What Gwyneth Can Teach You About Blogging

Love or hate her, Gwyneth Paltrow has shown the world the power of blogging and vlogging with self-belief and passion as a recipe for blockbuster success, turning her website Goop into a mega-million dollar global lifestyle brand. What lessons can you learn to promote yourself and your business?

When golden Gwyneth launched her lifestyle super-blog Goop (a name derived from her childhood nickname) in 2008, encouraging readers to “nourish the inner”, reactions varied from disbelief and ridicule to slavish awe. Mostly the latter, as it transpires.

Her (many) detractors scoffed, and still do, that a privileged Manhattan princess, progeny of showbusiness royalty (Bruce Paltrow and Blythe Danner), with a triple A-list lifestyle and address book, once engaged to Brad Pitt and subsequently married to Cold Play icon Chris Martin (bearing two predictably gorgeous but oddly-named children) … oh, and she won an Oscar along the way … would even dare to presume what “ordinary” people wanted.

She was seen as obnoxiously smug – worse, that she was flaunting her wealth, fame and stellar connections, with besties including Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Cameron Diaz, Stella McCartney and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Her godfather is Steven Spielberg.

Ask any top designer, from Valentino (pictured with her, above) to Versace, Stella McCartney to Karl Lagerfeld, who they want to see in their couture on the red carpet – Gywneth is on the list every time. Naturally, of course, she’s personal friends with all of them.

Who is this indulged celebrity, she of the incredible body, perfect skin, teeth and blonde hair, to tell real people how to live their lives, what to eat, how to exercise, how to raise children, what to wear?

But Gwyneth forged on, seemingly uncaring about the derision. Who knows what she really felt, but she didn’t let it get in the way of her vision and self-belief. In the spotlight she remained ever-serene, poised … and determined. Who’s laughing now?!

Eight years on, Gwyneth is as clean, lean and serene as ever. Her website attracts four million views per month and more than a million subscribe to her weekly newsletters.

Gwyneth fairly launched the so-called “clean food” revolution, creating a super-industry and opening the door for a generation of wellness warrior/food bloggers.

Her recipe books sell like gluten- and sugar-free vegan hotcakes – sales of kale boomed by 38 per cent after she featured it liberally in her first book.

She embraces “woo woo” trends that she believes in and they go through the roof – and don’t happen to hurt sales of products on the e-commerce section of the Goop website.

Take her blog about “apitherapy”, an ancient therapy based on the belief the belief that letting bees sting you can help to calm inflammation and heal scarring on the skin.

“You know when you start hearing about the same thing from different people at around the same time?” she blogged.

“This has been happening lately in regard to, well, bees. I was recently given `bee venom therapy’ for an old injury and it disappeared.

“I was recommended bee pollen, raw honey and propolis for various purposes. So far, these recommendations have worked for me.”

Coincidence or no, the blog came just as the Goop range of skincare products was launched, to raptures from fans and beauty bloggers.

So .. just say you don’t possess Gwyneth Paltrow’s highly-honed appearance, her fame, wealth or connections(!). What can you learn from Gwyn and Goop?


Gwyneth has adopted just the right balance of vulnerability and self-revelation, along with a few carefully chosen causes, generously blended with passion and compassion, and has a penchant for exploring the “out there” (think “steam cleans” for down under regions) – all the while upholding her clean living philosophy. She doesn’t stray from her core message.

Lesson: What image do you want to project? Decide “who” you want to be, whether to promote your personal profile or your business (or both at the same time) and keep that at the forefront of your mind whenever posting.

Is what you post in keeping with the values and image you say you are espousing? Straying off-message will confuse and possibly alienate followers.


Gwyneth regularly poses in bikinis or undies on her Instagram site, leading to lucrative endorsement deals with mega brands such as Max Factor and designers like Hugo Boss, Coach and Tod’s.

Anyone who works out that hard and is so disciplined about what they eat (and don’t eat) and has a body like that at 43 has every reason to want to show it off.

But we suspect it’s not about narcissism, but promoting Brand Gwyneth and the commercial success it drives.

Lesson: Even if it’s against your nature to promote yourself, consider how personalising your blogs or social media accounts with photos of yourself and your experiences could spike more of a following. The flip side of the coin here is that posting too many “look at me” selfies could be extremely polarising with your intended audience.


Your network is gold. Whether they are friends, colleagues or former colleagues, clients or contacts you make along the way, cherish them.

Only if you have very good reason would you be advised ever to speak ill of anyone in a public forum: bad karma, bad for your reputation and ultimately for business.

Gwyneth famously tempted the boundaries when, after she had introduced former friend Madonna to her personal trainer, Tracy Anderson – the trainer responsible for so many hard-bodied celebs – Gwyneth was said to be angry at the “brutal” way Madonna ditched Tracy and froze her out. And made her feelings publicly clear.

It caused a sensation at the time, but Gwyneth stood up for what – and who – she believed in.

Lesson: It doesn’t seem to have hurt her, but we suggest it takes having considerable public clout to be seen so publicly taking sides. Think carefully about the battles you engage in via a public forum.


Gwyneth knows how to “consciously uncouple” with strategic grace – nothing so vulgar as a “marriage split” after she and Chris Martin decided to part after 11 years as husband and wife!

It was announced via Goop, under the headline Conscious Uncoupling, with a statement from the couple: “We always will be a family and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been.”

The phrase “conscious uncoupling” – Gwyneth swears she didn’t know this would be the headline – was coined by psychotherapist Katherine Woodward Thomas, who believes divorce can be a positive thing.

A master stroke. Yes, maybe it was the perfect divorce, but we’d never know, would we?

It was subject to mass mockery but, as Gwyneth said: “We broke the f****** internet!” Millions flocked to Goop to read the statement.

Lesson: When imparting not-so-good news, try to keep it nice, and upbeat. It could avert a public relations disaster – indeed, work in your favour!


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