Building a personal brand is a great thing if you want to get success in blogging ASAP!
Bishnu Mahali from Bloggerself is one of the few bloggers who have been able to make a mark in this blogosphere through his strong personal brand.
In this post, I am going to interview Bishnu Mahali and would take out some of his hidden hacks of blogging, personal branding, productivity, and agency building.
Let’s dive into the interview:
Who is Bishnu Mahali?
Bishnu Mahali is a blogger, freelancer, agency owner, and personal branding practitioner. He is a great friend of mine who has helped me a lot in my blogging journey.
He is all over the internet from Blogging to YouTubing to Podcasting, he is doing everything.
Along with that, he owns a digital agency where he gets high-paying freelancing clients.
And because of all these works that he has made a super strong personal brand on the internet.
So, ready to know the secrets of THE Bishnu Mahali?
Let’s start with the interview questions.
Experts Talks #15 – An Interview with Bishnu Mahali (Bloggerself.com)
Q1. Hey Bishnu bro, can you please introduce yourself to my audience?
Some of you may know me already and for those who have an idea, I’m Bishnu Mahali. I started my online business journey with web development a few years back and then shifted towards freelancing later on.
Eventually, I converted my freelancing work as a Digital Agency working for multiple brands and businesses around the world and also started blogging.
I have started creating videos on YouTube but I’m very good at it yet as I’m very uncomfortable in front of a camera.
And to tell you about my future goals, would be too long so I’ll say only this, “I want to become one of the most known Entrepreneurs in India doing good for everyone.”
Q2. Bishnu, tell me about your internet story to my readers?
I think I have summarized it pretty well in my introduction but let me add a few more points.
So my website-building journey started around 2007 or something, I don’t fully recall it.
At that time HTML 4.0 and CSS 2 were very popular and I started by learning that.
But this didn’t last very long.
It was 2012 probably when I learned about Blogspot and Google Adsense from their dashboard.
I was interested in making more money so I started a small blog without any knowledge about Blogging or SEO.
So I learned them and this led me to my freelancing career.
As it was making me more money than Adsense, I focused on developing my freelancing business soon after that.
I kind of stopped working as a freelancer later on and started blogging again in 2019 on BloggerSelf. This shift happened because I wanted to create something of my own rather than working in the shadows for others.
And this journey is still going on and I am documenting it on my YouTube channel.
Q3. I have seen somewhere that you are making the most of your money from your agency. How have you done that and some tips on how a blogger can scale it to this level which you are currently in?
It’s a long process and cannot be explained in a few sentences but I would say, keep learning. That’s one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business.
As I said earlier, I started as a freelancer and my first job was to write an article for someone for which I charged only $5.
The second job was doing some SEO and again I charged only $5.
But I over-delivered my work. What this means is, I worked more than my client was expecting and it still happens in my agency work.
This simple and honest work culture helped me to build a good relationship with my clients and now we can charge about $800 per month just for consulting and helping throughout their business journey.
And that’s the minimum amount we charge at the moment.
We have also stopped working with clients that are not ready to invest a good amount of money for their business or our work.
Basically, we are only targeting high-paying clients and businesses now.
Getting back to the question, I would highly recommend learning sales and marketing if you want to grow as a freelancer or business.
It’s not optional, it’s essential!
Q4. You are all over the web from blogging to podcasting. How do you manage it and tell some of your secret hacks of time management?
I’m someone who likes to try almost everything. I keep looking for new things to do or to at least try something different within an existing idea or field.
That’s how I ended up all around the web and I don’t wanna stop here either.
I even started a local eCommerce & services business if you guys didn’t know.
So I’m someone who likes to experiment a lot.
And for the question how do I manage it? Well, I’m still learning.
I read a lot of books, watched tons of productivity videos, etc., and then finally started implementing whatever made sense to my situation.
One thing that I learned too late is that, don’t do everything yourself.
Either make some partners or hire someone to do the jobs that you don’t need to do yourself.
For example, all my emails and social media messages are filtered by my virtual assistant Vishakha.
She sorts the email that I need to see myself and all the rest are managed by her.
My social media posts are being handled by someone else.
Vishakha also works on outreach emails, proofreading, editing, etc.
I have also hired 7 writers to work on written content that produce content for both us and our clients.
Sometimes we even hire freelancers when there is too much work to be handled by the internal team.
However, as I said. I learned it too late.
Initially, I was managing all of it myself and it was exhausting.
It’s not impossible though, if you plan things smartly you can achieve the same result even if you work alone but it’s important to delegate if you want to scale your business.
To get to the point, I used to plan and prepare everything in advance.
So if I published one video every day on YouTube, that would mean that I have already created about 90 videos and they are ready to publish.
Even the thumbnails, description, etc. would be pre-planned in that scenario.
And I’m not just saying it, we actually did that for my Instagram account and our multiple YouTube channels.
So that is the trick.
Q5. Backlinks are super important and every blogger knows it! Can you tell me which methods you use to build backlinks for your website and some tips for making backlinks?
This is one of the things that most individual bloggers or website owners struggle with in my opinion.
At first, I didn’t even make effort to build backlinks and let it happen naturally.
But as I realized that most of the bloggers are having trouble getting any backlinks, I decided to work on it and see the difference.
Initially, we tried email outreach and it definitely works. However, I’m not talking about the mass email that looks like spam.
We actually did it as a team and personalized the emails as much as we could while avoiding the automated tools as much as possible.
I can assure you that automated emails or tools don’t work that well nowadays.
All of us are smart enough to identify genuine emails and those that are only getting in our inbox to get backlinks.
That’s why we try to do it in the most genuine way possible by implementing real people behind every email we send.
Now that doesn’t mean we don’t use automated tools, it just means that we don’t rely on them completely.
The other method that really works well is creating content or something worth getting linked to.
Most of the time we do case studies for this purpose. What we’ve noticed as an agency is that data-driven pages get more links than any other page.
Branding also plays a key role here.
For example, if a random blog owner that I have never heard of would reach out to me with a case study, I would probably not trust that person initially.
So my recommendation would be to focus on building a brand that people can trust, do case studies, create data-driven content, and spend time/money on genuine email outreach.
Q6. Bishnu can you tell me your daily schedule from waking up to going to sleep and also tell me how many hours you work in a day?
I don’t have a fixed schedule for my daily life but it mostly revolves around my work only.
Most of the people would find me very boring as I don’t do anything interesting. I don’t even socialize with people.
I have divided my days between projects and the to-do list for every day is different depending on the situation.
For example, Monday is reserved for BloggerSelf and my top priority that day is creating or updating a blog post, and the day ends with creating a video at the end.
Similarly, Tuesday is dedicated to my personal brand and on this day making videos is my top priority and blogging is the last one.
Wednesday was all about my thoughts and creativity but now I’ll also have Hosting Dominar included on this day.
Hosting Dominar is a new site that I’m working on right now while recording the whole process as training for you guys. It’s still a work in progress.
So that’s how my days look like. I even have a dedicated day for learning, and that’s Friday. On that day, I spend all my time learning something new.
Also, don’t forget to make yourself happy and carefree once in a while. That happens for me on Sundays when I spend my whole day doing fun stuff like playing games, watching movies, etc.
Q7. Can you share a step-by-step roadmap for newbies on how they can make their blog successful?
Well, the first step would be to ask yourself if you really want to do it or you just want to do it because others are doing it.
It happens to all of us, we get inspired by someone and then we try to replicate it.
While it’s not completely a bad thing, it’s not a good thing either.
For example, I feel very inspired when I see YouTubers like Ranveer Allahbadia, Bhuvan Bam, Mrwhosethebose, etc.
And I really want to create content like them but my personality is very different, I have different resources, and there are many other factors why I shouldn’t try to be like them.
Get inspired and then do your own thing. Do what you do best. Don’t try to copy anyone.
The next step would be to decide what niche you should be writing on, and it must be something that you enjoy.
Otherwise, you’re just going to quit it at some point or it will feel like a boring job that you don’t really want to do.
The third step would be to have patience and network with others like you. You know to support each other and it also helps in growing faster.
The fourth step would be to stay humble and keep learning.
Remember that this is just a bit of basic advice, no blueprint of success will work for everyone.
All of us are different and our journey is going to be different.
Have faith in yourself and just keep going and enjoy the process of learning and doing what you do.
Q8. Blogging, Podcasting, YouTube, and Digital Agency – Which do you like doing the most?
I mostly enjoy the backend process. The work of a CEO I guess.
But if I have to choose from the options in the question, I would probably choose YouTube.
Strangely, I am an introvert who gets very uncomfortable in front of a camera, or even a microphone really, wants to create amazing videos in the future.
But yes, that is something I am trying to do. I even plan to do a little bit of acting in the coming days for my videos and then finally create short films of my own.
There’s a creative side of me that I have never revealed much and I would like to show them to people later on.
For those of you who didn’t know I even wrote, compose, and sang my own songs as a band.
Maybe someday I’ll be able to share all of them publically as videos on YouTube, Social Media Platforms, etc.
Let’s see what happens.
But business and management are going to be my top priority forever. Or at least I think so.
Q9. Tell me some tools that you use regularly for your blogging work?
There are too many tools that I use now but initially, I was only using a few free tools like Hemingway Editor, Grammarly, etc.
Now the tools that I use regularly are:
- Notion – For project management.
- Google Calendar – for keeping track of my schedule.
- Slack – to communicate with the internal team.
- Ahrefs – for SEO and content research.
- SEMrush – for SEO, SEM, and content research. (Read my Semrush Review)
- Google Workspace – for email, storage, forms, etc.
- Jarvis & Rytr – to write blog posts and copywriting.
- Frase – to write and optimize written content. I don’t use Google Docs for this anymore.
- Thrive Suite – to design my website, landing pages, posts, CTAs, etc.
- RankMath Pro – SEO plugin for my WordPress websites.
- Canva – for graphic design such as YouTube thumbnails, blog featured image, etc.
- Davinci Resolve & Filmora – for video editing and VFX.
- And many more…
And in terms of electronics, I only use my PC and smartphone.
So there are not many tools that I use regularly daily.
I try to enlist all the tools that I use on the resources page of my website. You guys can check it out for my personal recommendations whenever you’d like to.
Q10. Setting goals is super important. Can you tell my readers how you set goals and the tool you use for it?
Goal setting is good for most people but in my opinion, it’s not that effective for everyone.
For example, I have failed miserably in achieving my goals all the time.
Although I have learned how to deal with it, this could be demotivating for a lot of people.
If you want to set goals for yourself, the only tip that I have for you is to keep them realistic and achievable.
I’m not the best person to talk about goal setting. I’m still learning in terms of that.
My biggest mistake was trusting that everyone will contribute as much as I think they will. It doesn’t happen most of the time.
People will disappoint you and that’s very demotivating to me and it happened multiple times with me.
So I have to find out why we are failing so miserably all the time to achieve our goals and fix them.
Until I figure it out myself, I can’t say anything about achieving goals.
Q11. You have made a full-fledged team for all the internet work that you do. Can you tell me how you choose members for your team and how you manage them?
I’m very new at this, so it’s perfect yet. But it’s going well for the past couple of months.
We don’t have any specific requirements but we always like to test people who want to join our team.
We gave some work and see if they are fit for joining our internal team.
For the internal team, we have some requirements that I can not share publicly yet.
Most of the time we get requests to join us and sometimes we hire freelancers to see if they have the potential and quality.
And the management is pretty complicated at the moment. Most of the things are managed by Vishakha, and I created the SOPs to make things smoother.
So at the moment, that’s all I have to say. Let me learn more and maybe someday I’ll talk about it in a very descriptive manner.
Q12. Please give my readers some motivation on how they can make their blogging journey successful? Also, can you share some of your blogging and money stats for motivation?
I am a firm believer that motivation should come from within. For example, for me, it was my struggle and my family situation.
I couldn’t afford to have anything I wanted. I wore patched pants in my school and had a lot more trouble.
That motivated me to change everything in our life by doing whatever I could.
Most of those problems are solved now but my current motivation is my ultimate goal and the desire to make my parents proud by doing something amazing in life.
See, I don’t get motivated by someone else. It’s inside me and I believe everyone should be like that.
Get inspired by people, there’s nothing wrong with it but I don’t think you should be looking for motivation somewhere else.
Just look at your own life and yourself. There’s a lot of things that can motivate you.
Q13. Give some suggestions/testimonials for my blog, Question Blogging?
I recently got to know about Question Blogging via Facebook and I truly think this is exciting and inspiring. It’s based on a difficult niche and yet it’s growing faster than expected because of its quality content.
So I would say that keep the good work that you’re doing. It’s just amazing to see how well Nishant is managing it.
Read more interviews
I hope that this interview with Bishnu Mahali would help you know some of the insider tactics of Bishnu Mahali.
I would bring interviews of more pro bloggers soon on this blog. So, STAY TUNED!
Now tell me in the comments which tactic from this blog post you liked the most?
Also, please share this blog post so that it can reach more people.
Thanks in advance ❤❤