Ekta Swarnkar is a 21-year-old author behind Tia Says. It is a blog that is dedicated to helping young people learn basic blogging, writing, and money-making tips so that they can easily make money online and not worry about paying off their college debts. She writes beginner-friendly blogging tips that she tries on her blog and money-making tips and everything in between.
Ekta loves books and has published many book reviews in good times. She discovered blogging when she was working as a book reviewer for an online website. She really loved the idea of publishing self-written content for the world to read so much that she started a book blog where she started publishing book reviews. Ekta managed that blog for a year. Then she finally started this blog to pursue her content writing career as well as her desire of helping others.
Ekta is in the middle of completing her graduate degree and working as a blogger at the same time. If there’s anything that she wishes to achieve from her blog it is to help others make at least a side income from their blogs and do the same for herself.
Where did the idea for Tia Says come from?
I have always loved books and I started writing book reviews for an online organization that gave me the idea to start my own book blog.
From there I learned about the basics of blogging. I was enjoying publishing book reviews when I thought of teaching other young people about blogging and that’s how Tia Says was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I sleep at night after finalizing my to-do list of 3 to 4 daily blogging tasks for the next day.
I wake up and respond to emails, then after a while, I try to complete some blogging tasks. But other than these tasks I have 4 things that I do daily.
I take regular breaks in between otherwise I can’t live that whole day. Evenings are generally some reading, writing, and keyword research.
I also have to study for my college so nights go like this.
One thing I learned is that there are so many blogging tasks and one can easily get caught up. Therefore, the thing that keeps me sane is planning my to-do list of daily tasks.
I know that I have these tasks for the day and I am going to complete them.
How do you bring ideas to life?
As a website owner, I never had tricks that I know are going to work for sure. I always have to test things and analyze results to understand their effects.
And most of the time, these ideas fail. Fortunately, I don’t easily give up. It is because I know that I will have to find a solution eventually.
Bringing ideas to life for me is to come up with a solution to a problem that is in my head, implement the solution, see if it worked and if it worked then “well-done girl!” but if it doesn’t then “keep trying!”.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Being a part of this online world one thing that excites me is you are going to grow no matter what your speed is.
A perfect example is the website SEO, when starting the blog I read somewhere to focus on SEO and that’s what I did. Focused on SEO from the very beginning.
Obviously, it seemed pointless then because I wasn’t seeing any results but after months my posts are appearing on search rankings.
I’m more excited to learn SEO than ever. It’s like Google is saying “you do your thing the rest is on me”.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m always thinking and planning things and I love this habit. I know it can be irritating but I love this habit of mine because it makes me feel productive.
Blogging or online business requires you to make calculative decisions and I am the type of person who likes to analyze all the roads therefore I am able to decide if I want to go on road A or road B.
This helps me make the right decisions most of the time but if it isn’t right at least I know what not to do!
What advice would you give your younger self?
I remember when I was a teenager I was always worried. About things. What would I do if something goes wrong or something doesn’t go the way I want? I think I lived a boring and annoying life.
If I have to give advice to my younger self it would be “stop worrying about anything that you don’t have control over”.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I used to never believe that consistency can be real and almost nobody my age believes in this.
But after starting my blog and consistently nourishing it without any hopes I have received more than I would have expected.
That made me believe that consistency is true, it does pay off. You have to believe in yourself and your hard work.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As an online entrepreneur, I always try to do one thing and that is to really be helpful to others.
I think helping others should be the ultimate goal of everyone who is working in this field. Because that’s what makes you a brand that no one can copy.
I feel awesome when I read the comments I get on the blog posts I publish when someone mentions me on Twitter or anyone appreciating my work.
I say and will keep saying that if you try to give value to others you are much more likely to get more than you expected.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I started my blog when I knew nothing and it was so difficult to understand everything.
I was putting a lot of effort into writing the best blog posts for my readers but no one was reading them. Because I started cluelessly.
Then I did research and learned that social media is the key to reach your desired audience. I learned about social media and started taking it seriously.
Now I get almost 75% of my total blog traffic through social media.
Social Media has been a game-changer for me. I don’t say I know everything about it, I am unsure if anybody can know everything about online marketing but I do say that what I know is enough.
But I keep on learning. That’s the best you can do for yourself.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I made a wrong decision and that caused me a huge loss of money. I invested in a product that I didn’t know how to utilize to its potential.
It was a social media automation tool that I purchased after listening to its glorious praises everywhere. I don’t say that the tool was bad, it’s just that I didn’t know at that time how to use it properly to my benefit.
Just when I learned using it, the Pinterest algorithm changed and I couldn’t find it valuable.
Now, I am adjusting my strategies according to the new algorithm without using the tool.
I learned that you must first learn to do things without the use of any tool. And in the beginning, it is much better to invest in a course than a tool.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If you want to start a business online and want to make money then the easiest way to do it is to learn a skill, develop it, and then sell your services.
While starting you need to advertise your portfolio through social media and your blog. Keep doing that until you start getting clients.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently purchased two courses online. One for Pinterest and another one for SEO and I am really glad that I got them.
These courses are teaching me things that I didn’t know before and the best part is that they are clearing my doubts that I had for ages.
If you are anything like me, I have a lot of doubts and if you are a guru sitting next to me I am going to ask a lot of questions.
These two courses are therefore pure gold to me. It feels light when you know the answers to most of the burning questions.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
My favorite software is the site audit feature of the Ahrefs software.
Starting a website and maintaining a website are two different things. I’m sure everyone loves starting but no one likes maintaining it.
I was no different. Being a total stranger to codes and languages I was worried what if I broke things?
But the awesome Ahrefs site audit tells me exactly where the work is needed and easy ways to fix them.
Now I love fixing errors and watching my site health score increasing. And I don’t hate it anymore.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would really appreciate it if they read this exceptionally amazing book “The Mindset” by Ace Bowers. It’s all about determination.
It is a story of the writer telling us how his hard work turned him from a $6 per hour janitor to a millionaire in a few years.
I think after reading this book the readers would be motivated to do better in their lives.
What is your favorite quote?
My all-time favorite quote is by Swami Vivekananda.
“Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.”
Even in my school, this quote has inspired me and so that’s how it became my favorite. I always feel motivated after reading this quote.
- To plan things before and take calculative decisions to work things out. Not everything will go as planned therefore you must have a flexible plan.
- To not invest money in tools that you don’t know how you can put them to good use. Instead, invest in a course that teaches you to do something without that tool. Prioritize learning over anything.
- Keep learning and updating the knowledge that you have. Sure you can never learn everything but you must always be willing to learn.
- If you are a beginner blogger you must focus on learning SEO and Social Media. These two things are going to help you get your content in front of an audience that you never imagined.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.