It's a rarity on the Internet to find a sincle site that manages to successfully marry the worlds of technology and fashion in a way that's fun, fresh and smart. That's probably why we're such big fans of Christen Rochon's site, Divas and Dorks, since she has done exactly that. To find out more about how she left her media career and turned Divas and Dorks into a mulit-platform brand (with two sister sites in the works) we caught up with Christen and gave her the Pro Blogger Spotlight drill-down.
How and why did you first start Divas & Dorks?
I created DivasandDorks.com after spending countless hours online searching blog sites for fashion, celebrity, gossip, technology and social media news. As a former media exec for CBS New York, wasting company time surfing the web for hours was a no-no. I thought if I could find a site that mixed a combination of at least fashion and technology, that would cut my web-surfing time in half. Since I couldn’t find a site out there that spoke to me, I decided to create one myself.
How did you develop the content strategy for Divas and Dorks?
Developing the content wasn’t the hard part, it was really keeping up with the demand of consistency that was the challenge. The content has always been a mixture of fashion, style, technology and social media news from a female’s perspective. Our niche is that we try to deliver the info that impacts everyday women in a way that they can enjoy. The content has evolved to include celebrity, travel and some automotive posts recently, however the foundation remains the same when it comes down to fashion and technology (minus the annoying tech jargon). Recently, we’ve opened our doors for a contributing staff. Partly because of launching two sister sites focusing on auto news and travel in the near future, DivasDriveInHeels.com and DivasOnDestinations.com – we’re expanding our staff tremendously!
How would you describe your blog's niche, and who is your ideal reader?
Our niche is a fun, judgment-free, lifestyle blog where we tackle things important to most women – with a focus on everything from fashion to technology. Initially created to celebrate the duality in all women from the deeply stylish diva to the adorable Star Trek fans with a slightly stronger dorky streak, it was created for all women of all ages. Based on research, the majority of our readers are women ages 25 – 45 with interests in fashion trends, celebrity style as well as learning how the latest technology and social media trends can improve their overall quality of life.
How do you use social media to promote Divas and Dorks, and what are your most successful channels?
In the very beginning, I was all about Twitter. For the first two years, I invested in t-shirts promoting @DivasandDorks and I wore them EVERYWHERE! Every conference, event, etc – I promoted the @DivasandDorks brand everyday. In addition to promoting via Twitter and Facebook, I’ve found Pinterest and Instagram to be great channels for sharing styles, trends and even personal things that I like with the Divas and Dorks audience. Although most social media platforms are great tools to amplify content, I can’t narrow down the most successful channel per se simply because I use them each differently (plus the engagement is very different depending on each platform.) Twitter is used more as a conversation platform, while Facebook is more for sharing or polling our audience for their opinions. Pinterest and Instagram both are more show and tell platforms used to keep our audience in the loop of what’s going on in our world. Social media is definitely an integral part of our day to day online engagement.
How do you monetize your site?
I monetize Divas and Dorks a lot differently than many bloggers. As a former media executive, I’ve learned how media personalities brand and monetize first hand. As a full time publisher of Divas and Dorks, LLC – I knew that in order to operate as a business, I had to have a plan of monetization in place early on. My efforts have afforded me opportunities to work with worldwide brands and monetize D&D via ad sales, sponsored posts, endorsement campaigns, starring in webisodes / online series, keynote speaking engagements, hosting sponsored events and more.
Can you talk a bit about how the growth of Divas and Dorks has progressed?
My growth as a blogger, brand and business woman has gone through consistent levels of growth since 2010. In December 2010 I quit my 10+ year media career to pursue my love of fashion and technology. Since then I’ve been awarded Best in The Blogasphere by Black Enterprise Magazine, have been approached by a few network shows for upcoming projects and was even selected to represent Team USA during the 2012 London Olympics as a Samsung Global Blogger. I’m always challenging myself and I’m looking forward to the next level of broadening my portfolio of online sites with DivasDriveinHeels.com and DivasOnDestinations.com soon.
What advice would you give to bloggers looking to build their site into a business?
Be unique, Be memorable and Be You! Brands and partners are looking to work with unique businesses that offer something that no one else has. Fill a niche, fill a void and you won’t have to look for brands to work with you, instead they’ll be looking for you.
As in most businesses, he who masters consistency wins! You already have passion and excitement for what you write about, but if you can go that extra mile with consistency, you’ll find yourself in a class all your own.