Been meaning to do this for a while now. At first I thought I’d keep it to myself but then it isn’t private information – it’s publicly available and while I’m sure others have tabled it and used it to draw conclusions, I have not been able to find those conclusions publicly or based on factual data.
A few reasons why I wanted to do this :
1. PR Agencies / Marketing teams with brands don’t seem to know HOW to evaluate blogs. They end up associating with bloggers based on who likes who and who is friends with who – which is also not a bad marketing initiative because you’re reaching out to the right influencers. But, for example, last WIFW, while signing in on the Media Registrations, I noticed a column that listed blog pageviews and people whose blogs I hadn’t even heard of had ten times the pageviews than my blog did. Clearly, the PR Agency had not bothered to actually check the figures. Maybe I’m being unfair but maybe they didn’t even know how to check.
2. It’s good to know the blogging community and I was certain there were some gems I was missing and I was right. There’s the new BorderAndFall and I found StylDrv too. Two new favorites.
3. I am working with a couple of brands, advising them / creating an online campaign for them and wanted those clients to have information about India’s top blogs in the Lifestyle / Fashion / Luxury category.
Some general observations :
1. Most lifestyle / fashion bloggers are women. We have two boys only : @wearabout and @santumisra
2. While the opinion of whomever I consulted for this was that I must leave out @MissMalini and @hhcguiltfree, I think their inclusion is important because they are a good comparison point. Even though they are in the category of gossip and bollywood etc., they run it as a professional business and charge for it. It’s work and the n00b bloggers need to understand that writing for brands, investing time and effort in creating images, purchasing a domain, etc. are not to be done for free. It is online advertising, marketing & PR and if the brick & mortar agencies charge brands for it, bloggers charge for it too.
3. I have focused on Lifestyle and Fashion bloggers mostly. I asked on Twitter for people’s favorites and it is quite possible I’ve missed out a few.
4. There are six rankings that have then been averaged and the blogs have been ranked accordingly. Global Rank, Local Indian Rank and 3 Month Global Pageview Percentage – all these three from Alexa. Number of Twitter Followers, Facebook Business Page fans and Klout Score. Blogs who did not have any one of these [ or I was unable to find the FB page for example ], have not been included in the ranking but are still listed at the end.
5. The data entered is static – it doesn’t change, hence relevance is merely to show how they stand on a particular date.
6. While most blogs are run by one person, some are run by teams & some like MissMalini.com have a full-fledged employee list.
7. I have only included those blogs that show “India” on Alexa. If it’s a blog run by an Indian but based in the US, it has not been included.
The top 10 blogs in India in the spheres of Lifestyle & Fashion are:
1. MissMalini.com [ Celebrity / Bollywood ] 2. HighHeelConfidential [ Celebrity / Bollywood ]
3. Corallista [ Beauty / Makeup ]
3. Strut120 [ considering how new they are, it’s quite an accomplishment to be already doing so well! ] [ both above are 3 because scores are same ]
5. PeachesAndBlush [ Mostly Beauty & Fashion & Bridal ]
6. LuxuryFacts [ Luxury ] 7. GiaSaysThat
If you want to get Lifestyle / Fashion specific, then the top 10 blogs are:
3. PeachesAndBlush [ Mostly Beauty & Fashion & Bridal ]
If you’re a brand that’s looking at an online awareness campaign, then these are the people you definitely need on your roster. The spreadsheet has more details and depending the brand’s goals, you can decide which metrics make the most sense. For example, if you’re looking at only Klout scores [ based on an algorithm that I don’t have the resources to match ], then the top ten blogs from this spreadsheet will be:
10. Corallista [ Mostly Beauty ]
And finally, you can find the tabled data here : The Spreadsheet : Lifestyle Bloggers in India
I did think of including other data points like presence on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram etc. and even consider whether the blog was a full-time pursuit or something the blogger does on the side apart from a full-time gainful employment. But I didn’t have the time to do it and wasn’t sure how I would find this information anyway.
I spoke with a few bloggers recently and the conclusion that I have drawn is that brands are more aware now of the importance of bloggers and some are handling it professionally but most are still asking for free plugs and sending out cookie-cutter press releases and not making any efforts to engage with bloggers personally.
There is more information sharing amongst bloggers and brands but a lot of it is unfounded gossip. It is ok to keep your cards close to you but not ok to be unprofessional – for bloggers, their clients and readers can see through lies and unprofessionalism quicker than any of us would like to believe. Similarly for brands, bloggers are very aware of what brands are running what campaign and who sends out bad press releases and who does not want to pay. We might not talk about those brands publicly but we all talk about them amongst ourselves.
If there are blogs I’ve missed, please leave a link in the comments below – yes you can link to your own blog. I will add it to the spreadsheet. I have no intentions of constantly updating the spreadsheet but if there’s someone who is willing to donate some time and coding expertise to create an automatically updated spreadsheet, please holler. I might even be willing to pay for it.