Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Bloggers success story | Interview with Ashley Faulkes

Welcome back friends, today we will be going through the success story of a blogger cum wordpress web designer - 'Ashley Faulkes'. Before looking further, let me ask you a question : "Who doesn't know Ashley ?"; well certainly the answer would be 'No one' ! Yes Ashley is well known social networker and is well connected, not only with top influencers but also with many beginners. I am not much surprised to see his comments as well as truthful conversations in almost all blogs, web pages, social media like LinkedIn, twitter etc. Such is the connectivity of Ashley, and of course everybody knows the same.

Ashley is basically a blogger who blogs about topics ranging from social media to SEO, wordpress etc. He is the owner of the famous wordpress web developing site 'Madlemmings'. In spite of being a developer, he is also a good supporter as well as motivator to many bloggers. His friendly and encouraging nature helped many people achieve success in their blogging career - one among them being 'Lorraine Reguly'. She gave credits to him by awarding 'One Lovely Blog" award.

Ashley believes that making strong and friendly online relations is more important than making money itself. With this motto, he has been working till now and I hope he will be continuing his attitude throughout his blogging career. Within a year he achieved greater heights that any ordinary blogger couldn't achieve !

Below is the status of Ashley Faulkes social media presence 

OK, here are my questions and Ashley's response

1. What did you do before your presence in social media (blogging) ?

Ashley's reply :

For the last 13 years I have been working in Web Development, designing and programming web applications for large companies in Switzerland. This is actually not something I studied (I studied Mechanical Engineering in Australia some years ago) but I learnt this on the job here in Switzerland and have since moved into Web Design, Wordpress, Blogging and Social Media.

2. Why did you choose blogging ? Is there any strong reason ? Please state any three reasons.

Ashley's reply :

That is an interesting question with a fun answer. I do a lot of sport here in Switzerland. It is a country where everyone spends a lot of time outdoors. I love to hike, mountain bike and ski. Last year I broke my lower leg into 37 pieces while skiing, and was at home for quite a while recovering. During this time I decided to start a blog.

I had been looking into this for quite a while as a way to move into marketing, mainly because I had developed an online tool for making bookings that I wanted to sell online. So I used this time off work wisely. I started blogging and developed an online presence. Here is my post on why I started blogging.

3. For how long have you been in this field and what is your followers' status after one year of start ?

Ashley's reply :

I have been into blogging for almost one year. My main following is on Twitter, where I have over 6000 followers, Pinterest with nearly 800 and Google+ with 1300. But these numbers do not mean that much. It is really the relationships that you develop while blogging and on social media that are the most important.

4. We know that you are good at mentoring, How did you get the thought of guiding people ?

Ashley's reply :

Thanks for the compliment! I hope I am a good mentor.

I have actually done a lot of teaching and training throughout my career and I find it one of the most fun things that I have done. I love interacting with people, teaching them what I know and watching them grow. It is what drives me to keep working online.

5. What are the products offered through your blog ? What other products you offer offline ?

Ashley's reply :

I started to build some online courses last year, and in January launched two Twitter courses.

Recently I also started to offer services on my blog to help keep me going. I now offer the following:
So if you need any help, feel free to get in touch!

6. How did you manage to drive traffic to your blog in the beginning ?

Ashley's reply :

Starting a blog from zero is tough. If you do not have a social media following or presence online it takes a long time. The best advice I can give anyone is to develop connections and relationships through whatever channels you can. And also, join blogging communities like Triberr and Kingged to help find like-minded people and get your content shared. Building your social media following is also important, but will not have as large an impact as the above, in my opinion.

7. Did you at anytime feel like "Am I doing right ? Is this useful ?" during your blogging career ?

Ashley's reply :

Of course, we all have down moments and times when we feel we are not getting anywhere with blogging. We usually do it alone at home or after work, and do not have any direct help or support. So of course it is tough. But if you have a long-term goal in mind I find that it helps to keep you motivated.

Also, you have to constantly try new things - each month I try something new. New ways to drive traffic, meet new people, new types of posts etc. If you always do the same, both you and your readers will get bored and you will lose motivation.

8. Which blogs inspired you to start your own ? 

Ashley's reply :

When I started out I remember blogs like Quick Sprout, Social Mouths, Traffic Generation Cafe and a few other big ones were the ones that I really looked up to. But lately I have moved more towards podcasts, where I find even more useful information that I can listen to while working out or walking. So I use my time more wisely and get great ideas at the same time! I recommend it.

9. Could  you list some of your favorite influencers and co-bloggers ?

Ashley's reply :

As I mentioned earlier, Neil Patel is a big influence for me, as he is so creative and brings only great value to his audience. I also admire Pat Flynn for what he has achieved with his blog and podcast and the way that he gives so much to his audience. More recently I have started following James Schramko (a fellow Aussie) from Super Fast Business. He gives away so much business information it is crazy!

10. Whom are your family supporters ?

Ashley's reply :

My biggest support is my partner Ann. She and I both live away from our families in Switzerland so we always need to support each other in what we do.

11. Can you briefly explain some of your achievements as a blogger ? Something that you can't forget !

Ashley's reply :

There are probably a few things that have really amazed me while blogging. One is the ability to get close to influential people online and the other is to help people all around the world.

I have been lucky to have met the owner's of, and been allowed to guest post on high ranking blogs such as
But on the other side I have been able to help some new bloggers get started and solve problems they were having. These people I now consider as close friends. To me these are the kind of achievements that make blogging worthwhile.

12. What tools do you use to manage your social media presence ?

Ashley's reply :

I do not use too many tools online, but the main things I use are Twitter related.
I use:
  • Buffer to automate my tweets
  • TweetAdder to increase my Twitter following with targeted people and automate some tweets from RSS
  • TweetDeck to manage my Twitter account
  • For the rest I do it manually on Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook.

13. Could you state your major source of income (if any) from your blog ?

Ashley's reply :

Income on a blog is really a lot less than people think. So that is why I started my services. Currently this is still growing, but my Web Design services are my biggest source of income at the moment.

14. Blogging with a social media presence is really a tough job and requires a lot of our time. What else do you do aside from blogging ? How do you keep yourself positive and active ?

Ashley's reply :

As I mentioned in the beginning I do a lot of sport. Especially to help get my leg back to normal. This takes a long time. I also do a little bit of street magic on the side, mostly with friends and family. This is my main hobby outside sport. You can check out my niche blog on magic if you like. I have not posted there for a while, but I do when I get a chance. I have also met some "influencers" in magic. But that is another story!

15. As a blogger, where do you see yourself 5 years from now ? What are your next targets ? Is there any upcoming product that you are working on ?

Ashley's reply :

My current long term goals are to create a business around what I do. This is why I do everything I do at the moment. I love online marketing and want to make a living from it. Ideally I would be helping people develop their online presence every day!

16. What suggestions would you give beginners for their success ? How do you want them to start ?

Ashley's reply :

There is a lot of advice out there on how to start a blog so I won't spend too much time on this question. I will say however, that I believe that you must do the following:
  1. Blog in niche that you really love and try to find a unique way of presenting it or unique area within that niche
  2. Develop relationships with people in your niche before you focus on anything else (write posts of course, but don't waste time on other things)
These two things are the key to starting and growing a great blog.


That's how our conversation ended. Hope you enjoyed reading this. As you can see from his responses, how many times he mentioned the importance of the keyword 'Relationship'. This is what he strongly recommends and I too believe in that. So, do try to be develop as many online friends as possible firstly, marketing and money making should come after this only. That's why top influencers call him 'The boy'; even though his blog is still younger (just a year old). I thank him for sparing his time to share his feelings with us.

Good luck and thank you Ashley !


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Hope this helps.

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