Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Mark St. James and I started On Your Mark, A men's journey, style, and skincare blog in 2008. The assumption was vastly different in its infancy than what it is today, but the idea of providing honest, satirical writing and product reviews has remained the same.
My articles is the product I "sell" My honest reviews of products and Clothing are a value add for clueless men wanting to find out more about skincare routines, the way to tie a tie, or just the way to clean your shoes. Although the reader doesn't pay me straight, their presence on my site generates ad revenue as well as the businesses that want their products featured on my website pay a reasonable price.
My unique writing style and honest criticism of style have landed me on a slew of news outlets including CNN, CBC’s The National, Global News, and ET Canada to name a few. With 140,000+ fans, friends, views, and followers, I’ve managed to generate a monthly income of around $2,000 with peaks and valleys.
What is your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
With my experience in retail from a young age (18), I heard so much about fashion, styling, and what not to do. It was this knowledge and interest that allowed me to become an authority in the domain of things style. As a fat kid, I was much better at teaching than doing this I started writing. My readers liked the honest approach I took and laughed at, and together with me . Then I dropped some weight and was able to showcase the clothing and fashions I was toting. This allowed me to become a model of types focusing on commercials and being showcased as a new ambassador for assorted trend lines.
What set me apart from other bloggers that were natural young beauties In a world dominated by youth-obsessed readers was my articles. I would always write 300+ word articles for each and every piece and rather than relying on appearances, I put from the research and work and provided a value-add to my readers. They came back to laugh and read but what I found most interesting was how I would get more and more new subscribers.
Today, 96 percent of my readers are new. Also liked the fact I was doing original articles, original images, and my own videos to cooperate with it on Youtube therefore I ended up ranking for key phrases like "Men's Eyelashes,"What Colour Matches Brown" and,"What to wear to some physical" (do not ask). These posts keep my traffic consistent without having to bend to the will of what people need me to be like so I can be authentic and receive the traffic. Not needing to be enjoyed is a powerful thing.
Keeping up with the Jones' was tough once I began. Running a Fashion blog dedicated to high trend was very rough on my budget and also for a long time, it had been KD for dinner. After I discovered how to strategy brands, created a nice media apparel, also got a great supervisor, I started seeing a return. The overhead of my businesses was my cupboard (much to the chagrin of my partner), but I shortly found a magical place called a consignment shop which places back a lot of revenue for the pieces I wore lightly a couple of times.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product
My merchandise was my videos and writing. They were both fairly rough When I found my blog. I worked on learning how to write, I took English classes on line as a native speaker, and that helped considerably. I then was a sponge to what SEO related. I became an expert in writing articles which was enjoyable to read and adored by the various search engines.
Alt text of images, keywords, a proper SEO title, finding keywords And phrases that got hunts, content length, excerpts, locating the tools that functioned to help me learn niches in markets that my competition would not think to write about but individuals were searching for replies. These are the things which set me apart from my competitors and also put me on top when brands were searching for influencers. It is a method that worked in my favor 5 years back, and those articles are still producing the majority of my visitors now. This traffic is earning me passive ad earnings and potential collaborations.
Describe the process of launching the business
The first site was a disaster and a monster to load and operate. I Quickly turned to a local hosting company with a habit templated site utilizing Genesis on a WordPress CMS. This is my vehicle to bring in ad bucks, so I always keep the tank clean and fortunately found an extremely knowledgeable programmer to work together with me continuously keeping my website running smoothly.
Content is king. Without taking the time to research and craft a great article that is fun to read and informative, you’ll lose the interest of viewers and won’t see growth.
At the last two months, I have rebranded in the Marquis of Fashion to In Your Mark YVR which had some hiccups in the transition but overall was a success. Some elements of the old site are still there but it is a work in progress.
Since launching, what has worked to attract and retain clients?
Years back and got the counselling I wanted. It helped me overcome type two PTSD and work during my divorce and dad problems. I was clear about these problems on my website and my readers might relate.
I received an outpouring of support and messages from guys in similar situations. We bonded and I have made lifelong friends with people all over the world by building up each other and creating a safe space for men to recognize it's okay, not being ok. This alone has allowed my brand to continue and strengthen.
In terms of PR, it had been an accidental dream. People would share the Content and urge me to their friends leading to increased traffic and more opportunities. I have also made my site Vancouver (Canada) concentrated as I transferred here on August 1, 2020.
How do you do now and what does the future look like?
Today On Your Mark has taken on new life and is ready for the next chapter. With new collaborations knocking on the doors, the site has reached a new level where I must do less door knocking and much more of everything I really love, writing.
My prices are minimal, site hosting, yearly URL registration, and Salary for my part-time web programmer and photographer. 75% of my earnings are gain because buying clothes for the website barely feels like an expense.
Through beginning the business, have you heard anything especially helpful or valuable?
Content is still king. Without taking the time to research and craft a Fantastic article that is fun to read and informative, you'll drop the interest of audiences and won't see growth. Learn algorithms and keep current with all the changes that may impact you. Do not ever use blackhat techniques as they are for short term profit and the Search Engines understand much better. You may be on top one day but at the very end of the day you'll lose your credibility and get no traffic.
Where do you bury a body? Page 2 of Google.
So stay on top of SEO trends and work .
1 thing I would suggest is to be nice. I've had a Good Deal of VERY Negative interactions that have affected people poorly in their field of work. PR supervisors, members of the press, along with other bloggers. The shark tank is simply as bloody as you make it. Elevate yourself to avoid these negative interactions and you'll wind up on top each time, even if it's not today. It will be in the long term.
Be authentic to the purpose of uncomfortably. No one cares about top-level chit chat. They want the meat and potatoes of who you are as a individual and credibility deserves attention. It took me a while to get past the fluff and write truly genuine content. Can I end up losing friends due to the content I wrote? Yes, I have. But I'm happier about it since they weren't real friends, to begin with.
Getting authentic weeds out people in your life who do not belong there In the first location. Water finds its depth. Find yours and live there. Those would be the friendships worth spending time on.
Things you do not. When I decided to take English courses at Athabasca University I had been very confident in my skills to write efficiently. I quickly learned I had plenty to learn. This let me challenge myself and my language and be better at what I do.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
My website is the tool I use most. It's a custom genesis theme which is employed on a WordPress CMS. I also use Google for Publishers Another helpful instrument I have with me is a thesaurus and Dictionary because too frequently these are left to collect dust when they should be front and centre.
What have been the most influential podcasts, books, or other sources?
When I write I do a lot of resources studying from university-level Fashion textbooks and colour referencing guides etc., so those help me out a lot. But when I'm not working, I proceed the complete polar opposite path and engage in mind-numbing fantasy books to unwind. Obviously, I am always watching fashion shows and maintaining up to date with news surrounding my favorite brands so I could integrate that into my writing.
Advice for different entrepreneurs who wish to get started or are just starting?
I really don't think it matters what business You're working in, take the Time to think about the message that you want to send and permit yourself to find out more about this message along with the area you're entering into. I found myself in the field I knew a great deal about so it helped me understand where to find the tools I had to become more knowledgeable in my area. Never quit learning.
Finally, be true. Anyone can spot a fake and playing the sport as Anything but your true self will eventually haunt you. Meditate and keep your physical and psychological health in check. Love yourself.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Regrettably due to COVID, my management firm went belly up so that I Otherwise, Presently, I am not hiring as I have created this business model not to Require additional personnel. Obviously, anything can change.