Thursday, 30 June 2016

INFLUENCER INTERVIEW : ANCY ABRAHAM





1. Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog? And how did you first get into blogging?
I was always fascinated with media and wanted to work in Print Media. Being from a conservative family I had to choose a profession like teaching or office job. So I went on to graduate in English and while pursuing Post graduation in English my father spotted an Advertisement in Malayala Manorama inviting candidates for an entrance exam for Post Graduate Diploma In Journalism and Mass Communication. He was a little sadden because sometime back I got an interview call for the 1st batch at Satyajith Ray Film Institute, Kolkata and, in those days, 20 yrs back, in 1997, my family couldn’t visualize sending a girl to study films.

I cleared the entrance test for First batch of students of Journalism at Kottayam Press Club and during the verbal interview by well-known journalists, one of them said that I got aptitude for journalism. Those words gave me confidence. Even though I never took up active journalism, I continued writing in some form or the other. I did freelance content writing and became the co-author and editor of an IELTS book.

I worked as content writer for Trade India and Assistant Editor of Consumer Voice Magazine. Up to now I actively campaign for consumer causes.

In 2013 a friend suggested to “start blogging and generate income”. Coincidentally that was the time I was undergoing treatment due to complication after an accident by falling from a rickshaw.  The accident changed my view about lifestyle. Until then I was juggling family, household chores and office, caring very little about health. After the accident Doctor recommended morning walks as mandatory. So I started blogging about my morning walks and other lifestyle issues so that others mend their lifestyle before it is too late.

My first readers were my friends, relatives and colleagues who encouraged me to continue blogging.

2. What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to his readers?
A blogger provides unbiased, credible, interesting and original content to the readers. They visit your blog because they trust you and believe that relying on your opinion will help them take the right decision. For instance, if you blog about shopping tips, readers completely follow your opinion while shopping.

3. What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Starting a FB page helped a lot in driving traffic to the website. FB keeps evolving with new strategies to promote the page and website.

4. Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?
Association with former colleagues impacted a lot in my blogging. After associating with Consumers India I took up the campaign to ‘Stop Lead Poisoning in India’. Now many prominent Lead activists in India are supporting to make this campaign a success.

5. How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
My motivation is my readers. Either through a comment or a phone call they let me know how informative and useful a blog was. For instance many readers say that they came to know about the hazards of Lead from lifestyletodaynews.com

6. What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?
My website is now part of the family. When friends and family inquire about the welfare of all family members they inevitably ask about the website too.

My job profile also has upgraded from a Editor and Writer to a Digital Strategist, because now I deal a whole lot of aspect to drive and retain traffic to the website.

7. How active are you on a weekly basis? How often do you communicate with your followers?
Almost three hours daily I spend with the website. I communicate with my follower’s at least twice in a week.

8. A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from the blog or doing brand collaborations?
Nothing comes easy in life, and as another blogger says, most of the time blogging is a “labour of love”. These days there are various options to generate income from blogging. If you produce quality content and get the SEO right, you can get advertisement affiliations from Google Adsense, ClickBank, Commission Junction, etc. Try getting Google Adsense affiliation at the earliest because that serves as a authentic verification for others to associate with your website.

9. How important is the role of influencers in brand promotions? How is your experience of engaging with brands and problems, if any?
In olden days, word of mouth was considered the best marketing technique. I would say, in this age of social media, using the service of a blogger as influencers is the best marketing technique. A blogger has a readymade set of readers with whom he or she shares an almost personal relationship and the readers trust every post he shares. Hence such bloggers are essential to promote a brand.

I promote brands and causes only when I am convinced that the readers will get some information to improve their lifestyle by reading the promotional post. Upto now all promotional works were hassle-free.

10.  Do you promote your blog? What promotional techniques work best for you and why?
I promote my blog using social media like Twitter, FB and Google Plus.  FB brings in the most traffic to the website. Blogging post related to a trending issue on the Social Media is a good way to drive traffic to the website; of course the post should be relevant to your website.

11. Can you tell me about few sources from where you get products for review on your site?
There are some communities which helps me in getting products for review. My association with Blogmint opened the vistas of blogging. I got associated with fellow bloggers and also got many projects that generate income.

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