Many of you will probably recognize Chitraparna as one of the most frequent writers on Blogging Tips. While I was going through the phase of hiring new writers for the site Chitraparna was one of the earliest new writers to the blog over the past year. It was just a year ago that Chitraparna made her first guest blog post on another site and is now running multiple successful blogs of her own, and now it’s a pleasure to feature her in this week’s edition of “meet the blogger“!
1) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
I am Chitraparna Sinha, a self-made freelance writer cum consultant and blogger from India. I started freelancing to cover college expenses. After clearing Masters’ in English in 2010, I was at a crossroads to either go for a conventional job or do what I really wanted, that is, to write.
I wanted to be self-employed. However, I was never sure how to go about it. True, I was earning as a freelance writer then too and had a good client base but I figured this won’t be enough. I figured if I had to earn handsomely, I need to escalate the earning process.
After much hard work, I am as you see me. There are very few freelancer writers in India who are earning a six figure income every month, on an average, without the support of any ‘conventional’ job to fall back upon.
Lastly, I got into blogging completely by chance. I did a lot of ghost blogging but when a friend of my mother, Shanker Bakshi, offered to register a domain and pay for my hosting, I danced with joy. Shanker is an affiliate marketer, a blogger from Chandigarh (India), and “very successful” in whatever he does!
He is my first stepping stone to blogging success and I am eternally indebted to him. He gave me the confidence that I was lacking. He taught me how to set up a blog, configure Live Writer, how NOT to spend on products blindly and he still stands behind me as a strong support system.
2) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
I didn’t have any choice of niche in the beginning. Blogging happened by chance and I figured social media would be interesting to write about. After some time, I started writing about small business resources.
Frankly, it was after 8-10 months of blogging that I could find my focus and decide how to take this blog forward. As I tell everyone now, it is a resource blog for bloggers and small business owners. Since I am a writer, a small section is also devoted to freelance writing and earning. These three are my main topics and somewhere or the other, they merge as “one” entity.
3) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
Currently, I have AdSense enabled. Earlier, Info Links was enabled too but I removed it now. I get paid for product reviews, consultancy, guest blogging, paid ads plus I accept sponsored reviews.
As I am a content developer, I get a lot of small business clients via my blog and it gives 80% of my earning.
4) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
I wish to know more about WordPress and how to customize themes. Not that I am an expert now but I can handle both better.
Secondly, I wish to know about monetization techniques to start earning earlier than later. I had much experience as a ghost blogger but when faced with the prospect of monetizing my own blog, I went blank.
Lastly, I wish someone had told me to start networking with other bloggers. I started it after many months and I lost a large chunk of networking benefit.
5) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
Barring yours Zac (I visit it daily), I am a regular reader of Ana Hoffman’s Traffic Generation Café, Neil Patel’s Quick Sprout and Steve Pavlina.
6) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging? (Search tools, keywords, content, social)
I use these tools:
- Long Tail Pro
- Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Stumble Upon
- Windows Live Writer
7) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
I would advise the blogger to keep a reserve of at least 3 months’ worth of blog posts. The first three months are maddening. There are a lot of things to do but so less time so the reserve of posts will lessen the work load. You will have time for designing, theme tweaking, making connections and social media sharing.
Lastly, I would recommend this post I published here for every newbie blogger. It is a must read.
8) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
There are a couple of them actually:
- If you have something unique, don’t give it for free. I used to do a lot of free blog ‘content development’ advice but I have stopped them now. I charge for them.
- Do not write daily. When I started, I wanted to post something daily. Later I realized that unless I have a team, it is not possible and so I have reduced it to 2-3 times or less per week and I focus more on promotion.
- Blog for your audience and not for search engine bots.
9) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I would use $100 for domain name, hosting and logo branding. It might take a little more than $100 but these 3 are main priorities. Logo is very important. I like the way you have branded your blog Zac. It is a stepping stone towards authority building.
10) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you? (Social/blog URL’s)
Readers can get in touch with me via –
- My Blog – SocialVani.com
- Twitter Handle – @Chitraparna | @socialvani
Thank you Zac for considering me worthy of this interview. I really appreciate it.
Thanks again Chitraparna for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.