We are proudly featuring an Interview with Archana Chaurasia Kapoor one of the most popular bloggers on Indian Social Media and most seen name on each and everyone’s buddy list.
It looks weird but it is a fact that ever since I added Archana Chaurasia Kapoor to my social media network, I used to say my 1st Good morning message to this lady until today, that’s the impact she creates on your blog activities.
So agile, so cool, so straightforward, so dynamic, so social, so religious, so traditional yet so modern! I can write a book on her if I were allowed to do so. Ok let’s begin to learn more about her in her own powerful words below:
Gurunath: Hi Archana, we are very happy to have you here on the “weekly interview series of BOG (BestofGuru). Can you please share a bit about yourself with our readers?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: Born and brought up in Mumbai, I now live in the United States. I am a Banker by profession, worked in mainstream Banking and Learning and Development during my corporate stints for 16 years. In 2013 I quit my corporate career to start a Human Resources Consulting Firm – something that I was aspiring to do since my childhood days.
They say when you feel lost you should visit a place which allows you to introspect and reflect on your life. That’s when I decided to get back to books and completed my higher education at INSEAD – France, and Singapore, in 2012. Post that there was no looking back and I knew I had to start my own company; the time to fulfill my long-standing dream had arrived.
I love traveling, reading, hosting events, and enjoy being with kids.
Gurunath: How did you make an entry into the blogging world?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: Ah, my favourite question. As conveyed to a lot of people earlier, I used to love writing. But that happened only once in a while when I felt strongly about something which translated into an inherent urge to write.
Blogging was never on the radar until my husband Desh coaxed me into writing regularly. He created Drishti himself for me and honestly after that I was left with very little choice. But what began with something I was cajoled into doing became my passion in no time.
Gurunath: Do you blog full time? Can you tell us how a new blogger can choose his blogging career?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: Currently, I do write full time. I have taken a crazy liking towards Haiku – a Japanese form of poetry and am working on writing a book.
Well, writing is an art and a science as well. But I feel that one can sustain writing and blogging only if it comes from within. Creative writing can be learned, but you can put your heart and soul into writing only when you feel it is something you cannot live without.
And if you ask me, blogging chooses you and not the other way round. If you have it in you, the talent will blossom someday. But yes, one needs to keep abreast of the writing etiquette and learn the rules of the game.
Gurunath: You are almost omnipresent and super active on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Indiblogger, Blogadda, etc., how do you manage all those social media/ communities/ groups without fail?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: You know Guru, I have been beaten to death by some people about this facet of my life. Some people have gone to the extent of becoming judgmental and concluding that I don’t focus on my work and life and I am only on Social Media the whole time.
Firstly, it surprises me that they follow me everywhere, because only then can someone know I am omnipresent (wink wink).
On a serious note, it does take a lot of time and effort to be present on all platforms and participate actively. But once you are in the game, it becomes effortless; almost like a part of your life.
In the Learning and Development world, we call this state ‘Unconscious Competent’; where you continuously do an activity efficiently without wasting time and energy. Besides, I love Social Media and I know it is the future of our world. So why not make your presence felt everywhere.
Gurunath: How do you manage such a variety of posts in your blog and have at least a post per day on average?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: Just like Banking and Training, I can safely announce that writing is in my blood too. When I go through an experience, be it related to travel, emotions, politics, or a social cause, my hands keep itching to write about it; if that experience has truly made a difference to me in some way.
I manage to write on my iPhone if the laptop is not in close proximity. So whether I am traveling or even sitting in a conference room, my hands just start writing. It’s crazy at times because I see the sky and feel like writing a Haiku on it, I see a kid and I feel like writing an article on the joys of being a child again. This one time, I was traveling to the US and was transiting through Abu Dhabi.
I wanted to write about the experience so as not to lose the thoughts and quickly jotted down the article on my phone and sent it to my husband, requesting him to publish it on our blog. So yes, I also have the luxury of doing this, thanks to my dear husband.
Gurunath: Which is the top priority for you ….Content, SEO, Traffic, Readers?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: Readers will always be a top priority Guru, no matter what. You can keep writing but if no one reads it is going to be a very lonely world. Hence, whatever you do in terms of content, SEO, traffic building will fail if people don’t like what you read.
But let me be very honest with you. My top priority is to write and to write whatever comes to my mind. Thank god for that freedom! I am simply lucky that my writing and my presentation style appeal to my audience and for that, I will be forever grateful. Without appreciation, blogging can be difficult to sustain and I consider myself lucky to be recognized in this space.
Lastly, all the things mentioned by you go hand in hand, and hence they are all important and will happen sequentially when you get into the groove. It is a learning curve that each one of us has to go through if we are to excel.
Gurunath: Do you think rankings like Alexa, Moz & Google page rank have an effect on the blog’s performance? If so, what steps should one follow to have a better rank amongst the competitors?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: Good rankings are a feel-good factor and are obviously important when it comes to monetizing your blog. I am of the opinion that rankings matter depending upon the blogger’s objective. There are many who are not interested in Statistics and Analytics at all.
Since I have been a Banker, numbers have always been important for me and I usually do things with a competitive spirit, to excel in whatever task I lay my hands on. That’s why a good ranking has been on my mind always.
A blog’s ranking improves with frequent and quality articles. That’s how Drishti’s performance has been scaling great heights. Both, Desh and I love writing, and hence it does not take too much effort to post regularly. Our non-personal articles are very well researched and that has made a huge impact on Drishti’s rankings. Also, it becomes easier since we are two of us.
Though Desh also focuses on writing on his personal blog – Drishtikone, he writes frequently on Drishti too and that really helps us.
Gurunath: What type/s of strategy do you implement to reach your blog to as many visitors as possible?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: Strategy is a very big word, Guru. We don’t really have strategies. Or perhaps it would be right to say that our strategy is to ensure that we share our writing on all important Social Media platforms and engage with everyone who we think will enjoy reading our posts. We also encourage our readers and friends to subscribe to Drishti.
The numerous categories on Drishti also ensure the site’s wide appeal. The myriad range is one of the USPs of Drishti and I am given to believe that the site is called an ‘all-rounder’ by many.
Gurunath: There is a talk that multi-niche blogs are not great to start with to earn any money from blogging. Is that true? If not, how much do you earn from this blog which is a multi-niche?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: Do you really expect me to let the cat out of the bag? 🙂 Ok, so here you go. Drishti is like the temple of love for us. It is OUR need more than anyone else’s and hence whether a multi-niche blog will earn well or not was our concern. Our primary motive is to present quality stuff to our readers. Anything else is just a by-product.
We don’t earn much from our blog currently, except for doing a few sponsored posts. Drishti is just a 9-month-old blog and we are very happy with the strides it has made. Am sure the money will kick in soon, it is just a matter of time. As of now, our focus is on making it a top-class place of visit for our readers.
Gurunath: What mistakes should new bloggers avoid in the beginning?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: The list is endless. But I want to emphasize the quality of the content. If it is not written with the heart it shows completely, unless of course, the post is just a product review. But, even then the quality of writing and the presentation is very important.
The site needs to have a visual appeal. Online reading charms people who are ‘visual learners’ and hence the site design, navigation, font, etc., are very significant and need to be well done.
Many bloggers do not realize the power of Social Media and make the mistake of being away from it. Stay away from online platforms only if you do not wish to be discovered. If you want to be read, please make your presence felt and engage with people.
Networking is extremely crucial and well-networked people enjoy low hanging and early fruits.
Gurunath: What’s your opinion on sponsored reviews? Please share your experience on this.
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: I think this is a much-abused space, especially in India and the people to be blamed are none other than our own fraternity. Sometimes, when I have broached the topic of commercials people have looked down upon me and reprimanded me for the same. And it has left me wondering…
If something appeals to me, I will write about it on my blog, but no one can force me and expect me to work for free when I feel nothing about the subject. Writing a sponsored post also takes a lot of effort and we put our heart and soul in it. Everything that goes up on Drishti is of very high quality and it takes an effort to ensure that.
I have put my foot down on many occasions and refused to write free posts. I am very clear that we are not here for charity unless it is a noble cause which we believe in. People who want and need the power of blogging to enhance their rankings need to loosen their purses. There are NO free lunches.
If you are a friend, come home and have lunch with me and I promise a seven-course meal; but don’t expect me to work for free. Because you are insulting me and my profession and that is a zero tolerance area for me.
You get the drift right, Guru?
Gurunath: What are your suggestions for someone starting to build a career in blogging?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: What are you waiting for? Just do it!
Gurunath: What tools do you suggest for Social Media presence?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: I personally like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but we also use Google+, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon. According to me, every bit counts and the more one is Social Media friendly, the better the result.
Gurunath: Did you face any hiccups in the initial days of blogging? How did you overcome those?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: In terms of the site – none at all, thanks to my husband. He doubles up as our online expert and troubleshooter as well.
The only initial hiccup was – “what do I write next” and over a period of time, I overcame that as well. There is a story waiting to be written in every aspect of life. One only needs the eyes to see it!
Gurunath: What is your opinion on Guest Blogging and does it have any use for a blogger in terms of earning money?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: I didn’t even think or know that there was any relationship between Guest Blogging and earning money. Pardon, my ignorance on this topic.
Drishti has a decent list of guest bloggers and we encourage new writers to write on Drishti. We help them, give them direction and edit their content if required, as well.
Many popular bloggers have approached us for Guest Blogging and we are working on it.
Gurunath: What must-have Plugins can you suggest to our readers and please let us know your favourites?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: We use WordPress and there are many good plugins in it. Two important ones are Vaultpress (to backup the site) and Cresta Social Share Counter (Pro). These are the paid ones. “Better Click to Tweet” is another one that has served us well.
Gurunath: What Premium themes do you like the most? Please share your experience on the importance of selecting a theme and what do you feel about your current theme?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: We love themes from ThemeForest. Our current one is VOICE – which we fell in love with right away. This theme does help us do whatever we need to. I would suggest that the users go to ThemeForest and check out the features of the top themes and see which ones they would like on their site.
Gurunath: What are some of your favorite author blogs and why?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: That’s a huge list starting from my husband Desh himself. Fellow Bloggers make it to my favourites’ list when their writing appeals to me, their versatility makes them stand out and I can learn from them. So here’s my top list:
- Desh Kapoor – Drishtikone
- Mridula Dwivedi – Travel Tales From India
- Indrajit Das – Bong Blogger
- Bhavani Nandan – The Ladies Lounge
- Lata Subramanian – Lata Wonders
- Tennyson Thomas – The Tea Cerebrations
- Shweta Dave – Sunshine and Zephyr
- Bindu Cherungath – Movie Reviews by Bindu C
- Indrani Ghose – I Share These
- Sreedhar Bhattaram – Reflecting on Life
- Damyanti Biswas– Daily (w)rite
- Celestine Nudana – Reading Pleasure
- Ramesh Sood – RameshSood.blogspot.in
Gurunath: What advice would you give to young readers of BestOfGuru(BOG) who want to follow a similar career path as you?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: Follow your heart and the path will reveal itself.
Gurunath: How can BestOfGuru readers get in touch with you? Would you like to suggest any improvements for BestofGuru?
Archana Chaurasia Kapoor: First of all, let me compliment you on this Navratri series, Guru. This was a great idea and you have executed it flawlessly. Kudos!
My suggestion would be to try and innovate continuously and come up with creative ideas like the Navratri series. After a while complacency sets in and only those who innovate constantly survive and reach the top. Here’s wishing you the very best Guru.
Thanks to Archana Chaurasia Kapoor for this fabulous interview and for spending some valuable time with us.
If any of you have any queries, please do ask in the comments below!
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