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4 mars 2010 4 04 /03 /mars /2010 07:38


Manal Assaad

From The Manalyst 





Alexander McNabb

From Fake plastic souks








1- How long have you been blogging?

Since November 2009.

I know, I came too late!

Since April 2007 with this post, which still makes me laugh.


2- How many hours per day do you dedicate to the blog?

If I am writing a post, it would take like 2 to 3 hours since I tend to get distracted as I write, looking for pictures or links I can include. Then, I spend time publishing the post to Twitter, Facebook, my Fan Page, and some other places. If I'm not writing a post, then it's just a matter of replying to any comments I have which doesn't take more than few minutes.

Probably about 20-30 minutes.

3- Has it been worth it so far?

It has! I can't believe that within this short period and the few posts that I've published, I got some really great feedback. That really motivates me to even write better posts.

Oh, absolutely. It’s taught me a great deal about how blogs ‘tick’, it’s a remarkable reputational tool and it’s probably kept me out of jail. Blogging is very cathartic. I’ve been offered a book project (declined, sadly), interviewed many times by media and seen stories that the blog has broken (not its primary purpose, BTW) go ‘big’. I’ve been able to pinpoint a number of egregious corporate behaviors (including my bank’s) and know that it has had an impact on the organizations concerned, which is great.


4- How many page views does your blog get daily?

I don't heavily promote my blog daily, so I don't get many views per day, but on average it's between 20 to 30 views.

It varies quite a bit but generally between 250-500 on weekdays. Weekends, when I don’t post, it drops back to very little.

5- How many blogs do you have or write for currently?

Just my blog. I really just do it to get my thoughts out there. I'm not considering making blogging a profession, which would just take the fun out of it.

Just this one, really. I was a co-author of The Fat Expat but that’s really a blog in ICU now. We none of us could find the time to keep it going. I’m a very occasional contributor to the UAE Community Blog.

6- How many hours do you dedicate to them every day?

This answer would be the same as per question 2, since I only have my blog.


7- Do you think one needs to post daily to be successful?

Well, it depends what the blog is about, and what the blogger wishes to achieve. In my opinion, a quality post that comes every once in a while is better than daily mediocre ones. But in the beginning, you'd need to post frequently at least just to build some fan base.

Yes, if you measure traffic as success. No if you’re blogging for other reasons than sheer numbers. If you want nothing more than traffic, blog about sex.

8- Is there an ideal posting frequency?

Not really, it all goes back to the bloggers themselves. If they do it as a profession, then they'd have to post at least 2 to 3 times a week. If it's simply a mean of expression, as in my case, then posting should come naturally when one feels he/she has something valuable to share, and shouldn't force it.


9- What is the biggest blogging mistake you did?

Well my posts have only been recently become popular; thus so far I haven't discovered any "big mistakes". Let's hope I don't LOL.

I don’t think I’ve goofed in any major way so far (touch wood!), but I’ve posted a few things where I’ve wondered if maybe I hadn’t gone too far – particularly a couple of posts that got picked up by major media and ran as quite big stories. I’m quite careful to tread the line because at the end of the day I’m living and working here and I don’t make a living by blogging. So staying here takes priority!

10- What is the biggest mistake you see in blog designs?


Coming from the marketing and advertising field, I know that the package (the design) is the first thing that catches people's attention. What I saw out there in the blogosphere is that so many bloggers might have great content, but their blog design is stinks! They need to understand what a "brand" is and give their blog design a unified personality, and NEVER cramp it with ads.

They’re boring. My own blog design bores me to tears and I do often wish I had the skills, resources and time to tart it up and make it look more fun.

11- Twitter is a distraction or a good promotional tool?

Both! LOL. I really have fun using Twitter, and sometimes I waste hours of my day just trying to find interesting things to share with my followers, and also reading what others are sharing. And since I don't post daily, I only spend like a few minutes every other day promoting my posts. I'm not in it for business, I'm in it for the fun!

Twitter is faster, lets you unleash those thoughts and occasional insights so it tends to take away from some of the things you otherwise might develop into posts. But Twitter is an amazing ‘go to’ tool and I now Tweet pretty much every post I put up. Oddly I now find people discussing blog posts with me over Twitter! Twitter is also great for helping people write better headlines.

12- Do you think that any professional should have a blog?

I think that any professional who can help others by sharing knowledge should have a blog. But I reckon that not everyone can have the time for such a responsibility, unless they make blogging their profession.

I iz a professional and I haz blog! You have to be careful not to represent your company when you blog, unless you’re blogging professionally for your company. There are a lot of guidelines and stuff like that around this issue which my company helps organizations to develop.

13- If you could give an advice for a novice blogger, what would it be?

Do a lot of research before starting your blog or posting, set yourself a goal (a blog topic) and work towards it (don't deviate from it), learn from the experts but don't imitate… originate! You should always speak with your own voice.

Be yourself, have fun, admit when you’ve made a mistake and leave the mistake up there with a correction rather than be a weasel and delete it then pretend you didn’t goof in the first place. Most importantly, don’t let the bastards grind you down.

14- What is the secret of your success, expressed in one word?

Wittiness. (But I wouldn't call myself successful, yet.)


15- If you could write a post on any blog in the world, which one would you pick?

Just my own, really. I want people to see my posts as part of my own identity, on my blog only (at least as a start), rather than seeing me anywhere else and failing to get to know who I am.

But I'd love to write a guest post for www.BitRebels.com because their posts are fun and helpful at the same time, which falls in line with my blog's identity.

I honestly can’t think of one. I don’t really have any ambitions like that. Huffington? But I’m not sure I’d have anything to say to that audience that they’d give a hoot about.



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