Nikita Nagaraj from The Lifestyle Fiesta recalls her Vietnam trip that inspired her followers to book tickets and follow her itinerary.
Nikita Nagaraj has been a fashion, lifestyle and fashion blogger for over four years. She documents her work at The Lifestyle Fiesta, hoping to inspire women and make them feel positive about their bodies. It is important for her to never lose her voice when collaborating with brands.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
It began with my crazy love for writing. Back in 2016, ‘blogging’ actually involved a lot of writing, not just for Instagram specifically. I wanted to share all the things I loved, such as food, fashion, beauty, and travel. And, I loved clicking pictures too. Even though there wasn’t much scope for paid collaborations, I was still interested because sharing my journey via words and visuals gave me happiness. Today, my first blog seems really funny but that’s one for the memories!
What’s in the name?
The Lifestyle Fiesta means two things. One: That life is a festival and we should live it to the fullest and do what we love. We should pursue things that bring joy. Two: It means my lifestyle. The way I live, my perceptions and thoughts, things I believe in and want to share.
So yes, I did put in a lot of thoughts into this name. And now many people know me only as ‘’TLF’’ or ‘’Fiesta.”
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
My USP is that I don’t focus on just one thing. There are some who do only fashion, some who do only travel. Mine is a wonderful mix of all things lifestyle. But to be honest, I love my travel content the most and so does my audience. That’s where I get the most traction.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
My content is not very high-profile but at the same time, neither is it local. It’s actually mostly affordable because that’s where most of my audience segment is. Even when I write a caption, I try to think about what my audience will like to read and how I can connect with them. Most importantly- I like to talk about issues such as body positivity, PCOS, acne, self-love, etc. Because people need to hear it and feel good. Even if I receive one message saying ‘’Thanks, you made me feel confident’’, there’s nothing like it!
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
Making money via blogging is important for me but it’s not my primary motive. I also want to create content for my happiness. But yes, I do promotions where I endorse brands and I get paid for it. There are also situations where brands pay to attend events, share their launches or even create content for them. But I have a policy- I will not endorse any brand that I’m against. Be it fairness creams, weight loss pills or cosmetic procedures. I think they’re very negative.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
I make it very clear to the brand that while I will be following guidelines. I won’t lose touch with my personal brand- my voice. For example, my captions are usually long and meaningful, I don’t like them to be sales. If they ask me to do something like a TikTok video, I refuse. Because it’s not who I am. It’s all about finding the balance between my identity and their requests.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
It’s very hard to pick just one, but I’ll pick the most recent one. I travelled to Vietnam for 17 days and it was a hardcore backpacking trip. So it was quite exhausting and really hot, but I still created content everywhere I went. I covered everything in detail via stories, posts, a travel Q&A and a 2700 words long blog post. The response I got was phenomenal. I can’t count the number of messages I got saying ‘’You inspired me to travel’’ or ‘’I want to visit Vietnam after seeing this’’. A couple of them even booked tickets and used my itinerary! It showed that it was totally worth the effort. Because at the end of the day, this is why I started blogging. Not for freebies, not for events. But for this!
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
One brand got in touch saying I can buy their products on Amazon, review it on all platforms, do an IGTV video. In return, they offered me a 10% discount! People really need to do their research before reaching out, otherwise, they’re the ones who end up looking unprofessional.
If not blogging, you would be?
Apart from being a blogger, I’m a marketing communications consultant and I handle around 10 brands in my city. So I’m already doing what I’ve wanted to do. Touchwood!
A day in your life…
It starts with some honey lemon water and a workout. After that, I reply to my messages and emails, catch up with pending work, spend time on Instagram, create some content even if it’s a basic Instagram story. I end the day with my skincare routine and reading a good book. But most days, I have meetings, events and shoots too.
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
Do something you’re passionate about and not something that everyone is doing. It’s always about finding what you love/what you’re good at and acing it. Also, be consistent. You need to be active, constantly creating, experimenting, interacting. Only then will you get results. And if you want the paid gigs, collaborate with big brands and a solid audience. You need to work for it. It’s not going to happen overnight. Oh, and don’t give up. You’ll get their one day.
Your Favorite Influencer
Has to be Bruised Passports. They inspire me to travel, to love life and to live to the fullest. Their pictures and captions make me happy. And the way they connect with their followers and actually ‘influence’’ people is brilliant. I also met them in Bali when I was on my honeymoon. They spoke to me for 20 minutes and they were so warm and friendly. Wonderful people!
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand.
Off late, other than just creating content, I’ve been feeling the need to make a difference. I’ve already started that by putting out pictures and stories backed with a strong message. I want people to feel good when they see my posts, especially women. Komal Pandey inspires people with fashion, Larissa and Dolly Singh with their sense of humour and charm, Bruised Passports with their flair for life and travel. So I want to do something that will inspire or help people. It could be an active youtube channel or something else. But I’m sure I’m hopeful about it.