For the people who don’t know about you, Can you tell us a little about yourself and your blog?
Hi everyone, I am Ankita. In the blogging world, I also go by Anks and blog at Lifestyle of A Professional (http://lifestyleproblog.me). My blog is an extension of my thoughts about corporate life, being a working mother, a makeup enthusiast, an aspiring writer and most of all, about being a woman trying to find her place in this world.
Every website has a story behind it. What was yours? What was the motivation behind starting this Blog?
I started blogging on 30 Nov 2004. So last month, I completed my 11 year blogversary. I was a trainee then and a colleague started his blog and shared a few articles with me. I was hooked! I told myself this was the way to realise my dream of getting my stories out there… Having been wanted to be a writer forever, my first blog post was a story. I have come a long way since and my blog has evolved into a lifestyle blog now.
Do you ever get stuck when writing a blog? What do you do then?
Oh very often. What I do is that I capture random thoughts as notes and save them as drafts. When I am stuck and looking for inspiration, I head to the drafts and more often than not, a post emerges. If that does not work, I give it a break, recharge myself for a few days and come buzzing back with ideas!
If there was one thing that you feel makes your blog stand out, what would that be?
The fact that I do not have a niche. I attempt fiction, poetry, beauty, social causes, corporate gyan and a bit of techie stuff too (can’t help it, am an engineer after all!!) So my blog has something for everyone…
If you had to give three crazy advice to budding bloggers, what would that be?
One – Just write. Someone somewhere will be more knowledgeable, more eloquent or more popular than you. Do not be bogged down by that. Write your posts and write them regularly. Blogging needs commitment.
Two – Quit. Quit if you want to, but come back! I have quit several times over the last 1 years but looking back now I know they were breaks. I always had new things and new perspectives to bring out when I got back.
Three – Get your own domain. I learnt this late in life and encourage others not to do the same mistake. Get your own domain J
Do you promote your blog? What promotional techniques work best for you and why?
I tweet a lot and all my posts go on twitter. I also post them on facebook and Google plus. I avoid posting each post on multiple fb groups though. Just the relevant ones.
What do you find to be the most gratifying aspect of blogging?
To be able to get my word out there is undoubtedly the best part. A close second is the friends and relationships that get formed. I have met several bloggers now and it is a wonderful energetic community to be a part of!
And Influencer Marketing – what it holds for bloggers?
Influencer marketing is a double edged sword for the bloggers. While it definitely helps the bloggers monetarily, too much of it can hurt a blogger’s credibility. I believe in the responsibility of bloggers informing the readers what are their views and what is the brand given content. It is also important to call a spade, a spade. As an influencer marketer, people will trust me if I tell them my views of the good, the bad and the ugly so that they can make a purchase decision which works for them. For a brand too, this is direct feedback from consumers and can help improve their offering.
Engaging in influencer marketing is fruitful but most of the bloggers feel there are some characteristic problems while engaging with brands. How is your experience of engaging with brands and problems, if any?
My experiences have been fine so far, good even. While I have had no major challenges with a specific brand per say, I feel there is a scope of improvement in the engagement process itself. There needs to be a better and more transparent discussion around expectations, pricing and timeline. For a brand to ask an influencer to post 30 tweets in 3 hours is like spamming my own TL and I am not happy doing that. Expectations like this can be called out right in the beginning and influencers who do not want to do this can choose not to apply to such campaigns.