Monday, 2 November 2015

INFLUENCER INTERVIEW : ANUSHKA MOORE



For the people who don’t know about you, Can you tell us a little about yourself and your blog?

My name is Anushka Moore. I am a 26 year old fashion writer / blogger originally from Bombay, but I now live in Manchester with my husband and our little dog. My blog, Bombay Bubble is not only a mode of expression and a creative outlet for me, but it is pretty much an extension of me and all the things I love – beauty, fashion, travel, beautiful homes and the like. It aims fusing the high fashion element of a magazine editorial with the real-girl relatability of a street style blog with beautifully shot images and crisp but light text that appeals to its readers.


Every website has a story behind it. What was yours? What was the motivation behind starting this Blog?

I started Bombay Bubble in 2010 with a passion and a point-and-shoot camera. I had just graduated and finished an internship with Grazia magazine, and wanted an outlet to practice my writing skills till I was offered a more permanent job. Back then, Bombay Bubble was called ‘Style Uninterrupted’ for a few months, before one fateful night with a friend drinking wine on my sofa. One of the most successful makeup artists in the country, she was telling me about her ‘Tokyo Bubble’ manifesto, wherein when she is working on a shoot, she dives into a zone so focused that she wants the final product to be something she could show on the runways in Milan or Tokyo. I loved the theory and since I have always indulged my mad love affair with Bombay, I decided to change my blog name to ‘Bombay Bubble’. The change in name worked wonders for the blog. It suddenly started getting a lot more recognition and really just took off almost overnight. There was no looking back.


Do you ever get stuck when writing a blog? What do you do then?

No, not really. Writing has always come really easily to me and I draw upon my own personal experiences whilst writing, so it isn’t really a problem. Plus I like to plan my posts in advance as much as I can, so that when a post needs to go live on a particular date, I’m not struggling with photos and words at the last minute.
However, I would say my block sometimes happens with photography. When I am in Mumbai and working with hired photographers, my shoots happen everyday at lightening speed. However, my husband takes my photos in the UK and we are both so busy that coordinating our schedules becomes problematic. I’m still figuring out how we can both work around this, so watch this space! ;)


If there was one thing that you feel makes your blog stand out, what would that be?

Probably the fact that I keep it real. I’m not your standard skinny fashion blogger with a massive budget for designer clothes. I have a body type that a lot of women share, so they visit the blog because like to see what could look good on them, or styles that they could experiment with and pull off. And my clothing isn’t madly expensive either. I shop a lot at Hill Road, Colaba and Primark and H&M like the rest of my readers, so the relatability element never really goes away. Also, they know how strict I am about my blog integrity and that I’d never sell out and promote a brand I don’t genuinely believe in or would wear myself, just they’re paying me.


If you had to give three crazy advice to budding bloggers, what would that be?

(1) Stand your ground when it comes to accepting payment from brands. They have massive marketing budgets, and there’s no reason why you should work for free if you’re providing them with a service and an audience. (2) Be selective about the events you attend, make sure you get out there and network and always carry business cards. (3) Hire a photographer for great images and pay close attention to your spelling and grammar. (It seems inconsequential, but trust me, nobody likes visiting a blog where you need to decode a post bcoz d bloggr writez lyk dis.)


Do you promote your blog? What promotional techniques work best for you and why?

I haven’t done any paid promotions yet. My entire follower base has been grown organically. The only way I promote my blog posts is by unpaid social media posts, letting my followers know that there is new content for them to see.


What do you find to be the most gratifying aspect of blogging?

(1) Meeting people who understand and connect with your work. Its always so exciting when I’m out a mall or something and somebody comes up to me and say they follow my blog!
(2) Also, your work being recognized and appreciated by the brands you admire is quite a thrill!
(3) Making money creating content that you love and are proud of and that other people can appreciate and relate to is the most fulfilling feeling ever.


And Influencer Marketing – what it holds for bloggers?

Influencer based marketing is doing phenomenally well in India at the moment. Every brand, whether big or small is getting in touch with bloggers like us to help promote their products. When I first started out 5 years ago, brands knew they needed to reach out to bloggers as a supplementary source of marketing, but refused to acknowledge it as a service or profession, and would only offer a one item barter or gift vouchers as compensation for our efforts. Now, however, with blogging being recognized my most brands as a service provided by professionals, bloggers are now taking their rent into their own hands and are actually being paid for the audience they provide and the unique personal take on a product / brand in question. As long as we continue to be selective about the brands we work with and maintain our integrity, I think that it should continue to work well and even get better for bloggers in the near future.


Engaging in influencer marketing is fruitful but most of the bloggers feel there are some characteristic problems while engaging with brands. How is your experience of engaging with brands and problems, if any?

(1) Our biggest issue with brands (and this is usually a deal breaker for all collaborations) is their being adamant about not paying or trying to haggle on the price. Very uncool – this isn’t a market.
(2) Somehow, brands tend to believe that blog posts can be pulled out of thin air at a moment’s notice and often demand content the very next day, without pausing to think of the time it requires to plan a shoot, book a photographer, do the shoot, edit the photos and write the text and plan the post’s social media promotions – all while fitting it into a tight editorial calendar. A week’s notice minimum would be nice.
(3) Some brands tend to be all about the numbers and less about quality content. If a blogger has 1000 more Instagram followers than you, they often flock to her instead, without caring about how she has worked with and represented brands in the past, what kind of audience she attracts or even basic things like whether her picture quality is good or she can even string a sentence together that makes sense.
(4) Sometimes, they make it quite obvious that their best interest lies only with their brand. If you prefer to follow a photo shoot format on your blog because you prefer to put up aesthetically appealing images that your readers engage with, they don’t really care. A lot of the time they don’t care about what image you post or what text you write, just as long as their brand name is mentioned somehow, somewhere.
(5) A lot of brands don’t train their PR teams in email etiquette which is really quite disappointing as the PR team is often the first interaction and first impression of the brand that people get. A lot of the time, I don’t even respond to emails that have been sent out to 50 other bloggers, are addressed to the wrong person or worse, to ‘Dear blogger’. They also don’t do their research and often try to push products that have nothing to do with what you blog about.
(6) They often claim to pay you after you work on the post and it goes live, but then disappear altogether after you’ve kept your end of the bargain. Sometimes it takes months of chasing them to get my rightful compensation, which is why I now take my full payment upfront.

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