Aiming to provide objectivity through her bold and nonchalant views, Ekta Khetan puts forth her content-creation journey as a lifestyle blogger.
Ekta Khetan, further, shares her thoughts on the journey from being a shy person to taking up blogging as a persistent hobby.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
I was a shy person but started pouring my thoughts in writing. I have been penning down poems and thoughts in my personal diaries. Of course I barely ever opened my poems to the world including my mom who was quite a writer in her college days. I wanted to take my views to the world especially the ones on social causes. So after a lot of secret/ghostwriting, I finally opened an official blog in 2008 as numero unity.
What’s in the name?
Name is your unique identity and first step in creativity and self-expression. My first blog was numerounity, derived from numero uno + unity [my name Ekta in English].
My other blog “Haute Kutir” has both my initials “EK” in between. Besides I wanted a name that would have a universal plus Indian feel to it. Hence merged Haute with Kutir [a hut or symbolically a melting pot in Sanskrit] because I wanted it to cover my multi-faceted interested in lifestyle blogging.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
I am not an air-brushed blogger with a photoshop proficient photographer and makeup artist. I try to be as real and grounded as I can.
I have a multicultural upbringing, experiences, and understanding. Being a curious and ready learner by nature, I always strive to maximize realism in my writing and stay relevant with times.
My content evolves from deep research, exposure and consumer mindsight. Paid or unpaid, my reviews would always be genuine, conscious and trying to accommodate different perspectives. I anyways hate herdmanship and won’t nix my words to win a short term gain. And my work experience helps me to combine objectives from both sides of the table- business and consumer.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
Everything has to be based on deep interest, understanding, experience and constant learning/unlearning. I ensure to do fewer sponsored content like 70-30. I travel a lot, meet/know different people from different walks of life without being judgemental or skewed in my approach. I combine my business management experience with consumer behavior. Trust me, being on the field, soiling yourself does help.
Nevertheless, I have never attached money with my self-worth. I have a two-pronged philosophy- If I like a cause/product/idea, I will cover it for free or barter or on self-interest mode. Secondly, I won’t promote unreasonable content even for a good fee.
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
Blogging is reduced to peanuts with so may so-called influencers trying to find a way under the sun, doing promos for free, and even trying to turn PR with a mere list. The brand seems to be divided between the top paid influencers and namesake influencers.
Nevertheless, I ensure that I am active on all my different social media platforms and earn via some sponsored collaboration. And generally, people who work with me once, do come with repeat business.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
My business management background, vast experience, and understanding of the brands/products come handy. I am a keen observer and have been following branding/advertising from an early age.
Segregating products at the initial stage also helps. For example – I do not like promoting/using products tested on animals. So if a brand is not cruelty-free and wants me to take it up attaching it to International values, I refuse.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
While being thankful to different people who gave me a new opportunity and constant support, Everything is learning, re-learning curve.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
Many. Especially the brands that want you to buy their products from Amazon/Nykaa others and promise to refund the amount after the [of course the rave and 5-star review is published. Or the restaurants that pay bloggers 10-20 Rs along with pre-written reviews and photos to be posted on Zomato.
Some may pay higher but that’s’ not the point. The fact is there are takers and hence the dirty offers. Thirdly, there are some brands/PR who in spite of budget, do not want to pay you but want to garner free publicity.
If not blogging, you would be?
Blogging is my hobby and not a profession. But yes, I would like to develop into a full-fledged professional communication specialist or brand consultant.
A day in your life…
Hectic and always dealing with Murphy’s law.
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
Be genuine, add value to your work. Blogging is not about glossy photoshoots or fancy Instagram pages. For that, we have advertising and models. A blogger is a person who shares his/her experience based on knowledge with other people.
Being real, honest and environment-friendly goes a long way. Do not promote just anything to be in the “PR package list of brands or earn money”.
Do not get daunted with naysayers and avoid inspiration based plagiarism at any cost.
Your Favorite Influencer
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
Communication specialist or a multi-talented consultant.