In Kitty Bradshawâ€™s world, blogging isnâ€™t about popularity itâ€™s all about dollars. The California nativeâ€™s eponymous website, KittyBradshaw.com, helps her achieve that goal by delivering reviews and candid commentary on art, culture, food, shopping and all things chic about the New York City lifestyle. Bradshawâ€™s brutally honest perspective not only attracts a viral audience but mainstream brands looking to leverage her influence in the digital space and beyond.
After only a year online, The Gap reached out to sponsor Bradshawâ€™s site and the two brands have been partnered for the past two-and-a-half years, hosting events and doing giveaways, among other promotions. The opinionated blogger has also worked with companies like Johnson & Johnson, Cougar Boots and Nina Shoes. Providing brand marketing and blog startup consultation, Bradshaw was named the International Winner of the Social Media Influencer Team Award from Smart Box Scavenger Hunt. As part of Black Blogger Month, the sassy blogger tells BlackEnterprise.com how she makes her brand work and why corporate sponsors canâ€™t get enough. â€”Starrene Rhett
I started bloggingâ€¦
Before blogging was a term. My talent is writing, and when the Internet first came aroundâ€”back when they charged by the hourâ€”I started moderating chat rooms, then on to message boards and groups, then finally to my own site. Writing is a form of expressionâ€¦ Blogging and myself are the perfect combination.
My blog stands out becauseâ€¦
Honestly, because this little blogger, out of nowhere, started landing national sponsorships [laughs]. However, I think people stick around because I interact with my readers on Twitter and they get the full story surrounding the post. My life is a 24-hour, dysfunctional soap opera.
Building a brand is important becauseâ€¦
When you build something in front of everyone, people respect that. When you come out of nowhere trying to be a millionaire within 30 seconds of launching your brandâ€¦ No one takes you seriously. Some of my readers have been with me over 10 yearsâ€”long before I was a dot com. They respect me because they have seen where I started out, and are rooting for me to accomplish my goals. My readers are very loyal. Theyâ€™ve seen my growth, and feel a part of what Iâ€™m trying to accomplish.
I realized blogging was a business whenâ€¦
Actually, I donâ€™t think there was ever a time for me when it wasnâ€™t a business. I started this site to make money. Every step that Iâ€™ve taken was carefully calculated and planned out. Iâ€™m using this site as a vehicle for my ultimate goal.
The biggest mistake I ever made in business wasâ€¦
Some people see your potential and try to attach themselves on [to you]. Iâ€™m so naive, I kind of just trust people until they prove untrustworthy but I realized sometimes you donâ€™t find out until itâ€™s too late. At this point in my life now I only have two categories of people around me: One, my friends who are outside of the entertainment and blogging industry. Two, associates and/or people I do business with.
Networking has helped me toâ€¦
Get my name out there. Iâ€™m an very effective networker, and can do my 30-second pitch at a moments notice. I generally show up to events by myself, with business card in hand.
The secret to getting corporate sponsorship isâ€¦
Become someone who is marketable. At the end of the day, The Kitty Bradshaw, is a product. I assessed what companies are looking for in the bloggers that they select and I morphed into that. Different companies want different things and as long as it doesnâ€™t cross my ethical code I will be what they need.
Throwing a good event meansâ€¦
Well, here in New York, the blogging capital, bloggers are defined by the sponsors they bring in. Iâ€™ve been fortunate enough to have two national companies (The Gap and Johnson & Johnson) come on board and become title sponsors for my previous Blogiversary events. A good event means quality gift bags, open bar, and people of substance.
In business, you should never be afraid toâ€¦
Cut people off. Dead weight sinks ships. If youâ€™re miserable, unsuccessful, unproductive, always asking for advice but never willing to take itâ€¦ you have to go!
The best piece of business advice I ever got wasâ€¦
If you donâ€™t take yourself seriously, no one else will.
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