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Guilty Bytes: The Business of Blogging, Highlights of 2014


So while I am writing this post, there are more than 100 odd things running in my head right now that I don't want to miss out on maybe because 2014 has been one of the best years of my life and I really want to capture it all today. I just realized, that I ended up starting my today's post with 'so', and that my first sentence was way too long without any 'full stops'. I never do that, but this is how a nervous yet an excited Miss Guilty sounds like! New projects, new team, new awards, I did it all this year. Before I move on to how's of the same, this post may just be the last outfit of the day post of this year.


I love this box pleated skirt that became such a rage by the year end. Unleashing the Sonam Kapoor in me, because honestly no one does pleated skirts & off shoulders better than her! 

Skirt- Chichwish
Bodysuit- StalkBuyLove
Earrings- Eristona

I started this year with a new look for the blog. I referred to all YouTube tutorials because I didn't want to move from blogger to WordPress. I don't come from a coding background, but I managed to code guiltybytes over a set template. The key learning is that you can become a techie if you search for relevant content with right set of keywords.

I developed a content strategy that worked for me. As cliched as it may sound, I began writing about all the things on my blog that influence me & my personality. Be it Bollywood gossips, celeb fashion, restaurant reviews, I am doing it all because I enjoy writing on these subjects as much as I enjoy writing on fashion/beauty. A content plan will help you increase blog traffic and then you can compare your posts and see what worked, what didn't. My key learning here is that you don't have to stereotype your own self. You are still very much a fashion blogger if you write on yoga or food sometimes!

I started saying NO to sponsored giveaways and small time contests in exchange of cross promotions. I know many of my readers may hate this, but I turned down many "great" giveaways and instead opted for self sponsored giveaways for my blog. Please note that there is no arrogance here, I just felt that a constant brand promotion needed to have commercial costing with it. My key learning here was simple, I did a self sponsored giveaway that generated great impressions and engagement for the platform of my choice.

I started saying YES to organic collaborations with brands to maintain my blog's credibility. While I have been doing paid campaigns with brands, I ensured that my blog content doesn't become marketing lead in 2014. I micro-blog from events because I enjoy doing that. There are times when I am introducing products and brands on my blog and It's a 100% experiential activity that doesn't involve any commercials. My key leaning here is that in the long run, marketing activities can put my blog's credibility at stake, hence it's important to generate exciting content all through out even if it involves featuring brands for free.

I fulfilled my dream of becoming a motivational speaker! I was invited by Pearl Academy of Fashion, a prestigious design school to share my journey on blogging and how anyone can make a career out of it. While I still consider myself to be an amateur blogger primarily because I have a day job in digital marketing, my key learning here is that amazing things happen when you get honest with yourself and start doing what makes you happy.

I found friends in Mumbai and got them on board that lead me to create #TeamGuiltybytes. We now have a contributor from America as well that makes us global :D. It is important to work with people who understand your aspirations really well and as a blogger you can expand your reach with stories coming from different regions of the world. You could have college students on board as interns to do trend-spotting for you that will help you pitch in story ideas or you could have freelance home based writers contributing their stories on your blog. My key learning here is that you have got to invest- in people, time and efforts.

Elle beauty award 2014 happened to me. Words can't even describe how it escalated my blogging process. I have to thank my friends, family and my readers for being part of that never ending voting process. The only key learning here is that an award like this makes me all the more responsible as a blogger and that I will continue to entertain you guys with my writings!

My YouTube channel rolled in and I am still experimenting with it! I know the photography business but the videos have some issue. The video cam adds 5 extra kilos on me (no exceptions here) and while I am not a pro on cam, I think this is one of the most challenging areas in my blogging world. The videos require prep time, shoot essentials, scripts,  story board, locations, ideas, and so much more. Key learning, don't say no to opportunities and it's okay to challenge yourself. Just know you are not alone. (since I am struggling with it currently :P)

Respect PRs, we need them as much as they need us. Always remember, they only represent a brand and I know sometimes they can be really unrealistic but you have got to work your way out with them. Key learning here is that you should share your media plans with a focused strategy as they will be able to put across your points in-front of their clients, only if they are convinced enough.

Online Reputation Management. I have faced not-so hate comments every now and then but deleting those comments may not be the only solution since you are a lot like a brand now! As an almost public figure try to neutralize those negative comments with positive replies. Key learning here is that you should convert the sentiment to your stride or use these remarks to your strength to garner added support from people who love you! (Bearyy hug for my supporters)

Paychecks with my blog! It happened to me in 2014 with google ads finally doing the shubh start. When I work with brands, I develop a media plan depending on the set of deliverables they are looking at. You can't simply say that you will charge XX amount for a campaign. Walk an extra mile, study the campaign, re-read the emails from PRs and then develop a promotional plan with key deliverables. Key leaning is to sound like a through professional and know your business right, always.

I hope I was able to do justice to my 2014 blogging journey and that I could help a lot of aspiring bloggers who are a part of my world now!!!!If you guys have some other insights or a feedback to share, then do let me know by dropping your comment below. Thank you for your continued support, there is a lot of firework yet to come in 2015. Stay tuned...

Have a question? Tweet it to me on @guiltybytes or follow me on Instagram for all real time updates.

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  1. from where you buy this skirt ? pls tell

  2. u look beautiful

  3. Congratulations on all your success! You are a smart, talented, humble, and honest blogger - and an inspiration to your readers. In a world where bloggers only post content if they are receiving money or products in exchange - love your point "in the long run, marketing activities can put my blog's credibility at stake."

  4. Such an amazing post! For an upcoming blogger like me, your article is really helpful. Ohhh myyyy plus you look really beautiful in this dress.

  5. WOW such an amazing REAL content which surely caters to sooo many bloggers queries. This is the first time i am reading some honest and true blogging experiences. Usually found cut copy on several sites (with all due respect to them). Loved your post to the core. Would be following you for more of this kind

  6. What a wonderful post! your so great, actually trying to help aspiring bloggers. Congratulations on all your success! You are a smart, talented, humble, and honest blogger - and an inspiration to your readers.

  7. Love your wonderful post! You are a rock star Devina.