To sustain anything long term, passion has to be there: Gabe Young | SpeakBindas
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To sustain anything long term, passion has to be there: Gabe Young

I am a business professional with an entrepreneurial spirit. Although I have an MBA and managed websites and IT departments for several Fortune 500 companies, I have always had other streams of income.Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari & Chuck E. Cheese, as well as being Steve Wozniak’s idol, once said that the biggest curse that one can have, especially someone fresh out of school, is a stable job.

That’s been my problem: I have been too employable! I blog at Free Blog Help – http://freebloghelp.com/

During that time, I have created strategies and tactics for some of the most popular websites today. A big part of that included SEO, which means I’ve not only watched on the sidelines but also participated in the game over the past decade.

Ever since I obtained my undergraduate degree, I have been able to secure an incredible salary, enough to live in the house of my dreams, drive any car that I want, and give my family all the things I never had growing up. However, I always had that itch, you know, the one that screams at you that you are destined for greater things. So since 2002, I have had many business ventures, some better than others, and have learned a lot from them: running my own corporate housing, renting properties, being an angel investor, owning several e-commerce sites, and blogging. Guess which was the easiest? Well, being an angel investor was probably the easiest but also had the highest risk. Blogging was by far the most stress-free, least time consuming, lowest cost, lowest risk, greatest potential, and most fun. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

Let’s back up a bit, blogging was something I did “on the side”, like many who start out. I blogged for my employers, I blogged for my students (I still teach at a university part-time because it’s my passion), and I blogged to rant about companies that are unethical. I wasn’t trying to make money, I just did. So I thought to myself, if I was able to make money without even trying, the sky must be the limit if I actually tried to optimize them, even on a shoe-string budget.

I created Free Blog Help to provide tips for people who also want to make money blogging. My ego has always told me that I can make anything successful. Success can be defined in many different ways but if you also have that itch, then there’s really no reason why you can’t be like me or any of the other thousands of bloggers who earn income from blogging.

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?

  • I started blogging in the late 1990’s when I headed the consulting division for a top US web agency. Blogging was so new back then that we really didn’t understand how it could benefit anyone at the time. For the most part it was simply a platform for anyone to be heard — even though usually no one was listening.
  • Since then, I have blogged for many of the companies that I worked for, most of which are in the Fortune 500. Over the years, I have helped earn millions of dollars for my employers and it actually wasn’t until 2009 when I launched several blog sites of my own; Free Blog Help kicked off in July of 2009.

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

  • Free Blog Help is exactly as it sounds. Some of the topics are for new bloggers while others are a bit more advanced. With over a decade’s experience as an internet and SEO professional, I figured there’s no reason not to deliver my own content. My expertise ranges from the technical know-how of a blog’s backend to the design and usability of the interface all the way through to the business side of running a successful site.
  • This site is run by me 100% and I have no plans to share responsibilities with anyone. However, I do occasionally partner with others to share services.

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

  • It’s absolutely critical to interact with visitors! Although not all comments solicit a response, I do end up replying to roughly two-thirds of them.
  • I return the gesture for any visitor who leaves a comment for me by doing the same for their blog. Some purists might argue that reciprocal comments are taboo but the reality is successful blogging requires a team effort. That includes working with blogging buddies, mentors, and sometimes, perfect strangers.
  • That said, not every blogger is able to connect with their audience. Just responding to their comment actually benefits the blogger more than the visitor. Bloggers need to produce unique and interesting content regularly. That’s really the first step of building a community.

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

  • For a blog that hasn’t even reached its six-month birthday yet, I’m pretty happy with the progress Free Blog Help as made. Even though I know I can game the system by using a few tricks, I try to let the blog grow organically. Part of it is my ego but mostly it’s because I believe it’ll be more beneficial to me in the long run.
  • Anyway, without disclosing all my stats, let’s just leave it with a below 100,000 Alexa rank with some of my articles up to a Google PageRank 4. Not bad for a short period.

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?

  • First, let me say that if passion isn’t part of what someone is doing, they should go find something else to do. To sustain anything long term, passion has to be there.
  • I’m extremely passionate about my blog. I’d like to think that my visitors can almost feel the passion oozing from every word in my articles. I’m a firm believer that once you identify what success means to you and you’re able to reach those goals, the money naturally comes. As a result, I have several streams of online income.
  • However, I also have a full time job and several part time jobs. Just because I’m able to earn more than the average household in the US through my online activities doesn’t mean that I have to spend all day doing them. I am a Microsoft partner and speaker, teach project management at a university, direct a consulting unit of a healthcare company, and will start up a new company later this year.

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

  • I read over a hundred blogs on a weekly basis and I like all of them! The problem is that I have so many interests that reading blogs can keep me pretty busy for several hours each night if I let it.

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

  • Wow…way too many to list. Let me just say that there’s just one secret ingredient and I already mentioned it earlier in this interview. Passion is the key building block. If you’re passionate about blogging, then you’re half way there.
  • Chose a niche you’re passionate about, write about topics you’re passionate about, let passion fly off your fingers when you’re writing, and be passionate about promoting and nurturing the blog.
  • And of course, passion also happens to be the building block for everything else that you want to achieve.

Q: Do you believe that blogging completes you? If yes, tell us how?

  • I can’t say that blogging completes me but it’s certainly part of what I do. My wife and kids complete me. Living the lifestyle that I have completes me. Getting together with good friends complete me. Giving back to the community completes me.
  • I’m hoping that no one ever thinks that blogging completes them. When you’re on your deathbed, blogging should be very low on the list of your proudest accomplishments in your life.

Q: What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?

  • Be ready for a very cliché answer! My wedding day and each day when my children was born are the happiest days of my life.
  • I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t had really bad days in my life. My entire immediate family are healthy and I haven’t had any tragic moments yet. I know when my one close family members passes away, it will be quite a rude awakening.

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?

  • The first one is easy. I would bring my family to Hong Kong, the country where I was born! Neither my wife nor any of my kids have stepped foot on Asian soil so that trip will be quite enlightening.
  • The second destination would be a space trip. Right now, only billionaires or real astronauts are able to do this but hopefully these trips will be more attainable in the next few decades. I’d love to bring my entire family with me but I’m pretty sure there’s no way my wife would ever be willing to hop on a spaceship.
  • Lastly, I’d love to tour Europe in a summer-long trek. Yes, this will be a family affair as well. I just have to wait until my youngest is old enough to really experience it and then we’re off!

Q: Are you into watching movies? If yes, which fills your list of favorite ones?

  • I don’t have time to go to the movies but I try to watch at least one new movie a week from home. The best movie I’ve seen in the last few months? I was pleasantly surprised with Star Trek! If you haven’t seen it, trust me, you don’t have to be a Trekkie to follow it, or love it for that matter.

Q: How has blogging helped you other than money?

  • Corporate blogging has given me many lessons. However, blogging, from a personal level, is almost therapeutic for me. I type almost as fast as I think so it’s not a struggle to write articles. I naturally have a lot to say so my blogs are perfect soapboxes and sounding boards for me.

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

  • One thing I’d like to change is not being able to really relax. Even when I’m physically relaxing, my mind is always racing. I like to tackle a lot of projects at any given time so there’s never a moment when my brain can just be idle. Yoga anyone?

Q: What will you do without internet?

  • Depends on what you mean. I’ve always been tech savvy so even when I was a pre-teen in the early 80’s, I knew that one day computers would be able to talk to each other and people would be able to perform activities like going to school and shopping from the comfort of their own homes. I didn’t know it would happen within a decade but I knew.
  • So if the internet didn’t exist, I would probably still have a successful career in business. After all, I earned my MBA to be a business person, that’s my strength.
  • On the other hand, if you mean not being able to use the internet for a while, I would probably just get my tech fix by playing games. Ah, the good old days before online gaming was possible.

Q: What is your deepest fear?

  • My greatest fear is not being a good father. Because of that, I do everything I can to make them happy (without totally spoiling them of course) and I cherish every moment I have with them.

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

  • I make an effort to watch Jeopardy! every single night. My son is two and he watches it with me! Other than that, I’ll have sporting events on almost around the clock.
  • I also enjoy all types of music. I’m not a musician but I can appreciate the artistry behind every genre. Yes, I mean every single one.

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

  • I literally will eat anything. My favorite is sushi but I’m content with a burger and fries as well.

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

  • Technological advances make my life easier. However for non-tech savvy folks or for the less fortunate, it’s a nightmare. The digital divide really hurts the people who can’t adapt as quick or don’t have as many opportunities to learn.

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

  • Blogging is already THE BIG THING. With hundreds of millions of blogs out there, it’s the most abundant type of website.
  • For the active blogs, they can influence nearly every decision a parent, consumer, or company makes. In the corporate world, blogging is one of the best ways to keep content relevant, no matter what product or service is being sold.

Q: Any special message you would like to share with your blog readers as well with everyone else?

  • One thing I tell a lot of my students is that it doesn’t take a lot to be a lot better.
  • Most people in the world don’t have what it takes to truly be successful at anything. Whether it’s putting a little more elbow grease, spending that extra hour, making that extra phone call, pushing for one more rep, or writing one more article, that’s all it really takes to be better than 90% of the people out there.

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 “To sustain anything long term, passion has to be there: Gabe Young

  1. Previous comments:

    #
    Devang Vibhakar January 13, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Hi Gabe,

    Your answers have a weight in it. I personally found them interesting and inspiring.

    When you said that’s all it really takes to be better than 90% of the people out there, it leaves with a motivating note in the reader’s mind.

    And yes, take your kids to HongKong on the first available opportunity. Nothing is more pleasurable than visiting native place 🙂

    [Reply]

    Gabe | freebloghelp.com Reply:
    January 14th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks Devang! I learned a long time ago that most people apply way less than their full effort. In most cases, we don’t have to be smarter, more athletic, or more artistic than everyone else, just a tad.

    Also, I’ve was moved to the US when I was four and half. Since then, I was only back there once around age 12. I would feel my life’s work is incomplete until I finally take the entire family there!

    [Reply]
    #
    Ms. Freeman January 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    The layers of Gabe have been pulled back one layer at a time like an onion. Yes, cherish the time with your children while they are young because they grow up so fast 🙂 Ms. Freeman´s last blog ..Do you have Blogger’s Butt? My ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    Gabe | freebloghelp.com Reply:
    January 19th, 2010 at 9:11 am

    My oldest is not even 3 yet and I already miss him as a baby!

    [Reply]
    #
    Basant Singh January 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Gabe, You inspired me! But I wonder how you manage time as you say you are in a 9 to 5 job. Also you I’ve observed that you reply to almost every comment in your blog & post on a regular basis.

    [Reply]

    Gabe | freebloghelp.com Reply:
    January 19th, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    I have a schedule of what I do every day so I know how much I plan to accomplish.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’ll get tougher with another baby on the way. With three kids under three, something has to give!

    [Reply]
    #
    Bangaloreloka January 19, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Nearly 20 years of experience in blogging? I am SHOCKED..

    Other than that.. this has to be the best insights to know more about you, Gabe. I am sure – Hong kong, Europe and Space trip (Ahem) looks possible by the end of the year (prediction :D)

    Frankly, I am really impressed and inspired after reading this interview.

    Good luck, Gabe … Cheers.
    Bangaloreloka´s last blog ..Writing Articles Quickly. Lot of Articles – Super tips! MUST READ. My ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    Gabe | freebloghelp.com Reply:
    January 21st, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Not quite 20 years but sure feels like it!

    As for the traveling, a lot of it will have to wait. It’ll be a decade before my youngest will be old enough to go (our third child is due in April and we have two more after that!).

    [Reply]
    #
    Valentina January 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Gabe Exposed Indeed!

    Enjoyed the interview immensely … and I am still amazed at your productivity, are you sure you aren’t a twin?

    Gabe, you are an inspiration and I have no doubt that it won’t be long before we’ll be seeing you rubbing shoulders with the greats of this business (even though I suspect that that is not the driving force).

    sooooooooo…… are you available for more interviews 🙂
    best……………..valentina
    Valentina´s last blog ..Blog Income Org Chart My ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    Gabe | freebloghelp.com Reply:
    January 21st, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks! Although my dream isn’t to have the best blogging/MMO site, I certainly won’t fight it.

    And of course I’m available for more interviews. Anything for you!

    [Reply]
    #
    Rajesh Kanuri @ TechCats January 20, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    I am literally shocked to know tht u were blogging from ages.. yeah 1990’s is some thing close to year of my birth… 😀

    [Reply]

    Gabe | freebloghelp.com Reply:
    January 21st, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I’m an old man compared with many of the bloggers out there. So although I’m not part of the teen blogger movement, I offer sound business practices and lots of internet experience.

    That said, I’d gladly trade it all to be a teenager again!

    [Reply]
    #
    Dave Doolin January 21, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I can see you as the Jeopardy type!

    [Reply]

    Gabe | freebloghelp.com Reply:
    January 21st, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    My son and I have this weeknight routine, we watch Jeopardy! and I’ll switch over to a ball game right after. Obviously it’s a lot easier during the summer since the Phillies are on almost every night at that time!

    [Reply]
    #
    Anne January 25, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I enjoy reading Gabe’s blog and enjoyed the interview here as well – thanks!

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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 .