It’s been two years since you’ve started your blog, what has changed for you since then?
I can’t believe it’s been over 2 years !! A lot has changed; the growth of my blog is also parallel to the growth of my family. As my kids have grown it has made it a little bit easier to be able to travel to events that I get invited to. I don’t get to attend most and have to pick the ones that I can go to. Being a blogger has exposed me to so many fun, fashion related happenings across the GCC and even though I can’t make it to them all; attending the few has been so much fun. Getting to meet other bloggers and expand my blogging circle has not only opened up new friendships but also a great networking circle with people of similar interests.
How have your choices in content changed since you started blogging?
I started my blog as a space to let out all the stuff that I was into. I needed an outlet and someone to share it with. It started off with posts on health, baby related, family posts, fashion and GCC related events and happenings. My brother Ali Mostafa had recently finished his film City of Life and I wanted in some small way to be able to help promote his work (which is why I have a category just on him). The blog has evolved into a lot more modest fashion related posts recently. I don’t call it a fashion blog because to be a fashion blogger you need to be tapped into the scene 24-7 and quick to post latest trends and happenings and being a mum of 3 that just isn’t realistic. I’m a lifestyle blogger that tends to focus quite a bit on modest fashion for women who cover like me or who just want to dress modestly. As far as covering all categories on the blog; I write about what I feel at the time. I will be posting more on health, family posts, artist spotlight etc..
What encouraged you to become a blogger?
I am very much into all the categories that I have listed. Due to limited time and being a mum it is hard for me to keep all updated frequently. Being a vegetarian and into health, organic and raw/vegan food I wanted to be able to reach out to people who were similar or who were just curious of that lifestyle. As a mom of 3, I have so much I wanted to share from birth, pregnancy, baby products, natural cleaning products, non toxic beauty products etc. Being a mutahajiba (wear the hijab) I feel very passionate about exposing the need and demand for modest fashion. Women who wear the hijab or simply want to dress modestly love fashion as much as any other woman who wear the latest short skirts and sequined shorts but they don’t have many people to look up to to help them figure out how to style the latest trends in a modestified way. I am fascinated with the arts, calligraphy and graffiti and try and support local regional artists as well amongst many things.
You have a wide range of categories when it comes to your blogs content. What is your favorite? And why?
They are all a big chunk of me and whether the topic is graffiti art or how to write a birth plan it is very hard to say which specifically is my favorite. Which category that gets more content has to do with what I am feeling more of at the time. At the moment it is clearly fashion related. I get invited to many events and have to cover a lot. I cannot put into words what an amazing feeling it is to have someone come up to you who says that they follow your blog and really appreciate your work.
As a mother of three; how much of your content is based on children, motherhood, and parenting? What do you post?
I am all about natural, clean living and feel it is important for families especially mothers to jump on the bandwagon. I have done posts on how to shop for organic products, cleaning your home with non toxic home-made cleaning products, pregnancy/birth: delayed cord blood clamping, homeopathy and so much more. People don’t realize they have alternatives and because we live in such a fast paced world everyone is just busy! We look for quick fixes whether it’s with western medicines to blanket the symptoms or blindly follow the pregnancy plan your Dr has for you; we don’t question why or search for alternatives. You can dramatically increase the quality of your life and your families by taking the time to educate yourself and look outside the box.
What would you say is your most memorable moment as a blogger?
I recently attended Fashion Forward in Dubai and it was a huge first of it’s kind fashion platform in the region. Having a people recognize your blog and follow it was huge and so humbling. I am still in awe when people say they have read specific posts etc because in my mind it’s just me typing away alone in my little space. Meeting such inspiring designers at the event was also memorable experience.
What is the most enjoyable part about being a blogger?
Definitely discovering new talent, designers, products etc. You have to be on the ball and know what’s happening around you. It’s great to be apart of the social media boom and to see how blogging is taken seriously.
How do you think the public’s view of bloggers has changed since the trend took off in the early 90’s?
There are a lot more people blogging now and you have everyone from journal bloggers to serious hard core bloggers blogging. There is a huge rise in companies and designers collaborating with bloggers to market their products. There was the era of using ‘supermodels’ ‘celebrities’ to grab people’s attention via magazines, advertising etc … people are now seeing the potential blogs have and are tapping into the bloggers circle and inviting bloggers to fashion events, dress them in their designs, advertise on their blogs and using them in campaigns etc. Bloggers are the new supermodels of this generation and who the target audience is looking to for style inspiration, trend analysis and so much more.
What is your advice for newbie bloggers? Or Someone who wants to blog and is hesitant?
Blogging takes a lot of time but don’t let that freak you out. Once you start blogging you will find your feet and see what your focus and interests are. There are so many blogs out there. Try and use your interests and look for a way to find a niche in that market and go from there. Get yourselves business cards made so people will have your contacts and blog site at hand. Commenting on other blogs is a great way to get exposure and get in touch with other bloggers after all they started off where you were.
To see more of Mara’s Blog click here.
WORDS: BADRIYA AL-MAHMEED
Images courtesy of Mara Mostafa.