For the people who don’t know about you, Can you tell us a little about yourself and your blog?
Sure, I am Rajiv Verma. I am a techie currently based in Bangalore but I belong to the beautiful North-east of India. So naturally, even though I live in this concrete jungle, the heart has forever belonged to the mountains. My blog Webguy Travel Tales (http://webguy.in) is all about travel escapades and explorers. Sprinkled with some practical travel-tips based on my own experiences.
Every website has a story behind it. What was yours? What was the motivation behind starting this Blog?
The story behind my blog might sound a little funny. I started my blog to journal my travels and never wanted anyone else to read it. I wrote in order to able to re-live the moments years down the line.Having said that I am delighted to see where my blog today is and I am very excited about the future from here on.
Do you ever get stuck when writing a blog? What do you do then?
Everyone who writes sometime face the writer’s block. So have I. But thankfully for me, it has happened only a couple of times may be. When the words don’t flow, the best thing to do is to not push yourself. If you do, the writing will suffer. The reader is very smart and can easily see through an article that has been forced. What has always worked for me is, I go for a long ride on an open highway. It calms me down and I always come back refreshed.
If there was one thing that you feel makes your blog stand out, what would that be?
I think my readers are better–placed to answer this one but if you ask me, well I think I don’t shy away from being vulnerable. It brings out so many wonderful stories. It helps your readers to connect with you at a deeper level which I think is very satisfying as a blogger.
If you had to give three crazy advice to budding bloggers, what would that be?
I am not sure about the crazy part but if I have to share 3 things, the would be:
- DO NOT take-up blogging for money. If you do, I bet you will quit within 6 months. Do it if you enjoy doing it.
- Do not bother about what others think or say, write the way your heart says.
- Never share half-cooked stories. Devote time, do your research and only then hit publish. Always make sure you are adding value to your readers and not wasting their time.
Do you promote your blog? What promotional techniques work best for you and why?
If you want to be heard by a larger audience, you have to promote your work. I too promote my posts and it has really been a great decision I must say. Apart from earning new readers, promoting has helped me come in contact with wonderful like-minded people who has helped me grow in multiple aspects. Facebook has been working well for me. Twitter too has been decent. I am still kind of experimenting with this aspect so let’s see, in the long run what works best for me.
What do you find to be the most gratifying aspect of blogging?
There have been some wonderful moments of gratification where readers have come-up and shared some of their stories about things they never thought they would ever talk about. All because of a post I wrote which touched a chord in them. But the fact that, through my travel tales, I have been able to encourage and inspire people to get out and travel have been the most humbling experience.
And Influencer Marketing – what it holds for bloggers?
Influencer marketing has been around since a while now but no one really took it seriously until a couple of years or so back. Things however are changing and for the good. This sort of marketing, if done right, is a win situation for both brands and influencers. Relevancy is the key here. There cannot be a better way for a brand to spread their message to their relevant audience than though an influencer whose words and suggestions people value.
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?
I think that’s acceptable because this is a new industry and most of us are involved here, be it brands or bloggers. A lot of brands don’t know how to engage with bloggers and that is something they have to learn. My experience has been mixed. Let me share with you one, I write in and around travel but recently there was one big brand and they wanted me to write a post which was all fine but in reality, all they were interested in getting back-links from my blog. And they were ready to pay a good amount for that. I ended-up saying no to them because I had already written a similar piece on my blog recently.
So, would love to say BIG THANKS TO BLOGMINT to address the pain of bloggers.