If I asked you who Mario Lavandeira was, most of you probably wouldn’t know… But if I asked you who Perez Hilton was, the response would be almost immediate. Just like I did a breakdown of how Guy Kawasaki uses his name for branding power, Mario Lavandeira has done the same… but in this case, without using his “real” name.
Everywhere you look, you see Perez Hilton somewhere… in addition to his power house blog, he’s always on TV (whether it be his own show, or a guest appearance)… but now he’s moving his name into his fashion, cosmetic and music. So where did this Perez Hilton come from and how in just three years did his blog become so popular (and help make blogging popular in the process)? As reported by Wire Magazine… here’s how Mario Lavandeira went from an unemployed fame-obsessed loner, to a celebrity super blogger that can rake in over $50,000 a day!
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The blogs-to-riches story of Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr. is the stuff of online legend. In 2004, during what he calls “the worst year of my life,” he was a fame-obsessed loner who had just been fired from a reporting job at Star magazine. (“It poisoned my soul,” he says.) Dreaming of becoming an actor, he moved from New York to LA, unemployed and broke. Too cheap to pay for Internet access at home, he set up shop at a local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. There, enjoying the free Wi-Fi, he stumbled across a few personal blogs. He thought of writing an online diary of his own but concluded that his life was too boring.
Then he had what his idol, Ms. Winfrey, would call his a-ha moment: He realized that it was easier to be a famous blogger than a famous actorâ€”all you needed was an oversize persona to stand out from the keystroking horde. In September 2004, he set up a free site using Blogger, chose a bland beige template, and began tapping out his musings. Over the course of a year, they evolved into what is now the hot-pink PerezHilton.com. (The site’s original name, PageSixSixSix.com, had to be changed after the New York Post, home to the “Page Six” gossip column, filed a lawsuit.) [Source: Wired.com]
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Now that we have a quick breakdown of the Mario Lavandeira to Perez Hilton background, let’s take a look at some of his growth and revenue numbers. Keep in mind… four years ago (PerezHilton.com launched in September, 2004), none of knew who Mario Lavandeira or Perez Hilton were!
Power Blogger Worth Millions
– Ads on the PerezHilton.com homepage fetch up to $54,000 a day, and his overhead is minimalâ€”his only employee is his sister Barby, who fields emails and corrects typos. Which means he’s pulling down millions a year. The site now averages 198 million page views a month, according to the Web ratings service Quantcast. Nielsen Online estimates that while visitors to TMZ.com, one of his main competitors, stay only 15 minutes, those on Hilton’s site linger for 45 minutes. (Click here for ad pricing)
Making the Jump from Internet to TV
– In 2006, he pitched a reality show based on his day-to-day activities ”blogging and bitching about celebrities and VH1 snapped it up.
The Power of Your Voice
– When he announced on his site, incorrectly, that Fidel Castro was dead (Hilton’s family fled Cuba for Florida in the ’60s), the Huffington Post and the Drudge Report picked up the item (albeit with skepticism). When Bloomberg invited him to be its guest at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington, he was seated next to Tracey Ullman, who gushed, “I read your site every day!” For his LA-based novel, Bright Shiny Morning, author James Frey interviewed Hilton and modeled the character of a flamboyant gossip monger on him.
New Content Keeps them Coming Back for More
– Perez Hilton makes on average 24 posts per day day, but can post as many as 40 on a day depending on the craziness of the celebrity gossip world, and who might have flipped a switch that day.
To Mario Lacandeira, the past few years have been nothing short of a “rags to riches” dream come true… not only by the power of the internet, but by the power of motivation and doing what you do best. Mario took Perez Hilton to what it is today, despite all of his set backs and criticism by others. Not only does he now has the fame, the money and the life style… but he’s doing what he enjoys and does best… being the Queen of all Media!
My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.
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