Success is composed of small victories. The case is true with blogging. Blogging success is measured by the number of visitors you have, social shares you have amassed, and subscribers who have signed up to your mailing list, to name a few.
Whether it’s one visitor, 100, or 1,000 visitors a day, it doesn’t matter to blogger Luana Spinetti. The numbers do not determine success; rather, it is the fulfilling that comes in the sheer act of blogging. The ability to share your thoughts and help provide value to blogging clients is what Luana ultimately strives.
This straightforward and pure approach to blogging is what makes her an exceptional blogger in a world where facts and figures define everything.
Read this interview to understand the blogging principles of Luana and how her life experiences shaped her blogging career as of the present.
Before you started blogging, what were you doing as a professional?
When I started blogging personally, I had just graduated from high school. It was the year 2004, and my first blog posts were simple updates on content and graphics I added to my personal website. I started blogging more properly (still personally) in 2006. Blogging for a niche was an adventure I began in 2009, as a personal challenge, when I started writing short articles for an Italian tech and SEO blog. Before that, I only earned some money for the artwork I drew on commission, as I graduated from a comics school in 2008. That same year (2009), I launched my n0tSEO blog to tackle SEO and Web Marketing topics and issues.
What was the biggest obstacle that you had to overcome as a beginner blogger?
I didn’t know where to start to make sure my articles would be helpful and not just another useless, chatty write-up. I knew how to write a personal essay and a simple opinion piece, but how to handle a research-based post that would take the reader’s doubts and clear them step by step? I hadn’t developed my formula yet, nor I had yet read any books on the matter. Things became easier when I started following posts from big blogs like SEOmoz, QuickSprout, and MakeALivingWriting.com. I learned tons from these wonderful bloggers and used their advice to develop my formula.
Any horror client stories you’d like to share with us and how you dealt with the situation?
Possibly one blogging client who declined my pre-approved post (and pretty much fired me) three weeks after my return from a health-related pause from work that I had him notified about? Yeah, stuff like that happens. I felt hurt at first, but then I reminded myself there was no real relationship with this client, as he was awful at communication, so nothing lost there. Next thing I did was to go out and seek for a new customer to replace him. Like with every bad event in life, take a little time to mourn and then move on.
Which blog post you have written that you feel the proudest?
Hard question! There are many loved pieces in my list of clips, but my absolute favorite is a 5,000+ words post titled “37 Elements of User Engagement – UX, Conversions, Loyalty” I wrote for WebHostingSecretRevealed.net. It took a big deal of creativity, research, thought, time and effort — and the contribution of experts from MBU — but the results were great. Still a strong piece and I’m very proud of it.
And then I have a second favorite, a very recent post I wrote for Bosmol.com: “Honesty in SEO Pays Off – A 2015 Ghostblogging Case Study“. This is a simple case study, but the first I’ve ever written and I still feel excited at the thought.
Who among your blogging peers do you consider the best and why?
Among the “big ones”, Carol Tice and Ed Gandia are the best. They’re great bloggers, determined and committed; they always have a plan to grow both their blogs and businesses and on top of that, they are wonderful human beings.
Other bloggers I love and look up to are Ann Smarty for her creativity and marketing advice, Sophie Lizard for her fun approach to freelance blogging, Bamidele Onibalusi for his energy and positive attitude, and Georgie Luhur, who’s a good friend and a champion in personal blogging (and web design) that rocks!
These are all bloggers I would love to meet in person at least once in my life.
What do you think separates yourself from other good bloggers out there?
Two problems, actually: my inability to keep up with regular updates and my low self-esteem. The first issue is connected with anxiety and overwhelm, that I suffer from, and they lead to easy burnout and social anxiety.
The second problem originates from childhood traumas connected with bullying. I feel that I would be a much better blogger if I could control these issues better; I know I would speed up a little and get more done.[su_note note_color=”#Ffff66″ text_color=”#333″]Check out Luana’s post at Web Hosting Service Revealed titled “How To Write An Outstanding Blog Post When The World Breaks Loose (In and Outside of You)” where she talks about her self-esteem issues and how she works around them as a blogger. Essential read to those who suffer the same condition as her.[/su_note]
I know I will never heal completely, but there’s so much that can still be improved and I try to face my problems with a positive attitude day after day. While I have no aims to become an authority in my niche(s), I care about being a decent blogger that people find helpful and a pleasure to read.
List down the blogging tools that you use and explain why people should use them for their blogs.
I use self-hosted WordPress as my blogging platform because of its extensibility via free and paid plugins and hacks. Most of the time, all the tools I need are available as WP plugins, but I also use:
- Jarvis to schedule published social media blog updates across multiple platforms. I also use Klout to brainstorm new topics to blog about and to schedule Twitter posts, and Viral Content Buzz for shares across multiple platforms
- Kingged and Business2Community to syndicate my posts
- MyBlogU to find experts to quote/interview for my blog posts. I’m still learning how to use HARO, too, to find more experts
- Google Analytics, Open Web Analytics (OWA), Piwik and WP-Statistics to analyze incoming traffic
- Incoming Links by Monitor Backlinks (a WordPress plugin) to track and evaluate backlinks
- WP Social Stats (another WordPress plugin) to track and count social shares for all my posts and see which post was shared the most on a certain platform
- Revive Old Posts (WP plugin) to automatically tweet posts older than a certain date, with categories as hashtags
- Website Grader by Hubspot and Woorank to analyze my blog to see how it’s faring regarding technical upgrades, SEO and marketing factors.
There might be more, but these are the ones that come to my mind right now. I’m a curious person, so every time there’s a new tool around, I like to experiment with it right away!
How “successful” would you consider your blog?
I enjoy the small side of success. (Smiles) By small, I mean up to 100 unique visitors a day, a tiny community of readers, mostly from my network and from the communities I’m mostly active in. It’s genuine success, driven by honest networking and hard work, so definitely a good starting point to try and improve things a bit. As I told a fellow blogger, I recently realized I tend to put more effort in my clients’ blogs than my blogs, and I know this issue relates to my low self-esteem, so this is something I need to work on and change.
What do you think are the upcoming blogging trends people need to watch out for?I feel there's a back-to-basics trend currently in the #blogging field. @LuanaTF Click To Tweet
It is a trend I personally welcome and encourage. For a long time, blogging tried to serve search engines more than users, but now the reverse is happening, and I’m glad Google and other search engines pushed for it (I don’t like Google, but I’m liking how they encourage bloggers to put users first). Blogging was always a very human way to communicate feelings, ideas, visions, as well as products and services; it’s getting back to where it belongs.
I would tell fellow bloggers to keep blogging because they have a message to share, because that’s really what counts in terms of communication, marketing and even SEO. Because the more human you are, the more you are going to attract people who are enthusiastic about you and will help you, willingly, build success.
If there’s advice that you would say to a starting blogger, what would it be?Find a reason to blog, a very strong one, that involves you personally. @LuanaTF #bloggingtips Click To Tweet
Your message. Then, build your blog around it.
Find your voice and speak directly to your ideal reader, because you want them to feel you are talking to them, not to the general world.
Finally, be kind and helpful, because people will read you when they feel you care about them.
There’s a great blogger that I follow and love but didn’t mention earlier, that I recommend you spend some time reading when you are starting out: Jeff Goins. He’s a real master at helping writers find their voice. Please, do yourself a favor and read his The Writer’s Manifesto as a first thing.
As mentioned, Luana is a freelance writer based in Italy who has extensively worked with different clients looking to shore up their blog content. She also provides a package bundle of content and artworks to provide her clients with the essential 1-2 punch of top-notch written and visual content.[su_button url=”http://www.luanaspinetti.com/bundle” style=”soft” background=”#F15A24″ color=”#fff” size=”12″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” icon=”icon: hand-o-right” icon_color=”#ffffff”]Click Here to Inquire Luana about her Bundle Package![/su_button]