Blog Angel Tells You The Key To Successful Blogging

Blogger Of The Week: Joella Molson (a.k.a. Blog Angel).

What She Says:
Joella Molson aka Blog AngelA friendly hello to all the readers at BloggerStop. I am honored at having been asked to do this interview. My name is Joella Molson, also known as Blog Angel. I am the author of Blogs With Wings.com. I created BWW because creating a blog is a leap of faith, a journey into the unknown and I wanted to help other bloggers to succeed. After all, every blog deserves a chance to fly.

BS: Welcome to BloggerStop, Joella. How long have you been in the Blogosphere? And who/what inspired you to start a blog of your own?
Ans.: There was no one person that inspired me to start blogging. I actually started blogging on a whim, about 5 years ago. It was just a little Blogspot blog, mostly about my garden. It was a real learning experience and I decided to start a more serious pursuit with my own domain name. All the research I did into blogging and the things I learned gave me the direction for Blogs With Wings. Don't get me wrong, I don't know everything, but I've learned a lot and I am still learning. The best way to become really good at something is to teach it to others, to share what you learn and that's why I blog.

BS: How will you describe your blog in one line/less than 20 words?
Ans.:Blogs With Wings is dedicated to helping bloggers define and reach their own ideals of blog success. I also hope to champion the principle of reciprocity among bloggers, we shouldn't be rivals we should be allies and help each other whenever possible.

BS: What do you blog about? Is this blog devoted to a single theme or do you have more than one quite unrelated categories in your blog?
Ans.: I blog about many topics, but they are for the most part all related to blogging. Things such as: blog SEO, blog promotion, blog success strategies and blog monetization, to name but a few.

BS: Are you the only author in your blog or do you have co-bloggers to manage the blog? In future are you planning to team up with like-minded bloggers?
Ans.:Currently I am the primary author of Blogs With Wings, but I actively encourage my readers to submit guest posts. After all, they are bloggers too and I know that they have learned and experienced many things on their blogging journey. They have much to share, as do I and I wish more of them would take me up on my offer. Do you think that maybe some of your readers will stop by and offer to guest post? I'd like that.

BS: Do you blog anonymously or your readers know well who you are?
Ans.:I certainly don't hide who I am. I go by Blog Angel, but I always sign Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella (that's my real name). I also maintain a link on my blog to my Google profile page so my readers can get to know a bit more about me.

BS: Do you have any specific goals/expectations from your blog? Have you already achieved any of these goals (or would you like to share any milestones that your blog has achieved)?
Ans.: I have a lot of goals. Some of them are sitting on a shelf waiting for me to actively get to them. I have learned that I am only one person and can only do so much. So I only selectively pick and choose what I can realistically tackle at any given time. I've learned to pace myself, to be careful not to bite off more than I can chew. I am, among other things a self-taught web page and blog template designer. I have always hoped at some point to offer both free and premium templates on the blog. This goal has been expanded with the development of a template that is geared towards Blogspot users who want a custom layout that they can easily change from the dashboard. I am very excited that I will soon be releasing The Ultimate Control Blogger Template. I am currently looking for testers, so if any of your readers who would be interested in test driving a highly configurable Blogger template that does not require HTML or CSS knowledge they should contact me through the Blogs With Wings site.

BS: How much time do you devote to your blog? Do you blog on weekends and do you think Blogging is eating too much of your time and is it affecting your day-to-day (offline) life too?
Ans.:This varies greatly as I have health limitations and other projects that I am working on, for instance template design. I work on blog related tasks almost daily. But I love that I can log off and deal with the people and critters in my life on an as needed basis or take some time to deal with my health issues as needed. Blogging lets me be flexible, but I am careful to maintain a minimum of 3 posts or more per week.

BS: What are your present blog stats, i.e. number of daily visitors, subscribers, your global reach etc.?
Ans.: I hate statistics, I guess because I'm not terribly mathematically inclined. I prefer to look at a chart whenever possible. So I've included a summary and chart of my site statistics for the last year. I started the blog just a little over 12 months ago. You can actually see a terrible drop that occurred over the summer months in 2009. I was very inactive on the blog due to a unprecedented number of unhappy events that followed one right after the other and culminated in my becoming ill. I got beat down, but I got back up.

As for my feed statistics, I'm not really sure, some of my subscribers are through my internal feed service, which doesn't seem to have stat reporting and some are through Feedburner. One of my goals is to consolidate my subscription options and hopefully encourage more people to subscribe. This should also help me better track my feed stats.

BS: What do you think is a better source of traffic - search engines, traffic exchange sites or social networking sites?
Ans.:For me there is no “more important”. They are all important, but be wary of who you swap links with. Aim high, good quality sites that the search engines like are your best candidates. You need to use every legitimate means available to drive traffic to your site. I encourage my readers to use blog promotion communities, participate in link exchanges, actively comment on Do Follow blogs with good page ranks and to practice good SEO in their article writing and blog setup. I also think that it is incredibly important to keep the traffic that comes your way by building your readers into a community that is centered around your blog.

BS: Do you regularly respond to your readers and do you think it is important for a blogger to always comment back or reply back to his readers?
Ans.: Yes, I do respond to most of the comments left on my blog. I think it is very important to connect with your readers. It's one of the most powerful ways you can build your readership, by building a relationship with the people who really matter. However, I only reply to comments that are intelligent and well thought out. I am less likely to respond to comments left on older posts unless they really good quality and make a really good point. After all, I am not a super hero, I can't do everything at once. And let's face it, some comments don't deserve a reply.

BS: What are your unique strategies to survive and to perform better in your blogs niche against your competitor blogs?
Ans.: Practice what I preach. LOL Seriously blogging is a very unique experience. Some people just want to make money and to that end they use canned formulas for creating niche sites. I guess that's okay, but people blog for different reasons and not everyone defines success in the same way. I set out to help other people find their way through their blogging experience and provide some helpful advice along the way. I am hoping to derive some kind of income from templates and design services and I'm working towards that end. But I hope I never lose sight of the reasons I originally created Blogs With Wings , to connect with and help other bloggers.

BS: Other than Blogging what are your other hobbies or what do you do in your leisure time?
Ans.:Leisure time? Bloggers have leisure time, lol. Seriously I love to garden, cook, craft, sew, watch movies, spend time with my family, friends and critters (we have two dogs and two cats). Leisure time is important, never let your blog overwhelm your life you need balance in all things if you are to succeed at anything.

BS: Is blogging for you just a passion or a medium for earning too? Are you earning enough to quit a 9 to 5 day job?
Ans.: Blogging is a passion and a joy for me. I have met some amazing people and made some indispensable friends. I am not earning any real income, yet. But if all goes well that will change in the future.

BS: Do you sell any of your products, work as an affiliate partner or advertisements are the only source of income for you?
Ans.: At this point, I make a small amount of income from affiliate advertisements. But I hope things will improve with the introduction of premium blog templates and blog makeover and blog customization services.

BS: Are you planning to employee someone to help you in blogging or outsourcing some of your work like blog-designing, social networking or someone for your PR department?
Ans.:Not at this time. I guess it will depend on how busy I become when I add my own products and paid services. I have a pretty sharp son who might be a likely candidate as an employee though. Time will tell.

BS: Blogs you follow and read regularly…
Ans.: Here are a few that I follow out of professional interest:
Pro Blogger
Blogging Tips
Blogging Without A Blog
Wordtracker.com

Personally I follow a lot of blogs. I use Entrecard and visit 300 blogs daily. But some of my favorites are:
Margs Pets - http://www.margsanimals.com/blogs/index.php/margspets/
Man Over Board - http://man-over-board.com/
Your Daily Cute - http://www.yourdailycute.com/
The Rooster Crows At 4 A.M. - http://www.rooster4am.com/


BS: Communities/Forums you have joined (that help you in blogging):
Ans.: Most notably: Entrecard, Blogged, Blog Catalog and Bloghology

BS: Have you done any mistakes in your blogging life? And what have you learnt from these mistakes?
Ans.:Mistakes? Failure? These are my teachers. You never give up, no matter what happens. If something doesn't work for you find another approach. Always make sure you give whatever you are trying a fair chance, give it some time and work through it thoroughly before abandoning it. One of the most important things I've learned is having a work schedule. Almost as important is how to set goals. Then, make a plan for getting to those goals. Stay focused on both the goals and the plan. And like I said never give up, you will get there. Turning mistakes into learning experiences and failure into opportunity is key to blog success.

BS: Has blogging added any special flavor to your life? Would you like to share it with us?
Ans.: Chocolate? Metaphorically speaking, that's my favorite flavor and blogging is right up there with chocolate. I savor the blogging experience and I revel in the good friends I've made. The best taste of all is when I help someone and they are kind enough to acknowledge this with their expressed gratitude.

BS: Something you really want to change in your blog or in yourself being a blogger?
Ans.: I still need to become better organized. I do set goals and formulate plans, but I have a really hard time anticipating how long it will take to reach my goals. I really wish I could get a grip on controlling things, but life happens and a lot of the time I have re-adjust my expectations. That can be a little frustrating. I guess I need to learn to be more patient with myself.

BS: Say, you are sponsored to travel to 3 world destinations. Which destinations would you pick up, and why?
Ans.: Spain, incredibly steeped in history, unbelievable food and absolutely gorgeous beaches. Scotland : to explore my roots and family heritage. I'd also like to take a motor home and travel all over North America – Canada and the United States – coast to coast. I'd take my hubby, Steve with me, because everything worth doing is better shared with him

BS: Bloggers generally love to read books? Do you agree with this and if yes what are your favorite books/novels?
Ans.:Hmm, I don't know about generally. I hate generalizing. I use to read a great many books. Sci Fi/Fantasy were my favorite, but I hardly get to spend time engrossed in reading like I use too. But when I do read it is still generally Sci Fi/Fantasy in nature. I am especially fond of Mercedes Lackey.

BS: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Ans.: Mother Theresa. If we could all just cultivate a small fraction or her compassion and selfless motivations, think how much better this world would be!

BS: Which is your favorite television show? & favorite movies and songs?
Ans.: I admit I'm stuck in the Sci Fi/Fantasy rut for TV shows as well as forensic dramas. I like shows such as Fringe, Stargate (all of them), Star Trek (all the flavors), CSI (all the variations), Criminal Minds – just to name a few. My taste in movies is similar, but I also enjoy action, comic based, mystery and suspense. Strangely enough my all time favorite movie is the black and white original Miracle On 34th Street. I've loved it since I was a child, I still have moments when I think Santa is real. My taste in music is totally eclectic and changes on an almost daily basis.

BS: What’s your favorite food? Any particular dislikes?
Ans.: I love so many different kinds of food. I love to cook and bake. I grow many of my own herbs and vegetables in our summer garden and I even grow some herbs year round in a sunny window in my dining room. I'm not overly fond of turnip, eggplant or most squashes. Though I love pumpkin and sweet potatoes. My favorite food is tied between King Crab Legs and Lobster!

BS: Blogs are replacing personal diaries, magazines, journals and today more than just being a hobby we can see corporate blogs too, so what do you think is the future of blogs?
Ans.: As long as the internet and blogging remain relatively free from government and corporate regulation and interference I think we will continue to see growth in all these areas. I like to think that as bloggers we will have the most important role in the future of blogs and their evolution.

BS: Any special message you would like to share with our readers as well with everyone else?
Ans.:Well first off – Happy New Year Everyone! I hope 2010 is a great blessing to you all. I would be thrilled if your readers would stop by and visit Blogs With Wings. I'm always looking for guest authors, if you have a blog I'd love for you to share your experiences and/or ideas with my readers. If you have a blog make sure to join my blog roll. If you have a question or a suggestion for a post I will happily credit you with a back link to your own blog if I use it in a post. Most importantly keep on blogging! Don't have a blog? What are you waiting for? All us other bloggers are dying to meet you!

BS: How can we connect with you?
Ans.: Forget Twitter, I am on Twitter and number of other social networks, but the best way to contact me is by email through the contact form on my blog. I don't miss people so easily when they are writing directly. Also stop by the Blogs With Wings site and leave some comments on some of my posts. I generally respond to my readers' astute comments. Great way to get the old brain juices stirring, getting into a comment conversation!
If you must have another way you can:
Follow Me On Twitter - twitter.com/BWW_Angel
On Blog Catalog - www.blogcatalog.com/user/BlogAngel1
Contact Me On Entrecard - entrecard.com/details/140949

ProBlogger - Inspiring Others Realize Their Dreams!

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10 comments

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January 08, 2010 9:55 AM delete

Thanks for the Interview Joella and we'll love to see your Ultimate Control Blogger Template, and I can of course test it for you. Happy Blogging!

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January 09, 2010 7:12 AM delete

I really appreciate her experienced and a more practical approach. I am sure she recognizes me for she have reviewed my blog when it was just few days old and with the title tnt-by-stc. It was because of her advise that I stopped writing on mnay topics and started posting on a single topic. This was a great turning point for me. I thank Joella for sharing her views with us.

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January 09, 2010 9:14 AM delete

Yeah I have read that review too, she's one of the first bloggers to recognise the blogging spirit in you :)

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January 09, 2010 3:44 PM delete

Joella truly is an Angel. She has helped me and many other people I know to help make their blogs better. And she does it for free!! You couldn't of picked a better person to interview and I have to say, through blogging I got the great opportunity to become friends with Joella and many others.

If you want to blog, and become successful, then it has to come from within and have to have a passion for it, just like Joella has. She will become very successful, you can mark my words :-)

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January 10, 2010 5:22 PM delete

very interesting ...
(but it's not a blogger blog !!!)

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January 11, 2010 7:10 AM delete

This post is not about the blogging platform buddy!
Will you say no to a backlink from Engadget or Smashingmagazine, just because they are not based on Blogger?

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January 21, 2010 6:09 AM delete

How nice it is to learn more about Joella and her blogging experience. Great interview, great questions.

@Joella, thank you for including my blog in your list of faves. I appreciate that.

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January 21, 2010 10:40 PM delete

I have been following BWW for quite some time now. It is so great to hear a little more about miss BA :) She holds a great deal of fantastic advice and a big heart for others. Best of luck to both of you and thanks.

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