Saad Hamid is one of the pioneer professional bloggers of Pakistan. He started blogging at the ripe age of 19 at Sizlopedia.com, was the youngest blogger in Pakistan of his time (I believe I currently hold this title ) and currently runs iPhoneism.com along with Adnan Farooqui. He graduated from Bahria University last year, where he did Bachelors in Telecommunication Engineering and is currently working at Mobilink.
I spoke with Saad on how he started blogging, the difficulties he faced, the mistakes that he made, what keeps him blogging and what advice would he give to young bloggers.
Read the interview, after the break.
NOTE: This timeless interview was taken back in early 2009 when I used to blog on waisybabu.wordpress.com and Saad used to blog on Sizlopedia. A lot has changed since then, I’ve become a writer on Redmond Pie (alongside maintaining artsy) and Saad works at Mobilink as a Digital Media Executive.
Awais: What inspired you to enter the (as it is known) blogosphere? And what were some of the hurdles that you had to face at the start?
Saad: I started blogging back in early 2007. Back then, I lacked awareness; it is owing much to my own research and knowledge that has helped me throughout my journey.
I faced a lot of difficulties in the start. Asking my father to get me a credit card was – without a shade of doubt – the giant standing between me and blogging. That was the only way for me to register a domain.
Apart from that, there was the hurdle that no one was there to guide or help me. I had to do it all by myself. But I would say it was constructive in a sense as doing it all by myself has helped me learn a lot.
Awais: As you just said that you faced quite a few difficulties on your way up the blogging ladder.. who were some of the people who helped you come to the point you are today?
Saad: My family, my friends and a couple of bloggers from India. To be more specific, I would like to say that Badar Khushnood has been a great help and has helped me in making connections with a lot of other bloggers in Pakistan. I take him as my Guru.
Be focused and treat all set-backs as steps to another door of success.
Awais: How is the blogosphere of 2007 different from today?
Saad: The blogosphere, as we all know, is a part of the Internet. The standards of the Internet change at a very fast pace which naturally affects the blogosphere.
There is quite a difference between the blogosphere of 2007 and the blogosphere of 2009. The most distinctive difference being the way information is now spread among blogs. Bloggers are more responsible today than they were in the past.
Awais: Besides the luring smell of money, what keeps you coming back to blogging and maintaining Sizlopedia?
Saad: Products by Apple and my pure passion for technology.
Awais: Parents tend to worry about what their sons and daughters are doing on the internet. What do your parents say when you tell them you blog?
Sidenote: My parents were (and are) quite apprehensive about me blogging alongside studies. Thankfully, through experience (and some very close-calls), I now know how to manage time so I can continue blogging as a hobby and maintain studies. You can follow the adventures of yours truly on Twitter here.
Saad: *Smiles* For all I know, they believe that their son is doing the most brilliant and fun job on the planet.
A blog has the same importance in today’s world as human-messengers in the era of Pharoah.
Awais: If you could change one thing about how you handled your “ladder climbing” from the start to where you are today, what would it be?
Saad: I would have made my blog more focused towards a particular subject. Readers tend to consume specific content released on a consistent basis, I wasn’t up to speed on the specific content bit.
Today, I write about everything from the iPhone, to general software, tips and tricks related to computers, hacks and all things Web and Gadgets-related.
Awais: What advice do you have for a budding blogger such as yours truly and many others who have just set foot in weblogging?
Saad: Focus on your passion, rather than the money you’ll make. The revenue is always a by-product of your ability to give in to a particular subject. Concentrate more on information and being creative with it. That is the factor that decides whether your blog will eventually fail or succeed at what it does.
Driving traffic to your blog is no different to standing in middle of a busy street and attracting the crowd from around to watch your show.
Awais: What are some of your plans for the future?
Saad: Right now I am on a hiatus, getting more dissolved into the real world. Have plans to work on amazing new projects in the future (some web related and some non-web related).
Awais: Thank you for your time. *attempts shaking hands*
As you can see, Mr. Hamid has a bit of an obsession with Apples.
That last past may not have actually happened, but it was absolutely wonderful interviewing Saad. You can sit down for a couple of minutes around him and learn so much, your brain arteries* just might explode and hit the ceiling fan and be chopped into little pieces of minced brain keema.
Wait. That was too graphic.
*mein ne matric mein biology nahee parhee
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