Thursday, 30 June 2016

INFLUENCER INTERVIEW: SHRUTI CHATURVEDI

1. For the people who don’t know about you, Can you tell us a little about yourself and your blog?


My name is Shruti Chaturvedi and I run - Chaaipani - a platform to discover and share positive and inspiring stories of people and initiatives that are making our world a better place to be in. I am 22 year old, a recent graduate in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College. I dropped out of engineering after a year and I’ve been writing since then.

2. Every website has a story behind it. What was yours? What was the motivation behind starting this Blog?

I began Chaaipani when I was in class 11th, this was sometime in 2010s. It was a blogspot blog where I’d write those teenager-ish poetry and short stories. For someone blogging in his/her 16s, it made me feel very gratified everytime someone would comment, or tell me that he/she reads my blog. Also, it was after I had started blogging that I could reach out to people out of my geography and connect with them. Soon, I started getting more views and Indiblogger happened which connected me to several bloggers across the country. These people became my friends - people who made sense with every word. Everyday, I’d look forward to get back home from school and talk to these new people who sort of belonged to a whole different world. (My school friends began looking stupid to me!). I think that’s when I learnt those little tips and tricks of blogging, began reading a lot of content online, getting the nerves of the trends, picking up new formats of english language that was ‘in’ then. When I joined college, I began working in various media houses as an intern and later as an employee. That’s when blogging took a backseat. However, soon, I found that quite a chunk of stories I’d do, were rejected by the editorial since they didn’t have ‘masala’ in them and were quite informative and positive (yes that was the drawback!). That’s when I took to my blog again and began posting every story that’d get rejected at the company I was working at. These were very happy, positive and inspiring stories of people doing worthwhile things. By the time I finished graduation, I figured I wanted to take it full-time and now I run it like an online media startup with 3 employees.

3. Do you ever get stuck when writing a blog? What do you do then?

That’s usually an alarm to me to go and read more. I consume a lot of content through the day - on Medium, on blogs I’ve subscribed to, on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, books. The more content I consume, the less stuck I get. And since I’ve started running it like a startup, writer’s bloc isn’t even an option I have - I have to post something or the other, no matter what. And am glad I have a team which now takes good care of editorial when am busy working on things to scale it as a company.

4. If there was one thing that you feel makes your blog stand out, what would that be?


The way we tell stories of people. The website has very happy, positive feel to it and stories are written in a very personalized way. Our site is full of amazing people worth knowing.

5. If you had to give three advice to budding bloggers, what would that be?


  1. Since blogging is so saturated a thing now, it is best newbies take it to publishing platforms like Medium, Sway or Facebook notes which guarantee good front-end and readership. This, if you are not someone with a lot of patience.
  2. Don’t overdo sponsored posts! It is super-annoying for a reader.
  3. Write for real human beings sitting on the other side of the computer rather than writing for number of page views. Don’t treat humans like numbers with your content. They are people, not traffic.

6. Do you promote your blog? What promotional techniques work best for you and why?


Yes we do promote it on social media channels and in blogging networks, though we’ve never put money on socials to boost our posts. Okay so we did a couple of times in the beginning, but now we’ve figured that it is real people, no matter how small in number, that  matter. The advantage we get is that we write ABOUT people, and they themselves put a lot of effort to promote the article in their circles. We’ve chose to stay organic.

7. What do you find to be the most gratifying aspect of blogging?


Comments! Reactions are very instant and you know exactly what is working and what is not, very instantly.

8. And Influencer Marketing – what it holds for bloggers?


Engaging in influencer marketing is fruitful but most of the bloggers feel there are some characteristic problems while engaging with brands. 

9. How is your experience of engaging with brands and problems, if any?


There is little understanding about Influencer marketing in most brands - they want bloggers to literally pester their product with words and their blog posts with every second word about the company, because they are being paid, which is a problem. However, brands I’ve worked with at personal level, I’ve had to put some effort to convince them of how to plant the knowledge about their brand in OUR audience’s minds content that they’ve come looking for. Most have been really delightful after the conversion.  

INFLUENCER INTERVIEW : ANCY ABRAHAM





1. Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog? And how did you first get into blogging?
I was always fascinated with media and wanted to work in Print Media. Being from a conservative family I had to choose a profession like teaching or office job. So I went on to graduate in English and while pursuing Post graduation in English my father spotted an Advertisement in Malayala Manorama inviting candidates for an entrance exam for Post Graduate Diploma In Journalism and Mass Communication. He was a little sadden because sometime back I got an interview call for the 1st batch at Satyajith Ray Film Institute, Kolkata and, in those days, 20 yrs back, in 1997, my family couldn’t visualize sending a girl to study films.

I cleared the entrance test for First batch of students of Journalism at Kottayam Press Club and during the verbal interview by well-known journalists, one of them said that I got aptitude for journalism. Those words gave me confidence. Even though I never took up active journalism, I continued writing in some form or the other. I did freelance content writing and became the co-author and editor of an IELTS book.

I worked as content writer for Trade India and Assistant Editor of Consumer Voice Magazine. Up to now I actively campaign for consumer causes.

In 2013 a friend suggested to “start blogging and generate income”. Coincidentally that was the time I was undergoing treatment due to complication after an accident by falling from a rickshaw.  The accident changed my view about lifestyle. Until then I was juggling family, household chores and office, caring very little about health. After the accident Doctor recommended morning walks as mandatory. So I started blogging about my morning walks and other lifestyle issues so that others mend their lifestyle before it is too late.

My first readers were my friends, relatives and colleagues who encouraged me to continue blogging.

2. What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to his readers?
A blogger provides unbiased, credible, interesting and original content to the readers. They visit your blog because they trust you and believe that relying on your opinion will help them take the right decision. For instance, if you blog about shopping tips, readers completely follow your opinion while shopping.

3. What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Starting a FB page helped a lot in driving traffic to the website. FB keeps evolving with new strategies to promote the page and website.

4. Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?
Association with former colleagues impacted a lot in my blogging. After associating with Consumers India I took up the campaign to ‘Stop Lead Poisoning in India’. Now many prominent Lead activists in India are supporting to make this campaign a success.

5. How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
My motivation is my readers. Either through a comment or a phone call they let me know how informative and useful a blog was. For instance many readers say that they came to know about the hazards of Lead from lifestyletodaynews.com

6. What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?
My website is now part of the family. When friends and family inquire about the welfare of all family members they inevitably ask about the website too.

My job profile also has upgraded from a Editor and Writer to a Digital Strategist, because now I deal a whole lot of aspect to drive and retain traffic to the website.

7. How active are you on a weekly basis? How often do you communicate with your followers?
Almost three hours daily I spend with the website. I communicate with my follower’s at least twice in a week.

8. A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from the blog or doing brand collaborations?
Nothing comes easy in life, and as another blogger says, most of the time blogging is a “labour of love”. These days there are various options to generate income from blogging. If you produce quality content and get the SEO right, you can get advertisement affiliations from Google Adsense, ClickBank, Commission Junction, etc. Try getting Google Adsense affiliation at the earliest because that serves as a authentic verification for others to associate with your website.

9. How important is the role of influencers in brand promotions? How is your experience of engaging with brands and problems, if any?
In olden days, word of mouth was considered the best marketing technique. I would say, in this age of social media, using the service of a blogger as influencers is the best marketing technique. A blogger has a readymade set of readers with whom he or she shares an almost personal relationship and the readers trust every post he shares. Hence such bloggers are essential to promote a brand.

I promote brands and causes only when I am convinced that the readers will get some information to improve their lifestyle by reading the promotional post. Upto now all promotional works were hassle-free.

10.  Do you promote your blog? What promotional techniques work best for you and why?
I promote my blog using social media like Twitter, FB and Google Plus.  FB brings in the most traffic to the website. Blogging post related to a trending issue on the Social Media is a good way to drive traffic to the website; of course the post should be relevant to your website.

11. Can you tell me about few sources from where you get products for review on your site?
There are some communities which helps me in getting products for review. My association with Blogmint opened the vistas of blogging. I got associated with fellow bloggers and also got many projects that generate income.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Most Common Blogger Outreach Questions

The idea behind a blogger outreach campaign is that a company, in seeking exposure for a product or service, leverages influencers who have established a substantial following, asking them to write about it in exchange for free access to the product or service. As blogger outreach experts, we get many questions about working with bloggers. In the hopes of bringing more clarity to this excellent and often underused marketing method, we compiled this post of the most frequently asked questions brands have for us.     
1. What is Blogger Outreach?
Blogger outreach (or influencer marketing) is the practice of leveraging influencers such as bloggers, microbloggers and vloggers to review a product or cover an event with the purpose of promotion and building word of mouth, usually in exchange for free samples, exclusive access, or monetary compensation. Blogger outreach is essential to build up your blog.

2. How can I measure the results of the campaign?
Measurement and analytics is important in order to see whether the campaign was successful. You can study the effectiveness of blogger campaigns by, for example, tracking views of the bloggers’ posts, comments, and likes. Providing bloggers with trackable links back to your website is a simple way to tell exactly how many people came to your site from the specific bloggers.

3. Is Blogger outreach worth it?
This very much depends on your budget, product, and bloggers you choose. Very popular bloggers – celebrities in their own right – may charge up to thousands of dollars for a single sponsored post. However, the majority of blogger outreach is much cheaper – as many bloggers write reviews in exchange for product samples and discount codes, for example. The audience for such bloggers may be smaller but no less effective as niche communities are often more active in ways of engagement.

4Why should I choose blogger outreach over another type of campaign?
Blogger outreach is something that gets better with practice. However, often the budget and time in marketing is short and decisions have to be made. So why get involved with influencers instead of doing something more simple, like a banner ad? The answer lies in the quality of engagement. Some of the other benefits include:
  • Reviews stay on the web forever and will keep providing traffic and increased SEO long after the campaign is over.
  • The endorsement of trusted bloggers, which will help your brand credibility.
  • A direct connection to your target audience and the opportunity to gain new customers.
  •  Your target :Who is the audience you’re trying to attract? How old are they? What are their hobbies? What are their concerns? What social networks do they prefer? What kind of blogs would they read? Only after you’ve narrowed down the answers to these questions can you find the right bloggers for the job.
  •  The bloggers: When considering approaching a blogger, see if they fit these criteria: Is the blog content relevant to your brand? How many followers/subscribers/monthly page views does the blog have? Is there a high level of engagement with the blog (many comments, social media exchanges, etc)?  
  • The product and pitch: Now that you know your desired audience and your ideal bloggers, think about what you can offer them and how to do it in a way that will catch their attention. Check out our step-by-step guide to working with bloggers for more details.        

5. What are the top things to consider with a blogger review campaign? 
  •  Your target :Who is the audience you’re trying to attract? How old are they? What are their hobbies? What are their concerns? What social networks do they prefer? What kind of blogs would they read? Only after you’ve narrowed down the answers to these questions can you find the right bloggers for the job.
  •  The bloggers: When considering approaching a blogger, see if they fit these criteria: Is the blog content relevant to your brand? How many followers/subscribers/monthly page views does the blog have? Is there a high level of engagement with the blog (many comments, social media exchanges, etc)?  
  • The product and pitch: Now that you know your desired audience and your ideal bloggers, think about what you can offer them and how to do it in a way that will catch their attention. Check out our step-by-step guide to working with bloggers for more details.       
6. What are some examples or case studies of successful campaigns?
There have been countless types of blogger campaigns over the years, by all sorts of brands, from tech to fashion, beauty, sports, food, and more. We hosted some great campaigns for various big brands like  Vogue, Myntra ,Asus , Affimity, Skoda and many more.

 
7.How can I connect with bloggers?
Marketers and brand managers are often turned off by blogger campaigns because of the sheer time that needs to be invested in searching for bloggers. If you want to send a product to fifty fashion bloggers, you can of course google ‘fashion blogs’ and go from there, but it will be time-consuming to check all of their social media accounts, read several blog posts, and get information like monthly page views and subscribers right off the bat. Then once you do, the blogger may not even be interested in working with you. Blogger directories are more useful, as they often have more details available, but it’s better and easier to enlist a professional service to do the whole thing for you.

8. What do I give bloggers?
Nobody likes to work for nothing, nor should they be expected to. Smaller blogs often do reviews in return for product samples – this is the most popular type of exchange. Offering bloggers gift cards in addition to exclusive access is also widespread. However, the biggest blogs will have their own guidelines on fees for sponsored posts. Once again, it depends on what kind of blogs you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to put in. Ultimately, you will not get something for nothing. 

We hope this post shed some light on common blogger outreach questions and inspired you to launch your campaign! 

If you have more questions we haven’t covered please share in the comments or contact us at reachus@blogmint.com.