Coffee Table Talks blossomed out of Uma Devi's passion for make-up and skincare where she has been posting honest and valuable content for 5 years.
Chennai based blogger, Uma Devi's passion for blogging enables her share best of content with her followers. She generates content in English and Tamil which in her opinion makes her stand out from the rest.
Juggling the roles of a mom and a blogger, she writes about travel, the food she eats, fashion and more. Here's a look at her journey.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
Back in 2014, I was working in a corporation that had an official blog. I used to pen down my thoughts there. I was surprised when I found a large set of people reading and enjoying it. It gave me the confidence to write and yes I enjoy interacting with the readers too.
What's in the name?
Coffee Table Talks is how I call my blog. With friends, we would discuss almost everything under the sun over a cup of coffee right? That’s what initially I wanted this blog to be, from beauty, fashion, gossips, movie and relationship advice. Though I started out like that, eventually CoffeeTable Talks became a Beauty/skincare kind of blog.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
I used to run the rat race before. While looking to stand out, I felt Regional Language content was not given much importance.
Giving a regional language (Tamil) content with good quality made my content separate and unique. I choose to talk about the basis in a regional language like ‘what is foundation’ and it worked!
Surprisingly I get good recognition from fellow bloggers, my readers and yes the brands too.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
I always encourage the batch process, it can be overwhelming at times but it will work for someone like me who is a mother and homemaker. I allot one day for shooting video, the next for editing and batch process and schedule Instagram posts and similarly with a blog. I highly recommend anyone to make use of scheduling apps. Also, I stick to my work mostly on mobile, so that I edit while waiting for a train or while I simply stay in bed until my kid sleeps.
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
I often get approached by many brands, as I said being a Regional language influencer sets me apart from the group and nowadays brands welcome regional language content a lot. So I get paid.
I also do some freelance Social media consulting, affiliate marketing, yes Youtube pays too.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
Not all brand collaborations get converted to video at once. Depending on the needs of the brand I tend to prioritize and work. Honestly speaking brands let us be ourselves while creating content. They will just mention the key points they would like us to do, like the keywords or headings or the dates.
Rest is simply our choice. I believe the brand understands that Influencers/ YouTubers have achieved the space out of the unique style of their presentation, so brands rarely do disturb that.
In simple words, it’s “ Do content what your subscribers will love watching” even if it not converting to business, people would love to watch it and know about it.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
I remember getting an email during the days when I started blogging. One of my followers said she was in some bad depression. But after she started reading 'Coffee table talks', she felt positive and it somehow gave her strength to overcome and get going.
Honestly, this piece of feedback still makes my day. Not that I give motivation content, it is the tone, the positivity people find in my content. I am glad and grateful that I could reflect that in my work and make people smile when they see my content.
The ‘Thank you’, ‘ thank god, it worked ‘ and many such small heartfelt comments make me keep going.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
Occasionally I do accept barter collaboration if I find some kind of potential in the product or if I feel it could benefit those who follow Coffee Table Talks. On such an occasion, I was approached by a brand who wanted me to do an unboxing of their 1500/- worth box on a barter basis.
I agreed and we proceeded. After shooting the video and posting it, the PR asked me to send back the box which they didn’t mention in the brief. So ideally it was a FREE work.
If not blogging, you would be?
Behind a computer screen coding software and multiple onsite visits and fancy travel Instagram pictures! Actually I worked in a Software company for 5 years, would have been doing it naturally.
A day in your life…
Ideally begins at 5 AM ( mostly ), Planning from the meal to Instagram post, everything on paper. I enjoy doing creative stuff early in the morning when the mind is clear. After which it is the usual Homemaker stuff from handling my kid to cooking and laundry.
Around 9 I start my freelance social media consultant work. After I break for lunch I end up doing my blog/youtube work. I do attend events and spend some considerable time with regards to Coffee Table talks outside too.
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
Being Consistent and always giving value to the followers( even if you have very few numbers) who have. You as a person might like Gucci, if your followers are not interested in that then there is no use of it.
Listen to your followers.
Just don’t lose your spirit and josh. Everyone started with ZERO.
Your Favorite Influencer
An all-time favorite is MIMI IKONN and here in India, I love Ankita (Coralista ). She is my favorite and of course Debashree Banerjee for her lovely Instagram feed. That Boho Girl ( Kirtika Khurana) for fashion and chirpy pictures. Aashana Shroff and Larissa for their stunning Instagram feed.
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
I would love to do the same work with more consistency and
adding value to all my followers each day.