One of the bloggers I closely follow and admire is Deepak Kanakaraju of DigitalDeepak. He has written over 170+ articles on digital marketing and has a lot of courses across the various digital marketing disciplines.
His blog is one of the top 10 blogs in India when it comes to Digital Marketing. He is a TEDx Speaker and a columnist at Entrepreneur and Yourstory. He has created the largest digital marketing facebook group in India which has over 100k members across the globe. You can join the same here.
Here’s the origins story of Deepak as a part of an exclusive interview with Dosidegigs.
As someone who has built a lot of successful side-hustles in his journey as an entrepreneur, there is a lot to learn from him. Here we go.
Interview with Deepak Kanakaraju
1. What was your first side-hustle?
Deepak: The first hustle I ever did was making pirated game CDs and selling it in my school. I used to buy blank CDs for ₹13 and sell it for ₹40 per pop. I used to have a catalog of games and I distributed it in my school. Whenever people wanted games, I used to supply it.
Games with 2 discs sold for ₹80 and games with 3 discs sold for ₹120. I recovered the cost of my Samsung CD writer just by selling games at my school. Eventually, as I got closer to the board exams, I had to shut down the business and focus on studies.
2. What was your first online income?
The first real online income I made was through affiliate marketing. I promoted an online education company who paid me $10 for every lead. I ran ads on Google AdWords and I was spending 3$ for every lead that gave me $10 in income. From an investment of $600, I made a total revenue of $2000, with $1400 profit.
3. According to you, what are the most popular niches in Blogging that can be monetized faster?
The three main niches for blogging and information products will always be Money, Health & Relationships. I decided to focus on the money niche, which is going to be an evergreen niche.
Within the money niche, I am focusing more on the career paths people can take. It can be business opportunities or careers. Both are lucrative niches. Within careers, there are so many verticals, and right now my focus is on the Digital Marketing Niche.
Related Reading: How to find what you are great at?
4. If you were to restart your journey as an entrepreneur in 2019 afresh, what would you start with and why?
I would invest all the profits I have made so far into content instead of paid advertising. Because content has a longer runway and will bring more customers at a cheaper cost in the long term.
5. How hard was it to manage your side hustle when you were working in a full-time position?
It was incredibly difficult as I wore multiple hats working in high growth startups and I had to work on the weekends to make sure that I have something that would help me escape the 9 to 5 race. All the hard work I put into has clearly paid off now.
6. What made you quit your full-time job? Did you set yourself a target that you met and pursued your side-hustle full-time?
I quit my job when I was making more money from my side hustle (In 2016, I was selling digital marketing courses through my blog). I had the confidence to quit my job and take up my side hustle as my full-time thing.
7. What is the easiest money you have made on the side?
I have sold some domain names for $ 1000 to $ 2000 which I had purchased for $ 8-$ 10. But this is not scalable as it is not consistent. To build a big business, one needs to work full time and there is no such thing as “easy money”
8. What is the one skill that any modern-day blogger should possess?
Writing content in such a way that the reader feels that he is talking to a friend. You can have a million subscribers and still make every subscriber feel like you are talking just to them, one on one.
9. How did you build the largest digital marketing community of India on Facebook?
I drove traffic to the group from my email list. I built my email list using content marketing and paid ads. It is difficult to create a large group organically within Facebook.
You can join the group here
10. Is it too late to start a blog in 2019 when there are thousands (or hundreds) of successful blogs in every profitable niche?
If one does the proper research, there are 100s of niches that are still untapped. The world is huge and the market is huge. In my opinion, one needs to take a very small niche and tap into it, become a category leader in it, and the money will follow.
One thing to remember is that: It is essential to sell products and services through your blog and not just try making money from ads. If you sell ads, you will not make enough revenue from every visitor and when the traffic drops, the blog will die a slow death. Without enough profits and revenue, growth cannot be achieved.
Related Reading: Is Blogging relevant in 2018?
11. Is there an app or a platform that you haven’t mastered yet in digital marketing? If yes, why?
Digital marketing is a huge subject and I still have plenty of areas to learn in it. I know a little bit about everything and I am really good with analytics, email marketing and automation. It is a long and continuous learning process.
12. What is your single piece of advice to every aspiring entrepreneur?
Learn today. Get started today. Initiative is the most valuable thing and it takes courage to start things. If you want to start in a perfect way, you will never get started. Start, and then make it perfect.
You have reached the end of the interview with Deepak Kanakaraju of Digital Deepak. Thanks for reading. You can check out his TEDx talk below.
He offers detailed courses on various elements of digital marketing and here is a snapshot of the courses he offers online.
As his Facebook group reached 100k members today, he offered a lightning deal for a full access pass for his current and future courses for 999 INR (15$) for the first 50 buyers. I snapped the deal this morning and I am excited to continue learning from him.