5 Questions to answer before you start BLOGGING!

Now a days, I get a lot of calls, mails, messages and questions about blogging. As a case in point, a friend called a few days back and said “I want to start a blog. Should I even do it?”. A work colleague was inspired by my blogging journey and accolades, and asked me “I want to start blogging. You make it seem easy. Is it that easy?”. A relative read the media coverage my blog received recently and wrote to me saying “I want to blog, How do I go about it?

While I appreciate the interest, intent and spirit behind all these questions, let me lay out some facts before you.

I recently read an article which highlighted that there were 220+ million blogs in the blog-o-sphere. And that there are 3 Million new posts published everyday. Those numbers are mind-boggling! Interestingly, I also heard that the average human attention span in today’s digital era is less than 10 seconds!

So before you start, be cognizant of the fact that you are entering a highly crowded and competitive world, where there is a content aplenty, and individual attention span is abysmal. Hence, it is extremely important to ask yourself some important questions before you start blogging, lest you be disillusioned after you start blogging.

In this post, I am sharing the 5 questions most important questions. So think through and answer honestly before you start posting!

Start Blogging

Question 1 : What is your big WHY of blogging?

This is the most important question. Is it for sharing, is it for branding, is it for the money? Whatever it is, be clear on the answer. And realistic on your expectations based on this

Question 2 : Do you LOVE writing?

You cannot sustain a blog / blogging if you don’t love writing. So if all that you’ve written in your life are official mails, then I doubt if you really like writing. If you love a related skill / art form like photography / painting, then creating a blog on this makes complete sense.

Question 3 : How much time can you commit to blogging?

Blogging is a journey. A slow and evolving one. It takes time and effort, and there is no overnight glory or success. So be clear on how much time you can give to your blog and how frequently. Starting a blog is  easy. Keeping it updated is always a challenge unless you consciously commit time.

Question 4 : Do you know what you want to blog about?

Again, think through what you want to blog about. Is it something you know or do? Again, in the long run the biggest challenge is to find topics to blog about. So think through a theme or broad areas to start off with. You can expand later, but there has to be a theme that you stick to for 6 -12 months

Question 5 : Why do you think anyone will read you?

Most important, what is in it for any reader? Why should he / she read what you have to say amidst 220+ million blogs? What’s your sparkle?

If you have convincing answers to all 5 questions, go ahead and start your blog today.

On that note, Happy Blogging!

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in India, Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

 

Among the Top 10 Marketing Blogs of India

Look what the news brought in.. Happy and Honored to be featured in the list of Top Marketing Blogs of India published by SEJ (Search Engine Journal). The list includes some of the best / most reputed Indian brands / blogs like Digital Vidya, Social Samosa, Lighthouse Insights, Blogworks . Full reading here For those who don’t know, Search Engine Journal was launched in 2003 and publishes fantastic articles by marketing experts. They spotlight the important trends, news, strategies and personalities in the industry. They have ~95K Twitter followers and 1 Lakh+ likes on FB.Search Journal ——————————————————————————————————————————————

Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in India, Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

The 3 Questions I’m always asked around Blogging – And my answers!!!

Blogger” – That is the latest new addition to my identity. Be it in my social / professional network – I am many times introduced as “That blogger?!” After an exchange of pleasantries – I’m almost always asked some questions around blogging. I’ve seen that the questions for a vast majority of the people I interact with are very very similar. So I thought why not put my responses in a post? ;)

Blogging FAQ——————————————————————————————————————————————

Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Infographics for Dummies | 5 Steps to create your first Infographic

Regular readers of my blog know that ‘infographics’ are my latest muse. Over the last few weeks, I’ve received a lot of requests asking me how I’d created my infographics. So I thought why not write a blog answering this.

I’ve spent all of January and February browsing / sharing infographics on the blog, and spent significant time in March to create my own infographics. Based on all these experiences, I created a simple infographic in response to “How to create your first infographic?”

I hope you find it useful in creating your infographics.

How to create infographics

And as they say, Practice makes a man perfect. So repeat all the steps above.

Have fun, and enjoy creating infographics. I know I did!

If your looking for some design resources to help you take infographics to the next level, be sure to check out the links below

Canva Design School

How to become a designer without going to design school?

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Round-up of Social Media Image / Video Creation Tools (Mostly free)

Social Media ImagesIn the past 3 months, I have tried and used several tools to create images / videos for social media. In this post, I’m sharing a list of the  tools I’ve used – grouped into different categories. Most of them are free of cost for the basic feature set, and also have an option for paid feature upgrades.

Images for Simple Text, Easy and Quick to Use – Particularly useful for quotes, blog headers, simple images

Pablo

Canva

ReciteThis

Creating collages of Images

Photovisi

PicMonkey

Editing Images – particularly useful to retain / improve image quality (clarity) or make an image to fit to a particular size for a specific social media platform

Favicon Image Cropping

BeFunky

PicMonkey 

Canva

Creating Infographics

Piktochart

Easel

Infogr

Canva

Visual.ly

StoryboardThat

Creating Videos

Animoto

Powtoon

Animaker

What tools do you use to create images / videos for social media? Leave a comment to let me know

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Video | The A to Z of Blogging

When I was born I did not know A to Z. Thanks to my parents and teachers, I learned. Now as a parent myself, as I’m teaching my kids A to Z, I wonder if there is an A to Z for blogging too! Surprisingly, I discovered YES!

In this post, I’ve tried to share my views on the A to Z of blogging using a video.

To view the video, click here

Please Note: This is the first time that I am creating a video. I hope you enjoy watching it! I know I enjoyed creating it!

Liked it? Leave a comment to let me know

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

The 5 Treasured Lessons in 5 Years of Blogging

In March 2015, I’ve completed 5 years of active blogging. So I asked myself what are the 5 key lessons I took away from blogging. Since my latest muse are infographics, I compiled the insights into the below.

Blogging Lessons

Like It? Leave a comment to let me know…

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes 20 Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

300+ years of women at work | What were her key career enablers?

Today is 8 March 2015. So Happy Women’s Day!

Anyone who reads me knows that women at work is a topic dear to me, and I hope my writings make a difference for the case and cause of women at work. Last year in 2014, I did a survey on women at work, and “women speaking to each other / sharing their stories” emerged as one of the top points on how women can support the case and cause of women at work.

As I looked in my network (real / virtual), I recognized that I knew several amazing women at work who were doing their bit and best to make it work every single day – with their grand dreams, grit, hard work, perseverance, focus and intelligence. So I thought “Why not capture the collective experiences and wisdom from these diverse women at different phases and stages of career and life?

So I connected with each of them and asked “What were the key enablers which made a difference in her life as a woman at work?” . Every single one gladly obliged to share her views and perspectives. So to all you wonderful women who feature below, Thanks for sharing parts and pieces of your life. I’m hoping it will help, enable and equip some woman somewhere in her career path.

Personally doing this exercise has take significant time and effort, but has been rewarding since I recognize that just getting diverse views and perspectives on the same question can be such a delightful and insightful read.

I’ll take-away a few insights beyond what is shared below:

1) For a woman to start and keep her career, the family / environment / ecosystem plays a very important role. So if you are a woman at work, say Thank You today to all those who made it happen. And if have a daughter, recognize the importance of your role and play the part!

2) Enablers are very different for women based on the stage and phase of life (single, married, mother, etc) they are in. So if you are a woman, acknowledge that the key enablers will change significantly based on your phase, stage, choices and context in life

3) In general, women at work are open to speak, willing to share and happy to contribute to the case and cause of women at work. So that is heart-warming, and I’m hoping it will get better from here. So if you are a woman at work, don’t miss any opportunity to share the nuggets and factoids of your career journey. You don’t know whom it can help and how, but makes a difference in the long run

Just one request – read / view on; and spread the piece. One share on Women’s Day for the case and cause of women at work is all I’m asking! Thanks again

Nischala IWD Final 1
Nischala IWD Final 2

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes 20 Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

What determines “HER” Career Path?

I’ve been in the corporate world for about 15 years now. In this tenure, I have been fortunate to experience in my career (up close and personal) the great, good, bad & ugly; and I survived.

Along the way, I’ve also seen a lot of women / mothers navigate their career trajectories very differently at different phases. Everyone’s context / circumstances are different, and hence so are their choices. And yet, there seems to be some drivers on how she makes those choices to make peace with her work and her life.

So what are those variables which determine her ‘career path’? Sharing my views in the infographic below.

Career Path

As I sign-off, I leave you with a thought..

For a very long time, I used to believe that making a choice was tough!

But now as a working mother, I believe that living your choice everyday is the toughest.

What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes 20 Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Mention in | “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Mention in | “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in | “Are entrepreneurs born or made?

Why should “SHE” work?

So the question is “Why should “SHE” work?” Important question, and the answer is probably more important.

Why she should work

Why do you think SHE should work? Leave a comment to let me know.

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Most Loved posts on Women At Work
My Secret Wishlist for my girls
What I wish all women understood at the start of their corporate careers?
Productivity Lessons for Women At Work from Ants
Will you let her fly?

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”