Our September 2017 featured blogger is Joanna, author of Halal Mama. Joanna is originally from Poland, but now calls England ‘home’. She loves good coffee, cakes, and good food in general. Self-confessed chocoholic, moaning about her weight 😉 And she is obsessed with cute stationery.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU START BLOGGING?
My first attempts at blogging actually go back to when I was a teenager. Blogging has just started becoming a thing, new writing platforms were popping up everywhere… It wasn’t anything great though, more like a silly teenage diaries.
‘Halal Mama’ is the first blog that you can call ‘serious’. I started it back in 2013 when I was pregnant with my first child. I sort of discovered the blogging scene again and decided to give it a go.
DID ANYONE, IN PARTICULAR, INSPIRE YOU TO START BLOGGING?
I wouldn’t maybe say that anyone inspired me, but I had some friends who got into blogging around the same time and they encouraged me to start.
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR BLOG NAME?
I guess it just came to me one day 😉 I was a fresh revert, mum-to-be… I kind of wanted to write about being a Muslim, about halal food, about mummy stuff – I tried to think of a name that would be applicable to all of these, and came up with ‘Halal Mama’.
WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT BEING A BLOGGER AND BLOGGING?
I was about to say the infamous ‘writer’s block’. But actually I think it’s all about putting too much pressure on ourselves. We all see these massively successful blogs, start comparing ourselves to them and often feel that what we do and where we’re going with our own blogs is just not good enough. The biggest challenge is to remember why we started blogging in the first place, and that we’re all brilliant and unique.
AS A MOTHER AND BLOGGER DO YOU STRUGGLE TO FIND THE TIME TO BLOG? HOW DO YOU ORGANISE YOUR TIME?
Oh I definitely struggle. I really admire all these bloggers who can post regularly having small children around. When I do eventually blog, I usually write my posts in the evening when my son’s asleep. The biggest challenge is trying to take photos for my posts, as he likes getting involved in that! Overall I’m not massively organised, so I just give time to my blog whenever I can.
HAVE YOU HAD ANY OPPORTUNITIES ARISE AS A RESULT OF BLOGGING? IF SO WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ONE?
I’ve had quite a few review opportunities – never really anything big, but it was fun to try some new products.
My biggest opportunity to date, and probably my favourite, was getting invited to the London Halal Food Festival. Even though my blog is not the biggest in the niche I was aiming for, it gave me the confidence that what I’m doing is good enough to be recognised.
WHERE DO YOU SEE BLOGGING IN 5 YEARS? WILL YOU STILL BE DOING IT IN SHA ALLAH?
I think that blogging as a whole has seen a steady growth in the recent years. With the ever growing popularity of social media I can see many bloggers being recognised by major brands as the real influencers alongside the celebrities. Will I still be blogging in 5 years? I certainly hope so!
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS FOR YOUR BLOG? IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIFIC YOU ARE AIMING FOR?
I don’t think I have any particular goals. I finally got my husband to see that the whole blogging thing is a serious business, so I’ve already achieved something 😉 Seriously though – I’ll probably never compare to the biggest players, but it would be nice to grow bigger and maybe one day make it more than a hobby.
WHAT ADVICE AND TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO MAY BE THINKING OF STARTING A BLOG?
Just go for it! Think what you’re passionate about. What you have knowledge about. What you enjoy the most. Is it food, fashion, books, make-up, your children? Whatever it is, there’s space on the web for all of us. Sit comfortably and write down some blog post ideas, then choose a few to start with – write the post, take some decent photos, and just put it out there. Make sure you connect with other bloggers – who else will be more supportive than people who know the struggle!
JazakAllah Khair to Joanna for taking the time out to answer our questions. If you wish to connect with her further you can do so via:
Halal Mama – http://www.halal-mama.co.uk/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/halalmama/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/halalmama/