0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence
Blokely is an independent men's lifestyle challenger brand, only available online.
5-10 seconds: What's the business model?
We're a content publisher, so we make money through ad revenue. But I have the aspiration to add "lifestyle applications" to our site, which will create ancillary e-commerce revenues. Think of us as a lifestyle hub, starting with content and becoming a more holistic platform as we grow.
10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?
Broad-base men's lifestyle magazines with a web presence and pure-play men's lifestyle websites. Shortlist, GQ, Esquire and AskMen would feature. We are very much "David" to their "Goliath" right now.
15-20 seconds: What's your USP?
Blokely is a free, work-safe hub for progressive and original men's lifestyle content. We represent the next generation of lifestyle brand, focussing directly on the web user's needs.
20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?
We are self-funded.
25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?
I did and still do own a second web property, Insurance4everyone.co.uk. This is a niche insurance site. Blokely is a sister site and represents strong diversification for us.
30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?
Blokely was born out of a low-key blog. The name is intended to challenge the male stereotype. It is an adjective for men, as yet, undefined. We want our evolution to define it and in its process, help men feel a little less prescribed and a little more respected. Men are in crisis right now, they don't know what they are expected to be.
35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?
We have been realistic. We decided to walk before we could run for the first quarter of this year. We have invested wisely and that initial investment has enabled us to clearly identify future revenue channels. We're focused on building a platform that's more than just a collection of stories and articles. True lifestyle content should have an application as well as an educational dimension.
40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?
Not launching with a mobile site or pay wall element to the site. Although sometimes it's best just to run with the minimal credible offering and quickly fill the gaps. It was always going to take time to build a viable platform in the sector we're competing for.
45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?
A chocolate hobnob. We've got that vein of energy-inducing chocolate and a nutty persona crammed full of substance. We go well with a cup of tea at break time and we taste equally good when consumed at the office or at home. You can eat us on the move and we've a few new variants to our core recipe coming out that won't detract from our original offering. We'll only get better with each bite, where other biscuits melt and wither.
50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?
Google. It's the ultimate business model. By harnessing information and monetising it so effectively, Google has becomea byword for web search. The user has always been at the core of Google's model. When Larry and Sergey pledged to 'do no evil' with their idea, we all wanted to believe in the value of that. If they can achieve goodness and profit in the long run, in fifty years when people look back, that would make any burgeoning businessperson jealous!
55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?
Blokely will be a multi-faceted men's lifestyle site with a smattering of overseas web presences. We'll be a recognisable name in the men's lifestyle market, with a reputation of successfully breaking cover from our competitor's comfort zones. Our readers will enjoy an enhanced focus on the balance between editorial quality and quantity. A broad-based appeal will also be complimented by several specialist areas of the site and innovative ways of delivering [and funding] new talent and premium content to market.
*We'll also have moved to shiny new premises; where the taps are all packed and pressurised with Grand Cru red wine. At lunch, we'll dine in a canteen that only serves meals personally endorsed by Jamie Oliver. Our doors and Willy Wonker-like secrets will be guarded by a sturdy security team, which incidentally will all be ex-SAS troopers and Ghurkhas. A fountain of positivity and potential shall pool from our lobby into a river of hope, a river that flows into the sea of manliness. Upon that sea, our blokely vessels navigate, laden with the produce of our content and creative laboratories. In short, we could just about manage to save the male half of the world.
**60 seconds is sometimes far too long to let an imaginative mind with a sense of humour wander…
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