It started with a generic question to all participants of the chat, which I think is a great way to do a soft start. Like a “Hello, I’m so and so and it’s nice to be here” kind of small talk and then dig into the actual meat of the main questions.
I agreed to do this completely randomly. Someone connected Richa with me on Twitter and within a couple of interactions I felt comfortable enough to say yes to this. Having spent a large part of my life saying “yes” to everything and being a “people-pleaser”, now, I say “No” a lot. It takes a lot to get me on board – I need to be convinced at least 80%. With our first interaction on Twitter, I was convinced 80% and Richwa brought it up to 100% during our email discussions where she helped me understand and set up the chat.
Me : Joining in from my couch in Gurgaon. Better humans : compassionate. #NAINAxBlogChatter #BlogChatter ( within a couple of tweets, I realized that the hashtag I’d introduced, #NAINAxBlogChatter was going to be a problem when answering tweets – also, I hadn’t discussed it with Richa beforehand – so within a couple of tweets, I stuck to tagging the @BlogChatter handle and used the hashtag #BlogChatter )
I followed that tweet by clarifying, “And compassion for others and self. To clarify 🙂 Must take care of self before taking care of others IMO”
“Q1. How important is #blogging for you?”
Me : ( answering via a bunch of tweets ) Very. It’s one of those things I don’t believe I can ever stop doing. I love it. I would continue to blog even if there were no brands hiring me to do it. If I could only put a disciplined system in place, I’d blog everyday. I’m working on the system 🙂 Working on regular weekly series, whether writing/photography. So audience may anticipate. I love going back a year or more to see what I was doing this day last year 😀 … I don’t get lots of comments these days compared to the early days of blogging. If you don’t enjoy it ( blogging ), self-motivation can be an uphill battle.
Q2. What is the core value of #blogging as per you?
Me : Authenticity. Looking at blogging as a profession AND a hobby, without authenticity, it would draw very little connection. Transparency, being true to self, etc. This is for one-person blogs only of course. Building engagement takes time. Years. For me, blogging is a selfish endeavor. If others derive value, that’s a bonus. What is being projected must be same online & offline. Can’t be different personas. ( About brands and blogging ) : As a blogger, I can help move brand along in the right direction. “Success” is not ON me.
Someone wrote in saying, “disagree! If evry1 cud b their tru self on-offline, y wud dey call authenticity& self expressn a core value of blogging?”
That one stopped me in my tracks. All I could think was, “I think everyone can and MUST be the same online and offline. This distinction creates problems in the lives of most people. Best to just be one person and stop pretending and everyone else be damned.” Also, why do people use abbreviations that make little sense? Write a full sentence and make it two tweets if you have to. #PetPeeveAlert
Q3. What is the one thing you value most while generating content online?
Me : don’t like “generating content”. I live online. I share the things I do in real life. Whatever content I do end up generating in a bid to share, needs to be ME. Authenticity again. I like being able to come back to it days/weeks/months later and want to re-read it / re-see it.
Then someone suggested “Give a positive outlook ? nd stay away from ranting” and I responded with sharing a link to my weekly rant column #WTFNaina To which, the response I received was, “Haha rant away if it helps smeone but remmber wat u r subjectin ur readrs to” and my reply, “I am not subjecting anyone to anything. No one’s forcing anyone to read anything :)” Blogging is like that – you don’t have to follow a blogger if you don’t like them or their blog – no one can force you to you know!
There was a lot of off-topic banter about food and goodness knows what else – since I was tagged in all these tweets as well, I’m sure I missed out on responding to some genuine questions. Apologies for that. There is no way to control what people will tweet and one must go with the flow.
Q4. How do you strategize your #socialmedia activities for better #blogging?
Me : ( I wasn’t sure what the question meant – I don’t really have a strategy that I’ve identified as a strategy but I tried to answer with examples of what I do ) : I use photos in blog features. I post those photos using CoSchedule to schedule updates. This is a simple & mostly effective way to re-share the same blog feature with new images. It also promotes my work as a professional photographer, which is what I do best 🙂 If one is in the business of blogging, one must treat it like work – schedule! And absolutely NO to clickbait.
Q5. What should one keep in mind while interacting with brands (for #blog)?
Me : Always keep it professional, even if brand is not. Show how your blogging will add value. The brand’s agenda, always, is to further their cause. They don’t “care” about you. It’s business. They don’t owe you any favours & just because they’re paying you doesn’t mean you owe them any. Also, have a PDF contract with T&C clearly. Keep it short. Again, it’s business, treat it like one. Bloggers are their own brand! They are not in the business of endorsements. Leave that for the celebrities. Bloggers help create awareness. ( I do want to elaborate on this a bit – will do so in a separate blog post. For now, all I’m going to say is that I DO NOT mean that bloggers are somehow absolved of their responsibility to provide full disclosure and maintain their credibility. )
Q6. What would be your one advice for better #blogging overall?
Me : Do what feels right to you. Try / fail / repeat. It takes time, is very rewarding. Blogging isn’t for everyone but everyone must try it. Not everyone will earn money from blogging & if you want to, treat it like a business. Making a sustainable income from personal blogging is very hard. Especially in the Indian market. I’ve never displayed ads on my blog in the 12 years of its existence. Which is not to say that there’s anything wrong with ads. It’s my personal / professional choice. Also, get paid cash for the work you do. Free products are a bonus. Do what you will with those.
I have a YouTube channel : Maybe something more of value there for fellow bloggers / aspiring bloggers?
Be so good that even if you’re bald, hair oil brands wants to know how to get you on board 😉