Being Financially Sustainable as a Blogger in Dubai Is Pretty Much a Struggle - Rukku Sumayya


A blogger is someone with a website where they publish original and valuable content. And an influencer is someone who motivates followers to purchase the brands and products from their social media platforms. I am less of an influencer and more of a blogger. 


1. Tell us about your background and journey. 

My interest in writing and journalism sprang at a very young age. This has pushed me to know the subjects more, and hence I started my studies in the same. After the course work, I got married and moved to the UAE with my husband. 

I began my career as a content writer for a digital agency in Dubai, but that did not last long. While I was working on my second company, my colleague and husband motivated me to start one blog of my own. And voila, A Dame's Handbook is born. 

In fact, I used to blog since my Post Graduation days, but it wasn't regular and content-specific. It was more like scribbling random thoughts that crossed my mind, which of course won't have many readers. 

Then with the help of my colleague, Jester and my husband, I thought of giving the "serious blogging" a try. It has been a year since I started this incredible journey, and I love every bit of it. 

Initially, no brand collaborations knocked on my door, and no PRs approached me. Gradually everything happened, and now I have collaborated with very huge brands which include Britania also. 


2. What led you to start your page on Instagram, and what is it about? 

I have been using Instagram for a very long time. But once I started blogging, I fashioned the platform as an extension of my website, featuring everything that I explore and experience. 


3. How would you distinguish the term blogger from an influencer? 

A blogger is someone with a website where they publish original and valuable content. And an influencer is someone who motivates followers to purchase the brands and products from their social media platforms. I am less of an influencer and more of a blogger. 


4. Is it financially sustainable to be an influencer today? 

Being financially sustainable as a blogger in Dubai is pretty much a struggle at the beginning. There are certain regulations here when it comes to blogging and influencing. You should need an NMC license to do paid blogging here, and it will cost around 15000 AED. In fact, you can do social media promotion in exchange for free goodies, but anything more than that is punishable by law.

There are plenty of established bloggers with a license who are making a lot of money out of influencing. Success does not happen overnight. You must build enough content, and this process can sometimes take years for your platforms to support you financially. But definitely, it can lead to a full-time career. 


5. What do you think influences consumer behavior? 

In my opinion, building a personal touch to the content you create influences the consumer behavior. It should be personal as well as professional.

Also, as a blogger/ influencer, it is necessary to connect with the followers through Dm replies and comment replies, only then you can build a friendship and trust with your followers. 


6. What is your idea of success or your mantra in life? 

My idea of success is to attain our goals and be happy about it. There is no point if you are a successful blogger with a huge bank balance and fame, but not happy about it inside. Do what you love and generate happiness out of what you do. 

For me, a huge bank balance and a luxury life won't bring happiness. Of course, we need money for our needs, but not for our greeds. I just want to be happy :)


7. How can someone become a successful social media influencer? 

With changing the Instagram algorithm, decreasing the reach and followers, I am yet to find the answer to that question. But good content always wins! 


8. Which is your favorite book, and why? 

There are plenty of books, and I can't pick one. But I would love to talk about a book I read recently, Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell. It is a profoundly human tale of loss and redemption, more like a testament to the unpredictability of life, which breeds hope even in the face of tragedy. Overall it was a good read and did touch my soul. 


- Rukku Sumayya, Blogger

- Interviewed by Shilpy Sharan

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