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Interview with Harleena Singh of Aha-Now.com

+Harleena Singh is the owner, principal writer, and chief editor of Aha!NOW, a personal development and SELF help blog. She is an amiable woman, with a heart of gold. She is known for helping others through her posts, comments, and promotions. Harleena is one amongst the foremost active bloggers on the social media. You’d find her retweeting other bloggers’ posts, commenting on blogs, and sharing other people’s posts simply with an intention to help them succeed.
I don’t think I have to say much about Harleena’s fascinating personality; you may get to know her better as you browse through the interview. I wish I knew Harleena before I started blogging! She really has a way of building an interesting community and is really an inspiring blogger. So, sit down and sip your coffee, while you enjoy reading this tote-Γ -tΓͺte.
Harleena Singh

1. What did you do before being a blogger?

I’m, and I’ve professionally been a freelance writer and a copywriter. I undertake commercial writing assignments and create quality content in the form of articles, web content, press releases, email blasts, letters, and any other online or offline content requirement. You can learn more about me as a writer from my website http://www.freelancewriter.co .
Prior to being a full-time writer, I was a teacher and an administrator in school. I had also been counseling students and guiding them in life. So, I guess unknowingly, I was laying down the foundation for being a blogger. πŸ™‚ I learned the skills to teach, guide people, and help others by expressing myself creatively through writing.

2. Why did you choose to be a blogger?

It was never a planned or conscious decision. I’d say it happened the other way around, and it’s blogging that chose me! I never ever dreamt about being a blogger until three years ago. I just started my blog to share knowledge and help others. Even after starting my blog, I did not intend to become a full-time, devoted, and professional blogger.
However, in due course of time, I became more involved in blogging. As I learned and practiced more, I began loving what I was doing. All along my journey as a blogger, I have had a strong desire to help people, so I guess that’s why I happened to choose to be a blogger as that probably best reflects and complements my personality.

3. What makes Harleena Singh completely different from other bloggers?

Not that I’m a completely different blogger, but I’ve a different approach to blogging. Blogging for me is all about interacting, and I assume I do plenty of that, even to the extent that I’ve earned recognition for my long comments! I believe my efforts to be a blogger who assists individuals makes me completely different from those whose main motive is business. Having said that, I know of many bloggers who’re like me, and some of them even pursue commercial motives, which isn’t a taboo or a bad thing to do at all.

4. If a blogger wishes to make money, what are the best ways to do that?

I guess I’m not the best person to ask that question. I can speak volumes if you ask me how to make your life happy. Nevertheless, I understand that making money is essential for a blogger to support the expenses involved and to earn a living, if he or she is a full-time blogger. I’d just repeat what I’ve said before, which I learned from others, and even experienced myself – that the best ways to make money from blogging are by having Google Adsense, sponsored ads, sponsored posts/reviews, affiliate ads and links on your blog.
Apart from these advertorial and affiliate ways, you can even sell your products, or expertise and become a guru or a coach in the field you’re an authority in. You can also do that by writing and selling eBooks to help others or write paid guest posts. I’m sure there are many other ways of earning money from blogging, but make sure to check if those are legitimate and do not violate Google’s policies.

5. What tips would you give to fellow bloggers to manage work and life?

That’s a good question, and a concern for many bloggers. I’ve been through a difficult phase and faced many problems trying to find a balance myself between my family and work. Blogging is very time consuming if you either aim for perfection, do all that it takes, and try to reap the maximum benefits. It would not be wrong to say that blogging becomes addictive and disturbs the balance in your life, if you don’t learn the art of time-management and have your schedule well planned.
You definitely need to create time slots, schedule, routines, and stick to them. Never ever try to allocate your time for family, sleep, and exercise for blogging or work activities. You need to do work only as much as possible in the allocated time period – blogging or work may be your passion, but never try to replace other essential aspects of your life with it. Remember, a happy life is one that is balanced. πŸ™‚

6. How can a blogger be successful?

There can be different criteria of success for different bloggers. Success can be measured in terms of money, number of followers, subscribers, awards received, blog rank or blog traffic. No matter what criteria you choose, you need to deliver attractive, compelling, meaningful, and useful content to share with your readers. Your visitor should either be able to learn something new that he or she didn’t know earlier, or reflect on issues that remind or help him or her in life to be happy.
However, even then it isn’t enough if no one or only a handful of people come to visit your blog. You may consider that a success, however, in general terms, you need lot many people to spread the word around the world that you’re good with your words or that your blog is something special. And for that, you need to promote your posts, be available, and be visible.

7. What can a blogger do to increase his or her blog traffic?

I’m no authority or expert on this topic but I can express my views as per my personal experience. A blog needs to be advertised, and there are various ways to do that. You can refer family, friends, and other contacts to visit your blog and tell them to spread the word among their contacts to bring direct traffic.
But most importantly, you need to use the social media for referral traffic, and SEO for organic traffic. The power of using keywords cannot be denied, though with changing trends, you need to use it in variation, such that your posts rank well in Google, thus sending traffic to your blogs. You should submit your blog posts to as many bookmarking sites as possible, and comment on other blogs, which again is something that works wonders as it helps build relationships with fellow bloggers.

8. Which do you think is important, SEO or social media?

I’ve often commented and I reiterate that my personal success has been majorly due to social media. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even Pinterest, bring you instant traffic, and that can be manifold depending upon how people have liked your content and how you’ve promoted it. I’ve even observed that Pinterst continues to bring traffic even from your old posts – months after you have posted it!
However, SEO is totally a different concept. It brings you organic traffic over a period, in small bits or large amounts depending on where your keywords are placed in the SERPS. So, I’d say both SEO and social media are important, one brings regular traffic while the other gets you instant traffic.
Many bloggers neglect SEO and believe in natural writing, and that’s fine too. Google’s search algorithm changes frequently and I think with time, the importance of writing naturally will increase. I personally have tried to not keep all the eggs in one basket, and instead have a distributed and balanced traffic portfolio consisting of SEO, social media, etc.

9. Who are your favorite bloggers and which blogs do you often visit?

I’ve many blogging friends, who’re great bloggers in their own respect, and they are all my favorites. I regularly visit their blogs and the blogs of my blog community members. I also make it a point to visit the blogs of whomsoever visits and comments on my blog posts. Apart from that, I often visit many blogs and sites when conducting research for my blog or commercial articles. Frankly, there isn’t any time left to visit any new blogs. I believe that’s the reason many blogging groups are formed in the blogosphere and every group has their own favorites.

10. What are your views about women in blogging and the future of blogging?

Women in blogging are doing superb! Women make great bloggers and I can see them all over the Blogosphere! Blogging is not only a resource for learning, earning, communication, and support for women, but also a means to revolution and changing of the perspective the world has about women. You can read my post on the top women bloggers and you’ll see that women have are doing wonderfully in blogging.
It’s not that men are left behind, but the future of blogging is such that there isn’t going to be any distinction between men and women bloggers. Blogging will be one career internationally, where men and women are treated equally, becoming a viable earning source, and a popular career option and opportunity.
Thank you for this interview πŸ™‚

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