Domain Authority is a good measure of whether your Blog attracts visitors or followers and becomes a reference site for many people.
Below is the Domain Authority of two of my main websites which I maintained (updated) regularly – (1) mazlanabbas.com and (2) iotworld.co
It was measured using the Semrush website. Of course, the IoT World blog (ranked 23) which has been in existence for many years can be ranked better than my less than a year-old personal Mazlan Abbas Blog (ranked 9).
However, after listening to the Blog Millionaire podcast, I have some ideas of how to increase the Domain Authority and get some of the posts into the first page of Google search.
How do we gain traction and what do we learn from our early mistakes?
When I was with MIMOS, an R&D Agency under MOSTI, my role was developing wireless technologies, one of which was the Internet of Things, especially in developing new 6LoWPAN standards.
Later, we created new IoT applications but did not think about selling the applications. What are the business models, and who will be the paying customers?
However, when I left the organization and ventured into the telco world, the IoT business became challenging. We cannot apply all theories to the real world.
7 Mistakes That We Did Not Realize
In the early days of Favoriot, we were very optimistic about the IoT market, and we thought customers were ready to jump into this as soon as they got the opportunity. But nothing is as easy as we thought! We were mesmerized by the number of IoT devices by 2020 and how the organizations will adopt Iot applications.
Here’re our 7 early mistakes and things that we overlooked:
There is not enough talent in the industry to develop IoT solutions. When we launched our IoT platform in 2017, we thought people would subscribe to it and use it in the IoT deployment. Unfortunately, the take-up is very slow. People are not aware of how to use them or connect any sensors.
Talent is still the Universities. If the industry doesn’t have enough talent, most likely they should still be in the Colleges or Universities. But even in 2017, IoT is still very new to many educational institutions. Not many of their current courses embed with complete elements of IoT, which means learning IoT applications and their benefits, but the ability to have hands-on IoT projects and learn all the four aspects of IoT such as Sensors, Connectivity, Middleware, and Analytics.
Not enough knowledge to train Favoriot platform. Letting users learn using the IoT middleware via YouTube videos is also a big mistake because many still prefer a formal course rather than self-training. Proper training is mandatory, and YouTube resources should be supplementary resources.
Customers don’t know how to start their IoT journey. Many are still trying to grasp how IoT impacts their business. And what it takes to start transforming their organizations with intelligent solutions.
IoT Budget was not in place. Too many stakeholders make the decision process slower, and they are late in justifying their ioT budget. Organizations can’t comprehend how much it cost to deploy an IoT solution. Where should it start, and who should manage this?
There is no catalyst to create their IoT projects. Before Covid-19 happened in 2020, the digital transformation process in many businesses was prolonged.
We did not take the IoT training opportunity. Many opportunities arise, but we neglect that opportunity simply because we thought we should focus on building our IoT platform and marketing them.
Building IoT Community for Commercialisation
It has been very challenging to promote the usage of our Favoriot IoT because we are new to the market, and most people are aware of other alternatives.
Thus, we set up a strategy to create awareness by promoting the Generation-IoT community to quickly help users start their IoT journey. We take this opportunity to create IoT training courses using the Favoriot IoT platform and bundling with an IoT ecosystem package to the educational institutions.
We went back to the Universities, Colleges, and Polytechnics and help them to refresh their IoT syllabus which suits the industry needs.
Since then, we have managed to groom many trainers, lecturers, and individuals with IoT knowledge and hands-on using Favoriot IoT platform.
It has become the beginning of our traction from education to the platform’s commercialization. The platform proves to become a better alternative to the existing IoT platforms in the market. We have gained the trust of the industry to become one of the IoT platforms of choice.
The local support and expertise give us a massive advantage to enter into IoT projects. We also teach them how to select the best IoT platform without evaluating hundreds of products in the market.
We regret not taking the education path 3 to 4 years earlier. Otherwise, the IoT landscape would be very different today.
But then, no one expects to connect the dots this way without learning the mistakes we are going through.
Dr. Mazlan Abbas
“Mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before.”
This is part of the real stories about IoT entrepreneurship. Subscribe to IoT Adventure book when it’s available in the future. Read the archive here.
It has been almost 2 years since I have last traveled overseas and that was to India just around the time before Malaysia closed down her borders. I was lucky enough not to be stuck in India during that travel restriction.
This time I have been fortunate to be invited by LEAP to be one of their speakers at the conference which is to be held 1-3 Feb. 2022. All traveling (including Visa) and accommodation expenses are borne by them.
However, due to many new procedures for travel due to Covid-19, I will share the preparation needed for my travel to Saudi Arabia.
Download Tawakkalna Application. Important: Please download the application to your phone prior to travel to KSA and have data roaming activated for use in KSA. You will ONLY be able to register once you arrive into KSA and have activated data roaming on your phone to receive the confirmation code via SMS.
Conduct RT-PCR Test at home i.e. 48 hours before departure. Since I am travelling on Sunday (30 Jan. 2022) at 01:30 hrs, I went to do my test on Friday at Poliklinik Dr. Medic at 9.40am and received the result (which is tested negative Covid) via WhatsApp 9.10 am Saturday (29 Jan. 2022). It cost me RM 180 which I paid via Bank Transfer and sent the rececipt to them one day earlier and requested for a Drive-In.
Request for Home Quarantine (4-10 days prior) arrival. Applied on Friday night and received the approved Home Quarantine by 4.36 am via email.
[Latest Update] Covid-19 Insurance. I nearly missed my flight when the check-in counter requested for Covid-19 insurance. Luckily my Prudential Insurance covered the Covid-19. For travel, I need pay first and claim later (as described by my Agent). I just showed her my Insurance Policy (which I logged in via Pru Access)
I will update the traveling experience in my next post and probably need to update further update any arrangements for the RT-PCR test when arriving at Airport KLIA and using the digital bracelet (for people arriving from Saudi and some other high-risk countries) during quarantine for 5 days.
Travelog – Saudi (30 Januari 2022 – 5 Februarri 2022)
If you’re passionate about your field and know how to stand out, then you can quickly become a thought leader.
You’re passionate about your field, and you know how to stand out. You’ve built a portfolio of work in that area that you’re proud of. Now, you have the chance to show the world how awesome you are. With a little bit of dedication and focus, you can quickly become a thought leader—a person who people look up to and trust for advice.
Here are three (3) ways to become a thought leader:
(1) Build a Strong Following
If you want to become a thought leader on social media, the first thing to do is build a strong following.
There are many ways of doing this, but the most effective ones are:
Make sure your followers are interested in what you have to say. If they aren’t, they won’t be interested in following you.
Respond to comments and questions and encourage people to follow you.
Get involved with other people’s content and respond to it as well. You can also build your community. Create a group that shares similar interests and join others’ groups. Build relationships – your followers will become your friends, and your friends will become your followers. The more you interact with them, the more likely they will follow you. You may think that you are not good at building relationships, but that is a mistake.
The best way to do this is to have a blog that focuses on the same subject as your podcast. For example, if your podcast is about technology, create a blog about technology-related topics. Then, you can link your podcast to your blog and vice versa. If people read your blog and listen to your podcast, they’re likely to click through and visit your website. I’ve been asked by many newbie bloggers what the difference is between their blogs and my podcasts. And honestly, there isn’t much of a difference.
(2) Content Marketing
The third thing to do is to share quality content regularly. To stay consistent and build credibility, you should make sure that the majority of the content you share falls within one category or theme.
If your blog is a mix of many categories, you’re probably going to end up being just another “generic” blog that nobody will read. That said, I suggest that you focus on only one category in your content sharing. You might even want to limit it to two or three. The more categories you add, the less effective your content sharing will be.
(3) Brand voice
The next step is to develop your brand voice, which will be unique to you.
This is a combination of your logo and how you speak about yourself. If you’re a business coach, your brand voice will be different from an entrepreneur’s. The same goes for the voice of your employees. Brand voice can include:
Your company logo
The tone and language of your marketing material
The way you speak on social media
Your business mission statement
Your tone and style of communication
The tone of voice used in your emails
The voice of your website
Social media tools allow you to share your content across multiple platforms easily. They can help you create a brand and a reputation that people will trust. This is why it’s so crucial that you have a unique voice and can connect with people. Be authentic to build a reputation for yourself.
This means that you should be willing to share your life experiences, as well as your opinions. You should also be open about your struggles, fears, failures, and successes. You should never make excuses, but you should always be willing to talk about the things that you’ve been through. This is because these things will help you to connect with other people. When people can relate to your experiences, they will be more likely to read your blog and other social media channels.
The first way to become a thought leader is to understand that people will follow you if they believe you know something they don’t. The second way to become a thought leader is to use content marketing to spread your thoughts, ideas, and expertise to others. Third, it’s essential to have a voice. Your opinion matters and your voice counts. You may not be able to persuade others to agree with you. However, you can influence them by influencing your audience. People are always listening to their customers, and they’re always looking for new insights into their industry. Be part of the conversation, and people will follow you.
A couple of weeks earlier, I was very depressed and frustrated when my boss did not approve my application to attend IoT Asia 2014. I applied for the trip with two of my staff to attend the first IoT event in the region, yet only two of my staff applications were approved but not mine.
Our organization started the work on IoT almost two years earlier, and I thought this would be my best opportunity to hear from the industry leaders.
But the news that my staff brought to me was very unexpected. I wondered – how do I get to be selected by a prestigious organization like Onalytica?
The news spread very fast in the organization, with many people congratulating me. And one of them is the HR Vice President; she congratulated, “Dr. Mazlan, you are now a Thought Leader. That’s an amazing achievement!“
But since I have never bothered to know what a “Thought Leader is,” I began to wonder what I did to gain that recognition? And what exactly is a Thought Leader?
How Onalytica Picked the Top 100 IoT Thought Leaders
Onalytica took in all Twitter conversations using the hashtags #IoT and #InternetOfThings and created a network of the top stakeholders discussing the subject. The network diagram of the top 100 is shown below.
I was thrilled to be ranked No. 20th on the list with Kevin Ashton (Father of IoT ranked 11th). And, of course, very proud to be the only Malaysian (or probably Asian) on the list!
But really, how do I reach that stage? Is it by accident? In a way, most probably the answer is yes, but I didn’t realize that the things I did were actually how a Thought Leader should do – by influencing others.
It started probably 1 or 2 years earlier when my team was working on a research area called Wireless Sensor Network, 6LoWPAN (IPv6 Low Powered Area Network), and Internet of Things (IoT).
And during 2012 to 2014, I was a frequent social media user on LinkedIn and Twitter. Whatever I read on IoT topics, I will share this on Twitter and LinkedIn and use that hashtag #IoT. This includes sharing my thoughts about the industry in IoT.
This was when my circle of influence widened with more Twitter users following my Tweets. That’s how these Tweets are captured and analyzed by Onalytica.
The Start of an IoT Thought Leadership
Two years later, in 2016, I was the first Malaysian IoT Speaker in IoT Asia 2016 (“Issues and Challenges of Deploying a Smart Citizen Engagement Solution,” IoT Asia 2016, Singapore Expo, 30-31 March 201). The same event was when my boss rejected my application to attend in 2014. This time, the host invited me to speak with all expenses paid.
That was the beginning of the Thought Leadership journey, whereby I was invited to many speaking engagements as Keynote Speaker, Invited Speaker, TEDx Speaker, and many others. I created an IoT Blog called “IoT World” which became my official channel to share my thoughts and knowledge.
Other than the recognition from Onalytica (Onalytica Report can be downloaded here), I was ranked among Top 50 Global Thought Leaders on the Internet of Things (February 2019) and Digital Disruption (October 2019) by Thinkers360, Top 50 Most Impactful Smart Cities Leaders by World CSR Congress 2017, ranked Top 10 in IoT Top 100 Influencers by Postscapes 2017 & 2018,
It all started with a rejection….. From Zero to an IoT Thought Leader
But I have this terrible habit of not finishing the book I read or didn’t even start reading them. And the worst part, sometimes I buy the same book twice because I don’t remember whether I have purchased it before or not.
When books are converted into digital, it changes how we consume knowledge. It also changes the way the reading habit.
This is what happened to me. I used to buy many print books (real books) and am proud to have a “library” to place the texts on proper shelves. Books on my shelves.
But I have this terrible habit of not finishing the book I read or didn’t even start reading them. And the worst part, sometimes I buy the same book twice because I don’t remember whether I have purchased it before or not.
And then, I began to start to download E-Books, and I began to read them finally. And the best part, I managed to read them till the last page!
Initially, I was convinced that Real Books are far better than E-Books because it doesn’t feel the same holding a book compared to something just digital.
BBut due to the Covid-19 lockdown, I started to read more E-Books and have changed my habit of reading. Below are some of the reasons:
Freedom – I can read the E-Book anywhere. I need to carry multiple of them with print books if I want to read more than one book. Of course, real books are heavy to carry. During travel, you don’t want to carry heavy luggage unnecessarily. What if you don’t like to read that book and that is the only book you have?
Easy to Highlight – Since I bought an iPad with a Stylus called Pencil, it simplifies me to jot down or highlight specific points or facts in the E-Book. And it does not destroy or dirty the E-Book because you can still erase the highlights quickly.
Only Digital – Some books are only published in digital form. Or you can convert a web article into PDF and read it like an E-Book. You don’t have to waste printing the papers.
Cheap or Free – E-Books are far more affordable than real books. And you can find free or “free” E-Books on the web.
Furthermore, I will be writing my E-Book called IoT Adventure and hopefully complete it by 2022.
Lifelogging is the act of recording and analyzing your daily activities as a way of finding out more about yourself and your life. By doing this, you can discover hidden patterns in your behavior and life; you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, gain valuable insights into your goals, dreams, and aspirations, and much more. This process has increased your quality of life in many different ways.
There are many benefits to lifelogging. This is one of the most exciting times in the history of humankind. With today’s technology (digital camera and smartphone), you can live forever. The only limit to your health and happiness now is your own imagination! Lifelogging helps you keep a record of your life for you and your family after you are gone.
Lifelogging via Gyroscope App
I have been using Gyroscope as my Lifelogging app, and it has recorded my daily activities since 2018. Gyroscope helps you manage the many aspects of your life by giving you an easy-to-use interface to track everything that matters to you. It tracks your days, weeks, months, and years in precise detail. And depending on the apps you integrate with, Gyroscope can bring together your sleep patterns, productivity, fitness activities, and Apple Health data.
One particularly tracking pattern that’s worth looking at is the Number of hours online and whether its productive or not. We can easily observed that pre-Covid (2019), the average online hours is about 1,000 hours as compared during the travelling restrictions and work from home activities. The online activity has increased by 50% !
And if we see how the app tracked the number of places in 2020 and 2021, it was cut down by more than 60%. The physical meetings has now been compensated by the online meetings.
If we subscribed to it’s Premium subscription (Mine is RM 294.90 for Track Pro. There are many types of Subscription options), we have access to much more reports which are beautifully displayed. Although a great number of reports that can be shared in the form of Cards from its mobile app, lot more charts and analysis can be seen from the web portal.
When you are a thought leader, you can influence others in your industry. If you can influence other people, then this means that you can get their attention and even persuade them to adopt your ideas.
Who is a thought leader? A thought leader has significant influence and credibility in their field of expertise. They are often well known and admired by the people they influence. They may be the subject of books and articles, but more importantly, they impact other people’s lives. Think of people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Simon Sinek, or Tony Robbins. They are all thought leaders.
How to become a thought leader?
It’s simple. All you have to do is spend your time and effort reading the best thinkers in your field. As you read, you’ll notice that most of them have the same basic things in common. They are all well-educated, they’ve thought deeply about their subject matter, and they’re usually knowledgeable.
In addition, you’ll find that they’ve created an intellectual community around their ideas. They share their thoughts, which helps them understand themselves, their ideas, and their impact on others. Finally, they’re constantly pushing the boundaries of their thinking.
Why is it essential to be a thought leader?
In business, being a thought leader can be a potent tool. If you want to succeed in your business, you need to become one. You need to think out of the box and develop new ideas that others may not have considered. It is essential to become a thought leader because it will give you a competitive edge over others.
When you are a thought leader, you can influence others in your industry. If you can influence other people, then this means that you can get their attention and even persuade them to adopt your ideas. For this reason, being a thought leader can be a potent tool. But how do you become a thought leader? There are many ways to go about doing this, but there are also certain traits that you need to possess.
What makes a good thought leader?
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about what makes a good thought leader. And I came up with some thoughts that are worth sharing in my humble opinion.
Here’s the list:
Know your audience and be yourself. This is so obvious. But I don’t know how many people take it seriously. The more you know your audience, the better you tailor your message to their needs.
And if you are not who you are, you might as well not exist. This is one of the reasons why I like to say that you should write your own book and be your own publisher.
If you want to get a book published, you need to have something valuable to share. So, be yourself. That is the only way to get it right. Know your audience and be yourself. Be the best at what you do. Have a clear vision for what you want to accomplish.
But don’t ever stop learning. And if you can’t find your niche, create one. One of my favorite quotes is, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” This means that you must first be the change you wish to see in yourself. So, be the change you want to see in yourself.
As a writer, there are many ways you can develop your thought leadership. Here’s a simple guide:
Find the most influential people in your niche. These people are often leaders in their industry. They write books, articles, and they’re active on social media. Find the most influential marketers in your niche if you’re a marketer.
Follow them on social media. Most of these people have a blog or a Twitter account to share great content. They’ll probably follow you back.
Read what they publish. The more time you spend reading their content, the more you’ll be able to incorporate it into your own.
Write something unique. Don’t just copy and paste what they write.
Write something that makes your audience think, “I need to read this.”
Get the attention of these influencers. You can do this by writing a guest post on their blog or sharing their social media content.
Once they start following you, ask them to review your book or article. The more people you get to review your work, the better.
Finally, ask them for some feedback. They’ll appreciate the opportunity to help a writer improve their craft.
How can I achieve being a thought leader?
Here are some tips to get started:
Be the person others want to follow. This might seem like a cop-out, but you have to think about this from the other person’s perspective. You want to be the person they look up to and admire.
It’s tough to be someone else’s role model.
Focus on the positive There are so many things in your life that are great, but you just need to focus on those. When I first started looking at my life this way, I was amazed by how better I felt.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Focus on what you can control.
Have a plan of action and stick to it. If you set yourself up to fail, you’ll fail.
One of the frustrating parts is when I Google the name “Mazlan Abbas Blog,” the website does not even appear in the Google Ranking!
Here’s where many Bloggers would start to get very frustrated and abandon their Blogging activities. In reality (as described by many professional bloggers), it’s very typical, that we will only see the impact after several months!
Below is my traffic stats that showed the ups and downs. The “ups” is because I mainly promoted the posts on my Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – and Facebook seems to be the highest referrals.
Surprisingly my top 3 countries (other than my home country Malaysia) are the United States, India, and Ireland.
Types of Blog Posts
The idea of my Blog is for Personal Blogging – sharing my journey into the world of Entrepreneurship, which mainly referred back to my business Blog called IoT World.
By monitoring the article’s number of views, I will understand what content attracted the readers.
Top be fair, the Blog is still at its infancy stage. It requires constant update with high-quality contents. I will be revisiting this statistics monthly and monitor the progress.
I am now using All-In-One SEO (AISEO) plug-in to help increase the SEO. And I have also followed many tips given by many other veteran Bloggers.
Kindly leave your comments and share your thoughts. I love to hear them.
There’s no way to understand the challenges if we have not built and sold Favorsense. Facing the customers is the only to find out. Some of the challenges are:
Many Copycats – Unlike other IoT solutions that depend on custom-made IoT devices, many other IT companies can easily copy a complete software-based application unless it has a complex algorithm or some form of machine learning.
Challenging to Become a SaaS-based Solution – Many local councils have a long-existing process embedded into their everyday workflow. Thus, it requires many customizations based on their workflow unless they are willing to replace them with a new one. Or the SaaS must be complete with the flexibility to integrate with their legacy systems.
Red Ocean Market – There are many similar solutions – although incomplete or have different features, it seems to be more challenging for the customer to change to a new one.
Procurement Complexity – Introducing intelligent city solutions is a very complex process. Much unclear procurement process due to many stakeholders involved. And this includes budget issues.
Stand-Alone Solution Weakness – Just a citizen engagement solution might not be attractive enough in any tender or procurement process. It’s is typically part of the more extensive project roll-out.
Opening the Floodgate – Not many organizations prefer a very open or accessible channel for users to make complaints or reports. It’s like opening a floodgate of complaints. However, it’s between letting complaints go viral or making the channel more controllable – it’s the local council’s choice.
Legacy Systems – Older IT systems have existed in the current workflow and are thus difficult to integrate with new methods, especially when the data is no longer compatible. It requires massive upgrades and costs.
Citizen Engagement Fatigue – Once the mobile citizen engagement app is launched, it requires constant push and awareness regarding its usefulness. Many similar apps just died quietly after several months in public.
Unlike the first IoT solution, Raqib, these challenges are totally different. It’s not about technical challenges but understanding the users’ needs and current legacy workflow.
It’s easier to sell Favorsense when the customer does not have any complaint or trouble ticket system.
Do you think there are other ways to resolve the eight issues mentioned above? Kindly leave your comments or feedback below. I love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!