Iren Vladi, a beauty blogger: ''Popularity in social networks can be tough for vulnerable people''
YouTube is not the same as it used to be. The audience is also not the same anymore: they want content of television quality. There has become more advertising and it displaces creativity, and most authors have to survive, says a top beauty blogger of the Russian YouTube Iren Vladi. Why blogging is already a profession and it is not for everyone, what to do if YouTube alone is not enough, she told in an interview with the online newspaper Realnoe Vremya.
A 6-year experience
Sorry for a trivial question, but for our readers who don't know you, could you tell about yourself: what did you do before you started the channel? How did you decide to start creating your own videos?
Hello, dear friends. My name is Iren Vladi. At the moment, I am working as a blogger (Yes, it is really possible to say that way now, since blogging has entered in the register of professions). Before I opened my channel on YouTube, I was working as a producer of a cooking show on TV. I started to make my videos because I had the fear of camera. Using video blogging I decided to break the fear and uncertainty in front of the camera. I tried, told about hair care, how to use oil to maintain skin health. To many people it was interesting and useful. So, I started the blog on YouTube.
When did you realize that your blog became successful?
Probably when my channel was included in top-10 Russian beauty blogs. It was long ago, but for me it was a demonstrable result.
I started to make my videos because I had the fear of camera. Using video blogging I decided to break the fear and uncertainty in front of the camera
Youtube is not as it used to be anymore
To some extent, you act as a personal media: you test formats, think over content. How important is it on YouTube to make a channel with a unique product? For example, now there are a lot of DIY channels or challenges in which, in fact, only people change. But their videos get several hundred thousand hits. What do you think about this ''mass-market''?
It's amazing, but on YouTube there are their own rules. There are win-win genres. For example what you have listed. If there is a trend for a certain challenge, if a blogger wants to attract attention to their channel, to get into recommended, they need to follow trends of YouTube. For example, now trend is anything about clothes and stuff. If you want to be watched — tell about clothes, new items in the wardrobe, trends, spring/summer, outfit, ''my stylish yes/no''. Everything about clothes.
Actually, because of all you have listed above in the previous question from time to time even bloggers in their videos tell that YouTube is not the same as it used to be (in a bad sense). How do you feel about that?
I rather agree with my counterparts. YouTube is really not the same as it used to be. Many things are not the same. The audience either, by the way. There is a satiety, it is difficult to surprise, now everyone wants to watch videos of almost TV quality.
Once YouTube was free. The authors simply worked and created. Now advertising has replaced everything. Bloggers don't want to work for thanks. Yes, in fact, no one wants, it's understandable. YouTube constantly changes algorithms, ranking, the majority of authors have to survive. Go to YouTube and loot at ''Recommended'' — you will see what idiocy is popular, it gathers millions of views and ranked top. To be honest, it makes me nervous…
What is a good content for you?
For me, any content is good if it gives useful information and development, even remotely gives knowledge. I watch scientific programmes and lectures of scientists.
Do you succeed in competing with new bloggers?
I do not think about competition. Everything in life comes and goes. YouTube today exists but tomorrow there will be something else. The ability to adapt worries me much more than competition.
In general, all my current activities are connected with blogging. All projects are based on the blog in social networks
Blogging is not for wimps
Usually bloggers give advice on how to start your own channel. Tell us about the negative side of such publicity on the Internet — are there any reasons why you wouldn't recommend to start a channel?
Oh, yes! The popularity has a reverse side of the coin, be sure. Not everyone is ready for negativity in comments. For vulnerable, sensitive and empathetic people, popularity of social networking can be just too tough. It is necessary to go through, then you get used to it and stop paying attention at all. Haters and trolls are already part of social networks.
How did you learn to escape from negativity?
I am still learning. Lesson # 1 — do not engage in dialogue. Where a commenter wants to sling mud at you, there is no motive to hear your explanation why he's wrong. Here there is one motive — to defuse negativity at your expense. Cause your reaction and to draw attention to themselves at any cost.
Lesson # 2 — to delete the comment and block the commenter. Because evil begets evil. One angry comment provokes other: they think that they can allow themselves to behave that way with the author.
If it is ok to ask you about it, I would like to know about the issue of partnerships and advertising. Are there any rules for placing advertising in the videos? How do brands assess the effect?
I agree to overview a brand if I like it and they have an icon that the brand has not been tested on animals. It's important to me. Natural composition is a must. Good bloggers with the target audience that earns themselves have a good exhaust from the advertising. I do not really understand the integration where the target audience is the students. They do not earn. They have no money. They often can not afford to buy something that shows their favourite blogger…
Around me there swirled a wonderful daisy from great partners whose products, I'm sure because I use them — and it is an honour for me to represent products my partners in my boxes!
The whole Youtube won't be enough
You've mentioned your ''additional'' projects. Tell us why you have decided to release boxes?
The idea with boxes was born far in 2013. Then I sent a request to the printer house to find out how much it would cost to manufacture beautiful cardboard boxes. They sent me a calculation and it repelled any desire to think in this direction. It was outrageously expensive!
I let go of this idea, and two years later it returned to me fully prepared, I almost never had to do anything. Around me there swirled a wonderful daisy from great partners whose products, I'm sure because I use them — and it is an honour for me to represent products my partners in my boxes!
Not everything went smoothly. I also had unsuccessful projects, absolutely unprofitable, but they taught me how to build this business. The experience is valuable.
Can you share with some lessons you've learnt?
Lesson # 1 — to assess circulation adequately. It is better to do less and then do more than to invest in large circulation and to stop there. The more haste, the less speed.
Lesson # 2 — to minimise the risks, writing all the conditions of cooperation in the project.
Lesson # 3 — people love beautiful, comfortable and, most importantly, cheap!
I would like to ask about master-classes. Soon you will have the first one in Kazan. What is the aim of your work? What do you discuss with the participants?
To be honest, the very first meeting in person with the participants of the first group was organized spontaneously, by chance. The last thing I was thinking about was that this would become a regular event. In one of the master classes on weaving wreaths, my good friend and I had an idea to do something together. To weave wreaths, and to share some secrets with the audience.
I have accumulated some knowledge in this area, I structured it and that is how the lecture #IrenVladiPROмолодость was born. It turned out a huge number of girls looks for such information. So I began to spread these ideas in other cities
By this time, I had already been collecting and classifying information for several years about how and when you need to start taking care of yourself in order the signs of aging touched upon [women] as late as possible: that we need to start doing [procedures] already when you are 20, on what you need to pay attention at 25 and what awaits us after 30.
I have accumulated some knowledge in this area, I structured it and that is how the lecture #IrenVladiPROмолодость was born. It turned out a huge number of girls looks for such information. So I began to spread these ideas in other cities.