Let me introduce you to Stella Anokam. I first saw Stella on Blokube one of my favorite networking sites. I was impressed with her expertise and professionalism from day one and I'm sure you'll see why I was pleased when she agreed to do this interview.
Interview with Stella Anokam
Q. Stella, can you introduce yourself to my readers and talk about how long you’ve been blogging and what inspired you to start your blog?
Thanks Ileane, for the opportunity to e-meet your readers:) My name is Stella Anokam and I blog at StellaAnokam.Com. I've been blogging for 5 months+1 week now, having launched in January 2011, after setting up and getting used to the blogging platform end of November/ December 2010.
First, I came online searching for an effective ‘what's working now' methods to market a new business. Then I picked interest in Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising because many of the MLM blogs I came across were talking about how fast and effective it was. So, I was following the MLM PPC blogs closely to determine the best course to purchase at the time.
Someone I accidentally met on Facebook, by the name of Charles Hubner, inspired me and gave me a push to start using written words, through blogging to gain an audience and a market for my business.
Stella's Blogging Journey
My journey to blogging was accidental. My initial plan to take my business online was to go “Pay Per Click (PPC)” because I heard that I could get loads of leads on hands-free – that was my problem at the time. However, a lot of Mike Klingler's teachings recommended against it for beginners. At about that time, I read Jim Yaghi's “Google Switch” which was very helpful. In the “Google Switch” testimonials page, there was this guy who claimed he used the lessons in that free eBook to generate $30k worth of sales in one single day. He wrote an article that made it to the Best of Better Networker, which meant the article was emailed to 50,000 BetterNetworker members. I was curious to know how that huge volume of sales was really made and so contacted him on Facebook to confirm the claims.
Charles confirmed it was true and explained to me that his resource box made all the sales and that his useful contents built the required trust in his expertise. That was the beginning of how he ‘unofficially' became my ‘offline to online teacher and mentor'. His name is Charles Hubner. He sent me some books on how to market online without being salesy, mentored me through very long, detailed emails and Facebook messages and gave me good reasons why PPC was not for a beginner who wants to build a long term business, especially as article writing could generate passive income long after they were written.
He further told me that first thing to do was to learn marketing and forget about any product name or MLM business; that if I could first learn how to market and sell, I could sell anything in any business. He did not even try to market his business to me. Then he asked me a question that tested my passion for the Network marketing business I was driving – I failed the passion test. He encouraged me to only be in what I loved. So, I quit that business.
My plan was to immediately start PPC but Charles then asked me to do a priority list of likes and hates, and PPC was tops and blogging was last – because I wrote so many business writings that I didn't want to write again and, I was not even sure if people would like to read my contents. He re-directed me to blogging and told me that if he found my writing (via messages) cool, many others would too. So he encouraged me to upgrade from Free member to premium member in BetterNetworker so I could start writing. I did, and also got the domain and hosting and started writing my first free giveaway eBook “Passion to Profits“.
That was my journey to starting a blog; any one interested can read a more detailed version in my “About Me” page on my blog. Now I have a platform to replicate what Charles did for me – “paying it forward” for someone out there, who is ready and willing.
Passion to Profits is the Facebook Page for Stella Anokam
Q. What’s your favorite networking site and why? Do you have any advice for someone starting out with social media?
Facebook is my favorite networking site because it's a one-place-meet-all platform that is productive for a busy person. Since virtually the whole world is on Facebook (as their primary social networking place), it helps keep from signing up to a gazillion social sites (which I may forget I signed up to).
- -Saves me time from logging in and out of many sites so that I can deal with a single media rather than increasing clutter and overwhelm, thus keeping social networking account management plain simple and sweet.
- -Facebook is a multi-interest social site and so I am sure of catching up with personal, business and professional friends on Facebook and being found easily by old and lost classmates, office/ professional colleagues;
- -Facebook groups have allowed me to be e-friends with a lot of like-minded interesting people, that I would not have known otherwise. Some of these people I have now built deeper relationships with and even met some, face to face.
- -Facebook helps me catch up with updates in the happenings around my offline and online friends – from their status updates, birthday alerts and the messaging feature has practically taken over a large part of my emailing life, since I
- -Facebook provides me opportunities to expose my blog posts to a wider audience – through my profile walls and related groups
Overall, Facebook is the best place for starting out with social media.
Q. Stella Anokam, tell us what qualities you look for when you follow someone on Twitter or Facebook, what makes people stand out?
I always want to identify a common subject of interest, for example: career, business, hobby, entertainment. That's because there has to be a point of connecting and something to reference and talk about.
After that, I would ask myself these questions:
- -(Can I get value?) Can I learn something from this person?
- -(Can I give value?) Is there something that I know, that will likely help this person in any way?
- -Is this person really entertaining that I want to be close by to get his/ her gists – to make myself happier?
- -Newsy: Is this person always in the know of most news and events that getting close would mean that I'll be in the know of latest trends without going out much to scavenge the WWW?
For example, when I was about to start blogging, I started building a new Twitter account that matched my blog name (branding purpose and easy identification) and I began to add online marketers and bloggers that I found their information useful and helpful to me. I was also sending out Facebook friend invites (with introductory notes) – just so I had additional mediums to get more value (learn blogging and online marketing) from them..
Q. If you could identify a favorite blog post or guest post that you’re most proud of, what would it be and why? Does the post have a lot of comments or was it shared more than others?
Wow, this is a difficult one, as my favorite in terms of the essence and lessons shared may not be most of my readers' favorite of my posts. But let me do it 2 ways, Ileane, if you don't mind.
Most shared guest post:
“Top 5 Traffic Generation Methods Guaranteed to Cause A Stampede Of Readers to Your Blog This Year” is my 3rd guest post and published last month on Oni's Youngprepro.com. I was surprised to read his latest (May 2011) income report to learn that there was so much traffic to that post that his server crashed. I had not known about that but remembered that, in the week of publishing that post, he mentioned the post already had over 2,000 stumbles and. I loved the readers of that blog because they were engaging and we had over 70 comments that week.
Most shared Blog post is “Simple Tweaks To Get Massive Traffic To Every Article, Without SEO For Free” This was one of the first posts I wrote but did not promote it because I thought people would not really like it but last week I decided to promote some old posts and to my surprise 2 of them (that I was not too sure about being liked), got heavily shared on the social media and comments (on blog and social media messages to me). This one got over 80 retweets in 1 week; I know that this is small for some blogs, but I'm really thankful for it.
*Those numbers may not be a big deal for some bloggers but they were for me, and I'm thankful for them.
Q.Talk a little about your personal life, what do you think your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
Lol. Hey, Ileane. Ok, not sure if they’d be surprised to know that:
Where am I from? I'm a Nigerian. Yes, that's one country that most people know more about the negatives than the positive but I can tell you that there are lots of good things about Nigeria and Nigerians – everywhere.
I'm a Project Manager and Business Consultant, for the most part now running my own practice on the side – it's a small business.
I love to know the logics and hows first before taking a dive in anything – the most reason why I can't still swim (until I find an instructor that teaches human floatation off-land in a way that I can take that to test without assistance, first. )
I'm a planning freak and I love to get strategies down on paper before starting anything. I took over a month to organize the information I got (from free and paid sources) into a startup plan, before I started my blog.
I'm afraid of heights; afraid of flying and wish there was always a way to close your eyes and you're there.
I'm a recovering workaholic.
Q. What's new in your world, do you have any projects that your working? What’s on the horizon for Stella Anokam?
I'm looking to start an eCourse soon, for my subscribers – as a “thank you” for being on my list. That is one of my immediate priorities. I've already completed the draft of this eCourse but for some reason haven't completed the edit. I hope to accelerate things on that end soon.
For my blog, I've been doing a lot of drafts on series type of how-to posts and filling them in on the best schedule (time).
There are a few ‘small needs' in the market, that I have found that also align with my passion. I have done a bit of draft on the strategies for what is needed and how to bring them to life. At the moment, those are still in the concept stage.
I'll also be doing a lot more outside my blog – on the side of affiliate marketing (including testing physical goods type) and other long term traffic and list strategies.
While I'm doing those, I'll be on the lookout for new and emerging opportunities.
Advice from Stella Anokam
Q. And finally, if there was one thing that you wish you knew before you starting blogging what would that be? In other words, if you could turn back the hands of time, what would you change?
Interesting. Ileane, you know I did a draft post on this subject and with some ‘fun title' – hope to send you the link when I publish it.
-I wish I knew that after setting up and putting contents on my blog, no one will visit – except friends and family. There was so much hype from those red headlines and yellow highlight sales pages about how if you have a blog, all you need to do was go to sleep and there would be so much traffic, on auto-pilot, by the time you wake up.
It's funny how after one creates the blog, there would be another move and another move…, to take before getting “there”. If only I had a whole big picture of the entire online business requirements earlier…