Shivani Singh: Blogging is just a form to transform this passion of mine
Blogger Shivani Singh speaks on blogging and how it has helped transform her passion into a full-time career!
Shivani Singh, a blogger, speaks about her hobby and how it has helped her make this into a full-time career.
Q. What brought you into Blogging?
I had been blogging about fashion, sketching etc, since last 10 years. But it happened only 2 years back that I started focusing only on the travel content – with an intention of growing as a Travel blogger, sharing my experiences with everyone, and making a career out of it.
Also, travel blogging happened due to my intense love for travelling that comes from my first job, where I was fortunate enough to get to go to some very exotic locations for work. I love to visit new places and explore new cultures across the world. I realized at a very young age that travelling for me is just not for leisure or a get-away from the grind! It is something that I love doing, it's my passion!
And blogging is just a form to transform this passion of mine into a full-time career.
Q. Who has been an inspiration behind your choice of career? Would you like to share the credit with anyone?
I would say my passion for the unknown places, my fascination for new cities, their streets and cafes, my curiosity to explore different cultures has been the greatest inspiration for me. Also, honestly I have somehow realized that the regular jobs can never give me the kind of satisfaction that travel blogging gives. And that is my greatest inspiration to get out of the corporate race and carve my own path based on my passions.
Q. What has been your main focus as an Blogger – fame or money
Honestly I have not thought about the same. Till now, I have just been busy in travelling and creating a great profile for myself by covering various kind of places and cultures. May be now, when I am planning to completely dive into it as a full-time job, I will start thinking about how to make a survival out of this choice.
Q. What is the secret behind so many followers on Instagram?
Consistency, relationship building and engagement with other's content.
I have been doing Instagram from last 3 years and have been very consistent not just with the frequency but also the kind of content that I post and also, the mediums/surfaces (IGTV, feed, stories, live and now reels) that I use.
Not just that, I engage with other's content regularly - everyday. I always reply to comments and the messages that I receive: whether on my posts or in my direct messenger! I make sure to build and maintain a personal rapport with the people who follow me. This has really helped me. Actually, Instagram is a big family to me now – we talk, we help each other, we have fun. Thanks to digitization!
Q. Do you think even in the 21st Century, a glass ceiling exists in the blogging world especially for lifestyle, travelling?
The truth is that, these days, the barriers exist more in our own heads than in any system or industry. The change in thinking and taking it forward starts with us.
I am not saying it is all rosy! Certainly, there are some subtle barriers that still exist, but I believe if you don't let them handicap you emotionally and mentally, it is all good. I have been mocked, been questioned, gossiped about (in my personal space) but then all that couldn't stop me from doing what I love. You cannot let all this bring you down.
The beauty of the blogging world and of internet space is that there are absolutely no limitations. If there is negativity, then there is a lot of positivity as well, it just depends on you – what you choose. You have total strangers supporting you, appreciating your work and applauding you when you succeed! Does that happen anywhere else? I don't think so.
Q. How do you balance between professional & personal lives? What are the major concerns for the Indian arising out of COVID-19?
So, I have a full-time job in one of the leading IT companies in Hyderabad, which takes up my day-time. I finish all the things related to my blogging in the nights: strategizing for the next day, preparing the content, writing, editing, engaging etc.
To maintain a balance, I have set strict work hours for myself for both my job and blogging and I do everything in my power to stick to those hours. You won't believe perhaps but I schedule every single minute of my day and it really helps me and does wonders for me.
I generally take a break from both the activities on all my Saturdays, where I just indulge myself in other hobbies: sketching, reading, watching TV, meeting friends etc.
Q. What challenges have you faced as a woman, considering you are a travel blogger?
Women face a number of challenges when it comes to travelling alone – I will not deny that. But I believe that the challenges we face as female travellers are no different to those faced by men. Believe me!
Also, it is our own fears, and prejudices that are often the biggest challenges to overcome. I have been travelling alone from last 10 years, have been to so many countries that people advised me not to go alone like Tanzania, Egypt, Trinidad and Tobago etc. But it turned out well, infact brilliant! So I believe that it is just about changing our own mindsets.
You have to understand and imbibe the fact that not everything there is out to kill you – trust me!
Having said that, there are definitely some challenges that we still have to go through being a woman. Like to avail a visa to travel alone in some middle east countries, you need to get a signed letter either from your husband or your father – giving necessary permissions for your travel! Can you believe it?
But these are not the challenges that can stop one from travelling.
Q. What is the best thing about being a blogger?
The biggest one, I will say is satisfaction! Seeing your social media following grow day by day, seeing your blog's readership grow month on month gives an immense amount of joy – that is unmatchable! Isn't it incredible to know that you can reach out to so many people in just one go?
The second one is meeting new people! I love talking to people, connecting with them and understanding their cultures. What else can give me a better chance at that than blogging?
Not just that, blogging has helped me in learning so many things: writing, editing, photography, video making and what not! You will discover new things and will have to learn new stuff every single day. I have so many skills today that I can easily start taking freelance jobs.
And last but not the least, you know when girls message me telling that I inspire them to hit the road solo, I inspire them to be themselves and do what they really want to do in life, I feel a kind of joy that I cannot describe. It motivates me to do better – if my blogging and my work can inspire and give courage to girls out there to take their own road, carve their own paths and do what makes them happy – it is incomparable to any other joy or any other job in the world!
Q. Considering that you have so many followers, and you can influence so many young people, given a chance, what message will you like to give to them?
I always pass on one message through my stories, posts and messages: Be happy, keep smiling, do not let anything bring you down, and that is all that matters in life. Do not compare your life and your work with others, everybody have their own struggles and also, do not let anything destroy your mental health at any cost – that is very important.
Let us inspire people to do better and not pull them down through trolling and negativity. Respect and love everybody and support others in their endeavours as much as you can.
I know this all sounds cliched, but trust me this is one of the most important messages that is currently required to survive in the internet world. I see people pulling others down, brutally trolling them, spreading hatred for no reason! It has to stop if we want to create a positive and healthy environment for all of us to stay in harmony and peace.
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