Writers’ Block Is a Myth, Ideas’ Block Is Not — Rapti Gupta
Few payment gateways in India are as prominent and secured as Instamojo.
In a short span of time, Instamojo has built its credibility among the small businesses and event organisers because of its easy interface and informative content.
Have you ever wondered who is the driving force behind the content marketing of Instamojo? — Yes, you’re right.
Rapti Gupta is the Content Marketing Head at Instamojo, responsible for managing the end-to-end content of the company.
A true magician of words, Rapti became my first guest for #LetsTalkContent series.
Here’s the complete interview where Rapti answers the questions related to content & marketing in detail -
How has been your entire journey so far? Did you always have a knack for writing?
The journey has been incredible and full of excitement. When I was in school, I would write and maintain journals. I would frequently contribute to the school magazine.
Later, I studied Bachelors of Business Management (BBM) at Garden City College in Bangalore, with a specialisation in marketing.
During the campus placement, ICICI Bank selected me for the post of relationship manager. But I didn’t want to sit behind a cubicle doing something I wasn’t interested in. I jumped in head-on in my writing career.
I began working with the International Business Times (IBT Media) as a journalist. At IBT, I learnt persistence and patience — 2 most critical skills for a writer. I also learnt how not to be overly verbose. I would write 6 articles a day and edit 3. News writing brought discipline and helped me develop a style.
Soon after, I moved to Affimity, a social networks startup. I was in a social media marketer role and that’s where I understood what it takes to drive traffic to social media and interact with users on social media.
What does your role at Instamojo look like?
I joined Instamojo as a Content Marketer about 2.5 years ago. Here, I work closely with the growth and marketing teams to formulate and implement a content-led strategy to acquire, engage, and retain customers.
At Instamojo, we inform and educate our customers and help them grow their business with various forms of content like videos, e-books, newsletters, case studies, blogs etc.
We recently launched mojoVersity, India’s 1st Learning Platform for forward-thinking entrepreneurs & SMEs. Our goal is to educate customers and help them get actionable tips on different topics that businesses struggle with,
My experience with all forms of content has helped me evolve into a complete B2B marketer.
What are your hobbies?
When I am not managing content for Instamojo, I spend time writing short horror stories and publishing them on Medium. Also, right now I’m working on a Horror Short Story Book which I aspire to publish soon.
A very thin line exists between a writer, an editor, and a marketer. How can a person evolve into each type of roles?
Being in all three roles during my career, I feel I am adequately equipped to answer this.
To become a better writer, you really need to develop a habit of reading. When you read more, you understand various writing styles and perspectives. You also gain exposure to different ideas.
I always feel one should write the way they think. At several instances, my friends and colleagues come to me and ask me to “jazz it up” and I ask them what they mean to say in the sentence. What they explain to me in plain, simple English makes more sense than what they wrote. I always tell them to write what they mean.
I don’t really “jazz it up.” I just simplify.
When you read, you also acquire editing skills. Your mind begins cutting the irrelevant things automatically. Words like however, hence, therefore etc. can be disposed of your vocabulary because they unnecessarily make the sentences longer without adding any meaning.
Marketing is a mindset. It deals with people directly and is behavioural in nature. All the things that you write and read become effective only if distributed to the right person, at the right time and marketing can do that for you.
Many startups don’t begin content marketing because they assume it to be expensive and time-consuming. What’s your take on it?
It is an incorrect assumption. Content is the most organic way of reaching people and is a key element of marketing.
At Instamojo, our organic marketing efforts have been very successful in terms of ROI and we continue to have goal-based organic content pieces. For example, our newsletter — The SME Wrap — has been loved by the business community. We take trending topics and put it in context for small businesses and they love it. We have over 50,000 subscribers to the newsletter.
What should be the initial steps for a startup while commencing content marketing?
- Start a blog. You can choose any free platform — Wordpress, Medium, Quora or Linkedin pulse. Your primary goal should be to create blogs and content that educates and engages your prospects.
- You should also engage with your targeted audience constantly to build trust and credibility.
Every writer faces a writers’ block. What do you do to overcome it?
According to me, writers’ block is a myth. It should be instead called ideas’ block. It happens when you don’t read enough or write about tedious topics or fields. If you read adequately, you’ll never run out of ideas.
It also happens when we don’t understand how to prioritise tasks.
To overcome ideas’ block, read books, subscribe to newsletters, listen to podcasts and watch videos — do whatever interests you.
Also, at times, it is okay to take a break and shift your focus. Meet new people, talk to someone who might give a different perspective. Once you gain enough ideas, resume your writing.
What are your ultimate tips for the writers & the marketers?
- Keep your content short and precise because the attention span of people has reduced drastically. At the same time, it is crucial to keep an eye on SEO rules and ensure that your content is SEO-fit for better ranking.
- Write like a reader. Don’t write like a writer.
- For marketers and even writers, it is critical to measure the ROI and track performance of your content. If your content isn’t fulfilling the objectives or expectations of the client/or your own goals, there’s no point churning out tons of pages.
- Share your work. If you really liked what you’ve worked on, take permission and share it with your network. Let your connections read and always be open to feedback.
- Be engaged. Talk to people, not from just writing backgrounds but from different functions. I personally love talking UX/UI and Design. I love talking to product managers. I get thrilled about speaking to entrepreneurs because, in the end, everybody has a story to tell.
What are some prominent tools or resources you would recommend?
1. Read “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley.
2. Subscribe/Check out newsletters on ReallyGoodEmails.
3. Use YoastSEO to read about SEO rules.
4. Use Grammarly to proofread your content.
5. Read my horror stories on Medium :)
You can connect with Rapti here — https://www.linkedin.com/in/raptigupta/
Read Rapti’s horror stories on Medium — https://medium.com/@Rapti/series
What’s your biggest key takeaway from Rapti’s interview? Let us know in the comment section and share this article with others who might find it useful.