Did you ever see any comments on your blog posts from people who are non-bloggers? It is very rare to see comments from people who are not bloggers unless if you write about some political issues or matters affecting a particular section of people in the society. Whatever is the topic of discussion, only people who have an interest in the topic will write a comment and try to interact. Here I am introducing a blogger who, used to make comments on the blogs of others, even before he started his own blog.It shows the interest and enthusiasm of that person who is none other than Philip Verghese Ariel, who needs no introduction to most of my readers. Still I need to introduce this gentleman blogger to people who are not familiar with him. Here are the details of the discussion I had with him.
Reji: Can you introduce yourself to my blog readers in case a few of them may not be familiar with you?
P VAriel: Oh sure! My original name is Philip Verghese, but, commonly known among friends as, Ariel, ‘Phil’ or ‘P V’. Born and brought up in Kerala, a southern state in India. Now settled in Telangana yet another southern state in India. A freelance writer and an editor of a bi-monthly magazine called “Confident Living,” married and having two grown up sons. Wife also is a working woman. I manage few blogs in English and Malayalam (my native language).
Reji: I was a bit confused about your last name “Ariel” I understand that it’s your NonDe Plume! Is there any reason to select this name as your pen name?
P V Ariel:Yes, this is yet another apt question to answer! Yes, there is a big story behind this, and I would like to invite you to read that story in one of my blogger pages here: The Story Behind My Pen Name ‘Ariel.’
Reji: Many of the bloggers including myself do not have a background in writing. But you had been into writing before you started your blog. Could you please explain how much that motivated or encouraged you in blogging?
P V Ariel: Yes, I have been in the writing arena from a very young age. In fact, this passion developed in me at a very young age, if my memory does not go wrong, when I was studying in the 5th or 6th standard I used to jot down poems and snippets on notebooks and read it loudly in my home. I faced a lot of opposition from my family members for this act. To tell you the truth that does not end there and I secretly developed that and started writing different notes in the notebooks. That is a big story, and you can read a part of that at this link here.
Yes, as I said I had the passion for writing and I developed it in different ways. Of course, sad to say, all these are not in the English language instead it was all in Malayalam.
In short, this passion urged me to enter slowly into English language and started writing poems and letters to different publications. After reaching Secunderabad from my native place and the stay with my elder sister’s family was a new turn in my writing journey. My Sister’s encouragement helped me a lot to turn into the field of journalism and I completed my degree and joined for the Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism and that paved way to enter into the field of English writing and later to the English blogging. Yes, those writing experiences in Malayalam motivated me to write in English and thus started writing on the blog pages.
Reji: Running more than one blog is a time-consuming process. Still, how do you manage to blog in two different languages at the same time? Could you explain a little bit about that?
P V Ariel: Yes, as we (bloggers) all know Blogging is a tedious and time-consuming job. One need to put a lot of efforts into it. Otherwise, one cannot succeed in this field. As I said earlier my English writing started with writing letters to different blog posts, I mean as we call it here “blog comments.”
My comments on different blog pages attracted many people, and some of them started asking me about my blog page, and to their surprise I said I do not have one! And that prompted me to start one and I started thinking of creating one and with the help and advice of one of my colleagues and few friends I started one. Initially, I started writing small posts and later developed in an extended scale. My first blog page’s name too is Philipscom and that was with Google’s Blogspot pages. Yes, writing or managing a blog is a time-consuming process, and then managing different one is still more a difficult task. But to tell you the truth in the initial stage of these processes I burned lots of midnight oil that is it! Hope you got some idea! Since blogging is a part- time job, and I have an 8 hour a day full-time job. After coming from the office most of my time I used to spend on these activities like interacting with readers via mail, chat and over the phone. This increased on a large scale and more readers started dropping in. Interacting with them too was a difficult one and still in the wee hours of the night I managed to do all these. And the process still continues, and it slightly got affected my health too! So these days I reduced my time spending using the system for writing pages or related activities of blogging.
Reji: Writing in your own language or writing in English, what make you more satisfied?
P V Ariel: Of course I was more satisfied with my writing in Malayalam, since that is my native language, and I am more accustomed to it and my major writings are in that language and that really gives me more satisfaction. But at the same time there is an equally clear picture on the other side of the coin. Yes, these days, after creating my pages with a new domain in WordPress, the wonderful responses, love and encouragements I receive from the English writing/speaking friends that really give me a bit more higher satisfaction. In short, both give me satisfaction! And, in fact, I am in a dilemma to give a specific answer to this question! Which is on the high side? LOL
Reji: Do you have any tips for newbie bloggers for time management, especially when you are blogging in two languages?
P V Ariel: Time Management! Oh! My… This is really a difficult question to answer, since I did not follow any time management in this regard LOL, but still I work mainly on a priority basis of which is more essential to do or finish, accordingly I do or manage both pages.
Reji: Can you name five bloggers and their blogs that influenced you and the reasons why they are so important?
Ariel: Reji, it is again a difficult question to answer, since there are a good number of people to name who influenced me in my blogging journey. Since that will be a long list, and I prefer not to use this space for that. Not only that, by chance if I missed any name worth mentioning, that will be again an irreparable mistake I make! So Reji, I would like to skip this question.
Reji: Do you have any blogging mentor who actually helped you in your blogging journey so far? Is there anyone to support you with the technical issues?
P V Ariel: Yes, I have a few of them in this category. Before mentioning their name, I need to mention a few words about my beginning of this journey where I received lots of help in blogging. As I mentioned elsewhere, my blogging journey began with Google’s Knol pages, where I got a number of friends they are very helpful, and I learned a lot from them. Among them a few names if I do not mention I will not show justice to this question as well as to those dear ones.
Yes, when I think of my English writing, especially blogging the very first name comes to my mind is Dr. Johnson C. Philip a Knol author, a scientist and a Christian Apologist who helped me in different ways to start a blog. He manages a good number of blog and web pages. He writes in English and Hindi languages on various subjects like science, religion, etc. He is one of the well-known numismatists in India and writes about it in his web pages. Next comes is Prof. K V S S N Narayana Rao, yet another Knol Author and a prolific blogger who still writes on different educational and social subjects through his Blogspot blogs. Then comes, Peter Bhaskerville an Australian entrepreneur educationalist and a blogger who writes about Coffee and various other educational subjects. His Quora answers are well received. Next is Gust MEES, a gentleman from Luxembourg who writes on Education and different other niches. Mohrum Kalifa a blogger who writes in English and Arabic language, then is Jagdeesh Mohan Kumar (Jag) an SEO expert who handles various SEO related subjects in his blog pages. You can read some of the related articles I Co-authored with these famous personalities in my Knol pages which is now migrated to wordpress.com pages. Last but not the least is my friend Faisal Babu a Malayalam Blogger from Kunfuda (KSA) who helped me a lot in my Malayalam blog writing.
Next in line comes is my real mentor or tutor on the technical side of blogging, Bro. Rejoy Poulose, commonly known as Rejoy Poomala, an Engineer, who works in a famous broadcasting company in Kerala. He is a web designer and a WordPress expert and runs several blogs and web pages. In fact, my present web page is the brainchild of Rejoy. After developing this new page and domain, I got connected with more people and among them many are still helping me in developing my blogging arena. I do not know what to call them mentors, supporters, councilors or whatever… but I prefer to call them my fellow beloved bloggers! Thank you very much to all. Hey Reji as I feared at the beginning of this question’s answer, I think it is a bit longer one!
Reji: If given a choice, do you like to be known as a writer or blogger? Please tell me the reasons behind your favorite choice?
P V Ariel: Yes, if given a chance I would always like to be known as a writer, of course the reason behind this choice is that, since my school college days I used to read a lot of writing (poems, stories, and other articles) of famous Malayalam authors, and by reading through their write-ups I always had an inner feeling or let me put this way, “A Secret Desire” to become a writer. Yes, that feeling or desire always led me in my life, that one day I will be a well-known writer. Though the dream is yet not fulfilled! But I could very well say that I could reach up to a certain level.
Of course, those days there was no such things like blog, blogging or blogger. But at the present scenario, to be known as a blogger is yet preferable since, each and every writer has a blog page. And in the process the writer will be known again as a blogger too! LOL
Reji: You seem to be a very trustworthy person. Does that help you a lot in retaining your readers?
P V Ariel: Yes, indeed with full confidence I can say that I am a trustworthy person! I firmly believe that there is no need to add the word “it seems” in between that question! LOL
Yes, through our activities online, we can definitely reveal our identity in a measure. That in returns brings a lot of accolades to you and your page. I personally experienced it, and a large number of people contact me regularly via mail and phone calls, and I share what all I learned through this journey of blogging. And from their testimonies and appreciation I can very well say that the same attitude helped me a lot in bagging those accolades. You can read a post about it that explains what others say about Philipscom.
Reji: Could you please explain any tactics that helped you much for reader engagement?
P V Ariel: Building a strong relationship with the fellow bloggers can fetch a lot of mileage in our blogging journey. That is what I experienced and learned through blogging. Our comments on fellow bloggers’ pages surely will help in building a relationship. We need to be more careful while dropping comments, a solid, apt and constructive comment will get noticed by the very author of the page as well as others. That will surely fetch a reply from the writer and will pave the way to make a good relationship with that person or the owner of the blog. Whenever I talk about blog comments, I repeatedly say one thing that I would like to point out in this answer too!
“Yes, Comments can play a vital role in various aspects of blogging! Concentrate on and drop valuable and interactive and constructive comments to the fellow blogger’s pages, I am sure this tactic will help to get more reader engagement.”
Of course I found many people just drop one line or one word comments just to get backlinks to their pages, this attitude will not help any longer, such comments can easily be recognized by others and eventually that goes to the drain!
Reji:Could you explain the best traffic generating strategy using social media which works better for you?
P V Ariel: The social media button placed on our pages can easily do the trick. Though I have accounts on many social sites, I mainly concentrate on the major ones like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tsu, LinkedIn, Digg, and a few others. Apart from this my major traffic source is from different community forums the major ones I am involved in, is kingged.com and AhaNOW/ABC.com
Commenting on fellow bloggers’ pages and interacting with them through comments can play a vital role in this aspect. Here is a connected post that I wrote about traffic generating strategy, 9 Tips to Get Traffic into your Blog Pages.
Reji:Do you have any instances of meeting any celebrity or important person either online or in real life, because of the reason that you are a blogger?
P V Ariel: Meeting a celebrity in real life never happened so far! But meeting many such wonderful people online happened numerous times and is still happening! Though there were many chances (fellow bloggers’ personal requests and invitations) to meet wonderful bloggers in bloggers meet and other forums meet, so far I could not make it, sad to say due to various reasons I could not fulfill it so far. Reji, I remember that you wrote a wonderful post about meeting people through blogging.
Reji: What would you prioritize? Readers? Content? SEO? Traffic?
P V Ariel; Reji, this is indeed a wonderful question! Nice that you asked! Yes, all these are equally important to a blogger, but no doubt, I give priority to my readers. All others will be secondary! The reason is that my readers are the backbone of my blogs or writings! If I do not care about them, what is the use in concentrating on SEO, Content or whatever! LOL
Reji:Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years from now as a Pro-blogger?
P V Ariel:Reji, this is really yet another difficult question to answer! In fact, I don’t believe in destiny, I mean fortune or luck; I even prefer to avoid those words in my general vocabulary, so I cannot predict where I will be in five years! This does not mean that I am a pessimist; instead I am an optimist, I always believe something good will happen today or tomorrow or some other day!
Oh, My… A Pro Blogger! Oh NO! To reach that level I believe or let me put it this way, or use the words of our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He said, and I quote: “Miles to go before I sleep” let me add one more line to it! Yes, “Many more sleepless nights need to add to it to reach that level or to procure that title! LOL
Anyways, my aim too is to move or to achieve that level at a stipulated time! And I strive to reach that goal, but I leave the rest to the God Almighty!
Reji: One last question, Could you share five factors that motivate you as a blogger so that it may become an inspiration for other bloggers as well?
P V Ariel:Motivation is the key word here!
Yes, with a good intention if we move forward, we will be a success in all that we do.
Some of the bloggers and their activities if we carefully watch, we get enough motivation to go forward.
Coming to the point, to the newbie bloggers, my sincere advice is to read more and read more about your selected subject, only by reading or studying other fellow authors’ write-ups, one can develop a stand in writing, of course this does not mean that one must copy exactly as what others do. Instead, it may come out as a unique one! Nurture it in your own style and develop it and write more and more, that is: Read, Read, Read and Read… unless and until a blogger become a reader he cannot survive in this field. Read and get more knowledge especially from the fellow bloggers’ write-ups. That will undoubtedly increase our knowledge and simultaneously leads to sharing it with your readers. Read a relevant article (A Guest Post) written by the famous SEO Expert and Blogger Atish Ranjan: Why Should Bloggers Read A Lot?
Yes, since I always like to share my blessings (knowledge) with my fellow beings I will always utilize such opportunities coming on my way to help others with my accrued knowledge. I firmly believe that unless and until you share the accumulated knowledge, it gets stagnated and becomes useless. Instead, if we share it, that will surely increase! Or we can get more knowledge on the said subject. In fact, when I say about this I am again reminded of my beloved mother who left behind this character for us to follow. You can read a memoir about my mother here.
Before closing this note, I would like to add one quote which I often use while in conversation or writing. It is a quote by one of the Founding Fathers’ of America, Benjamin Franklin. He said and I quote: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
Yes, let others say that there was a man who lived among us who shared what all knowledge he accrued to the benefit of his fellow beings! Let us make note of this and live or spend our time for others and for their benefits! That will surely be a great thing we can do while we live on this earth!
P V Ariel: Thanks Reji for allowing me to be a part of your wonderful blog page, and I am indeed honored by offering this opportunity to share my experiences with your beloved readers.
Reji: Actually I am the one who should thank you for sharing your valuable experience with my readers. It is a great pleasure and honour that you have devoted your valuable time with us.
You can reach Philip through his social networks using the links below.
Also read:-Interview with Charlene Baker
Image source: Pixaybay.com