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|Interview with Priya Florence : Journey of a Professional Blogger : eAskme|
Ans: I started my online publishing journey in 2001, before blogs were a household word. My first website was called Making India Green and I wrote a lot about environmental issues, which I was (and am) passionate about. My first websites were created with HTML and were very basic.
In my quest to boost readership, I started learning about SEO and wrote a book on it called Number One In Your Niche. Since then I've written a number of books and self-published them on Amazon Kindle.
When WordPress was released, it made my life much easier as a blogger and online publisher. Today I provide blogging and social media marketing services to a number of clients.
Blogging has helped me express and brand myself, network with other people and build a business. I owe a lot of my success to being a blogger and writer. Social media marketing has helped me build a community of readers who enjoy reading my blogs and share them with their own networks.
I believe that, no matter how the web changes, blogging in some form will be a part of online marketing and will continue to be a way for people to express themselves and build communities.
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?
Ans: As I mentioned before, I had been publishing online websites since 2001, but HTML is a very tedious way to publish. So when a CMS like WordPress came along, I jumped at the opportunity to use it.
I spent a lot of time learning about WordPress and am still learning, because it has changed so much over the years. I make all the changes to my WordPress sites myself as I don't like having to depend on someone else to do it.
It's not rocket science to understand how to use and customize WordPress and I recommend that every blogger learns the basics, like installing themes, plugins, widgets. That way you don't have to run to a developer every time you need to make a few minor changes.
If I have problems with my sites that require more technical knowledge to sort out, I use services like fiverr.com to get them done. I used it recently to speed up page loading and change the CSS on my blog. I have a number of blogs written for different target audiences.
The main obstacles I have faced are finding good writers for some of them. Even though I write for my own blogs and my clients' blogs pretty often, I am always looking for writers that have an excellent command of English and don't over charge.
Another issue that takes up a lot of time is keeping up with the changes in blogging, content marketing and social media marketing. Reading other blogs, listening to podcasts and attending webinars is time consuming, but it's essential to keep up with changes or you get outdated pretty quickly.
Q. Can blogging really change someone`s life?
Ans: Yes, I definitely believe it can. It's changed my life, in that it's helped me express my creativity and opinions. It's also helped me become well-known as an authority in my field and because of that, it helped me find clients for whom I can do the same.
Had I not been a blogger, I would never have been able to create the kind of social media following I now have. It helps me provide content consistently, share my ideas and thoughts and hone my writing skills.
If you're a writer, speaker or just want to express your thoughts and share your creations, you can use a number of media types - text, audio, video, images - and post them to a blog.
I highly recommend using your blog to create a mailing list, so that you can send out updates and follow-up with subscribers. I use Aweber for my mailing list, but if you want a free tool, Feedburner works too.
Ans: WordPress - because it's the most awesome CMS. Firstly, it's free. Secondly, it has a community of developers who are passionate about creating plugins and themes for it. It has tremendously reduced the cost of entry for someone starting an Internet business.
Also See : How to Improve English Grammar For Bloggers
Q. What is your daily schedule? And how do you maintain your tasks?
Ans: I use Google Calendar to schedule client meetings, webinars I want to attend and conference calls. Other than that, I have a list of tasks stored in my mind of what I need to get done that day. My first task of the day is to spend some time responding to client and other emails.
Q. Blogging have different definition for different person. What is it for you?
Ans: Blogging is a way for a writer and introvert like myself to express myself, reach out to other people who are interested in the same things I am passionate about.
For me, it's like having my own independent publishing company to publish content and spread awareness of various causes close to my heart. On my blog, Naaree.com, I write about women's empowerment and issues related to the socio-economic status of women in India.
Over the years, it has also helped me build a business and a reputation for my abilities, create a community on social media and offer my services to clients who have benefited from them in terms of increased visibility and branding.
Q. Which are your favorite blogs?
Ans: Social Media Examiner.com - my go to source for the best social media news and updates. I love this blog so much that I joined the Social Media Examiner Society, where we get exclusive training and hangouts on social media topics.
Neil Patel's blog - Love his blog for his awesome data-based posts, infographics and the authoritative nature of his investigations into SEO and online marketing.
Moz.com - Thanks to my initial interest in SEO, I still like to stay updated on it so I can be a better content marketer and blogger.
TinyBuddha.com - my favorite blog to help me stay grounded and remind myself of why I am on this planet.
Ans: I spend at least 3 to 4 hours a day, if not more. I don't really have a cut-off point, because a social media expert has to be always on. However I do take breaks and get in some downtime during the day so that I don't get burned out.
Q. How much time do you spend for blogging daily?
Ans: Again, another 3 to 4 hours a day, for my own and client blogs. I publish more often for clients than for myself. On my own blog I publish an average of once a week and I spend a lot of time on writing posts that are well-researched and provide useful information to my target audience (small businesses).
Q. Finally, I would love to have your message for my readers and any suggestions for newbies?
Ans: Keep writing, networking and promoting your blog posts. Reach out to influencer and spend time building and sharing content with your social media communities. Understand your "why" of blogging and "who" your readers are, and write content that is useful, actionable, and targets their pain points. Numbers do matter in terms of subscribers and fans/followers, but engagement is even more important.
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