This week I’m pleased to feature Chitraparna Sinha a professional freelance writer in an exclusive interview.
Many of you reading this may say wait, who in the world is Chitraparna Sinha and why are you interviewing her?
Well, there’s a really good reason:
Yes, the primary concept that I obsess over on this blog.
When it comes to RESULTS, it’s not what you do but how you do it that makes the difference my friends.
Chitraparna is a perfect example of how to be strategic when it comes to developing your career online.
Many times, I have said that freelance writers must not-only look to the next writing gig for income but-also they must make time to develop and build their own blog community.
This is much harder but long term it’s much smarter to be diversified and “multi-versatile”.
This is why I wanted to interview Chitraparna Sinha.
Not only has she established herself as a professional freelance writer through her portfolio site Chitraparna.org but also she’s built a popular blog community that ranks in the top 113k on Alexa SocialVani.com.
With that said let’s go to our discussion:
This fall will mark the three year anniversary for your domain SOCIALVANI.COM you also have another domain that has also gained popularity EsmeeNetwork.com. Can you share the top two reasons that you feel led to your blogs success?
Honestly, I never thought I could survive in the blogging world. I started on a whim but the journey has been really exciting.
One major reason for this popularity, I think, is visibility in terms of social networking and emails. I have been active on Facebook ever since I started SocialVani. People know me more as a blogger than a content developer, a fact I came to realize few weeks ago.
Another reason is to write content which resonates with the readers. I try to stay away from writing generic content, topics which have already been written about extensively. Unique content development helps a lot in blogging.
You are one of the few bloggers that I know of that has two domains in the top 100K of all sites according to Alexa. This is a very impressive accomplishment; can you share some traffic promotion secrets? So many people reading this are struggling to increase their traffic what is a tip or two that you would share that really generated results for your blogs?
Thank you Darnell In fact, I went below 50K for SocialVani few months back but due to time constraints, I am unable to promote it…sigh!
There are no secrets actually.
The ace up my sleeve is social media promotion & that too not much. I can’t really say how SocialVani traffic improved because I never monitored much…the Alexa, PA, DA and traffic just rolled in with time. But with EsmeeNetwork, I am monitoring and analyzing every metric with hawk’s eye.
I recently covered the Alexa experience on a friend’s blog. There too, I mention how social media promotions helped but before that, I spent a lot of time perfecting the blog in terms of SEO, especially, zeroing in on targeted keywords. In fact, few days back the blog got sitelinks (see here). I am really thrilled. Even SocialVani didn’t get this good response.
So, as per my experience, do two things:
• Spend time in perfecting the blog in terms of SEO. I recommend WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. Believe me, I use the plugin 100% and I see good results. Focus on the site’s structure.
• Promote on social media. Don’t be an anonymous link dropper. You need to actually connect with other social media users for the promotion to work.
Finish this sentence.
When I have “writers block” or trouble writing I ___________ or _______________.
When I have “writers block” or trouble writing I hit the gym or disconnect with writing completely.
You are an extremely prolific writer. Do you have any idea how many articles you have written or have you lost count? Also, can you talk a little about hard work and how it plays a role in your success? How does a typical work day go for Chitraparna?
Honestly, I have lost count.
If I have to dig into emails since the day I started writing (I save everything!), a generous estimate could be about 2000 articles…or more. I seriously don’t know.
However, a large number of those articles aren’t credited to me because in the early years (since 2008), I worked as a ghostwriter extensively and it is only since 2012 that I started getting credit…initially, I had to specifically state the clause to new clients and now, the credit comes automatically. Clients come to me because someone recommended me and this feeling of ‘being known’ is really awesome.
Hard work matters a lot in freelance writing. The popular perception is that writers are lazy creatures…all we do is sip coffee and write but the perception is far from truth. Writing is a solitary profession. You need to motivate and inspire yourself. You are your own team…and it takes a lot of effort to maintain the motivation level.
Sometimes I just disconnect with the whole writing thing for a week or two. I email clients, let them know and thankfully, they don’t object. I reach a phase when looking at the laptop makes me cringe…and I NEED to go on a break.
Any writer will experience this. It is necessary to maintain strict discipline.
My typical work day has undergone a lot of change in the last few years. In the beginning, it was more about seeking clients, placing bids, winning and writing…now, it is more about developing marketing strategies, coaching others on content development and writing for client projects, obviously…that’s the constant factor. The client base is more or less permanent and I just focus more on writing, teaching and improving my blog.
For me, a typical work day can be just 2 hours and sometimes 16-18 hours at a stretch. I like the flexibility. I cannot follow a same routine daily. To top this, I am an organization freak. Every day before sleeping, I note down the ‘things-to-do’ tomorrow in my diary and I follow it religiously. It saves a lot time. I spend time writing for my blogs and creating content for clients and marketing them as well.
EMAIL vs. SOCIAL MEDIA. Which do you feel is more valuable? Would you rather have 100 new email subscribers or social media followers? Explain.
I would rather have 100 new email subscribers than 100 social media followers. It’s not that the social media followers don’t matter to me but email marketing is more ‘personal’, and I prefer the personal connect.
DARNELL: What is your favorite social media network for promotion/fun?
DARNELL: If you could travel to anywhere in the world where would you go? Why?
CHITRAPARNA: Ireland. I feel a karmic connection with that place
DARNELL: Can you mention one interesting fact about you that none of the thousands of people who follow your blogs would ever guess?
CHITRAPARNA: Ummm…the fact would be that I am really approachable. I don’t know why or how my image has come about as a serious, unapproachable and mysterious persona. I am a serious no-nonsense person but very friendly and approachable too!
What I learned from Pro Freelance Writer Chitraparna Sinha
#1 – THE JOURNEY TO THE TOP IS HARD
It’s supposed to be right?
So, if you are writing for poor rates per word TODAY don’t think this is your permanent existence make strides NOW to improve yourself today in a meaningful way and your tomorrow will be that much closer to your goal.
#2 – GET ORGANIZED
The easiest way to make good on your promise of becoming successful is to make sure you are doing the things everyday that will contribute to your success.
If you’re serious make a list and COMPLETE THE ITEMS ON IT EVERYDAY!
#3 – TAKE A BREAK
Life is too short to spend ALL your years staring at a screen.
Seriously get out, take a walk, smell the flowers, see life for all the endless opportunities and focus your mind on the steps that you need to be taking in order to get there.
I WANT TO THANK CHITRAPARNA FOR SHARING KNOWLEDGE
I know you could have sent a pitch to some blog site or whatever and got published and paid but instead you shared what you know with people you don’t and I really appreciate you taking the time to do so, thank you.
Now it’s over to you.
Are you a freelance writer? If so do you also blog?
Are you a blogger? If so do you also sell articles as a freelance writer?
Speaking of YOAST SEO here’s my review of the best SEO plugin for WordPress:
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