A mother of a high spirited and energetic preschooler, Vaishali Sharma aims to shed light on the emotional spectrum of parenting and motherhood. She is a Gurgaon based PR consultant and a blogger with an aspiration to help expecting and new parents establish a better understanding of the most important job in hand. Her blog, ‘The Champa Tree’ is all about sharing first-hand experiences, useful baby care tips to talking about a women’s emotional well being.
How it started
Vaishali has a BA in Mass Communications from IP College for Women (Delhi University) and a Master’s degree in IPR from Cardiff University (UK). She spent a couple of years abroad studying International Marketing and the nuances of lobbying plus brand communications. She was doing pretty well as a PR professional and then the pregnancy happened.
“It has been over 9 years drafting press releases. Traveling, busy managing lifestyle accounts, attending fashion shows, life as a workaholic was going just fine. And then pregnancy happened. It was probably nature’s way of suggesting I take it slow. It also wasn’t quite an easy one and I was also asked to rest as much as I could. So, it called for a break. Although I knew I would not be the first among my friends to have children (I was nearly 30 at the time), I figured once my child-rearing days were over, I would have to fall back on a solid work-option!”
But, when her son was three-months-old, she started managing content for a beauty blog, and that’s exactly when she found her dream job.
“I realized content-writing could be fun. I used to blog on music in my uni days, only this time I wanted to amp up my writing skills. So yes, dreams do come true. I now work for myself as a founder of The Champa Tree. I love being a mother. In fact, it fascinates me. So, I thought might as well put my ‘drafting press release’ skills into good use. The Champa Tree is one of the leading parenting blogs in India. My son has been my true inspiration. The time we spend together gives me all the ideas for the content presented on the blog. From basic parenting issues to the emotions felt by a mother and what does she do to cope with all the motherhood fatigue, you can find it all on The Champa Tree.”
Vaishali’s content is a blend of rational and emotional thinking and whether it is travel tips or recipes, the blogs are written keeping in mind the kids, mothers, and parents.
“Instead of talking about 100 other things, I chose to write about a topic which even though has a limited audience but the experience is gratifying. This is a challenge in itself. There aren’t many takers for this theme. With the narrow audience base and a theme which is quite a personal one, the biggest challenge is to grab eyeballs. The other challenge is moms are always at war or thrashing each other because of the difference of opinions. So, at times, our topics create a sensation. We try and strike a balance by presenting an unbiased yet an honest story.”
There were many instances when Vaishali thought that she rather stop blogging, but patience and perseverance always managed to put her out of her dilemma.
“I am so glad that I held on and didn’t give up”
Strategies to grow as a blogger
“Inbound marketing, social media platforms, are some of the most important tools that helped me grow as a blogger. To be able to garner more visibility and reach out to the right audience at the right time is important. Most audience out there today has been checking the internet for ideas and suggestions. Thus bloggers play a super important role. You can learn a lot by observing behavior patterns as well. See where your audience is, what they are looking for and how you can help them with your content. For instance, my husband checks a particular blog before making a consumer-tech related purchase. If you can solve a problem, you are half way there. People love to find accurate answers to their questions. If you can provide them with that, you will be successful.”
Tips for Stay at home moms and Mom Bloggers
India is still nascent when it comes to dealing with a segment called motherhood and parenting. The concept of working from home and blogging is not so popular and widely accepted. To educate all the mommies about the various opportunities, Vaishali has also written many blogs about how SAHMs can work online and make legit money by working from home and how mommies can express themselves, beat their postpartum blues and empower themselves.
“All you lovely mommies out there, just follow your heart, be creative and articulate in your observations. At times what you want to write may get too personal which a lot of people might not prefer reading. So, whether to stick to topics which are ‘most read’ or ‘I want to share’ could be an issue at the onset. But, I just have one advice: Be expressive, don’t worry if the thoughts aren’t flowing seamlessly, don’t worry if you only have a few lines to share (and not articles worth 200 words), don’t worry if you are not being followed or liked enough. Just start from somewhere. Blogging and writing can be a hobby or your main profession. It all depends on your dedication. Most entrepreneurs are scared of getting started. However, if you can dream, have good intentions, and the best entrepreneurial mind, without taking action, you can never (and I mean never) achieve anything. Dream big- Get started and take risks! Believe in this mantra.”