The Edutainment Show is India’s first and only education fair focused on media, communication & design. It was initiated in the year 2013, and just like the previous two seasons, this year was also a grand success.
This year, Kolkata Bloggers was one of the 14 official partners of The Edutainment Show.
DigitalSpeak: Blogging as a new marketing tool
Anirban Saha, Mr. Abhishek Chamaria, and Miss Poorna Banerjee were invited to speak during one of the 13 panel discussions that were to be held on the first day of The Edutainment Show. Mr. Aninda Das would be the moderator.
30th May, 2015
DigitalSpeak would start from 2:15 PM, and continue till 3:00 PM.
Click here to skip over to a video that covers the session is a gist.
The three speakers and the moderator were introduced by the anchor.
Anirban Saha is a photo blogger based in Kolkata, and the founder of Kolkata Bloggers. A computer engineer by profession, he has worked with Techshu, WebPrachar, and is now an SAP consultant at TCS. He has conducted various workshops on blogging and photography.
Mr. Abhishek Chamaria
Mr. Abhishek Chamaria is an entrepreneur with excellent marketing skills and an in depth knowledge about social media marketing. He is the Operations chief of Brainwave.
Miss Poorna Banerjee
Miss Poorna Banerjee is one of the most celebrated food bloggers in this nation today.
This Jadavpur University Department of English alumnus is primarily a food blogger and is now venturing into lifestyle and fashion.
Mr. Aninda Das
Mr. Aninda Das is the communications chief of Infinity Group, now involved with numerous activities to promote Bengal. Previously he was with NASSCOM, promoting and working with startups.
Mr. Aninda Das was asked to start the discussion.
Mr. Das initiated the discussion with the scenario of jobs. People are not getting jobs. Education loan outstanding in India is twice that of credit card credits. This is not a Kolkata centric phenomenon, rather an Indian phenomenon. Hence, a student has to build his brand from day one of college.
Following this, he asked Anirban Saha to tell the audience about his experience with start ups.
Anirban Saha, on working with start ups
Anirban started off with the idea of personal branding that was introduced to him by Aji Isaac Matthew.
When a person trusts your work, comes back to you with work, and pays you well. You get a good market reputation and you have a good personal brand.
Anirban is the student of an engineering college in West Bengal. He worked hard, and he got involved with Techshu, WebPrachar, and then Techshu again. He worked in those start ups as interns. Certain people have some skepticism about working in a start up, but he told the audience about his experience.
Working in start-ups has been the best experience so far, where you are not told exactly what to do. It’s like a family.
Techshu had a bed, so whenever I had a headache, I could just dive in there and sleep, and then work at nights.
I think every one of us should work in start ups, because you do not have a specified role, you get to do whatever the situation demands. For me, it was PHP development, and at times, even cooking for my buddies 😀
Mr. Aninda Das to Anirban Saha:
I want to know how you started Kolkata Bloggers. Tell me about your blogging career.
Anirban Saha, on how he started blogging
Anirban started in 2009.
National Entrepreneurship Network (NPN) is India’s largest community of new and future high-growth entrepreneurs.
Anirban pitched in. There were several activities, and the aim was to report the activities in writing, and with photographs (and good presentation skills). He won a particular contest organized by NPN, nationally. He started blogging since then.
I’ve always heard that Kolkata does not support blogging scenario, the digital spheres in Bangalore and Mumbai are much ahead compared to Kolkata.
Bloggers do not have a common platform in Kolkata. So I thought, why not connect similar minded people?
We could have a list that is good enough to connect with, to share ideas with, work together, and maybe have good blogger engagement programs.
Poorna Banerjee, on why she chose food blogging
I took a photo of you guys, and I said that the house is full, tagged the two of them (the speakers), and I am going to post it on my Facebook wall. I’m going to use this as an example of how you can engage with people in a crowd.
Miss Poorna Banerjee started blogging in 2004, and she found that there were several personal bloggers in Jadavpur University, her university in 2005. She herself found the need for food blogging when she was working with some food industries, and realized the requirement of online reviews.
When she was young, she used to read the articles by a particular individual, called Ranjan Bandhapaddhay, in the Anandabazaar newspaper, in which the writer would “seduce people with his talks on food”. He had a character in his section called Nesha (meaning addiction). In one specific article, he gave an incredible description of the character.
She wanted to do the same. She wanted to seduce people with talks on food. She wanted to clear the misconception that cooking is difficult. She made it easy with her blog posts. All the recipes included in her blog posts, take 30 minutes at most, leaving out the cooking part – the preparation, from start to finish – a real challenge.
Following that, she talked about the relevance of keywords.
We wanted a specific amount of search results when we search something on Google. I satisfied it. Searching in Google will lead you to certain places. The keyword for blogging is relevance, and food is my relevance.
So if you ask “Why I wanted to do food blogging”, “I wanted to do it because I want relevance”.
Anirban Saha, on personal branding
Through blogging, I have maintained my reputation if not build it.
Official work depends on one’s presentation skills, and on what one delivers. At some point, after these two, blogging comes in.
He advises people to take 3-4 hours off, each week, to write something in their blogs. When one shares his/her blog posts via social media, or sends email to their subscribers, his/her followers are informed that he/she exists, and what he/she is up to.
When a person gets some information from your website, he/she will remember you and might even refer to you for something related to what you earlier wrote.
Anirban tells people to put up their thoughts. If the ideas in the thoughts are unique, and attracts people, one should keep working on it. Gradually, that individual becomes the thought leader. And, currently, the thought leaders are the most valuable components of any organization/institution.
Anirban’s advise on social profiles:
- Keep a proper social profile
- Use a proper profile picture, that includes only you
- In Facebook, use a cover photo that links to your blog (or other work)
- Give proper status updates, without unnecessary criticism, mocking, and expletives, and has original thoughts.
A proper profile will always give you an advantage when someone wants to choose new members for a new project he/she will work on.
Mr. Abhishek Chamaria, on setting up a blog
Mr. Chamaria started off by telling the audience about certain points one should keep in mind before starting a blog. One may choose any platform he or she wants, but setting up a blog does not end there.
One has to think about
- Why do I want to blog?
- Why will people read my blog?
One may have a passion, say fashion, photography, a computer language, and others. But one has to ask oneself how he or she can add value to people’s life by writing on it, and whether that individual wants to be known for that subject.
One can write about how he or she started or how he or she progressed, or what mistakes he or she made.
Following these points, one has to choose an appropriate name for the blog, and an URL. These should closely adhere to the subject matter of the website.
- One should do research on the topics regularly
- Find out the top blogs written on that topic, and follow them
- Get ideas and leave comments on the posts of the blogs he/she follows
About Anirban Saha’s post, talking about the importance of the results of class 10 and 12
Anirban did the following things before writing on the topic of the importance of class 10 and 12 results:
- Post a status update
- He took note of the comments
- Taking the opinions of the various people who commented, he wrote a blog post
This post was published at the perfect time, and the post procured 1100+ likes and 10k+ views in under a week!
Mr. Aninda Das on advertising with blogging
A person may spend lakhs and lakhs on newspaper ads. Take this scenario. Your budget is low. You cannot approach the press. You hire Kolkata Bloggers for a much lower budget. 10 bloggers will write on the event/topic, and share the blogpsots. Say 100 bloggers write. A buzz will be created. You get your advertisement done, at a much lower price!
Mr. Chamaria started this section of discussion.
Vernacular is now valued along with English nowadays, especially since all the major social websites, like Facebook, support vernacular languages in the proper script. So, a blogger needs to read a lot. After that, he may write on a topic in any language he or she chooses to as long as the subject matter receives justice, and people will read it.
Apart from writing, bloggers use other media nowadays: graphics and videos.
Images speak louder than words, and videos speak even louder.
The highest searched term recorded by Google in India, was How to cook XYZ. And the top results have links to YouTube videos, made by housewives.
An individual may send in links to his/her online profiles along with his CV, for a job interview. When people observe that hundreds, or maybe thousands of followers and friends rely on the individual’s expertise on a certain matter, the individual gets an instant advantage.
Below is a video shot and compiled by Avishek Rakshit. It contains the essential points of the entire session:
Q. Is there any professional forum, where I can learn more about categories, and including stuff in a blog post?
A. Anirban has started Kolkata Bloggers which has a database of 500+.
Q. Mostly I find generalized bloggers, how can I get specific bloggers?
A. Poorna is one example. She is writing and is being paid for that. You have to contact a community of bloggers and ask for help.
Asha P. Pillai
Q. How do I reach the right audience?
A. Facebook and Google AdWords can reach to specific people easily. It allows absolute targeting, based on various things (demographic profile, age group, etc.).
The more cross connections you make, the better reach you get.
The corporate companies will look more towards LinkedIn or Quora. General audience will look in Instagram, or Facebook.
Q. What are my skills worth?
Answer from Mr. Das:
If paying you will help me to increase my reach, I will pay you. For an engineer, the monthly salary is around 10k. For a social media guy, he can pay for a fresh content writer about 5k or 6k.
Answer from Anirban Saha:
I have seen freshers, who joined start-ups and got as less as 6k rupees. I have also seen freshers who get as much as 2 lakhs per month! It entirely depends on how you sell yourself.
This particular panel discussion was compact, and was filled with information. The house was full. There was a tremendous response from the crowd! Questions kept flowing in even after the session ended. Many people approached the speakers and the moderator for obtaining answers to their questions which could not be answered during the session because of the short time.
DigitalSpeak was a very successful event.