I've known Brankica Underwood from Live-Your-Life blog for several months and during that time I have watched her position herself for success in the blogosphere. She is building a powerful social network and leaving a lasting impression everywhere she goes. Brankica is focused on helping her readers and she's a master of networking and social engagement. She recently launched a Facebook fan page and tweaked the design on her blog Live-Your-Love, making it easy to navigate and visually appealing. I was fortunate enough to get her to agree to this interview. Thanks Brankica!
The Brankica Underwood Interview
Bio: A 29 year old practical shooter, shooting trainer, traveler and dog lover. Happens to be a blogger as well. Addicted to cherry coke, crotch rockets, tattoos and social media. Sharing life with a blue eyed prince charming and a crazy Amstaff puppy.
Brankica: I have started this blog in September, but haven't got around to working on it till mid November. I wanted a place where I can give people some tips about cool places to travel to, talk about my shooting successes (or failures, lol) and just mention a tip or two I learned about online business.
After only a few weeks my blog took it's own path and turned into, what I like to call a “blogging blog”. I asked the readers at that time if I should leave it as is, or just focus on one thing and the majority “voted” for my blog to take this course.
Brankica: I also remember meeting you on Website Babble for the first time. You gave the nicest impression and image of yourself. By the way, I am such a big fan of Lisa that I often tell her I am her stalker, following her every step 🙂 When I first started, I was actually in Africa, been deployed to a peace keeping mission and besides the job there was nothing else to do, but surf the net. I was thinking about how could I use that time and started searching for some general stuff, like making money online. I actually never thought I would get into all this.
I guess I was lucky enough to run into Lisa's site to start with. Clicked on few pages and learned about Site Build It. I loved the way she promoted it and I just wanted to give it a go. Although it seemed a bit pricey, I had no knowledge of HTML (had no idea what it was, let alone how to do it) so I thought it would be the best to let the hard work to the system. Lisa was really nice to explain it in details when I sent her an e-mail with additional questions. I bought SBI, started following their Action Guide and chose what I want to build my first website about. SBI has such great tools that if you follow their Action Guide, you can't go wrong. I even did a review of Site Build It on my blog.
A personal look at Brankica Underwood
Ileane: Tell us a little more about yourself and where you’re from. For instance how many languages do you speak and do you think that English speaking bloggers face different challenges than non-English speaking bloggers?
Brankica: I was born in Bosnia and raised in Serbia. Although my country went through several wars in the last few decades it is a gorgeous place. Confirmed so by all the foreign tourists that visit it more and more, and by my American husband who loves it 🙂 I speak Serbian, which automatically means I also speak Bosnian and Croatian, lol, English, Italian, I understand Spanish and I can even speak a tiny bit of Arabic. I think non-English speaking bloggers, if they are blogging in English, really can have a hard time with their writing. I am never sure if I haven't wrote a sentence that has no meaning in English. My husband worked with many foreigners, and got used to bad English, so he doesn't really notice if I make a mistake, hence he does not correct my English. That way I just keep speaking the way I do. But I read a lot, so I think I am improving. Anyway, blogging in a language that is not your mother's language is hard and it makes me a bit less secure than I am usually.
Brankica: I actually only posted 2 guest posts till now, and have been asked to do other posts for some blogs. You can just see me all over the place now. It is something new for me, because it is not one of the strategies SBI teaches you to do. My two posts were:
1. At Ben Wan's blog I wrote about a Facebook comments plugin http://benwan.net/facebook-comments-plugin/
2. At Ana Hoffman's blog I wrote about getting traffic from Flickr http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/flickr-traffic-generation/
Being a guest poster is a great way to get more people to meet you, which was my original plan from the beginning. I didn't go for the links or anything, but the chance to meet new people and hope to get them to like my blog 😉
Brankica: I love Facebook and I am totally addicted to it. However, I didn't have too much success with it yet. I think the main reason is that I haven't given it too much of my time till now. Facebook is a perfect place to promote your business, with 500+ million users, but also a place where people still like to keep private separate from business. So it is tricky in a way, not as easy as Twitter. I do plan to work more on the page, make is connected to my blog of course, but still make it different. I even created that Friend tab to promote people who are active on the page, which is something like having a Top Commenters widget on your blog.
Ileane: What’s sending your blog and your websites the most traffic – is it social media, guest posting, google searches, what’s the scoop? How can we get in on the action and get some new eyeballs viewing our content?
Brankica: This blog is getting the most traffic from social media. I am so active there, that it comes as no surprise to me. It is interesting cause the website gets more than 80% visitors from Search engines. Simple reason, it is SEO-ed to the max while I am not focusing on social media for it (just not enough time). Getting new eyes is not that hard but also a challenge for some. New eyes will come from new sources. For example, I am getting eyes from Twitter cause I am so active there. If I want some LinkedIn visibility, I will become active there. But there are only so many hours in a day and we just can't make it everywhere at the same time. People will say we can use automated tools but I am not big fan of them. Basically, when ever you want new eyes, find a new place to frequent, be it another blog, a forum, a new social media site.
Advice from Brankica for everyone
Brankica: Haven't thought much about plans since it seems everything is just happening and I am going along with it. My blog just went under 100.000 Alexa a few days ago and I am just now starting to think that I am doing something right. I want my blog to become a place where people will be able to learn something, where they can come to get help. Parting words of advice will be a saying I love the most in the world (I even have it tattooed on me) – Either I will find a way or I will make one. Start making roads for you where there are no roads!
And for Ileane – Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about this, this is my first interview as a blogger and I am so glad I did it for Basic Blog Tips!