Feel Good with Sania Siddiqui of all things GUD
All things GUD is a lifestyle blog run by the very enterprising Sania Siddiqui. When you take a look at her blog, you can easily say that she is a jack of all trades. She writes on a variety of topics ranging from parenting to recipes, travel, health, DIY, reviews and so on. But what makes her blog special is that she is able to strike a chord with every Indian mother through her writing. She has won various accolades for her blog such as being adjudged as one of the top Mommy bloggers of 2016, winner of the Best Social Message Award in Times Women’s Drive 2016, Safe Food Ambassador for Tetra Pack( A Times of India initiative) and so on.
Through this interview, Sania shares with us her passion for writing, the ups and downs as a blogger and how being a mother has influenced the entrepreneur in her.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself.I am a medical professional by education but a writer by heart. To me, writing about de-tanning or latest trends in bags comes as easy as jotting down the symptoms of basal cell carcinoma. I am an absolute tea-ohlic, love Pinterest and can’t do without WhatsApp. Born in Delhi & (well) brought up in Lucknow, I think I possess a ‘super power’ to tell apart good & bad of – Food, Style, Decor and everything else that calls for a creative inkling. Monotony kills me so I keep myself allied with several things at a time. Recently, I became the Safe Food Ambassador for Tetra Pak. This gives me a vast scope to work in the field of food safety and spread the message of healthy and safe eating practices. I am halfway through writing my first book which is a fictional humour.
- How long have you been blogging? Was writing a passion right from your childhood?
I have been blogging for almost 2 years now. Coming from a family of writers and poets, I can say the flare is genetic. I started writing professionally as a Medical Content Writer almost 8 years back but the ‘creative writing bug’ bit me pretty recently. Today, I have close to 2000 published articles (online & print) on health and varied lifestyle topics.
- You are a mom, you have a full time job, and you blog regularly like a pro. How do you manage all together?I have a demanding job, a 10 year old daughter to look after and an over-worked husband to take care of. I also want my house to be spic and span, bed sheets crisp and not even a trace of dust on my artefacts. And as if this was not enough, I wanted to run a blog as well. Time and energy were definitely falling short. But then I am a firm believer of the old adage – You take out time for what you like to do. I usually sneak out time in early morning or late in the night to do my blogging stuff. Thanks to the smart phones, a lot of blogging stuff and social media is taken care off during travel.
- You are a great multi-tasker( do read the article-” I created history with Mrs. Funnybones“) Can you share some multi-tasking tips for our readers?Multitasking is much needed in today’s time. ‘Planning’ in advance is extremely important. Remain focused. If you have kept the milk to boil on gas and you are also ironing clothes alongside, don’t let yourself be at ease mentally. Be alert in your mind. Keep your things organised so that the mess or clutter doesn’t boggle you down. Time management and delegation of work is vital too.
- What are the hardships you faced in your initial days of blogging?I had words but to put them together in a visually appealing manner online, I lacked technical skills. Initially I tried setting up my blog on Blogger (on my own) but it didn’t look professional and engaging. So I requested a friend to make a WordPress site for me. He did. Obviously I could not bother him every day for all the uploading, adding, deleting and managing the site. So I resorted to Youtube & Google. I remember doing extensive Google search and watching online videos to learn how to resize the image, add plugins, create menu, do SEO and other such stuff. I continually read tips & techniques for successful blogging, ways to promote the website and innovative ideas to create engaging content. So, basically Google helped me in knowing, whatever I did not know.
- What was the happiest moment in your life as a blogger?Blogging opened a lot of avenues for me. I get to meet people from all walks of life during event visits and brand promotions. The broadened horizon brought forward several ceremonious moments as a Blogger in last two years. Recently, I was featured and interviewed by MJ Tarun on 94.3 Radio One FM about my experience and journey as a Blogger. So, that is something really special to me as of now.
- You write on a variety of topics like DIYs, parenting, recipes and so on. Which is the topic that you are the most passionate about?I have nine categories in my blog. There is one section – My GUD Words where I post my musings. That is my favourite. And also the Recipe section where I post some extremely unique things. I love to write, style and click my food.
- There are a number of parenting and lifestyle blogs around. What do you think it is that makes all things GUD unique and engaging?all things GUD! is a diverse platform. It is like a one-stop shop. I constantly try to include content which ‘you & me’ can relate to in our lives. A lot of stories are derived out of my own personal experiences and happenings in everybody’s day-to-day life, and I guess for my readers that’s what make it an interesting read as they connect with content immediately.
I receive messages and comments on my articles saying “The write-up was so realistic, as if it is taken out of my own life”, “Oh, this happens at my home also”. That is the USP of my blog! If I make a quick 3-minute biscuit cake, I would share it with my readers; I have an oops moment, I will put it across on the blog; a nice meal somewhere, it’s up there! My content strategy is very simple – I write what I would like to read.
- What is your message for those who wish to pursue blogging for a living?If you have a way with words, definitely put them across in a blog. Get a basic website made (I would recommend WordPress out of my own experience) and start posting. Be consistent with your posts. Images play an important part in any blog post but not having a DSLR camera must not stop you from clicking awesome pictures for the blog. I learned some basic and easy tips of taking great pictures from a simple phone camera using easily available props at home through You Tube and Google, so can you. (All my blog pictures are from my phone camera and people have repeatedly told me, some of them are superb!) Secondly, people like to read simple language in conversational tone and easily understandable content. Don’t sound like a Thesaurus or Wikipedia.PLEASE do not think about monetizing your blog from day one. It takes time for brands to invest in you. Build your blog with rich and unique content and gradually start looking for sponsored posts. Patience & persistence is the key here.
- Finally, how has being a mom helped you as a blogger?I want to sum it up in one line…..
Being a mother has taught me better things in life than heavy medical books ever did!
You can visit her blog all things GUD and enjoy some wonderful reads.