- Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog:
I am a full time PhD student in Architecture researching geometric patterns and their use in interior design. I was born and raised in Saudi, but I have been in the UK for the past four years. Prior to that I was living in the states for a few years. My blog is a lifestyle and travel blog. It is all about what I do, what I like and where I go. I love posting about many things because I love change and trying new things. Currently, I post about my travels, my interior design passion and my Saudi background.
- What made you decide to start blogging in the first place?
I am very social and I enjoy sharing stories and experiences with others, so starting a blog was the natural thing to do, especially that I live abroad and I wanted my family and friends back home to know more of what I did. This way everyone knows what I am up to and part of my experience. Another reason why I started was promoting the handmade products I used to hand knit and crochet on www.asoratti.com. Since then, the purpose and the reason behind the blog have changed few times from a blabber blog to a promotional gig to a travelling and lifestyle diary. I think as we grow and change, our blogs grow and change with us.
- Talk us through how you chose your blog name? Has it always been the same?
Choosing a name and committing to it is really hard and when circumstances change, the name has to change with it. I am currently using the third name I picked. First one was Knitella, which combined my love of knitting and chocolate, but then when I tried to get the trademark, Nutella had an issue with it and I was forced to change it, so, I chose Asoratti. It was also what I used for my handmade brand. When I stopped doing the handmade products due to my university commitments, I replaced the name with Designer Esra because I still wanted to blog, but under adifferent umbrella. It is a direct reflection of who I am and what I do.
- What has been your biggest blogging challenge?
Blogging is full of challenges and it very time consuming. It is crazy how everybody thinks it is just an easy thing to do, but it requires time, research, lots of good writing and great quality images. I think my biggest challenge has been posting daily and keeping the posts coming. I write daily, but I don’t always feel that I my post is ready and that slows down my progress. I am trying to over come that with writing ahead of time.
- Over your time blogging, what has been your biggest blogging success? It could be an award, a post that you think really struck a chord or just a “YES!” moment from your blogging experience?
I am still a beginner at blogging, so I do not think I have a huge success story, but when people tell me that they actually read my posts and loved them, I feel like I achieved something positive and that makes me happy.
- Tell us about your blogging routine. Do you us an editorial calendar? Do you plan in advance or blog it as it happens?
I usually start blogging first thing in the day because I think this is when the ideas are fresh in my head and flooding my brain. Sometimes inspiration comes at night, so I would do some writing before I go to bed as well. I am working on more scheduled posts, especially when I know that I have travel plans, but it is still work in progress.
- We’d love to see and hear about where you blog.
I mainly blog from my living room. I have a big wooden table just by the window and that gives me the maximum daylight London has got to offer. I have an office space in my bedroom that I frequently use as well. I am trying to discover new places and cafes around London to blog from. (pictures attached)
- What are your blogging goals for 2015?
This year I have been really focused on getting my blog off the ground and making it known to a wider audience. I am also working super hard on my content from writing to photography. So, my goal is getting a bigger readership. My ultimate goal is to get a book deal, but that goal feels so far away right now.
- If you could give new bloggers one top tip, what would it be?
Make a plan for your blog and choose focus areas. Also, take an advantage of momentum. When the writing moment strikes use it wisely and write few posts at a time and schedule them for the week.
- What made you push the “Buy Now” button on your ticket for Blogtacular 2015?
I have been on the twitter chat with Blogtacular since last year and I love the way they bring up new useful topics and the community they have built. I really wanted to be part of the in-person community as well.
- If you came to Blogtacular in 2014 what did it do for you?
I could not attend last year’s conference in person, but I attended the virtual one. I found the speakers and their topics to be very useful. They were all fully packed with great techniques and hands on tips, which helped me make few changes to my blog already.
- How has blogging changed your life?
I still consider myself a beginner at blogging and I am really looking forward to how it will really change my life in few years, but I can see few changes already. One change I noticed is people’s reaction when they know I blog and all the interesting conversation that comes with it. It has also given me a lot more discipline with my time and objectives.
- Which 3 blogs do you read every week without fail.
There are so many great ones to choose from, but I always checkout Design Sponge, Blog Society and Blogtacular of course!
You can find Esra:
Blog Link: www.designeresra.com