Bhumika Thakkar’s newlove-makeup, is a result of her passion for makeup.
Irrespective of not able to blog daily, Bhumika is active on social channels giving her global audience’s demand. She considers consistency, honesty and detailed reviews as her USP. “I always add my personal life update to everything I create and that makes me relatable. I share pretty much everything about my life with my audience” – Bhumika’s mantra of relevant and relatable content creation.
In a candid interview with Social Samosa, Bhumika Thakkar shares her journey from being a CA to Blogger. Excerpts below:
- Looking back, where did it all begin?
I am a CA by education and I was preparing for my Finals when I stumbled upon blogs in general and beauty blogs in particular in 2010. I read a lot of blogs and I was always into taking care of my skin and I did like makeup, though I didn’t know much about using makeup back then but reading blogs definitely piqued my curiosity. There was this one beauty blog which hired writers and paid them per post. I did submit one post to them, it’s pretty tempting to go for that temporary assured money in the short term, but my then boyfriend now husband pushed me to start my own blog and think about it as something of my own in the long term. So that’s how it all started and I was pretty passionate about it, so very regular and quite motivated :) I would like to believe I still am, there are ups and downs and phases but I have been pretty regular all though the 9 years. I have seen many bloggers come and go and take year long breaks, somehow I never felt like because I truly loved what I did and still do.
- What’s in the name?
Arrgh..I hate my blog name. I was so naive back then but I knew I wanted makeup in my domain name, and since beauty and makeup was my new love, I chose newlove-makeup.com
Haha, I don’t like it and have thought about changing it many times but all my SEO would go for a toss as all the backlinks I have are directed towards this domain name. So we roll with it :)
- What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
I know I am not as consistent on the blog as I was because of YouTube, Instagram and other social channels. But I have to roll with the time, majority of my readers and people in general prefer seeing videos over reading blogs now. Also, there is more reach and audience on Instagram and I have been pretty consistent and regular there. I still try to blog once a week at least, but I used to blog every single day. When the readers globally demand other mediums, you change accordingly. My USP is consistency and honest, detailed reviews. I have never completely given up on any platform once I start it. I may reduce the frequency of posting on one platform if I am more regular on another, but I will still try to post everywhere once a week or once in 10 days.
I was only into beauty initially but slowly I forayed into fashion, lifestyle and my personal life updates, for example a whole bridal series when I was getting married, etc. I take my audience along with me and update them about everything in my life. I always gave a personal touch to my content and my audience relates to me because of that, that gives me an edge. Also the trust they have on me, for my reviews and recommendations means a lot, and I would never ever promote anything I don’t like or personally use. I would never take my readers’ trust for granted as that means everything to me.
- Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
As I mentioned, I always add my personal life update to everything I create and that makes me relatable. I share pretty much everything about my life with my audience. To stay relevant, you have to adapt to new technologies, new apps or social platforms and be open to change. Experiment more often and try something new, out of your comfort zone. For content creation of a makeup look, I may or may not have a look in mind but I am sure of the products I want to use and go along in the process. For a fashion/experimental shoot, I have a concept and outfit styled in my mind and then I put things together. It feels amazing when you see the final output exactly as you had envisioned it!
- How do you rake moolah with your efforts?
As a freelancer, it’s not always a fixed amount or there is no fixed way to earn money. There are different sources of income for influencers/bloggers like Google Adsense, Affiliate Marketing, Influencer Marketing, etc. but it’s all variable eachmonth.
- How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
Sometimes we get a fixed brief and we don’t get a chance to do something creative, it’s the same type of repetitive content you would see on all bloggers’ profile but when the brand leaves it upto the blogger, everyone comes up with their own different idea and add a personal touch and that makes it so much better. It depends on the brand, but it’s definitely a better experience for both when you give the bloggers the flexibility required.
- One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
There are so many smaller ones on the daily, when I get messages/mails saying I inspire them or my recommendation worked for them, it makes me so happy. When platforms acknowledge my hard work by nominating me for an award or when I win it (like the Social Samosa and BHG Best Luxury Blog recently) When I get featured in national and international publications.
Initially my parents didn’t know what blogging was or what exactly I was doing, but when they hear other people say we saw your daughter online or we follow her or love her work and when they come and narrate it to me happily with a proud feeling, that makes it all worthwhile.
- Weirdest brand brief/request ever
There are so many :D But the most recent one I remember was plogging, where I had to record a video while jogging and picking up litter from the roads. Obviously it didn’t work out, plogging as a concept is good but as a brand campaign, not so sure :p
- If not blogging, you would be?
Since I am a CA, a finance job or teaching
- A day in your life….
A day in my life involves some house work, followed by my own work. Replying to emails, planning upcoming shoots, coordinating with the photographers and checking on the shoot location availability, writing blog posts or recording/editing a video for YouTube and/or editing pictures and planning my Instagram feed. If there are some urgent brand collaborations, simultaneously working on them too. A day prior to a shoot day is prepping for the shoot from clothes to accessories to makeup. Blogging is pretty much a whole day work like any 9 to 5 job and sometimes even more as we do all this on weekends too :D There is practically no holiday for bloggers, unless you take a complete break from social media for a day or two
- Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
Be consistent and regular with your work, experiment and create something different and new. I know this is a very competitive and saturated time to enter, but if you have something different to offer, then that’s your USP and will always work :) Don’t give up, because you need patience and a few years for your efforts to get noticed, so keep at it.
- Your Favorite Influencer
There are so many influencers I love and follow. In terms of fashion, I love Chriselle Lim, The Line Up duo and in beauty, Teni Panosian, Desi Perkins. From India, I think Aashna Shroff is very hard working and warm and grounded at the same time.
- The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
There are many social media platforms coming in each day and it’s not possible for a person to be consistent on each and every platform. In this digital age, there is no guarantee for a social platform to last forever but we can only hope it will. Personally, I will continue to do good work that makes me happy and content and also always listen to my readers’ feedback and work on it. I will definitely do my part of working hard, but there are some things which are not in your hands :) I am being quite practical here, but if seen positively, I can say I want my personal brand to grow much more. I plan to include a lot of travel too in my content.