As a blogger, you tend to meet some interesting people in the industry. I have been most fortunate to be able to meet some really great people. During one of these recent “meet & greets” I met a simply fabulous person. So much so that I wanted to do an interview about them so my readers could meet them as well.
Ms. Ileane Smith of Basic Blog Tips
Let me introduce you to Ms. Ileane Smith, the founder and creator of Basic Blog Tips. I don’t know what it is about her that fascinates me, but she has a quality all her own! They broke the mold when Ms. Ileane broke into the blogging industry!
She literally has one of the most interesting stories about breaking into blogging. As I got the questions for the interview together, I stumbled upon a funny fact, so I asked her about it. “How did you get into blogging?” This is a basic question, and one that most people ask anyway to a successful blogger of her caliber, but I guarantee you that their answer will be different than the one she gave me!
Apparently, back in 2009, her daughter had started a blog. So, being the good mother that she is, went to the blog. Her idea was to try and follow her daughter’s blog. You know when you fill out the RSS feed form? This is what she thought she was doing anyway! She began to explain to me that she began filling out form after form online. After it was all over, she realized that instead of following her daughter’s blog, she had actually signed up for a blog herself! To me, this is a funny story! One of the most popular bloggers in this niche got her first blog by accident!
If you take a look at her site now, you would have never thought that she was never really interested in blogging, or the internet for that matter, save a few searches online here and there.
The Rise of Basic Blog Tips
Ms. Ileane is what I would describe as a professional blogger. What I mean by that is she basically has Klout. When she blogs, people listen. A share from her would be taken quite seriously from the blogging community. This is what makes her successful and professional.
However, when I approached her with the next question, she responded with a lot of humility. This is what makes her great in my book.
From that fateful day that she accidentally signed up for a blog she has come a really long way, she explained. In the beginning, she faced the same problems that most new bloggers face with their site; she had no idea what was going on, she looked for all kinds of different information online on how to succeed with her blog, and was basically all over the place with it!
When she decided to leave the free blogging platforms, it actually took her awhile before she created Basic Blog Tips, but her idea was this: when she learned something new, she would teach them to others.
So the idea to succeed was already forming in her head, and she explains that when she started to allow people to guest post on her site is really when her blog started to gain more and more attention.
I know for a fact that some of the tutorials and tips that Ms. Ileane does really helps. Just this past week I had to refer to one of her videos on YouTube about how to install Digg sharebar on my site. This is just one explanation of how her first idea to help people is still in motion.
The opinion of SEO to a professional
What separates us from the professional bloggers? Well, it seems as though they have a monopoly on Google. I was anxious to learn Ms. Ileane’s opinion of SEO and how Google recognizes websites.
She answered with a great post that she did on ComLuv called You Do Not Need SEO To Blog. She went on to tell me that people need to stop depending on free traffic from Google, because Google wants your money! They want you to pay for advertising and they are perfectly willing to give you a cut of what they give to the advertisers if you have some content that is relevant that they can make money from advertisers.
It seems as though her priority is not necessarily on SEO, but on building communities, making connections with other people, and writing great content.
She is basically confirming what I have said all along. Your reader is the most important part of your blog. Whether they are seeing your content through social media, organically, or just on your site, content should always be top priority on your site. Getting out there and reaching out to other people to make those connections that will eventually lead to word of mouth success for your blog.
Social media vs SEO?
I am, and always have been an advocate of social media. As I said before, creating connections is the best way to go when promoting your blog. However, I wanted to get Ms. Ileane’s take on this subject. Most people usually prefer on or the other, but is one better than the other?
I was not surprised to hear her answer. She went on to tell me that social media has to be done right. A lot of people do a lot of auto-posting and don’t do any engaging, and, like I said, you need to build relationships, you need to build trust with people. She mentioned some social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and I was surprised to see that she left Google Plus out on purpose.
She says that sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, those sites, you have to work, even though it says social media, you’re having a good time and you’re hanging out with your friends and you’re meeting new people, but at the same time, you have to put in some effort. You can’t just talk about what you had for lunch all the time, unless your a food blogger(laughs), if that’s the case, you can talk about food every day!
However she really doesn’t think that the two (social media & SEO) should be put in competition with each other. She thinks of them as being all part of you and your online presence, and the reason why she separated Google Plus is because now when we are talking about the little SEO piece, Google Plus is gonna give you more weight for your author rank and your Google Authorship. You’re going to get more attention and more traffic from Google because of Google Plus.
To Your Blogging Success
If there is one thing that I get from Ms. Ileane it’s that she truly wants to be there and help you. There has never been a time when I have contacted her that she didn’t respond to my emails. I love her site because she dedicates her time to helping people have a successful blog.
One of the ways that she does this is by allowing bloggers of all kinds to guest post on her site. This is one of the best ways to make connections too. If you are struggling with your traffic, then I recommend that you sign up for a guest posters account at Basic Blog Tips
She also has a podcast that I suggest you go to and subscribe where you can listen to great blogging tips as well!
So here’s to you Ms. Ileane! Thanks for doing what you do!