Manpreet Kaur would have liked to work in traditional publishing if blogging wouldn’t have gone her way. Or, would be working at an MNC.
If a brand’s brief doesn’t align with her general preferences or personal experience with the product, Manpreet Kaur skips working with them. She hopes to expand her brand to merchandising with products that could delight the audience. For her, influencers who stay true to their viewers are best. In a candid chat, she shares more.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
With the solid urge to share my experiences. One day, I felt I could share it with the world, instead of keeping it to my journal. A few moments later, I had a blog and a few months later, I knew I wanted to do video blogging too.
What’s in the name?
Everything. Took a lot of thinking & planning to think of the name of my blog. Names of my video blogs just came naturally.
Indian Booktuber: My YouTube channel about books with over 28,000 subscribers just came up as there was nobody doing book reviews on YouTube in India. My daily vlog channel is aptly named Life of Manpreet as it documents my daily life.
My blog Finix Post: It’s a name I conjured up myself. All in all, these names are my identity now. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels when somebody recognises me at an event as Indian Booktuber or Finix Post. It’s awesome.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
I always look for the gap and then see if I have the ability to cover it. Nobody was doing book reviews for Indian books on YouTube. I started with that.
I make sure my content isn’t based on random articles on the internet. Everything I share is based out of my personal experience, which makes it unique.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
I believe if you try hard to stay relevant & relatable to others, you end up being lost. For me, my content creation process is entirely self-obsessive. I think of the things I would like to document and watch. Things that would help the future me!
For my Indian Booktuber channel, what would I need if I’m looking for picking up my next read? The result — a book haul video.
For my daily vlogging channel, what would I want my future self to remember about this digital marketing strategy or work from home learning I just had? The result — an experiential video documenting that very process.
For my blog, what notes would help my future self? The result — lists and resources covering TV shows, digital marketing & blogging tools and so on.
Once I figure out what I really want to make, I look for more questions people might have in mind — I ask my existing audience or use research tools to search what internet users want to know about the topic in question.
Then, I sit down and pour my heart out in that piece of content.
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
I believe in multiple sources of income. On YouTube, YouTube monetisation makes a few pennies but major moolah comes from sponsored videos and blog posts — featuring products, and books. I also work as a work from home digital marketer that brings an influx of money.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
Woah! Those are some heavy words.
I have my policies laid out in stone. Of course, it took a lot of hit & trial and some disappointing collaborations but having a proper work strategy laid out, that I also share with the brands before I begin working, helps me keep myself from getting carried away and losing my integrity.
Also, it’s about gut feeling and self-control. If a brand isn’t instantly aligned with my general preferences, or if my own experience with their product is bad, there’s no way I’m going to recommend it to my audience.
Of course, from a monetary perspective, it’s hurtful for not many prefer to work with an influencer that won’t bend her words even a bit to accommodate their special requests for more positive coverage.
‘I’m working with you because I’ve positive things to say about you. But sorry, I can’t handle being censored even if that means less money at the end of the day.’
Also Read: Shahnawaz Karim on the making of Wheelsguru
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
Every time somebody tells me they found my content helpful, it makes it all worthwhile. Personally, I like the challenge and discipline this profession brings in you.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
Don’t even ask about it. We can do a whole another interview discussing weird brand briefs that come to me.
If not blogging, you would be?
Doing something in traditional publishing. Or in the worst-case scenario, working in an IT company as a software engineer (I got hired in 5 MNCs before I decided to pursue this digital life full-time).
A day in your life…
Wake up. Go for a walk. Hit the gym (during the ideal situation). Begin work at 10 am. Work work work. Switch projects at 5 pm. Work work work. Sleep.
I love my work, so I never stop. Moreover, for me, reading books is also work and work is not really work. So, you can imagine why it’s all so cool. Haha!
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
Do it for yourself, first. Create something you would love to be a part of. Give yourself a year — where you work hard, without looking for any monetary returns. Work consistently. Learn and improve every day. You can do it. Start now!
Your Favorite Influencer
It’s hard to talk about just one. I see many people doing a great job but for me, influencers that are honest to their viewers, especially about their work with brands, are the best.
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
In future, I would like to expand Brand Manpreet into more awesome content. Currently, it’s a BookTube channel, daily vlog channel, a lifestyle blog. Soon, we’ll go into launching merchandise and products that could delight the audience.
The aim is to be social and build a community that can connect like a family and empower one another — be it when it comes to adopting the amazing habit of reading or doing the daily hustle you need, to live a fulfilling life.