Ritcha feels blogging goes beyond writing and putting up pictures and videos for you have to passionate about the topics you are writing on.
To ensure that the quality of content remains the same irrespective of it being an editorial piece or a result of a brand collaboration is key to the way Ritcha runs her blog. In conversation with Social Samosa, she shares a decade-worthy story of experiences, lessons and more.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
Way before I started the blog, I used to do makeovers in my free time and personally shop for people because most of the stuff I wore or bought was appreciated and people wanted to know how they could get their hands on similar stuff and good deals and how to put together combinations and tips and all. Reading has also been a passion and so while reading all the lovely fashion blogs a few years ago, I decided that one of the best ways for me to express myself would be through my own personal blog where I could share my ideas and that’s how Ri(t)ch Styles came into being.
What’s in the name?
Ri(t)ch Styles was originally known as ‘Fashion from around the World’ as I used to travel a lot and pick up a lot of stuff while travelling, but after marriage, a tip from my husband gave me the brilliant idea to change the name to Ri(t)ch Styles. It was Apt as it related to my name Ritcha and to my personal style. While a lot of people have stylish names for their blog, adding a personal touch with my name also spells out what I want to convey through my blog — living a Ri(t)ch Life Stylishly. The feedback on the same has also been very positive as people instantly connect to it.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
I was a corporate communications and media professional for over 10 years before I took the plunge into blogging full time. Throughout my 10 years of blogging, I have blended my experience and knowledge with my passion to create high-value content as my background makes a lot of things simple, especially when I work with brands as it makes the whole process very seamless which is a major USP for me.
Coming from the first generation of bloggers in the country, the way we approach content creation is way different than treating it like a regular job. Today, it has become more like a business which is not how I approach it at all. For me, it is all about it being my personal space which others can relate to, and I only recommend brands/products I believe in and have used. There is also a healthy balance of branded and non-branded content which is super important to maintain. All these put together have built my credibility over the years and give my content an edge. Not to forget, my cute daughter Aryaa, who is a major reason for my success as content created with her in it is really popular.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
The very first step towards any kind of content creation for me is that it should be relatable and be all about my own experience with something. After that, I look into the planning of concept/script, aesthetics, location, people (since my daughter is a huge part of this with me now), approvals if needed, and then only execute with the right set of photographers and videographers suited to the whole project.
Every project goes through this, be it content I am creating on my own or working on a collaboration with a brand. The quality of content remains the same irrespective of the nature of the content I am creating. Timing all depends on the genre of content — like fashion can be executed immediately, but skincare takes time as it needs to be used and results need to be seen before I recommend it to people to use it.
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
So the moolah varies month on month as this is a freelancing business to say. But via collaborations with brands across various platforms that I am on, and consulting with brands in the space of corporate and brand communications would be how I do it.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
About 99% of the times, brands give me full editorial control and only make sure that the points they think need to be highlighted are covered as they know that I only work on genuine reviews. However, if there is a tug of war between what I want to convey and what a brand wants which is unreasonable, then it is better to let go of such campaigns. My experience of this kind, however, has been very rare as most brands that I work with give me full editorial control and respect my opinions and take the negatives as feedback.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
For me, the feeling of being appreciated by readers, getting their feedback and also their queries which they believe I can give solutions too, is highly gratifying. So many new mothers write to me on how to bounce back to normalcy, embrace their new bodies, and for quick beauty solutions because they look up to me as a mommy who juggles so much.
But when I look at that one experience involving a brand, then it would be the Olay Digital Ad that I did a months ago, where they recognized me as one of the 5 mom bloggers in the country that they would want to work with, and the feeling of being on set and seeing myself across different platforms in the ad, and people walking up to me and telling me that they saw me on screen was definitely an awesome feeling.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
To hold a chilli in my mouth for a lingerie brand and of course, I said no! But trust me this is just one of the many absurd requests that I get on a regular basis.
If not blogging, you would be?
I was taking care of Corporate Communications for Asia when I quit my full-time job. So I would either be in a full-time job in the field of Corporate Communications or would have my own agency in the field of brand communications that would be handling internal and external communications for corporates/brands.
A day in your life…
As a blogger I would say, each day is different. The only thing constant would be my waking up, household chores, Aryaa’s school routine in the morning, and time spent with her that I make sure to adhere to most days but other than that each day is unique. Every day would be a mix of writing, shooting, editing, making creatives, emails, calls for closing collaborations, client meetings, team meetings, financial work, contract vetting and attending events. Some days also involve switching off to be just with family or oneself to ease out after hectic days. I definitely try my best to balance it all out.
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
The frequency of your content doesn’t matter if your content doesn’t interest, engage or give out some kind of information to your reader. Even if you post every day but the content is not of any interest to your reader, then your efforts are going to go waste. Also copying or plagiarizing content is a big no-no — Be Original!
Blogging is not just about writing and putting up some pictures and videos. It is way beyond that. You have to be passionate about what you are doing and the topics you are writing on. Please do not think of starting a blog just for the fun of it. You will lose interest eventually like a lot of bloggers that I have seen come and go in these 10 years because of their lack of passion. You have to keep the content coming and be consistent so that your followers stay engaged. Content creation has to become a part of your daily life — not in terms of churning content out every day, but at least in thought and planning so that your platforms take shape well.
It is important to keep improving and learning in order to stay relevant to your followers. There is no end to learning even if you are getting more and more popular. In fact, the pressure increases to do better in every way. Learning from mistakes is vital as well. Embracing feedback and trying to work on it to improve is essential. Read, interact with the industry, acquaint yourself with new happenings, mingle with peers — basically do whatever it takes for you to keep educating yourself further in order to educate your readers.
Your Favorite Influencer
I look up to a lot of International and Indian bloggers but I truly love the work of Marcel Floruss, whose determination and content quality and variety are truly inspiring.
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
I’ve been around for over 10 years now and the field is only growing, and I am also only determined to keep reinventing myself to get better at my work and thus grow in this field. Being realistic yet chic has always been my aim, and that mission continues to stay relatable and useful to my followers.