I was very grateful to have the chance of a lifetime which I never thought would ever come.
I was given the opportunity to interview my blogging guru, Marhgil Macuha.
Marhgil, is the blogger behind the very successful site, Make Money Online Philippines | Macuha.com. It was a face to face discussion with the SEO expert over a family size pizza and iced tea at SM Lipa City, Batangas. The guerilla blogger, accompanied by his wife Shella, was so accomodating and very willing to reveal and share all his “secrets” on how to make money online based on his experiences and things learned through researches and observations from other bloggers. During the course of the interview, Marhgil also mentioned some of his quite interesting future plans.
I felt that 2 hours was so short with our lively and interesting discussion. I still have a lot of questions but I was not able to lay them down since I was the one who got tired of asking. But, Marhgil promised that he is open for another session soon. Finally, I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Marhgil Macuha for the time and effort you have shared to me.
Here is the interview:
Urot: How old are you when you start blogging?
Marhgil: I started blogging when way back 2004, I was 24 during that time. I just want to express how I felt and what I want to say during that time.
Urot: Do you have your own domain when you start blogging ?
Marhgil: No. I used mydiary.org as my initial site. I don’t know if blogs exist during that time because I was in Kuwait. Because of the time difference between Kuwait and the Philippines, I just use that site to post anything I want to say since I do not have anyone to talk to.
Urot: When did you start monetizing your blog?
Marhgil: I learned about Google Adsense in 2006. My first site to monetize is marhgil.blogspot.com. I already have around 500 posts when I started monetizing my site
Urot: So what keeps you busy other than blogging? Do you recommend blogging as a full-time job?
Marhgil: I currently work as IT Administrator at AEON Credit Technology Systems (Philippines) Inc. But I have resigned effective February 15, 2010. I will now be a full time blogger. I plan to reactivate my other blog sites which are idle for a year or two now. I have set aside a room in my new house as my office.
Urot: How much do you really earn in blogging(dollars/peso) that made you decide to quit your current full-time job?
Marhgil: I am currently earning 4 digits US dollars monthly. My collective earnings from Adsense, Infolink, Chitika, PayDotCom, ClickBank and CPAlead is enough to pay my new house and my family’s everyday needs. If I would be working full-time on my blog, I am expecting to earn more. My wife also earns by blogging.
Urot: Are these earnings purely income from SEO or PPC as well?
Marhgil: Purely SEO.
Urot: How long did it take you to receive your first check from Adsense?
Marhgil: After applying SEO, it took me three months to earn my first Adsense Check. During that time, PIN will be sent only when you reach the $50 earnings.
Urot: How many blogs do you maintain?
Marhgil: I have many blogs but currently I am only updating Macuha.com. I have
Urot: What is guerilla blogging?
Marhgil: Guerilla blogging is coined by my friend Atty. Ziegfred Diaz to describe my way of blogging and hijacking of keywords. The Guerilla blogging ebook is my idea which was put into writing by Atty. Diaz.
Urot: How many subscribers do you have for your Guerilla Blogging Ebook? How much have you earned from it?
Marhgil: I was not able to track those who have downloaded the ebook. I do not really earn directly from it. It is just a marketing strategy on my part.
Urot: To whom do you recommend your ebook?
Marhgil: I recommend my ebook to those who want to monetize their sites the right way.
Urot: When are you going to release a new ebook?
Marhgil: I do not have a specific date right now, but the 2.0 is already being finalized.
Urot: Do you recommend other bloggers to have their own ebook?
Marhgil: Yes. For marketing purposes.
Urot: For newbies in blogging, is niche important?
Marhgil: If you are really an expert in a particular niche then you can blog specifically about that. Sticking to a niche limits your earnings, unless your niche is really high earning and popular.
Urot: Should SEO be a way of life for bloggers? How much time is needed doing SEO?
Marhgil: If you really want to earn money online, SEO is very important. Spending time doing SEO is hard to calculate. But it is really important.
Urot: Is there a really a secret in SEO? Do you teach SEO? How much do you charge?
Marhgil: None. SEO does not have a secret. Every successful blogger have already revealed the techniques of doing SEO. I have not teach SEO yet and I do not know yet how much to charge teaching it.
Urot: What do you mean by hijacking a keyword? How do you do it?
Marhgil: Hijacking keywords is riding on the popularity of a particular keyword. I usually do online search for popular keywords. I use several tools in my research like Google Trends and Webmaster Tools. I also visit other blogger sites and try to find out what keywords they use to make internet users visit their sites.
Urot: How do you optimize your keywords?
Marhgil: I used bold and italic formats to highlight them in my posts. I also exchange links with other bloggers who use the same keywords. Link building is very important to optimizing keywords. Social Media Optimization (SMO) may also be a big help.
Urot: Do you think content is important?
Marhgil: Definitely. Content must be informative and useful to your readers. This type of contents are the key to make users visit your site naturally. Though Blog Themes usually attracts visitors, it is still the content that drives regular and new visitors to your website. With a good content, your visitors are the ones who usually promote or refer your website to other internet users. So, try to have interesting, and unique content. Do not copy and paste other’s contents to avoid being slapped with copyright infringement.
Urot: To the newbies (like me), what can we do to increase our Adsense earnings?
Marhgil: Post, post, post. Just continue posting and apply SEO. Place your Ads above the fold, meaning you must put your Adsense to a location on your site where it will be seen when your site loads without scrolling. Ads that can be placed below the fold are NuffNang and BlogBank Ads.
Urot: What are the usual mistakes by newbies that cause them to fail in their Adsense campaigns?
Marhgil: They stop after 3-6 months of posting when they did not earn. Some bloggers earn after 2 or more years of posting.
Urot: Any message for newbies who got dissppointed with their meager earnings in their early part of blogging?
Marhgil: There is no instant earnings in the internet. It is underastandable that earnings is low initially. Making money online needs focus. Set your goal and focus on attaining that goal. Do not be dissapointed by initial earnings, concentrate first in driving traffic to your blog by submitting your posts to several sites such as digg.com, reddit.com, stumbleupon.com, technorati.com and many others. You can also promote your site in Twitter, Facebook, Friendster and other social networking sites.
Urot: Who guide you when you were a newbie? What books have you read that help you to be successful?
Marhgil: I blog out of curiosity. I never really had a direct guide. I just observed and studied how other successful bloggers were able to drive visitors to their site and eventually earn from it. Sites which I studied includes Yuga sites, and Pinoyblog. I also joined SEO contests and luckily winning some of them. I read a lot of books and ebooks. This includes Adsense Code by Joel Comm, SEO Made Easy by Brad Callen.
Urot: Any additional tips for everyone on how to make money online?
Marhgil: Do not stop blogging. Research for keywords that are being searched by internet users. Focus and set your direction and do not quit. Attending blog events will also help you to promote your site. You can also give out your calling cards during these events. Unfortunately, SEO contest has been very rare this days, but if there will be, joining it is also a must. Just recently, WOW Batangas held a blog event in SM City, Batangas.
Watch out for other upcoming Revelations From The Mastermind Of Guerilla Blogging.