Welcome back to the makeBlogging interview series. Today we’re delighted to introduce digital marketing expert, Deepak Kanakaraju from Digital Deepak.
If you’re closely following digital marketing related topics especially in India, you probably have heard about Digital Deepak. He’s a digital marketing consultant, blogger and an entrepreneur.
In this incredible interview with Deepak Kanakaraju, you’ll discover some of the best strategies you can use online to generate more sales and traffic. Let’s get started!
Interview With Deepak Kanakaraju from Digital Deepak On The Future of Digital Marketing
1. Welcome to Bloggers Passion. What’s the #1 reason for starting DigitalDeepak.com? Please tell us what your blog is all about?
DigitalDeepak.com was originally started as a hobby blog where I could take notes about digital marketing. I also wanted to add it to my resume so that it adds some weight to my profile compared to other applications. I never thought that it would become one of the top read digital marketing blogs in India.
As its popularity grew, I became serious about the blog and started publishing high-quality articles consistently. The website is 5+ years old now and I will continue growing the blog for a long time to come.
2. What strategies do you use to monetize your blog?
I do not run ads on my blog and do not depend on affiliate programs. I have burned my fingers before with the inconsistent nature of display ads and affiliate programs. I use my blog primarily as a brand discovery and lead generation platform. People get to know about me when they visit my blog and I also tag them using the Facebook Pixel to run retargeted ads.
A good percentage of the visitors to my blog also become email subscribers via my lead magnet. I promote my paid digital marketing courses to my email subscribers and that’s the primary way I make revenue on my blog.
Key takeaway: Digital Deepak is a brand where you don’t find any ads, really! The cool thing about Deepak’s blog is that he mainly focuses on increasing his personal brand value rather than treating it as a “money making machine”. That being said, Deepak mostly focuses on email list building to turn visitors into his customers (as he has a lot of paid digital marketing courses in his vault).
3. What’s the #1 tip you’ve for someone who wants to use digital marketing to build their personal brand and increase sales online?
If you had asked me the same question a few years back, I would say that starting a blog would be the best personal branding method. But nowadays, everyone has a blog and it is not enough to stand out in the crowd anymore.
People need to have a blog, but also spend money on promoting the blog. They should build a lead magnet, a funnel, and a subscriber list. A Facebook group can also help amplify the content on the blog. With consistent promotions and treating the blog like a business, one can build a strong personal brand in the niche of their choosing.
Another strong personal branding method that can help is self-publishing a book. It is very hard to publish a book and writing 30,000 words is no easy task. But if one can pull it off, then it would help their personal brand for a long time to come.
Here’s how the Digital Deepak’s Facebook group looks like (it has over 200,000 people).
Key takeaway: Starting a blog isn’t enough as the actual work starts when you launch a new site. You can’t build a profitable blog and increase your sales online without spending most of your time promoting it. Find a way to promote your business (be it social media, email marketing automation, SEO) if you really want to grow your sales. Self-publishing a book is another rock-solid idea to get traction online.
4. What does the future of digital marketing look like according to you?
As consumer behavior changes, the market has to follow. People are using less of TV, Radio, Magazines and Newspapers, and more smartphones and computers. Marketing money flows where the attention goes. Statistics say that, in 2018, India has spent a total of 7000 crores in digital marketing.
Did you know that the global digital marketing market size is expected to reach $151.8 billion by 2027? According to a new study conducted by Grand View Research, digital marketing is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 17.4% from 2020 to 2027.
Here’s the digital media growth just in case if you’re curious.
Key takeaway: Deepak Kanakaraju presumes that digital marketing is only going to erupt in the coming days. Thanks to the internet (mostly the introduction of Jio plans, most Indians are now getting faster internet access as well). So if you’re NOT yet jumped into digital marketing, 2023 is the right time. Don’t delay, just start a blog, creating a promotion strategy and be consistent.
5. What are the major challenges you experienced while building Digital Deepak?
Publish content consistently has always been a challenge. Some months I would publish as much as 10 articles and in some months I would publish only 2. I still haven’t got a regular publishing routine for the blog and I hope to bring some consistency in the near future.
Key takeaway: One of the biggest problems most marketers and bloggers face is to create content consistently. The KEY here is to stick to a plan, create content in advance and hire quality writers if needed but make sure to be consistent if you want to take your blog to the next level.
6. What are the premium blogging tools do you use. Why?
For blogging, I use an exit intent popup that comes along with my Unbounce account.
The other digital marketing tools that I use for my business include:
- ActiveCampaign for email marketing and automation
- Zapier for integrations and automation
- MailParser.io for some email automation
- ConvertKit for some funnels apart from ActiveCampaign
- Aweber for email marketing
- Screenflow for creating course videos
- Teachable for hosting my online courses
- SuperMetrics.com with Google Data Studio for Analytics
As my business grows, I will be using more premium digital marketing tools and I will update this list when I start using more tools.
7. What digital marketing tips do you wish every blogger should know about?
Every blogger and digital marketer should learn marketing. I see a lot of bloggers and digital marketers only learn about the tools and techniques but they do not invest time in learning about the marketing fundamentals.
Some marketing basics and human psychology never change and learning about them have a very long shelf life. Digital Marketers should also learn about branding. Building a good brand takes a long time and you have to do it right from the start. If you consistently build your brand over the long term it takes a compounding effect and gives huge rewards in the long term.
Key takeaway: The greatest skill you can learn as a marketer is to learn how to sell online without sounding like a sales guy. Make sure to learn “smart marketing” where you mostly focus on increasing your personal brand value just like Deepak Kanakaraju did. Then, find different ways to monetize your skills. That’s how you become successful in digital marketing.
8. If you had to start your blog from scratch, how would you start over?
I would have started building my email list from Day 1. I would have published articles more consistently. If I had published twice the amount of articles in the first three years, I could have grown the blog to 10x the size it is now.
Key takeaway: Hands down, email list is the fastest way to expanding your online business growth. It doesn’t matter what industry you in, an email list gives you an opportunity to grow big, educate your audience and turn them into buyers.
9. What does your daily routine look like, from waking to going to sleep?
Many successful people have strict routines. I don’t have a routine yet. I sleep when I feel sleepy, eat when I feel hungry, write when I feel like I have not written for a while, play games when I feel like it and go out on a bike ride when I feel like it. I have tried to get into a routine for a long time, but I haven’t. Instead of always feeling guilty about a lack of routine, I have decided to go along with the flow.
10. What are your favorite blogs and books?
I am a voracious reader, and I read one book a week. Of course, no one can read one full book a week. I read half a book. If the book is very interesting, I read it fully, else I move on to another book. Two awesome books that have had an impact on me in 2018 are Blue Ocean Strategy and Deep Work by Cal Newport.
Final thoughts about Deepak Kanakaraju interview
Deepak Kanakaraju knows how to capture people’s attention online. His Facebook group is a must follow if you’re keen about learning digital marketing related stuff where he actively engages with new people and provides great insights.
Have you enjoyed the interview with Deepak Kanakaraju interview? Do you’ve any questions for us? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.