This post is part of the Branded Blogging Series, which features tips on how to learn from the successes of some of the most innovative and successful brand blogs.
Perez Hilton is the King of Gossip and an extraordinary brand blogger. He built his profitable blog on celebrity gossip, snarky commentary, and notorious Microsoft Paint scribbles over celebrity photos.
Hilton receives 260 million page views a month, according to a 2010 estimate. He has over 4.6 million followers on Twitter and 229,000 likes on Facebook. He has made a career out of blogging, celebrity gossip, and developing his brand.
Showing True Personality
Hilton stands out because he has a recognizable personality. He gained popularity as a snarky and vicious blogger. And he’s not afraid to draw over celebrities’ faces using MS Paint to get a point across.
“Perez often makes harsh and derogatory comments about celebrities,” says Blogger Marko Saric. “This results in a ton of publicity as celebrities respond back, media reports it and readers share it with their friends.”
Censorship and courtesy are not Hilton’s style: Controversy is. If you don’t want to be harsh, but still want to reap the benefits, show your true colors on your blog. People value real personalities and not robots when it comes to blogs.
Hilton questions the actions of celebrities, makes jokes about them, and pokes fun at them. He’s not afraid to challenge the status quo of gossip blogging: He fully embraces the pettiness of it and gives his readers the juicy news and commentary they crave.
Expand the Brand
Since the original website was created, Hilton has expanded his blogging empire to CocoPerez, a fashion site; TeddyHilton, a site for dog owners; Perezitos, a parenting and celebrity children site; and FitPerez, which focuses on fitness. He runs a TV production company, has written books, put out a clothing line, and established two radio shows and a music management business.
Although Hilton’s other sites are not as well known, he’s set himself up to appeal to a bigger audience. People interested in gossip are likely to follow fashion, but parents, dog owners, and fitness gurus are not. By writing about more than gossip, he’s attracting a wider audience to his brand in general by having his name on all the sites.
Constantly Create Content
If the news is there, blog about it. Fortunately for Hilton, something is always going on in Hollywood. He spends up to 18 hours a day updating the site, posting about 40 times per day.
Not only is he the King of Gossip; he’s also the King of Content. All the posts are linked to his Facebook and Twitter, where he posts questions such as, “Why did Bobby Brown get arrested?,” adding a link to a recent entry on the site.
Fans are enticed with the teases and Hilton gets rewarded in increased traffic. Blogs lose followers if they aren’t updated enough. For Hilton, it seems that’ll never be an issue.
Making it Pay
Before Hilton could charge $54,000 for an advertisement on the site, he experimented with “ads, text ads, wallpaper ads behind the blog posts, [and] sponsored posts,” according to Saric. In order for blogs to make money, ads must be sold.
However, making users angry or upset with intrusive ads will backfire. A blogger with ad offers should try out different methods and see what works with readers and companies.
Hilton is a branding and blogging guru. He is memorable because of his personality and has sustained his brand by expanding to other audiences. By putting content first and sticking to what the fans like, he has created a multi-million dollar blog that has kept him relevant and in the public eye.