Today I woke up with a realization that its been exactly 2 years since I started this blog – its my blog’s 2nd Birthday! (Yaaaayyyy! Gotta love FB memories for reminding me of such an important day). And when I went to my Blog’s Facebook page, I got a notification that I just crossed 30K likes! So even though I am hosting a dinner tonight, I just had to take the time out to share my excitement with you all – all of you who have been reading what I write, liking, sharing and supporting my blog! A BIG, HEARTFELT – THANK YOU!
So much has happened in these two years that while I am stirring away Nihari for dinner, I couldn’t help smiling at all the memories that came rushing back, of what these past two years have been like!
So here are the top things I learned during these two years of blogging.
1. Write From Your Heart
When I put my first blog post about my story, I poured my heart out. I got one of the MOST overwhelming response ever. The feedback I got was that I was open and honest about what I wrote and people could sense that truth in my writing.
Don’t pretend to be someone else when you write – Be yourself and write about what you love. I write about anything and everything that touches me in life. I write about experiences, whether it be an infertility struggle or breast cancer awareness or be it a fun holiday!
2. It’s OK To Harass Your Family And Friends To Like And Share Your Posts!
LOL! When I started my blog, I used to tell my sister, mum, friends and family, to like my post and share it! I have harassed my husband to not only ‘Like’ but actually ‘Love’ and share my posts. You can do that to your husband! (along with all the other things we as wives nag them with!). And if he doesn’t share them, go ahead and tag him! (His friends will then see the post! lol)
3. Don’t Compare Numbers With Other Bloggers – There Are NO Shortcuts!
Guilty again! I have done that a LOT of times and all it did was pull me down. I had to remind myself that the reason I started the blog was to find a creative outlet for myself and find my own self in the process.
Focus on creating good quality content. There are no shortcuts.. don’t look for them. Even the most successful bloggers with huge following, must have started where you started from – Zero.
4. You Gotta Have A Thick Skin
My elder brother told me this when I started writing. Not everyone will love your posts or agree with your point of view. When you put out stuff in the public domain, be ready for some hate comments too. You gotta have a thick skin to not let those affect you. I learned this when my article was posted in the most widely read newspaper in Pakistan and I got a lot of positive and negative feedback. Because it was my opinion and everyone has their own.
5. Support Other Women
Yes! I truly believe in it! Supporting others, whether be it supporting a local artist that I really like or an inspiring story of another woman or sharing recipes or be it guiding a new fellow blogger (yes, helping others won’t affect your readership, there are almost 2 billion people on Facebook alone). I have experienced it myself where a very famous Qatar based blogger ‘Creativity with Kay’ has never ever turned any of my requests for help.
6. Numbers Do Matter, But They Are Not Everything!
Recently one of my posts went viral and that just grew my readership drastically! As the numbers changed, my blog started to get more noticed everywhere! Brands get interested in you if you have more followers because obviously they see a bigger market that they can target through you – BUT numbers aren’t everything! No one would want to work with you if the quality of your content is not outstanding. So focus on quality and quantity shall follow – eventually!
7. Don’t Do Copyright Infringement – It Is The Theft Of Someone’s Moral Right
One day the excitement of going viral, and the next day I found myself miserable, angry and feeling really down. My post was copied and published on a leading Magazine’s page and they published my work after changing my watermark to their own. I contacted the Magazine’s editor and was taken aback by the vacuum of morals and ethics in our society. I had the most unbelievable and shocking conversation with him and what I realized during the conversation that I was fighting a lost battle. Even a well educated, magazine editor who runs publications doesn’t even understand what Copyright Infringement or Plagiarism means, there is hardly anything you can do. He tried everything from bribe to threat to make me keep my mouth shut and not defame them (more on this later, so stay tuned!)
So please don’t use anyone’s image or content without their consent or without giving them credit. If you want to use high quality images, there are a lot of websites that provide Royalty Free Images for Free use, digitally or even for print media (the editor had no clue what royalty free images are!).
8. Be Good, And It Will Come Back To You!
Always! Being kind and doing good is a gift that you are giving yourself, because it will come back to you!
Thank you for being here! And I’ll go back to cooking now!