Omani lifestyle blogger Al Sayyida Mayya Al Said promotes creativity and positivity on her YouTube channel and blog The Sewist. She spoke with MediaSource about writing for modern women and the message she hopes to share through her platforms.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I started blogging back in 2008, and The Sewist is my third blog. My blogging journey has always been about sharing my thoughts on life and inspiring others to lead a life they love.
What is your blog’s message?
The short version is ‘to Inspire’. Through positivity I inspire women to be happy and lead a life that they love and deserve. I write for the modern women of today who juggle so many roles and always seem on the go. My blog is a reminder for them to love their life with all its ups and downs.
What kind of posts will we find on The Sewist?
The Sewist is a lifestyle blog and you will find topics on health & fitness, fashion and beauty tips. Along with inspirational quotes and posts about Oman, since it is where I am from. I believe that we should all live a life we love and I want to ‘lead by example’ because if I can do it, so can my readers.
You started your YouTube channel in 2009 – how has your channel evolved since launching?
Starting my YouTube channel has allowed me to reach an international audience! I am the only blogger/vlogger in Oman who creates content in English. By doing so I want to be an ambassador for Arab Muslim women living in the Middle East. I love making videos because it allows viewers to meet me ‘virtually’ which, in return, makes me more relatable and creates a stronger connection.
How do you like to work with marketers and PR?
It is always helpful to know what their aim is (i.e. their end goal). Once contacted via email I send over my media kit which lists my services and I can also customise a plan to suit their needs. When it comes to being invited to attend events, I expect at least two weeks’ notice to be able to plan my schedule.
How do you decide which places/products to feature?
Well it should be something that I would personally buy or use. Something that I know my readers will love and benefit from. The relationship that I build with my readers is based on trust, so I would never betray that trust.
What is your review policy on gifted items?
My review on gifted items is pretty simple, I will only accept gifts that fit with my blog theme. Since it is a gift I am not inclined to post about it. Review of an item takes approximately 2-4 weeks to post to give time to actually review the item.
My reviews will be honest. If I end up not liking the product, I will email the company and tell them so and might not share the review on the blog simply because I don’t believe in giving bad publicity. For example, a beauty product might not work for me but works amazingly well for others.
Any advice for PRs and marketers looking to engage with the blogging community in Oman?
Blogging is still a fairly new concept in the Omani community, compared with the other countries in the GCC. There are a handful of successful Omani bloggers, however, I believe that it is changing gradually, especially with the rise of Brand Influencers in the region. So my advice would be to do your research and find the best suited blogger to work with.
How do you measure ‘blogging success’?
Personally it’s the impact that I have with my readers. If they are able to gain from my blog – be it a recipe, advice, a product recommendation or anything that helped them, that to me is considered a success.
I won’t deny that numbers do matter, however making a positive difference is what will build loyal readers.
What advice would you give to new bloggers?
As a new blogger you might be tempted to create content that is popular, but don’t follow the masses. Create something that you want to read, something unique. Don’t compare your blogging journey to anyone but yourself. Blog about something you are a passionate about and be consistent. With time your readership will grow and you will reap the benefits of staying true to yourself. Good luck!