Asha Dahya is a founder of a GirlTalkHQ.com, a website aimed to inform, entertain and inspire a whole new generation of media consumers, especially women.

Asha Dahya is a host and content creator. Indian by ethnicity, born in the UK, raised in Australia and now residing in Hollywood, Asha is a true inspirational millennial woman. Over the past 15 years she has been gaining both digital and broadcast media experience.  She has worked for Fox, MTV, Disney, Nickelodeon, MSN, Myspace, ABC, TV Guide and has worked behind the scenes on five seasons of “America’s Next Top Model”. Asha’s  most recent venture is the creating and being an editor-in-chief of the women’s empowerment news media site GirlTalkHQ.com. As she says, she is passionate about the issues of reproductive rights, religion, race, and the representation of women in a number of industries.

After going through a moving from one country to another, after a divorce at the age of 29, and having second thoughts about her career, Asha Dahya looked to the women in her life for strength. She found herself feeling better after reading uplifting stories of strong and interesting women, who did really great things like redefining the definition of beauty, launching tech festivals, and speaking out against body shaming, bullying, and teen dating violence. But she found out that these stories were often hidden among click-bait articles that seemed to dominate the 24/7 news cycle. She felt fascinated about really cool stories. But they weren’t getting enough headlines like the Paris Hiltons or Kim Kardashians. So Dahya decided to change it.

It began as a Tumblr page, aggregating and sharing powerful stories, so it quickly gained an impressive following. In 2012, Dahya took her project one step further by transforming it into GirlTalkHQ, a daily news site empowering millennial women, which she wanted to be a platform to share stories of everyday women that are going through real circumstances, but that can help other women feel less alone and more strong, the site which would provide really meaningful and inspirational content, without having to click through multiple sites or unrelated stories.

Asha Dahya says that the biggest ongoing challenge she faces in her work on GirlTalkHQ is finding and increasing readership as “in the digital media world everything is about numbers, even though it takes a time to build a solid media website”. Considering they have only been around since November 2012, the website has good numbers: every month the site averages about more than 60,000 unique visitors and more than 115,000 pageviewers, according to the site’s statistics. But yet Dahya has often met with dismissals from larger companies because she is not in the ballpark of a major brand just yet. So she defines the challenge as a problem to market herself and a website in a way that the numbers aren’t a problem for anyone, and to find collaborators that are more in her range rather than reaching too high before she is ready. Although, GirlTalkHQ has appeared on BBC News Trending Website, and RT News, and has partnered with brands like Verizon and Coca-Cola on campaigns. So we can say that Dahya is on her way to the top of the digital world.

Despite difficulties, there are also the highlights of this work. As Asha describes, waking up every day and getting excited about content that she wants to write about without having to get approval from anyone else is a real great thing. For example, when she found a story about a young Jamaican female politician Lisa Hanna who has become an outspoken advocate for women’s reproductive rights, Dahya immediately got excited about the idea that she could write in a blog post about her and share what she is doing with her readership. Also, an inspiring thing is that a lot of men and women reach out to her with a desire to be featured on the site or work with Asha. “It is very flattering, especially because the majority of requests I get are in line with our brand. Since launching GTHQ I have also been able to leverage this to get other opportunities. I just had a web platform based out of New York reach out to me and want to pay me to contribute videos to their site” she says.

Dahya strongly believes that GirlTalkHQ stands out from other media sites through its mission to share positive and powerful stories that will generate some sort of deeper and meaningful conversations between readers. She shares her enthusiasm for how women can promote and help each other and acknowledge one another and show what a great person you can be, regardless of age or cultural differences.

“My passion in life is to use my platform to inspire my generation to raise their voice. I believe media is the most powerful form of communication, and today we all have the tools to be creators, influencers, and tastemakers in our communities”.

 

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