Sushmita Malakar is a popular name in the blogging world. She has been a blogger from her school days and I would proudly say that we almost started our blogging journey together. She is a very intelligent girl and these days she posts a lot on her personal journey and lifestyle-related stuff.
It gives me immense pleasure and happiness to feature her in the What’s Your Story series. Do check out her blog when you get time to read some super amazing stuff. And her new book about her life in the USA will be releasing soon. Do keep an eye on it!
What’s Your Story – Sushmita Malakar
1. How has life changed after moving to the United States?
Sushmita Malakar – I don’t know if I want to attribute the changes to my significant movement to the US or to just to move out of my parent’s house, but life has definitely changed for good! My book about my life in the US is soon coming out, maybe you would want to read that!
2. How is engagement important for a blogger and influencer like you? What is your social media engagement philosophy?
Sushmita Malakar – Engagement is essential, that too quality engagement. You can always fudge the numbers like your followers and number of likes but getting genuine comments is a task. How well people engage with you when you post stories? Fake followers don’t engage, do they? I try to post content that will strike a conversation and then make sure to take forward the conversation. I try to reach out to people using hashtags on Instagram because that is the major platform where my audience is present. And I think that is pretty much about it.
3. Does follower counts, likes, comments matter in today’s generation? Justify your answers accordingly.
Sushmita Malakar – For me, they don’t. Yes, there was a time when I was very obsessed with my numbers – followers, likes, and comments. But now I think who even cares about them! I am not seeking validation from anyone. However, as a content creator, when you want to collaborate with brands, these numbers do matter to some extent. I generally put forward my idea of the content, and I think it works more than these numbers.
4. You are a blogger from the good old days of blogging. How has blogging changed in recent years when you compare it with the good old days?
Sushmita Malakar – Oh, people were genuine and shared their real thoughts when writing! I miss that! There area billion blogs on the internet now. That means, 1 in every 7 people has a blog. And not everyone is putting the same effort. But then, you don’t have to read all of them! I have been following the same people from the good old days, and their blogs have remained pretty much the same.
5. Why did you migrate from blogger to WordPress? How was the migration process?
Sushmita Malakar – I think the ease of using plugins and made me move to WordPress. The migration did not bother me much. I anyway write my post on Word. I love how I can play around with various creative plugins though!
6. What are your views on established influencers using fake followers to grab the attention of brands?
Sushmita Malakar – I don’t know if I have anything to tell them. It’s a lot of energy wasted in being disappointed by them. I would instead use the time to build myself. But having said that, fake followers does increase the competition. But I guess, in the long run, it does have an adverse effect on your so-called “influencer” status.
7. How has the current COVID-19 situation changed your life?
Sushmita Malakar – Absolutely! My healthy life never meant sitting at home 24×7. But if I reflect on the time, I have become more patient and grateful in life, and that is the only thing I want to remember from this time.
8. What are the main challenges and the biggest lessons you have learned from this lockdown?
Sushmita Malakar – It is essential to be self-dependent for your emotional needs. It’s good to have a social circle, and it’s equally important to be self-reliant. With almost zero physical meetings with anyone in the past six months have definitely taken a toll on me. Also, you can not replace physical meetings with virtual video calls.
9. Was there anything that completely surprised you in the last few months? And what are you looking forward to in the coming months?
Sushmita Malakar – Honestly, these past few months have been so surprising that I think I have become immune to surprise. Apart from the fact that the whole world has come to a standstill is definitely unexpected. But the general and popular opinion of people towards it is even more surprising. I am looking forward to the vaccine now. After having 3 planned trips canceled for this year, I am really looking forward to being able to travel again – without any fear.
10. What according to you is the future of blogging? Will brands take over the essence of blogging?
Sushmita Malakar – I really don’t think so. I blog with or without a brand, and I will keep on doing that. I can speak for myself, and I know nothing can really take away the essence of blogging from me.
11. How do brands generally approach you? Do you have criteria or conditions for the brands?
Sushmita Malakar – Direct emails. I think that is the best way to communicate with a brand. I need to believe in the brand and the product before I post about it. For example, I don’t endorse CBD products. So, no matter how big the brand is, I have to politely decline the offer. Then, of course, I have a few criteria around the commercials too. It’s always safe to sign contracts before posting anything. It safeguards both your and the brand’s experience.
12. What are the best and the worst advice you have ever received?
Sushmita Malakar – I think the best one is that you have to believe in destiny. And the worst one is that you have to believe in destiny!
13. What would you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered? What would you want your epitaph to be?
Sushmita Malakar – Honestly, I think I am too young to think that! I might have not even started to build a legacy yet, who knows!
14. What would you do differently with your education if you got a chance to start over?
Sushmita Malakar – Nah! I am happy with my life and every decision. I am presently in a very happy and content state of mind, so I can safely say that everything happened for a reason. I have never believed in looking back and regretting anything – Afterall, every decision seemed right when it was taken.
15. If you had 5 minutes and the whole world was forced to listen, what would you say?
Sushmita Malakar – Chuck that hatred and negativity. And then play nothing else Matters and run away!
16. What would you do with your life if you had a guarantee of success and if money wasn’t an issue?
Sushmita Malakar – I would do exactly what I am doing right now. I would blog and work on my present business venture of sustainable gifting. I have always wanted to do that and I am glad I could take time off to pursue that! And of course, an early retirement.
17. What was the major turning point in your life? Talk about how you feel about it?
Sushmita Malakar – I think after completing my masters, my life was completely a mess. So yes, that was a turning point. It was a scary place to be, but I said, everything happens for a reason. And more recently, my wedding has to be a significant turning point in my life. Not because my life completely changed, but I took really bold moves after getting married, which I know I have been stalling for long! My marriage was, and still is, so liberating for me!
18. What is the milestone you are working towards right now in your personal and professional life?
Sushmita Malakar – I think I will talk about them once I achieve them! I believe in silently working towards my goals.
19. Social Media – a boon or bane? Share your experience on using social media platforms Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc?
Sushmita Malakar – It entirely depends on how you want to use it. It’s definitely a bane when it comes to staying in touch with your family and friends and keeping up with a lot of other things like following your favorite celebrity or following your interests and gaining inspiration.
But if you are obsessed with social media, then definitely it’s a bane. It is important to understand that everyone’s life is perfect in its own way, and you don’t have to show it to the world. I don’t think I give preference to the virtual world. All the social media platforms have been pretty much the same for me. I schedule my posts and engage in them whenever they are up. I am not posting every day.