Freelance writer Shilpa Gupte: “No shame in asking questions!”

Some days back, we spoke to freelance writer Shilpa Gupte. Shilpa is a wellness blogger, a health content writer, and an artist. Passionate about health, she shares informative posts on the same on her blog, Metanoia. 

Excerpts from the interview:

Tell us a little about your background outside of writing.

Hi! I am a homemaker and a mother of 3 parrots. I was a teacher before I quit my job to look after my family. Since the past seven years, I have been a regular blogger and an artist. 

What all industries have you written for so far?

I started my content writing career with Pencil 9, where I wrote for varied niches, right from gadgets to wellness. 

How did you get your first paid client?

I read about Pencil 9 at Women’s Web, the online women’s magazine for which I am a contributor. That was the first agency I worked for. 

What are the kinds of projects you are working on currently?

Currently I am working on my wellness blogazine, Metanoia, and trying to hone my fiction and non-fiction writing skills. 

When a client approaches you with a subject you have almost no understanding about, how do begin?

I read all about it. I ask my client about the topic and try to understand what they are looking for. I keep asking questions until I get a good grasp on the topic, for I believe there’s no shame in asking questions if you haven’t understood the subject. 

Have you found clients through online platforms (LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, Instagram)? How did it happen?

I found two of my clients through Facebook as I share my blog posts on the platform regularly and have a wide network of bloggers. 

Tell us something about your blog.

Mine is a health and wellness blog. I write on mental health, physical health, emotional health, food, nutrition, as well as motivational posts. And, art and books being famous as therapies for the troubled soul, I also share my  artwork and book reviews every once in a while. So, I could say, my blog is a holistic wellness blogazine that deals with every aspect of health. 

How do you typically start a writing project?

I brainstorm for the right topic for the niche. Next, I research on the topic, read on as much as I can so that I understand the subject in depth.

Next, I prepare a draft on which I work till I am satisfied. After completing my writing work, I select the right images, create Pinterest images etc. I put up the images, insert the right keywords, give a good title and add subtitles to make the article SEO friendly.

And, finally, I will publish it, if it’s a post for my blog. 

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?

For an article on menstruation, my client congratulated me for the detailed post I submitted and the information I supplied in the article. 

What do you do to constantly improve as a writer?

I read articles belonging to my niche. I am always on the lookout for articles that teach you how to write better, create meaningful content and make it reader friendly. 

Any awards or prizes you’ve won till now? Any special achievements?

My blog features in the Top 100 Indian Blogs for the year 2019 – 2020

What is your all-time favorite quotation?

This, too, shall pass. 

What are your favorite books? Favorite authors?

I enjoy reading suspense thrillers, psychological thrillers and autobiographies. Ruskin Bond, Jeffrey Archer, Devdutt Pattanaik, Chitra Banerjee Diwakaruni are some of my favorite authors. 

How would you describe yourself in five words?

Emotional. Empathetic. Good listener. Ambivert. Artistic.

Finish this line in no more than 15 words: To me, good writing is ___________

…when the words I share strike a chord, touch a heart, and bring a smile.

Would you like to share an incidence from your childhood that left a strong impression in your mind?

No particular incident comes to mind, presently, but I learned that your performance in school doesn’t affect your performance in life. That marks secured in school exams don’t really matter. What does matter is how good you are as a human being. 

What is your research process like?

I look for the best articles on the topic I have to write on. I read them thoroughly, try to understand the subject as best as I can and make notes in my diary about the points I need to cover and the language and the tone I need to use in my article. 

How do your relatives or friends react when they realize you are into professional writing?

They do find it impressive that I work from the comforts of my home, and make it a point to read whatever I write–be it health posts, or personal essays, or even articles I write for my clients (if I share those on social media). 

Anything specific when you learned something very valuable during an assignment?

Doing a detailed study of the topic and presenting it in my unique voice, my unique style but also which will resonate with the reader. 

Is there an online course you’ve taken up and would highly recommend for writers?

Recently, I did a short course  – ‘CONTENT IS KING’ – on Udemy. 

Rapid fire FUN questions. CHOOSE ONE in each of the following:

  • Romantic movies OR Action movies? Action
  • Songs OR Podcasts? Songs
  • Exercise at home OR Exercise in a gym? Exercise at home
  • Fruit OR Juice? Fruit
  • Beach OR Mountains? Beach

Thank you Shilpa!

Thanks! This has been a very interesting conversation!

If you’d like to explore how Shilpa can help your business or if you wish to simply follow her activities, here’s some links:

Personal Website

LinkedIn

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook