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This article originally appeared on BlackEnterprise
Watch Abiola talk about her success in the blogging industry.
The biggest mistake I’ve ever made in business…
Was building my platform on other platforms first and then my own second. I think it should be the other way around. In 2008/09 I was blogging and posting videos for Black Planet at Interactive One and they were incredibly supportive. I built a base there of several hundred thousand “friends.” But when that platform fell out of favor, we lost our people. So I learned that it’s critical to build on a home base that you own even if you contribute to other places.
Also, viewers and readers need a call to action if you are looking to build a platform or monetize. That was another mistake that I made, not giving a call to action. It can be as simple as telling readers to subscribe or sharing a product that you think will benefit them—where you can receive a commission for providing that service. If your blog is a business you need to have a constant “call to action.”
I think the most important thing to consider before launching a blog is…
To focus [more] on finding your voice and revealing your brand than spending money. There are bloggers right now who have been tapped as brand spokespeople for fashion brands after building a blog on the free BlogSpot platform. My blog has been tremendous for me in many ways. It’s gotten me booked to give speeches and appear on TV. One might not view that as direct income from the blog, but you have to. I was a Teen Dating Coach on the MTV series MADE and that opportunity came as a direct result of my articles and video episodes at The Passionista Playbook. When you build a strong platform, then the people you are looking to build with often find you.
In 20 years I see myself…
Sitting on a multi platform empire. As a lifestyle brand, I see myself sharing and having ownership via all of the channels I currently work in and being able to sell my audience products that I endorse and create to improve their lives.
I’ve always wanted to do this because…
I went to an all-girls prep school in NYC where I was one of the few Black kids. To make matters worse, I grew up in an “outer borough.” One of my old classmates reminded me that when we were teens I told her that I wanted to write books like Maya Angelou, host TV like Oprah and make movies like Spike Lee. Although my voice is markedly different from those great people, and I would never put myself even close to their category, I feel like that’s what I’m doing in my own way. Different voice, different mediums, but the same objective that I started with.
I measure success by…
The ability to impact lives. It means so much to me that some of the most hard boiled folks get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to say, “Abiola, I may not have been listening that day but your words impacted me. You influenced my life in a positive way.” The other way that I measure success is as a businesswoman and entrepreneur. In the beginning I saw myself only as an artist: author, filmmaker, broadcaster. Now I see myself as a businessperson. My blog will be the base of the empire I plan to build going forward.
Be sure to check out the rest of the digital thought leaders as they’re revealed each day by logging on to BlackEnterprise.com/BlackBloggerMonth.
Passionate Living Expert Abiola Abrams has spent the last 10 years creating media to empower women and girls. She writes and broadcasts about love, sex, dating, relationships and self esteem with media outlets from Essence Magazine to MTV.Find her on the “Passionista Playbook” lifestyle blog at http://www.AbiolaTV.com. Keep in touch on Twitter @abiolatv and Facebook.com/abiolatv.