Initially, Nivi Shrivastava continued with her job to ensure regular income as full-time blogging is still unstructured in India.
For Nivi Shrivastava, her regular job helped ensure daily bread on the table, even as she started blogging. Turning into a full-time blogger was not an easy path. However, she kept at it and eventually, it became slightly easier while remaining enjoyable throughout.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
I started working as a full-time journalist when I was 21-years-old. After completing my English journalism degree from IIMC, my first posting was in Hyderbad with a leading South Indian newspaper. After working with the group for eight years in various capacities and in various cities, I decided to take a sabbatical and that’s when I started my blog as an anonymous experiment.
The blog was picked up in no time as many readers enjoyed reading the unedited stories that I was posting regularly. After spending a year learning the art of blogging and social media tactics, I decided to join NDTV.com and got a better idea about digital space. Afterwards, I experimented some more professionally but all that while my blog continued to be my solid support and it is liked by many people for its unique content.
What’s in the name?
Msjunebug is a personal blog and has some of the most relatable content for people with paying capacity seeking unique experiences and products. Since I wasn’t very keen on revelating my identity in the beginning, Junebug was a perfect choice to represent my thought process behind this platform. According to urban dictionary, Junebug is a girl who is interested in fashion, travel, art and all-good-things in life; and, personally, it made sense to me because I am born in June and I am a Junebug kind of girl!
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
Our USP is that we curate niche content for an organic audience that understands and appreciates quality. We take pride in working with some of the best brands in lifestyle and luxury segment — right from ITC group (as one of their responsible luxury panellists) to the Taj group, Chariot group, royal family ventures of Rajasthan and other top fashion and luxury labels like Tarun Tahiliani, Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla, Anju Modi, Anita Dongre and many more — we have insights from top-notch in the industry.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
The digital platform provides an opportunity for various brands and writers to reach out to the right kind of audience across the world. You’ll find a lot of interesting content on this website, as our team has been doing some interesting experiential stories about hospitality, luxury, fashion, food and other lifestyle segments.
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
With time, we managed to create a credible platform and linked our blog to various micro-blogging sites to create a greater impact with our stories and content. It is not easy to be a full-time blogger as the social media industry is still unstable and unstructured in India, so I was working by the side for a regular income in the beginning years. To put it in simple words, my job ensured daily bread on my table and with blogging, I could enjoy a generous helping of butter on top of it.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
Most of the brands that I have worked with have very clear briefs and do not interfere much with the content. Since I have a solid journalism background, I understand the importance of plugging a brand in the right way without making it read like an advertorial piece. My strength is captivating content that can also benefit my readers without sounding like a shameless promotion, so I make it very relatable and logical for a consumer.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile.
Being invited by the top hospitality group, ITC hotels, to be a lifetime responsible luxury panellist with them to understand and promote their sustainable work ethics through informal video blogs and social media content. This experience was an extended privilege for me as I had just started the blog and my numbers were not so high at that time, but the fact that they valued quality over quantity and the organic reach of my platform made me really proud of my work.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever.
Without naming names, of course. A decor chain wanted me to invite my girlfriends and organize a shopping party at their newly open store. It was quite odd for me as I don’t like to mix my personal and professional life. And, honestly tracking my friend list and social calendar isn’t really a smart way to approach me. (Stalking much)
If not blogging, you would be?
Travelling with my paintbrush and colours to offbeat locations to tell stories through my artwork.
A day in your life…
I kickstart every day with honey lemon tea and healthy breakfast. I try not to check my phone messages or emails for the first two hours at the beginning of my day when I focus on getting ready and preparing a mental schedule of what needs to be done. Next 8 to 10 hours go in writing stories, coordinating on emails and phone calls. Updating my social media and reading about trending topics. A lunch break in between. Evenings are spent mostly swimming or running for an hour or more. Before sleeping, I reply to pending messages and posting social media content before I sleep, which is why most of my online work is done post-dinner, which actually works for my audience.
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers.
Don’t go for shortcuts and buy followers hoping to get overnight success. Blogging is about sharing your passion with unknown readers, and if you are not passionate about something why even bother? Be true to your readers and everything else will fall in line with time.
Your Favorite Influencer
I love Sushmita Sen’s Instagram posts and I actually wait for her daily affirmations through her personal posts. She is an actor by profession, but her social media is so relatable with family-oriented posts and her candid comments on everyday stuff. I think she is a true boss lady and an absolute inspiration for women all over the world.
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand.
I am very keen on collaborating with a fashion brand to create travel merchandise and curated experiences for solo travellers, who seek unique local experiences when they visit offbeat destinations. It’s going to be something like your personal travel stylist, but instead of telling you where to spend your money I would advise them how to save it.