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)

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.

MY STYLE: Little Black Backward Dress

Ever look at an item in your closet and think, “I’m over it. This doesn’t fit right. Why is this in my closet?” That’s what I thought when I pulled this Little black bodycon dress from my closet. Then, I mistakenly put it on backward! OMG! How did I not realize this would be better? Sometimes, it take a mistake to point you in the right direction.

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OK, this is not a motivational post . . . but for real, making a mistake can mistakenly point you in the right direction. This dress was always iffy to me. I purchased it because of the key-hole in the back. But, due to my lack of boobs and chunky arms, the keyhole always fit weird. Turning it around gave me amazing sex appeal with a stylish edge. See, try another direction, me lead you to the right spot!

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Dress – ASOS Plus, Bag – Target, and Shoes – Nordstrom Rack

Y’all should know how much I love bodycon dresses, so it should be know surprise that I have about 50-11 of them. This one was my least favorite, but now, it’s moved up to the top of the list. Just goes to show that sometimes, you gotta try a little harder to make magic happen. Everything doesn’t come easy, but it will come in due time!

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MOTIVATION: I know why I’m NOT successful

I’m not successful and I know why! And you’re not successful either, so let’s talk about it. I’ve been a blogger for NINE years, NINE! You’d think, within two years, I should be riding high on that sweet delicious blog money! I should have all the high-dollar collabs, photos popping, getting sent out to amazing destinations, and not giving the sad face to my skeptical bank account. But, in my new quest to get ONE MILLION FOLLOWERS I realized my behaviors have definitely stopped me from being farther in the game than I should be. And, because I want to help you do better in your endeavors, I thought I’d bring you along for the ride. Here’s the FIVE reasons why I’m not successful:

Continue reading “MOTIVATION: I know why I’m NOT successful”

#NashvilleCurves presents, Melissa, the creator of Nashville Curves!

Before we get this profile started, I must say “Thank You!” to everyone who viewed, shared, and commented on the #NashvilleCurves campaign! Each woman shared an amazing part of themselves. Besides putting on a bathing suit, they shared parts of their struggle and parts of their hearts. I truly appreciate their transparency! Make sure to read about Kimmy, Nora, Kearsten, and DD; leave some comments on their posts.

So, I’m gonna answer some of the questions I asked the other ladies in their profiles. And, I’m gonna answer some questions I’ve received about the #NashvilleCurves campaign and our upcoming Plus-Size Meet-Up! Let’s go!

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I keep my eyes on certain women who are just doing it! Each class has 5-6 women, representing different shapes & sizes seen in plus-size community.

Name, age: Melissa, aka FabGlance, 39

What do you do, why do you do it?

I’m a lifestyle blogger and social media manager. I made a decision to leave my corporate job, after 10 years, because it was no longer fulfilling. Check out my YouTube video, “I Quit My Job to be a Full-Time Blogger“, I talk ALL about it. Blogging appeals to me because I love to write. I’ve been a writer since I knew what words meant. I write all the time, and I’m even working on a book of fiction (Jack and Ahlia) due out late fall. As a lifestyle blogger, I get to share my LIFE and my STYLE with my wonderful audience. Being plus-sized still presents a challenge for so many women. I like to show women how to dress well and be comfortable because I know what it feels like NOT to be comfortable in your own skin.

What made you embrace your curves? When did you say, “I’m ok with me?”

I can’t pinpoint the time I decided to embrace my curves. I can say as I got out of my twenties, I started to be OK with the body I have. Whether I’m on my fitness kick or I’m just chilling, I need to appreciate my body. I’ve had times when I was sick, going to hospital visits, having surgery, and I regretted not loving my body. The older I get, the more I love my body. Body confidence is truly a journey and some start earlier than others. I hope my blog can help people get on the path to body acceptance.

Have you had to deal with mean or backhanded comments from family, friends, and/or strangers? What did you do?

YES! I’ve dealt with a variety of horrible comments from strangers, WHOLE discussions from well-meaning family members, and shady comments from ‘friends’. We tend to think we know what’s best for other people, because we are on the outside looking in to their lives. So, when you go to comment on someone’s lifestyle choice, you really need to chill. You don’t know how far they’ve come.

Dealing with judgmental and mean comments is HARD! Like, if I really concentrate on ALL the mean comments I’ve received in my 39 years, I would be in a DEEP depression (I’ve been there!). What do I do? If I see a mean comment about me on the internet, I immediately delete it. I usually don’t know that person, so there’s no value in their comments. Now, dealing with family and friends is another story. Because I’m non-confrontational and an introvert, I usually distance myself from that person. After I gather my thoughts, maybe cry a bit, I usually confront them. It’s hard. I’ve lost some relationships because of nasty comments and underhanded discussions. But, I must do what’s right for my mental well-being.

Continue reading “#NashvilleCurves presents, Melissa, the creator of Nashville Curves!”

MY STYLE: Do It Afraid!

Hola Fab Family! Welcome! Stretch out and walk around; do you see anything you like? Why, yes, yes we do have a new site design! And is it FABULOUS! The whole experience is a metaphor in how my life is going right now: DO IT, DO IT AFRAID, You’ll be ok! So this week’s MY STYLE post is all about how, even with fear you can do something fab!


For the last year I have been lamenting on how to make FABGLANCE.COM more fabulous. Truth be told, my coins are limited and all the great web designers I called, wanted BIG BUCKS (no whammies).  I tried to redo the design on my own, but my mind would freeze. I didn’t have the patience to take eight years worth of content to a new spot. If  you blog, you know that migrating content is a coin toss. You could lose EVERYTHING, jack up your analytics, and/or end up killing everyone around you.

Continue reading “MY STYLE: Do It Afraid!”

Night at the Frist Museum with URBAANITE!

You guys already know how much I LOVE the Frist Museum. Last month, I shot some amazing looks using the Frist as a backdrop for my stories. This month, I was happy to be invited to a ‘Girls Night Out’ event sponsored by Urbaanite.  We had exclusive access to two of the museum’s most amazing exhibits: The Irving Penn Photography exhibit and the Secrets of Buddhist Art. I love going to one of my favorite place with some of my favorite people.

l to r: Me, Sarah of Creative Minds, Tiffany of Tiff & Coco, Sheena of Love at Any Stage, Kay of I am Kay Elle, Malaka of Scales of Style, India of India Marie, and Jasmine of Jasmine Hockett online

You know I love working with local bloggers. Nashville’s lifestyle and fashion blogging scene has grown immensely. Each of us has something special to offer our readers. Click the links above to visit some of Nashville’s newest & brightest bloggers. Just like your local museum, you have to visit our blogs regularly because we always have something new to share with you. Also, just like a museum, we are introducing our visitors to things that will help you feel amazing about the beauty of the world.

 

When we arrived at the Frist we were greeted by the museum’s marketing director. Not only did she inform us about the museum’s current exhibits, she gave us information about the design of the building. The Frist center is one of my favorite building in the city. The renovated post office offers amazing architecture and open space great for rotating new exhibits. After our info session we headed to the exhibits starting with Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty.

If you don’t know who Irving Penn is take a visit to the Irving Penn Foundation website. Irving Penn was one of the most prolific photographers of our generation. His photography is some of the most amazing work I’ve seen and spans across so many genres. The exhibit is arranged in reverse chronological order so that you can ‘peel back the layers of Penn’s photographic experience’ – source. I was familiar with Penn’s work from Vogue Magazine but not some of his early work. His catalogue is filled with surrealist imagery and fashion forward innovative imagery.

The Irving Penn exhibit is at the Frist until May 27. You should make your way to see these amazing images. You’ll be impressed with the fashion images but be deeply moved by his early work featuring every day people. The exhibit is a great conversation starter as it takes almost one hour to get through.

What I wore: Top from Walmart, Skirt from Styles Boutique, and Bag from Runway Boutique

Of course I had to wear something cute for this Girls Night Out. I brought back my favorite skirt from the holiday season, added a simple white button-down to remix it for Spring. Visiting the museum is a great way to spend time with your friends. We ended the night at the Frist museum’s cafe. Ladies, they have WINE and some of the best small bites in the city. If you want to have a chill night on the town, check out the Frist.

And if you REALLY want to go, scroll down to see a special offer from Fabglance and Urbaanite. We’ve partnered with the Frist museum to give you and a friend a FREE visit to the museum!

CLICK HERE to get your FREE Day Out at the Frist sponsored by Urbaanite

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Photo Credits: Museum photography by Toya Michele, ‘Life on Forty West
  
Irving Penn. Bee, New York, 1995, printed 2001. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation. © The Irving Penn Foundation 

Irving Penn. Issey Miyake Fashion: White and Black, New York, 1990, printed 1992. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation. © The Irving Penn Foundation