Today I would like to introduce you Kevin Muldoon whom all self-respecting bloggers should already know. If someone's not here’s a short bio.
Kevin Muldoon is a successful blogger and web developer who created sites like wpmods.com, bloggingtips.com, taekwondoforums.com and many, many other.
He also wrote books, which can be purchased at Amazon.
The first time I met Kevin was when he launched wpmods.com. It was my start page with daily news focused on wordpress. As he is a great man who found time for me, I made an interview with Kevin.
Interview with Kevin Muldoon
Most people know you from running a top wordpress blog wpmods.com, but you decided to sell it, could you tell us what was the reason?
I'm a big fan of WordPress, so WP Mods was a website I always loved maintaining. At the time I had sold the website I had been working on it every day for close to two and a half years...but I was not bored of running it.
There were three main factors that encouraged me to sell.
- I wanted to develop some other website ideas I had.
- The money from the sale could be used to help me develop those projects.
- Selling would free up a lot of my time.
- I was travelling back to Scotland for two months and then was coming back to South America to backpack for several months.
WP Mods had reached the point where it was making enough money for me to outsource all writing responsibilities. Therefore, I could have reduced my monthly profit a little and simply managed other writers.
I was reluctant to do this because of my upcoming trip to South America. I know that I would be travelling in places with poor connections, which can be a real pain when you are trying to maintain a website. Looking back, I should maybe have held onto the site, however it is a completely different experience when you are travelling with the responsibility of looking after a business.
I have been on trips before where I was away for several months at a time. I usually move onto a new city or country every few days. It is a lot easier to maintain a website when travelling that frequently in 2013....but it is still a real pain.
The money from the sale also helped me start up a few other websites that I had wanted to start. I don't have any regrets. Sure, it would be great to have a blog of that size in my portfolio now...but the last year would have been very different. Things have worked out well.
As many people know you were living in Colombia after selling wpmods. Did this time had an influence for your writing?
It was around a year ago today I sold the site. We were quite settled at the time, staying in an apartment in a beautiful little village north of Bogota. It was such a scenic place to live...with mountains in the background and trees and parks everywhere.
I am not sure my writing was influenced in any way by this, good or bad; though I was keen to return to Scotland for a little bit and catch up with friends and family (we had a wedding at the start of July to attend). At that point I had been in Colombia for around 10 months...5 or 6 of those months in that small town. It was a great little place to stay but I was keen to move on.
With regards to my writing being influenced by my time there? No. By that point I had been updating WP Mods daily for more than two years. And for three years before that I had updated BloggingTips.com daily. So I was used to blogging regularly.
Now you're focused at KevinMuldoon.com, can you tell us a little about your website?
I registered the domain name about 11 years ago in 2002 and later launched it as a blog in 2007. It was never a website I took seriously. I always placed more emphasis on my other projects, so KevinMuldoon.com was just a place for me to post random thoughts I had from time to time.
I removed the blog for a year or so and uploaded a business card design that listed my websites and linked to articles I had written. That helped me get a lot of writing jobs.
I developed a few websites a year ago though once they were set up, they didn't take up a lot of my time to maintain. So I had about 6 full of months of not working many hours. This gave me a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do next online.
Lots of ideas were rushing through my head. I knew that I wanted to create another blog, though I wasn't sure of the topic. I was swaying between starting a blog about writing and a tech related blog (which I may develop later this year). I swayed more towards the writing project and wrote down about 50 article ideas.
There were a few things that stopped me from creating a writing blog. First and foremost, I couldn't find a domain name I really liked. I wanted a good domain name that reflected the goals of the site. Secondly, I knew that if I started a blog about writing, I would be restricted to the topics I could write about.
Therefore, I started giving serious consideration to relaunching my personal blog. Writing articles there allows me to write about any topic I want and it also helps raise my profile online; something which helps me when selling books etc.
So I re-launched the blog whilst travelling South America. I mainly focus on internet marketing topics though I sometimes stray into other topics if I find them interesting (e.g. technology, interesting facts etc). It is a fun blog to update and I am looking forward to building up a good readership there as it will allow me to share what I do online with others.
What are your other projects that you would like to share with us?
I have several other websites. Over the last year, my martial arts discussion forum Black Belt Forums
has been one of the most fun I have had maintaining. I love martial arts so I never find it boring maintaining that website.
Within the next few weeks I hope to relaunch another martial arts based website I own called Martial Arts Videos. I will be sharing speaking about my development of the site through my blog.
Could you tell us why you decided to write books? Tell us a little about them.
It was a natural progression from blogging. I actually released several eBooks through my old blog BloggingTips. I have wrote several book ideas down whilst on long bus journeys in South America. So far I have released three though I hope to release many more over the next few months. I have taken a hiatus for a while to allow me to develop the blog a little more.
As all wordpress developers are waiting for Ghost launch, are you going to cover topics related to ghost at your website?
I already wrote an article about the upcoming launch. It looks like an interesting project. I find it funny that some WordPress loyalists have gone on the defensiveness about the platform. It reminds me of the silly discussions gamers have of whether SNES or Genesis is better or whether Xbox or Playstation is better. It's pointless.
Even if you don't want to use Ghost, it can only improve the WordPress. Competition is good.
Whether I cover Ghost related topics on my blog will come down to whether I use it myself. If I start using it on one of my websites, I'll probably cover it from time to time. At the moment I post about WordPress regularly because that's what I use. It makes sense that I would post about Ghost if I was using that script.
I love WordPress. I have used it for many years....but I always want to use the right platform for the right project. I won't use WordPress for a particular project if it doesn't do what I need it to do.
What are your predictions about Ghost? Do you think a lot of bloggers will leave wordpress because of Ghost "just for blogging" purpose?
I do not believe we will see a mass exodus. The WordPress community is too big for that. Plus, you need to remember that many people use WordPress as a content management system, not just for a blog.
As a pure blogging platform, Ghost has a lot going for it. WordPress is the ultimate CMS. Through no fault of its own, we have seen most WordPress theme designers design themes that can do everything. Look at ThemeForest for example. There are around 3,000 WordPress themes at the moment but only a handful could be considered a true blogging design. Most offer so much more than blogging.
That is where Ghost could excel. There will be lots of people who prefer the user-friendly interface that Ghost uses, people who don't need a lot of bells and whistles.
I think competition from platforms such as Ghost will help WordPress become a product too.
How does your typical day look like? Do you work at home or rent/own an office?
I haven't really had a typical day over the last year. It was only six weeks ago that we stopped travelling. During the several months we were travelling, I would do work whenever I could. This sometimes working all day one day so that I could go out the following day and go on a tour. I did what I could e.g. taking notes regularly on my iPad on buses.
I'm currently in Colombia. I have been working every day as I am working on developing my blog. We are planning on returning to Scotland within the next two months, which should help me get into a regular routine.
When in Scotland, I work from home. I have a desk, a big comfortable chair, 27" iMac and a few Windows laptops. In Scotland, I normally wake up, have breakfast and then check my emails. Then I'll normally do something for an hour such as work on a blog post or fix something that needs fixed on my forums.
Then I usually do exercise of some kind. Either going out for a quick three mile run or going into the gym I have in my garden. That is decked out with muay thai heavy bag, weights and a boxing bag. It is also floored with mats for grappling.
In the afternoon I will have lunch and then get into work. I normally do the bulk of my work between 1 and 7. Then I'll have dinner and relax for a bit, either playing a video game or watching a movie. Then I'll sometimes do a little more work. Each day is not the same. I try and arrange my work around my social life. This allows me to go to the cinema, Taekwondo, or go out and see friends when I want. I have been working online for years so I have a good work ethic. I know that I need to work more one day if I am going out the following day; and I know there are times when I have to say to friends that I am busy because I need to get something finished.
How much time do you spend daily for blogging and checking resources?
Currently, I am working between 50 and 60 hours blogging. It sounds like a lot...and it is...though I had a lot of time off over the last year, therefore I am keen to work hard and establish my blog.
When I'm back in Scotland, I'll probably work 30-40 hours per week.It just depends. I normally do around 8 hours a day from Monday to Thursday but only 3 or 4 hours on a Friday. Then on Saturday and Sunday I probably spend about an hour in the mornings checking emails or stats. Doing the bulk of the work during the week allows me to relax for a few days at the weekend and recharge my batteries.
8 hours a day through the week is easy, especially when you remember that I have no commute. For example, I can work 9am-11am and 1pm-7pm from Monday to Thursday...and those are my long days.
The important thing to remember is that it is not the hours you work. You need to work smart. When I am settled back in the UK, I hope to outsource a lot of the tasks that I am currently doing myself. I would rather make less money and enjoy a better lifestyle.
Could you tell us how do you get ideas for new topics?
Getting new ideas for topics is something I never have problems with. In fact, I have the opposite problem: Too many ideas.
I carry a notepad and pen with me at all times. Whenever I have an idea, I make a point of writing it down right away. Then I write it down as a draft on WordPress. I'll write down the general premise of the post and link to any relevant articles I plan on referencing.
I read regularly too: books and blogs. That always inspires me and gives me new ideas for articles. Due to me always writing down notes, I have over 120 draft posts for KevinMuldoon.com. I will need to bring in some other people to help me write about these subjects.
For me, getting topic ideas is easy, getting the time to sit down and complete the article is not. Some of the post ideas I have will take at least a day to write. I am constantly thinking of new topics to write about too, therefore a lot of my post ideas remain in draft. Having so many ideas in draft status is a good thing, however I am keen to some of them online.
Could you give our readers a few tips about freelance blogging, what to do and what not?
Always be professional. There are times when an editor will reject you for a job. Sometimes they are quite rude and don't even take the time to email you back and let you know. In situations like that, you can either get pissed off and burn your bridges with them, or you can be polite and ask them to keep you in mind for future. You will be surprised at how many people will come back to you about a job when your last contact with them was friendly and professionally.
It is also very important to be organised. There will be times when you have little work and other times when you are overwhelmed. You need to manage your workload effectively so that you can keep all your clients happy and deliver on time. You should manage your money efficiently too. You should not be living day to day. Some clients may not pay you for weeks, so you need to put money aside to deal with issues like that and with unexpected problems such as sickness, the death of loved ones etc.
And the last one, why all people that want to be a good bloggers should subscribe to your newsletter? 🙂
My newsletter delivers a weekly update of all the articles from KevinMuldoon.com. I also email subscribers about the upcoming release of my books. I have been releasing all of my books on Amazon for free for five days, so those who subscribe will ensure that they do not miss out on getting one of my products free.
I do not email subscribers about "special offers" or annoy them with affiliate links. It's not that type of newsletter. It's simply the most efficient way for me to update people of what I am doing online. I do try and help subscribers where I can, as they have been a great help to me, particularly with the release of my books. Bottom line, if you like the articles I am publishing on my blog, you should subscribe 🙂
If you would like to hear more from Kevin feel free to leave comment with a question
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