With the start of this month May, I am starting a new, weekly series, on my blog. In it I am featuring 20 bloggers for 20 Sundays starting from today till September 2017.
The Blogger to be featured today is Atul Sharma
Can you tell me a little about yourself and your blog – mentioning something known and unknown to the readers?
I’m Atul aka Atulmaharaj in the virtual world. I’ve been blogging over 4 years now at socialmaharaj.com. Few people might already know this, but this blog was started as a part of a college assignment. (Yes I was extra sincere back then, and took the assignment a bit seriously: P) Jokes apart, my Communication Skills sir was an amazing person. From having YouTube assignments to blogs, his ways of teaching was ‘hatke’ and I admire him for that. He insisted on having a class blog and that’s when socialmaharaj started. Blogging I feel is a way to give back to the internet. We’ve taken so many things from the internet be it for homework or office related projects, we should give something back and socialmaharaj is my way of giving it back.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working on your blog or through blogging communities?
As I said, 4 years into blogging, I’ve met some amazing people online – Twitter and other Blogging communities. But it was only last year that I got to be a part of an event organized by Tata Motors where bloggers from all over the country were invited. It was at this event I got to meet the amazing people behind those twitter handles. You already know, that I’m really good at memorizing twitter handles! Meeting experience and renowned bloggers was a great learning curve for me. From meeting people younger to me to meeting experienced folks who had seen everything in life. And last week I had a similar experience meeting you too. Finally got to meet @RomSpeaks ! Inspiring isn’t it ?
What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog? You can tell me about your usual day routine.
Software Engineer by Profession and Blogger by Passion sums up my life perfectly. I sometimes feel that my life is exactly like Hrithik Roshan’s from the movie Zindahi Na Milge Dobara. I’m the ‘typical IT guy’ sitting in the cubicle staring at a dark screen with hundred lines of code as people label me ‘Workoholic’ (I don’t think so) Even though my job ain’t 9-5, I try to stick to it. For those of you who don’t know, I’m an early riser and not the midnight owl, so you won’t see my online beyond the 10pm mark. Being the ‘SocialMaharaj’ I start my day by checking and responding to mails/notifications on my various social media channels. When I’m not blogging, I’ll be either in the kitchen or exploring places to eat.
Everyone has a favourite/least favourite post. Tell me about your best and worst post and why?
I do have a lot of posts that would belong to the either category. My favorite post would include ‘Shukriya Dear Zindagi’ – a post where I spoke about my roller coaster journey till date. [http://socialmaharaj.com/2016/11/05/shukriya-dear-zindagi/]. This one is close to my heart because with this post I got a chance to go back in time and relive the amazing moments that made me what I am! When I look back to my early blogging days, I realize how bad I was at this. I had written posts that were barely a paragraph. And my premier post was surely one of them [http://socialmaharaj.com/2012/12/16/le-premier-poste/]
Name some of the bloggers – at least 3 of your favourites, whom you look up to and why?
One tip that I always give to any aspiring blogger is that Blogging is not only about writing, it is more about reading. When you read what others write, you get a food for thought. You find a new way of looking at things. Few of the bloggers that I admire are @enidhi – Srinidhi Hande. He’s a Travel and Lifestyle Blogger who is a very active blogger. One of the things that I like about his blogs is the detailing. Whenever he travels to a new place, he gives a detailed break up of expenses which are great for people who are planning a trip. @VikramKambhoj – We’ve been following each other for few years now and recently met at the Tata Event held in Hyderabad. Being a sports blogger isn’t easy. And especially in a country like India where Cricket is religion, writing about other sports isn’t easy. That is what makes Vikramji different. @ArvindPassey – Again, I had met him at the Tata Event and was totally in awe. Surely not among the young lads but definitely young at heart, Arvind has written some of the finest posts I’ve come across. His winning entry for Tata Tiago simply amazing. Apart from them there are a lot of bloggers I enjoy reading @TheHeebee, @Mayuri6, @DeepaliAdhikary, @DeepaGandhi, @BaawriBasanti, @Shalz75, @MaitreniMishra, Amrita and many others.
Tell me about your proudest achievement(s)? (Related to Blogging)
I like to celebrate even the smallest of the achievements that I’ve witnessed in my short blogging stint. Some of the most notable ones are:
- Was invited by Tata Motors to witness the launch of their new car Tata Hexa in Hyderabad. My review is featured on their website – http://socialmaharaj.com/2012/12/16/le-premier-poste/
- Was invited by Ford Motors to experience their beast – Ford Endeavour here in Hyderabad
- Invited by Logitech to review their latest wireless products in an event in Hyderabad
- Won the runner-up prize during a Blogging marathon organized by Indiblogger and Tata Motors – posted close to 125+ posts in a month
- Won the Godrej Mother’s day contest organized by Indiblogger and Godrej – http://socialmaharaj.com/2015/05/16/i-am-from-msm-mummys-school-of-management/
- Won the Parachute Khulke Khelo Holi contest PAN India blogging contest – http://blog.blogadda.com/2016/04/26/winner-announcement-parachute-advansed-khulkekheloholi-activity
If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
Below are a few things that I always suggest to anyone who wants to get into blogging:
- Blog is like a tree, water it with fresh posts frequently and reap the benefits in future. Never leave a blog without a fresh post for more than a week, you are killing the blog if you do so. So always have something in buffer and keep watering your blog with great posts.
- Don’t Quit – I’ve seen many bloggers quit just because they weren’t getting huge readership. Well I would say don’t quit. Getting people to read your blog isn’t easy and takes its own time. It’s a slow process, but that doesn’t mean you should stop blogging.
- Don’t think of a blog as a money making machine – Blogging is passion. If you are starting out with the sole intention of making money, I’d rather suggest you quit. Don’t ever venture into blogging with the intention of making money. You should focus on writing great posts and not think about the moolah. If you are good, you will earn something soon.
I am sure you know me as a blogger or your friend on social media or may be even as a person in real so how would you rate my writings and tell me your honest opinion on me – this would serve as a testimonial (A new section on my blog where I would put these good words…or maybe the bad ones too)
@Romspeaks is how I like to address you. I think we have known each other for a little over a year now. I know you as one of the most intellectual and active twitterati. One of the best things I like about your blog is that you write on an array of topics. And more importantly you know what you are writing. You are honest and unbiased and say what has to be said be it a review post or an opinion. Your blog is surely and inspiration for many budding bloggers, keep it up!
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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