Interview with Blogger and Online Marketer Stella Anokam

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.
Stella AnokamSomeone 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…

[box type="green"]Visit Stella Anokam on her blog or follow her on Twitter![/box]

About 

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66 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Thank you so much, Ileane, for your time to interview me, and for the privilege to be in front of your audience.

    I look forward to further engaging with you and your readers, in the comments here.

    • Charles Hubner

      Stella… Wow. You are a fantastic writer. Im so happy you decided to share your extraordinary value with the online world. I was so touched by how well you captured the essence of our interaction, and the credit you gave to me. I really wasn’t aware of how positive of an impact our conversations had on you. They definitely had a positive impact on me! It is quite clear to me. And I hope it is quite clear to those who read your words the crucial necessity of bringing yourself to a place of value, and to impart that value, freely, to those who are undeniably hungry for it. Thank you Stella. You are quite a treasure.. And a breath of fresh air to us all. Keep it going.

      • Hey you! Hi Charles:)

        I’m happy that you found this and took the time to come leave a comment. Thank you for helping me believe in “me” and for encouraging me to start a blog. You helped me calm my fears, telling me that people will want to read my stuff.

        All the best, this season.

  2. Hi Ileane and Stella,

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    All the best with your new eCourse Stella. I am sure it will be smashing! I like the advice you shared with us: learn how to market. Get this skill down. How you sell is more important than what you sell, for how you go about your marketing determines how people respond to you.

    Enjoy your weekend guys :)

    Ryan

    • Thanks Ryan, for taking the time to come read and comment. I appreciate.

      You’re so right about the best approach to effective marketing being perfecting your ‘how’ in order to get high conversion rates.

      Thanks for your kind words, and you too – have fun in Phuket!

  3. Ileane, I want to compliment you on your site here, and for the questions you have asked Stella. She is by far the most honest “market-eer” on this www. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your interview with her. If I can wish success and abundance it would be mostly to her and to you for such a great job doing this site and interview with her. The world, “NEEDS HER” as she will help you along the way with almost anything. I am looking forward to her e-course, and all she has to offer. What she does is really get to know the reader, the commentors, the people that read her articles and stop by her. She builds a real relationship! If I had one the lottery right now, she would be the first person to fly to and give a hug! Forgive me for going on and on, but I have learned more from her than anyone. I seek to learn, to gain knowledge. I have asked several people questions and they answer but it’s not like their answer is a caring one; many shoot off a reply and then forget. That is not the case with Stella. She remembers, she plans, she cares about YOU.

    • Hey Jackie dear, thanks for stopping by and commenting:)

      Wow, that was so touching and I thank you for being one of my biggest fans to date, from my early blogging days. That really means a lot to me, and I do not at all take it for granted.

      Hey girl, but you’re a damn good connector and we built a great relationship, mostly due to ‘who you are’ and how you’ve shown care to me too.

    • Hi Jackie, great connecting with you! I felt the same way as you when I visited Stella’s blog. She left a positive first impression and it’s a lasting one too. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment.

  4. Hi Stella,

    Truly an awesome article, I visited your website through the link provided here and I gotta say I’m really impressed with the design and level of content you have over there in such a short amount of time from launching.

    I was surprised to see you have the “WebsiteGrader” installed, I love their website and how they present their stats but I never see any bloggers use their badge or even mention them when displaying their site stats.

    Being in the Top 0.26 % on Alexa rankings after launching with less than a year is pretty impressive, defiantly adding your blog to my list, thanks for the great work.

    And Ileane, thank you for interviewing Stella and showing all of us that even new bloggers when honest and true can be amazingly successful and out rank most of the older blogs we see today.

    you both take care and thank you. :)

    • Wow – thank you so much, for your kind words. I really appreciate it.

      Thanks again, for taking the time to check out my site and also notice those small details such as my Alexa ranking and my website grader. That’s nice of you, and especially for adding me to your blog list:)

      Just checking out your blog now and tweeted a post, will definitely come read some more and comment. Enjoy your day!

  5. I have downloaded the ebook, Passion to profits blueprint by Stella and already implemented some ideas to my sites :)

    Ileane for this sharing too.

    • Hey Adam, thank you so much for taking the time to go over my blog to download my eBook, and also leave me a comment.

      That means a lot to me – I really appreciate it big time. Just checking out your blog – very clean and professional – I’ll be sure to leave you a comment and a tweet later:)

      As you implement some of my eBook chapters, please feel free to contact me, anytime, and I’ll be glad to personally help where I can. That’s a promise:)

      Enjoy the best of today.

  6. Thanks for interviewing Stella, Ileane! =) You had some excellent questions that really helped me get to know her better.

    Stella, you are my hero! Facebook is my number one social networking tool too! And I absolutely loved how you mention that giving value is as important as gaining value for you. That’s why you’ve been able to connect so deeply with so many people. =) Thanks for sharing your secrets, friend! =)

    • Hi Samantha, I wanted us to learn about Stella’s journey as well as her plans for the future. I’m glad you like the questions. I just sent you a friend request on Facebook too! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Wow, Sam – thanks so much, for your kind words.

      You’re right Ileane’s questions were on point.

      Now you know more about me and my journey into blogging, which is essential for BFF blogging buddies, eh? (lol)

      You know, Sam, you really are a Facebook rockstar, from what I’ve observed about you. I look forward to seeing you harness more of that to building your business online.

      Thanks for coming by – I really appreciate it, as always:)

  7. Hi Ileane and Stella,
    How fortunate for me to have come across your blog and this interview. I am always on the lookout for tips, advice, and ideas for blogging and internet marketing. It’s truly inspiring when one reads about another’s success story making one believe that anything really is possible. And wow, you’ve only been blogging for 5 months, that’s remarkable.
    I’ve also been reading about how having a mentor can contribute greatly to one’s online success and with y0ur mention of also having one, it has further emphasized that point to me.
    I will be visiting your blog shortly as I’m sure I’ll be getting more valuable lessons.
    Have a nice day to both of you!

    • Hi Theresa:
      Thanks for stopping by and, for your kind words. I look forward to seeing you at my blog, and please feel free to shoot me a message via Facebook, Twitter or on comments at my blog, if you ever need to…

      You know sometimes, when you’re doing something, a simple tip or word to “go here/ there, do this/ that” (from someone who has been there and truly cares about helping others succeed) is all you need. Just one push can make a lot of difference and can shove a lot of trial and error.

      But you know what, Theresa, blogs like Ileane’s (DasicBlogTips) and a host of other caring people are also there to MENTOR anyone willing and ready – all you need to do is make the first move to ask for help. You may ask in some places and never get a response but simply head on to the next blog without wasting time.

      If you do this with 3 blogs you are really getting value from (not just following the crowd there), you’ll find your own mentor, for free. Only that you have to do this when you’re ready to take action on every single step they recommend:)

      I guess I’ve talked too much, but hope you get the point.

  8. Well Stella!

    You’ve a nice interview here, the main thing I learned from your interview that you got inspired by many people, and you do work on their perspectives and you learned a lot only reading online and not just started making bucks.

    I think that helped you alot to be successful in your online experiecne.

    Wish you best of the luck for the future.
    Regards

    • Thanks Usman, I really appreciate your kind words.

      I think we all can get some guidance from blogs we learn from the most, if we just ask the blog owners. I got guidance on the best approach to take ny business online; else I would have made lots of mistakes and spent lots of money trying PPC which was over-hyped.

  9. Hi Stella,

    Thanks for sharing your blogging journey with us and also sharing some of your personal life! I feel like I know you a lot better now and I’m looking forward to get to know you even better in the future.

    Thank you Ileane for this awesome interview with Stella! What a great idea!

    Ilka

    • Hi Ilka:
      Thanks for coming around, and for commenting too.

      I’ve always bumped into you ‘everywhere’ – you were one of the first people that reached out to connect when I first joined BetterNetworker (I’m sure you may have forgotten by now, but I it’s a lasting impression:) and recently on LinkedIn and Twitter.

      I look forward to learning more about you, too.

      Cheer and enjoy the rest of today!

  10. I think it is encouraging post for a novice bloggers like me. It is good idea to start PPC when you get enough experience in blogging and online marketing.

    • Thanks Nawaz.

      You know, you’re right about the right time to start PPC – but at the time, I did not know it.

      For a newbie, hearing about a PPC product that the sales page and testimonials make it so easy to get 500 new leads overnight and 200 new sales daily – they made PPC seem like every beginner can do it once you buy that product. Now I know better that PPC is risky for beginners – every mistake costs money but not with blogging.

      Thanks Nawaz, for your interesting contribution:)

  11. As far as Facebook goes, I still have privacy concerns about the site. So I hesitate to, even when given the choice, use my Facebook login credentials to register at other sites. But, I do understand how much of a convenience it is to not have to remember (or jot down) many usernames and passwords to different sites…

    • Hi Sonny, you’re not alone in your concerns. Personally, I never use Facebook or Twitter to sign in to any third party website – just my own way of being careful online. I would rather suggest that anyone who likes to login with other IDs should get OpenId, which has been more acceptable.

      However, it’s best to Keep It Stupidly Simple – get a good password manager or manually (but painfully) jot the usernames and passwords in some safe place.

      Thanks for your insightful contribution. I’m just looking at your DIY site and liked the wide array of crafts and skills you teach with so much details. Good job!

    • Thanks Mitch, for your kind words. I’m honored that you found Ileane’s interview with me compelling enough to go check out my blog.
      I look forward to seeing you there, some time.

      Just reading your post “Only Concern Yourself With What You Can Control” and will leave you a comment. BTW, you’ve got a great blog and cool contents:)

  12. Thanks for sharing Ileane,

    It’s nice to meet you Stella, always good to see up and coming motivated bloggers (actually, it’s a gentle reminder for me to lift my game before you all overtake me LOL)

    • Lol Alex. Thanks for your ‘witty’ comment:)

      You’re already on top of your game, BuRP’ing the blogosphere but a ‘gentle reminder’ to stay awake is not a bad idea.

  13. I love these ‘where I come from’ interviews. They really motivate newbs to keep pressing on because with hard work success is possible.

  14. Great interview Ileane and it’s a pleasure to meet you Stella.

    I applaud you for taking the bull by the horns and diving in. You found the person who could help you, you asked the right questions, you took action and look how far you’ve come in such a short time. I am very impressed and will look forward to your e-course. I have no doubt that with everything else you are doing that it will be a success as well. I’ll be sure to stop by your blog and take a look around.

    Great interview and great questions Ileane. Job well done ladies.

    Adrienne

  15. Thank you so much, Adrienne for your kind words. I’m glad that you like the interview.

    I’ll look out for you on my blog, whenever you find the time; and hopefully too for my eCourse when it’s out.

    I like the look and feel of your blog. I’ll checkout your posts and comment on one:)

  16. Hi Ileane, Stella,

    Stella I am so proud to read about you here. From all the nice comments from those who know you, I can only say thanks for being a great Nigerian ambassador in cyberspace.

    Keep up the good work and together we will rewrite the history of negatives. Looking forward to connecting with you on your blog.

    • Hi Maky:
      Thanks for reading this and for your kind words.

      I always love to know about other Nigerian bloggers who put up great contents out there, and your foodie blog has been one that I have followed for a while now. Good job! (Unfortunately you didn’t have comments box on either of your blogs, but I hope to catch up with you, any time.

      • O yes Stella, that’s because those two sites are actually static websites :) Blogging is in the plan for sometime in the future, hopefully. Thanks for being a follower of my food recipes site – we can connect on FB with other Nigerian food lovers.

        Now I need to go and confirm the email so that I can download your Passion to Profits Blueprint. :)

        • Ok cool, Maky.

          Thanks for downloading my eBook; please feel free to leave me a feedback or more, any time.

          So I look forward to connecting with you on Facebook and Twitter.

  17. very nice blogpost . . . i think I have no doubt that with everything else you are doing that it will be a success as well. I’ll be sure to stop by your blog and take a look around.

  18. I learned of Stella through her ebook article which is a MUST READ for anyone thinking (or considering) creating one, see link below. And I found that article via Twitter as I’m quite active there.

    Have been a big fan ever since, she delivers top notch content on her blog and (from what I can see) is an active networker.

    Kudos to you Stella for a blog well done. Cheers!

    • Wow Missy, that was so cool of you – thank you for taking the time to come read and comment. I really appreciate it.

      I’m glad that you liked that post. You know sometimes the posts that we arite and not so sure that readers will like them turn out to be liked afterall (lesson learned).

      Is G34 your blog? I read it a couple of times and found it really cool – great design. color scheme and top notch contents. Good to know that I ‘kinda know the person behind it’. See, we didn’t even know that we are mutual fans of each other’s blog.

      • Yes, G34 Media is my site and has been for some time. It’s where I dish on all things related to online marketing and where I plan to host my upcoming book.

        “Kinda know me?” well we will have to fix that. Won’t we. I know I need to spruce up my About page, its a long time coming. Just need to set aside a bit of time to really craft one that encapsulates wonderful (but complicated) me.

        • Good to know, Missy. You’ve got a good thing going on there, and I read your interview about how you are so good at the ‘art of flipping anything online’ and really loved that PLUS I learned that a ‘flipper’ may flip even the current blog any day…

          Yea, I concur, an “About Page” makeover and a GRAVATAR:)

          Wow, it’s been cool interacting with you. Thanks for your time.

  19. Stella and Ileane, this was fun to read. I’m glad to get a more complete picture!
    Those Red headlines bamboozled a lot of us! I’m off to read your favorite posts.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • Thanks Mitchell, I’m glad you now know me better:)

      Hmm.. I got sucked up into believing most of those, “hype-y” red headlines (lol) – but they work, else they would have stopped using them. Again, I love to keep a tab on those marketers because they know how to sell their talents, knowledge and skills without over-extending the “Free” line (where most bloggers are hanging). We’re learning as we go…

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Thanks to @Ileane and @vernessataylo:) Happy Friday!

  20. Danny

    Good interview.
    Not only is Stella Anokam very interesting, but also your interview skills are getting even better Ileane.
    I always enjoy reading about someones road to where they are now.

  21. Though I might be reading this real late, I think the interview is timeless and I am so proud to be a Nigerian at this moment…with all the negatives but with people like Stella and Oni (YoungPrePro), I know the stories are changing real fast!

Trackbacks

  1. Interview with Blogger and Online Marketer Stella Anokam | Basic Blog Tips…

    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 this interview….