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The real value of the blog is networking: Zach Dunn

Zach Dunn

My name is Zach Dunn. I run Build Internet (www.buildinternet.com), a blog on web design, development, and business with my twin brother Sam. Sam and I are twenty years old, and are in our third year at the University of Hartford. At school I major in “Multimedia Web Design and Development” with a specialization in media arts.In addition to being a full time student, I do client work and other projects through my web design and marketing company, One Mighty Roar (www.onemightyroar.com). We’re based in Holyoke, Massachusetts USA.

I fill my spare time with photography, personal projects (e.g. You Rather / www.yourather.com), and a thorough obsession with LOST (http://abc.go.com/shows/lost).

Interview

Q: Welcome to Speakbindas. Tell us since when blogging has been a part of your life? Was there any motive or inspiration as a backbone of it?

* Ans.: I started blogging in December 2008, and have been at it regularly for the past 13 months. Our first blog, Build Internet, was founded as a way to keep track and share our web design knowledge. It’s also been a great way to fuel discussion on new technologies or business philosophies.

Q: What is your blog all about? Which topics you cover there? Is that you alone running/maintaining the blog, or have a team?

* Ans.: Build Internet focuses on a combination of web design, development, and business. We focus on new ways to design websites effectively, and how to interact with clients successfully. As I said earlier, the blog is run and maintained by my twin brother Sam and I.

Q.: How important is it for the blogger to interact with their readers? Do you respond to all the comments that you receive?

* Ans.: Since our blog has almost 200 posts, we receive too many comments to respond to on a regular basis. I try to engage in several conversations per day, but the community tends to take care of itself. Especially on tutorials, readers will talk amongst themselves to solve problems.

Q: What are the present statistics for your blog, i.e. number of daily visitors, visitors geographical status etc.?

* Ans.: We average between 10-14K pageviews per day, with slightly lower traffic on weekends. These visitors represent over 190 different countries from all over the world. Monthly pageviews are just about 500K average.

Q: Is blogging for you just a passion or a medium for earning too? Does it help you to earn enough cash to quit a 9 to 5 day job?

* Ans.: Blogging has covered almost all of our business expenses, but it is not enough (yet) to run as a full time operation on its own. The real value of the blog is networking. It’s this kind of networking with blog readers that has led to some larger client jobs. In another year or two we may be able to support a full time job on the blog alone, but the current system works just fine in the meantime.

Q: Who are your favorite bloggers, whom you read frequently?

* Ans.: I’m a big fan of the Envato network. Collis has created something that everyone in the design community should be inspired by. When we were starting up, the work of bloggers like Jacob Cass of Just Creative Design and David Leggett of Tutorial9 were instrumental in guiding our own direction.

Q: From the secret bucket of your blogging experiences, what tips you would like to share with the fellow bloggers?

* Ans.: I’d like to focus on just one: Blogging is not as competitive as you may think. Your goal should never simply be to “best” another blog. Blogging is a community, and giving credit for good work on other sites is instrumental to building your own.

Q: Say, you are sponsored to travel to 3 world destinations, where you need not to worry about costs for food, hotel or anything. Which destinations would you pick up, and why? Would you like to take someone along with you? If yes, whom?

* Ans.: I would take a trip to three different continents. South America, Asia, and Australia. Even though I live in New England, I’m not a big fan of cold weather. I’d be sure to keep to warmer spots and stick to the usual tourist outings for photo opportunities. I’d be happy to bring along my girlfriend.

Q: How has blogging helped you other than money?

* Ans.: I’ve met hundreds of inspiring people. If it wasn’t for blogging, I wouldn’t have a contact book filled with people who share my passion for the internet. I’ve also learned how to write plainly for different audiences. Being professional and being concise are not mutually exclusive.

Q: What would be the one thing you’d change about yourself?

* Ans.: I tend to underestimate how long it will take me to finish tasks. I’m constantly trying to stay realistic with timeframes and deadlines.

Zach Dunn with Brother Sam
Zach Dunn with twin brother Sam

Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

* Ans.: Honestly have no idea how to field this one, but Thomas Edison seems fascinating.

Q: Which is your favorite television show? Favorite songs?

* Ans.: I watch LOST religiously, along with The Office. My playlist right now has Kings of Leon, MGMT, and Passion Pit. I’m eclectic when it comes to music.

Q: How much money do you have in your purse/wallet right now (including change)?

* Ans.: I’m carrying $40, which is surprising because the holidays season usually drains wallets.

Q: What is your favorite food? Any particular dislikes?

* Ans.: Since I’m from Massachusetts, seafood is a given. I rarely turn down food.

Q: What’s your take on the technological advancement these days? Does it make people’s life simple or complicated?

* Ans.: I’m a firm believe in the idea of simplicity as a blessing. The less you have to worry about one thing, the more time you can spend on bigger and better things. Simplifying tasks today just opens the door for dealing with more complicated topics tomorrow.

Q: What do you think of “blogging is the next BIG thing”?

* Ans.: I think blogging is an example of how literally anyone can gain an audience. Blogging has already proved itself as a powerful education tool over the past decade. I think the internet will continue to empower the opinions of average people in the coming years, and old media will have to adapt.

About

Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

One thought on “The real value of the blog is networking: Zach Dunn

  1. Previous comments:

    #
    Devang Vibhakar December 31, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Hey Zach,

    Thank you for sharing your valuable replies with us. 🙂

    Who choses the domain names, you or Sam? Because Build Internet, You Rather, One Mighty Roar are really outstanding ones. 🙂

    [Reply]
    #
    Zach Dunn January 21, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Thanks for the interview, I just realized that you had a pending question here. To answer your question, our names are the result of rapid-fire brainstorming. We’re fortunate enough to stumble on names that are original enough to have open domains. Thanks for the compliment though!

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About

Devang Vibhakar
Devang Vibhakar
(Editor, www.SpeakBindas.com)
SpeakBindas is a Limca Book of Awards winning blog. It's a PR3 blog with 1000+ articles & Interviews. Devang Vibhakar - Founder - has interviewed more than 350+ people and has been to Scotland, London & Germany. He's a writer, speaker, traveler & movie-goer !! He has also written four books. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of people from various sectors of life to avid readers of SpeakBindas. You can reach him here .