Hi Meetu, Welcome to Being A Blogger! Tell our readers about yourself.
I am a part-time movie reviewer, part-time blogger, part-time writer, part-time mother-of-two and a part-time housewife. I enjoy each of these roles, just that there are times when I enjoy one more than the other!
I love reading your movie reviews at your blog Without Giving the Movie Away (WOGMA). How did you start blogging about movie reviews at WOGMA?
Wogma, which started in September 2006, is a one stop shop for reviews of Hindi movies. The idea is that once a person reaches here and likes the content, they know where to come for reviews of any new Hindi release.
Actually, the USP drove the creation of the site. As in, the idea to write reviews came first and then came the idea to set-up a blog to show what I’ve written.
How has your blogging journey been for you?
I’m extremely glad I decided on blogging as a medium for the reviews. It gives me the freedom. Freedom to write as many words as I like, freedom to write in whatever format I feel like writing in and of course freedom to have and express my opinion without any restrictions (versus other print media). So, yeah all-in-all a great fun ride. I’ve loved the times when people disagreed with me, because it led to such wonderful discussions.
Last I was on your blog, I saw about 500-600 readers reading at a time. How did you manage to garner so much traffic to your blog?
Well, right now about 60% of my traffic comes from my husband’s song lyrics site http://smriti.com Other than that my readers come from Google searches.
After each review, I post a synopsis review and a link to the review to the usual suspects – social bookmarking sites (stumbleupon, Indianpad etc) and blog directories (desipundit, blogbharti, etc).
Every review of your movie is accompanied with other sources of reviews of the same movie. What is your intention behind it?
Again, to be a one-stop shop for Hindi movie reviews. I am not sure how having a collection of reviews can bring me hits, I mean, if it does great! But the aim is for readers to know that this is the place for this person’s Hindi movie reviews and then she has these links to other reviews too. So, in case readers don’t agree with me, they are one-click away from other reviews.
Your blog is very frequently updated with the release of a new movie. What keeps you motivated to keep on blogging?
I think the combination of a fundamental craze for movies and having a forum to talk about it. Increase in readership itself is motivation enough.
Your blog is self-hosted. How difficult is it managing both admin and the content?
Well, a lot of the technical admin stuff is handled by my husband, though I try to do as much as I can. Yeah, the admin stuff is boring and time-consuming, but what needs to be done, needs to be done.
How do you manage time for blogging? Any time management tip you may want to share with our readers?
For wogma, it’s really easy. It’s dictated by the releases on Friday. If there are two, I watch the other one on Monday. I write the reviews immediately after watching the movie, on almost all occasions. Writing reviews, has this unique aspect of not having to think about a topic to write on, the film industry-wallahs are taking care of it.
Does being part of any blogging community help you?
I’ve recently begun attending blogcamps and blog meets. They are a fun way to meet people who you have one common thing with! We all love tapping our fingers to death on our computer. Any information on blogging and page ranks and revenue generation is easily available on the internet, but meeting people is what I enjoy the most from being a part of a blogging community.
Were there any embarrassing or sad moments during your blogging journey?
Yes, one highly embarrassing moment was when my review for “Aap Ka Suroor” published with the highest rating, where as it was supposed to go with the lowest one. We had changed the system to enter the ranking in the backend database, and I didn’t remember that the system had changed! “Highly embarrassing” is an understatement.
In the same review, I was absent minded enough to imply that Kishore Kumar was the voice behind “dard-e-dil”, the song from Karz, instead of Mohd. Rafi. Got a lot of backlash and of course apologized for the blunders.
This was as sad as embarrassing!
Have you ever faced abusive/disagreebale comments in your blog? How do you handle them?
Oh, loads! Any comment that is just plain abusive without any relevance to the post at hand is promptly deleted. An abusive comment that has relevance is edited for the profanity.
The one policy I stick to is not responding to personal attacks. All of them are published without any editing but are not given the pleasure of any response.
But, I love the comments that discuss the post. I do reply to those and love the back and forth!
I have noticed advertisements on your blog. Is blogging also a monetizing activity?
It is writing first, then blogging. And if money comes through it, I won’t complain. I have tried to optimize advertisements, but the only thing that has worked for me so far is google adsense.
I noticed that at the end of each review, you ask for voluntary donations from your readers. You must earn something from the advertisements on your blog, why do you think need for donation arise?
I’m hoping to be a full-time blogger. I’ve recently started my personal blog at http://smritiweb.com/meetu. Now, if one has to survive, one has to earn money. I’ve read that many blogs have donations as one of their main sources of income, so wanted to give it a shot. Just fyi, it isn’t working!
Do you read other blogs? What interests you in other blogs?
Yes! I am subscribed to over 200 blogs. I like to read people’s opinion on things – from politics to films to philosophy to just random off-beat thought of the day. A good writing style interests me the most.
What are your top 5 blogging tools?
I’ve created a database in which I add my reviews. I then use a homegrown program which creates a post and publishes it using wordpress API.
I use feedburner for RSS feeds and e-mail subscriptions.
Any blogging tips you have that you want to share with newbie bloggers?
- Write about specific issues.
- Write something in a way that if you were to read it at another blog, you would want to visit again.
- It’s nice to be able to write whatever you feel like, but as a reader, its nice to sense that the writer has put some thought into his/her writing.
- Don’t copy, guys! It’s a real mean thing to do. I am sure you have enough originality in you.
- Be patient.
It is said that blogging is a learning experience. What are your 5 take aways from your blogging journey?
- I get to watch all movies! The good ones I don’t mind watching any way. And I thoroughly enjoy ripping apart the ones I don’t like. Couldn’t have a better win-win situation!
- I’ve started taking writing seriously after becoming a blogger.
- Regular posting helps in building traffic. But no point posting just for the sake of posting.
- Blogging has certainly made me more tech-savvy!
- And of course, I’ve met some wonderful people.
Any favorite blogs? (You can not name yours)