28 Jun Feature: Chuck Lapointe, Founder of MTL Blog & Narcity Media
Reading time: 4 minutes
Internet enthusiast and CEO of Narcity Media, Chuck Lapointe talks to LLEGANCE this week about all things blogging.
That’s right, at a young age Chuck Lapointe took it upon himself to build an online brand out of Montreal with a blog he called, MTL Blog.
Now, this super successful entrepreneur runs a company that manages over 10 blogs across North America.
Keep reading to find out more about Chuck Lapointe and his predictions on the future of blogging.
AZ: What’s your career background and how did you get the idea to start MTL Blog?
CL: I started building websites when I was a kid. I always admired how a business and brand could be started with minimal resources from scratch online. I worked in advertising for 4 years in my early twenties and decided to go all in on MTL Blog when I turned 25.
MTL Blog started off as a Facebook page grouping up party pictures of people we’d photograph at events around Montreal. We’d pass out “business cards” so people would go like our page and tag themselves in the photos. Not really conceivable to do now in 2019…
The brand really kicked off when we started doing editorial / listicle type content for Montreal’s english student community in 2013.
AZ: What made you want to expand and create multiple blogs under Narcity, as opposed to focusing on MTL Blog?
CL: MTL Blog, as great of a brand it is, has geographical limitations that limits us to Montreal and its surrounding cities. After seeing the traction we were getting after only 1 year of operations, my partners and I started brainstorming on how we could expand this to multiple cities. We wanted to build one brand that wouldn’t be limited to one city and would appeal to everyone. That’s when Narcity was created.
We launched Narcity in Toronto in September 2014. The first month we launched, we hit 250,000 organic users. The name and content resonated much more than we expected.
AZ: What were a few struggles you encountered as a new entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
CL: If I’m being honest, everything is a struggle as a new entrepreneur. The only “non struggles” you have are things you’re good at and comfortable with. That is usually only 15% of the work you’re actually doing as a new business owner. We’re almost entirely self-funded, so you have to be nimble, strategic and make tough choices very often.
I’d say I overcame (and still do) most of the struggles by tackling them head first with boldness and determination. It’ll backfire sometimes but that’s part of the game. You just need to realize that you don’t know everything and that’s totally OK. Don’t give up and make sure you have people that support you day in and day out.
AZ: In your opinion, what does the future of blogging look like and why?
CL: “Personal blogging” will be centralized on platforms like Tumblr, Medium and WordPress.com. You’ll be able to make money by focusing on your content and engaging with your readers, as opposed to designing your website or installing widgets. There’s hundreds of thousands of new content pieces going out on the internet every day. If you want to compete, you need to do it with unique storytelling, a great brand and a ridiculous amount of consistency.
We’ve been focusing on local news and travel content for the last 3 years and it’s just starting to pay off. I think local is going to be a big thing in the next 5 to 10 years if you look at where Facebook, Instagram and Google are headed.
AZ: What is the dress code at Narcity and what is your view on work attire?
CL: Absolutely no dress code. We have a strong remote work culture where people work in their pyjamas all day. I don’t understand “digital first” companies who require a dress code honestly, unless you’re meeting with clients.
AZ: What do you suggest someone wear to an interview in the social media / blogging industry?
CL: Don’t come in a suit and tie. Wear casual business clothes to your interview, show creativity and show colour. We hire based off of skills and experience, not how fancy your shirt is. Just make sure you shower first.
AZ: Favourite spots to shop at for clothing in MTL and Toronto?
CL: Oh dear… I don’t buy clothes often, but when I do, I usually stick to the mainstream stores like Zara ans The Gap. I like to shop minimalistic so those are usually my go-to spots. I should definitely start looking into buying more local clothing though.
AZ: What can we expect from you and Narcity in the following months?
CL: At the moment, we’re working on solidifying our Canadian news team in time for the elections. We have made some great hires in the last few months which we’re excited about. We’re also working hard on our video offering and our USA expansion. Too many things, too little time!
For more on Chuck Lapointe, follow him on Instagram.