Michael Dunlop is what you could call an “internet marketer”, making enough money online to provide a livable income since he was in college. Since he has started in internet marketing, Michael has created a slew of websites, one of which is a very popular website design blog. Web Design Dev posts up large collections of lists, tools, tricks, and tutorials to help beginning and professional web designers alike to find the best resources on the web.
I sat down and got a great interview with Michael, going over how he got the idea for Web Design Dev and where he gets the inspiration for all of his articles. Competing with so many web design blogs already on the internet can be tough, but Michael goes over his tricks of the trade with us below!
Were did you get the idea for creating Web Design Dev?
One of my first websites was a big website for graphics designer. I learnt a lot working in that niche and when I needed to launch a new website, I wanted to stay close to what I knew to make it easier to become a success. The problem with graphic designers was we felt most where young teens at the time and when we looked at the web design niche, it was full of older people who would have credit cards. If you want a successful and profitable website, your readers must be old enough to own a credit card 🙂
With so many competing tutorial websites out there, how does Web Design Dev stay above some of the competition?
We like to mix it up a bit, we don’t like to publish the same type of content anyone else does. Another thing we do is niche ourselves, everyone is competing for the Photoshop Tutorials, instead we are Web Design Tutorials, which is a huge niche but with very little targeted competition.
What are the most popular topics for posts?
We get the most response when we do something controversial or we do something that can’t be right. For example, we recently did a post about the top 30 influential people in web design. There was no way everyone would agree with us, we had a lot of flaming and banter but it’s all part of the business and the post was very successful.
Another favourite and popular post was our “20 Ways To Make Your Website Crap” post, it did well because we said how it was, don’t hold back ~ people respect you for being true and speaking out. If you want a successful post, my recommendation is a top list: Easy and fun to do.
Can you name a few websites you used for inspiration when building Web Design Dev?
Over the years we have taken Webdesigndev in so many different directions. Our first main direction was a sort of Pixel2Life website, but instead of taking people to different tutorial websites we hosted all our tutorials ourselves.
Back when we first did this, in our first month we shot up to over 200,000 unique visitors and blew our servers, probably because we were one of the first people to do it right. Right now we want to take it in a new direction, sort of a big mix of different sites we really like, including Webdesignerwall.com, sitepoint.com, Freelanceswitch and Tutsplus.
I notice you use BuySellAds to monetize the site? How well does this work in bringing in an income for the site?
We use BuySellAds for a reason, I have a lot of websites and need all the time I can. Working with advertisers is hard work and can be stressful. BuySellAds handles all the payments, customer service and publishing so we just sit back and get paid. A very good service for those who want a passive income. The founder is great to work with and if you easy to approach which is important!
Most of your articles end up with large amounts of comments after only a short period of time. How do you combat spam comments?
Spam isn’t a issue, we have a spam plugin which comes with the blogging software WordPress. Just delete all spam in the folder, sometimes I will look through it for any none spam posts but it is minimal.
Where do you see Web Design Dev going in the near future? Any updates or secret plans you can share?
New design, although we only launched a new one last week but I wasn’t happy with it. Want to take us in a new, more professional direction where we offer more resources and stuff web designers actually can take away and use. Another thing we want to do is help web designers become entrepreneurs and make more money.
What’s the biggest lesson learned from running WebDesignDev?
Nothing is a sure bet, so many times things go wrong, you need to move quickly and don’t let it get to you. I have had all sorts of problems, such as been banned from Google Adsense, scammed, hacked dozens of times, hosting company’s shut us down. Just remember what ever doesn’t kiss us will only make us stronger ~ keep working at it and your get there in the end!
If you had any advice for someone creating their own web design tutorial website, what would it be?
Definitly sign up for my FREE eCourse teaching you to create a profitable blog, just like webdesigndev.com (http://www.incomediary.com/create-a-profitable-blog/) Keep it simple and be the best, keep offering more value then anyone else.
Reading More about Michael Dunlop
If you’re interested in Michael’s other websites, feel free to head over to his popular Make Money Online blog titled Income Diary. You can also read more about him on his About page.