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|Interview with Cendrine Marrouat (Social media coach, blogger, curator, and author) : Journey of a Professional Blogger : eAskme|
Q. Please share about yourself and your story to enter in blogging?
Ans: My name is Cendrine Marrouat and I'm originally from France. I moved to Canada in 2003. My blogging career started in 2005, when I decided to share my poetry with the world. It was a time when blogging was still mostly about sharing diary-like thoughts. The big social networks were MySpace, BlackPlanet and Orkut, and IRC chatrooms were the way to go when it came to networking.
My formative years were full of challenges. I opened several blogs, but nothing ever worked. Traffic was very low. After a couple of months, I always found myself wondering what I was doing wrong. So, I deleted the blogs and started new ones, hoping that I would eventually crack the code.
In 2008, I discovered Facebook and Twitter. I also met a few people who encouraged me to look at things differently and continue blogging.
I spent most of the following year networking, doing research on branding and marketing, attending webinars, reading blogs from experts, and observing social networks. My knowledge of social media solidified.
Also See : Make Money Blogging : infographic
When I revived Creative Ramblings, a social media blog I had started a year earlier but left on the back burner, I realized that I had finally found the way to establish my name as a trusted professional.
By the end of 2010, traffic to my blog had increased at least tenfold. Of course, the number still paled in comparison to some of the most renowned blogs in my field. However, it was a clear improvement, which boosted my morale.
In April 2013, I decided to replace Creative Ramblings with a more focused blog. Social Media Slant (http://socialmediaslant.com) is for small business owners and solo-preneurs who need help with social media but have small budgets. I share no-nonsense tips and advice, stats, news, and tools. It has been my most successful venture so far.
When you are dedicated to your craft, people notice. In July 2014, Paper.li hired me to contribute weekly content for their blog. (http://blog.paper.li/author/cmarrouat/) A few months later, I also became a paid contributor for the B2B News Network
Over the years, blogging has also opened the door to conferences, presentations, and workshops. And in May, when I released The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It, and Win (http://www.amazon.com/Little-eBook-Social-Media-Audiences-ebook/dp/B00KAQZJ28), my second social media book, I did not need to promote much. People bought copies because they recognized my name.
Q 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?
At the time, I didn't find anyone to develop my blog and decided that learning on my own would be better. a) My wallet was very small and b) research and details have always been my fortes. As a perfectionist, I still spend hours on small things that I know will have a big impact on the user experience.
In terms of big obstacles, I didn't face many. That's because the choices and information available were limited. You had to use WordPress (or a similar blogging platform) or build your entire website with code. And honestly, 99% of bloggers were not into making money from their writing. So, you just created your blog and posted content.
If I were to start today, I highly doubt I would do it. Or rather, I would approach things very differently. There is too much content, and there are too many bloggers who cover the same topics in the same way. It's hard to stand out without a strategy!
See : Blogging Goals of eAskme
Ans: It can, and even if you don't plan to make money from it. I know it has changed my life in many ways.
Also See : Why Every Business Should be Blogging
Also, the joy of knowing that I can help others is priceless.
For blogging to have a positive impact on your life, ask yourself what you want to achieve.
Q. What are your favorite Internet marketing tools?
Ans: I love testing new tools. You can see a huge list here: http://socialmediaslant.com/tools-services-business/
Also See : How to Develop a Successful Content Marketing Campaign
Twitter is fantastic to build relationships, especially via chats. Productivity-wise, I work from my Gmail inbox. It's a habit from my days as a journalist.
Finally, Google Drive is the best tool for collaboration and teamwork.
Q. What is your daily schedule? And how do you maintain your tasks?
Ans: I could write a book about that.
Next is writing. I'm notorious for being a slow writer. While some bloggers have the uncanny ability to craft a 500-word post in a couple of hours, I settle for an average of six. So, I will usually start one day and finish the next.
How to Schedule Your Pins on Pinterest
How to Schedule Tweets
How to Schedule email in Gmail
Since connecting with my audience is very important to me, I'll spend some time on Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Quora. I don't just respond to direct mentions. I also comment on other people's posts and share them.
Finally, there is also social media monitoring, as well as social media classes and coaching.
Q. Blogging have different definition for different person. What is it for you?
Ans: It is hard to answer this question without looking or sounding a little over the top.
Also See : Steps to Make Money Blogging
Blogging has also taught me to be a more business-savvy person. I always find myself thinking of my readers and how my words and vision in each post will ultimately impact them. Will they apply my tips and advice? Will they use my recommendations? What makes them comment or contact me?
Q. Which are your favorite blogs?
Ans: Here is a short list: (I have many)
- Danny Brown - http://dannybrown.me/
- Suzan St Maur - http://howtowritebetter.net
- Mallie Hart - http://gocreativego.com/
- Seth Godin - http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/
- Brooke Ballard - http://www.b2onlinemedia.com/
- Jenn Herman - http://www.jennstrends.com/
- Kelly Hungerford - http://kellyhungerford.com/
- Ileane Smith - http://basicblogtips.com/
- Janine Beattie - https://about.me/janine.beattie
- Mandy Edwards - http://memarketingservices.com
- Mike Sansone - http://www.converstations.com/
Ans: I have never paid attention to the time I spend. If I were to do that, I would scare myself. lol
When it comes to SEO, I write for human beings, and not search engines. I have optimized my blog minimally, of course, based on expert recommendations. And mobile-friendliness and fast loading times play a very important role.
Q. How much time do you spend for blogging daily?
Ans: I talked about that in a previous questions. But I would say at least three hours. Some days, it is more.
Also See : Open Letter to Bloggers
Q. Finally, I would love to have your message for my readers and any suggestions for newbies?
Ans: If you want to become a successful blogger, strategize, know who you want to target, be consistent, and work hard.
And most importantly, stop fearing mistakes. They are here to teach you very important lessons that you can then share with your audience.
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