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Behind the Blog

Prominent influencers from around the region reveal the inspiration behind their words, their proudest moments, challenges and more.

Magdalena Cervenkova, Bahrain
Having always wanted to set up a blog, but never knowing what topic or theme to focus on, inspiration came in the form of a baby boy a few months ago. Fairly new to the blogging sphere, Magdalena blogs about her experiences with her son, while also drawing inspiration from and writing about life in Bahrain coupled with her many travels.

One of her blogposts, How I Survived Postpartum, bears witness to her honest and real writing style, which exudes relatability and humour. As a new mom, her biggest challenge is finding time to write, understandably a near-impossible feat with a new baby around, especially as she posts in both English and Czech.

Proud of simply launching the blog after years of considering it, and currently at about one post a month, she now hopes to offer her loyal followers more material, more often. Thinking long term, broadening her horizons and expanding into other content is definitely in the books for her.
www.theexpatess.com

Janelle and Reina, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Two Filipina expats in Riyadh with a wish to highlight the positives of living in Saudi, Janelle and Reina have been blogging for almost 10 years. Stemming from being unable to find a blog that shed light on Saudi Arabia when they were new to the country, the duo decided to cover a wide range of topics including restaurant reviews, shopping, events, travel and how-to guides. They attribute the success of the blog to the fact that expats and locals alike can find beneficial information that enriches their stay.

Written in a conversational tone, the documented experiences and stories are subjective, adding a touch of realness to the contents.

Having to deal with content and pictures being stolen deliberately and posted elsewhere is a genuine problem bloggers face, and Janelle and Reina are no strangers to this. They are, however, humbled by their loyal followers, who are fondly referred to as ‘RIYADHizens’, and their positive feedback, which encourages them to overcome the challenges and carry on. Janelle and Reina are especially proud of winning the Best Website in Promoting Tourism in Saudi Arabia accolade from the Saudi Excellence in Tourism Awards.

In further aiming to continue as the best lifestyle guide for their followers, they aim to publish a book in the future, and also hope to develop The Pink Tarha app for ease and efficiency in gathering all their contents.
www.thepinktarha.com/ksa

Shabana Feroze,Bahrain
Maintaining a blog twice a week for the past seven years, Shabana Feroze’s The Silver Kick Diaries is all about inspiring women to glam up and love themselves. Having started out as an outfit blog, her content has now evolved to include travel and fitness, fuelled by wanderlust and being a certified fitness instructor.

Sophisticated and upbeat in style, Shabana writes the way she talks, making her posts light reads for everyone’s enjoyment. Boasting high-quality content, Shabana gives her all to every one of her posts – from the research to the writing and photos – evident at a glance.

Her blogposts epitomise top tips on passion, fashion and style, and health and fitness, all of which she focuses on in her book, Loving Yourself in Style, published last October.

Shabana wants to continue posting quality content that makes her and her readers happy. Firmly against buying followers on social media, she claims it’s difficult to always expect likes and followers on content that isn’t founded on food, revealing attire and entertainment.

However, this does not faze her as she ploughs on to develop her blog with the aim of offering more and more value to her followers.
www.thesilverkickdiaries.com

Naomi D’Souza, UAE
Recognised as one of the 100 Most Influential Asians and Influencers in the UAE, and established as a blogger, Naomi loves creating content that ensures there’s something for everyone on her blog – be it about food, lifestyle, travel, analytics and even informational articles. As a strategy consultant at IBM by day and blogger by night, she reviews her way around town, working alongside luxury brands and restaurants.

Grateful for her many, many views, she believes in giving back to followers, which she does in the way of giveaways, hosting food tours and replying to DMs and comments.

Naomi treats her followers to six to eight posts a month; however she doesn’t follow a strict schedule when it comes to Instagram, preferring quality over quantity, and posting only when she’s sure she’s got top content.

Stylistically casual, she prides herself on her punny captions on Instagram posts, and content that steers clear of formality. As any popular personality would attest, with popularity comes haters. Giving us a peek into the challenges of online fame, she explains that no matter the many compliments you receive, sometimes it’s that one negative comment that stays with you. Ignoring the haters is a process, one that Naomi is still perfecting.
www.naomidsouza.com

Laura Alho , Saudi Arabia
With a blog dedicated to different aspects of Saudi Arabia, such as travel, tourism, destinations, practical advice and things to do in the country, Laura is an avid blogger who aims to showcase the true beauty of the Kingdom as well as encourage people to explore.

Blogging since 2008, her writing is fuelled by genuine interest and personal experiences, which adds a unique element to her content and builds trust. Describing herself as a perfectionist, Laura admits it takes her a few weeks to tweak her posts till she’s assured of high-quality work.

Her main challenge comes in the form of time management as she balances her business, Inspired by Arabia, and takes time out for photography and travelling to different destinations.
Proud of keeping her blog up and running for nine years since its inception, she envisions a future in Saudi Arabia’s travel and tourism sector as this is where her passion lies.
www.blueabaya.com

Lara Geadah, UAE
Six years ago, Lara Geadah decided to take her knack for writing and turn it into something special – Lara’s Happy Work. Just as the name indicates, this creative space is somewhere she enjoys sharing her positive outlook on life. As someone who enjoys the simplicity of a routine life, she blogs about food, home décor and other lifestyle content – anything that brings her joy. On her blog, Lara shapes her content in favour of her mental health, and encourages her followers to live life with intent.

Having written for herself before she went public, she’s always enjoyed writing and is confident in her ability to pen words, exactly the way she wants them. Always sure to spread positivity through her work, Lara aims to spread the word about mental health and its importance to everyone in the long run. Her clever writing style and noteworthy musings successfully contribute to her aim.

Considering herself an extrovert, Lara believes her outgoing nature has had a hand in establishing her name in the Arab market. Leaving one’s comfort zone is something she highly recommends, as she believes the blogging sphere is open to so many possibilities and opportunities. Proud of being able to recognise the beauty of these possibilities, she appreciates all that comes her way and gracefully owns it.

Creative by nature, she looks upon her work as a portfolio and is therefore constantly striving to master visual elements and palettes that reflect her character, and all her values and preferences, on Instagram. She is currently working on building the ‘Lara Brand’ – spreading awareness with regard to mental health and showing how the superficial decisions we make in our daily lives can help contribute to our happiness.
www.larashappywork.com

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