From Blogger to Business

I am always in awe when I read stories about people who have taken their blog and made it into a full-time business. With so many blogs out there, it makes me wonder why certain blogs succeed. But I realized that there is no formula (I wish it were otherwise!).

The blogs below have a few key things in common: they target a niche, and provide fun, innovative content every day.

Here are some of my favorite blogs, who have turned their hobby into a full-time job and in some instances, much more.

Cupcakes and Cashmere – Emily started her blog while she was working at Teen Vogue. It became an instant hit with posts about fashion, recipes, home decor, and more. She has since left Teen Vogue to focus solely on her blog. She has designed a Coach bag and even has a book coming out later this year.

MissMalini – MissMalini is touted as India’s gossip girl. Her and her team basically get paid to attend events and hobnob with Bollywood’s finest. Sounds like the best job ever right? MissMalini is taking branding to a whole new level. Here is an article the Huffington Post did on her just last week.

Sugar– Sugar is a San Francisco based online global network geared just towards women. It started as a blog (created by Lisa Sugar) about all things entertainment and pop culture.  Lisa and her husband took it to the next level and now they have 130 employees!

What do you think about blogs turned into businesses? I’d love to hear your comments!

Branding

For those of you reading this post, please look at the address bar. Yep that is correct, I have my own domain: http://amisampat.com.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, especially after I revived this blog a few months ago.

I bought the domain on 11/11/11 and considering I’m not an engineer, it took me a while to figure everything out. But I got it! 🙂

I’m pretty excited, because I am finally starting to create a brand for myself. This is especially important in the marketing/social media field, which I hope to one day find myself in. Having read countless articles about branding and how it helps boost your visibility, I am glad to have taken the first steps.

Next up, I need help in making my site prettier! Any graphic designers want to help me out? I promise to pay you with an abundance of baked goods. 🙂

The Human Factor and Social Media

I often shake my head when I see companies not taking advantage of social media. This doesn’t mean they don’t have a social media account..they do. But rather all their posts sound mechanical and one-way. Social media is all about engagement. Engaging with your followers and hopefully creating a loyal following for your brand.

This article really shows why the human touch is absolutely required when handling social media. People want to feel like they are conversing with an actual person. Just as you would behave in person with a client is exactly how it should be done over social media.

Not sure what I mean? Take a look at Zappo’s Facebook page. They are building engagement and answering customer service queries in a timely manner..using social media to the fullest.

What do you think about the article? What are some companies that you think are doing a great job with social media?

Speaking of the human factor, if you are South Asian and haven’t signed up on the bone marrow registry- what are you waiting for? I signed up on Be the Match, will be getting my swab kit at home, which I can just mail back. Easy peasy and you can possibly help someone in need!

Also see  how Amit Gupta, who is suffering from acute leukemia, is using social media to help find a bone marrow donor here.

Advertisements

While brands and companies are focusing on social media as it reaches a wide audience for virtually no cost, I don’t think print media should be dismissed as a valuable marketing strategy just yet.

I’ve always felt that the best ads are ones that are creative, funny, and/or useful and educational.

I came across this interesting article on Adweek that showcases 10 great magazine ads. My favorite was the ad for the advocacy group, Reporters Without Borders because it also includes a QR code and the use of an iPhone. It’s an ad that intertwines all the elements of marketing, both new and old,  into something simple and sleek, all while restating the non-profit’s brand.

What are some of your favorite ads? Why do you like them?