My interview series with Rise Forums members continues with Kris Hoja; a Polish blogger who has been working online for a few years.
Kris is known for his blog 87studios. The blog focuses on WordPress themes, plugins and tutorials.
How did you get started in internet marketing?
I am not too into internet marketing yet, but it is a natural evolution for every blogger. There is that line dividing ‘write something’ and ‘let’s make some money writing’ so when you decide to step into world of Internet marketing, it’s like swimming in the ocean. You discover so much every day that it’s quite hard to say clearly “I’m an internet marketer”. But getting back to the point, my first experience with IM was at grinpiss.com (not active) website. I made it for my friends rock band and we monetised it using AdSense. This was around 2005 or 2006.
What was your first website?
Haha it’s quite hard to find all those old websites. The first one was a pure html website written in Notepad, you know, head title body and hello world message. Then I got attracted by Macromedia Flash MX 2004 and created this website: http://easyfertilize.com/test/oldstuff/. It focused on Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden. Yeah, that was good piece of work haha.
Can you tell us a little more about your blog 87Studios?
You can read quite a lot in my first income report. But it’s official stuff ;)
87studios, the name is a combination of my year of birth and studios, because my original plan was to start a design business. Later I added a news aggregator there for my own purpose. It was difficult as I had no money for a premium theme so I was using the Kronos theme from FabThemes. The logo was super beautiful but I had no idea that it was illegal :)
Later, influenced by blogs such as wpmods.com and Smashing Magazine, I decided to start my own WordPress related blog and a few months later, a new version of 87studios was born. I decided to use a ThemeFurnace free theme and did a logo redesign. The hardest part was to start writing. Here I am now, 80 articles later.
What scripts and services do you use to develop websites and work online?
When I got into web design or rather web development I was playing with PHP-nuke, Mambo, MD-pro. I later discovered WordPress (version 1.5) and I’m still using it.
Below is a apps and services I use:
These are the WordPress plugins that I consider essential:
- Ninja PopUps
- Social Locker
- Akismet (like everybody :) )
- Jetpack by WordPress.com
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
- WP Super Cache
- nrelate Related Content
- Login Security Solution
You recently developed a theme for the NinjaPopups WordPress plugin for Rise Forums members. Do you plan on developing more themes and plugins for the WordPress platform?
It was probably a one time gig, but I cannot say never. Doing that kind of thing is very time consuming if you’re not PHP geek. I do, however, have a few ideas in mind.
I’m currently learning how to write plugins because I want to turn my Genesis tutorials into plugins, so they could be simply transferred between different Genesis themes.
If you were given $1,000, how would you invest it online?
Ahh, tough question. Most definitely, I’ll put that money into writers, because I am not a native english speaker. It is hard to say what is on my mind, and as you know, content is king. I would also buy BuzzBundle to get more traffic.
What do you love and hate about working online?
I love the WordPress community because people are kind and helpful. It’s also an opportunity to get in touch with many people around the world.
I hate leechers here and there. I was a leech, but realised that knowledge and time has a price. It’s unethical to hassle somebody about stuff that can be found for free using Google or in books for few bucks.
What do you consider your biggest success through working online?
First $100 that my wife didn’t know about ;) Being serious, being a part of WordPress world. I love to share my knowledge with others, even if sometimes it’s hard to write about.