Ex-professor turned blogger, Mridula Dwivedi strives to project her expeditions unblemished by not restraining herself to constraints.
Her Travel Tales From India & Abroad narrates relatable instances and shares accounts of her travels by forming a setting and creating an ambiance through her words that seem to be submerged in the sauce of wanderlust.
She shares some behind the scenes’ recitals, how she started, tips for new bloggers on the block & more.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
I do have a story to tell for this. The year was 2005 and my sister Alka and my brother-in-law Amrit were already blogging! And they did not let me be until I started a blog myself. I wrote my first post at their home. They made me do it! I don’t think I would have started on my own because I always thought- after all who will read it?
A lot, believe me. I started as ‘Travel Tales from India’ and then came a time when foreign tourism started collaborating with me. They would often ask me if I only wrote about India! Most of them agreed when I said no. Then came a particular tourism board where the person simply digs their heels and said my blog name was Travel Tales from India hence I only wrote about India. I added the lopsided ‘and abroad’ to my logo to avoid such confusions in future. So, do choose the name carefully, it will stick.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
I think I started at the right time, by the time clutter happened I was already established. Also, I think people relate to my girl next door image!
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
See there is the trick! When I started blogging, in 2005, there was nothing in it. No FAMs, no deals, no money, nothing other than the passion for travel. I still carry that mindset. I write what I want to or as I saw it!
Till 2015, when I quit my job, I was not even a full-time blogger. It was something I did on the side. My main task was to teach Human Resource Management in a private business school. I liked to publish academic papers in addition to my normal work load! I never even in my widest dreams thought that I would quit my job.
How do you rake moolah with your efforts?
Honestly, I don’t make much. My salary was much more than what I earn from blogging. My husband still works full time. I saved three years’ worth of salary and invested all of it. What I earn from blogging is enough for my monthly expenditure and to take a few trips abroad. But it is nowhere compared to my six-figure monthly salary that I used to earn as a professor.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
If it is something totally out of my line, I simply say no.
For FAM trips no one and I repeat no one, not a tourism board or hotel has ever given me a brief. They let me write as much or as little I want. For cell phone cameras etc. I post the pictures taken by that very device strictly. I am totally aware that my readers are my asset. It takes time to build trust, but it can be broken so easily.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
Not just one, all my trips are a delight- be it the recent one to Siberia with Follow Up Siberia or my personal trek to Everest Base Camp in 2012. I cherish my journeys.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
Nothing really that stands out to makes the mind boggle!
If not blogging, you would be?
I did my Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur and I was a professor of Human Resource Management when I quit. I never thought I would do blogging full time. When I quit I told myself it was for one year which somehow became three …
A day in your life….
When I am home it mostly revolves around my daughter and her tennis! We both enjoy playing tennis in the evenings. When I am traveling it is a different world out there!
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
If you keep at it, it will become better!
Your Favorite Influencer
@nics_mindset on Instagram. The young man has so much energy to go out at all odd hours to get some smashing pictures.
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
I think I will be in this space for a long time … I am after all the girl next door!