This article originally appeared via Forbes.com
B. Scott is one of the most prominent voices in celebrity news and gossip blogging. He launched his gossip and pop culture news website, lovebscott.com, in 2007 and has since interviewed countless celebrities including Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo.
I spoke to Scott about the business aspects of his celebrity news website, and what he thinks the future holds in terms of brand expansion.
Why did you decide to launch lovebscott.com?
It all started when I moved to Los Angeles in 2005. I was doing some print modeling here and there when one of my best friends, Tshaka Muchiteni, and I started blogging for fun. After thinking about how I could make a name for myself, it dawned on me to put my own face on my own website where I would talk about things that interested me. It just so happened that Tshaka was getting increasingly busy with medical school, so I decided to launch lovebscott.com in 2007.
When was the moment that you realized, “Wow, I can really make a good living through my celebrity website?”
I realized I could make a living off of the website pretty early on after I joined my first ad network. Shortly after that, everything blasted off into the stratosphere when I did my first YouTube video in June of 2007. The video went viral and put me on the path to become one of the first ‘YouTube Celebrities.’
What are your viewership numbers like?
We reach millions of unique visitors per month at lovebscott.com. Our social media presence reaches into the tens of millions. It’s incredible how much the site has grown over the last decade and continues to grow on a daily basis. Oftentimes, I forget how many people regularly visit the website until I’m out and about somewhere and a love muffin, what I call my fans, comes up to me to chat about a story we ran. It’s surreal to be considered the #1 Black celebrity blogger with one of the biggest voices in celebrity news and entertainment. That’s something that I’m very proud of and grateful for.
How do you monetize your website?
We monetize in several different ways. Of course visitors of the site see a bunch of display ads, but our capabilities extend far beyond that.
We work with a lot of different brands to figure out the best way to achieve whatever marketing goal they might have, whether it’s live tweeting an awards show, covering an event, or trying a product that I find interesting or that I think my love muffins would be interested in. I have a really large audience that companies really want to get in front of, so it’s all about making sure that I leverage that audience in a way that’s both financially beneficial and brand consistent.
What makes you stand out from the competition?
Is there any competition? Well, there’s only one B. Scott!
I’ve built a brand, name, and reputation that people know and trust. We have a very distinct way of taking all the pieces of a story and putting them together in a way that’s easy for our audience to digest. There have been so many different factors that have fed into my ‘B. Scott’ brand. I’ve done YouTube, television appearances, my Sirius/XM radio show, advice columns, back-to-back celebrity exclusives and interviews, and dare I say, my own personal scandals. The list goes on. I think it’s safe to say I’m not your typical celebrity blogger.
After being in this business for 10 years, I’ve learned that you have to run your own race. You have to focus on what makes you truly unique, and just be consistent. I’ve watched many people come and go, and I’ve seen other sites change and rearrange and close.
As my late father used to say, “To be around, you have to stay around,” I’ve been here and I’ll continue to be here. A part of being able to stay around is having a great team, and I’ve been blessed to have a right-hand man, Denver Blackwell, who really helps to keep everything running smoothly.
What is the role of social media in your brand?
Social media plays a huge role in what I do. My job is to know what people are talking about and what people want to talk about.
And, more importantly, social media is how I’m able to connect to my love muffins. My love muffins are truly the wind beneath my wings. People always want to dismiss being a “celebrity blogger” who blogs about celebrity gossip and entertainment as something negative, or shameful, but there’s nothing negative in providing people with something they enjoy. For me, there’s nothing more fulfilling and purposeful than to see my audience actively engaged both with me and with each other.
How have you used TV/video in your work?
How haven’t I? From my very first appearance on ‘The Tyra Banks Show’ in 2009 to my present day regular spots on HLN, television has played a major part in helping people to connect with my personality and brand.
What was your initial target demographic?
When I first started out, my demographic was anyone who would pay attention.
Back when I was starting in 2005, it was before Facebook FB +1.09% really took off, before Twitter TWTR -2.28% existed, and even before Instagram. There was no guide, it was all just trial and error…and MySpace.
There were no real analytics. I did videos and wrote about things that interested me. I’m thankful that a lot of people connected to what I was doing, even though at times I wasn’t even sure what it was.
As time evolved and technology progressed, it was then I was able to see who my demographic was and start making relevant content and branding decisions.
Who wound up becoming the demographic that reads the site?
Our demographic is primarily millennial women of color.
What are your goals moving forward?
You know, honestly I get asked this question all the time. For years, I was fixated on this idea of doing my own TV show.
But, I’ve realized that the culmination of the people we reach on a daily basis with lovebscott.com is greater than any sort of television show I could do. My goal is to do what we currently do, but even better. So many people are trying to ‘get’ to another place instead of taking the time to appreciate where they’re at. At this point in my life I want to enjoy where I’m currently at and continue to explore what interests me while diversifying my revenue streams and growing my investments.