WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A BLOGGER WITH NIRAJ PUN OF NEO STUFFS
At first, blogging involved a personal web log, in which a person would journal about their day. From “web log” came the term “blog.” Like most new innovations on the Internet, things picked up soon. Many started out with their own blogs, for various different reasons. Many entrepreneurs even saw marketing potential in having a blog, and blogging took off from there.
Over time, there have been many bloggers who have set out with their works in different fields. Amongst the many bloggers, one name has been consistently notable. Starting the popular blog, Neo Stuffs, Neeraj Pun is a blogger from Pokhara who is currently based in Seoul, South Korea. He started Neo Stuffs a little over three years ago in an effort to stay connected with Nepal despite being out of the country for the majority of the time.
We caught him online and took the opportunity to ask him what it takes to be a blogger.
TNM: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE STRENGTHS REQUIRED TO BECOME A BLOGGER?
NP: I think dedication and patience are the most important qualities you need to have. I have seen various bloggers who are good at it but give up blogging after some time. It’s always a challenge for a new blogger to get hits on their articles and that starts to annoy you after some time. It takes a lot of time and effort to write something and it’s quite obvious to be disappointed if nobody reads it. But that should not stop you from writing.
TNM: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST SERVICE A BLOGGER CAN PROVIDE TO HIS READERS?
NP: There are different kinds of bloggers – fashion bloggers, food bloggers, travel bloggers, and a lot of others; and they have different contents. But one thing that’s common among them is that they either provide information or entertain their readers, or both. That’s what bloggers need to provide their readers.
TNM: HOW DO YOU MANAGE TIME TO RUN YOUR BLOG EFFICIENTLY? WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE BE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO BLOG BUT ALREADY HAS A DAY JOB?
NP: No matter how busy you are, you can always take some time out for something that you love. I love blogging and that’s why I can always make some time for it regardless of how hectic my schedule is. Whenever I am not doing something, I mostly think about stories that I should do. I make notes on my phone while commuting to work, while taking a walk, while shopping, and almost anytime. Then later when I have my laptop, I give the story its final shape and publish it.
The advice I have for others is pretty much the same. Blog if you really like writing and blogging; and you will automatically have time for it.”
TNM: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST STRATEGY THAT WORKED WELL FOR YOU TO GET MORE TRAFFIC TO YOUR BLOG?
NP: Writing honest and straightforward opinions is always the most important strategy.
TNM: WHO OR WHAT HAS IMPACTED YOU MOST IN BLOGGING AND HOW?
NP: It has to be the feeling of satisfaction that I get from blogging. When I started this thing, I had no idea that someday I will be reaching to and will be interacting to so many people around the world. It’s just amazing.
BE GENUINE AND MAKE A GOOD REPUTATION OF YOURSELF. THE CLICKBAIT TITLES AND SENSATIONALIZED STORIES MIGHT GET YOUR BLOG INSTANT TRAFFIC BUT THAT WOULD BE TEMPORARY. BY THE END OF THE DAY, READERS WILL FIND OUT THE TRUTH.
TNM: WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING MOMENT IN YOUR BLOGGING JOURNEY SO FAR?
NP: Writing about any subject that people might have different opinions about is always challenging because you’re sure to get a lot of criticism and even hatred. When I wrote about a viral picture, ‘the Kriti Stole Bob’ controversy, and some articles against the Internet trolls; are just some of the few examples. But the thing is, why play safe and try to make everyone happy, and get lost in the crowd of thousands of bloggers when you have the chance to present what you feel about something and stand out from the crowd.
TNM: CAN YOU NAME SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE BLOGGERS IN NEPAL AND EXPLAIN WHY THEY ARE YOUR FAVOURITES?
NP: I am fond of Jay Poudyal’s works. The way he introduces us to inspiring people from across the nation through Stories of Nepal is always amazing and emotional. Lex Limbu, like I always say, the Rajesh Hamal of Nepali blogosphere, is someone I admire a lot. I also like Bishwas Hamal from Gundruk Post, he is good at it.
TNM: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR BLOG?
NP: My aim was to create something that will help me remain close to Nepal and because of the blog, I feel like I am more connected to Nepal now than when I was physically present in Nepal.
TNM: HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE YOURSELF TO KEEP THE BLOG UP AND RUNNING?
NP: My blog might not have a huge readership but the ones who like it look forward to read my write ups; and I don’t think there can be anything more encouraging than that.
TNM: WHAT DO YOU FIND THE MOST FRUSTRATING ASPECT OF BLOGGING?
NP: People’s reading habits are very unpredictable. At times when you write about something that’s very important and want more people to read it, the story isn’t read by many people. And then sometimes when you write about something that doesn’t actually matter a lot, it becomes viral. It can be frustrating sometimes when the stories that you want people to read don’t get much attention.
TNM: HOW ACTIVE SHOULD A BLOGGER BE ON A WEEKLY/MONTHLY BASIS? HOW OFTEN DO YOU COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS?
NP: That really depends on the contents of your blog. I call myself a ‘Khichdi’ blogger as I try to cover, I think, more than necessary topics. I want to write about everything (except politics) and that’s why I have to give at least a couple of hours everyday in order to post at least one or two stories on average everyday. This might be different for other bloggers who stick with one particular category and post just a couple of stories ever month.
I try my best to communicate with my followers and reply to their messages whenever I can. But it’s literally impossible to communicate with all of them. There are always dozens of messages on my personal social media accounts and the blog’s pages as well- most of them being requests to write about them and their works.
TNM: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY FOR GETTING MORE VISITORS TO A BLOG?
NP: Be genuine and make a good reputation of yourself. The clickbait titles and sensationalized stories might get your blog instant traffic but that would be temporary. By the end of the day, readers will find out the truth. So my advice to anyone who is, or wants to be, a blogger is to write genuine stories only. That might lead to a lot of time to gain a lot of visitors but you will have them.