Michael Pozdnev of I Wanna Be a Blogger dreamed of living a life that afforded him the freedom and flexibility to travel and meet new people all while working from his laptop. 200 websites later, he's achieved just that.
In addition to his 200 websites, Michael has owned a company that provided site development and promotional services, participated in many SEO contests and co-founded several businesses: an online English school, a car rental firm in the Czech Republic and several online shops that sell movies and computers. Needless to say, he has a well rounded resume.
Here's what he has to say...
Tell us a bit about yourself and your online business:
My name is Michael Pozdnev, and I finally made my dream to become a blogger come true. For 16 years now I have been working in the sphere of online marketing. The most significant of my achievements is the help I give to other people. It’s always been much more pleasant for me to help other people rather than myself. I have been going this way for more than 15 years. I was trying to earn as much money as possible and get passive income. But that wasn’t making me happy. When I finally stopped to think about what happiness was for me, I came to an unexpected answer: to help others, to share my experience.
When did you realize that the traditional 9-5 might not be for you & what did you do next?
It happened when I was 19. Tragedy came to my life: my mom passed away. That time I was working for one famous magazine for kids. To cure my mom of cancer we needed a lot of money, but back then my incomes were very low so that I couldn’t help her. This event changed my life. I needed a freedom of action and some control over my revenues. It’s impossible to fulfill your own potential working for big companies, so I started my first business - a company that would create websites.
You’ve done a lot in your career - between creating over 200 websites and cofounding several businesses you’ve certainly kept busy - how do you manage your time as an entrepreneur?
I’m trying to set my priorities correctly. For many years I was doing it wrong, and I was taking any work, I was working days and nights to do everything well. After reading the books "The One Thing", "The 4 Hour Workweek", and "Rework", my way of thinking has changed. I started focusing on really important things while trying not to plan more than 1 or 2 things at a time. Controlling my time helped me a lot. It’s very important to track what tasks, what work you’re spending it on. Every month I analyze how I spend my time and make corrections. (An awesome tool called Toggl timer helps me in it).
When you started your blog did you ever imagine it’d be nearly as successful as it is?
Constitutionally I’m an analyst. When I decided to launch my blog, I conducted market research, learned different strategies of promotion used by my competitors and chose for myself the best from them. I didn’t expect that my articles would be striking such chords with readers. Averagely each of my posts gets 85 comments and 1k social shares. And I’m proud of these results! My success was a reflection of my main merit. To help people. With each of my readers, I build lasting relationships and friendship. I’m not creating the content for traffic rankings or money. I’m creating it to help solve some particular problem.
What systems do you have in place to help your online business run smoothly? Any specific apps or programs you swear by?
I don’t like very much the tools that help to automate everything. As you lose your personal contact with a reader. Nevertheless, without some of them, it wouldn’t be possible for me to work. These are:
- Thrive Leads
What has been the best part of running your own business?
The best thing about running your own business is the possibility to maximally fulfill your potential as a person. No full-time job can give you the freedom and joy your own business brings you. Yes, it’s hard. You have to bear responsibility and devote a lot of time to your work. But inside you know that this is your child who you love and are proud of.
What were some early challenges you faced in your business? How did you overcome them?
I had many problems :) They didn’t go away even now. The biggest problem for me is my experience. It helps me and disturbs me at the same time. I’ve been in the sphere of online marketing for so long that I even feel I need to do everything simultaneously. And do it on a high level. Only now I have learned to set my priorities correctly and focus on important things. And sometimes allow chaos in certain things.
Is there a common pitfall you find other online entrepreneurs fall into when they are first getting started?
Everybody believes that it’s easy to earn money on the Internet. You just need to start a blog, create as much content as possible - and the money will flow in. But it’s not like this. As in real life you, first need to graduate from college or university to get the knowledge. Then you need to work, make mistakes and learn from your experience. This process takes years, not months as many would think.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to learn to write better and convey my thoughts to my readers. I want to understand better my visitor to be able to help him/her. It’s important to learn to listen, not only to speak. To get feedback from people. For this, I started to conduct experiments. Only with my subscribers I share unique advice and ask what they’re interested in, and help them whenever I can. My 16 years of experience in SEO and marketing were not in vain. It’s very important to give knowledge, not only take it.
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