Balkhis is a blog maintained under the supervision of Syed Balkhi. Syed Balkhi was born in the small town of Karachi, Pakistan. Karachi was not known for technology at that time. Prices of imported electrical appliances were inflated. He was gifted with the talent of knowledge with which he earned a computer (35,000 Rupees) as a reward based on his good grades. Like every kid, Syed was into gaming. Playing games all day didn’t help much other than to give him the pleasure of winning. Winning was everything. But soon due to an overuse of the keyboard and mouse while playing games (such as King of Fighters, Street Fighters, Commandoes, and Sims), he was left with no choice but to learn the process of these hardwares in order to understand the their functions. One day while his parents were not home, Syed opened the case of his CPU, took it apart, and then tried putting it back together. For two days he struggled, and could not get everything right. On the night of the third day, Syed finally was able to fix the computer – which until that time was kept hidden from his parents.
Soon after this hardware adventure, Syed started to take more interest in computers. His uncle bought the first version of Macromedia Kit which included Flash, Dreamweaver and such. Syed had always been a good artist; seeing his uncle develop animated graphics with Flash, Syed got interested in it. His uncle didn’t make good use of Flash as it was only for a personal website, but Syed used it as a step forward. Working on Flash, and making various distinct animated images, he was getting tired until he was introduced to what he calls the “Greatest Designing Software of All Time,” Adobe. Syed didn’t understand the purpose of it in the beginning other than taking screenshots and saving them as images.
In the meantime, his family emigrated to United States of America where Syed faced the biggest difficulty of his lifetime. Learning another language. Due to the language obstacles, Syed needed a hobby to overcome the fact of “No Friends in a New Land.” He turned toward a silly old game site Neopets. Yes, Neopets was the start of the mind of a businessman. While enjoying his time at Neopets, he started playing other online games which resulted in Syed building websites for his guilds and clans. Buying and trading virtual objects on Neopets was so addictive, that Syed fell into the addiction without even knowing it. Until one day his cousin pointed out to him the fact that: There is real money in the market where you can do the same thing but with Domains.
Syed entered the domaining industry through two major forums. DNF and Namepros. The majority of his time he spent on Namepros, while he improved on his skills with Photoshop. Thereafter, Syed started using free hosts to run proxy sites. While on the path of coming of age, Syed learned to advance and he moved on toward directories. Making multiple free directories until he reached a point where he knew that he could run a paid directory successfully. Then he launched Genuine Web Directory, which led him more into the industry where he learned major SEO tactics. The website was running well with a PR 5 and Alexa rank of 30k until he had to sell it to continue his education and and focus more on his schooling.
Syed moved to Gainesville, Florida to attend the University of Florida (Go Gators!), where he met few other students who shared the same interest as him. They put their knowledge together and now are working as a team at Uzzz Productions. Uzzz productions grew exponentially within a few years of its’ creation. Overtime, Syed noticed that more and more he and the team at Uzzz were using and recommending WordPress to power the websites that they designed, and thus, another brilliant idea found life.
In 2009, Syed started WPBeginner, a free resource site for anything and everything WordPress. Overtime, the site has grown exponentially. It has been mentioned in Wired Magizine, Problogger, and Mashable among others. WPBeginner has given Syed the unique opportunity to travel the United States and speak about WordPress, and blogging. Through WPBeginner, Syed had the opportunity to work with extremely well-known companies like: ZoneAlarm (Checkpoint), SocialCast, Thomas Nelson (World’s Largest Christian Publishing Company), BuySellAds, Webs Inc., Milo (eBay), GetSatisfaction, CrazyEgg, Mercer and many others.
Because of Syed’s online experience and success, he has had a pleasure of meeting and/or working side by side with some amazing people including Sir Richard Branson, Russell Simmons, Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal), Peter Diamandis (Founder of X Prize Foundation), Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos), Bob McKnight (CEO of QuickSilver), Jessica Jackley (co-founder of Kiva), Tony Conrad (co-founder of About.me), Matt Mullenweg (Founder of Automattic), Charles Best (Donors Choose), Tim Ferris (4 Hour Work Week), Scott Harrison (Charity Water), Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library TV), Chip Conley, Sean Stephenson and many others.
Syed has been invited to speak at numerous WordCamps, BlogWorld Expo, C-E-O National Convention, and countless other events.
In the Spring of 2011, Syed graduated with a honors degree from the University of Florida with a double bachelor in Religion and Anthropology. Later that year (November 2011), Syed along with his college friend David Pegg, launched a new site called List25. Within 3 months, the site was receiving 5 million pageviews per month. As of right now, the site has grown tremendously. With a loyal following of 180,000 people on Facebook, 1.8 million video views on Youtube, List25 is a success.
- What is the wait for, go for it: Syed believes if you are ten minutes early you are on time, and if you are merely on time then you are late. That philosophy works well with the online world as well. You cannot wait and hold your ideas inside for a later time because the internet network is vast, and many other people can be thinking the same thing that you are. It all comes down to be who is first. Rather than wasting your time, start something!
- Make your websites for users not just search engines: While it is good to have a website SEO Optimized, what good is a site is if it does not attract users? Syed believes in quality and the smooth functioning of a website, where the website contains both a user-friendly interface and a SEO-friendly layout.
- Always keep upgrading: Often, it is going to be the case that there are too many competitors in the industry. All that you have to do is maximize the possibilities. Expand your brand all around the industry. Upgrade and add new features. Take Lays Chips as an example. They had regular lays, and then divided them into flavors, then they introduced a Lays Baked product line, then they added a complete new style called Stax.
- Drops of water make an ocean: Many beginners who enter this industry enter to make a quick buck because they heard that someone else made a lot of money doing something online. What you have to understand that, yes, they made a lot of money, but they put a lot of time and experience in it. So Syed’s main motto is you cannot turn down small income, it is better than no income, and these little drops of money will become an ocean in time. You have nothing to lose because all you losses will never be worse then not making anything
This biography is edited by Amanda Marie Roberts, editor for WPBeginner.
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