It happens to every blogger who’s been putting in that good work. You photos are great, you’ve been posting on your site consistently, and your social media following is rising organically. Then, you get an email from the brand that you’ve been stalking! Yes! If you remember from my ‘Blogging While Broke‘ post, most bloggers barely make enough to pay for daily cup of coffee. So, when a brand reaches out to you, ANY BRAND, you get hype!
But then, they send you that . . . questionnaire. You start answering the question and they ask about your NUMBERS:
I know this title is a bit awkward but I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. This is, like, my 12th year blogging. I’ve had some HUGE successes and I’ve had plenty valleys. I’ve always called myself a fashion blogger, but I’ve often been asked why don’t I concentrate my efforts on being a PLUS- SIZE BLOGGER. And, that always gets me to thinking about the importance or non-importance of niche blogging.
This month in celebrating turning 40! Wow! So, for my birthday, I decided to give readers a discount on my book, Jack and Ahlia! For the rest of June, get Jack and Ahlia for 40% off!
It’s my birthday wish to get as many FIVE STAR ratings on Amazon as possible. That means more people need to read my book! So, buy it for yourself and buy it for a friends.
Oh yeah, there’s an awesomely curated playlist too! Get the Jack and Ahlia vibe playlist on Spotify and Tidal.
About Jack and Ahlia
Follow the story of childhood best friends, turned high-school sweethearts, as they navigate the ‘Will they won’t they’ of loving each other as adults. Jack and Ahlia starts with an admission of betrayal and a plan to keep a secret. The reader is led on a tour that entwines stories from their past that asks the question, are you, “The one who got away?”Purchase your copy on Amazon
Blogger vs. Influencer? It’s a discussion that’s become more prevalent as influencer marketing grows. Everyone wants to be popular online. Everyone wants followers. And, everyone wants to work with brands. But which lane is best for you to achieve that goal? In this post I’ll discuss the difference between the Blogger and the Influencer, and which category is best for you!
In my post, Blogging While Broke, I discussed how most bloggers don’t make money from their endeavors. As I continued this #bloggerlife series, I realized, I needed to make a distinction between BLOGGING and being a social media influencer. Because, if you are trying to operate in the wrong lane, you may be wasting your time and losing money.
Before we get into specifics, let me give it to you simple:
An influencer shows you what they know. A blogger teaches you what they know. A reader can leave fulfilled, from both, only if the influencer or blogger does their job effectively. – @fabglance
A Blogger creates online content about a certain niche. Food, fashion, travel, and entertainment are the most popular blog topics. Blogs are updated regularly and usually garner traffic from readers looking for detailed info about a certain topic. A blog is used to introduce readers to a topic through the eyes of a writer. The average blog post should be 400-1000 words. The best blog posts use sourced content with a unique point of view. Blogging is usually more time consuming than creating a social media post. Often, the pay off is slow. However, blogs help build reader trust in whatever topic is being discussed. Blog authors are often revered higher than traditional journalists IF their content is trustworthy. Brands like working with bloggers because posts can stay live and searchable for years giving their product better SEO rates.
An Online Influencer typically creates content for a social media platform. A blogger can be an influencer, and an influencer can have a blog. But the two have some distinctions. Influencers are usually VISUALLY driven, creating content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Tumblr. Rarely, do influencers create blog content. If the influencer does have a blog, it’s a place to deposit additional photos, unused from social media content. Influencers give you THEM, their life, and their viewpoint, in less than 300 words (think Kim Kardashian). Influencers usually have a large following that consumes quick content at high rates. Brands like to work with influencers, because their posts have a quicker turnaround and more immediate engagement.
Whew, that was was alot! But it’s important to understand that bloggers and influencers often cross into each other’s territory, which causes confusion for readers and brands. Easily, if you DO NOT operate A BLOG, you are not a blogger, you are an online influencer. If you run and regularly update a blog, in addition to using social media for promotion, you are a blogger. Now, don’t get your panties in a bunch, being ‘just an influencer’ isn’t a bad thing. Neither is being a ‘just a blogger’. And sometimes bloggers become influencers and vice-versa.
I call myself a blogger and a writer because the written word is where I thrive. I love writing stories (I wrote a whole book, Jack and Ahlia) and helping people tell their story (especially working with brands). I’ll never admit to having the best photos, although I’m cute in front of the camera. But writing is my first love. I happen to be a stylish girl who writes really good posts. My social media presence is good, but not perfection.
So, can you be both? Certainly. But if you are, you must rock it in both categories. Update your blog with motivational and informative posts. BE CONSISTENT. Don’t just drop a photo on your website or social media platform and walk away. Give your reader some inside details. Tell us how this photo makes you feel and how we should feel reading your post or viewing your photos. What were you thinking that day and how is this photo important? Brands select bloggers and influencers because of our effect and impact. Can your PHOTO or STORY help sell their product – that’s the real question!
Lastly, expect to get attitude from the old guard – I’m talking about newspapers, magazines, and ‘real’ journalists. Bloggers and influencers are continuously fighting for respect from these organizations. That’s why we must be vigilante in our approach to sharing content. If invited to an event as PRESS, be professional. Complete your blog post and/or social share in a timely manner. Read your contracts thoroughly and always send a thank you note.
Gaining respect as a blogger and influencer is all about the respect you give your chosen topic/task. Don’t call yourself a blogger if you don’t own a blog. Stop it. But be an amazing influencer, if that’s what you’d rather do.
If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been pumping out the blog posts like usual. Why? I’ve hit a blogging plateau. A rut, some might say. Like me, has your blog traffic decreases? Instagram followers not growing? Facebook likes, dwindling? Then this post is for you! Much like writer’s block, a blogging plateau is when the content you create isn’t bringing the readership you desire. Basically, you sit in front of your computer like, “WTF am I doing and why isn’t it working?!” That’s where I am.
With more than 10 years in the game, I’m half tired, a third happy, and kinda disappointed in my success. At one time my blog was ranked NUMBER ONE on Google for, ‘Top Style & Fashion Blog – Nashville’. I know, right?! Then one time i was voted one of Nashville Scene’s ‘Most Interesting People‘; a spot previously held by the UBER-successful blogger, happily grey. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t about to get a million dollar deal! I can speak on many other accolades I’ve received, but that’s not we are here for.
What we are here for is some tips to help you (and me) get out of our slump. Seriously, it’s a frustrated place to be. Especially when you know you want to give the people MORE than a cute look and sponsored post. #NoShade because I got a couple sponsored posts in the pipeline. But what’s the point of soliciting brands if the readers don’t care. SO, I had to do my googles and help myself find some inspiration. Below, I have THREE tips to get you out of your Blogger Funk.
Remember why you started – I know its MAD cliche but it’s real. If we continue to get caught up in the numbers and the popularity you give yourself a heart attack. Yes, I need the readers to read, to like, and to share but not at the sake of my sanity. I started this blog to help women realize fashion is for THEM no matter your size. Sometimes, the goal changes. But your core beliefs should not. No matter what I am blessed to experience, my aim is to share my life with an inspirational and motivational tone. As the internet says, ‘Stay in your lane AND slay in your lane’.
Take tips from your faves – After remembering why I started, I had to research some of my FAVORITE bloggers turned business women. Each of these women encompass traits that I want to improve upon: building nationwide brand recognition, transiting to other forms of media (books, magazines, & podcasts), while being amazingly STYLISH. Claire Summers (Fashion Bomb Daily), has amazing style while operating the TOP 10 style blog on Google. Blogger and Motivational Influencer, Mattie James mixes motivation and style to encourage followers to find success. Franchesca Ramsey has been in the game for over a decade (like me) and is now an author, host, and speaker, but previously a youtuber and graphic designer. And Necole Kane is just the FREAKING GOAT! She went from #gossipblogger to motivational maven all while PUBLICLY losing and internally winning. I read these women like the Bible and hope to build platforms that mirror their success.
Set a goal, and stick to it! – After scouring the Internet for tips and tricks to get more readers to my blog and get more people to follow me on Instagram, the overwhelming advice was to BE CONSISTENT! Yup, good ol’ fashion hardworking is what will help you bring success. I used to blog three times a week. Haven’t kept that schedule. I used to post on Instagram three times a day. Haven’t done that either. What’s the point of asking for more follower if you don’t give them something to appreciate. The hard work will pay off.
Dissect your analytics – Now, not to be too technical, but blogging is a combo of LUCK and science. As much as we can complain about changing algorithms and shady corporate moves, we are still blessed to have access to the NUMBERS. The numbers don’t lie. Take a look at your bounce rate, share stats, and audience engagement across the platforms. See any trends? See something you don’t like? Fix it! Yup, it may be hard, but it’s not impossible. Señora Google and Señor YouTube are always available to give you FREE advice.
The best writers are READERS – Yup, don’t expect for someone to show you love if you don’t show others love. Don’t just follow your faves on Instagram, read their blogs, and subscribe to their newsletters (subscribe to mine). You may notice their tone and content make the reader feel a certain way. This may help you update your tone. Also, reading more helps you be more savvy with these paragraphs. BLOGGING isn’t dead, but well-written posts are hard to come by.
So, you’ll be seeing some changes in the next couple of weeks. Make sure to follow me on the socials and subscribe to my blog to get all this new and improved content. Also, drop suggestion in the comments to let me know what you’d like to see on this space. You CAN break the Blogging Plateau and I will too!
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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!
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.
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!
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:
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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:
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!