1. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your Blog?
I'm a linguist, a translator and a professional content writer. My blog Swati’s Journal is a Web publication presenting short stories, articles and poetry mainly. I write on a variety of subjects like my stories and Musicals have different emotions. My Gujarati poems comprise of motivational, sometimes spiritual thoughts.
2. What did you do before Blogging? What inspired you to start blogging?
I’ve worked as a qualified Pathology Laboratory Technician for few years. Then an educator. Next my love for various languages led me to become a translator and a content writer. I wrote many corporate profiles, promotional blog posts.
During the growing years, I gathered the experiences and stories to be told.This inspired me to create swatisjournal.com.
3. As a blogger, what are the challenges you face? How you overcome it?
Blogging requires rather demands consistent and disciplined creation of content. Articles and stories that can connect directly to the readers. Loading them fast on slow connection! :)
Learning technical things constantly is a must. The other major challenge is the change of habit. As a writer, I must create a well advanced content for the next publishing dates. I can’t skip the timetable.
Also, I had to search for the talented people who could help me design the site at an affordable price.
So, it took several months, research, concrete planning and initial budget in the beginning.
4. What would you consider to be your biggest achievement in your journey so far as a Blogger?
My precious readers, the acknowledgement I get from the fraternity and various prestigious platforms are my biggest achievements. And the years passing help me grow as a person is a bonus!
In fact, all important accomplishments are jotted in my about page at the website.
5. Have you worked/collaborate with brands? If yes, name few brands you worked with
Not directly. I like affiliate programs like flipkart, amazon, socialpilot and elegantthemes. I am hoping to join interesting campaigns here at IndiBlogHub for the direct collaboration.
6. What is your primary income source?
I work full time as a creative content writer and translator to earn.
7. Top 3 Blogging tools that you would recommend to your readers?
I think, any new blogger must understand a process of website design and development to create a functional blog. I had to learn a lot before I created swatisjournal.com.
These were the steps where I gathered enough knowledge about it.
1. Finding a economic yet fast and easy hosting provider. ( I selected Godaddy! )
2. Selecting a blogging platform where I can easily and repetitively create and edit my blog posts. ( i.e. blogger / wordpress / tumblr / Medium etc.)
3. Designing a layout for my posts that is beautiful yet fast to load. ( Yes, speed matters!) So, I hired a team and it’s awesome.
4. Finding a best scheduling tool (kind of editorial calendar) that can serve as a back bone of my posting schedule and help me post consistently.
And once my posts are published, I try to reach my readers personally via emails.
So, the tools I recommend to bloggers like me.
>> Wordpress (low cost, easy to setup, good for SEO )
>> Mailchimp (Free plan works for many of us! )
>> Airtable (Great tool to create your own editorial calendar!)
I spent a significant amount of time to build my editorial calendar on Airtable and it works really good. If interested, reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I can share it with you!
8. One piece of advice that you would like to share with all new bloggers?
We all ( or most of us ) start with one goal, Make Money!
My advice is, don’t do that. Don’t start with it!!
Many a times, I get emails about “how to make money” from your blog?
My answer is - it’s a gradual process. Offer Value, build your unique follower base. They must enjoy consuming what you offer. ( and you must enjoy while offering it!).. At some stage, it starts to pay off.
9. Finally, what are your thoughts about IndiBlogHub?
I believe, Indian blogger community is still very fragmented. Bloggers across India - offering investment advice, reviewing gadgets, books and all kind of products or sharing their travelogues, food bloggers, fashion bloggers or creative content writers like me.. We all need to unite. IndiBlogHub is a great beginning.
I haven’t participated in any active campaign yet ( I am not sure how exactly it works! ), but I still thank IndiblogHub to build such an active community.
To make it better, please do not turn it into a marketplace. Ever! =))
Join me at swatisjournal.com or send a message at fb.com/swatihj