Interview with Indian Travel Blogger – Santwona Patnaik from WANDER BIRD
1. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your Blog?
I am an avid travel writer, blogger, travel enthusiast and a full-time nature lover, set on a journey to spin magic with words. Writing and travelling define the two major passions of my life. So, writing travelogues is much more than just a job for me.
My travel website - WANDER BIRD is very special to my heart since it is my maiden attempt at travel blogging and compiles all my travel stories across the world. It also has a very interesting segment called - UNLEASHED THOUGHTS, which features true stories about life and social issues.
2. What did you do before Blogging? What inspired you to start blogging?
I have been working as an IT Professional for 7 years, and am currently on a sabbatical leave trying to pursue my passion for writing. So, yes, blogging is a full-time activity for me, for the last 1 year now.
My journey and inspiration so far -
I am generally a social person, a great listener but somehow, not good at speaking about my own self. I generally tend to hide my real emotions in public. That pushed me into writing in a way, because I express best when I write.
Since we are in a digital world now, my knack for writing made me take the next logical step, i.e. creating my own customised blog.
I have been writing for years now, before even creating a personalised blog. So, with time, I realised what aspects I really feel for. The topics that I really feel for, get translated into the best posts on my website so far.
My motto is "Write from your heart."
3. As a blogger, what are the challenges you face? How you overcome it?
On a personal note, I think social media engagement is the most challenging aspect of blogging. Even though I have a great knack for writing, I generally find the social media engagement aspect, networking etc. associated with blogging, to be very taxing.
To overcome this, I have scheduled particular times of the day, for engaging with my followers on a daily basis. Those times are mostly, when I would not write.
4. What would you consider to be your biggest achievement in your journey so far as a Blogger?
In a span of 6 months of professional blogging, WANDER BIRD made a grand entry to a list of Top 100 Indian Travel Blogs in 2018. This has been my biggest achievement so far, as a blogger.
5. Have you worked/collaborate with brands? If yes, name few brands you worked with
Yes, I have. Vietnam Visa, Livingstone, EasyWay Maid Service, Stella Ella - These are the primary brands I have been working with, on a long-term basis.
6. What is your primary income source?
I still derive my primary income from my IT job. Hopefully, the shift to blogging will happen soon.
7. Top 3 Blogging tools that you would recommend to your readers?
I am really very updated with the current lot of Blogging Tools available. As of now, my topmost 3 recommendations would be -
1. Jetpack by Wordpress
2. Yoast SEO
3. Updraft Plus.
8. One piece of advice that you would like to share with all new bloggers?
I make it a point to write daily. Content is most important, for any website. The process is a little slow, but it definitely yields results at the end. It keeps getting better and better, with each passing day.
So, always focus on content and consistency.
9. Finally, what are your thoughts about IndiBlogHub?
Skill Infinity is a great platform for budding bloggers. I would be thrilled to see more professional opportunities from the blogosphere on the Skill Infinity platform.
It would be great if Skill Infinity could collate all blogger-related requirements across the country, under one platform. That would definitely take blogging to a professional level in India.