- Blog: The YBF (Young, Black & Fabulous)
- Niche: Celebrity Gossip/Entertainment
- Founder: Natasha Eubanks
- Twitter: @theybf
When Natasha Eubanks started Young, Black & Fabulous (TheYBF.com) in 2005, it was just a personal blog giving her take on the latest Black celebrity happenings. In the time since then the site has grown into a lucrative venture that attracts more than 14 million page views a month and allowed the young businesswoman to rake in a reported $1.4 million in revenue last year.
Already chosen as one of Black Enterpriseâ€™s BE Next entrepreneurs, Eubanks has seen her brand expand into the go-to spot for the latest in gossip, fashion, music and entertainment news on African American stars. For her continued growth in the online space, The YBF founder makes BlackEnterprise.comâ€™s list of 20 digital thought leaders for Black Blogger Month.
I started my blog because…
[Black people] still donâ€™t get the same recognition from other [media outlets] as we should be. We were overlooked in mainstream sites. I started TheYBF.com so we could see our celebrities and we could control the news and whatâ€™s out there ourselves.
The YBF stands out becauseâ€¦
Itâ€™s coming from a personal standpoint as opposed to a random staff or person writing. People feel like, I know Natasha is writing this so I can relate. Most sites, if youâ€™re talking celeb gossip, weâ€™re all talking about similar things, itâ€™s just all about how you put your spin on it. Whether youâ€™re the cool one, the funny oneâ€¦ I provide personal touch from Natashaâ€™s point of view.
People trust my brand because…
They feel like theyâ€™re talking to that friend in their head. I donâ€™t just post anything for attention and hits. I try to check out the gossip and try to get the most accurate information. We go the extra mile to get statements from publicists and from the source.
I realized blogging was a business whenâ€¦
I decided to leave law school, and I knew my parents werenâ€™t going to support me financially anymore. I was a student most of my life. I went from living off an allowance of $200 a month to getting my first $10,000 from an ad. It blew my mind. But in my head, I’ve always had a frugal mindset. I knew that if I needed to live outside the help of my parents, thatâ€™s when it was lucrative for me. I was still in school when the money started rolling in, but still lived frugally.
The best piece of business advice I ever got wasâ€¦
To trust my instincts. Nobody knows your business like you. Donâ€™t be apologetic. I tend to be a people pleaser but when you own a business, that canâ€™t be your priority. You canâ€™t please everyone. Do whatâ€™s in the best interest for your businessâ€¦ If you know that thereâ€™s a person or company that doesnâ€™t have your best interest at heart or who doesnâ€™t put you first, or it isnâ€™t a great idea to deal with them, you have to be okay with parting ways. I like to have a trusted circle. A person can either make the company or break the company, so be careful with who is on your team or who youâ€™re doing business with.
Networking has helped me to…
Actually, I hate networking. I call it NOTworking. If youâ€™re going to network, you should do it in a fashion where itâ€™s genuine and makes sense for your business instead of going to cocktail events where you wonâ€™t even remember someoneâ€™s name. That’s a waste. But if you go to a panel or youâ€™re a speaker, or in a focus group, youâ€™re getting benefits and making one-on-one connections, where you can meet people and make real connectionsâ€”thatâ€™s networking.
The First Amendment isâ€¦
A grey area, especially for media. When it comes to Internet law, Internet media, itâ€™s such a grey area because itâ€™s so new. There arenâ€™t a lot of concrete laws on what you can or canâ€™t say. If you get taken to court by a celebrity or publicist, thereâ€™s almost a greater chance that youâ€™ll win. Itâ€™s such an open field, and not much precedence has been set. Itâ€™s a double-edged sword
If someone doesn’t like something I post…
I won’t back down. At first, I didnâ€™t understand why people would hate the girl behind the blog. I was never the person out in the forefront. I didnâ€™t understand how all of a sudden I became the subject of blame. I used to put a lot of personal things about me on the site. Now, I just stick to talking about the celebrity. Iâ€™ve seen it all and heard it all. With celebrity backlash, anytime someone gets caught cheating, I get told Iâ€™m a liar, then two years later itâ€™s made plain and clear who was cheating. Then they see that Natasha was telling the truth.
Anyone that wants to follow in my footsteps shouldâ€¦
Start it without intentions of becoming so big. Be in it for the long haul. The making-money aspect of it is a whole other beast. I work 24-hours, I sleep with my laptop. If you build it they will come. Have a passion for it and be willing to do it for free.
Whatâ€™s next for The YBF is…
Working to become a household name. I’m working with brand strategists to correctly position myself to do that. I want to do it correctly, whether itâ€™s TV, doing some different things in radio. I just want to expand my brand.
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