Aha!NOW Blog by Harleena Singh

My name is Harleena Singh, and I am a professional blogger and freelance writer. I’ve two blogs – Aha!NOW, which is a successful self development blog, and HarleenaSingh that I’ve just started.

Being recognized as a blogger has lead to many awards and achievements, which I possibly cannot list all here. But you can read about most of them on my blog’s ‘About’ page.

Harleena Singh Interview - Author Pic

Please tell us something about yourself? Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

It’s good to be interviewed on your blog, Marco. Blogging is my profession, though let me add here that I started blogging as a hobby. It has now become my full-time occupation, which I’m very passionate about. I started my online career with freelance writing – blogging was totally unexpected and unplanned.

When did you get an idea to launch your own blog and how important is it for you to be online?

After starting off successfully with my freelance writing career, it was by the end of 2010 that I decided to create my own blog in a way to improve my writing, showcase my ability to write on various niche topics, and to create a portfolio of my writing works.

Being a blogger and writer, it’s essential to be online, especially as I have a full-fledged blog community to maintain.

So, I am always online blogging and doing other tasks, including promoting my posts on the various social networks, bookmarking sites, forums, directories and other places. Not to mention commenting, whether on my blog or visiting other blogs, this makes me stay online for a long time.

Did you have someone help you make your blog or did you do it by yourself?

As I started my blogs on the free Blogger’s platform earlier, it was easy to set it up. However, my husband, Vinay, has always been there to help me. He has always been working behind the scenes of Aha!NOW and is responsible for establishing and speeding up the blog, setting up all the features, plugins, and other technical aspects of the blog. I’d be totally lost without his help in this regard! Recently, he’s even commenced his blog services page, which we have started on our blog.

Harleena Singh Interview - Aha!NOW Logo

The right domain name is important. How long did it take you to come up with the domain name for your blog?

Yes, the right domain name is essential, and it’s good if it’s a name related to your niche and the one that includes a keyword to show up in the searches.

However, being a new blogger, I did not know anything about how to choose the right domain name. I just thought of having a unique name, and Aha!NOW for me was like “Eureka” for Archimedes. My husband and I discussed on it for a few minutes and just booked the name, so it was almost an instantaneous decision. Having said that, if we knew about the importance of a domain name, we might have done things differently.

What kind of Theme do you use on your blog and what are the “must have” plugins for a blog?

Presently I am using premium WordPress themes by StudioPress and ThemeForest, and my sites are hosted on Siteground and DigitalOcean.

My must have plugins are Yoast SEO, Wordfence, Jetpack, Akismet, and W3 Total Cache. Other than these I have used the CommentLuv Premium plugin for sometime on my blog. I do not use any SEO plugin or applications but I might try them later.

What CMS (Content Management System) do you use on your blog? How hard is it to navigate within your CMS (making a new post, inserting images, moderating comments, etc.)?

I use WordPress on my blog though I started off on the Blogger platform. I find that WordPress is better and easier to manage. I do not find it hard to do anything on my WordPress blog. Probably it is because I’m by now so used to it.

Nevertheless, the entire process of blogging, consisting of creating new posts, inserting images, formatting the posts, publishing it, and then managing the comments is simple on WordPress.

Harleena Singh Interview - Content Pic

How much time do you spend blogging?

A LOT of time! Now that blogging is my profession, I need to regard it as my business and put in as much time as possible. Not to mention that blogging also consists of taking care of the social media, blog visits, comments, the blog community, taking care of the emails, and lots more!
However, as bloggers we need to wear many hats, thus if we know the fine art of time-management, we can get things done in a systematic way.

How do you promote your blog? Do you use social media channels to attract more visitors to your blog?

There is no one way to promote a blog, but yes I always share my posts on the various social networks once they are published.I personally share blog posts on my Facebook profile and both the fan pages, Google Plus profile and page, and of course Twitter and my Twitter pages too.

Other than these main platforms, there is LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, other bookmarking sites, and Pinterest, which works wonders for my blog as it brings me daily traffic.

All these social media channels attract several visitors to my site, though a lot depends how interactive your audience is on these networks and how many fans or followers you have there.

Is there a way to monetize (make money) through a blog?

Of course, there are many ways to monetize a blog. It depends on what type of blog, blog audience, and blog niche you have.

I’ve always used Google Adsense since the beginning and tried some banner advertising, which are the easiest ways to make money online. However, if you’re more interested in making money, it’s best to try sponsored posts/reviews, affiliate ads and links, selling personal ebooks and products, and finally, personal consultancy.

Harleena Singh Interview - Content Pic

Would you encourage other people to make their own blogs?

Being a professional blogger, I would certainly encourage others to start their own blogs. However, the type of blog you create would depend on your needs. But as a blogger, you need be consistent and committed, and give in your best before expecting any kinds of returns. If you are willing to do all of this and are passionate about blogging, then blogging is for you.

Please give us some advice for new bloggers and for people who are still not sure if they need a blog of their own?

Blogging can be fun, and you can only be successful in it if you take it seriously as a profession, especially if you wish to earn from your blog, eventually.

Blogging can give you name and fame internationally, I know as it has done to me. If not completely substituting your income, your blog can at least be a source of supplemental income.

As a new blogger, you need to take out a little time daily to read other blogs and learn from the leaders or the successful bloggers. Spend time to know what you’ve to do, and create a plan of how you’re going to achieve your aim.

If you wish to become a successful blogger, you need to be regular, dedicated, committed, and be there to help others with the best of your intentions. Remember, it’s always about others more than yourself in blogging. 🙂
Life is short – make it worth the while 🙂

 
If you wish to connect with me – here are my various profiles –
Website- Freelancewriter.co
Blog – Aha-now.com
New Blog – HarleenaSingh.com (coming soon!)
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/harleenasingh.freelancewriter
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/harleenas
Google+- http://plus.google.com/+HarleenaSingh
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/harleenasingh

Photos ©: Aha!NOW

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16 thoughts on “Aha!NOW Blog by Harleena Singh

  1. Hi Marco,

    Good to be featured on your blog:)

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share a little about my blog and myself with your readers. I hope my interview can help people.

    Have a nice day ahead 🙂

    • Thank you Harleena for your precious time. I’m definitely sure that your blogging experience will come in handy to the blogging beginners.

      Have a wonderful week 🙂

  2. Hi Harleena,

    Congratulations on your interview here, and on your new blog. Will check it out right now.

    I remember that you are one of those successful bloggers who started her blog as a hobby and I was a witness of how your blog improved year after year, since I have known your blog since its early days.

    I’ve been very busy lately and have seldom read blog posts for the past month or so, but I’m back.

    You have a great day!

    ~Sylviane

    • Hi Sylviane,

      Good to see you here. 🙂

      Thanks for your kind words, and yes, the new blog would be starting soon, though we are working on another project alongside, thus the little delay.

      Absolutely! I did start my online journey as a freelance writer, just like you. But it was later that I took up blogging, and the hobby turned into a wonderful profession.

      I know as I’ve been seeing the lovely pictures you’ve been sharing on Facebook. Glad you are back, while I’d still take some time to return from my break.

      Thanks for stopping by. We appreciate it. 🙂

    • Hi Paritosh,

      Nice to meet you here. 🙂

      Glad you liked the interview and found it informative. Yes indeed, blogging IS all about being passionate about your blog and work that you do, besides imparting value to your readers. Earning money comes in much later and shouldn’t be the only focus point for bloggers.

      Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate it 🙂

  3. Hi Harleena, How wonderful to discover you here at First Site Guide! Marco selected an excellent example of how a professional blogger can be successful. You are a shining example of how to do blogging right.

    Your articles cover everything from the tough topics to instruction to inspiration. I never know what I’ll find at AhaNOW! but I always know I’ll learn something of value.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom here, Harleena. Anyone considering blogging would be well served to follow in your footsteps.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      So good to see you here as well 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words of appreciation. The credit of this interview goes to you my friend, as it was via you that Marco and I got connected on this blog.

      So glad you find the articles at my blog of value, and had it not been for wonderful readers and friend’s like you who inspire me to carry on, I wonder where I’d be!

      Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate it. 🙂

  4. Hi Marco and hello Harleena maam,
    Very well conducted interview Marco. A lot of takeables here.

    It is true.Social media and community management are the integral parts of blogging and if not done wisely they can take away much more time.

    I too love WordPress, being someone who started off with blogger, I know can be how limiting.

    Have a great week ahead 🙂

    -Swadhin

    • Hi Swadhin,

      Nice to see you here. 🙂

      Yes indeed, Marco asked some wonderful questions that made me come up with these answers. So glad you liked them.

      That’s true. We need to handle things with care, especially social media and the time we tend to spend on it. Although the Blogger platform is good too, but WordPress is certainly better for those who wish to take up blogging as a profession.

      Thanks for stopping by, and have a nice week ahead as well. 🙂

  5. Hi Harleena,

    Always inspiring when I get to read one of your interviews. Always pick up another gold nugget of blogging information.

    Agree with you completely about the fine art of time management and being organized. Easy to get lost doing the socials and forget to keep your blog up to date.

    Thanks for some more great Blogging advice.
    C.

    • Hi Cararta,

      So good to see you here, and I am sorry for replying late – as I never got notifications for these comments. But glad I checked up and found them all now 🙂

      Glad you liked the interview and little tips shared. Yes, nothing works without learning how to manage our time, especially for working moms and women bloggers, isn’t it? True, social media and several other distractions can surely keep us away from work.

      Thanks for stopping by, we do appreciate it 🙂

  6. Hey Harleena/Marco,

    Great post. I read it with greedy eyes. Thanks for the advice on the plugins. I have several but I will check out the others that I do not have. Valuable information.

    I was like you Harleena, I had no idea about domain names but one night I came up with Dig A Little Deeper, somebody had it so I played around with numbers until I got it. I was determined. Now had I know what I know now, I would have seen someone having the name as a sign to choose another name. Oh well.

    I love the question how much time do you spend on you blog. I see you every where do you not blog from the time you open your eyes, until the time you close them and maybe even half asleep. Your presence is recognisable and your energy an amazing credit to you.

    You are a great guide Harleena, who I take a lot from, that is why when I saw this I dropped everything. Thanks for sharing, I do appreciate it.

    Rachel

    • Hi Rachel,

      Good to see you here 🙂

      Sorry for the late reply as I hadn’t got any email notification about these comments, but glad I am sitting to reply to the few pending ones now.

      So glad you liked the post, and yes, plugins are in plenty, but we need to use just the ones we need and not go overboard, which I know is tempting, as they would effect the loading time of the blog.

      I can understand your situation, being a new blogger, and I think most of us go through that initial phase and only learn with time. I know it’s happened with me and the learning phase may’ve taken a while, but it’s been an enjoyable journey. Also, because one’s self-learned most of the things, one’s sure to remember them.

      Lol…that’s true my friend because over these five years, my circle of blogging friend’s has only grown larger by the day, which you’d also notice slowly.

      Even though I visit so many blogs, comment, and share the posts daily, I still am not able to cover them all, which makes me feel bad, but I do try and make it all I can. And there goes my weekend sometimes for that as well. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming, as one’s only human, and then we look forward to the weekends, breaks, holidays, and get aways!

      Thanks so much for your kind words, and taking the time to stop by, we so appreciate it. 🙂

  7. Hi Macro and Harleena Mam,
    Indeed an excellent interview post, I must appreciate it. 🙂
    The answer given by you is very helpful and balanced on other hand Macro has selected few wonderful questions that has opened lots of opportunities for new bloggers to learn from the experience of Harleena mam.
    Thank You very much for a wonderful post. 🙂

    • Hi Kumar,

      So good to see you after such a long time – how have you been? 🙂

      Glad you liked the questions, and yes, had it not been for Marco’s questions, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with these answers, so the credit goes to him.

      Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate it 🙂

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