In the bloggers interview series so far, we have done interviews with some of popular female bloggers like Ann Smarty and Jane Sheeba. In today’s interview series, we have a lady who has made a big name in the blogging industry in the last few years. We all know her and in fact we are big fan of her. The way she has contributed in the blogging community and how she has been helping other bloggers, is really amazing. Without any delay, let’s welcome Ileane Smith in this week interview series.
For few of you, who did not get the chance to know about Ileane Smith, let me share a brief intro about her. Ileane Smith is the founder of popular blog BasicBlogTips.com and she is also running a podcast blog here. She has an active Youtube Chanel here and has been very active on major social media and blogging communities.
On many occasions, I feel really surprised how Ilene is able to contribute too much time while helping other bloggers through different web properties. She has been equally popular among newbie as well as professional bloggers. Now let me share Ileane replies to my Interview questions that I sent via Email to her.
How did you get into blogging? Any interesting story behind this decision? And what kind of challenges you face in the first 6 months of your blogging career?
I actually started blogging by accident. Back in 2009, my daughter Nikki started a free WordPress blog and when I thought I was signing up to follow her blog, I was really creating a blog for myself. Back then the biggest challenge was finding tutorial to show you how to do things. I think I went the first 4 or 5 months before I found out about “the kitchen sink” in the WordPress editor. lol
Let’s talk more about BasicBlogTips.com. How you get to the idea of starting this blog? Do you see some pattern in the post types which seems to be doing well on this blog in terms of traffic, social media shares, comments and backlinks?
As I mentioned I had a hard time finding tutorials for blogging and social media, so as I would learn things I started to blog about them so I could keep track of what I learned. That’s when I discovered my love for creating step-by-step guides and video tutorials. I wrote about Twitter a lot back then and eventually I started doing more YouTube videos and I noticed that type of content being very well received by my readers.
I joined Blog Engage early on (remember this was late 2009 early 2010 when backlinks were the big focus) once I did that I never really needed to worry about backlinks. Even today I advise any new blogger to join Blog Engage to start connecting with other bloggers and getting your blog noticed.
Please share few tips novice bloggers can use to promote their latest blog posts? And which method (or website) you found most effective?
To be honest, I think this is the big mistake most new bloggers make. They get impatient and try to put the cart before the horse. Don’t worry about promoting your content so much. Pay more attention do developing good content.
Spend time researching your topic, read other blogs and connect with established bloggers by asking questions and leaving good insightful comments on their posts. This will also help you establish your writing voice. I mean, it’s one thing to write about a topic but having a conversation with someone online is an entirely different skill set that will help you develop your content.
Ileane, you use to communicate with lots of newbie bloggers on social media networks and on your own blog, please share some common mistakes they seem to be making? And what’s your advice to them?
In addition to what I just said about promotion, the second biggest problem is that they want to monetize their blogs when they don’t have enough traffic or expertise in their fields. Focus on your developing your content and building relationships initially and forget about monetizing for the first few months at least.
Please share few SEO tools or plugins (Paid or Free) that you use with the reason for using them?
I was a big fan of SEO plugins but I stopped using them during 2013. What I do now and what I advise other bloggers to do is just stick to the basics in terms of SEO. Be sure to submit your blog’s sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools, get your Google Authorship verified and after that, just create great content that provides value to your audience.
Integrating YouTube videos and podcasts can make a big difference by adding a certain “richness” to your content that you can’t get from any plugin. This will also help you retain readers and turn them into subscribers.
Please share few link building methods you find most effective keeping in mind the kind of algorithmic updates Google is coming up with these days?
Create good content, network with other bloggers by sharing their stuff, commenting on their blogs and being helpful. Then people will link to you naturally.
The only proactive link building I would concentrate on is establishing profiles on as many high ranking social networks as possible. For example SlideShare, LinkedIn, Pinterest – they all rank high in search, so be sure to claim your profiles and in the case of Pinterest, be sure to create boards for your keywords and keep them active. You can download my free Pinterest 101 guide to help you set up your boards.
Scoop.it is another excellent network for building keyword based links. The key is NOT to pin or scoop your own stuff all the time. You can’t build authority that way.
Build authority for the subject and other’s using those networks will pin and scoop your content.
You have been very active on major social networks. Which social networks you found most effective? And what kind of activities you use to do on these websites?
At this point, I just use the one’s I like. My favorites are Twitter, YouTube/Google+ and Pinterest. Right now the engagement is down on Facebook, so I don’t need to spend as much time there as I used to.
Now lets talk about guest blogging. You have been accepting good amount of high quality guest posts on BasicBlogTips.com. Have you maintaining any check-list a guest blogger should follow in order to make his guest post published on your blog?
The great majority of my guest authors are bloggers that I’m already connected with and I’m familiar with the quality of the content they produce. I put together a check list for vetting guest bloggers and shared it on my podcast. You can find it here
Ileane, you have an active Youtube channel here. Please share few tips other bloggers can use in order to promote their YouTube videos. Everyone wants to see good amount of views and engagement numbers against their videos.
You asked earlier about promotions for newbie bloggers and I didn’t mention any other networks other than Blog Engage, but now that we are talking about YouTube I’ll make some additional recommendations.
- Viral Content Buzz
- Social Buzz Club
I use these networking communities to promote my videos and I’m getting great results.
You need to produce videos that are helpful, funny, or entertaining in some way. You can start small but always pay careful attention to the quality of your AUDIO – yes audio quality is even more important than video quality. Don’t be afraid to get in front of the camera and try to use good lighting whenever possible.
You have some flexibility as far as your niche is concerned (more so than on a blog) but don’t go too far off into left field. Here’s a good example for you. My YouTube channel is focused on Blogging, Social Media and YouTube Tutorials.
However the most viewed video on my channel over the last few months is one I did about Smart Phone cases called How to Open the OtterBox Defender Case on Your Samsung Galaxy S4 I know that gadget videos are hot right now so even though it not exactly on target with my niche it’s very closely related.
Please share few tips new bloggers can use to build strong relations with the fellow bloggers of their niche.
Be helpful and be yourself.
Ileane how you are currently monetizing your blog traffic? Any specific method you found most rewarding?
I don’t do much to monetize my content. I give it away for free.
I took a hiatus from AdSense on the blog for over a year but I put it back up recently just as a test. I do better with AdSense on my YouTube channel and I wish all those newbie bloggers I mentioned earlier would put more effort into making money from YouTube than from their brand new blogs.
How can Bloggers Passion Readers get in touch with you on social networks?
Visit my Google + profile to find links to all of my networks. I look forward to connecting and engaging with you guys!
Now is the question time. Did you learn anything new from Ileane Smith interview post? If yes, please share your learning and in case you have any doubt or question, ask via comments section.