5 Bloggers: Blogging Stories & Tips

Blogging is addictive. It is also a full-time commitment. This post explores 5 different blogs, and is loaded with blogging tips any blogger would find useful. Read on for more details.

The Tezzy Files

I started blogging purely out of a love for writing. This week marks 4 months of The Tezzy Files, yet it feels like I’ve been here for ages! In this short timespan I have learnt so many things; I’ve met the most amazing people via the blogosphere, I’ve discovered hidden treasures in this magical city we call Dubai, and I love the challenge of  constantly finding something new to blog about.

The Tezzy Files Blog

Blog link: http://www.thetezzyfiles.com (you are already here!)

What is this blog about?

The Tezzy Files is a blog on beauty, fashion and foodie finds within the UAE and beyond. The blog also features interesting personalities from all walks of life.

Blogging tips I have learnt so far:

  • Write often. Aim to have atleast 2 meaningful posts up every week.
  • Make your posts a pleasure to read. Invest time in writing good grammar, use appealing and easy-to-read fonts, include attractive imagery.
  • Talking of images, work on your photography skills (this is one of the things I need to invest more time on as well!).
  • Blogging is a social platform. Look up other bloggers and appreciate their work. They are bound to return the favor.
  • Spend time on social media and SEO optimization. You might have the most brilliant posts, but they are pretty useless if they are not getting seen by the right audience.
  • Study your statistics to understand what topics your readers tend to like most.
  • Keep a journal. The best ideas come at the oddest of times. Scribble it down before its gone!

 

Carbon Octane

Car enthusiast Arnab Saha took his love for automotives online, and has never looked back. His blog, Carbon Octane, tops the list of Pan-Arab motorist websites, and has made him a celebrity in his own right.

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Blog link:

What is your blog about?
CarbonOctane.com started as a blog for automobile reviews.
It so happened that when we launched the site on June 7th 2012, we started with 5 premium automobiles and had stuck to that format ever since.
We also had a section called Reader Beaters where we showcase interesting cars. At first I got my friends featured but it became quite popular and I had requests from my readers to feature there cars.
We have expanded recently to include bikes and a personalities section where we interview leading automotive personalities in the UAE as well as the all new Long Termer section where we talk about our experiences with cars, a much more everyday in-depth reviews.
What inspired you to start this?
I always envied Jeremy Clarkson and Tiff Needle from Top Gear and Fifth Gear Respectively. I’m a big fan of Chris Harris as well and follow him on youtube on the Drive Network.
Then there were the local automotive personalities like DriveArabia, Crankandpiston; Auto Middle East & Kevin Hackett formerly from The National were also some people and sites I followed.
So one fine I decided to dibble my hands on blogging, I researched the sites that I liked to see what contents and formats were needed and realized that I needed the site to be great in visual artistry as well.
That’s when I thought of Brian Donegan (a friend of mine and a passionate photographer). I met up with him over coffee at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (which has closed since then) and formulated our plans.
The next step was for me to convince the manufacturers and their regional offices into giving me their cars. I had been lucky and fortunate to have met awesome and passionate people who trusted me and gave me some of the greatest cars available.
The rest is history and we have grown since then. We have two new and very talented photographers, Charn and Laura, and they bring with them their own unique style of photography.
Charn’s shoot with the Audi RS7 spread like wildfire over the Social Media channels with coverage from Audi Middle East and Audi AG and you can see Laura’s work on the Yellow Bentley V8 S which will make readers drool.
Brian has and always will be the backbone of CarbonOctane as I feel that without him CarbonOctane.com wouldn’t have been able to compete with the already established sites here.
CarbonOctane.com is also a jury member at the Middle East Car of the Year 2014 and also for 2015.
What do you love most about blogging?
What I like the most about blogging, well I actually like interacting with the people more. I learn so much from them. When I say people, I mean people who work for PR agencies and regional offices handling certain makes.
I love cars, have loved them for as long as I can remember, and getting to drive them around over the weekend still gives me goose-bumps.
Car are as individual as human beings, and once you drive a whole mix of them you will realize how each brand interprets certain aspects of comfort/power handling. Their individual definition is translated into their cars.
Please share some blogging tips for novice bloggers.
  • Be passionate about your blog and the topic you blog about, if you don’t have the passion then it woujld reflect on the writing and the work put on to it.
  • Study similar blogs and see what you like and what you dont like and try and incorporate all the ideas into your blog that you would feel would be of interest. Show a beta version to your friends and ask them to comment before releasing it online.
  • Make sure that you study SEO a bit and how it works, Google would be a great friend of yours and drive traffic to your site if you can follow their steps in making your article meet their specifications.
  • Always be on the lookout for new ideas, new blogging techniques and new story angles, this will keep the site fresh and updated
  • Be true to yourself and your topic, always see it from a 3rd part point of view, be true to your readers and always write without prejudice
  • Don’t compete with other bloggers around you, give it your best no matter how small the topic or the article is. Success will find you.

 

Am2Co

You met Jason Dalmeida on The Tezzy Files way back in November. Jason left the corporate jungle to turn his passion for photography into a profession, and in the past few months, his photography blog is gaining a mass following across various social media platforms.

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Blog link:
www.am2co.wordpress.com

What is your blog about?
Learning photography. Learning, Sharing, Inspiring and growing

What inspired you to start this?
I love teaching, and the Am2co began when I felt the need to help people learn from my mistakes.

Life is too short to learn from your own mistakes.

What do you love most about blogging?

It is wonderful way to express and share what you know.

The interesting things about blogging, is that what you write remains in this space forever, for people to come back and read whenever they want.

Please share some blogging tips for novice bloggers.

  • Write as often as you can.
  • Write consistently.
  • Keep it to the point and include pictures.
  • Make sense when you write.
  • Write with flow which makes easy reading.
  • Be different and unique. Include videos, pictures etc.

 

Do In Dubai

Monica Kapila has always been an encyclopedia of ideas on what to do around Dubai. After one too many requests on where to eat, or what to wear when, Monica decided to document it for all to see on ‘Do in Dubai’. Today, her blog is also her business platform!

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Link to blog: www.doindubai.com

What is your blog about?

An honest guide to ‘Life in Dubai’. Eat, Travel, Live.

A blog detailing real, recent experiences connected to Eating, Travelling or Living in Dubai. Travelling includes short break destinations from Dubai that are within the UAE and further afield.

What inspired you to start this?

The blog was a natural progression from emailing friends details of all the requests for information I kept getting connected to where to dip gold in Dubai, the best recipe for a chicken curry or where to find the best dosas and tailors.

Furthermore my husband’s work meant we ended up taking people out to high end places quite often so it made sense to document the experiences in an honest way to share with others, as opposed to just rely on magazine or PR type reviews.

 What do you love most about blogging?

I love being my own boss and working for myself.

It’s great having flexibility with your work timings so you can really manage your time as it lends itself to fitting in all other commitments.

But the best part for me is the satisfaction I get from having created something from scratch that can incorporate my love of writing, graphics and design and being able to share that with many people.

And as time ticks by writing a blog is something you can keep going with whatever your age. Just increase the font size a bit! I have also learnt so much from writing a blog.

Please share blogging tips for novice bloggers.

  • Really think carefully why you are starting your blog. It’s ok if you don’t know to begin with but try and keep your expectations clear. That way you can focus on achieving that goal.
  • Decide very early on, is your blog primarily for you or for others! There is no point in writing a clever post title or article if your readers can’t relate to it. Or more importantly if it stops your post being found!
  • It’s a good exercise to establish what your real strengths are, then you can easily identify gaps you need to fill. So you may be a fabulous photographer but quite weak at expressing yourself clearly and succinctly on paper, or vice versa.
  • Don’t underestimate how much technical knowledge is required to set up and even maintain a blog. You don’t want to be in the position of having to pay a web designer for everything you need to do. So after you have chosen your preferred blogging platform, train yourself up as much as possible using videos, tutorials etc on how this platform works and it’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Learn how to easily add links, amend and add photos, add plug ins etc without requiring any one’s help.
  • Organise, Organise, Organise ! Your computer/laptop/phone/ipad will very quickly become a jungle of photos, articles, lists etc. From the outset have separate folders for everything so you can find things easily when you need to. So in a main folder called ‘Do In Dubai’ I have 3 folders called ‘Articles;, ‘Pictures’ and ‘Technical’. Then within articles and pictures I have 3 folders each called ‘Eating’, ‘Travelling’ and ‘Living’. These correspond to the 3 categories of my blog. It’s not perfect but it’s at least it’s a logical system!
  • Have a budget in mind of what you’d be happy to spend on your blog regardless of what money (if any) you might earn from the blog and think of this pot as fixed costs especially in the beginning. Moreover if you are farming out the design element of the blog, this can be very expensive indeed and maybe when you blogged for bit, you realize the design doesn’t suit what you’re doing, so was that a waste of money?

 

Fit Shortie Eats

Who says you need a website domain to be a blogger? Meet my high-school friend Justyna Stocklosa. Justyna has always been on a mission to stay fit and healthy, and combined with her sharp eye for photography, she took Instagram by storm with ‘Fit Shortie Eats’.

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Blog link:

Instagram: fit_shortie_eats

What is your blog about?

Food journal, delicious fruits, nature pics.

What inspired you to start this?

3.5 years ago I downloaded Instagram as I heard it had great filters – to take great selfies of course.

I photographed my nightlife when I noticed that my food pics were rending much more likes than my own pics :/

So naturally it evolved as a food journal. First I documented my ‘clean eating’ meals, and then my fruit meals when I went cold turkey fruitarian overnight over a year ago.

What do you love most about blogging?

I have met the most interesting people through Instagram from the most distant of places all over the world, and their perspective on things really enriched my life.

Also, it was thro IG that I discovered how many ways to nourish yourself there are, fruitarianism included.

As a plus – when I feel down I can just scroll down my feed and appreciate what a beautiful life I have.

Please share some blogging tips for novice bloggers.

  • Post regularly (I’m not good at this, I post whenever I feel like which may be thrice a day and then a month’s break. My bad!).
  • Don’t procrastinate, don’t wait till you’re perfect or the lighting is perfect.
  • Having said that – on IG specifically, better not post, than post an ugly picture.
  • Be compassionate: unless you have something nice to say, don’t comment in a mean way on others people’s posts. They are human too.
  • Sarcasm doesn’t work well in a written post. What you mean in a funny way can be interpreted totally differently by the reader.
  • Interact with other bloggers – you don’t exist in an air bubble. Like, comment, subscribe, regram.
  • Stick to your gut in terms of what you want your blog to look like. I was approached my numerous health supplement companies and declined to do any kind of product placement on my blog. Same goes for shout-outs, they’re a great way to enlarge your audience – but I’m just not feeling it.
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