Zeeshan Khurram - Don’t Wait for That Perfect Idea, Just Start Creating (Content Creator)

When I started off I was very keen on learning and for that, I used to do a lot of research. I would watch, read and listen to content by everyone regardless of what their numbers were and what their niche was. It helped me to shape my blog and find my niche.

Tell us about your background and journey.

I am a British Pakistani based in Sialkot, Pakistan. I have a double degree in Business and Marketing, apart from my family business I have a marketing firm and 2 small businesses. I got married when I was 25 and now have 2 beautiful kids who mean everything to me. My life revolves around them and I think the space Dad Gram shows that in many different ways.

I don’t like to call myself a feminist but I feel respect and freedom are the first good steps that any man can take towards the women in their house. I am an extrovert but at the same time, I’m quite shy as well. It won’t make sense now but if you’ll ever meet me in person you’ll understand. Did I tell you that I love to travel (is there a bigger word than love then please use that) If I had unlimited resources I would be on a plane every day? 

Lastly, I think nobody really knows this but I have strong religious beliefs and certain limits when it comes to my work ethics. It doesn’t mean that I am not open to dialogue. I like to respectfully debate and listen to all kinds of opinions. I also believe as a Muslim I am obliged to respect all humans no matter what their religious background or thought process is. Some people call it being liberal I call it humanity.

When did you first decide that you wanted to create digital content and how did you start?

It happened by chance. My son was 3 and my daughter was just born when I started (Instagram: @the.dadgram). I was posting random updates about my kids and people started asking questions like do you change their pamper or how can they ask their husbands to help more with the kids etc. 

This gave birth to 2 hashtags that I live by #EqualParenting and#EqualPartnership which changed everything.

Are vlogging and digital content creation a financially sustainable career?

I don’t want to demotivate anyone by saying no. Its a great career but it takes a lot of effort and time before you get to that stage where you’re able to earn enough to support yourself or your family (I’m still not there). I think it would take a few more years until it becomes a more financially sustainable career. 

If you’re new to blogging I would recommend you not to leave your current job as with blogging/vlogging/digital content you’re never paid on time, sometimes it takes months. Sometimes you get 5 campaigns in a month and sometimes nothing. It's not a fixed or a regular income and with that, you need to have a smart financial plan, you need to do your own taxes etc.

How and where do you find inspiration to churn out content?

When I started off I was very keen on learning and for that, I used to do a lot of research. I would watch, read and listen to content by everyone regardless of what their numbers were and what their niche was. It helped me to shape my blog and find my niche. 

While researching its very important to take inspiration and not the content. Copying content won’t get you anywhere, it may give you a few likes and comments but in the longterm its not going to help you. Always research to see what's working for people, what's the latest trends and what's popular as it will help you create content.

What piece of advice would you like to give to future and aspiring digital creators?

As an aspiring content creator its important to create content and be real. Don’t wait for that perfect idea, camera or picture. Just start creating. Your first few posts, videos, stories are going to be a learning curve for you and an idea for your audience. If you go to the starting posts of any digital influencer you’ll see their quality of content has vastly improved and that's just a natural process. Once you start creating you’ll be more confident and know the direction you would want to take. 

By direction I mean the niche you want to cater to such as Parenting, Food, Travel, Gadgets, Fashion or Makeup. Once you have a niche, you’ll have people come back for that and with a growing audience you can become a lifestyle blogger where you have a bit of everything but if you give a bit of everything in the start, your audience would be a very divided one. I started off as a Parenting/Dad Blogger and most of my followers would associate with that. 

It's important to be on the top of your game and deliver what the audience wants so there’s no harm in following the trends while keeping in mind your limits. You don’t have to do everything if something isn’t in your comfort zone its better to say no. I left 3 mainstream campaigns (worth a lot of money) as I felt its not something my audience would relate to and also it's not something I’ll be proud of later on. When you choose to share your life or any content online you give people a chance to judge it. It's not nice but you’ll have good and bad comments. 

You’ll have people who will have opinions about you and your family but whats important is to remember that they don’t define you. So don’t get over excited with the good ones and don’t get depressed seeing the bad ones. Be focused and deliver what you feel is your best.

Interviewed by - Saba Parveen

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