A Much-needed Update

It’s been a while since I posted here. I’ve been quite unwell, but will hopefully be able to work again soon.

Until then!

(For those who missed post #1: Content Marketing: More than a Buzzword)

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(Other Work) The Textiles of India

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Textiles are not just a pleasure to look at, they are a marvel to be experienced with all five senses.

– Reiko Sudo

For ages, India has charmed, inspired and drawn fabric fanatics from far off corners of the globe. Take look at an Indian home, and you’ll see the many manners textiles are used in, from carpets and cushion covers to tea cosies and wine bags. Cloth has always taken centre stage in Indian attire – the people have aced the art of wrapping it in countless ways. And the styles continue to evolve.

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A Peep into the Past

The history of Indian textiles dates back to the Indus Valley civilisation, where cotton and silk were spun. Texts like the Rig Veda and Ramayana describe the fabrics of their times. India traded with other parts of the world through the Silk Route. The world began to take notice…

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(Other Work) Overcoming Procrastination: Tips For Writers

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You’re just about to begin writing, when you feel the urge for a quick email check. A few hours later, you’ve answered all your emails, read all the news on Twitter, watched three movie trailers, reorganised your desk and snacked (twice). Then, reality hits. Discomfort starts to sink in. Eventually, you decide to do the job when you’re feeling better…back to square one with a blank page.

Writers often find themselves trapped in the dreadful loop of procrastination. It starts off with the seemingly harmless idea of putting your work off for a while, but you end up with all your motivation and productivity drained away.

The good news is that you’re not alone; everyone procrastinates. Some do it more, some do it less, and some find a way to beat it. And well, there’s no bad news. Everything can be overcome with the power of your will!

Here are…

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(Other Work) Staying Creative In Today’s Chaotic World

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“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

Ever wondered why children are so much more imaginative? The answer is simple. They stress less and their minds aren’t bound by logic. Creativity is essential, and this doesn’t only apply to artists and professionals working in creative industries; creativity boosts problem-solving abilities and improves other vital areas of our lives like health, work and relationships. That’s why it’s important for you to stay creative in your adult years, even if it means doodling in your free time. But it’s getting harder to do so these days, and you’re not the one to blame – it’s the hustle of life. Here’s how you can tap your fountain of inspiration and innovativeness in today’s chaos ridden world.

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Escape it.

No, I’m not asking you to quit your job and run off to…

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(Other Work) 11 Questions That Cross The Minds Of Budding Authors

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As an author, you tend to drown yourself in questions at almost every stage of your career – when you’re wondering if it’s the right path for you; when you realise it’s time for an upgrade; more than ever, when you’re about to start penning down your best-selling book. While it’s natural to sometimes get overwhelmed, know this…it is questions that lead you to your answers.

Here are eleven questions that most frequently cross the minds of budding authors, answered:

How do I know if writing is the right career for me?

Nearly all authors begin their careers with this question. Look for these signs.

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Time flies when you write.

Because you enjoy it to the fullest. Few things lift your spirit up like a lovely session of writing…and it often lasts for hours at a stretch.

Books draw you in.

While this doesn’t necessarily qualify you as…

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Content Marketing: More Than A Buzzword

Traditional marketing just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Trust in advertisements is on the decline. Meanwhile, clutter – both offline and online – is on the rise. For the most part, unsolicited marketing emails only invite annoyance. So does telemarketing. Even Facebook now limits posts that seem excessively promotional from showing up on users’ News Feeds.

Most importantly, the relationships companies share with their customers have changed. It’s no more about them; it’s all about people. That’s the approach content marketers take: consumer centricity.

So…what is content marketing all about?

In a post that appeared on Mashable, James O’Brien, Contently said:

The idea central to content marketing is that brands must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story. The value returned is often that people associate good things with – and return to engage with – the brand.

Take note of the word “value”.

Blog posts, guides, how-to videos, ebooks, whitepapers, infographics, podcasts, short films, webinars and workshops are some examples of how you can offer value to your audience. Every time you start a conversation about an issue your audience cares about, you offer them value. When you share your expertise with them, you offer them value.

Rather than endorsing your products, your content should make people’s lives easier, richer, more comfortable and more enjoyable. Inform, help and guide them. Inspire, move, motivate, excite and entertain them.

Why?

When your audience perceives your brand as valuable, that’s the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship. In return for value, they reward your brand with their interest, attention, recall and trust. They’re much more likely to talk to and about your brand…and eventually buy it.

Why Content Marketing?

Take a closer look around, and you’ll see that social media is pretty much fuelled by content. Content lies at the core of efforts that involve reaching out to people, connecting with and engaging with them. It’s what you rely on to push your audience further up the purchase funnel. For brands today, building solid relationships with people is more crucial than ever. And the one thing that does the job like no other is…that’s right, content.

In an article on Copyblogger, Frank Strong discussed how content functions as brands’ currency. By sharing your content, people add further value to it. He suggested that you should learn about what kind of content is most share-worthy among your audience, and then create “the best content you possibly can”.

Here’s where it gets interesting – you don’t need to produce all the content you publish. User generated content (especially when it’s visual) is one of the most effective forms of content in the digital world. It’s engaging, original, and it creates a sense of community.

Wrapping Up

Content marketing is all the rage, and it’s going to stay this way for a good long while. It lets you go beyond the ordinary, explore new avenues and take charge of how people perceive your brand.

I’ll leave you with this quote:

Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.

– Andrew Davis

Founder, Monumental Shift

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