Welcome to the second episode of Bloggers Chit Chat Series.
Meet Ayesha Siddiqua, who is a work from home mother of 3 school aged kids living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as an expat. She is a professional blogger and social media strategist. Her blogs have been featured on Baby Center, Dubai Women, Daily Mail, Huffpost, SITS Girls, Expat Blogger, and a host of other places in the past 14 years. Jeddah Mom won the Best Productivity and Personal Development Muslimah Blog award this year hosted by muslimahbloggers.com. Her blog also got featured in the top 5 position at Feedspot as the most popular blog in Saudi Arabia for the past 4 years.
Check out her website by simply Clicking Here and keep on reading to know more about a woman behind the famous “Jeddah Mom” blog.
1. Where are you from, which city you live in and since when are you residing in KSA?
I am an Indian expat in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I have been living here since birth. 🙂
2. When and why you started blogging?
I started blogging in 2003 when I was in college as a place to stay connected with my friends from school, who had moved all over the world. Little did I know, that I would move back to Saudi after marriage, and soon start journaling my ‘Trailing wife’ and ‘new mom’ adventures.
In 2016, I changed my blog’s name when someone told me that I should call it “Jeddah Mom” as that would be more appropriate for what I wrote about. It’s been the best decision ever!
3. What do you blog about specifically?
I help Muslim mothers raise extraordinary kids and build happy homes where everyone (including the mom) can thrive. You can find articles about motherhood, kids activities, education (for moms and kids), home management and ways mothers can be ‘more than just a mom’. 🙂
4. What do you like about living in KSA and/or anything you dislike?
I love Saudi Arabia. It is the only home that I know. May God protect this country and the King.
5. Is there anything you miss the most about your home town?
I miss Indian weather and greenery of course! We only have varying degrees of Summer here!
6. Are there any specific bloggers you enjoy following and wait for their updates/posts/stories? What’s special about them?
I have a whole list of bloggy buddies that I follow. Almost all of them are my close friends now even though we are spread all over the world.
I love my blogger friends. I have travelled to India, UAE, US and Canada to meet my blogger friends not to mention the several that I have met locally too. We have had some great time together. They are the only people who understand my crazy talk while everyone in real life have no idea what I am excited or depressed about!
Four bloggers that I absolutely love and follow are @amuslimmamacomics, @ayeina_official, @multiculturalmotherhood, and @letslearnmama
7. Tell 3 weird/funny things about yourself that no one or very few people know.
Well… I guess I’ll have to ask my kids how funny I am. They think that I am hilarious to hide candy in the meats drawer of the freezer. I cheat in Carrom board. They also think that I am hilarious in that I open the fridge and can’t remember why I opened it.
8. Share with us your happiest life moment.
Becoming a mom.
9. Other than blogging, what do you like to do in your free time?
I crochet, I tat lace, I do lots of crafts and I love playing with my kids.
10. How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
I have office hours 8-5pm (with a 2 hours break for lunch time). I work from home 5 days a week. Blogging and digital marketing is my full time business.
11. What strategy do you think worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
I only rely on search engine traffic and emails for my blog. I have been blogging for 17 years. I have seen social media platforms come and go. I don’t trust them to be a reliable source of traffic at all. One fine day you get up and their rules have changed! It is just fruitless to spend so much time and watch it all go down.
My audience finds me from Google and then they hop on to my social media accounts to know the person behind the blog. That’s how blogging really works.
12. What do you think is more important – gaining more followers or focusing on creating interesting and relevant content? Why?
Definitely relevant content. I like to consider my blog as a place where people come to find solutions to their most pressing problems. If they like what I share, they stick around and want to hear more from me. If they don’t like my content, they were never my people.
13. Have you faced any challenges in your blogging journey so far? If yes, did you manage to overcome it?
There haven’t been challenges as such but I hate it when people steal my content. I don’t mean stealing ideas or topics as such, but more so stealing my blog posts, graphics, printables, e-books and then pasting it or sharing it with their friends without credit.
It really hurts my heart when people disregard my hard work like that. What’s wrong with saying, ‘Hey, Jeddah Mom wrote this. I love it and I think you should grab it too. Here’s the link!’ or saying ‘Here’s my take on what Aysh said on her blog…’ and then continuing on. I’d love to share your article and support you. It makes my head hurt when I see good bloggers doing this too.
What did I do to overcome it? What can I do? If I catch them, then I will try to educate them or if it is someone who is doing it knowingly, I will just ignore. It is no use letting someone wastes your time and energy like that. They are answerable to God.
14. What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
Social Media, for sure! How many platforms should I manage??! I hate it. It was really so simple in the old days.
15. If someone is interested to start a blog, what tips you would like to share?
The first thing I want to say to every new blogger is that please don’t think that blogging in today’s times is about writing whatever you like and expecting that people will come and read.
Nope. Doesn’t work like that.
Write with purpose for ‘someone’, giving them value for the time they took to come read you. Write Quality Content.
I have a Blogging related blog where I teach people everything from starting a blog to making a business. From time to time I conduct courses too. I’d love for anyone interested in blogging to come join me there. http://www.bloggingwithwisdom.com
Rapid Fire Round!
Summers or Winters
Vegetables or Meat
Water or Cold Drink
Chinese or Italian
Homemade Food or Dine out
Weekend or Weekday
Sweet or Savory
Movies or Soap Serials
Tea or Coffee
Texting or Talking
Dawn or Dusk
IPhone or Android
That’s a wrap. I hope you enjoyed reading it.
Next Episode: 20th August 2020