Expert Blogger Interview: Johnna Sabri

For some, blogging is an art. There are many moving parts that you need to take note of in your blog in order to build a business around and eventually turn a profit.

For Johnna Sabri, art is her life. Her passion for her craft allowed her to discover blogging and social media that helped her secure a stable life with her family. With her knowledge and experience in both digital marketing fields, Johnna is returning the favor by teaching newbies how to harness the power of blogging and social media properly to help them with their passion projects.

Learn how Johnna reached this successful stage in her professional life by going back to the beginning.

Before you started blogging, what were you doing as a professional?

Introduction video of Johnna from her About page.

I’ve been a blogger on and off since 2005–started a nonprofit from a blog. Of course paying jobs included phone tech for a pizzeria, cashier, babysitter when I moved, then wife when I married, cashier again, Chief Content Editor for Crowdify, (had to let that one go to do something I really loved: working in an art gallery–now I’m a Sales Manager in an art gallery while blogging professionally about web tools, social media and just using what I learned to help other artists out who have no idea how to get into social media marketing.

What was the biggest obstacle that you had to overcome as a beginner blogger?

Making a difference. It is not just about typing a few words and hoping some random person would come and buy my art–but getting my story out there.

First, my story was (and is) still developing as life goes on, so it is ever evolving. I was a Hurricane Katrina survivor, learned how to wire wrap from a Grammy Winner, a survivor of homelessness, became a wife–so combining all that together to tell a story about my brand was one of the hardest things I had to do. However, I was able to do it and now am in a position to use what I have learned to help others in similar situations.

Any horror client stories you’d like to share with us and how you dealt with the situation?

Both my husband and I were in a position where we were not being paid for our work. Eventually, we had to quit that job, but the hardest thing was losing the friendship of someone we valued over it. This person was known for putting people on blast for doing them wrong, and they were also really popular, brilliant, and inspiring. Of course, it got downright dirty but not public (the fight), but we had to walk away with our heads held high. This inspired me just to do my own thing and do what I do best: writing, creating, and thriving in a creative atmosphere.

Which blog post you have written that you feel the proudest?

Watch the formula that allows Johnna to write compelling and shareable blog posts.

I cannot just give one only because all of them make me proud.

When I write, I feel creativity flowing like a river into the ocean of the blogosphere. @JohnnaSabri Click To Tweet

Whether it gets a ton of traffic or none–each piece I write is my baby–just like anything I create. Knowing that I am doing this is a personal accomplishment for me–whether it is publishing a book or writing some poetry that no one will read–it is simply expressing myself to the fullest I can be, and that is what makes me proud. Also knowing that someone will read something of mine, and it will inspire them makes me feel proud.

Who among your blogging peers do you consider the best and why?

I have several people that I follow and admire because they inspire me. I see people like Adel de Meyer, whom I have known for a while, Ann Smarty, the people at Moz and Social Media Examiner write compelling articles about the colorful world of social media and social media marketing.

One of my favorite authors whom I read up on is Ryan Deis–he is all about making money but has a ton of useful articles that have inspired me to do a few things. In the long run, following his advice has paid a few bills here and there.

What do you think separates yourself from other good bloggers out there?

First, I am going to give all those good bloggers their props–it is you all who inspire me and so many.

What separates me from them is my story, what I am doing and why. @johnnasabri Click To Tweet

We (all of us bloggers) all have our passions in life and ideas and how we do things and individuality is key in separating us from each other but without snubbing or being “better than” another. One of the things I am doing is helping artists navigate social media marketing–at zero cost to them. Many out there charge (well they have to eat of course!), but I am in a situation where I do not need to charge for my services, and I am simply grateful for that.

List down the blogging tools that you use and explain why people should use them for their blogs.

These tools have helped me develop my way of engaging, marketing, and just navigating my social media experience over the years:

  • Triberr (awesome tool for blog promotion)
  • Twitter
  • Empire.Kred (it is what got me in the game)
  • Tweepi (growing followers without buying fake ones–don’t do that)
  • (tools and analytics for Twitter followers)
  • YouTube (for watching tutorials)
  • Screencastify (for making my own)
  • Hootsuite (scheduling posts to multiple platforms)
  • Blab (when I can get it to work, this tool lets you broadcast while also creating a live video chat with you and three others)
  • Google Plus (Putting #’s keywords gets your posts found on the first page of Google for free)

How “successful” would you consider your blog?

It totally depends on your view of success. Do you mean, how much traffic and shares do I get? Or how many people use my services? Or how many people are signed up to my email list?

In my opinion, my blog is evolving and growing. The goal is to help artists and artisans get creative with social media so they can have time to be creative in real life. To me, success is helping them do that.

When I see artists apply my advice to their blogs, I feel a sense of pride–and a few have. Then they come back and tell me that someone bought his or her book, or painting–all because of the advice I gave them.

To me–that is success, and I say my blog is very successful.

What do you think are the upcoming blogging trends people need to watch out for?

I think the trends are ever changing and the more digital and app-oriented the more popular they will get. People love apps and playing with their gadgets, so I see a tremendous rise in the app market when it comes to blogging.

If there’s advice that you would say to a starting blogger, what would it be?

I would say don’t give up. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming especially when you type up an excellent post only for your internet to crash and it is suddenly gone. If I had a dollar for every time that happened, LOL! To me, that says that the original post can be improved upon, so I take a coffee break and re-do it.

Don’t fret if people do not comment, share your posts, or even come to your blog. That should not be your motivation. Your motivation should be to find out something great about yourself, use it to brand yourself and create a story around it–making yourself memorable in that sense is what puts you front and center to those who support you.

If you liked the interview, show Johnna some love by reading her Social Media Toolkit and Lessons to help you approach your social media strategy so you can effectively reach your target audience and meet your goals.

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About the author

Christopher Jan Benitez

Content marketer during the day. Heavy sleeper at night. Dreams of non-existent brass rings. Writer by trade. Pro wrestling fan by choice (It's still real to me, damnit!). Family man all the time. Hire me to write your content!