Maliha Mannan


Maliha created The Side Blogger as an experiment to see if turning a blog into a profitable business is a possibility for moonlighting side bloggers. Learn more here, and connect with Maliha on Medium.

How to Achieve Stunning Visual Branding as a Non-Designer

A step by step guide to visual branding for the non-designer - The Side Blogger #blogging #branding #designtips #design #bloggingtips

When you hear the term “branding”, what do you think of?

Something like what you see in the image above?

Color and font combinations? A logo?

That’s definitely an important aspect of branding — let’s call it visual branding — but what seems to be lost on a lot of newbie bloggers and freelancers with little to no design and branding experience is this: visual branding, at the end of the day, is all about knowing who your audience is. Your choice of colors and fonts will essentially stem from an understanding of your ideal audience.

How to be A Pinterest Boss in Less Than 30 Minutes and Drive Massive Traffic to Your Blog

How to become a Pinterest Boss in less than 30 minutes and drive mega traffic to your blog - A Pinterest tutorial by The Side Blogger | #blogging #pinterest #pinteresttips #bloggingtips

No really, see, it says above that this blog post is a 23-minute read!!!

This wasn’t a clickbait!

Err, moving on … here’s what I can guarantee today. If you read this long-ass post thoroughly, this all-around Pinterest tutorial will help you understand the platform, implement killer strategies, and drive massive traffic to your blog. So, while the post should take an average of 23 minutes to read, more or less some depending on your reading speed, I suggest you take a bit longer and REALLY internalize everything that I’m saying here.

Ready? Let’s start!

If you’ve been around TSB long enough, you know that I drive most of my website traffic via Pinterest.

There’s a reason for that. A few in fact!

  1. Pinterest is a search engine just like Google, but instead of scouring through EVERYTHING on the Internet, Pinterest searches content only on its own database. Which means, getting people to find your content is a whole lot easier on Pinterest than it is on Google.
  2. While Pinterest is a search engine, it has social media like features. To start with, you need to have a Pinterest account in order to Pin (which is like submitting/sharing content on the Pinterest platform). This also means, unlike other search engines, on Pinterest, other Pinners (those who have Pinterest accounts) can follow you, just like people do on social media. People can also comment on your Pins, you can use hashtags on your Pins, and a whole bunch of very social-media-like features that make it easy for people to find your content.
  3. Pinterest is a visual search engine. A big part of your success on this platform depends on how well-designed your Pins are. And if you know anything about TSB, you know I’m big on this. I love good design, and I don’t mind spending quality time creating things I find beautiful. Which makes Pinning not only something I do to drive traffic to my blog, but also something I have fun with!

9 Super Useful WordPress Plugins that Help Bloggers Stand Out

A list of 9 WordPress plugins for bloggers that can enhance a blog's functionalities and aesthetics. - The Side Blogger | #blogging #blogger #bloggingtips #wordpress #wordpresstips #wordpressplugins

Let’s talk about WordPress plugins.

As a WordPress designer and front-end developer, I have this weird… love/hate relationship with plugins.

In one hand, I understand that the more plugins you have, the more you load your site. Essentially, these are all separate files, often with their own sets of CSS stylesheets and JavaScript files. And the more of these you have, the more file requests your server has to process. Which then slows down your site.

But let’s be honest, who has the time to sit down and hand-code all this?

Not this side-blogger!

And who has the money to hire a developer to custom code all these plugins?

Not this side blogger!

Who has the time to sit down and merge plugin files or hire a developer to do so?


Yeah, you get the picture.

So, yes, I’ve decided to bite down the bullet and make my peace with WordPress plugins.

To make things easier, safer, and essentially more productive for you and your blog, it helps to make sure that the plugins you use are of high quality, and are essential for your blogging needs.

So, in today’s blog post, I’ve decided to talk about WordPress plugins, red flags to watch out for, and a list of a few awesome plugins that I personally use, and you could use too to make your blogging life easier and more productive.

How to Design Beautiful Pinterest Graphics That Drive Blog Traffic, with Canva

How to design amazing Pinterest graphics with Canva that get clicks and repins like crazy! - The Side Blogger #blogging #pinterest #bloggingtips #design #graphicdesign #canva #canvatips #canvaresources #bloggingresources #pinterestresources

A blog’s success is directly proportional to the amount of traffic it gets.

In most cases at least.

The only exception to this rule would be if you know your base REALLY well, know exactly where your target audience hangs out, and in fact, you probably know some of your audience personally and get some of these people to buy from you by way of association.

The power of networking, so to speak.

But for the rest of us lay-folk, especially the ones who couldn’t care any less for networking, our best hope is to get as much traffic as possible. As a matter of fact, ever since my traffic doubled since last month (OH YEAH!), I’ve sold twice as many affiliate products.

So yes, those who say you need to grow your traffic to sell your products and services are really on to something. …

How I Designed The Side Blogger Logo: A Step-by-Step Guide

How I designed my logo with Canva and Adobe Illustrator - a step-by-step case study | The Side Blogger #logodesign #blogger #blogging #design #designtips #adobeillustrator #canva #illustrator #logo

Back in May 2018, when I set up this blog, I was in a real hurry!

Well, there was no reason for why I felt like I had to start something right away… except that, I have a type of personality where waiting is akin to slowly, very slowly, being choked to death.

Patience has never been a virtue in my case… …

27 Dumbest Mistakes New Bloggers Often Make

A list of 27 dumbest mistakes that make a new blogger look like an incompetent fool, drive readers away, and set the blogger in the course of failure.

Let’s see.

You want to start a blog. You have big ideas, and lofty goals, like, you’ll tell your story and save the world.

And you’ll make a whole lot of money, quit your job, and move to Bali where you’ll spend the rest of your life and be zen.

So you plunk down on a chair, all determined, buy a domain, hosting, set up a blog, and start punching away on your keyboard, one blog post at a time, right?

Easy peasy!

And then, after a few weeks, or maybe after a couple of months, you start to realize that something is missing.

Something just isn’t right!

The money isn’t flowing in as fast as you thought it would.

You hardly have readers, and even the ones that do land on your blog, do not seem to have any interest in anything you have to say.

The result?

You’re screwed.