Awara Diaries’ Parampara Patil Hashmi shares her travel adventures and the story behind Awara Diaries while also taking us through the content creation process.
‘The need for travel is real!’ believes Parampara Patil Hashmi, a traveler, storyteller, digital entrepreneur, and founder of Awara Diaries. The travel blog imbibes stories, experiences, itineraries, recommendations, reviews from her and her colleague’s travels. Through her content, Hashmi aims to inspire readers to embark on their next trip and help them with planning the same with everything that they write about.
From experiences of travel gone wrong, little misadventures to wonderful stories of people, Awara Diaries has been constant in revealing the unknown corners of the world. In conversation with Social Samosa, she speaks her heart out about her journey, content creation process, blog monetization and much more.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
Back in school, I was the kid who spent more time finishing language essays because I loved writing. 2004 was the first time someone recommended blogging to me. I only remembered the term. 5 years later, the internet started taking over our lives. It was in 2011 when I created my first blog, about the movies.
From there on, there were multiple blogs and a constant attempt at sharing my thoughts on movies. It helped me majorly because I had started the #100FilmyDays challenge on Twitter which meant I was watching 1 film a day!
It was only in 2016 when I started Awara Diaries, the blog that gave words to my travels.
What’s in the name?
The love for travel for me came through the many gorgeous places that I saw in movies and read about in books. Being a major Raj Kapoor fan and a cinephile, Awara was an easy name to pick, combined with Diaries for our travel blog.
I have always believed in the impact of an impressionable name. That’s how I picked on ‘Cinemawaali’ for my entertainment blogs. People remember the name, it’s where it all begins.
But with World Culture Network, the plan was to create a more global platform, hence the name had to have a generic appeal.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
I believe the biggest USP of any content creator is the content creator herself. When I was reviewing movies, it was about my take on the movies. When I write about my travels, it’s about my experiences as a traveler. If people can connect with you, they will take interest in learning from what you have created.
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McLeod Ganj morning! . . . #bbctravel #cntraveler #guardiantravelsnaps #travelawesome #traveldudes #traveldeeper #passionpassport #tlpicks #worlderlust #getlostnow #livetravelchannel #afar #letsgoeverywhere #tripitpic #liveintrepid #beautifuldestinations #wonderful_places #5secondvacay #lpfanphoto #aroundtheworldpix #worldtravelpics
Like I often make movie references even in my travel stories. People connect to that. Some of the most successful content that I have created is a blend of movies and travel.
However, I have always tried to maintain quality and honesty to create the edge. You have to keep evolving and experimenting.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
Change is the only constant in any industry. With content creation, it is no different. To stay relevant and relatable, it’s essential to focus on how content is being consumed. Parichay & myself started a travel blog alongside micro-blogging on social media. The next obvious transition was videos.
We didn’t want to take a traditional route with that. We created an interlinked but a different brand- World Culture Network. We took long trips across Europe to create a variety of travel video content and we were one of the first to do so.
On World Culture Network, you’ll find a whole range of content- destination guides, food guides, experiential activities, street musicians, offbeat destinations, day trip vlogs, adventure travel. And there’s a lot more brewing! We also experimented with content formats and durations.
How do you rake moolah with your efforts?
Raking in the moolah is the toughest job! Content is not a tangible product and that makes it super hard to cash on. You have to explain people the value of time and effort that goes into creating quality content.
Most people still prefer barter, but then it’s a call to take whether it equates to the value of content that you are creating and if it’s even worth. But there are some traditional methods now like sponsored posts, backlinks, social media promotions.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
There are three key ingredients to strike objectivity:
- Knowing your brand very well and how people perceive it
- Creativity is the secret ingredient that can help you make the most of an opportunity other than making moolah
- Finally, if the above 2 don’t form the perfect marriage for the brand brief then you got to learn to say NO. This will take you a long way.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
One? I think every moment of it makes it worthwhile. The fact that I get to do what I love, all the travel, meeting people and most importantly feeling insignificant because there is so much happening. I love the fact that I can encourage people to take that trip by making them believe that travel is not all that difficult. The ability to see, show and share the world is no less than a wonder in itself! It’s also helping me with my writing and as a person in totality, to be honest! From where I see it, I have way more to gain from the whole experience than what I can lose. It’s empowering and that makes it even more special.
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Conquer the world, one step at a time! #WorldTourismDay . . . . . #awaradiaries #travel #instatravel #travelgram #tourism #instago #passportready #travelblogger #wanderlust #ilovetravel #writetotravel #instatravelling #instavacation #travelblogger #instapassport #postcardsfromtheworld #traveldeeper #travelstroke #travelling #trip #traveltheworld #igtravel #getaway #travelblog #instago #travelpics
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
I once got a call asking me to edit my bio and include #gadgetgeek and few similar things across platforms so that the agency could get client approvals on the campaign. I obviously refused. But the agency tried pressing through multiple requests!
If not blogging, you would be?
A digital marketer or a filmmaker or an entrepreneur maybe?
The first, I already am. The other two are work in progress ;)
A day in your life…
Starts by replying to emails, following up for (late) payments and constantly working on content ideas for the blog and video series. Looking for flight tickets and working on clearing the blogging backlog is a constant.
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
Blogging is not your free pass to be a freeloader.
Every time I have the freedom to share something on the internet, I feel blessed. We are a generation that is blessed with a free platform to share thoughts and ideas. And that’s what we must always remember while creating content!
You can be a blogger, YouTuber, author, influencer, anybody because you can do it at the click of the button! Respect the free space and put it to a good use.
Your Favorite Influencer
I love the content that Aanam Chashmawala and Roxanne Bamboat. Both represent a different niche, but they’ve kept their work completely transparent. The way Aanam connects with her audience gives them a peek into her life & makes content around it is brilliant. Especially with Roxanne, I love the fact that she never glorifies travel with filters. She’s out there and real.
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Everything is better with the view of the Eiffel Tower! I was always taken aback with the hype surrounding the Eiffel Tower. And it was funny because it topped so many bucketlists. Only on my first brief trip to Paris did I realise that it meant so much more to the city than just a key tourist attraction. I have to admit the view from the top was not the best thing about it. But each time I look at the pictures of the Eiffel Tower now, it feels like a guarding angel watching over this city of love! ❤️ #AwaraInFrance #AwaraDiaries @parisjetaime . . . . When in Rome, allow yourself to get lost ❤️ #TuneInToWCN: bit.ly/MEMWRome @rome.world @italietourisme @raileurope @tripxoxo @woodlandexploremore . . . . . #paris #eiffeltower #france #instatravel #france?? #thingatodoinparis #frenchhistory #culturetrip #travel #history #visiteurope #instaparid #passionpassport #tourdeeiffel #iloveparis #igparis #postcard #instago #tagsforlikes
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
I am working on building both Awara Diaries & World Culture Network to not just excel in content quality and the audience. I am banking on the philosophy of ‘One World’ and ‘Accessible travel’ to reflect through both ventures over a period of time. The world needs it!
I live in the movies (in my parallel world). I travel in search of stories. So I explore- experience- express my trysts with people, places, food, culture and their stories!