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?”

 

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?”

Infographic | So what do the ‘Content Marketers’ do?

So the BIG question is what exactly do the ‘content marketers’ do? Sharing below an infographic which sheds light on this

[Src: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/49398927136065948/ ]

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost India | 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 goes into a well balanced blog?

As a marketer and a blogger, I’m always looking out for insights and perspectives on what goes into a well-balanced blog. After all, blogging is core and integral to branding and marketing – both for individuals and businesses.

From what I read, 67% marketers created blogs last year, and I know from experience that creating a blog is not significant. Keeping it alive and kicking with right well-balanced fodder is key to success and growth and results. And what better way to understand and appreciate this perspective than with an analogy to our food types – something which we can all relate to.

And hence, I really liked the view below on what does into a well balanced blog.

What do you think goes into a well balanced blog? Leave a comment to let me know

Blogging for Business / Run a corporate blog? – Here are a list of topics for 1 year (for FREE!)

Are you blogging for your business / run a corporate blog to gain mind-share, market-share or profit-share?

And you don’t know what to blog about?

If I had to create a Blogging FAQ( Frequently Asked Questions) on what I get asked most of the time, the top questions would be
1) Why blog?
2) What to blog about?

If I had to answer Why should a business / corporate blog? – The answers are manifold :

(i) To share their views / voice

(ii) To engage / nurture your industry ecosystem by connecting with customers,partners, suppliers, analysts, solution providers, etc.

(iii) To learn yourself and stay updated with market / industry trends

(iv) To generate leads and

(v) To create a brand!

The next question is What to blog about?. In this post, I’m listing blog post ideas for a business blog which can last you for 1 year – if you publish at least 1 post a week.. The key to success is consistency over a long period.For that, focus, plan and a commitment to invest in your blog is most important.

I usually recommend a healthy mix of different content formats on a corporate blog – including blogs, pictures, infographics, video content, etc.

So choose a topic from the list below, decide on the format, and publish publish publish away :)

1) Why did your business / corporate start? What was the idea and how it came to be?

2) The initial phase – Challenges and Lessons. What you learned from setting up your business?

3) The founding team – Who they were and How they came to be? A fun or lesser known facts about the team. It always makes an interesting read if a reader knows a “personal / human” side to you.

4) A timeline which highlights key dates / milestones since inception.

5) What are your offerings (services / products)?

6) Recent innovations in your business / which affect your business – This could be done once in 3 months, so you can have at least 4 posts / year

7) What is unique about your offerings?

8) What difference will your offering make to a customer?

11) An industry timeline – Infographic (How the industry came to be?)

12) Less known facts about your business / industry – – With interesting trivia, facts and figures (well researched and data accuracy is important)

13) Industry survey / trends – Infographic (What all the latest market surveys are saying – for your industry as a whole).

14) Video from your CEO on any topic he is passionate about

15) A blog post on the current trending topic (technology / business / process) and your view on it – Even you do this once in 2 months, you’ll have 6 posts for a year

16) A success story for your business | Who was the client? What was the problem? How you solved it? This could be done at least 2 times / year

17) Lessons learned from a not-so-successful customer project | What was the problem? What did you learn? This could be done at least 2 times / year

18) A Must-Read monthly round-up of 8 – 10 interesting industry articles, news, views, opinions, perspectives – from your customer, partners, competitors | as an online curated resource which anyone can refer to (With 1 / month, this adds up to 12 posts for the year)

19) A Must-Read monthly round-up of 8 – 10 interesting articles, news, views, opinions, perspectives – on life hacks, productivity, getting better at work, general inspiration | as an online curated resource which anyone can refer to (With 1 / month, this adds up to 12 posts for the year)

20) Interviews with Experts – What your industry experts are saying about the future? Even if you do 1 / quarter, you will have 4 posts in a year

21) Choose any topic that is currently trending and get the 3 or more alternate views on the subject. for e.g.: if the topic you are currently interested in is around next generation analytics solutions, write a post with the views of a customer, technology provider, product vendor and analyst. Just bringing together voice from different perspectives can make a truly unique and compelling read

22) A note of CSR initiatives (Corporate Social Responsibility) and what your company is doing towards specific causes

23) 10 reasons why anyone should join your company

24) A post on Marketing – Its relevance and importance for your business

25)  A post on Digital – Its relevance and importance for your business

26)  A post on Social – Its relevance and importance for your business

27) A post on Big Data – Its relevance and importance for your business

28) A post on Analytics – Its relevance and importance for your business

29)  A post on Cloud – Its relevance and importance for your business

30) Your company’s view on “The Next Big Thing that can change the world”

31) Your company’s view on Innovation

32) Your company’s view on changing role of Leadership

33) 10 Must-Read books – for your business / industry, and Why?

34) Open Letter to anyone joining your company

35) 5 – 10 Blogs you suggest anyone to follow to stay updated / relevant in your business / industry

36) 10 – 20 Twitter thinkers / influencers you recommend others to follow and Why?

NOTE: Some of the above may already be part of most company websites, but a blog post is usually more informal and can be written by the CEO / founder/ core team in an anectodal / story-telling fashion.

 

Suggested Readings

Understanding the Hype Cycle of a Blog

Why you should were the 6 Thinking Hats on your blog

Focus on Diversity on your blog

Why will a reader remember your blog?

Importance of an editorial calendar

My (love) affair with blogging – How it came to be?

Regular readers of my blog know that I’ve been blogging for years now (4+ to be precise). I have chronicled my blogging journey in many of my posts to share my lessons and insights.

It was indeed an honor and a pleasure when Bhakthi Bapat Mathew requested me to give an interview on the chronicles of my blogging journey. For those who don’t know, Bhakti is a freelance journalist based in Bangalore, India. Bhakti has been writing for Indian and international publications since 2006.Her byline has appeared in CNN Travel, South China Morning PostWomen’s e-News (USA), The National (UAE), Friday Magazine (Gulf News), The Women’s International Perspective (The WIP, USA), Business Standard, Good Housekeeping, Mint, The Hindu, Deccan Herald, Spice Route, New Indian Express, and more.

She wanted to feature me in a special series she is doing on her blog. Titled. “How they did it?” she aims to bring to the fore-front stories of successful authors, journalists or bloggers. Each interview will delve into how that writer overcame the usual challenges to make a mark in the space. Past interviews feature Yashodhara Lal, Rasana Atreya and Advaita Kala . How could I say No?

THE interview below. Text is bold is the questions Bhakthi asked and my responses are below. Happy reading

By when did the blog pick up big readership? Any memories you remember from those early days of your blogging success.

Firstly, thank you for featuring me on your blog. I think “How they did it” is a great initiative that you’ve started, and am sure that it will help a lot of aspiring / newbie and even veteran  writers / bloggers. After all, we all learn from each other’s stories, right?

Coming to my blog, I think it was after 1-2 years of blogging on my own blogs, and a lot of guest posts in many global forums. Interestingly for me, the initial thrust came from global readership because my guest posts were published in forums like Problogger, ChangeBlog, etc. It was only much later that I became active in the Indian blog-o-sphere.

There are so many memorable moments mostly because they were completely unexpected and took me by surprise, and of course, made me happy. Top among them are:

  • Alyssa Milano (Yes! The American actress, producer and singer) shared my post on 12 Most Wonderful moments in the first year of Motherhood. This was in 2011, and about a year after I started blogging. The post went viral in a few minutes after she tweeted it. It was like with every blink of my eye the numbers just shot up :) I almost felt like a mini-celebrity!

  • My guest posts being accepted by Problogger. For those who don’t know, Problogger was started by Darren Rowse who was among the first bloggers globally to make money through his blog. It is a dream for bloggers around the world to get published here, and it can take months to fit in to their blogging schedule. It is one of those indications that “You have arrived as a blogger” :)

  • There have been many comments and shares on my posts from many globally respected leaders, CXO’s and influential / popular individuals / communities from corporate / business, politics, education, social media, marketing, movies, etc. For example, my posts were shared by the likes of Guy Kawasaki (former chief evangelist of Apple; co-founder of Alltop.com and currently Chief Evangelist at Canva), Angela Maiers (a globally respected educator and TED Speaker), etc. Also, my posts have been quoted in a number of forums.

When did you first start the blog…what was your main motivation in starting it?

In 2010, I thought to myself Maybe I should create a blog of my own too. But I had so many questions “What will I write about? Who will read them? Will anyone comment?” And most importantly, I did not know how / how much I will be able to blog. Anyway, I started a blog and published my first blog post as a private post. I felt I was not ready to share it with the world. It’s like when you start anything new, you have more questions than answers and are simply not sure about how things will work out. But over time, I began posting regularly. A few months later, I shared my posts with a few trusted friends and family and received positive and encouraging feedback. So one fine day in 2010, I decided to let my blogs go public and since then, there has been no looking back. In terms of motivation, there are a number of reasons:

  • One, I wanted an “online space” as a canvas for my words. Words which stem from dreams, thoughts, observations, analysis, learning’s, conversations, view-points, outlook, views, emotions, perspectives, achievements, mistakes, failures, lessons learnt, comprehensions, experiences and conclusions.
  • Two, the initial phases of motherhood are taxing physically, emotionally enriching / draining at the same time and lonely (socially) since you hardly have any time for social interactions. In that phase, I needed something intellectual stimulating and some social connections to keep me going through the long dark nights from the confines of my home and I found that in the world of blogs.
  • Three, When I became a mother, I used to ponder and introspect a lot on “deeper existential questions” on life and legacy. I’ve always believed words and writing can be a significant part of anyone’s personal legacy, and I hope mine will :) In fact two of my most popular posts are “What is your personal legacy?” and “What is your social media legacy?”. Be sure to read it :)
  • Lastly, To give back. I believe that many times it is “words” that make all the difference in life. So if my writings can make a positive difference in someone’s life – either by enabling them to learn, making them think, help them through a rough phase of life or just bringing some sunshine in their life, I’m good.

Incidentally, my tryst with blogging started at about the same time as my journey as a mother and so both are special to me.

My blogs include:

  • VERVE : The Quintessence of my Life – my personal blog and covers a broad range of topics around Life, Creativity, Parenting, Relationships, Human Experiences, Emotions, Lessons and Wisdom of life.
  • Nischala’s Space, Thoughts and Expressions – my professional blog in which I write about topics of professional interest like Social Media, Marketing, Leadership, Innovation and Strategy.
  • Worth a Read – – a compilation of interesting, touching, humorous write-ups that I come across — via mail, on the net or a random read… And believe it’s worth saving and worth reading again.

In the beginning, how often did you post, and later too, when it got popular?

Initially, I used to publish when I’d finish writing a post. So there would be phases when there would be five posts published on my blog in one day and many days when there would be no activity on my blogs.

It took a while to understand the my own process / method of blogging. Some days, I have 30 blog post ideas and some days I can write 10K words and on some days I’ve even written up to 20 blog posts!  I’d also done a post on this — The Biorythmic cycles of a blogger.

I think it takes a while to find the rhythm in the madness. Today, I am more structured and have a well-planned editorial calendar. I run 3 active blogs and target 1 post per week on each of the blogs. I also do at least 3 guest posts per month. So in one month, I have around 10-15 posts which go live :). I write almost every single day and have done it regularly for the past 4 years. I don’t publish everyday though!

According to you, what helped make the blog a success?

  • Choice of blog topics that have a large appeal: So I have a 10 year old girl who reads my blogs, and a 70 year old grandpa who says he enjoys my blogs.
  • Simple words, language and articulation: which make my writings unique and easy to read / comprehend, I’m told.
  • Posting regularly: This really comes from the love of writing, focus, planning and self-discipline.
  • Guest posts.
  • Focused blog marketing and promotion in online / social channels and communities.
  • Social networks and advocates who share my content generously.

One of the most challenging things for a new blogger is getting readers and comments. What can newbie bloggers do to get more readers?

I think that is the wrong question to ask or start with. The more important question is “Why will anyone read  your blog on Day 1? Or Day 2 or .. Day N” and that should drive your blogging efforts! And more specifically how many blogs have you read and how many comments have you left on other blogs?”.

In specific, here are the DO’s that have worked for me:

  • Have a specific niche for 70 – 80% of your posts
  • Have an authentic voice. Be real
  • Get to know your reader – Who is he / she? What do they want to read about?
  • Continuously provide compelling content
  • Religiously promote the blogs across social media

Here are the DONT’s

  • Pass off someone else’s content as your own. It has happened to me so many times, and trust me as a blogger, I DO NOT appreciate it.
  • Talk only about yourself and your personal life. No one wants to read beyond a point unless it is relevant or you are a celebrity already
  • Share negative / abusive / sensitive / incorrect information / opinions

Building blog traffic takes time (if you are not already a real-life celebrity). There is no overnight glory and success in blogging. One step at a time. Also the “Law of Karma” works well in blogs. I call it the “Blogging karma” – You get what you give – in thoughts, words, comments and shares :)

If you are a newbie “individual” blogger, I personally think that you’re starting late, so now you have to differentiate yourself to even find a place in the blogging world.

Did your blog help you professionally? If so, how?

  • More visibility at the workplace – I have a second identity now as a blogger :)
  • More visibility in the industry (IT) / across specific functional areas like Marketing, Social Media, Leadership, HR, etc.
  • CXO level connects – I have many CXO’s who read / comment / share my blogs. They know me on a first name basis
  • Professional networking – I’ve build so many wonderful online connections with people who inspire, assist and enable. Since they know me already, it is easy to connect and converse on (m)any issues
  • Re-connect with academia – As you know, I’m an IIMB alumni and a lot of my IIMB professors also read my blogs and share in their networks.

I know so many people and so many people know me because of my blogs :)

What, according to you, is the importance/role of offline networking (attending blog meets, lit events etc.) in growing a blog? Are there any examples of your own blog where offline networking helped?

I don’t know since I’ve never attended any blogging event till date. From what I’ve read / seen, it can boost your readership and strengthen the power of networks and relationships. So people share / like / comment / recommend you – It is like a peer-to-peer ecosystem.

Your thoughts on monetizing a blog through google adwords etc.?

No comments since I’ve not done it

What role, according to you, does SEO play in making a blog successful?

It plays a significant role. But to be honest, I don’t do any SEO for my personal blogs. I know bloggers for whom SEO made all the difference. To each his / her own.

Would be great if you could share details or examples with links showing just how successful the blog is…or stats, like at its peak, how many comments per post, views per day etc.

This number game is bad you know – in the corporate context, in Bollywood, in cricket, in politics or whatever! But I know that the bottom-line is data is accounted and hence valued more.

To give you an insight, one of my most popular posts  “33 Life Lessons No School really taught me” was shared 10K+ times in social media in about 3 days that it went live.

Personally, I’ve stopped tracking all this. However, I like to observe overall trends periodically because they give you insights into what your readers want to read. Like another most popular post on my blog has been around extra-marital affairs. I was surprised, but looks like it is an issue which people are keen to read about!

What’s your current professional status…

@ Status 1: Head of Marketing and Thought Leadership for a specialized theme in one of India’s largest IT service provider

@ Status 2: Mother, Wife, Daughter (in-law), Sister (in-law), Aunt…. and everything that it entails :)

@ Status 3: In between the two, I blog / write :)

For more tips  on blogging, visit this post by Nischala!

What is your view? Leave a comment to let me know….

Originally published here

Blogs come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime

When I entered the blog-o-sphere years ago, I had no idea where that would take me. Suffice to say, I just took the plunge – There were no real expectations, no real agenda, no real goals. Just some time at hand, an open mind, curiosity, an interest in reading, a laptop, an internet connection and The English language :)

I started reading blogs for a reason. Somehow somewhere I continued reading blogs through the seasons. And today, reading blogs is an integral part of my life, and I guess it will continue for my lifetime (If I have it my way!). Reading a blog enables me to learn, travel, get answers, ask questions, grow, watch others evolve / bloom / blossom, see the world with a new lens, make me feel that I’m not alone, give me clarity of perspective and most importantly, experience life through others experiences

After about 2 years of reading others blogs, I started writing my own blogs. Again, for a reason. Somehow somewhere they extended to a season. And then many seasons. Today, my blogs area an integral part of my life, and I guess it will continue for my lifetime (If I have it my way!). Writing a blog enables me to learn, express myself, get answers, ask questions, emote, connect, grow, share, see the world with a new lens, gain diverse perspectives, truly comprehend things and possibly leave a social media legacy

And I strongly believe that Blogs comes into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime..
When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each blog.

When a blog comes into your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. A blog can assist you through a difficulty, provide you with guidance and support, aid you emotionally, socially, intellectually, financially or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be.Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, you lose interest in the blogs. Sometimes it is forever, sometimes it is a hiatus. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, and the work is done. And now it is time to move on.

When a blog comes into your life for a SEASON . . . Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.A blog brings you a purpose, phenomenal clarity of thought, an experience of peace, platonic connection(s), sometimes financial benefits too or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done or even thought of. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And then the bond is severed. You take the lessons and move on.

LIFETIME blogs and bloggers teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid foundation for life. Your job is to accept the blog , love the blog from your heart, have an open mind without judgment and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and experiences of your life.

All the blog-o-sphere is a stage
And all blogs and bloggers merely players
They have their exists and entrances
And each in their time play many parts

Inspired and based on the original words
“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be.Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON . . .Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

What about you? Have blogs come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime.. Leave a comment to let me know

Blogging can change your LIFE! – Give it a CHANCE today…

2008 was the year I entered the blog-o-sphere; primarily as an avid blog reader. In 2009, I created my first blogs in which I used to write occasionally – Of course, my blogs were private. In 2010, I shared my blogs with my inner network of friends and family; and received very encouraging feedback. After this initial response, my blogs went public in 2010 and so started my blogging journey.

Its 2013 now – Almost 3 years since I embarked on my blogging journey as a blogger. During this journey, I have published 1000+ posts on my own blogs (public, restricted and private), and have published several guest posts in site of global repute on a diverse set of topics.

So, really what is blogging to me? My blogs are the canvas for my words. Words which stem from dreams, thoughts, observations, analysis, learning’s, conversations, view-points, outlook, views, emotions, perspectives, achievements, mistakes, failures, lessons learnt, comprehensions, experiences and conclusions.

As of date, I run two popular blogs:

(1)   VERVE : The Quintessence of my Life – Which is my personal blog and covers a broad range of topics around Life, Creativity, Parenting, Relationships, Human Experiences, Emotions, etc.

(2)   Nischala’s Space, Thoughts and Expressions – Which is my professional blog in which I about topics of professional interest which revolves around Social Media, Marketing, Leadership, Innovation and Strategy.

In addition to the above, I also publish guest posts in several reputed sites of global repute.

Blogging can transform your life in more than one way. Once you start actively blogging, you will see many aspects of your life can change drastically. Physically, you become more aware and observant of the world around you – Simply because you need things to write about on your blogs, and most bloggers typically draw in from real-life experiences. Emotionally, you will feel more balanced and happy; because you get an opportunity to express your emotions through your blogs. Intellectually, you need to think to write a blog – So it provides good exercise to the “gray matter” in your brain. Socially, it can help you build new networks and connections with like-minded people, and also interesting people – Whom you would otherwise never have known. In some cases, it can also elevate your social standing in select circles. If you are good in blogging and consciously work on blog monetization, it can add to your personal finances. And of course spiritually also, blogging can help you re-connect with yourself!

So it really has the potential to touch impact and influence every facet of your life.

Personally, there have been several positives. If I had to list the top benefits and life skills which are enhanced along my blogging journey, they are:

  • Blogging enables you to be a lifelong learner
  • Blogging enhances your self-discipline
  • Blogging enables you to prioritize better
  • Blogging helps you truly understand a subject; The best way to understand any subject is to teach someone about it or to write about it
  • Blogging enables you to hone and refine your written communication skills
  • Blogging enhances your “thinking skills”
  • Blogging helps you accept and deal with compliments and criticism in a better way; It makes you open to feedback
  • Blogging compels you to improve your personal time management skills
  • Blogging makes you dream; and dreams are vital to the journey of life
  • Blogging give you a new-found respect for every other writer / blogger; and a new-found respect for your blog readers

In conclusion, I’d like to say that Reading and Writing can be your two best friends in life. And the blog-o-sphere can enable you to do both – So why would you not extend your hands in friendship to blogging?

At the end of the day, a blog is really a creative piece of art. And a blogger (is like an artist) who need to be true to his / her blog-art.

Blogging can change your LIFE! – Give it a chance today….

Happy Blogging and Have a Great Day!

Originally published @ here

How Social Media can really help Writers / Bloggers?

As a writer / blogger, I have found Social Media to be a blessing! Be it Blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. – They all prove to be invaluable for any writer..

So How can Social Media really help a writer / blogger?

1) Research

One of the best ways Social media can help any writer / blogger is for research. Research is an integral part of the writing / blogging process; and most writers / bloggers spend time in active research on the internet. Searching in Blogs, or on Twitter using specific Hashtags, or even simply following an expert on a specific topic on Twitter can significantly simply your research process and reduce effort!

2) Inspiration

Most writers / bloggers need a periodic dose of inspiration to bring out the best pieces of creative output. We all have different triggers / things which inspire us, and Social Media provides it in abundance. The only pre-requisite is you should know what kind of things inspire you (quotes, pictures, emotions, others experience’s, etc.) and you should know the fastest way to get your dose of inspiration on Social Media. trust me! Its there everywhere – Blogs, Tweets, Pinterest, etc. etc

3) Ideas

Many times, a write / blogger needs ideas – On the topics to write about, how to articulate, how to take the story further – And you just can’t seem to move ahead. Again, Social Media can come to your rescue. Sometimes reading totally unrelated articles fuels your imagination (I don’t know how the brain wiring works, but it does!) and propels your forward, Sometimes reading a tweet gives you food for thought, Sometimes a picture / infographic does the trick, and sometimes it is a blog post which gives you that killer idea! Sometimes it is your own past Social Media activities which trigger new ideas  and thoughts :)

4) Easy access to samples of other writers / bloggers

Many writers / bloggers like to read samples of what other writers / bloggers have to say. It can be for very many reasons – To get exposure to alternate styles of work, to gauge audience sentiments, to figure out tips, tricks and best practices of the trade, or simply because they enjoy others work. Again, Social media provides easy and instant access to sample the work of other writers / bloggers

5) Promotion & Marketing

Sharing your blogs / writings has never been more easy, efficient, quick and global as it is today. Any blogger / writer can share their work at the click of a button. So Social Media can aid significantly in Promotion & Marketing

6) A Social Network

Writing / Blogging are lonely activities. It is just you , your thoughts , your words and your tools (Whatever hardware and software and systems you use!). So many writers / bloggers do like to have social interactions with others – After all, it is a basic human need! And the best part of Social Media is you can converse at any time you wish to, and with anyone who is willing to converse with you on any Social Media channel (Be it Twitter, FaceBook chat, etc etc). This virtual social network sometimes is a blessing for most writers / bloggers.

7) Writing / Blogging Groups and Communities

The other good thing about Social Media is the presence of online Groups and Communities. They exist on almost all channels (FaceBook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Google+, etc.) and are formed by individuals who have common interests on specific subjects. Such groups usually share knowledge, information, request for reviews, provide feedback, support, encouragement and many times, also help in Promotion & Marketing of your work. You can join one / many such Groups and Communities, based on your personal interest, the time you are willing to invest and the personal value you see from them. But if you join the right Groups and Communities, you can benefit enormously by learning and interacting from fellow writers and bloggers.

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

Lessons to any Blogger after 3 years of Blogging

2008 was the year I entered the blog-o-sphere; primarily as an avid blog reader. In 2009, I created my first blogs in which I used to write occasionally – Of course, it was private. In 2010, I shared my blogs with my inner network of friends and family; and received very encouraging feedback. After this initial response, my blogs went public in 2010 and so started my blogging journey.

Its 2013 now – Almost 3 years since I embarked on my blogging journey. During this journey, I have published 1000+ posts [Average of 1 post / day] on my own blogs (public, restricted and private), and have published several guest posts in site of global repute on a diverse set of topics.

So after 3 years of blogging – Am I any wiser?

Well, I’m sharing some of the most important lessons of my blogging journey in this post.

(1) If you’re wondering why should blog. Here are the AEIOU reasons

  • Blogging increase your AWARENESS
  • Blogging enhances your own EXPRESSIONS
  • Blogging compels you to INTROSPECT
  • Blogging makes you OBSERVE
  • Blogging enables you to UNDERSTAND

For full details, refer my post on AEIOU reasons for you to blog

(2) Writing on a blog helps you learn and discover more about yourself – Let me just say, you re-discover yourself and re-connect with yourself in ways which you could never have imagined

(3) Regularly writing on your blog is a great way to express yourself, your thoughts, your creativity, your views, your perspective, your ideas, your opinions, your experiences – if nothing else, it does wonders for your overall state of well-being (emotional and intellectual)

(4) Blogging is a “creative process”. Take the time to understand the process. It is worthwhile in the long run

(5) Blogging helps you to create new relationships and there is beauty in blogging relationships

(6) Guest Blogging is a great way to challenge yourself and extend the reach of your writings. The learning’s and connections you make in the process is invaluable. Here’s a summary of what Guest Blogging taught me

(7) Blogging has the potential to open new doors and possibilities – More than you can dream, think or imagine. Here’s a post I wrote on “OK You Write a Blog – So what Next?”

(8) Regular Blogging helps build and enhance your own self-discipline. And self-discipline is a great virtue to build in today’s day and age.

(9) Starting a blog is easy, but continuing to blog for years is a challenge for many. One of the key reasons is because every blogger runs out of ideas to blog. And for this, it is important to read continuously, and to wear the 6 Thinking Hats on your blog and to Focus on Diversity on your blog ; constantly challenge yourself to do new things on your blog. Be creative and sky is the limit to how long you can blog! For e.g.: Do reviews, interviews, curate great content, share interesting quotes, etc.

(9) Blogging can help you share your thoughts and views through interviews and alternate mediums for a larger reach. Check one of my first interviews focused around Blogging

(10) Every blog has a Hype Cycle. Be aware of it and spend time in understand this hype cycle

(11) There are only 3 Types of Blogs which a reader will really remember. If you want to make a mark in the blogging world, ask yourself if you’re doing any of these?

  • Blogs from which YOU LEARN
  • Blogs which make YOU THINK
  • Blogs which TOUCH YOUR HEART

(12) Practice the 65:20:15 Mantra for every blog post.

  • 65% of your time should go towards Blog Content
  • 20% of your time should go towards Blog Marketing
  • 15% of your time should go towards Blog Reader Engagement (after the post is published)

(13) Having an Editorial Calendar helps any blogger to be regular and disciplined about blogging efforts

(14)  Blogging is a journey; Not a destination. Enjoy the journey

(15)  To Keep at Blogging, here’s what you need

  • New Life experiences
  • Passion for writing
  • Creativity
  • Self-Discipline
  • Self-Motivation

And all the above are vital in the journey of life as well. So why not consciously invest in these by starting your blogging journey today?

On that note, Happy Blogging! Give Blogging a chance today..

Who knows how it will change your life!