Interview With Harleena Singh Of Aha!NOW: What It Takes To Be A Popular Blogger
Have you met someone who is loved and respected by almost everyone you know. Well, I have. The one I am talking about is Harleena Singh, a kind friend for half of blogosphere while the other half calls her Harleena ma’am with due respect.
She has touched thousands if not millions of lives with her motivational and posts on family welfare at her blog Aha!NOW. Her blog posts help one and all to discover happiness. Beside this, there is one more feather to her hat, she is popularly called the Blog Commenting Queen, for she is omnipresent in almost every blog whether new or old, lonely or popular and tech or motivational. Her two cents are what every blogger waits to have on their comments section.
Without munching your time anymore, lets head over to this candid chat with her, where she shares her journey till now (mind you you will be motivated!) and a glimpse of her future accomplishments. 🙂
Hello Harleena madam, welcome to DigitalGYD.
Its a pleasure to have you here. We have got a million of things to learn from you and lets start with something we both love; writing.
1) As we all know, you are a wonderful writer. Was it because you had a family connection with writing like your sister who is a writer? Or you had writing as your inner passion from a very young age?
Thanks so much Swadhin for having me over, and the kind words of appreciation. It’s wonderful to be here.
I’d say writing runs in the family and as kids, my sister and I inherited the writing genes from our mother, who had a flair for writing. My sister, who was a freelance writer and now an author, guided me further.
Now, even my Dad writes, though mainly for papers and journals. In fact, as I used to teach English earlier, it was my father who suggested that I should start writing, and since then there’s been no looking back.
2) You had a very successful freelance writing career, how did you come up with AHA-NOW. What were your immediate goals then?
Yes, I was doing very well as a freelance writer, and I started Aha!NOW initially to create a portfolio of my writings. However, things went much beyond that, and with time I became more of a blogger than a freelance writer.
People loved what I wrote and I started writing more for them, to help them in the best possible ways. All of this led from one thing to another, and I have my readers to thank for the success of the blog. 🙂
If I hadn’t started freelance writing, I wouldn’t have started a blog either. So, I should be grateful to the circumstances that pushed me into freelance writing. I believe that everything happens for a reason and for your good!
My goal to start Aha!NOW has always been to help people from all walks of life, and I am glad I’m able to accomplish it.
3) Seeing a full fledged Blog with a great dedicated community, how do you see your goals have shaped into?
The blog community developed over time – it was never my goal to consciously develop it. In fact, initially I had no blogging goal (which is not good).[ft_alert type=”info”] Check Out If you are making these 10 marketing mistakes [/ft_alert]
However, as blogging became my prime focus and as I realized the importance of a blog community, I decided to build my blog as a platform for fellow bloggers and to develop ways to empower the community.
I now have much clearer blogging goals and I’m happy with the way things have turned up.
Your goals sometimes change with time and circumstances and that is okay as far as it ends on a positive and profitable note. ( Click To Tweet )
4) You are popularly and rightfully called the “blog commenting queen” whom every blogger wishes to have in her/his reader response section. How does this feel?
It feels wonderful to gain this tag or name as you call it, though it’s happened very naturally, and I need to thank all the bloggers for this honor. I guess when you comment from your heart and it’s a meaningful comment that adds value, people tend to notice and appreciate it.
5) How difficult or easy has it been commenting on numerous blogs, regularly and genuinely.
Let me tell you – it is not easy! More so, as the number of blog visits increase, so do the number of comments. If you are regular and genuine commenter like me, it does take a while.
I feel, when you comment, you should express your true feelings about the post, without mincing words. Also, you should be more expressive when you reply to your own blog comments because your readers take out their precious time to go through your post, and leave a comment – so, the least you can do is reply from your heart. It’s the only way to express gratitude towards them.
6) How has blog commenting helped you and what advice would you give to use it to its full potential?
Blog comments are the lifeline of any blog, and I would suggest every blogger to enable comments, in case some of them don’t or have doubts. They have helped me build relationships with my fellow bloggers, and many of them have now become good blogging friends.
I look forward to receiving comments on my blog, just as every blogger does. Also, if you write thoughtful comments, whether on your blog or on other blogs, you create an image that portrays you and your preference. Perhaps that’s why I am better known for my blog comments than anything else. 🙂
My advice would be to always give a personal touch to your comments, just as if you are having a conversation with the blogger. Through comments you can develop a relationship with your readers, and over time they develop the trust in you.
7) Your freelance career paved the path to your successful blogging as it gave you the opportunity to write Search engine optimized posts. What do you think which is better when it comes to career?
Yes, I started my blog to showcase my writing, which led to gaining more popularity as a blogger. All of this was thanks to my freelance writing I’d say.
As a career, it’s not easy to manage both blogging and freelance writing consistently as you have to – write for clients and your own blog. That’s because blogging is a lot tougher as compared to freelance writing.
On the other hand, you are not known as a writer, unless you are an excellent one, and it takes time to become one. While as a successful blogger, you gain fame and name both, though making money from your blog, again takes time, till you learn about it and know when to monetize your blog.
So, it’s all about the choices you have to make at the end of the day.
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8) You have a huge reader community. Your readers compete to have their comment (even I do) on the first place after the very moment your post is live. What do you think what it takes to build a super responsive community like that?
That’s true! I am grateful to my readers and commenters who love the posts shared on Aha!NOW. I think they love to express their views and I love replying to them, which makes it an interactive community.
I don’t think there is any doubt that building relationships and practicing reciprocation is the base of building a responsive community.
I believe in the Law of Karma and the saying that you reap what you sow, or do onto others what you wish them do to you.
So, if you impart quality in your blogging efforts including content wiring, commenting, and social promotion, you get the same back – sooner or later. Even if you don’t, you are clear and happy at the end of the day for playing your part and scoring on your Karma points!
Now, since all the old and new bloggers come to the posts to comment, it becomes an attractive place for other bloggers to join the party. And obviously, the higher your comment is placed, the more chances are that other commenters will read your comment and also follow your link to visit your site too.
9) How does having a great number of comments help in search Rankings and what is your highest source of referral traffic.
Comments are good to create engagement on your blog. Engagement is definitely a factor that affects your ranking. If you talk of Alexa rank, you will greatly benefit if you have a highly engaging site. Engagement or a large number of comments also creates a good impression on the minds of the visitors and increases the probability of their becoming return visitors, or read more posts on the blog.
This in a way helps reduce the bounce rate and increase the frequency of return visits, which impresses Google and satisfies Alexa too. My highest source of referral traffic among social media is Pinterest and among sites it is “StartofHappiness”, which bestowed upon me the “top personal development blog” award, as mentioned in the “About Me” page on my blog.
10) What’s your secret to be the favorite among the experts and simultaneously being the Go-To-blogger for new bloggers.
There is no secret, Swadhin! I think just being simply me is what it takes. 🙂
Perhaps I interact and help new bloggers each time someone asks me something, either through the emails, tags, or notifications. While the experts take me to be part of them because of the number of years I’ve been blogging now, so they feel my knowledge and experience is valuable.
Thus, I guess the lesson is to be helpful to fellow bloggers and be passionate about blogging.
11) You are a mother, a daughter-in-law and a lover of cooking. How difficult or easy it is to manage time, keeping track on so many blogs and sharing each members’ post on social media?
Absolutely! However, I don’t call myself a housewife any longer because I haven’t been really for a while now. 🙂
I’ve led a hectic life, being busy with my projects – just like one works for a private company, working round the clock! Yes, I take care of my home and family, and I’m glad my husband is there with me, who shares the responsibilities also. Overall, life is busy and it’s challenging to manage both the blogs and home. But I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You know I love to share the posts of my blogging friend’s and the ABC members as well. It takes a while, but it’s the best way to give back and help them. Isn’t that what blogging is all about?
I’d say that time management is very important here, besides having a passion and discipline in life. I usually break my day into different time slots and prepare a schedule by fitting in it my routine tasks. This way you get an idea of the time spent to complete the tasks, and the time you need for yourself and your family.
12) You have been so influential in social media and sites like triberr. What do you suggest is it how many social sites are a must and which sites are the best when it comes to conversion.
Honestly speaking, I’ve never thought about conversion, nor have I thought about the best social media and then joined it. I just started with the main two initially, Facebook and Twitter, and later LinkedIn, followed by Google Plus.
Pinterest came in after that, once I heard of this new social media platform, and then Triberr. I kept joining them one by one. But the key is to be consistent on all of them and slowly you see the fans and followers adding up or converting, as you mentioned.
You really don’t have to do anything – just take it slow and be natural, that’s how I’ve done it. I know it’s tough to be all over, but if you can devote even a few minutes daily, you are good to go.
Having said that, I don’t think I can handle any more social sites now!
13) Please share your tools of trade.
If by tools of trade you mean the products and services that I use on my blog and in blogging, they are Premium WordPress themes by StudioPress and ThemeForest. I used the CommentLuv Premium plugin for some time, and my sites are hosted on Siteground now.
Other than these I use many of the free WordPress plugins like WP SEO, Wordfence, etc. I do not use any SEO plugin or applications but I might try them later. Also, I do not use any tricks for link building.
14) You have been getting constant support from your husband Vinay sir. How does he help to reduce your work at the backend so that you focus only on your area of expertise i.e., writing.
My husband, Vinay, has always been my pillar of strength and the major reason to push me to start my new blog HarleenaSingh.com now. I don’t think I’d have started it so soon, though it was in the pipeline for long.
He has always been working behind the scenes of Aha!NOW and is responsible for speeding up the blog, setting up all the features, plugins, and other technical aspects of both the blogs. I’d be totally lost without his help in this regard! Recently, he’s even started his blog services page, which we are building slowly now.
15) You have recently launched an awesome ABC i.e., Aha-Now Blog Community . Congratulations on that. J Tell us how has been the experience so far.
Thank you for saying that, Swadhin, and so glad that you are part of it too. The ABC has turned out to be a unique aspect of Aha!NOW, and it has helped structure an activity and forum based blog community.
It is a perfect blend of bloggers and non-bloggers, who visit the blog for a common purpose – to help themselves and others.
The ABC is exceptional – as the members love to share their blog posts, experiences, teach, learn, and discuss things to make their lives better.
16) Your honest reviews on this blog DigitalGYD.Com. Please elaborate what changes or improvement you would like to see both as a reader and a mentor.
Your blog has come up in such a good way, Swadhin, as I’ve been observing it from the very beginning. The credit for DigitalGYD doing so well solely goes to your hard work and efforts.
I know it’s not been easy till recently for you, with the poor connectivity issues, yet you managed to provide quality content and develop your freelance writing skills too. I wish you all the best for your future endeavors as well. 🙂
17) Our readers would like to follow you. Please share your social links.
Blog – Aha-Now.com
New Blog- HarleenaSingh.com (coming soon!)
Also, I’m mostly active on my blog so if you decide to become a member of my community by registering yourself at the forum, then we can have live chats and discussions anytime 🙂
Thanks so much Swadhin for having me over. It was a pleasure being here 🙂
Thank you Harleena maa’am for sharing so much with us. It has been a inspirational journey with you in blogosphere. I am sure my readers got to know more of you and moreover learned from you. I recommend joining the FREE bloggers’ community where you get to learn a LOT from fellow bloggers, show your skills an expertise y helping others and also promote your blog posts for that extra targeted visibility.