Looking to learn what it REALLY takes to become a successful blogger?
Then read this talk between Website Planet
and Marc Favreau, CEO of DashboardSymbols.com, a massive content machine able to reach 27.5 million visits from people looking for solutions to many kinds of automotive problems.
You will discover his entire toolstack as well as his strategies to drive traffic and revenue to his website.
What is your story? How did your online journey start?
Well, I could go back 30 yrs, but I’ll skip a bit…
After a difficult recession and employment loss, I found myself back in a car dealership after ~15 years away. In that time, the automotive landscape had changed radically, and I found myself addressing the same issues over and over again with customers, which was obvious in 30 days. Thirty days later, I knew what I was going to do about it.
In another 30 days, I owned a half dozen related urls.
Ninety days later, I was online.
What inspired you to start your blog?
It was clear that drivers were befuddled by the newer technologies and ma manufacturer efforts to provide information were weak at best. In fact, for them, more visits to dealership service departments meant more revenue. It seemed like a good idea to at least provide information that drivers could take with them or perhaps even skip another visit altogether.
What challenges have you faced during the years, and how have you overcome them?
The overall challenge is to stay up to date with the latest changes from auto manufacturers. The race to electric vehicles is actually quite fun to watch, but means additional work.
I also screwed up my SEO one day by simply making a very poor choice in page new titles. I was 18 months chasing solutions until I discovered what was in fact a self inflicted wound. The rise in gas prices has also had an impact, with fewer miles behind driven.
What hosting, theme and plugins have you used to build your website? What do you like about this setup?
I use Bluehost, Graphene and Graphene Mobile Neo as themes, and a dozen plug-ins, perhaps most notably TablePress. The set up has been quite stable (knock wood).
And what tools are in your techstack, and how do you benefit from each of them?
It’s a pretty simple site, which relies primarily on plug-ins. All in One SEO gets high marks as well.
What have been the best strategies to grow your audience, and how long did it take to get constant traffic?
The site is primarily search driven, and I do my best to try to relate to what average drivers experience. This supplies key words and phrases as well as topics to post. Traffic was there from the start, but it was about seven years before it was significant enough to produce reasonable revenue.
What monetization techniques have you implemented, and which are the best ones for new bloggers?
The site is entirely ad-driven. If a blog choice hits a large enough audience and you manage to address a problem or problems, the traffic will come…
What books, courses, or blogs have helped you become a better blogger?
I have never taken a course, read a book, or studied another blog. I had some experience building on-line stores for companies I worked for and the blog was a relatively simple next step.
How do you see the future of blogging with the advent of Google’s new AI search engine?
This is a developing issue and I have no real answer for you. Instinct says that if search is strengthened by AI, then the blogosphere will be fine!