Editor’s Note: I am moving the Expert Blogger Interview feature from BloggingPro.com to my blog. This feature on the blog is just a recent development. But if you want to read the first and only interview I published on BloggingPro with blogger Uttoran Sen, click here.
Blogging is all about perception.
There is a tendency for some blogs to publish the same content and ideas. Aside from not building an effective strategy, bloggers are content with churning out the same ideas regurgitated multiple times by different blogs.
What makes a blog a cut above the rest, even if they reside in the same niche, is how the blogger shares his or her ideas.How bloggers apply their own perception into the subject will make for an interesting blog. Click To Tweet
Bellaisa Filippis is one such blogger who channels her experiences and writing skills into building exceptional and successful blogs geared towards a niche audience.
I was fortunate enough to land an interview with Bellaisa, where she shares her journey as a blogger and her continued search for greater success in this field.
Click on the links below to jump to that section on the page
Before you started blogging, what were you doing as a professional?
I wouldn’t say I was a professional – unless you consider me a professional student. I went to college three different times for Chemical Technology, Interpreting For The Deaf, and Veterinary Assistant, and I ended up not getting into any of those careers. While I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I worked in a few different hospitals, first as a porter and then as a housekeeper. That lasted about 12 years. I hated working in a hospital environment, so eventually I quit and worked at a few different doggy daycare businesses for about a year.
What was the biggest obstacle that you had to overcome as a beginner blogger?My belief that I had nothing to offer other people was my biggest obstacle to overcome. Click To Tweet
It held me back from connecting with other bloggers because I didn’t want anyone to notice what a phony I was!
The whole reason I started blogging was to share what I knew from my experiences in my life, as well as what I learned along the way. But, I felt like I wasn’t important enough to listen to and that my experiences might be stupid on some level. In short, I thought “Why would anyone want to get advice from me?”
It took me a long time to realize that I had a lot of experience in life that could help other people. I also realized that everything I learned would be worth sharing.
I have a ton of ghostwriting horror stories, but because this is about blogging, I will share a story about a blog.
A man found my Facebook page for a site I ran for women who want to attract men, and he started to send me nasty messages because I was not talking about men who wanted to attract men. He felt like I was discluding gay people from my site.
I tried explaining that the only reason I talked about women attracting men was because that was what the niche site was focused on, but he didn’t care. He tried to make me feel like a really bad person, which I know that I’m not.
It didn’t matter if I banned him, he kept finding ways to send me messages on Facebook and through my email. His messages were starting to get to me and he would not stop sending them. Eventually, I shut down that Facebook page and thankfully he stopped emailing me after that.
I learned that replying to angry people, even with good intent, is not the way to go. It perpetuates the situation.
Which blog post you have written that you feel the proudest?
I have a ton that I’m proud of. It’s hard to pick just one, but if I had to, I would say my post titled – Why Do Women Think They Are Fat When They Are Not? is one of my top posts.
I often have to refer to it myself when I start getting moody about my body, and I think it has helped a few men understand why women are always complaining about their bodies. It’s interesting because that article gets a lot of traffic, but no comments. I guess no one wants to express their frustration with women complaining about how fat they are!
Who among your blogging peers do you consider the best and why?
This is impossible to answer, so I will just say this: Everyone has their own unique style of blogging, and most of us are doing it for the right reasons – to offer some sort of service to others. In my opinion, that’s what blogging is all about. I see a lot of bloggers offering great software, courses, eBooks and information out there, and everyone has something interesting and unique to offer.
The best bloggers are the people who are willing to get online, put themselves out there despite their fears, and genuinely help other people as a way of life.
What do you think separates yourself from other good bloggers out there?
I think my unique point of view, experiences, and approach to life are the main things that separate me from other bloggers. I’ve always asked questions about things I don’t understand, and I’m willing to look outside of the box and accept new ideas and possibilities into my life. I’m not saying that other bloggers are not like that, but I am saying that it helps me stay unique.
My work schedule is also probably a little different than many other bloggers out there. I ghostwrite as well, so I don’t have the time to commit to my blogs like some other people do.
Also, I don’t outsource at all. I probably should, but it’s hard for me to leave things up to other people for fear that they will not get done the way I want them to, and that includes writing articles. If I were to outsource some work, I can only imagine how much I could get done in a day!
List down the blogging tools that you use and explain why people should use them for their own blogs.
WordPress is a must. When I first started blogging, I tried to create my blogs without a template or theme. It was ridiculous the amount of time I spent setting up text, pictures, and other things on the page. I wasted months of my life because I wouldn’t just get on WordPress, where themes and plugins make blogging easy.
I also use StatCounter as a quick way to see who has come to my blog, what they are doing, and where they leave. It gives me the insight I need to make quick decisions about sharing, adjusting articles, and where my sales came from. It’s free until you get a certain amount of visitors, so I highly recommend it!
I also use PaperRater to spell check my articles and the Grammarly app on Google Chrome to help me tackle grammar mistakes quickly as I write. If you are someone who makes a lot of grammar errors or spelling mistakes, these two things can help you look like a much better writer!
How “successful” would you consider your blog?
I have two main blogs that I write for right now.
My attraction blog for men is very successful in terms of ever-increasing traffic, email signups, and interaction. I do really well in the search engines with that blog, and I make some amount of money off that blog every single day – some days much more than others.
I also find that my articles on that blog seem to challenge a lot of people, which I think is a part of being successful as a blog for two reasons. First, if I can get people thinking about other ways of doing or being, then I can help them move through limiting beliefs. And, if I can get people commenting and interacting with me regarding their opinions and beliefs, then I too can move through my own limiting beliefs.
My happiness blog is a success in terms of sales, even though I don’t get as much traffic or interaction. I make most of my monthly income off that blog and the reviews I have done. But it has a long way to go to get to the type of success I want for it.
What do you think are the upcoming blogging trends people need to watch out for?I think using unique video on blogs is something that bloggers need to consider. Click To Tweet
At one point in time, a blog post without pictures was acceptable but somewhere along the line pictures became a necessity to keep people on your post and engaged. Then other elements, such as polls, quizzes, and infographics became a great way to keep people engaged. Now, I think that video is crucial. It adds an element that not only keeps people on your blog but helps them feel more of an emotional connection to your post, which can result in more sharing and interacting with your post.
If there’s one advice that you would say to a starting blogger, what would it be?
Blog around your passions. Don’t try to blog about what you think is popular and will earn you the most money because it will bore the hell out of you.
If you blog around your passions, then you will look forward to writing posts and engaging with other bloggers and readers. Moreover, you will find ways to branch out your services and make more money. And, of course, you will feel more genuine to your readers because you are clearly passionate or knowledgeable about the niche of your blog. They will know that you are there for reasons other than earning money, which will build a level of trust between you and them. And trust is an important element to successful blogging.
Have your own questions for Bellaisa? Ask them by commenting below!