Hey You bloggers we are back again with another Social Media brilliant interview.
She is also Software Developer, Blogger, Social Media Strategist. Learning, Coding, Designing, Writing, and making her clients Happy.
So lets start the expert chat section with Ivana.
Please introduce yourself to our readers. Can you tell us something about your blogging journey. How and when did you enter into this?
I’m Ivana Zuber, a full-time software developer and part-time blogger. I ventured into the online marketing world 3 years ago when I joined Flippa and started developing and selling affiliate-based websites. 2 years ago I enrolled in the University of Liverpool Master’s program and shortly after was asked to be a contributor to their blog.
When I realized my posts were well accepted by readers I decided to start my own blog and launched bloggless.com in October 2013. My goal at that time was to share my knowledge on software development, career and education with the world and grow in the process, but as my blog gained popularity my ambitions changed J. Now I’m more focused on social media marketing and blogging topics, and on providing marketing services.
What is your educational background and who suggested you to digital marketing world ?
I am a software developer by profession, soon to be an MSc in Software Engineering. I stumbled upon the digital marketing world during my maternity leave. I felt at that time I needed some new challenges (as if a newborn baby wasn’ta big enough challengeJ) and discovered the amazing and complex world of internet marketing.
What are your favorite social media tools ? Which tools do you prefer to use to increase user engagement?
Viral Content Buzz is my number one social media tool. I use it on a daily basis and it brought me great engagement and traffic. I wrote a review on VCB a while back, you can check it out here. I also use Empire Avenue, DoSplash, Buffer, Scoop.It, BizSugar, Pinwoot, JustRetweet, Inbound, Prismatic, Klout and Tribber (to name a few J ).
How do you manage blog, who are the people who helps you in blogging.
I am a one man band. I manage everything by myself. However, as my blog is gaining popularity, it is getting increasingly difficult to manage everything on my own. I am seriously considering hiring a Virtual Assistant to help with blog post promotions.
Why time management is important in blogging ?how you manage time between your family and blogging.
Well, I have to say I have a huge support from my family. Since I work full-time, write my master’s thesis on weekends, and have a 3 year old daughter to take care of, I have very little spare time. Without excellent time management skills, and the help from my family, maintaining a popular blog would be impossible.
Although many people believe (including me in the beginning) that blogging is about writing and publishing a post from time to time, there’s much more to it than that.
For example, I spend 2-3 hours every single day just on answering emails, comments and engaging in social media.
Brainstorming, writing, editing, publishing and promoting a post will take another 6-10 hours for a short post, and up to several days for an ‘epic one’. That’s a lot of time, and a lot of work. Something those new to blogging should keep in mind!
What kind of blog promotions strategies you apply on your blog. Please share with us.
Every time I click the Publish button on my post I go straight to my social sharing buttons and add the post to Buffer. I have my personal Facebook profile, Facebook page, Twitter, Linked In personal, Linked In businessand Google+ page accounts connected with Buffer. I then share the post on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon.
The next step is to share the post on ScoopIt, DoSplash, Inbound and BizSugar, add the post to Viral Content Buzz and JustRetweet, and promote the pin on Pinwoot. I also set up several missions on Empire Avenue, one for the tweet, one for the Facebook post, and maybe one for the post itself.
I am also a member of several Facebook engagement groups. I share other people’s posts on all my social media accounts and post my own updates to be shared by others.
Do you think doing guest blogging with sake of backlinks and using fake profiles for promotion will work ?
I don’t think that strategy ever worked. And with the recent changes in Google’s ‘attitude’ towards guest blogging, that kind of strategy is a sure path to failure. Guest blogging is about building authority, building relationships and exposing your brand to new traffic sources. You cannot do that with fake profiles and low quality posts!
How do you engage with people on social media. From which social media channel you drive maximum traffic.
I get the highest amount of traffic from StumbleUpon, even though I spend the least amount of time promoting my posts there. That traffic comes from other people promoting it through Viral Content Buzz.
Regarding other social media accounts, I have to say I’m kind of an addict J. I have my 2 Google+ accounts, Facebook profile, Facebook page and Twitter accounts opened in my browser tabs the whole day.
I try to engage with everyone on all my accounts, but considering the amount of comments I’m getting it has become impossible. Now I just scan my streams several times a day and engage with the most relevant comments or reshares.
What blogs do you read to increase your blogging knowledge .
Please share best blogging communities with us.
MyBlogGuest is my number one. When I first started my blog, I joined the Elite team on MyBlogGuest, and with the help of Don Sturgill learned a great deal about how to write a viral blog post.
Ann Smarty and the rest of the MBG team taught me how to do guest blogging the right way, how to promote my posts and build my brand. I am forever grateful for that! For those new to My Blog Guest I recommend reading my full review: My Blog Guest: The Secret Weapon Of Successful Bloggers.
What are the 5 important steps to start a new blog.
Pick a niche or several niches (who is your targeted audience, what will you be writing about).
Pick a descriptive or catchy domain name (for example, since bloggless.com is a multi-niche blog, I decided to go with something ‘catchy’).
Buy a premium theme (this is not so important in the beginning, but you will have to do it eventually, so it’s better to save yourself the trouble of changing everything later).
Find a good hosting provider (again, investing in a good hosting provider in the beginning can save you the hassle of changing the hosting provider later when your blog gains some popularity).
Create all social media accounts and display them on your blog.
Why reliable hosting is important for blog. Does cheap hosting is really reliable ? Please share your experience with us.
I changed 3 hosting providers in 5 months J, so I would say it is very important. The first hosting option I chose was the cheapest one. My site was attacked several times during the first month, and was offline for as long as 7 hours on one occasion. I then changed the hosting provider and went with an SDD hosting option.
That worked well, but when my blog started receiving a lot of traffic, I got a notice from the provider saying I must switch to VPS. I then changed the hosting provider again and transferred my site to Synthesis VPS.
I am very happy with their service and the speed of their servers. For just a little more money I got a secure and faster blog. I believe it was well worth the investment.
How to use stumbleupon to drive traffic to your blog. Stumbleupon is very trick social channel to drive traffic.
It is very tricky indeed J. If your post is stumbled or liked by a user, it is put into the StumbleUpon lineup and displayed to other users who are searching for fresh content. However, if your post is of poor quality, users will dislike it decreasing its chances of being seen. Therefore, the key to success with StumbleUpon (as with any other social media site) is quality content.
How-to posts, videos, infographics, lists and similar types of content tend to do very well on StumbleUpon. For example, my post on how to correct HTML errors on your blog got 2700 likes after launch and keeps getting traffic from StumbleUpon on a daily basis.
Some tips on using StumbleUpon include filling out your profile (basic info, picture, topics….), gathering followers, sharing content to your followers, using social media sharing tools (like Viral Content Buzz), and signing up for StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery system.
Are you on pinterest , how you promote your blog posts on it.
As I mentioned previously, I promote my pins through Pinwoot. I just started using that service last month, but it already got me a lot of followers, repins and likes. I also promote all my pins through Viral Content Buzz.
Why images are important for blog posts. How to find free royalty images for blogs.
Images are very important for aesthetic purposes, for increasing the readability of your posts, and for providing a nice SEO boost (considering you put your relevant keyword as the alt text of the image).
However, you have to be very careful where you get your images from. I wrote a post recently about the danger of using copyright protected images on your blog. In short, using an image without the author’s consent can have severe consequences, including lawsuits and termination of your blog (in extreme cases).
Therefore, you should only use images that have permission to be reused or edited. Good source for Creative Commons images is creativecommons.org, while free stock photos can be found at Morgue File, or the Flickr Creative Commons Group.
I personally use 123rf and Free Digital Photos. 123rf offers high quality images at a reasonable price, while at Free Digital Photos you can find a variety of quality smallphotos for free.
I also use the PicMonkey online picture editor tool which offers a great variety of editing options, and Canva which offers numerous graphic designs.
If someone copies your content from your blog, how would you know it.
I personally don’t give too much attention to that. I get a lot of trackbacks from sites that published my posts without my permission. If I was to pursue each unauthorized post I would be spending all my time writing email complaints.
However, those interested in discovering all their scraped content can use tools like Copyscape (which lets you enter the url of your post and finds exact copies on the internet), WordPress trackbacks (which displays a link of each post linking back to one of your posts), Google Webmaster Tools, or Google Alerts (where you can set an alert for your post’s title, so every time someone publishes a post with that title you get an email notice).
If you have any questions or doubts please do ask in the comments below !