This is an interview with blogger and Instagram star Sonal Arora. In a candid conversation with us, she talked about finding her passion for blogging and converting it into a full-grown business.
Our audience is keen about reading stories of entrepreneurs creating a difference in the world. Your profile speaks volumes of the outstanding work you have done. What inspired you to become a blogger/ influencer?
Thank you so much for your kind words. Back in 2012, when I started first, I was too fond of Fashion gurus/bloggers like Kayture, Camila Coelho, Natalie Off Duty and more. There was no Instagram back then. I used to stalk their blogs and read them daily without fail. It was so intriguing for me to see such beautiful HD Pictures showcasing terrific style. My inclination was too obvious towards fashion and it all started then as a hobby. I would always sit and daydream about the dresses I would wear and the possible combinations I could create.
What kind of content do you create? How did you find inspiration in fashion?
My content mostly includes style hacks, anecdotes from my real life, hustle stories, travel style, body confidence, sisterhood. Now I will try to make more videos around travel, fashion and the real me. I am also launching my YouTube channel soon.
There’s a lot to be inspired by on social media, but I am a moody fashionista. I’d wear something like a t-shirt dress when I am bloating and lethargic. I would wear something classic when I feel feminine, or something flamboyant when I am walking on air. I think my mood swings inspire me.
When did your first collaboration happen? How has your business grown since then?
My first collaboration was Daniel Wellington (After 4 months of me launching my blog). It was a barter collaboration and I feel it was quite lucky for me. After some other collaborations, my blog jumped on a bandwagon. I now have a tick mark against most of the brands I wanted to work with then. I always joke with my friends about how the name of my blog attracted endless ‘hustle’ for me, but the busier I am at work, the more grateful I feel.
In these times when every other person claims himself to be an influencer/ blogger, how do you keep up with the growing competition on the platform especially when you have difficult algorithms to beat?
It has become more of a rate race now. People expect instant profits by posting just pictures. Some of them are addressed as ‘bloggers’ but there’s a blog missing. I keep myself away from the throng and focus my energy flowing into doing better than my last time. The thing that bifurcates bloggers is ‘Connect and Content’. The content was and will always be the king that beats all algorithms. Also, Who wants to go to an Instagram page where the interaction is dead?
How do you keep yourself away from negativity? What motivates you to keep creating more?
Ignorance is a bliss and I am the most blissful person on social media. Believe me when I say this; while boys troll you, girls on the other hand deeply wound you. In the age and time, when we talk about ‘girl power’ and ‘sisterhood’, It’s hard to digest this coming from women, but I understand where they are coming from. I believe none of the happy people in the world would spread negative vibes on anyone’s page. I try never to get into an argument which could bring me further guilt and negativity. Also, hate comments motivate me to keep creating better. I like to beat my best posts. I make content for many of my supporters who encourage my work. That’s how I live in a shell of healthy competition (with myself).
Who is your role model? Any favorite Instagrammer/ blogger?
Recently, I discovered Ashley Graham. I love her spirit as she shuns away body shaming like a boss and portrays beauty beyond size.
What is your dream about taking your blogging journey to the next level? How do you plan to grow next?
I don’t see it as just a blog, but a community for like-minded people and a tool for bringing a change. I believe when you have a connect with your followers, you have the power to bring a change among mindsets. I definitely want it to grow on other platforms like Youtube. I don’t think about income as much as growing the tribe and digging the souls. I want more people to say, “Because of her, I changed my life”. That would be ‘growth’ for me. The number game is anyhow never-ending.
What advice would you like to give to the coming of age bloggers/ influencers?
There is a lot of sweat behind the shine. Get ready to be consistently on your toes. Never compromise your mental health due to competition and cyberbullies.