Welcome to the 6th episode of bloggers chit chat series.
For this episode with me is Fozia Awan, who is a mommy of 2 boys and runs a blog by the name of “Her Candid Canvas”. She is a finance professional and currently saying YES to new adventures and facing her fears.
She moved to Saudi Arabia in 2012, that’s when she had to say goodbye to her decade long corporate career. She initiated a venture of paper crafting & event planning named Confetti Cloud in 2013 which so far has proved to be a pleasant, valuable and meaningful journey to satisfy her creative instinct.
She is a passionate paper crafter, a makeup & modest fashion fanatic, a DIY & home interior enthusiast, an ardent reader, an Urdu literature fan, a hobbyist baker and a motivated party planner with a heart of an explorer. With such hobbies and skills, she named her blog as ‘Her Candid Canvas”, where she shares happenings of her life and everything she enjoys doing.
1. Where are you from, which city you live in and since when are you residing in KSA?
I am a Pakistani expat based in Riyadh-KSA since 2012.
2. When and why you started blogging?
I began my journey as a micro-blogger in Aug-2019, in order to find an outlet for myself and connect with like minded people.
3. What do you blog about specifically?
My niche is lifestyle mainly, which falls into modest fashion, beauty & skincare, DIYs & paper crafting, travel, book reviews, baking, party planning and home improvement categories. Apart from Facebook and Instagram, I just launched my website too. It’s still under development and not much content has been posted but it’s running and active. You can check it out at www.hercandidcanvas.com
4. What do you like about living in KSA and/or anything you dislike?
I appreciate the overall lifestyle here. Peace, ease to practice religion, interactions with multinational communities, infrastructure & related facilities will be the highlight of my liking. But the best thing is convenient access to Makkah & Madina, nothing can beat this blessing.
I feel there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to educational system. Summer vacations stretched to 4 months is not something beneficial.
Moreover, I feel their customer service, both in physical stores and online can get a lot better.
5. Is there anything you miss the most about your hometown?
Indeed I do, there is a reason when they say, “home is where the heart is.”
I miss everything about Karachi, family & friends, events, desi food, eastern fashion brands, beach, driving, corporate life, in short almost everything .
6. Are there any specific bloggers you enjoy following and wait for their updates/posts/stories? What’s special about them?
Shehzeen R. from “The Desi Wonder Woman” who inspires me in many ways. I love her overall approach towards life, her creativity and the positivity she spreads through her blog.
Marium from “Marium Hussain” always has something cheerful to share and uplift my mood. Apart from her recipes I like her super pleasant personality.
Anum from “The Spice of Adulting” has amazing and inspiring writing skills. She has a perfect grip on her words and conveys the message in a thought provoking manner.
Fatema from “Makeup & Literature” is our desi flatlay queen with an excellent insight of skincare ingredients.
Gul e Zehra Mirza from “Fanny’s World” is a complete package. Makeup to travel to styling to recipes to interior styling and whatnot, she has got you covered. I am in love with her aesthetics.
7. Tell 3 weird/funny things about yourself that no one or very few people know.
Finance played a vital role in me becoming a “chai addict”, until then I had no friendly terms with this love of my life.
I happily prefer learning something new and I embrace my inner enthusiast.
I love listening to old songs, ranging from 50s to 90s. I find myself looking back in nostalgia. Latest songs these days do not attract me much.
I had learnt Hindi in college days from a friend who was then an immigrant from India. During those star plus days, I could read beginner level Hindi. Forgotten pretty much now.
8. Share with us your happiest life moment.
When I saw Kaaba (holy place for Muslims) for the first time. It was so mesmerizing and celestial that I felt words can’t describe the beauty and noor (attractiveness) of Kaaba.
9. Other than blogging, what do you like to do in your free time?
I am a passionate paper crafter and own an online business of handmade keepsakes and event planning by the name of Confetti Cloud. You can check my business page on Facebook by clicking here. So that’s my part time activity other than creating content.
10. How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
I try to plan. An overall strategy for a week is currently helping me to post on time and I would prefer to do it on a monthly basis.
11. What strategy do you think worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Collaboration with fellow micro-bloggers, Instagram live, running paid promotions, running a cross page on Facebook and an ongoing effort to improve content.
12. What do you think is more important – gaining more followers or focusing on creating interesting and relevant content? Why?
I believe both are equally important. We create content for our audience and the quality of content attracts them. If we’ll only keep focusing on creating good content with less audience size we might get discouraged at some point. On the other hand it won’t be useful or professional to make our focal point to only increase the number of followers by hook or crook.
Having said that I won’t deny many at times we put our heart and soul in creating content and do not get due recognition.
13. Have you faced any challenges in your blogging journey so far? If yes, did you manage to overcome it?
Challenges are always there, in every field. Some people are lucky to sail through easily & quickly and some people have to pull out all the stops but hard work definitely pays.
Yes I do face challenges during this journey such as audience reach, better photography techniques, finding hashtags that actually work, to name a few. I won’t say I have overcome but definitely there is a room for improvement with the passage of time.
14. What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
Unnecessarily jumping on the bandwagon, sometimes it’s okay to follow a growing trend but making it a practice affects your work quality.
Secondly, some real good content doesn’t get the due recognition.
15. If someone is interested in starting a blog, what tips would you like to share?
Though I myself is still learning, but below are a few things that made my understanding a bit clear;
1. Know your interest, something you are passionate about and that strength can serve as your niche guideline.
2. Don’t do it for the reason because everyone is doing it and try your luck as well. Do it if you are really enthusiastic about it.
3. Post with a sense of responsibility.
4. Don’t post daily on social media for the sake of posting. Post when you have something that either can add some value or can be relatable or entertaining for your audience.
5. Connect with your audience, respond to their comments and personal messages.
6. Learn some basic photography and editing techniques.
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 Savoury
Movies or Soap Serials
Tea or Coffee
Texting or Talking
Dawn or Dusk
IPhone or Android
I hope you enjoyed reading her interview. 🙂
Next Episode: 17th Sept, 2020