Welcome to the Growthfundas Interviews,Storytelling series called as a Growth Stories.
Today I am sharing interview of the man who was running into RAT RACE of 9-5 job but escape that RAT RACE with his existing skills & converting those skills into an online business.
Sumit is living laptop lifestyle and set an example of how anyone can turn existing skill into a business idea and replace a day job.
Yes, Sumit has started sharing his skills on how to use Microsoft Excel efficiently, learn excel online, learn excel formulas, macros, excel vba on his excel blog TrumpExcel.com
Sumit’s blog was noticed by Microsoft and recognized him as a ‘Most Valuable Professional’ (MVP) in Excel. This title has been given by Microsoft to very selected individuals for their outstanding contribution.
I came to know about Sumit through social media and we became friends. If you ask me “How to start a business with no business idea?” then Sumit is the best example of this.
Sumit story kept me speechless when I got to know about his income numbers of $5000/m + through blogging.
Everyone can live job-free life if work smart and hard by creating multiple sources of income.
Now Sumit is living job-free life, his own BOSS and enjoying his FREEDOM.
Is that something you want?
let’s see Sumit inspirational entrepreneurship journey & how he is making money blogging from his own words..
Select Your Favorite Section
- 1. Can You Please Introduce Yourself to Growthfunda Readers?
- 2. Could You Please Share the Story Behind Trumpexcel & How Did It All Start?
- 3. Currently, You Are the Only Excel MVP by Microsoft, So Why Did You Started Blogging in Excel Niche?
- 4. What Motivated You to Start Trumpexcel.Com & Being a Solo Founder, How Do You Keep Yourself Motivated?
- 5. As an Online Business How Much Is Your Approximate Traffic, Revenue and Sources of Monetization at Trumpexcel?
- 6. How Are You Running Your Blog as a Business, Any Process?
- 7. I Guess Initially You Also Struggled to Get Traffic. so How You Have Scaled Trumpexcel.Com to This Level and Bring This Massive Traffic?
- 8. What Does Your Average Day Look Like? Can You Share a Few Productivity Hacks\Tools for Our Readers?
- 9. What Challenges\Roadblock You Have Faced Initially During Your Blogging\Online Business Journey?
- 10. You Have a Very Good Presence Across Different Online Platforms What Is Your Content Creation Process and How Do You Manage It?
- 11. What Exactly Himalayan Blogging Retreat? How Did You Find This Idea?
- 12. What Is Your Thought on Living Job-Free Life (aka Laptop Lifestyle?)
- 13. What Is Your Advice for Growthfunda Readers Who Are Just Starting out Online Business\Blogging and Willing to Live a Job-Free Life?
- 14. How Can We Get in Touch with You?
1. Can You Please Introduce Yourself to Growthfunda Readers?
My name is Sumit and I am a full-time blogger. I started my first blog in 2013 (TrumpExcel.com) which is about Excel spreadsheets. After a few months of blogging, it started getting some traction.
In two years, it was making some money and allowed me to leave my full-time job in 2015.
I have also recently started a blog – CraftofBlogging.com – and a Facebook group (Craft Of Blogging) where I am trying to build a community of bloggers who can share their learning and help each other. I am also experimenting with a couple of affiliate blogs.
When working with IBM, I was working with a lot of data and had to use spreadsheets almost every day. In the process, I was learning a lot about MS Excel.
I started TrumpExcel in 2013 in an effort to share all the new things that I was learning and also to help my colleagues who often asked for help with Excel.
At the time of starting it, I considered it an experiment. I was enjoying the process of blogging and at the same time, I was learning a lot about Excel as well as blogging.
3. Currently, You Are the Only Excel MVP by Microsoft, So Why Did You Started Blogging in Excel Niche?
MVP (Most Valuable Professional) is a recognition given by Microsoft to those people who are doing good work in the technical community and are helping people.
In India, there had been many Excel MVPs, and currently (2018-19), I am the only one. I hope to see many more Excel MVPs from India in the coming years.
I wasn’t considering different niches when the thought of starting a blog came to my mind. I only had Excel in mind as I was learning a lot about it and I find it a really good tool.
I also saw many other people who had successful Excel blogs which gave me the validation that this blog can have a future.
4. What Motivated You to Start Trumpexcel.Com & Being a Solo Founder, How Do You Keep Yourself Motivated?
The motivation was to learn and share.
Since I was already in a full-time job, I was not looking to make money right off the bat. Blogging about Excel made me better at it and at the same time, helped my colleagues or friends who had similar queries. Most of my initial blog posts were a result of a query someone asked me.
What truly gets me going is the impact I see my site has had so far. I get more than a hundred emails every week and a lot of people tell me how my tutorials have helped them get the work done faster or how it got them a promotion.
5. As an Online Business How Much Is Your Approximate Traffic, Revenue and Sources of Monetization at Trumpexcel?
As of now, TrumpExcel gets more to half a million page views. I have two major sources of income – Google Ads and Online Course.
Since I get a lot of traffic from the US, having display ads allows me to monetize all my pages. I have been selling online courses for 3 years now and have more than 500 students.
Last year, my Excel site made ~$5,000 per month. I also have affiliate sites that have also started to make money.
6. How Are You Running Your Blog as a Business, Any Process?
Currently, apart from the Excel blog, I also have a few other blogs. As I have many of these to manage, I often use freelancers for services such as content or graphic designing.
Most of my time is invested in writing content for TrumpExcel (which I don’t outsource). Things have really grown in 2018 and I am planning to work with more freelancers next year.
For all my accounting and taxes, I have hired a CA.
7. I Guess Initially You Also Struggled to Get Traffic. so How You Have Scaled Trumpexcel.Com to This Level and Bring This Massive Traffic?
Since I was absolutely new to blogging, I had little idea about how to monetize it or do proper SEO for it. This actually turned out to be a blessing as I focused all my energy on creating high-quality content. It wasn’t until 2016 when I actually started focusing on SEO. Thankfully, I get a lot of backlinks naturally when people mention my blogs on forums or their own blogs.
I am an extremely organized person. In a typical day, I only aim to complete 3 major things. I decide on these three things a day before. This allows me to prioritize my work and get it done.
Also, since I have multiple blogs now, I have categorized my days where I batch my work. For example, Mondays and Thursdays are when I get all my writing work done. I have 1 day kept aside for all my affiliate blogs and 1 for other stuff such as emails and video recording.
9. What Challenges\Roadblock You Have Faced Initially During Your Blogging\Online Business Journey?
The technology was a huge challenge. I had absolutely no idea how WordPress and the blogging world works. Initially, I spent hundreds of hours going through videos on YouTube or forums trying to understand how to get stuff done.
10. You Have a Very Good Presence Across Different Online Platforms What Is Your Content Creation Process and How Do You Manage It?
I don’t aim to be on all channels. My focus is to serve my audience where they hang out. So for Excel, I focus more on my YouTube channel. For the Craft of Blogging blog, Facebook is where my audience hangs out, so I focus more there.
11. What Exactly Himalayan Blogging Retreat? How Did You Find This Idea?
Himalayan Blogging Retreat is the brainchild of Chetan Mahajan, who is the owner of Himalayan Writing Retreat. He did a blogging retreat in 2017 and I went there as a participant.
Next year, he invited me to be the instructor for that retreat.
It’s a 3-day boot camp where we cover everything related to blogging.
The participation is limited to 10-12 people so that it’s more engaging and interactive. We are hoping to do another retreat in early 2019. It’s a beautiful place and an amazing experience.
12. What Is Your Thought on Living Job-Free Life (aka Laptop Lifestyle?)
I love the flexibility that this lifestyle allows me. I can decide my own working hours and projects.
Since I can work from anywhere, it also allows me to travel without any worry. This also comes with a need for a lot of self-discipline.
You still need to get a lot of work done at the right time.
13. What Is Your Advice for Growthfunda Readers Who Are Just Starting out Online Business\Blogging and Willing to Live a Job-Free Life?
My advice would be to create something useful and try to solve a problem.
A lot of new bloggers focus on making money as soon as possible. While that is important, put your audience first and find ways you can help them.
Another advice for bloggers is to niche down. Identify a specific topic and blog about it, instead of trying to cover many different topics.
14. How Can We Get in Touch with You?
If you’re a blogger and want to hang out with other bloggers and also learn about blogging, join my Facebook group – Craft Of Blogging or check out my blog CraftOfBlogging.com. You can also get in touch with me via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks, Sumit for accepting interview invitation. We have enjoyed the session and your journey showcased that anyone can start a business if done correctly and consistently.
Blogging\Online Business has changed so many lives and hope it will change yours as well but only if you take corrective actions towards SUCCESS.
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