Interview with Pradeep Kumar: Follow ethics instead of writing about them
Introducing a blogger called Pradeep Kumar – CEO & founder of Slashsquare , a renowed blogger from Chennai, TamilNadu is no less than introducing a celebrity (atleast in the world of blogging). This persona has not only left behind the true ethics as a blogger but also as a human being. Interacting with him has always been an enchanting and a kind of small legacies that I compile at the end of every conversation. A simple engineering student who had love for computers but never knew that his failures in engineering would make him one of the most successful bloggers.
Here, I present a little about who is “Pradeep Kumar” through a different perspective, different dimensions.
What bloggers miss during the pursuit of knowledge?
Pradeep Kumar : I always see Bloggers as Teachers. They are blessed with the fact that they can learn and share their knowledge; in short, they are educating people via their blog posts. But sometimes they forget to implement their knowledge. They learn about the tactics of affiliate marketing, but they fail to implement it practically and see the results. They learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but they fail to work it out with their blog posts and see the changes.
Knowledge is nothing unless we implement them in our day-to-day life.
How will you moralize blogging after having a divine intervention into it for so many years?
Pradeep Kumar : The word “Blogging” adds more meaning to my life and to my name.
I love it when people search for “Pradeep Kumar Blogger” instead of “Pradeep Kumar”.
Blogging has been a great tool for mass communication. A teacher teaching in a class or a principal giving lecture inside an auditorium will reach maximum 1000 people or something like that. But being a Blogger, the information we provide can reach limitless people, the numbers are infinite and eternal.
It makes us more responsible and punctual. Blogging should be handled with care, a single mistake (let it be grammatical or factual) can make someone’s life or someone’s gadget messy. Blogging is easy if you are providing the right facts and take calculated risks.
“Nothing succeeds like success.” This quote holds a relevance to your success. But, I even know that “Nothing is free in this world”. Which failures led you till here, the failures that you think were like the milestones pointing the correct way to excellence.
Pradeep Kumar : That’s true. I faced more failures than successes in my life. Each time I fail I understand how complicated my life is, that helped me to understand my life way better properly.
Academically I was an average student, I completed my school and college with average marks.
It took 5 years for me to complete my engineering degree, extra 1 year to clear my backlogs (or arrears).
I used to travel alone to my college for writing those papers, I sit in my exam hall with strangers and used to complete the paper asap to leave the hall quickly. I felt bad, not because I’m writing that paper for the 5th time, but for writing that paper without even knowing what I’m actually writing.
I understood the real reason for my failure – “Lack of interest”. You fail because you lack interest. You can’t cook unless you can enjoy the taste yourself. My parents gave me the freedom to choose the course I want, but I ended with Computer Science Engineering just because it had the word “Computer”. I seriously forgot the words attached to it, words like “Science” and “Engineering” matters a lot. After completing few semesters I realised that I was indeed a fool and picked this course without understanding what it is actually.
I realized just because I had interest in computers and Internet doesn’t mean I’ll like Computer Science Engineering.
It is actually different, looking back I wrote more papers about Maths and Electronics mostly. After completing my degree I understood that I’m just a Graduate and not an Engineer.
When I started Blogging I considered it as yet another online time-pass for me, just like I used Yahoo! Messenger, Email or Orkut. But when I realized it is such a powerful weapon, I made sure I make full use of it. I decided that I don’t want to be a Graduate in this Blogging world but an Engineer.
I didn’t really bother about the failures I had in my blogging journey, because I always see them as a result of a brave risk I took and I’m glad I’m not repeating those mistakes, but recovering from them.
The drive to get more is the true sign of progress. So, what drives you and keeps you move on?
Pradeep Kumar : I never really see improvement or progress in the form of blog traffic, money, page likes, or followers.
I see Progress as when people come back to you even after you have made a mistake. Trust is the true sign of progress.
The kind of feedback and support I get whenever I make a mistake is what drives me and keeps me moving. People trust you and they believe you that you will help/teach them even you are capable of making mistakes.
Trust is very hard to earn, and it can’t be measured easily.
“For the king there is (danger) of revolt in the interior or in the outer regions.” Is it easy to get and remain in power? Is it secured and safe to remain at the top? Does the danger of getting overthrown by your own people haunt you?
Pradeep Kumar : Since I see Blogging as a medium to share information I never really saw it as a profession but as a passion. Everyone wants to get famous, get mentioned in the “Top 10 Bloggers” list, get interviewed, blah blah., but they don’t understand one thing, there are two words “Famous” and “Favorite”.
I want to be your favorite blogger and not as a famous blogger. I want you to like me.
I’m just a passionate blogger who doesn’t believe in the numbers game. As long as you are doing what you love, you are always at the top.
How can you keep everybody happy when you are in command especially when you have got such a varied amount of readers?
Pradeep Kumar : When I started “HellBound Bloggers (HBB)” I had plans to blog about movies, tech, internet, bikes, books, etc. I was not aware about the term “niche” blogging and I never really cared about SEO or anything. But later I realised HBB can’t manage all the topics at once and I need a separate hub for each topic.
That’s the reason why I started to launch MoviesDrop, MusicBooze, HostLater, Photovity, GameThem, etc. I have been managing all their Social Media profiles like Facebook pages, Facebook groups and Twitter profile. We have an audience now and I know their requirements. I can understand their needs better and when I start a blog it will be easy for me to have resources that’ll be helpful for them. I try my best not to spam while promoting our groups. Even though I started and manage all those groups I’m not the only one responsible for its growth or success, each and every member on our group matters a lot. Their contribution and dedication are responsible for the growth.
It is not enough to collect facts, tease out their relevance as well. Your insights please.
Pradeep Kumar : The problem is, almost everyone has a blog now. People are confused to pick the best one and get the right information. We often end up collecting valuable facts but we don’t realise we are competing with 1000s+ of other blogs who are doing the same.
You need to create an authority before you can start to provide any useful information.
“iPhone 5S Tips” from Mashable.com will be preferred than “iPhone 5S Tips” from Example.com.
“Law” – According to me we are missing that “Law” in our blogging due to which we are creating something mechanically without any clarity of what we are achieving. We know the “What” but we do not know the “Why”. What would you say on this?
Pradeep Kumar : This is really a complicated question, the answer actually depends on why they started blogging.
People normally start to blog for 3 main reasons –
1) They want to share knowledge.
2) They want to make money.
3) They are curious about Blogging.
If they want to share knowledge, they will blog no matter what happens. If they want to make money, then they’ll blog as long as their blog generates income, if not they’ll try to spam it. If they are curious about Blogging, they’ll try it and if they love it they’ll proceed experimenting.
Money makes bloggers blind, they start 100s of MNSs (Micro-niche sites) for trending topics and they are dead after the trend gets over.
We are ended up with 100s of fake competitions.
Most of the bloggers, at times feel that “The time when you started to blog, there was a minimal amount of competition and so it became easy for you to rank yourselves up, as a result you are here today upholding a significant position in the blogosphere with a name and fame.” Is it so? Is there any significant shift in terms of competition in blogosphere? Describe the “Blogging then” and “Blogging Now”. Do you find yourself lucky enough to have started a blog during that duration?
Pradeep Kumar : To be seriously honest, I think that was indeed a true statement. But on the other side, we too had some ups and downs.
Blogging Then: Let me talk about the pros first, back then we never really had any Google Algorithm updates, Applying for Adsense was way too easy, Countable tech bloggers – so less competition, Availability of awesome domain names and also Social Media usernames, Google never really cared about paid reviews or text link ads, and most importantly most of us never really started blogging for money.
Now the cons, there was no one to guide us properly, that was something I always missed when I started blogging.
Arun Basil Lal from MillionClues was very helpful to me and Harsh Agarwal helped me to understand professional blogging.
But looking back, I never really had the chance to discuss my ideas and views with several like-minded people. It was very difficult to explain the term “Blogging” to my friends or other people, I was like telling them I’m writing on the Internet, they are like oh, this guy is chatting with someone on the internet.
We didn’t have Facebook pages or Twitter profiles to generate traffic, we relied only on RSS feeds and Email Subscribers those days.
Blogging Now: Again I’ll talk about the pros here first, you have so much of resources to see before you can start blogging. See, almost everyone has a blog now so you can see how it works.
You can easily explain to people that you are a problogger and chances are high that they’ll understand your profession properly.
You can attend all those fancy blogging events, meetups, blah blah whereas way back then only journalists and reputed people will get access to such stuffs.
You can make use of Facebook and Twitter for all your doubts, you have groups with 1000+ members to clear your queries. We just relied on Google and Yahoo! Answers back then, but now you have Quora and other awesome startups. There are many such things..the list goes on day by day.
The cons?! Well, people now have blogs just like they have email addresses, so you won’t be able to grab a good domain name easily these days. Not even a good social media username. People mostly start to blog for earning money and when they are not earning money from it, they start to spam it, which eventually affects other good blogs in the blogosphere.
People start to degrade other quality blogs because of a single spammy blog.
“News should use photography not just as corroboration but also as a revelation.” Drive us to the importance of impact, which photographs leave on a reader’s mind.
Pradeep Kumar :
I’m a big fan of photographs, that’s the main reason for starting “Photovity” project.
A single photograph can explain the concept of a 1000 words blog post. The colours and tones of a photograph can explain the situation or a moment encountered. An eye-catching photo can easily lure or trick the people to read the blog posts. Thanks to Social Media, some Bloggers can use images and promote their blog posts along with it. It can give better conversions than before.
“The news should make us angry, but for the right reasons, to the right degree and for the right length of time.” Have we lost the ability to do that in chase of gaining Adsense cheques?
Pradeep Kumar : Yes, unfortunately, the trend changed a lot.
Some Bloggers always see a Blog as a medium to make money rather than a medium to make a change.
Blogging is all about sharing information, sharing views, and telling people what’s wrong and what’s right. If you are positive or negative about something, then make it unbiased, be open-minded.
This also applies for affiliate marketing, no matter whether the product is good or bad, we’ll still promote it since it gives us money. I think this explains our urge to make money properly.
What are these things according to you:
Pradeep Kumar :
1.) Affiliate marketing: Promoting a bad product in a good way to make money.
2.) SEO: Becoming the servants of Google.
3.) Content: It’s more like an ocean of keywords.
4.) Social media networks: Where Strangers are termed as Friends.
5.) Trust: It’s like Virginity.
6.) Time: Something, which can’t be recovered.
7.) Money: Not a result of real Success but maybe a gift or compliment for our success.
8.) Ethics: People might write about ethics more than following it.