Say hello to Janine Ella! She used to write at ablissfulblog.com now, she is Wandering Ella; and I love her new blog as much as her old one. Luckily, I got a chance to interview her for my Blog Talk series. Here’s what she has to say.
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Who is Janine Ella Anongos and what is wanderingella.com?
I am a 23-year old mommy of one who works as a full time Software Engineer but has the passion for blogging. Wandering Ella serves as an outlet where I share my love for food and dream to travel.
How did you first get into blogging?
It all started when I had a girl crush who was a photographer and a blogger. When I read her blog, I thought that I wanted to have my own. In short, I wanted to be like her and do things that she does. Haha!
Can you share some of your strengths that helped you succeed in blogging?
I believe it all comes down to my passion and commitment. Blogging is not easy and to succeed in it, you have to love what you do and put your heart in everything that you do.
How will you describe your style as a blogger?
I rebranded my blog to Wandering Ella to fulfill my dreams and goals in exploring new places, seeking adventure, and eating more. So this year and in the coming years, Wandering Ella will be a little space where I share my personal travel diaries and random food adventures.
How do you enhance your blog’s traffic and engagement?
I am a certified blog-hopper! I love reading different kinds of blogs and leave comments. I also make sure that I leave my blog link so they can get back to me if they’d want too. I also join blog syndications and of course, WordPress’ SEO plugin is a great help.
How do you think can a blogger best serve his readers?
By being an honest blogger. It’s evident that blogs are one of the most-visited and most-searched sites where readers can find information about almost everything they want to know. Readers search for blogs who have reviewed products they want to try. And as a blogger, you should be honest in everything you write because people would rely from the information that they found on your blog.
What is your ideal working environment?
I usually blog in my room at home and in the office (Hehehe!) but I’m not really picky on places where I can blog. As long as there’s a good wifi connection and food is readily available, I can manage. Haha!
How do you manage your time to be efficient in blogging?
Actually, I don’t think I’m that efficient in blogging. I just make sure that my blog is updated at least once a week. Usually, when I had a recent travel or food trip, I dedicate my time in editing photos and uploading them all on my blog at home during weekends. If I got extra time, I draft the post and schedule it for the week. But that’s not usually the case these past few days, so I make all the writing stuff in the office and schedule it for posting within the week.
What other things you want to improve in yourself?
I want to learn more about SEO and designing blogs. I LOOOOVE tweaking my themes but when it comes to PHP codes in WordPress, I give up. I also want to learn how to make a blog theme from scratch one day.
Have you experienced some failure in blogging? How did you cope up with it?
What was your biggest achievement as a blogger so far?
I have not received any awards as a blogger but being nominated and recognized is already a big achievement for me. Though winning isn’t so bad, right? Anyway, before Wandering Ella, my previous blog was nominated in Best Cebu Blogs under the Best Cebu Photo Blog 2015. Another one was being nominated in Bloggys 2015 under the Lifestyle and Hobbies category. Yayyy!
Who influenced you most in blogging and how?
To that girl crush I had back in college, thank you! Haha. She was definitely the one person who influenced me most because I wouldn’t discover my passion for blogging if not because of her.
Where would you like to be in blogging 5 years from now?
A famous travel and lifestyle blogger where Wandering Ella is one of the top sources for must-visit places and must-try cafes and restaurants.
What was the most challenging moment in blogging so far?
The most challenging moments in my blogging journey all comes down to one thing: time. Juggling my full-time job and blogging is really hard especially when you have event invites on weekdays and in between working hours. Even most of my vacation leaves are spent to attend events that I believe are good opportunities and worth it. Even blogging in a timely manner is difficult. One blog post is equivalent to two or three days’ worth since as I have mentioned earlier, I write my posts in the office.
Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and why are they your favorite?
First would be of course, my girl crush named Anne Uy who blogs at blog.anneuy.com. I love her works and I love how humble she is despite of everything she has already achieved in life.
Second would be Kryz Uy. I was into fashion blogging before because of her. I was inspired to dress up and look good for myself because of her.
Last would be Aileen Adalid of iamaileen.com. Her blog is my inspiration that I decided to rebrand from fashion to travel blogging. But I’m not thinking of leaving my full-time job to travel just yet. I have priorities and responsibilities that I need to focus on first. Haha!
What inspired you to start your blog?
At first I was just curious on what blogging really was. It was after I gave birth that I have really decided to blog seriously. I don’t really know what inspired me. You know that feeling when you’re doing things involuntarily and you just go with it? That’s the feeling I had when I decided to click the sign up button on Blogspot three years ago.
What motivates you in keeping your blog up and running?
Passion, commitment, and goals. These three are what motivates me to keep learning and improving in blogging.
Do you personally get invitations from personalities and businesses?
A couple of times I had personal invites, so yes.
Do you get paid for blogging about certain trends or stores?
Yes, for sponsored posts and ads.
What do you think is the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
No engagement with other bloggers or readers. I used to blog on Tumblr back then and the reason I moved to Blogspot because I felt like the audience were only hitting the heart button without really reading what I post. Or maybe they were just the silent reader types but I love hearing what my readers have to say. I love answering questions. I love engaging with fellow bloggers, readers, and followers.
What is the difference between your life before blogging and now?
I didn’t care about taking photos of what I eat before, for one. Haha. I didn’t have the dream to travel if I haven’t started blogging and read travel blogs. I believe my life is better now.
How much time do you spend in blogging?
Usually 3 hours or more. Especially when I have another idea on tweaking my blog theme. Haha.
Is blogging your profession or a hobby?
For now, it’s a hobby. I’m still reflecting and working on how to be a professional blogger. I have even wrote a blog post dedicated to my realizations and reflections about me and my blogging “career”.
Would you encourage others to make their blog?
Yes of course!
What would you tell people who wants to start their own blog?
Make sure you blog for the right reasons. Don’t blog because of blogger perks and opportunities, it’s actually just a bonus you know.