Q&A: Jeff Bullas on blogging, digital marketing, and the importance of owning your content

Welcome to Expert’s Corner, our new interview series with makers, thinkers, and entrepreneurs in the core industries we serve: e-commerce, mobile gaming, marketing, and publishing.

It’s a wide net. Then again, it’s in our nature at PickFu to bring you a diverse set of opinions.

While PickFu is your platform for getting detailed feedback on a specific project or product, Expert’s Corner is where you’ll find quick insights and inspiration relevant to your industry and the business world at large.

In this Corner: Jeff Bullas, a popular blogger and digital entrepreneur who helps companies grow their brands through social media and digital marketing.

You were unemployed when you started your blog, jeffbullas.com, in 2009. Your site now draws more than 4 million readers a year. How long did it take before you knew you were onto something?

I was about 12 months in and was invited to speak in New Zealand and then Italy and they paid me. So it was a validation of the power of content I was creating on the blog and the distribution I was building on my social media channels. I had bypassed the old media gatekeepers.

People are inundated with content these days: social media, podcasts, newsletters. Why should anyone start a blog (or a podcast or a newsletter)?

It is getting much harder now as it is much more crowded and social media has evolved from organic to “pay to play.” So going forward you need to be able to create sales funnels that you can use to drive paid traffic to convert attention into sales for your products and services.

Jeff Bullas spent $10 on the domain name for his blog, which now gets millions of visitors a year.

Speaking of newsletters, what’s your take on Substack?

Substack takes 10% of your revenue and it is maybe a good option for people that don’t want to build their own platform. I think that renting your platform rather than owning it is a lazy and dangerous approach. The big problem is that you lose control and as an entrepreneur that is essential.

I would prefer to build and own my content, processes, and platforms. What if Substack went bust? You would lose your business overnight!

How do you keep your audience engaged while attracting new readers and listeners?

By continuing to create valuable content that adds value to people’s lives.

What’s your advice for an entrepreneur or a startup in their journey to becoming a brand. Where should they begin?

Come up with an idea that solves a problem and “start.” So…take action. That is the only way to get validation for your idea as the market will tell you. A long business plan is just guessing! A great book to help with that is The 12 Hour Week by Brian Moran.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Janet Rausa Fuller (she/her) is the content marketing manager at PickFu. She could live without dark chocolate, but she’d rather not.