Black Blogger Month: 2DopeBoyz, Business Never Personal

Co-founder of popular music site, 2DopeBoyz.com, Meka Udoh reveals the pros and cons of joining an ad network

Meka Udoh co-founder of 2DopeBoyz.com

Meka Udoh is one dope boy online

  • Blog: 2DopeBoyz
  • Niche: Hip-Hop Music/Culture
  • Founders: Meka Udoh & Joel “Shake” Zela
  • Twitter: @2dopeboyz

Getting laid off in 2007 was one of the best things that ever happened to Meka Udoh. As a way to make up with the idle time on his hands, the California native and friend Joel “Shake” Zela launched 2DopeBoyz.com, a music site that started as a way to share their thoughts on new music but has since grown into a successful online brand that also hosts artist showcases and benefit events.

With Meka’s snarky commentary and Shake’s humorous Photoshop skills at the fore, the site now boasts over a million unique visitors a month and has the distinction of being part of the Complex Media Network, which has helped the duo make a living off of blogging about what they love—music. As Black Blogger Month continues, BlackEnterprise.com catches up with Udoh to get his take on growing a brand online and the benefits of working with an ad network. ⎯Starrene Rhett

2DopeBoyz stands out because…

We’ve never fallen into that ideal that either posting a video of two idiots in the ghetto fighting or being financially backed by a major label, then have the audacity to claim we’re “documenting the culture” would make us successful or influential. Shining a light to the under-the-radar [artist] was more important to us than a Gucci Mane shout out. The site was started when two friends with vastly different musical tastes decided to start a site to spotlight what we liked, and by the grace of whatever deity watches over us it became a success.

People trust the 2DopeBoyz brand because…

We’ve tried not to be something we’re not. We have no need to reach a certain quota with our backers, which gives us the liberty of posting anything from Jay Electronica to the latest video game preview.

The biggest mistake I ever made in business was…

Being too nice sometimes. I’m still having problems with that today.

What I learned from that was…

You’ll never be universally liked, and some people only tolerate you simply because you’re in possession of something they don’t have and/or require.

I realized blogging was a business when…

2DopeBoyz.com logo

I was actually able to use the revenues from it to take my family out to dinner, which was something no day job gave me the luxury of doing.

The importance of a good ad network is…

Great when you decide you don’t want to work a day job anymore.

Networking has helped me to…

What’s networking, really? Glorified self-promotion? Talking to a bunch of people with the hopes they’ll be able to put you in a position that’s better than your current one? The only times you really see that kind of stuff actually work these days are on crappy “reality” shows. If anything, building your name and reputation works even better than trying to advertise yourself amidst a sea of other people doing the same thing.

Building a brand is important because…

I hate when people talk about “building a brand.” It’s not a “brand,” it’s a reputation. If what you do is reputable, then your peers will see, respect and in some cases envy it.

Having a good business partner means…

They’re as equally willing to risk everything to be successful as you are.

The best piece of business advice I ever got was…

Never give up, not matter how bleak it may be.

I measure my success by…

How proud my family is of me, and right now they’re very proud of me.

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.

Videographer: Melissa Johnson; Video shot on location at The Inn at Irving Place & Lady Mendel’s, New York City

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