Arfa Nazeer is one of the prominent bloggers in the blogging industry, and she blogs at SheMeansBlogging.com. I had a chance to chat with her a little about her blogging journey. Let’s start!
Have you always wanted to be a blogger, Arfa? How did it all start?
To be honest, I always wanted to be self-employed. To have my own business. To make my own decisions. To be creative. If that’s somehow closely related to blogging, I would say yes, I wanted to be a blogger.
It started with just an assignment from my professor, who asked us to create a blog to secure some safe marks. Everybody created a blog and published some blog posts. That’s how it literally started. I never knew I could be running my own blog to support myself and even teach others how they can do it too.
That’s basically how I started blogging. I didn’t intend to make money, but I wanted to have a creative online space to share thoughts, stories, and just opinions. As I learned more, I cracked the code for blogging as a source of income too. Now, I love being a blogger!
Could you tell us about your life? What you had been doing before becoming blogger?
I’m from Pakistan and I did Masters in Mass Communication. Just after I graduated and planned to do some internships, I moved back to my small town which is far away from the city. I continued to find ways to utilise myself. Right then, I jumped into freelancing. I enjoyed working as a freelance writer too and I guess, that also played a major role in sharpening my decisions as a blogger.
I couldn’t join the office life but I guess, I did enjoy the business thing. My sister and I used to have an online business about clothes. It was such a fantastic experience! My dad always encouraged us to take risks in setting up your own business and that helped us a lot. But, we had to continue our education and managing an online business required full time attention and work. That was the first business thing we did on our own and it was so amazing. Other than that, I used to write for freelance clients.
It is unique, informative and thought-provoking. Tell us what made you go for shemeansblogging.com domain name?
Well, Thank you! Oh, it was lots of brainstorming and when this name came up, I just searched for it and was so surprised that it was available! I remember how fast I was to buy the domain.
Basically, I had to rebrand my blog named ‘epife’ to something that makes sense. That’s when I was making the transition of this blog. I kept on searching, noting down names, naming those combinations and what not, to find a name that I actually like and also, makes people remember what’s the blog is about.
How often do you publish blog posts on your blog? And what are your sources for content ideas?
It’s few times in a month. There are months when I am just focusing on the content so I like to publish at least 6-8 posts. Otherwise, it’s usually 3-4 posts.
As my blog is not loaded with thousands of posts so I know there are hundreds of topics that are needed to cover which makes my content strategy a little easier. But, I want to keep updated with the type of content that readers actually want to read. The helpful content.
Mostly, the places where my audience is. I want to keep note of most burning questions and the problems.
What is your best blog post so far and how do you rate it?
As I know that most bloggers struggle with website traffic, so I ended up writing a massive post on why your blog is not getting traffic and how to fix it. I am happy that I wrote that post. It helps bloggers figure out some possible reasons their blogs are still not growing and what they might do to attract new readers.
I really admire your blog content! Roughly, how long does it take you to draft, edit and publish a blog post? What’s your process in it?
Oh, that’s going to be scary for many new bloggers!
Even though I want my posts to be effortless and short, I write detailed blog posts with actions and lessons. But, recently, I have started to post content of different lengths. This is actually helping me stay consistent on my blog.
If it’s a detailed blog post, it takes my entire day to draft, edit and publish the post. Sometimes, it is more than 2 days. It entirely depends on the content.
I like to work in hourly shifts.
I spend 3 hours or more writing a post.
Then, another 30 minutes or an hour to edit the post. It takes more than 30 minutes most of the time. The editing is a long process that includes all the links, email opt-ins, and the formatting.
Then, I do the graphics and write the descriptions etc.
Finally, the headings and click to actions.
Yeah, it goes like that. I know it sounds plain and simple but trust me, it consumes all the energy. But, the feeling when you hit that publish button makes your time and efforts worth value.
Even though, some posts are not written for money but they are still the VALUE.
Whatever the time you are taking to create your blog post, if it executes well, then it’s wonderful!
We can’t really be sure if everything we come up with would always get the best results ever, but one thing we can do is to give our best! The same goes for blogging. You just need to put your best content and then just move on to the next one.
What social platforms do you use to promote and build your brand? And how often do you use them?
Not many of them!
I do believe that social media is a job itself. You can spend hours on social media every day to promote, but it’s hardly ever possible to do it all alone.
I like to spend time on 2 platforms at a time to enjoy using them and build my blog. Recently, it’s Pinterest and Twitter. But, other than that, I have my own Facebook group that I like to pay attention to.
With Pinterest, I have a long relationship, so I try to be consistent there. However, with Twitter, I just like being there. Making real conversations with real people. Sending out tweets. Promoting your business a little, and that’s really it is.
Most bloggers often procrastinate, do you too? If yes, how do you stay motivated?
Oh, that’s a big one.
Yes, I procrastinate a lot. I talk to another blogger and just know what they are doing. Hang out in Facebook groups and answer some questions. Read other people’s blogs.
Tools on which you rely most and are favorite?
Different tools are required for different tasks. But, here are some of my favorites;
- Trello and Asana to create workflows
- Google Drive
- Canva (the best of all)
- Keysearch and other keyword tools (one at a time)
- Mailerlite for my email list
- To-do-lists app to stay focused
Have you done any mistakes in blogging? If yes, please share the biggest one!
Yes, we all do.
To not make the best decisions for my blog as soon as I started blogging. For example, focusing on your blog content strategy from the first day and having a monetization plan.
But, I’m a firm believer that mistakes and experiences teach you a lot. So, you shouldn’t fear facing them!
Your typical day look like?
Unfortunately, every day is not the same, and my schedules constantly change, which I have to work on.
Well, my typical day usually includes 5-6 hours of work. I take 2 days off every week. After I have a healthy breakfast, I dedicated 3-4 hours to work. Then, I spend the remaining hours from 6-8 pm. That’s how it usually goes. This has been my routine. This year, I have been taking gaps, too, which are proven to be helpful to keep myself sane and focused.
Most importantly, I learned not to get stressed with workloads.
What’s the purpose of being your own boss when you cannot calm yourself, right?
According to you, what is the best and hardest aspect of running a blog?
It makes you a decision-maker. I guess that’s the best thing! You decide what to do with your blog. It makes you really look into your capabilities and skills. It challenges you every day.
I believe running a blog is a challenge itself.
In fact, a creative challenge. Especially when you are a solo person handling all the matters.
How do you make money with your blog?
I use different models to make money. Affiliate marketing, ads and my 2 digital products are the sources of income.
I even shared about it here on how I made my first $100 from blogging and some ideas on making money blogging.
What advice would you give to aspirers who wish to become a blogger as you?
Be passionate and creative about blogging! You can outshine yourself among other bloggers if you are passionate about blogging. A blog is just not about posting a blog post. It’s a lot! The sooner you realise this, the better it is for your blogging journey.
Keep learning and don’t let small disappointments stop you from becoming a great blogging.
I do have a free blogging tips course for beginner bloggers. Get 1 blogging tip for 11 days in your email inbox. Every blogging tip is going to teach you one small lesson.
Over to you
That’s all about Arfa, passionate blogging entrepreneur!
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