Nate Whitehill Interview – Creating The Perfect Blog Design
Could you describe what you do and how you earn your living Nate?
I am a mid-twenties Internet nerd, business owner, blog designer and race car fan. I work for a company I co-founded, Unique Blog Designs (UBD). I have been living the Internet lifestyle for almost well over two years and it has been exciting, to say the least.
Tell us about Unique Blog Designs, why did you create it? Where are you at with it now?
Unique Blog Designs is a full service blog design company that creates custom blog designs for people and companies.
Some of our top clients include individuals such as John Chow, Jeremy Schoemaker, John Reese, Yaro Starak, Zac Johnson, Paul Bourque, Jonathan Volk, Shawn Collins and Loren Feldman (1938 Media). We have been operating Unique Blog Designs for almost 2 years.
We have also worked closely on blog designs for quite a few well-known companies such as Yahoo!, Nike, MySpace and IMVU.
We are about to release a new very exciting project that will allow ANYONE to get a blog design at an affordable price. I can’t say much more, but an official announcement will be coming very soon.
Why should new bloggers have a unique blog design? Instead of using a free theme found on the Internet?
Content is king. Let’s get that out of the way. A blog design is queen though. Having a highly readable, useable design will help increase visitor interaction and conversion. There are many ways to accomplish this and of course, a unique design is one that is more memorable than the average design. We create designs that are a reflection of our clients’ brands and personalities.
You recently launched a new Premium WordPress Theme called Affiliate Theme, is this something we should all be using to make money online?
Affiliate Theme is an easy way for affiliates to build simple affiliate websites using WordPress. We created a very useful and customizable backend that allows affiliates to change their affiliate web site in a virtually unlimited number of ways. We also provide an incredible Resource Center containing tons of written tutorials, video screen casts, and even interviews with top affiliates.
We have already received incredibly positive feedback from our customers who are using Affiliate Theme to make more money than ever before. In fact, many people have told us they saved thousands of dollars because they no longer need to hire a landing page designer to create affiliate landing pages.
If you want to buy or find out more about Affiliate Theme, click here.
What is the most important part of the blog you should get right to allow you to make the most out of your blog?
Provide value (useful knowledge, tips, etc.) and collect email addresses. Email addresses are (virtually) permanent customers who are interested in you and your product enough to give you permission to email them. That is very powerful for a number of reasons.
Of course, a large email list will take much longer to create if you are not providing value. So content that is unique, highly useful will always facilitate more people being interested in you or your product.
What advice would you give a new blogger trying to make money from their blog?
Don’t try to monetize a blog from the start if you are going for long term earnings and networking. I didn’t monetize my blog for its first three months and instead I focused on providing value and networking with other people in my industry.
Unless you know how to drive LOTS of traffic (and most bloggers don’t), then it is not worth alienating first time readers with lots of advertisements. Work instead to build up a certain number of visitors per day (I say 500 unique/day) before you begin trying to monetize the blog.
You are now currently living the Internet Lifestyle, what does the Internet Lifestyle mean to you?
The Internet Lifestyle means I am 100% in control of my success. I choose when I want to work and for how long and on what. That allows for an incredible amount of freedom and potential in life. I have been self-employed for nearly 3 years and it has been the most fun, exciting, and profitable time of my entire life.
The Internet is so opportunistic – anyone with a computer and internet connection can make more money online than 99% of real world jobs. How cool is that?
The Internet Lifestyle allows you to work any hours you like, whats the biggest benefit of this for you?
The biggest benefit is being able to go go-karting in the afternoon, or workout in the middle of the night, without having to worry about waking up the next morning. Of course, traveling to conferences and industry events is also incredibly fun and productive.
Going to as many industry events as possible should be goal of anyone trying to get involved in the space.
You are known as the authority website in the blog design niche. What advice would you give a new webmasters to dominating their niche?
Be patient and work for the long term – not the short term. Also, innovation happens quick so keep up on your industry.
What advice would you give to people just starting out with an online business?
Learn about as many things as possible at first and then zero in on what interests you most. When I started online, I tried to learn about domaining, SEO, marketing, copywriting, conversion, design, blogging, network, all at once. Eventually, I became aware of the most interesting (and profitable) things and that is what I focused on.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what advice would you give yourself regarding making money online?
Start building an email list RIGHT AWAY. Large emails lists take a long time to build, so the sooner you start, the better. I recommend Aweber.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Failing is part of succeeding. If you can get up an try again, you are that much closer to succeeding.
Thanks very much for the interview, Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?
We are launching several very exciting projects this summer that will be VERY cool. That, and someday I would like to travel the world and race formula 1 cars. 🙂
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