a lot of other bloggers out there with that same problem. So that problem is going to be the topic of my next blog post.
For instance, I just wrote a blog post on where to find free images that you can legally use on your blog (just searching Google Images will probably violate copyright law!). I also realized a while back that many people just have no idea how to properly add a contact form to their contact page. So that was another video and blog post right there.
Read Jupiter Jim’s post here: How to Find Free Images for Your WordPress Blog Posts
As for my schedule, I try to create one blog post per week.
8. If blogging was not like it is now – profitable for some and a marketing vehicle for others – would you still blog?
I would still blog, because it really helps my clients become successful bloggers after I’ve built them a WordPress website or blog. And my blog following is big enough now that I feel I would be letting a lot of people down if I just stopped blogging.
Besides, I love to learn and I love to teach, so blogging is a perfect venue for doing both of those things.
9. What do you think is the best blog post you’ve written so far? Why?
Of course, everyone probably tells you that that’s a hard question to answer, and it is. I have no idea which post is the best. However I did write one blog post that was extremely popular and got lots of comments. I usually write 99% of the time on WordPress. I mean, that’s why people are on my site, right?
Well, one day I just wanted to say that I was done with following the news media as they endlessly cover every detail of every tragic event that occurs in this country, the USA. Judging from the number of people on my email list that opened that blog post (Aweber shares all these stats with me), and judging from the number of sincere, heartfelt comments, I would have to say that that was one of my most popular blog posts.
Read Jupiter Jim’s post here: No More Mass Shootings on TV for ME
I am also happy that I had the guts to take a chance and write on something somewhat controversial and unrelated to WordPress. And I am very happy that my blog followers let me share my personal point of view on something unrelated to the topic of WordPress without unsubscribing from my email list! That makes me loyal to them, as well.
10. Will you be blogging a year from now? What is your message to newbie bloggers out there?
I plan to keep blogging for as long as I’m alive. As for advice, well newbie bloggers have heard this piece of advice so often, they are probably sick of hearing it. But following this advice is the cornerstone to your success as a blogger, and it is this: “Pick a topic you are passionate about.”
As I mentioned earlier, blogging is a grind. It’s like writing a chapter a week for a book that never ends! Does that sound easy to you? Does that sound like fun? So you had better like writing and you had better like your blog topic – a lot. Anything short of that is a recipe for failure.
11. Select three words to describe yourself as a blogger.
Informative. Passionate. Dedicated.
Thank you so much, Jupiter Jim!
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Larry James says
This is an excellent interview Maricel. I must say that I like the approach that Jupiter Jim takes to blogging. Many times after building a blog for a new client, I sent a lot of time teaching the client how to publish posts, upload photos, and embed videos. It would be much easier (and faster) to just point the client to articles you have written and videos you have created, to show them how to manage their blogs.
Thank you for introducing me to Jupiter Jim, I do not do work with Thesis Themes, I use Genesis Framework to build my sites, but I still think there are things I can learn from Jim. I have read his post about WordPress sites being hacked, and it is very helpful.
Larry James recently posted…How To Build a Better Website
Maricel Rivera says
Larry, I’ve already replied to this very kind comment of yours in the original post. We had to redirect the original to this new link because of a mistake I made. But I don’t want to be cutting and pasting (because I already did that with your comment above).
Yes, Jupiter Jim is very passionate about what he does. He’s a great teacher, too.
And as always, thank you so much for dropping by and commenting, Larry!
Maricel Rivera recently posted…My Foray into SEO: Guest Blogging
Jennifer Cunningham says
This is great advice for the blogger. Patience is probably the most important ingredient. Blogging is, as you say, like writing a chapter a week to a book that will never be finished. Thanks for the tips.
Jennifer Cunningham recently posted…How to Start a Successful Website
Maricel Rivera says
Hello, Jen, thanks for dropping by. Apologies for the comment appearing just now. I had to fish it out of the spam tub. Akismet, tsk.
I agree with you on the patience part. If one doesn’t have any patience, it’s better not to start a blog at all, in my opinion. 🙂
Maricel Rivera recently posted…Leveraging Social Media Marketing for Local Businesses
Ana Hoffman says
Interesting to learn more about Jim; some great insights on blogging here! And of course, I am honored to be mentioned as someone Jim has learned a lot from.
I’ll be adding this post to my weekly marketing skinny as a thank you for the mention.
Ana Hoffman recently posted…How to REALLY Create a Popular Blog From Scratch
Wow, Ana, thank you so much for visiting. Your second time around here, and like the first time, I feel so honored having you around. 🙂
Thanks in advance for the mention. I’m sure Jim will be thrilled, too.
Maricel recently posted…24 Ways to Increase Your Productivity
Jupiter Jim says
Oh, I am thrilled!
Jupiter Jim recently posted…How to Create a new user in WordPress