"Empowered Women, Empower Women"
Ladies - it is with great pleasure that we introduce our latest #girlboss
feature: the ever so fabulous blogger Hitha from... Hitha On the Go
Hitha is an entrepreneur by nature and has created a brilliant online
space where travelers seek out inspiration and packing hacks.
Our CEO connected with her at the United State of Women conference in DC.
Both women are part of Ivanka Trump's community of #womenwhowork and have
both been featured on her site. Click HERE to read Hitha's informative article.
Q Tell us a funny story about starting Hitha on the Go
A I started Hitha On The Go in 2009, while I was running operations at a pharmaceutical company. I never mentioned my blog at work, and I rarely talked about my job on the blog. One day, at a breakfast meeting with one of our board members, my boss drops my blog in casual conversation (never having mentioned it to me before). Thankfully, he was very complimentary of the site and the fact that his daughters were fans, but it was a “what the XX ” moment that I still chuckle about today.
Q You have received some really amazing press! What advice to have to young bloggers on press collaborations?
A Don’t say yes to everything. It can be really exciting when you get your first cold e-mail asking to collaborate or be featured. Create a quick checklist to make sure the opportunity is right for you, both now and in the future. I’d suggest asking yourself the following:
1. Is this a product type I typically feature?
2. Do I like it?
3. Would I feature this product or service for free?
The same goes for press opportunities. Taking the time to thoughtfully answer questions and potentially be photographed needs to be worth it. Will the feature bring you more followers on a social network, more subscribers to a newsletter, new readers? How will you capture these new prospects and convert them to loyal members of your tribe? Make sure the time you’ll spend filling out the questions will help you get closer to your goals before immediately saying ‘yes!’
Q What advice to you have for a young blogger trying to create a strong digital footprint?
A Treat your blog like a business, day 1. Write a 1 page business plan. Create an editorial calendar that you can maintain from the outset, and have 6 weeks of content created before publishing your first post. Bootstrap wherever you can (like setting your site up on Squarespace versus a costly custom design). Teach yourself some very basic design and coding skills (YouTube and Codeacademy are great for this).
The best advice, however, is the least exciting. Be consistent and authentic. Commit to a posting schedule that you can stick with, and play around on different social media platforms to see which you enjoy the most and what you have the best engagement in.
Q What is one of the easiest ways for a young blogger to start generating a paycheck from her blog?
A Trying to monetize your site too early is the biggest mistake you can make as a new blogger. While you may be tempted to take the first sponsored opportunity or join the first ad network that approaches you, you should make sure it’s the right fit for you and your readers. Brands and partners want access to a community when partnering with bloggers and influencers. Take the time to build yours - reply to every blog comment, answer every question on social media, and get to know your readers. Why do they read your blog? Why do they follow you on social media? Do they trust you? You should also study your numbers - site analytics, affiliate metrics. Connect the dots between your audience and your numbers - do specific items you share on Instagram convert to item sales? Are people coming to your site for a specific series or content type?When you can connect your community to specific numbers (for me, I have a 6% sales conversion rate on luggage, travel products, and books), you’re able to demonstrate an immediate value to brands.
Q What are some "must haves" in a girls bag for an interview?
A I think a medium sized satchel, with both a top handle and shoulder strap, is the best bag for an interview. You can carry it a myriad of ways, it forces you to edit your items to just the essentials, and it always looks polished. Inside, I’d keep a hand lotion, small lint roller, mints, your resume in a folder, and a notebook and pen, with several questions already jotted down to ask in the interview. I always keep a travel-sized Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment in my bag - the scent helps calm those pre-interview jitters.
Q What is a piece of advice you have for college girls trying to find themselves?
A It’s not about finding yourself, but growing into yourself. Every time I feel like I have it figured out, life throws me a curveball and forces me to adapt and evolve. I used to hate it, but now relish the chance to keep growing into the woman that I am, and that I want to be. Enjoy the journey - it’s kind of the best part.