Sunday, 23 March 2014

Blog To Business With Mehak Of

Blog to business, building blog traffic, investing in your blog, developing a business model, outsourcing, luck and success...if this concoction is starting to sound interesting to you than stick along because this post promises all this and much more, straight from the beauty and wedding blogger Mehak.

I have spent most of my Sunday thinking about how to do justice to introducing her, though I know she needs no introduction, but I still haven't found those magic lines...
She says she was a tom boy growing up but its hard to believe that this petite beauty guru to millions of Indians was at one point happy being one of the guys. Fast forward to 2014, she is a beauty, makeup guru and genie to the brides, founder and proprietor of and, she is a fierce professional and the speed at which she moves and works can put a tornado to shame.. 
Here is what she told me...

1. Tell us a little bit about your foray into the blogging world. Did you think at that point that it would grow into the huge success that it is today?
Well , there is nothing much to tell. I wrote 3 really awful quality crappy posts with images downloaded off the internet about products I had been using. No one read those 3 posts for 3 months, and I thought "oh ok lets delete this thing". Then as if by magic, I suddenly saw my first hit- someone commented. That one comment made me think "OMG!! , I can actually get someone to read my stuff " and it just grew from there.

2. At what point did you realize that could be turned into a business? 
I am not sure I still see it like a business honestly. I don't market myself, which I should. I don't network, I just write! so yeah I still don't think its a 'business; really but I think it was about 2 years down the line when Mac cosmetics flew me to Dubai to cover mac trends. I was the online spokesperson for India- it was SUCH a big deal for me, i thought "OMG! these people at Mac think I am good enough to represent India in the online medium???" 

3. Did you instantly have a business model in mind or was it a process? Should everyone have a business model in mind when they start blogging?
I had no clue about any business model when I started. I tried a few things in the middle to monetize some of which work, some don't...but yes if you are looking at things seriously...start with having a business plan.

4. Looking back, what were the 3 mistakes you made or the 3 things you would do differently - things that maybe could have turned the venture profitable quicker.
- Doing stuff for free: as a blogger you think oh wow this brand wants to hold a contest, this website wants me to write about them and give me 500Rs worth of free stuff! All that is a bunch of crap. What you give the brand in return is valued at a lot more than their 500Rs voucher.  This is a lesson I actually learnt from In-Fb (indian fashion bloggers).. Value your blog, Value your traffic and don't do free stuff  and free giveaways for brands too much (unless of-course its a brand you cannot pass up)
Not finding my niche: every blogger needs to find his/her niche and figure out - why people come to my blog. I had to do something DIFFERENT apart from the usual reviews on every other beauty blog. So I started my lust lists, my bridal series, my fridays 5, my panel all of which are now really popular features.
- Not Investing in itTreat it like a free thing, it will give you nothing . Put money into it, it will give money back.

5. When you started out, I am sure you had days of 10 and 20 page views, how did you handle those days and what are the steps that you took to improve traffic.
Here are my key traffic mantras:
- Comment meaningful comments on other blogs. This will get you your first 100 followers and your first 5 blogger friends who will be VERY essential to your success. 
- Promote on Social media. I don't do this because i don't have the time to, but just broadcasting a link of your post on social media is not enough. Turn your facebook page into a portal itself with new pictures and content that people will want to tune into
- Guest blog: Guest blogging gives you exposure and traffic !
- Learn a bit about SEO: There is not much to it, but having a bit of knowledge helps

6. They say that for any business to grow, you need to invest in it. What are the 3 things bloggers should invest their time in and what are the 3 important things that money should be invested in, to better chances of success.
Time- content, and social media. Also networking.
Money - Maybe hire some part time writers to grow and provide valuable content.

7. Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done, taking images, editing, writing, posting, promoting, social media, emails..etc do you remain sane? How do you prioritize?

I do feel overwhelmed actually. I used to be on top of everything till about a year back now I am AWFUL. My emails get lost all the time, I need to organise ASAP. But I like to take stock once a week of the emails I need to see, and respond to. Also having a daily plan helps, like today - I will spend 2 hours writing, then I shall edit, then I shall be on facebook. Stuff like that.

8. A lot of people look at the lives of successful people and give luck all the credit for the success. What do you have to say about that? What is that key to your success?
Luck has a part to play. I was at the right place at the right time - when there weren't too many bloggers out there. Apart from that it was just hard work. I have an obsessive personality, I get hooked to things and become obsessed. Its scary actually, so for a year i was OBSESSED with my blog. I got up just to see comments, I fell asleep after replying to comments..I just did nothing else.

Apart from that I think the fact that I did not look to earn money from it early on helped. When you are not monetising you have the freedom to write about what you want which is what will get you readers, so value that.

9. Do you have days of self doubt, insecurity and worry? How do you overcome them.
Absolutely. With I experienced a new level of self doubt, because its my new born baby! I am lucky to have a husband who is the exact opposite of me. I am a worrier, and a pessimist. He is an optimist to the core. Like if I am thinking "we will get only 5000 visitors in our first month", he is thinking : we will get 2 lakh. Reality is always in the middle !!:P So he balances me out a lot. The other thing is I think- what is the worst that can happen? The worst is never half as bad a you make it out to be.
Thank you Mehak for doing this and for being so honest and forthright with sharing your experience with us all.
More interviews
Natural Beauty Regime : Nisha Rajpal
Forest Essentials : Tanushree Saxena
Yummy Mummy Fitness : Zahra 
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