Blogging Tips From Andi Leeman At Tim’s Minions & Bizzebee

Today on Friday’s featured blogger, I would like to welcome Andi Leeman who blogs at Tims Minions and Bizzebee.  I first met Andi through a Facebook group that he set up with a couple of other knowledgeable bloggers.

Andi has always been very open and honest about his online experiences and I am sure you will find his interview very refreshing.  

Andi works successfully from home with his online adventures.  Today he shares his experiences with you, in true no-nonsense Andi style.

1. Tell us about yourself and your blog

Andi LeemanMy name is Andi Leeman, I am a middle aged Englishman with a creative free spirit that struggles with the usual ideals of a modern society.

I do have a blog of my own but I use that to add unedited chapters for a book I am currently writing which you will have to find as I am not sharing it here :-)

The main websites I write for are TimsMinions and Bizzebee.

Bizzebee is an educational blog I run alongside several good blogging friends which has in all honesty gone a bit quiet lately due to of all of the other tasks we are working on as individuals.

TimsMinions is an educational membership site I am building and soon to be launched for a well-known UK Direct Mail & Internet Marketer called Tim Lowe. I used to work full time for Tim in his offices down in Surrey but now I work from my home back in Lincolnshire as a self-employed content creator and writer.

2. What made you get started in blogging?

Before I got the job with Tim I was working as a carpenter and joiner, I did this from leaving school in 1990 to 2011 and I am fully qualified.

In 2009 I started a second business with my girlfriend doing paintings and printing T-Shirts from home which I then sold on eBay and from a website. I was sending T-Shirts around the world and I became interested in online business and began to study internet marketing, WordPress blogs and creating content.

I was on Tim’s email list at the time and received an email saying he was looking for a ‘New Writer’, I decided to apply for the job even though I lived 200 miles from his office and I didn’t tell the ‘better half’ at first. I was given an interview, before making it home on my 200 mile train journey back from that interview I was asked to return for a second the following week which I did.

I surprisingly managed to beat a lot of people and was offered the job in the office as a writer and content creator. I moved the 200 miles down south to work in the offices. My job was to test out new methods of traffic, create content and try out new business models online.

I suggested that we should start a blog and write up free information about what we were learning. Tim loves the film ‘Despicable Me’ and would lovingly refer to us as ‘His Minions’ so for fun I said that we should call the blog Tim’s Minions and that is how the blog came about. It was an accident that I became a full time blogger really.

3. How much time do you dedicate each day/week to your blogging? 

How do you keep track of what you’re doing? 

I am contracted to work 35 hours creating content and so I would say with my own stuff I do well over 40 hours a week. I have to be honest though, as we are now changing Tim’s Minions from a free blog to a paid membership site I am more content creating than blogging.

I create video tutorials, articles and write eBooks etc including creating all of the images for the eBooks and guides. I do very little blogging as it were now. I try and write one ‘public’ post a month, the rest go behind the wall.

I do write for other websites and have a ‘fun & interesting story’ website I contribute to regularly so I couldn’t accurately say what time is spent on blogging.

How do I keep track of it all? Badly.

4. If you could have told yourself ONE thing when you started blogging, what would it be?

Choose a better niche :-) As I was blogging for a company in the Internet Marketing world etc the niche was already chosen for me but you need to choose wisely about what you want to spend your time blogging about otherwise hard work could turn into a nightmare chore.

I recently wrote a short story of 10,000 words about a zombie slaying postman and loved it. It was so easy to write and yet when I sit to write an article about social media or blogging etc to go onto the Minion’s website I can be sat for ages trying to think up a new and unique article.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the niche I am in, but there are far more niches I would prefer and being creative is a lot more fun. I ask, seriously which is better? Writing about how to use Twitter correctly or slaying crazed flesh eating zombies with a semi-automatic rifle and a samurai sword? Yep…. Exactly! :-)

5. Do you make money from your blog? 

If so, what has been your most successful way of making money?

I personally make money from blogging by being paid to create content for Tim’s Minions. That for now is the main way I make money but I am working on a few other projects with a close friend which will make money from a variety of sources like advertising revenue, merchandise sales and eBook publishing.

 6. As well as blogging, do you have another full/part time job or parenting responsibilities? 

How do you juggle these demands?

I have a step daughter who is in her twenties so she pretty much looks after herself which is nice, but my better half does have a couple of conditions (M.E. & Fibromyalgia) which can leave her feeling very exhausted and in pain often resulting her taking time off work.

So I have to do more around the house like popping to the shops and washing pots, hanging out washing etc to keep the house running smooth. How she does what she does though impresses me, she has a true fighting spirit and will only give in when she has no choice. She wants to go to work and will, she hates sitting around doing nothing, and I don’t think I could handle the amount of pain she endures each and every day.

The long term plan is to convert a van into a campervan and drive down to Spain to live where I can work as a writer/content creator/blogger. When you make money from the internet you are not location dependent and that is what I really want.

I am also doing up the house to sell so the other big demand on my time is trying to replace doors, repair roofs, lay new floors, create a garden etc and that is all on top of my other tasks (plans)

7. What would you say is your favourite social media platform and why?

Probably Facebook due to the ease of use and layout however I generally use Twitter, Google + and Facebook but all three have pluses and minuses over each other.

For example Facebook is great for ease of use and keeping in touch with friends and family but rubbish for business with them holding back your posts expecting you to pay for fans to see your stuff. They do not allow moving gif images either which Google + does.

Facebook is great for local groups like Connecting Gainsborough (A group my better half and I set up) for connecting with people in your area. Facebook is very GEO specific.

Moving gif images are very powerful and I love to see them in Google +, this is a social media that is great for hobbies and passions and is not so GEO specific as Facebook is. Many great Communities (similar to Facebook groups) have been built on Google + based around hobbies and niche topics which is great for sharing images and videos etc.

To be honest if it wasn’t for the Communities and gif images I probably would not use Google +.

I use Twitter when I interact with live online radio shows, I listen to quite a lot and I use it like a mobile phone text messaging system, it is great for contacting studios and DJs and saying a quick ‘Hi’ to friends. Apart from that Twitter is a pain, it is full of chatter and crap and it does not allow you to use enough characters to say anything worthwhile bar a ‘hello how are you? Loving the show’ or ‘life is crap I wanna die’ kind of stuff you see all the time.

Twitter seems overrun with trolls and haters and pointless chatter that makes little sense. Bit like being in a monkey house with a thousand whaling chimps.

Now if you asked me if they were any good for business then my first response would be not if your business is about blogging, internet marketing, social media or anything like that as most of it is real bull**** and people share the same old stuff just so they can get a reciprocal share of their own article also written about ‘10 Ways To Make Money Using Twitter That Don’t Really Work’

But for REAL businesses for people with REAL interests such as cake making, DJs promoting gigs then these networks are great. Real stuff will be shared by real people and real businesses can benefit greatly using these networks properly but they have unfortunately been hijacked by the ‘Make Money’ and ‘Internet Marketing’ chumps who are ruining them. I too can be blamed for that and I apologise.

8. What has been the biggest hurdle that you have come across in your blogging career to date? 

How did you overcome this?

The biggest hurdle is trying to think up new and interesting content without regurgitating the same old stuff. Not sure I have overcome it properly. Sometimes you just have to go and visit a few sites, see what they have written and pinch ideas.

Writing fresh new content is bloody hard if you have to do it several times a week!

9. How do you drive traffic to your blog and grow your readership?

At the moment I do not try and send much traffic to the site but if I do it is a combination of sharing my posts on social media, I no longer go into Facebook Groups and Google + Communities dedicated to blogging, Internet Marketing or Social Media filling them all with the latest post, it is just a waste of time.

They are like rooms full of people all shouting loud to be heard all saying the same thing ‘Come To Me’ but no is listening, they are all just shouting! I now only post in a couple of groups.

I write long posts usually so that in itself creates a lot of relevant keywords and I hope that helps with search rankings, I allow the piece to create natural keywords and do not write keywords into pieces hoping that they will fit as they often make the article look ugly.

When I write something for the public I send an email out to the email list directing them back to the latest article. I create images and sometimes cartoons to drive traffic back to the email opt in page to try and get new sign ups but as we are not yet launched I am doing very little traffic generation at the moment. Tims Minions

10. What is the most important piece of advice you could give to a new blogger?

Think very carefully about what it is that you want? Choose your niche wisely, there is a lot of work involved when blogging and often or not the best way is to build a brand or a name that is recognisable than trying to get traffic.

A brand or a name will be shared for you, think of your business as if it were a band… I love Orbital, if they released a new track on Facebook and it was free, I would happily share it so my other Orbital loving fans can hear it.

If you like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and they were doing a free 1 hour live streaming performance, would you share that information? Yes you would, people share what they love and so you should blog about things you love and build stuff people would love to share.

I often use the example of Cyanide & Happiness, they have a business built around creating fun cartoons and people share them, why? Because: 1) They like them and want others to enjoy them. 2) They don’t feel pressured or forced to, it isn’t like they are going to be scammed by a cartoon is it.

Doing something that you really love will half the work there and then. So choose wisely.

Do you have any other questions you would like to ask Andi?  

Please share at the end of this post. 

If you would like to connect further with Andi, you can do so at his social media profiles.

Google + / Facebook /

Would you like to be considered for an interview at Friday’s Featured Blogger? 

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Written by

Catherine Holt is the founder of Blogging Tips 101. She has been an internet marketer since 2012. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Google and Pinterest.

20 Responses to “Blogging Tips From Andi Leeman At Tim’s Minions & Bizzebee”

written by Andi Leeman On 18 July 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine,thank you for this opportunity. It looks great, I don’t recall writing so much stuff! :-)

I think the one think that maybe I should have emphasised more is the amount of freedom working online can offer you. today I write from my home in Lincolnshire and next week if I have my laptop and an internet connection I could do my work from most places in the UK and beyond.

Now that is worth looking into making a career online in my opinion. Not being chained to an office, desk or place of work.

Thanks again.

written by Catherine Holt On 21 July 2014 Reply

Thanks for the great interview Andi. It’s amazing how much you can write when you get passionate about it :-) Working online certainly does give a freedom. What could be better than working on a niche you love, and from wherever you want. Not many careers allow for that! Thanks for your time, it’s really appreciated :-)

written by Mi Muba On 18 July 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine
In the whole interview the main focus was to take full care while selecting your niche. This is the basic foundation of a blog which may otherwise keep rattling at a weak foundation. He is very right if you don’t love the topic you can’t create a viral post so it is must to be in a niche that is really your forte and most favorite topic.
It is very amazing to see how he adjusted himself with an already established blog and now giving his best to boost it. It means sometimes you can adjust with a niche that may be not your most favorite one.
You asked him well crafted questions to extract his miximum blogging experience and vision for the benefit of readers. You did this job very impressively.
Thanks a lot for this great share.

written by Catherine Holt On 20 July 2014 Reply

Thanks Mi Muba. Your absolutely right: by making sure you carefully select your niche you will ensure your blog’s foundation is strong. If you love what you do, it is so much easier to work on your blog day in and day out.

Thanks for leaving your thoughts ;-)

written by Andi Leeman On 21 July 2014 Reply

Hi Mi thank you for the kind words and thank you for taking the time to read the interview.

Loving the topic you write about makes it a lot less like work and that itself is a big motivator as we humans love to do more of the things we enjoy.

written by Marc On 18 July 2014 Reply

Thanks for sharing this interview Catherine. I think Andi’s advice about choosing your niche carefully is really important. All of the sites/blogs that I have had success with covered topics that interested me, so working on them wasn’t painful. On the other hand I’ve started a few sites over the years on topics that I thought might be good for profit, and since I haven’t really enjoyed working on those sites I have never had success with any of them.

written by Catherine Holt On 20 July 2014 Reply

That’s really interesting that you have only had success with those blogs that you are truly interested in. It just goes to show that if your passion is lacking it will be incredibly difficult to make your blog successful. Sometimes you have to learn that the hard way.

Thanks for your comment Marc :-)

written by Andi Leeman On 21 July 2014 Reply

Hi Marc, thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment. It is very interesting what you said about how the niches you were not passionate about were not as successful as those niches you loved. It says it all really and collaborates what I believe is very important. Do what you enjoy.

[…] Today on Friday’s featured blogger, I would like to welcome Andi Leeman who blogs at Tims Minions and Bizzebee. I first met Andi through a Facebook group that he set up with a couple of other knowledgeable bloggers. Andi has always been very open and honest about his online experiences and I am sure you [...]  […]

written by Kevin Duncan On 19 July 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine and Andi,

I wasn’t previously familiar with Andi, so this was an insightful interview.

Choosing your niche wisely and doing what you love are great blogging tips everyone should follow. Don’t do it for the money…do it for the enjoyment you get out of it.

It makes the whole process infinitely easier.

Thanks again.

written by Catherine Holt On 20 July 2014 Reply

Glad I have been able to introduce you to Andi :-)

Blogging is so much easier if you enjoy what you do, so picking a niche you love is incredibly important. Far too many bloggers focus purely on the money, and that is creating problems from the word go.

Thanks for stopping by Kevin :-)

written by Andi Leeman On 21 July 2014 Reply

Hi Kevin, thank you for your comment and for taking the time to read the interview. You said it, do it for the love of a topic and not for money, very few people can generate money by doing things they don’t enjoy where as when you love something you create far better content and service which will benefit you and your website more in the long run.

written by Ryan Biddulph On 20 July 2014 Reply

Hi Andi and Catherine.

So agree on the niche point. Super interview.

Choose your niche with care. Make your niche fun to write about, and enjoyable to dwell on. My old blog was practice in so many areas, including finding my niche. My new blog is all about my life, blogging from paradise, and since I love blogging from paradise it’s been a no brainer niche choice.

I also vibe with your future dreams Andi. You can do it! Honest. Spain is yours, and since we can be digital nomads at any time why not take advantage of this as soon as possible.

I love being free to type away from Fiji now, and Bali in 3 months, and the US in 4 months, then from some tropical hot spot in 5 months.

What a blessing, what a dream.

Awesome advice overall here. Really drill down on that niche, you’ll never regret this because doing so will cut years off of your learning curve.

Thanks for sharing Andi and Catherine.

Tweeting in a bit.


written by Catherine Holt On 21 July 2014 Reply

Thanks Ryan. There really is nothing better than doing what you love, and if this means tweaking your niche until you have worked that out, then that’s what you should do. You certainly won’t regret it in the long run :-)

written by Andi Leeman On 21 July 2014 Reply

Hi Ryan, we meet again :-)I love the term digital nomads, what a cool way of explaining what you do. And you are blogging from paradise which for me is a big inspiration .
Sometimes I think people miss the point, they look at working online and believe it is about pulling in the big bucks and it can be but on a whole the real point people should focus on is the fact it gives us freedom and allows us to work at any time of the day from anywhere in the world.

To me that is pretty damn powerful!
Thanks for reading and taking time out to leave a comment.

written by Torsten Mueller On 20 July 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine,

reading your interview with Andi was really interesting, especially as I didn’t know him before.

As he says and as the others above confirmed as well, it is very important to choose the right niche and that you are interested in what you are writing about.

A lot of people unfortunately think in terms of money only. But as Kevin also said above, do it for your enjoyment. If you enjoy it the money will follow.

Cheers and have a nice weekend,

written by Catherine Holt On 21 July 2014 Reply

Absolutely Torsten, Andi really hit the nail on the head with this one. If you are trying to make money out of something you don’t have a passion for, it is going to be really hard. Not impossible, but hard! It is far better to choose a niche that you enjoy and as a result, you will see the benefits :-)

written by Andi Leeman On 21 July 2014 Reply

Hi Torsten, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

It is a shame that people try and enter specific niches based on what they think they could earn without realising that they will need to do a lot of work and that means spending a lot of time creating content around stuff they do not really care about and that is very hard to do.

That will mean the work will not get done and very little money and success will come from it whereas they could probably earn more by doing less when they actually work on something they truly love.

I know it isn’t the message most marketers or guru’s like to get across but I am not one of them and I think it needs to be drilled into new beginners… choose something you love, something you know about and something you are comfortable with and the whole blogging process will be more fun and rewarding.

written by Dan Worthington On 29 July 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine & Andi,

Great post – You are right that one of the biggest hurdles is trying to think of new content to put out there, so I think it’s a great tip to visit other sites for inspiration.

Inspiration that you can take away, and put you’re own spin on… it’s also a great way to see what’s popular and what’s not!


written by Catherine Holt On 29 July 2014 Reply

You can certainly get a lot of inspiration from others. Visiting other blogs can really help if your stuck for ideas on trying to create new content. Sometimes it can provide too much inspiration…lol.

Thanks for stopping by Dan :-)

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