TN82: How to blog, grow an audience and be paid for your writing – Mariam Ottimofiore

Many expats start blogs to share their global experience with friends and family back home.  But our guest today started her blog with the goal of growing an audience and being paid for her writing.  Mariam Navaid Ottimofiore is from Karachi, Pakistan. As an expat child, she grew up in Bahrain, New York City and Pakistan. After her studies in the US and the UK, she launched her career as an economist and spent 8 years in investment banking before joining her husband abroad.  She has been an expat for the past 15 years and has lived in the United States (Massachusetts and Texas), the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Singapore and is currently living in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates with her husband and two children.

“It was now or never, I just had to get started”

While moving from a country to another, Mariam gave up her corporate career and started writing.  She was the content editor and travel writer for a local lifestyle magazine in Singapore for two years; she then expanded her services to freelance writing and launched her own blog called ‘And Then We Moved To’ in which she explores expat life, raising multicultural and multilingual children, and world travel.  Her writing has been published in several outlets such as the Global Living Magazine, the Huffington and Expat Connect Dubai.  Mariam is also regularly invited to speak to Dubai’s expat population to share her experience about expat life and raising TCK children.  Passionate about cultures and languages, Mariam speaks fluent Urdu, English, German and Hindi, while also learning some Danish, Italian and Arabic.

Highlights from this episode

  • The thought process of moving from a corporate career to writing
  • What helped her get started with blogging
  • The strategy that made her relaunch her writing platform from blog to website
  • How to grow an audience
  • How to get paid for writing
  • The benefits of guest blogging
  • How to decide paid versus non-paid articles
  • How to decide if an article should be on your blog versus someone else’s platform
  • How to choose the right blog title
  • How to learn about the industries’ norms
  • How to approach social media for blogging
  • How to approach competition and be unique

More memorable quotes

  • As a writer, you need to learn to deal with rejection, it is part of the learning process
  • Let go of your fears and give yourself a chance
  • Learn what article will do best on which platform
  • I could not make another move and not build a portable career for myself
  • My goal was to be paid for what I write
  • It pays to invest in yourself to get exposure and opportunities
  • It takes time to find your voice but don’t shy away from sharing your clear-cut opinion

Mariam’s Reading Recommendations

Mariam’s Online Resources

Find Mariam Online

Check out one of earlier episodes, TN45 with Olga Mecking, another expat blogger who has created a portable career with her writing.  

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