Blogging Tips From Philip Varghese at Philipscom
I would like to extend a warm welcome to Philip Varghese from Philipscom today on the blog. I connected with Philip on Google+ and he has a lot of experience in blogging. Philip blogs about a lot of topics, one of which being blogging tips. Please make him welcome and connect with him at the end of the post.
1. Tell us about yourself and your site at Philipscom
I am Philip Verghese ‘Ariel’ born and brought up in Kerala, which is a southern State in India. I am a freelance writer, blogger and an editor by profession. My main interest is in writing, print and web media.
I am married and have two children. My wife is also a professional in a private organization.
Philipscom is the name I selected for my blog at blogger.com. In the recent time I shifted my blogging platform from blogger to WordPress. This page mainly deals with different social activities especially concentrating on environmental issues like global warming etc.
I also write about political activities, spiritual subjects and other subjects related to current issues. Finally, I write about internet marketing, and many other subjects related to blogging and its promotions at different social platforms.
2. What made you start blogging?
My blogging journey is a long story. To put it in a nutshell let me say:
One of my colleagues (a computer geek) said “Anna (Brother) why don’t you start a blog of your own, since you have great talent in writing. I searched and found some blogging platforms like Trinod, Associated content, Google Knol pages and a few others.
I began my blogging journey by posting comments on other blogs. I received good response from authors and other readers. After reading my comments they inquired about my blog page and other blogging activities. I did not have a blog and it was suggested to me that I start a blog of my own.
At that time I was very active at Knol pages and a few of my contents received special recognition from the Knol authors Guild and various other Knol platforms. I was really happy at that but was very sad when Google shut their Knol platform and migrated all our pages to the WordPress platform.
I became confused with the WordPress platform and I expressed my fear to my mentor. He said not to worry as I could start a blog with Google’s blogger platform and thus Philpscom was born and now Philipscom at WordPress platform itself. Of course for this new page, I am indebted to my brother and friend Rejoy Poomal (a computer engineer and a website designer) for the page’s formation.
After a year or so I started my Malayalam blog page under the title Arielintekurippukal (Ariel’s Jottings). I received a warm welcome from the Malayalam bloggers community and this page is now a popular one among the Malayalam blog readers. Now this blog you can read at Google Play store’s by downloading App Vayanashala .
3. What do you enjoy most about blogging? Is there anything that you particularly dislike?
The thing I like most about blogging is that there is no scissor applied to our writings by the editor like you find in the print media. We are the editors! It is an open space where we can let out our feelings, sorrows, happiness or whatever it is without any inhibitions.
To put in nut shell “we are the boss of our creations, jobs or establishments.” No one will come with instructions like “do it like this” or “finish it like this”. I really like most this particular character of blogging.
Of course there are our readers who air their opinion about our post, which we can accept it or reject. But ultimately we are the final authority of our posts or blogs. This is what I enjoy about blogging.
There are also many dislikes. On the top of the list is when we visit a post and air our opinion or suggestion in the post with much enthusiasm, but unfortunately many bloggers do not respond. This is really an irritating thing in relation to blogging which I dislike most.
When we take so much time to read and air our feedback, at least on a courtesy sake they can put forward few words to our comment. In many cases this seldom happens. Of course in the recent past I could find a good number of people who are an exception to this trend and I appreciate them.
In my opinion this is not a good trend, when one blogger or for that matter any reader take their time to read our blog and post their opinion we should respond to them, though not immediately we need to give a fitting thank you note to their views. I am sure the reader expects this from us when they comment on our posts. Of course we are all busy people but still we can find some time for our readers.
4. On average, how much time do you dedicate each day/week to your blogging? How do you keep track of what you are doing?
Oh my…. the timing at blog, it all depends on the demand of the day.
If an urgent thing needs to be finished (like this interview) sometimes I burn the midnight lamp till dawn! But this is very rare. An average day’s work in the evening is from 8 till 12.
I spent my time on blogging related activities. This includes content creation, replying to comments and reading and commenting at fellow bloggers pages. Of course I also set aside some time for promotion of my blogging through social media and reply there. Sometimes I keep the night just to visit and read fellow bloggers pages especially those who visit my page and post their opinion I make it a point to visit and air my opinion in such pages.
To keep a track of this activity is an extremely difficult task, but still I do a routine check every day to keep track of the happenings.
5. If you could go back in time and tell yourself ONE thing when you started blogging, what would it be?
In blogging if one can read as much as fellow bloggers post and post constructive comments that will be a great thing. I am sure that will definitely increase our knowledge and of course that will give an automatic exposure to our pages.
As I mentioned earlier, my blogging career started on reading other people’s blog pages and posting my opinion in the comment form. My comments were attracted by many and they landed on my page by reading my comments elsewhere.
This is the one I can tell myself again and again. Read fellow bloggers posts and air your opinion. And I still follow that rule.
6. Do you make an income from your blogging? If so, what would you say has been your most successful way of making money online to date?
Oh My!! Income!
This is one of the major thing most of the bloggers in mind when they start blogging, but in the initial stage I never thought of it and I continued posting at different places. But at a later stage by reading a good number of blog posts on money making that really got attracted me and I thought of directing my way to that line. I applied for Adsense and I got it before the normal approval time.
As you know Adsense’s peanut share to its members, I am ashamed to say it aloud. Of course there is an income via Adsense but through other writings I am getting something more. Especially in the recent times I joined in Kingged.com an internet marketing social website a content curation site and by posting comments there I earned a sizable amount in a short period.
And after the creation of my new page Philipscom I just joined in some affiliate marketing business and the result is yet to come. In short there is not much to so on this line, but I am sure the constant hard work on these lines will fetch some good results in the near future.
7. As well as blogging, do you have another full/part time job or parenting responsibilities? How do you juggle these demands?
I am not a full time blogger. I have a full time job that takes my time from 9 to 5. I am working in a Christian Organization as an Associate Editor. Editor in charge of their Bi-monthly magazine called Confident Living. And also I manage a blog and few social sites for the organization.
Coming to the responsibility of parenting, I have two sons, the elder one is now working in an IT company and the younger one is in the 10th standard. Since he is in 10th class he needs more attention and I need to help him out since his mother too is a working woman we need to share the responsibilities.
I am sad to say that these days that most of my free time I spend on blog related activities. I could not really fulfill those needs fully. I really regret to this, since she takes care of every other household needs, indeed fulfilling those needs are a great task before me. I appreciate my wife’s patience in this regard.
8. What would you say is your favourite social media platform and why?
My favorite social media platform is of course G+. I do have two accounts in Facebook but since I don’t like it I very seldom use this and instead I spend more time and sharing at G+
The reason to opt more time at G+ is the easy accessibility of G+. Whenever I open my Gmail account I can see the notification from G+ at the sidebar of my Gmail account and immediately I go there.
Another thing I noticed is that there are special people there. This does not mean that Facebook people or friends are not special people. Of course they are! But somehow I do not like the presentations there by the people. But the responses and the other connected activities at Google+ is really a demanding one and I love it.
The recent Google “Hangout On Air” is yet another reason which attracted me a lot at G+. I learned a lot in relation to internet and blogging through these activities. There are a good number of amazing and expert people who do regular HOA in their respective niche. Most often I attend to it and that fetch some special knowledge in that line.
9. What has been the biggest hurdle that you have come across in your blogging career to date? How did you overcome this?
That is indeed a good question.
The biggest hurdle is nothing but my meager technical knowledge in blogging. If anything untoward happen in relation to the web page I have to depend on somebody. For instance the other day when I opened my page it showed nothing but a message saying: ”the bandwith limit exceeded”. First I was surprised, then worried.
Hey what the hell happened to my blog page? Where are my contents?
Since I have a limited knowledge on this line all such silly doubts raised. I immediately contacted my designer friend and he fixed it within no time. This is one of the major hurdle I face in my blogging career. I think a blogger should be aware about such things. I mean some basic technical knowledge.
Of course there are a good number of people out there to help me out, and I received many such help from different people from around the world in such situation to overcome it. Once I faced a very nasty situation in relation to my template.
There was a widget I embedded and a small bird, a twitter like one started roaming all around my page. People complained saying, the bird is giving lot of trouble, we can’t even read your stuff since the bird is coming and overlapping the letters. I was asked to remove the bird from your page otherwise it will spoil everything, and people will ran away from.
I was in dilemma and I posted this problem in all may social media pages and from different quarters I received different suggestions. Some even said shoot the bird in a sarcastic way in fact. I tried everything one by one without any result, instead the bird’s flying speed increased and was making lot of trouble.
Then one day a blog friend from a suggested some solution to drive out that nasty bird, sadly I could not follow his instructions since my tech knowledge is limited, and I requested him to do it for me. That was really a great headache. I am so glad that the amazing power of internet and its worldwide activities, within no time we can reach people and get needed help from them. The social sites and blogging added to that flow.
10. How do you drive traffic to your blog and grow your readership?
As I said I have two accounts in Facebook. Apart from Facebook I also have accounts in almost all social media platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, and many others.
But the one I like the most is G+ since immediately after completing the content page and by pressing the Publish button there appear the G+ sharing page and it automatically get promoted to our G+ page as well as to our friends’ circles in G+. This is one of the part I like in G+ but this facility is not available in other social platforms.
I have also joined as a member of different social forums where they discuss about various things on blogging and other internet, marketing related activities. I get traffic from these forums and other bloggers groups.
Joining in different social sites as well as social forums and groups are the major driving source to my traffic and the growing readership. I am a member at Indiblogger one of the major blogging platform in India, and also a member in different Malayalam Bloggers’ Forum/Group as well as Blog Directories. Recently I joined in the group of International Bloggers Association (IBA) as a Board member. Joining in and actively participation in their discussions etc. will surely fetch more readership and traffic to our pages.
I am sure this is one of the reason for the increase in my Alexa rank. It is increased tremendously. Few months back it was 790K and now the present rank is 132K and in India it is 12K. I think this is just because of my blog presence in these social media sites. Here again I want to say a word about Kingged.com. Immediately after joining there, traffic to my blog increased tremendously.
Joining such social media marketing and other social media sites are a vital thing for any bloggers. My traffic and readership come from these places.
11. What is the most important piece of advice you could give to a new blogger?
Any new blogger’s first and foremost aim is to get visitors and readers to their pages. Of course this is not only to the newbies desire, but for that matter it is the aim of any blogger.
But sadly in the initial stage a newbie may not get this and they get frustrated and some even decide to leave the arena of blogging. My sincere advice to them is that please do not give up!
Write and produce well written pieces and post about it through your social media platforms and do a good propagation business. Don’t feel shy in doing this, people may call you an exhibitionist or even sometimes you may have to listen to harsh words, but don’t mind and go ahead with your promotion work.
Unless you promote your activities no one else will. Don’t worry over such nasty comments and don’t give up by hearing such upsetting comments. Keeping such things go ahead! The success is yours.
And the last and final advice I would like to share with my newbie bloggers is that: “Read read and read more blog pages and air your views. Do this as much as you can and I am sure the end result will be a very fruitful one.
May you have a great and wonderful time of blogging.
I express, my sincere thanks to Catherine for giving an opportunity to be your quest today on Friday’s featured blogger.
I’d like to say thank you to Phil for sharing with us today. If you would like to connect further with him, you can do so at his social media profiles.
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