Many of you are likely to recognize Chitraparna as one of the top blogging tip authors out there. While I was going through the new hiring phase for the site, Chitraparna was one of the earliest new authors to the blog in the past year. It has only been a year since Chitraparna made her first guest blog post on another website and now runs several successful blogs of her own. Now it’s a pleasure to feature them in this week’s edition of “meet the blogger”!
1) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging.
I’m Chitraparna Sinha, a self-made freelance writer with consultant and blogger from India. I started freelancing to cover college expenses. After graduating Masters’ in English in 2010, I was at a crossroads to either do a conventional job or do what I really wanted to do, which is to write.
I wanted to be self-employed. However, I was never sure how to do it. While I was also making a living as a freelance writer at the time and had a good client base, I thought that wasn’t going to be enough. I thought if I had to earn well, I would have to escalate the earnings process.
After a lot of hard work, I’m the way you see me. There are very few freelance writers in India who earn an average of six figures a month without the support of a “conventional” job to fall back on.
Most recently, I came across blogging quite by accident. I did a lot of ghost blogging, but when a friend of my mom’s, Shanker Bakshi, offered to register a domain and pay for my hosting, I danced for joy. Shanker is an affiliate marketer, blogger from Chandigarh, India and “very successful” in everything he does!
It is my first step to blogging success and I am forever indebted to him. He gave me the confidence I lacked. He taught me how to blog, configure Live Writer, how NOT to blindly spend on products and he still stands by me as a strong support system.
2) What is the main focus of your blog and why did you choose this niche?
At first I didn’t have a niche choice. Blogging happened by chance and I thought it would be interesting to write on social media. After a while, I started writing about small business resources.
In all honesty, after 8 to 10 months of blogging, I was able to find my focus and decide how I want to move this blog forward. As I’m telling everyone now, it’s a resource blog for bloggers and small business owners. Since I am a writer, there is also a small section devoted to freelance writing and earning. These three are my main themes and somewhere they merge into one.
3) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
I currently have AdSense activated. Info Links used to be enabled too, but I’ve now removed it. I get paid for product reviews, advice, guest blogging, paid ads, and accept sponsored reviews.
As a content developer, I get a lot of small business customers through my blog and it’s 80% of my earnings.
4) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started blogging?
I want to learn more about WordPress and customizing themes. Not that I’m an expert now, but I can handle both of them better.
Second, I want to know about monetization techniques to start earning sooner rather than later. I had a lot of experience as a ghost blogger, but when I got the prospect of monetizing my own blog, I went blank.
Lastly, I wish someone had told me to network with other bloggers. I started doing this after many months and lost a large part of the network advantage.
5) Which three blogs do you visit almost every day?
Aside from your Zac (I visit him daily), I regularly read 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 for your blogging? (Search tools, keywords, content, social networks)
I use these tools:
- Long Tail Pro
- Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Stumble over
- Windows Live Writer
7) What advice would you have for someone just starting out on their first blog?
I would advise the blogger to keep a reserve of blog posts worth at least 3 months. The first three months are crazy. There is a lot to do, but so little time that the reserve in places eases the workload. You have time to design, tweak topics, connect, and share social media.
Lastly, I would recommend this post that I have published here to any new blogger. It is a must read.
8) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve come across since starting blogging?
There are actually a couple of them:
- If you have something unique, don’t give it away for free. I used to give a lot of free blog development advice but now I stopped. I calculate for you.
- Don’t write every day. When I started, I wanted to post something every day. I later realized that this is not possible if I don’t have a team. So I’ve reduced it to 2-3 times or less per week and focused more on the promotion.
- Blog for your audience, not 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 names, hosting, and logo branding. It could cost a little more than $ 100, but these three are top priorities. Logo is very important. I like the way you branded your blog Zac. It’s a stepping stone towards authority building.
10) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you? (Social / Blog URLs)
Readers can contact me about –
- My blog – SocialVani.com
- Twitter Handle – @Chitraparna | @socialvani
Thank you, Zac, for making me worthy of this interview. I really appreciate that.
Thank you again Chitraparna for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you are interested in learning more about other bloggers and how they succeed online, be sure to check out our blogger interview series.