Joost de Valk: On Blogging

Joost de Valk is an authority in the blogging world. I wanted to get some insights from him to share with people wanting to create and build successful projects online. Joost is famous for his plugins. His plugins have been downloaded millions of times and are daily used by thousands of authors. Especially his search engine optimization plugin is popular. I even use on my own projects. It allows you to easily optimize the on site part. Everything from having a sitemap, having meta tags and keywords in your posts and having your social media integration done properly.

Here’s the interview I did with Joost. I hope you can learn from it and implement some things into your own sites. I always enjoy reading about other people and how they think and run their businesses. It helps me learn, improve and get fresh ideas for myself. I hope you do too and that this helps you as well.

How and why did you start your site?

I was doing a lot of coding and wanted to share that with people. In the beginning that coding was mostly CSS and HTML stuff, I did a lot of CSS3 previews which I later split off into its own site,

How much time do you spend working on it and what are the usual tasks?

A LOT of time. From writing posts to doing link building to coding on my plugins, it takes up hours and hours of work.

What is the best lesson learned that you’d like to share with people who want to start?

Just do it. Find something you love to write about, start writing and never stop, but make sure to keep on improving yourself.

What is your best advice on how to grow your traffic?

First of all, don’t focus on the numbers but focus on the quality of your readers. In your particular niche there just might not be 10s of thousands of readers available. Second: guest post on other, related, sites, be active in the comments on other pages, write stuff that people will want to read, build stuff that people will want to use. In other words: do something cool and tell people about it.

What is your biggest achievement and the biggest mistake as a blogger?

Biggest achievement purely as a blogger is probably my WordPress SEO article. That’s been so popular for so long now that it’s almost ridiculous. As a coder, they’re my WordPress plugins. My biggest mistake… I’ve made a few I think, especially in the beginning. I did some undisclosed paid posts back then and some other stupid things, like selling links, I now wouldn’t ever do again.

I love Joost’s line about doing something cool and telling people about it. That is really the essence of running a successful project online. I regularly tell people to spend 50% of their time creating something cool and then the other 50% of spreading the word and sharing information about it to the relevant audience. If you don’t do this it will be difficult for you to succeed, so do get comfortable about the idea.