Deeba Rajpal From PassionateAboutBaking Talks About Blogging

Deeba Rajpal From Passionate About Baking Talks About Blogging

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We are both avid bloggers and often find it challenging to come up with fresh, good quality content for our readers, come rain or sunshine. But the content creation process as it is, helps us evolve further in our research towards better blogging and social media practices amidst multiple social networks.

We had earlier shared a report by Drizzlin that talks about the State of Indian Blogosphere and also had the Drizzlin experts over at our Facebook wall chat. The findings in this report and the discussions thereby caused us to start a new series wherein we interview real bloggers who have walked the path. The idea is to be able to gain a better hold on the ground reality of the blogging ecosystem. We have with us, Deeba Rajpal from PassionateAboutBaking aka The Rabid Baker from the Times Of India blog. Our discussion is shared below:

 

Deeba Rajpal

1. Hi Deeba! Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us. Do tell us about your journey with passionateaboutbaking and how it has changed you as a person?

My journey with PAB began almost 4 years ago thanks to some extra time on hand and a precious internet connection. I very timidly entered the blogging world, with an intention to remain hidden. My intent was to only document my recipes for myself and my kin as I loved swapping and sharing recipes.

Beginning a food blog has been the best thing to happen to me. The camera played my trusted companion and from extra time on hand, I soon found myself racing to pack more into a day! Blogging has found me fabulous friends, connections that span the globe, a happily fed family that sees desserts {and much more} like never before … and new found confidence to conquer the world! I enjoy every minute of what I do with a passion. PAB fills me with a huge sense of satisfaction and I am eternally grateful to my readers for their continuos encouragemnt and support .

2. Passionateaboutbaking is a riot of refreshing colors and yummy bakes. How do you juggle between baking, blogging and being a stay-at-home-mother?

Thank you for your wonderful words. Being a SAHM is one of the toughest jobs {IMHO} because you tend to get taken for granted, but I have managed to battle {and mostly win} that one. Food is a wonderful occupation. We eat most meals at home and the kids like to snack when they return from school, so in many ways we have a ‘common interest’. I like to organise my time productively, and am on my feet from 5am to about 11pm juggling between blogger, baker and mother … and I have no complaints {other than the occasional whining}!!

3. Apart from being ‘The Rabid Baker’ in the Times of India, you also work on a freelance basis. Can you share a little on how a typical work day for you is?

Before I sleep every night, I plan what the blog {or assignment} needs to be fed the next day {and that feeds the family too}.  I am an early riser, so armed with my cup of coffee I try & sort out my mails first, and then it’s time for the kids to be dragged out of bed! The minute the pre-teen and teen are out of the door, the blogger in me takes over from the SAHM. Armed with the camera, with a riot of thoughts in my head, I reach the kitchen with a sense of urgency…so much to do, so little time! With a very involved and hyper ‘forever hungry’ pup in tow, I blend, chop, click, bake, cook, wash up, clear & clean the kitchen, download the photographs, write a little summary of my post/freelance assignment when the thoughts are fresh. The content of the write-up begins to take shape as I work. In this time, I also throw together a quick lunch {preplanned the previous day again}, and then I’m off to fetch the kids … it’s back to playing Mum again!!

4. You have been blogging consistently since 2007 and now moved on to your personal domain. Can we assume that ‘blogging’ can give one an identity and any tips on making some money too?

Moving to a personal domain was a good decision and all thanks to a Mumbai blogger who pushed me to cut over. Owning a personal domain and now cutting over to a WP hosted one does involve some additional expenditure annually. I have seen many bloggers who are still on hosted domains and are doing a brilliant job, so it’s more of a personal decision. I personally like the feel of being a dot com. Either ways, blogging will give you as much of an identity as much effort you put into it. I think it’s important to find a niche, a focus. Post original content and build a relationship with your visitors. Whatever you blog about, remain focussed and regular. Look for trends and keep your passion alive. Making money off blogging isn’t my strong point. I get many enquiries for advertising on PAB, and am selective about which I pick.  I can do with tips here too…

5. With Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, etc, Social sharing seems to help bloggers. What are your thoughts on it?

I think Twitter has proved most successful for me, even though I get onto Twitter essentially to keep in touch with my friends. With millions of blogs out there, social sharing sites to catch the readers attention is definitely the way to go. Still, it’s a fine line about how much you can self promote. Sometimes too much ‘blowing your own trumpet’ can be quite ‘putting off’. I think it’s best to build your social sharing network with a healthy connect in mind, rather than self promotion.

Note: I prefer Twitter to FB, and am still trying to find time to figure out SU!

6. Most successful bloggers turn into writers, and it is also your dream to write a baking book. Have you been approached by publishers or is a book already on its way?

I wish, LOL!! Not yet, though I have my fingers crossed as I know there are very few dedicated books for bakers in India.

7. As a successful blogger, what advice do you have for aspiring bloggers?

Blogging is a continuos experience and I am still learning the ropes in many ways. Few tips from me ….

  • Be original & ethical {please respect copyrights and don’t copy content. Seek permission if you reproduce anyone elses work, and give due credit}
  • Be regular and post at least once a week.
  • Post a mixed bag to keep the readers interest going. {Eg On my food blog I don’t post one cake after another. I try and add variety – cake, ice cream, macarons, bread, no bake, sweet, savoury etc}
  • Join groups, blog hops with similar interests as that’s a great learning ground and you tend to get noticed more. {Eg. I am part of Daring Bakers, MacTweets, Secret Recipe Club, #baketogether … which is about all I can manage}
  • Be polite. Don’t write negatively, and do try and steer clear of controversy.
  • Reciprocate
  • One parting shot… no matter what you blog about, try and include photographs. It breaks the monotony and keeps things interesting both for you as a blogger as well as for readers of your blog!

 

What more need we add to this list! It probably covers up just about everything a blogger needs to do to be a successful one. Personally, I believe that great bloggers are great managers of time apart from being keenly passionate about their niche area of blogging. Everything else just falls into place just as Deeba’s perfect bakes! Thanks for this share!

Do you have a blog or are planning to start one? Do watch our space for more blogging articles, interviews, tips, etc.