March 28, 2015

Interview with Marisa Sanfilippo: Journey of a Professional Blogger

By Sonia
"Women Power is Here". As I have said earlier that Women are power source of this world. Women has proved themselves in every field like education, science, technology, military, business, marketing and even Blogging. 

Women makes world a better place. Today I am going to introduce you with a power blogger Marisa Sanfilippo. Interviews are the great way to know person, his struggle, life journey and achievements. It make all of us strong and also give inspiration to create our own world of happiness.

We have already published eight powerful, successful and inspirational interviews in the series of Journey of a Professional Blogger, interviews on 
  1. Sasidhar Kareti from Amfastech
  2. Romano from WPlighthouse
  3. Steve Counsell from SteveCounsell
  4. Alex Young from Smallbiztrends
  5. Interview with Paul Manwaring
  6. Interview with Sef
  7. Interview with Maxwell Ivey from TheBlindBlogger
  8. Interview with Sarah Taher from  : Journey of a Professional Blogger

Today we are going to publish interview with a professional Blogger, Marisa Sanfilippo.

Interview with Marisa Sanfilippo from  : Journey of a Professional Blogger : eAskme
Interview with Marisa Sanfilippo from : eAskme
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Please share about yourself and your story to enter in blogging?

My blogging journey started way back when to I want to say as early as when I was a junior in high school (2003). I believe it was Blogger that I started with back then, after I had fooled around with Geocities websites. I always loved to write, design, and back then – code. Throughout college I had a blog but never really maintained it.

It was not until 2010 when I started to get into blogging professionally. In my first full-time job as an e-marketing specialist I was tasked with creating a company blog. Being out of college for around a year at the time, there was still a lot for me to learn. They did not teach online marketing in college! Through continuously studying online marketing with a desire to succeed, I built my first successful company blog from the ground up (for the organization I worked for at the time). I approached blogging like I approached working in journalism (I had interned at a newspaper, magazine, and done some freelance writing).

I built out an editorial calendar keeping what I learned about SEO in mind. A lot of steps and hard work later, within six months the blog won an award and through one promotion that utilized inbound marketing techniques, converted more than 50% new accounts. And that … was just the beginning.

How the idea to make your own blog came in your mind? How you found the right people to develop it and what big obstacles you faced? 

I have been wanting to get back into blogging for myself again. When I applied to graduate school for creative writing, I needed some inspiration for my admissions essay. I think one of the best ways to be a writer is to write regularly. As a content marketing director, I do write regularly, but I ghost write blog posts for the clients of the Internet Marketing agency I work at. With the exception of a few guest posts for trade publications that the agency does business with, I had stopped writing for me. I love marketing and can talk about it all day everyday. Six years into my career and needing inspiration to pull from for that essay, I thought now would be the perfect time to start my own blog again. I knew it would be a time commitment but I have things to share. Marketing Mindset was born to educate business owners and beginner to intermediate marketers (and I got that inspiration I needed).

Having some experience with coding, graphic design, and WordPress, I built my blog myself using a template that I tweaked here and there. In building my blog, there were three decent size obstacles I faced, and I’m sure other bloggers can agree with me on my second and third ones!
  1. Using WordPress again. From the plugins to the template editor, I needed a refresher. At one point, I could not get Google Analytics to work but that’s what YouTube is for and all the great guides Google Analytics provides are for. I have been dabbling in Google Analytics since 2010 but since I’ve been running a content and social media marketing department, I’ve been less on the coding side. Several hours later, I got Google Analytics to work and got my blog up and running the way I wanted it to be. A refresher was exactly what I needed!
  2. The second obstacle I face is finding the time. I started my blog in January and would work on a new blog post for the week on a Sunday. Grad school started last week and two weeks prior, I had reading to do for it. So now, my biggest obstacle is just finding the time. I would love to blog more than once a week but I don’t see that happening with my schedule right now.
3. Coming up with a name for the blog! I find it to be so much easier to do marketing for clients I work with, yet when I do it for myself, I’m never 100 percent happy. Call it perfectionism? I came up with this really awesome name for the first business blog I created then with my blog I came up with ‘Marketing Mindset.’ Marketing Mindset? I thought about branding it with my name but Marisa Sanfilippo is a hard name to get right. I don’t love my blog’s name. Perhaps a better name will come to me when I’m in bed unable to sleep at 2 am one morning (because naturally, that’s when many of my great ideas have been born). 

Can blogging really change someone`s life? 

Do I think blogging can change someone’s life? Absolutely! As I answer this, I’m thinking of the blog Sprout & Blossom. The owner is a former boss of mine, communications professor, and overall - inspiration. Her name is Mary Harris and she inspires people on how to live healthy, sustainable lives. Mary has built this beautiful and incredible wellness community.

There are beauty blogs and vlogs out there such as Simply Marlena and the Beauty Bybel that help women feel more confident.

In ways, blogs have changed my life. Marketing blogs such as Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner, and HubSpot have been invaluable resources in making me a better marketer.
Blogs are what you make of them. If you let them, they can change your life.

What are your favorite Internet marketing tools?

My favorite Internet Marketing tools … Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are must haves if you are doing any Internet Marketing. I also really love Facebook Insights. Social Sprout is another great Internet Marketing tool for use with social media. Then there’s Canva – while I’m a Photoshop girl, I use it for graphic design inspiration when I’m stumped. WordPress of course is another. 

What is your daily schedule? and how do you maintain your tasks?

 My daily schedule is never exactly the same. While I do some same tasks on the day to day, my schedule is always changing. That’s the way things roll in Internet Marketing! However, my typical day (the tip of the iceberg) does include doing the following for the clients of the Internet Marketing agency I work at:
  • Monitoring their social channels (checking in on engagement and seeking out ways to re-engage users).
  • Communicating with clients.
  • Teaching.
  • Editing my employees’ content and providing feedback.
  • Writing new blog posts and social media posts.
  • Analyzing social media performance and making adjustments as needed.
  • Reading about the latest and greatest in the Internet Marketing world.
  • Solving problems.
When I go home or take a lunch break, I check in with my Twitter account for opportunities to share content, engage my followers, and engage other users on Twitter. On some nights I’ll join in on a Twitter chat, on other nights I’ll work on content for my blog. And in between that … I work on my graduate school assignments, cook and work out when I can, spend time with the boyfriend, and try to get my eight hours of sleep in each night.

I manage all of this by being extremely organized. My Google Calendar is one of my best friends. I have separate calendars for school and work (paper and electronic). Thank God for those Google reminder alerts! At work we use a tool called Podio, which really helps me manage content for clients. Excel Calendars help me keep track of daily social posts for clients – I highlight posts in green upon them being deployed as a checks and balances system.

Blogging have different definition for different person. What is it for you?

To me, blogging is a way to express myself and connect with people who have similar interests. One of the most flattering things is to be told: “I read your blog post and I really liked x, y, z.” There have been so many people over the years who have taught me more than they know and if I could teach just a few people one or two things through my blog, then I’m honored.

I’ve never been a super formal person. I like my flip-flops and I talk with my hands (thank the Italian parents on the hands part). I’m quite outgoing and have been told am personable. I prefer blogging over business writing because it fits my personality more. I get to have fun! On my own personal business blog, I can tell it like it is. In addition, blogging is great way for me to document some of the things I’m learning on this journey through life in the marketing industry. It helps me collect my thoughts and put them all together.

Which are your favorite blogs? 

 There are so many blogs I love! The ones I read often include:

How much time do you spend on social media promotion and SEO of your blog? 

I spend TOO MUCH time on social media promotion and SEO of my blog! I’m not sure the exact amount. If I counted how many hours I spent doing work inside after working a full-time job, I’d probably run for the hills, but I love it! My guess is about six to eight hours each week. I try to get at least one hour in each day. I’m not on there just promoting my stuff … I’m on learning and engaging with other users. I have a genuine interest in learning from others. I’m not here to make things all about me but if you do share my content I would appreciate it. I seek opportunities to learn from others and provide value where it seems to be needed!  

How much time do you spend for blogging daily?

Since I blog for clients at work then come home to my own blog and contributing to SEMRush, I spend about three hours each day blogging. Prior to being a department head it was a lot more! The number changes. One day I may blog for three hours and another I may blog for eight – it’s all dependent on what clients need at each time. There are some days when I don’t blog at all. 

Message for Readers:

My message for readers is … blog! If you think you don’t have something to say, you are wrong. There’s always something to say. Are you a stay at home mom? Why not share your journey? Are you a small business owner who sells candles? Why not share your candle making process? There’s always something to say … Blogging can take up a lot of time but when done right, it can be a great relationship building tool and can help you establish yourself as a leader in your industry, and even drive sales. Blogging can be fun! If you are not sure where to get started … head to Google. See what other people are doing in the industries, under the topics you think you may like to blog about. Find out what the influencers are doing and get inspired. 

It was a great interview with Marisa Sanfilippo from marisasanfilippo. eAskme team wish her best of luck and bright future. Her journey as a blogger is a an inspiration. If you think that you are a women and you can`t d it, then you are wrong. Women can do anything and actually every human being has the ability to do anything and be what he or she wants to be. So if you still waiting to start a blog, I must say you should start it right now.

Don`t forget to share about Marisa Sanfilippo on your social profiles. If you want me to Publish your interview, feel free to contact me.

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