An engineering dropout with a penchant for writing, Parthiva Mewawala has been freelancing for over 2 and a half years now and claims to have loved every bit of it. He has varied experience with multiple clients across several industry verticals that have allowed him to create his own system of content creation which combines storytelling with SEO.
He has successfully scaled his LinkedIn profile to 2.5 lakh + views within a month along with very high rates of engagement. Additionally, also generated several highly qualified leads solely through his personal brand on LinkedIn.
When asked about what he does other than writing, he says, “ If I'm not writing, you can find me pumping iron in the gym or shooting hoops at the basketball court.” Read on to know his views on Freelancing as a career and the importance of SEO
1. Tell us more about your journey and why you choose to become a freelance writer?
I've always had a thing for writing, ever since 6th grade. From writing a 30k word book in the 8th Std to copywriting for clubs in college, I came a long way. After dropping out of engineering, taking up writing as a career only seemed natural. I had the flair and passion required to sit and write for several hours a day. Moreover, freelancing seemed way better than a full-time job due to the freedom it offered. I could earn more, write less, and find time to enjoy life.
2. How did your passion for writing begin?
I've been an avid reader since the beginning of time. I used to Binge read Enid Blyton and RL Stine back when I was 8-9 years old. I grew up on Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde. I always dreamt of writing like them. Sensing my talent, one of my English teachers encouraged me to write a novel when I was in the 8th standard. From then on, I began writing poetry, articles, and blogs. In fact, I handled three blog accounts back in the day.
3. What are some of the benefits and some cons of being a freelance writer?
The biggest pro of being a freelancer is the freedom it brings. I can shuffle clients to create as much income as I want, I can write during the morning or stay up late and finish work. I can also take as many holidays as I want. Wouldn't you love to write by the beach? Freelancing lets you do that.
The con would be the uncertainty surrounding self-marketing, branding, and lead generation. You have to be on your toes when it comes to bringing in new clients. You cannot take a break from marketing yourself and your content. And you never know when you might have dry months.
4. How do you think can SEO leverage the reachability of an article? What are some of the best ways to deploy SEO while writing?
I've always said, no good story will ever be read unless it's SEO friendly. So, if you're the best writer in the world but couldn't give two cents about keywords and headings, don't expect to generate much traction.
I have a certain degree of expertise in on-page SEO. It all begins with keyword research. Find the ones that are easy to rank for and create content around them. Instead of stuffing the same keyword throughout, litter your article with semantic keywords. Creating multiple subheadings and maintaining readability are some other tips you could use.
5. What do you enjoy the most about content writing?
The entire process of learning, unlearning and relearning. Content writing has given me the opportunity to read about every topic under the sun. From investments and venture capitalism to blockchain and Ayurveda, content writing allows me to tap into so many sources of knowledge.
6. What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?
My strengths are the ability to use humor, satire, and conversation in my pieces. It's a difficult art to master but through years of practice, I've managed to learn how to integrate humor into my writing.
My biggest weakness currently is brand integration. I can carve CTAs but integrating a brand and its product within the piece is something I struggle with.
7. How do you keep yourself motivated to write in times of worry such as the one that we are experiencing now?
Frankly, this is the best time to write for me. I'm not at all worried. But yes, maintaining motivation is hard. There are days when you can't think of a single word. All you want to do is throw your laptop away and become a hermit. Focusing on the end goal helps me gather my energy during such trying times. My end goal keeps changing but there'll never be a time when I have none.
8. With the rise in the gig economy, have you experienced a rise in the demand for your content writing services?
Hahaha!! For sure. I've tripled my income in the last two months. I'm on track to earn enough this year that I might even be compelled to pay tax!! My primary aim is to become self-sufficient. As long as I can pay rent, eat food, and survive, I'm doing well enough. And the pandemic created the perfect hotpot of opportunities for a writer like me. With so many businesses going online, I have more than enough work to keep me busy for the coming three months.
9. What are your future ambitions to be achieved in the field of writing?
In a single line - to become a published author. Seems like a fairytale, doesn't it? But yeah, I'm looking forward to penning down a proper novel in the future. Hopefully, it'll get picked up by some leading publisher. Hopefully, I'll see my name on the bestseller list. Hopefully, I'll live long enough to fulfill this dream.
If not, I'd like to at least have a popular blog to call my own.
10. You call yourself a ‘full-on nerd’, what’s the nerdiest thing you have done to date?
It's a common fact that people take their phones with them to the bathroom. I'm a bit different. I take books with me to the bathroom. In fact, half of my books are kept in the bathroom. Never know when I might need one.
I wrote most of my poetry, short stories, articles during 12th grade. While my teachers rambled on about calculus and trigonometry, I spent my hours filling up my notebooks with poetry. Once, during a live exam, when I was getting bored, I ended up filling the answer sheet with poetry. It'll suffice to say I failed that exam terribly!
Rapid Fire (2-3 lines or shorter)
One Fun Fact about you
I have more tattoos and piercings on my body than you can count on your fingers.
One writer you truly admire
Jhumpa Lahiri - love the way she humanizes emotions.
Coffee+coke =makes you jump out of bed.
Describe your job in less than 3 words
Finding your voice.