MY LIFE: I hosted my first Book Signing event!

Last week I hosted my very first book signing event for my book, Jack and Ahlia. Oh my, what an adventure! Of course everything that could go wrong, did (outfit change, mistaken haircut, books coming in late). BUT everything that could go right was MORE than perfect! From the location, to the treats, to everyone who brought a friend, I was overwhelmed with love and support!

White Bison Coffee was the spot for the event. The staff at White Bison was amazing! They made amazing treats and coffee drinks for all my guests. Seriously, White Bison is one of my FAVORITE new coffee spots in Nashville. Located in the newly updated Centennial industry area, you’ll get an amazing cup of coffee and delicious homemade treats.

After everyone had their treats and their book we held a Q&A about the characters and the story of Jack and Ahlia. Thank you to fellow blogger, Karla B (Your Truly, KB) for hosting the session. Y’all, she asked all the deep questions. She had me thinking about the themes of love, loss, and friendship (covered in the book). More than a romance novel, I wanted to discuss how/what causes people to make the decision to betray.

Then it was time to sign all the books! Listen, every since I was in the 7th grade I’ve wanted to write a book. My degree in English was obtained just so I could do it. I have to admit that fear caused me to pause my dream. But, no more. After completing this project, I’m ready to start the next book! I’m an author y’all and I’m not afraid to say it.

I guarantee, I’ll make my first million dollars from one of my books. I have so many amazing ideas floating around and I can’t wait to develop these new characters. I’m happy you guys are along for the ride. How many times can I say “Thank you!”? The limit does not exist!

Oh yeah, books are available on Amazon AND I have a couple books available that can be signed and sent out to you. Just send me an email and I got you!

Shout out to my vendors: Draping & Design – Exquisite Appeal, Food and Beverage – White Bison TN, Makeup – ShowMeYourTeeth, and Photography – Patrick Webster.

I wrote a book, y’all!

Purchase your copy of Jack and Ahlia today!

MY LIFE: Athleisure feature in FABUPLUS Spring 2018

I’m so excited to have my first feature of 2018 in FabUPlus magazine! Yes! The team at FabUPlus contacted me about their Spring 2018 Issue, ‘Athleisure’ Story. Y’all know I’m the queen of sneakers and dresses! I was more than happy to supply the magazine with a photo in one of my fave looks:

This bomb body con dress & clutch from ASOS (2015) and one of my fave pairs of sneakers, the Airmax 90s are a GREAT example of rocking the ATHLEISURE trend. Seriously, this is my summer uniform and I’m not ashamed. As a matter of fact, let me stock up on more body con dresses for Summer 2018. I’ve already made a commitment to update my sneaker collection, can’t tell me nuthin. Athleisure is all about mixing the glam with the comfy! Can I be the formal representative of this campaign? Because I GET IT!

Anyway, when it comes to #Bloggerlife, this photo is an example of what I posted last week on Blogging While Broke – using photos repeatedly. This photo was taken back in 2015 (maybe 2014). Anyway, I was able to use it again for this story. Get all your money’s worth when hiring a photog. BLOGGER TIP: If the photo is awesome, your readers need to see it at least two times.

So, check out the Spring 2018 Issue of FabUPlus. Denise Mercedes is on the cover and the issue is all about plus-fitness. You can pick up a copy at Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million!

#Bloggerlife: Blogging while BROKE!

How do you produce amazing blogs when you have zero dollars in your bank account? Let’s talk about it! ‘I love us FOR REAL!’, but a lot of bloggers are BROKE. Don’t let these photos fool you. Sometimes, the blog barely gives you enough money for a cup of coffee.  Below, I give you FIVE tips to help turn a profit, gain popularity, and not lose your mind in this #BloggerLife!

I’ve been blogging for almost 11 years and the number one question I receive is, “How do you make money by blogging?” I would love to fill the listener’s ear with stories about sponsored trips, mailboxes full of products, and closets filled with clothes. But truthfully it takes ALOT of hard work to get to that level.

Truth is, most bloggers make $3.50 a day! A recent survey of 1500 bloggers told the real story: 7% surveyed make $1000 – $10k a month, while 9% make over $10k but FAR less than a million (source). With more than THREE MILLION bloggers out there, you have to be really CONSISTENT to get to the top. Oh yeah, most bloggers have a FULL-TIME job (like me) and they blog! It’s tiring and It’s hella frustrating as you attempt to balance two lives while not comparing your blog to the girl who’s ‘not as cute as you’ but still posting pictures from Paris!

How much you could make would depend on several factors, including how often you blog, the quality of your content, how competitive your topic is, and how effective you are at building an audience and generating traffic. Plus a generous sprinkling of luck.

So let’s focus on the PLAN. Many think you need to have BIG BUCKS to create these gorgeous blog posts. And while that may be true, some practical techniques can get more eyes on your posts and more coins in your pockets. Let’s get started.

  • Ask Questions, Make Friends, Join Groups – New blogger, new niche, or new routine? It’s time for you to ask questions and make friends. Before you write your first paragraph, identify bloggers in your niche. Send emails that ask SPECIFIC questions about growth and failures. Offer to buy them a cup of coffee for their time. Make friends with new bloggers, like you. Join blogging groups that discuss your frustrations. I gurantee these actions will help you save money in the LONG RUN. People are always eager to share stories of success and failure. Glean from them! BONUS: New blogger friends can be a source of sharing when it comes to equipment, photography, and ‘plus one’ invites to swanky activities.
  • Teach Yourself – Yes, girl, USE THAT GOOGLE MACHINE! Before you could buy these blogging classes and online tutorials, you just had to RESEARCH. I taught my self some Level 1 coding, I taught myself how to use my iphone effectively, I taught myself how to edit photos, and even I taught myself how to do my make-up better. All by doing my googles and watching HOURS of YouTube! Whatever you are trying to learn, I gurantee theres a FREE way to figure it out. Then, revert back to step 1, ask a friend to help too.
  • Join #TeamRepeat – When it comes to blogging, photos go a long way! Followers are visual and there’s no getting around the fact that you need photos for your blog. As a style blogger, I always feel ADDED pressure to give you the fashionable looks. When you are a NEW blogger, take a couple photos, and repeat them on your social media posts and EVEN your blog. The photos I’m using today, were used in a 2016 post about Nashville Fashion Week. Remember, everyday you are gaining new followers who have NEVER seen your photos or your posts. Repurpose previous photos, update older blogposts, and keep sharing links on social media.
  • Write Guest Posts – Yes, want to get more eyes on your posts without spending money? Provide you blogging services to a business owner, family member, or fellow blogger. It’s a great way to make some quick cash and a way to promote your content. Also, as you practice your writing skills, it makes you more valuable to brands. They’ll know you are capable of writing great posts.
  • Budget for your blog – As the saying goes, “you have to spend money to make money.” When I first started blogging, I spent way too much money too early in the game. When I revamped my blog, five years in, I set up a blog budget. I may not be able to afford my favorite photog for EVERY post, but I can save money to pay her for my most important posts. I may only have $50 to spend on my blog, I can buy new business cards or pay for my domain. Those are small money saving actions that can help you turn a major profit . . . in the long run.
  • BONUS: MAKE A BLOGGING SCHEDULE AND STAY CONSISTENT! – even when I didn’t have fancy outfit of the day photos and I wasn’t getting invited to events. I still blogged FIVE DAYS A WEEK! The archives are there, take a look. I couldn’t afford Louboutin shoes (still can’t), but I did my googles, sourced some photos, did some research and wrote a post about Louboutin Shoes! That post got me invited to the Green Hills Nordstrom Grand Opening in 2011. If you are travel blogger, that can’t travel yet, write posts about your DREAM vacations. I’m telling you, it works. As I developed my niche and my interests, I posted less but with more intention. Still, my readers can expect at LEAST two posts a week. Try consistency before you spend a DIME!

You notice I didn’t talk about getting attention from brands. That’s a whole other topic that I’m STILL working on. But what’s the point of you EXPECTING a brand to use you, if you can’t build a following, write fresh stories, and use your resources? You worried about the wrong things!

If you can master the tips above, you’ll see your readership jump! Be more than a pretty face, help someone with your posts. Yes, girl, blogging is usually a hobby that turns into a passion project that CAN turn into a full time job. Blogging is frustrating, but if you stay consisitent, make friends, budget, and do your research, you’ll make it in the blogging game!

I believe in YOU! Did these tips help? Let me know in the comment section.

Also, wanna partner with me? CLICK HERE!

Hello March, Hello Hustle!

Hello March and Hello HUSTLE! It’s GO TIME on fabglance.com. It’s the beginning of HUSTLE SEASON! Spring brings warmer weather and more activities. Expect to see me out & about, selling books, getting fit, and prepping for summer! No more time for cozy night of ‘Netflix & Chill’, Cookies & Cozy, or Drinks & Distractions! I got places to go and people to see!

What’s going on with FabGlance in MARCH?

Well, over at Team Fabglance, it’s BOOK SELLING SEASON! I’d like to thank everyone for purchasing a copy of Jack and Ahlia! Sales are going great, but it’s time to KICK IT UP A NOTCH! Make sure to get you ticket for the official book signing event, MARCH 17th, at While Bison Coffee. Tickets are available on Eventbrite and include a copy of the book plus refreshments.

Oh yeah! For the month of MARCH, you can DOWNLOAD your copy of Jack and Ahlia for $0.99! Yup! OR if you buy the paperback ($9.99) on amazon, you get a digital download for FREE. It’s my way of making the book accessible for everyone. Oh yeah, I have a FIVE STAR rating on Amazon. *insert smile emoji*

Oh yeah, it’s FASHION SEASON in Nashville. With Nashville Fashion Week heading up the season, expect to see me at tons of fashion and festive events. You know I’ll take you with me. From art exhibits to movie premieres, expect to see me on the scene. Make sure to follow me on INSTAGRAM for all the details.

In addition to Nashville Fashion Week, I’m excited to be on the creative team for the Elegant Ladies Fashion Show 2018! You know this is one of my favorite events to work with because their show not only spotlights FASHION but dedicated money to scholarship for women going to college. Fashion & education! Yes!

Ok, I’m sure I’m missing out on some stuff. But those are big events in prepping for. Follow me on the socials -> @fabglance EVERYWHERE. Of course I’ll be hitting you with some #BloggerLife posts, some outfit inspo, and motivation. Thanks so much for rocking with me! Let’s impress ourselves this month!

A fashionable brunch for Nashville Fashion Week 2018!

The 2nd annual Nashville Fashion Week Blogger Brunch was amazing! Thank you to the team at Nashville Fashion Week for asking me to co-host this event. I’m always excited to see my blogger baes out and about and for the start of the fashion season in the city. Let talk about what we did and what I wore:

Courtesy of the Thompson Nashville

The Blogger Brunch, held at the Thompson Hotel’s L.A. Jackson rooftop restaurant, was a great time to network, take photos, and learn more about what’s gonna happen at Nashville Fashion Week 2018. Seriously, make your way to this boutique hotel, the restuarants are so fly. It’s a bit of fancy right in the middle of the city.

Nashville Fashion Week, 2018, is gonna be pretty freaking amazing, so you better get your tickets soon. The best change is that the event will take place in one place, OZ Arts Nashville. This allows the team and production staff to transform the space into a different vibe, EVERY NIGHT. Also, it makes it easy on attendee: More accessible parking, location recognition, affordable pricing.

Also, I have to mention the increased DIVERSITY in the show. From designers, to models, to marketing, I see NFW really making an effort to include more people of color in the production. We know, black and brown people are underepresented in the fashion industry, so it’s always good to take note when postive changes are being made.

Shot by Searcy Studios

So, what did your girl wear? LISTEN! I had to stunt on them real quick with this embroidered a-line bomber from Eleven60. Y’all this jacket is amazing. I chose to wear it with an ivory body-con dress and sandals. This is the type of item that speaks for itself and needs no help!

Don’t ever doubt your iphone and a good editing app!

Y’all! Get into it! Seriously, I felt like a trendy princess. I loved the length too! Being 6ft tall, I barely get items that are as long as they are on the model. And the embroidery is to die for! So beautiful and so detailed.

All the blogger baes, shot by Searcy Studios

Once again, thank to the team at Nashville Fashion Week for inviting me to be a co-host for the annual Blogger Brunch. It was amazing to see all these hardworking & stylish individuals combine our powers for sartorial success and supporting Nashville’s independent fashion creators. We are officially in the mix for fashion season in Nashville. Get ready to see more coverage of Nashville Fashion Week pre-events. Hope to see you at the event!

 

(feature photo by Leah Harrington)

Shop With Me: Lane Bryant Denim Happy Hour

The awesome team at Lane Bryant reached out to me to attend their Denim Happy Hour at the store in Mt. Juliet, TN. Truthfully, I haven’t shopped at Lane Bryant in a very long time. I love the Cacique bras & panties, but the clothes haven’t been my jam in a long time. However, after last night’s visit, I think I’ll be visiting Lane Bryant a lot more!

Lane Bryant is introducing their new Super Stretch Skinny Ankle with Power Pockets. Saying the name of these jeans is a mouthful, but your jaw will drop after your try them on. Ladies, it’s time to update your jean collection. These jeans feature tummy controlling technology, no sagging or gaping back, and super stretchy denim that shapes to your body. These jeans are comfy, they have slimming technique, and they don’t sag! Promises made and promises kept!

Y’all, I haven’t worn jeans in a while! Partly because I’ve gained some weight and partly because I never find any that don’t sag in the butt and aren’t too tight in the thigh! These jeans hit all the marks. Only thing I hate is that they don’t come in TALL in the store, only online.

Then, the wonderful manager, Lindsey and the staff at the Mt. Juliet store made me feel like a freaking princess! They were so helpful and encouraged me to try on looks I may have never tried. Like, I can go on and on about the staff. They were amazing with everyone who walked in the door and had a great grasp on the inventory.

All these cute tops!

Visit the Mt. Juliet store today. Also, make sure to try on a pair of their amazing new skinny jeans!! Tell them Fabglance sent you!

MY STYLE: Shop Curves With Purpose

When I found out about Curves With Purpose I was so excited. It’s not very often plus-size women are able to find great casual and work wear pieces that are affordable and well made. I’d never heard of the brand, but when a friend told me about the company I was pleasantly surprised. Curves With Purpose offers 13 exclusive brands in sizes 10-28. Girl, yes, you should get to shopping at Curves With Purpose!

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Buy this Dex Plus ‘Vanessa‘ Dress for 40% off!

Last month, the team at Curves With Purpose reached out to me to host their holiday pop-up shop at Cool Springs Galleria. I got a chance to see the clothes and model one of the garments. I’m here to tell you, the clothes are HIGH quality. The team at Curves With Purpose works hard to give plus-size shoppers a wide variety of looks to purchase.

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So, if you live in Nashville, Curves With Purpose is hosting another Pop-Up Shop at Cool Springs Galleria from Now until February 11th! On top of that, they are offering 40% off all winter looks! You can shop in-store and online! Girl, get to shopping! I know I’ll be stopping by this week to pick-up some new looks.

SHOP CURVES WITH PURPOSE

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MOTIVATION: When Instagram and Facebook aren’t enough …

Welcome to my NEW #Bloggerlife series! Every month I’ll discuss an issue effecting bloggers and online influencers. This month we are discussing the recent changes with Instagram and Facebook. I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years, and I’ve learned a thing or two. The biggest thing I’ve learned is how to roll with the changes on apps that we can’t control.

If you are a blogger about that LIFE, your goal is to use your influence to help your followers and make money. Increasingly, it seems like Facebook and Instagram are pushing against that goal. What used to seem easy, now feels like it requires an advanced knowledge of marketing, perfect timing, and many sleepless nights. I’m here to tell you, that while it will take a couple changes to your regular posting schedule, I’ve got FIVE alternative tips help you when Facebook and Instagram become too overwhelming.

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Yup, if you are an online influencer, you’ve heard the word ‘algorithm’ more times than you want to hear. Every three months, or so, Facebook and Instagram changes the way followers see the things we post. The biggest change in the last 30 days is Facebook moving to a ‘friends & family’ feed. Basically, all the ‘fake news’ that floated around during the election cycle proved to lower Facebook’s influence with followers, fans, and stakeholders. Since Facebook owns Instagram, your liable to see changes taking places on that platform too.

The infamous ‘algorithm’ of late 2016 hit. Facebook and Instagram limited your reach to 30% of your total follower count on average, allowed the algorithm to decide what content should be displayed in your feed, and Social Media was forever changed.- Keenan Beasley, Forbes Online

On top of the social platforms returning to a more ORGANIC timeline (yet, still not chronological), if you’re not a mega infleuncer with more than 10,000 followers, your posts being seen by less than 30% of your followers. Ever wonder why you followed someone dope, but after the first day you follow them, you never see them again? Yeah, blame the algorithm. The algorithm is set for you to interact, all the time, all day. It’s really hard to interact with all your faves when you follow a ton of people.

WHEW! So where does that leave a blogger like you, who just wants to get more readers on your posts. How can you get more EXPOSURE when you are promoting something you’ve worked hard on. I have five tips for you:

  1. Keep your website updated – I know so many bloggers who don’t BLOG anymore! I know we’ve gotten used to posting a pretty picture and walking away. But, if you’re hoping to get discovered by a brand, you need more to stand on than a couple like on Instagram and Facebook. Also, remember Vine? Yeah, it’s gone now! If those creators didn’t save those amazing micro-videos, their content is gone! But if you own your website, you have control over where it lives, when it’s posted, and how long it’s available for followers to see. Keep your website updated!
  2. Don’t doubt face-to-face networking – We’ve gotten SO used to the ease of online marketing, that we often forget about good ol’ face-to-face contact. Last week, I was invited to my friend’s work event. I’m an introvert, but I know when to turn it on when I need to. Anyway, a couple convos with the creator of the event, I was asked to do a short presentation about my book, Jack and Ahlia. Ended up selling some books and making a couple new contacts! Get yourself some business cards, take yourself to a networking event, and tell people about your blog!
  3. Work on a newsletter – Trying to get your work seen by more people, send your links directly to your followers via a newsletter. Many followers don’t jump on Facebook and Instagram as frequently as content creators. But, they ALWAYS check their email. Sending a newsletter to your followers, even once a month will help you see an increase in visits to your blog and your connected social platforms.
  4. Put some work into other social platforms: Not getting the love you deserve from Instagram and Facebook? You know Twitter, Tumblr, and Snapchat all exist! And, they are still chronological! That’s a whole new audience looking for content. Commit to a new platform, engage for about a week, and see your stats jump.
  5. Pay attention to what your followers like – If you are trying to be the best influencer in your city, your region, and hopefully your country, you have to be strategic. If you notice your followers like more of one type of content than the other, give them what they want. I’ve noticed that followers love when I posted photos of me wearing cute outfits, not so much if I post an abstract photo, so I gave them more outfit posts and less fluff.

It’s 2018, there’s enough eyes for all of us to get more eyes on our content. Stay consistent and creative and watch your numbers rise!

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

MOTIVATION: Five ways to update your style!

Happy New Year! It’s the season of ‘New Year, New Me’! On Instagram, I asked my followers if they were thinking about changing their style for the new year. Most answered, “no”, stating that cost and not knowing where to start. I thought I’d share FIVE easy tips to help you update your style!

Continue reading “MOTIVATION: Five ways to update your style!”

MY LIFE: Read my book, ‘Jack & Ahlia’

When I quit my job, in the spring,  I had a lot more time to be creative. So, I was cruising the online streets, I came across a writing challenge, #XD30 created by Blogger and Online Influence, Xavier D’Leau. XD hosts a writing challenge that’s as simple as it is difficult. Basically, you write everyday for 30 days. The simple part was to write WHATEVER you’d like: poem, sonnet, haiku, or short story. The difficult part was writing everyday – LAWD! But, I started the challenge and realized I missed writing fiction. That’s how the story of Jack and Ahlia was born.

I started with what I thought would be a short story, but it’s become an actual . . . novel. After 30 days, I was due to have a great work of fiction that explores the complicated relationship of Jack and Ahlia, Jack and Ahlia are best friends, sometimes lovers, business partners, and a complicated pair who may just destroy each other due to their fear and secrets.

CLICK HERE to buy Jack and Ahlia

Now, it’s a completed and  available for purchase on Amazon. You can read a sample on my Tumblr account, but I guarantee you’ll want to purchase.