Branding and the Molls

As one of the mainstay figures across the landscape of personal blogging success stories, Molly McAleer — or “Molls” as she is known to the online world – is a strange, brilliant, and brutally honest animal in the great jungle of the online. But what does the rise of the personal blogger mean, exactly? Is the personal brand the new face of journalism? And how does this notion affect the noble craft of public relations?

Firstly, Molls falls into that early crowd of Tumblr elite, having gained prominence with the rise of the microblogging platform when switching over from Vox in 2008. In fact, her personal site (and it certainly is personal) is actually quite barren; a simple, cut and dry theme that’s not shy on white space. With a focus on content, the space offers a stream of consciousness that is easily accessible and, well, a refreshing return to simplicity – put simply.

Having recently caught up with the crew at Bitchin’ Kitchen, Molls offered some candid insights on the oft-chaotic world of blogging and the culture behind internet celebrity.

Molls doesn’t stray from giving up some hard-learned lessons from her early days either. Notably, she cautions the all-too-candid bloggers to set boundaries: “Figure out what you’d never comfortably talk about in front of your parents or co-works and use that as a guide for what’s appropriate.”

From a marketing perspective the notion of a “personal brand” has been a focal point of discussion in terms of blogger outreach and relations. As expected, Molls chimes in on the debate with her own approach to successfully representing yourself online.

“I think that, in personal blogging, your “personal brand” is what we used to call a “voice”. I do think that the concept of it has become tired and that some bloggers/branders become too self-aware of their schtick and the fun gets taken out of it.”

Signing off the interview with a last piece of web wisdom, Molls offers up her own views of what makes one truly worth the precious screen time.

“I think what’s more important than intentionally attempting to market yourself is to stay in line with your initial vision while allowing some room for growth and natural human development. That’s marketable. That’s what people want to stick around for.”

Whether or not marketers remain cautious of this growing army of personal bloggers, there’s no question that they are garnering audiences that rival those of traditional outlets. Amidst the chaos of the online, we, as marketers, are faced with an ever-changing tide of “Likes”, “Reblogs”, “Memes” and the next great web phenomenon. The rulebook is out the window, folks — time to sink or swim.

You can find more from Molls on the wildly distracting site, Hello Giggles, which she helms alongside producer Sophia Rossi and Hollywood darling, Zooey Dechanel.

Photo credit: The Molls Show