Professional Blogger Spotlight: Fashion Bomb Daily
By: Taylor Davies

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For this week’s Pro Blogger Spotlight, we caught up with Claire Sulmers, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of urban fashion blog Fashion Bomb Daily. Sulmers and her team cover different aspects of fashion and style from celebrity inspiration and shopping to reader-submitted look-of-the-day posts. Her commitment to her niche and natural inclination for finding and adopting the latest innovations online has made her a constant mainstay on Signature 9‘s top 99 fashion blogs.

Tell us a little about how you started Fashion Bomb Daily, and why.

 

I used to be a reporter and fact checker at Real Simple magazine, and had aspirations to write about runway fashion and celebrity style. So I started the Fashion Bomb as a hobby, and it grew slowly but surely thanks to links from bigger bloggers and exclusives (for example, I would go to the Baby Phat show and take video of the final walk and no other bloggers had that content, so they sourced me). I focused on women of color because I am one; I enjoy seeing and writing about people who look like me. And I noticed that many mainstream fashion publications tend to gloss over stars that are a big deal in the African American community (take Nia Long or Gabrielle Union), so I decided to create a space where women of color come first.

Can you talk a bit about your niche as an urban fashion blogger?

Sure. Fashion is a big part of the African-American and multicultural experience. The Fashion Bomb is a space to showcase the trendsetters, designers, and taste-makers that might get overlooked on a general fashion website. We’ve triumphed because stars like Beyonce and Rihanna are considered ‘cross over.’ And we document the style of celebs like Nicki Minaj, for example, before they become global superstars.

You ascribe your site as the number one destination for urban fashion. Can you quantify that?

We were blessed to win Blogger of the Year in this year’s Style Bloggers of Color Awards ceremony. Signature 9 consistently named us one of the top 99 most influential style blogs in the blogosphere, and from what I could deduce there were no other self-proclaimed urban blogs on the list. And with just a quick look at the digital space; we don’t have very many sites that do what we do, with the same focus and consistency.

How do you use social media, and what role does it play in your blogging life?

I’ve always been big on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook started at Harvard, where I went to undergrad, so my class was one of the first on Facebook (remember when it was restricted to only a certain amount of schools?). And I’ve been on Twitter since 2007. So perhaps it’s just luck, but I’ve tried to be an early adopter of social media and just get used to sharing my thoughts with the world several times a day. Facebook and Twitter (and now Tumblr and Pinterest) are great ways to publicize your content. I used to write newsletters and send them out to my contacts, but now Facebook, Tumblr, etc serve that same function. And it’s also great because the celebrities we blog about can know when we’re talking about them with a single mention, and sometimes they’ll retweet a link to their followers, which means their fans will come to us for the scoop on what they’re wearing.

How do you monetize your blog and your brand?

I’m a member of Gorilla Nation, which is in charge of most of my ad space. I sell individual ads on my sidebar. I use Google Adsense. Lastly, I participate in affiliate networks like Shopstyle and RewardStyle. I realized way back that it’s best to diversify your portfolio.

What’s the best thing about blogging?

I love interacting with people. And my blog has allowed me to meet so many cool and new fashion enthusiasts I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It’s opened new doors, presented once in a life time opportunities, and given me a platform to share my passion. I love that you can create your own way, your own job, and feed your passion. I love the freedom, the travel, and the connections I’ve made with other bloggers. When I was a full-timer at a magazine, I’d have to sneak away during my lunch break to maybe see one fashion show; now I can take a month off and hop from New York to Paris, Milan, London, and back, all in pursuit of my love of fashion.
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What advice would you give to aspiring fashion bloggers?

I’d say find your niche. Figure out what works. Tinker, tailor, and try new things. And once you’ve hit your stride, just don’t give up. There were lots of bloggers who had a similar ‘urban’ niche when I started The Fashion Bomb in 2006, but they all decided to quit after a few years in the game. I’d say half of blogging is finding the right topic and how you’re going to interpret fashion in your own funky way. And the other half is just dedication and commitment.

Comments

  1. I LOVE Fashion Bomb Daily! I’m a daily reader. Great advice, I hope to grow my blog as she has with hers. Staying in my niche as she suggests!

  2. Avatar of purplebananasandfudgeballs

    Oooooh! I’m so glad you interviewed her! I love, love, love, love Fashion Bomb Daily! I’m there, well…daily! It’s my one-stop source for everything fashion! I like that Fashion Bomb Daily blogs about issues that with me being an AA female, I can relate to!

  3. This was a great interview! Very inspiring as well. I’ve been debating on incorporating Pintreat into my social media feed.

    I’m a hip hop & technology blogger but check Fashion Bomb regularly for style ideas. Love it!!

  4. Laura Lily says:

    This article is just awesome and inspires me to not give up! I had not head of Fashion Bomb before but am very excited to check her out! Thanks!

  5. Caribble says:

    I love Claire and the Fashion Bomb Daily, I’ve been a loyal reader since she first started blogging. She’s maintained an amazing level of professionalism and dedication that’s extremely admired. The site is always evolving and it gives me everything I need concerning fashion, urban street style and with great commentary. Its not just a site its a community there and Claire has done an amazing job curating that experience for her readers.

  6. Sharon says:

    Great interview. I like Fashion Bomb, but I like Claire Sulmers even more. I think it is sad that as African Americans (and other people of color) we are ignored by the mainstream media so, I appreciate what she and other “urban” bloggers are doing. I also, like having her as an example for other bloggers of color. Congrats to Claire on all she has achieved.

  7. Avatar of JayMarie
    JayMarie says:

    Huge fan of Fashion Bomb daily and her words are perfect inspirations!

    Jay

  8. Avatar of Janelle
    Janelle says:

    I absolutely love Fashion Bomb Daily and how the site merges street fashion, celebrity fashion, and high fashion together. Staying in your niche is oh so important because often there are many things that we love, but just because we love them doesn’t mean we have to write about them. Cool and aspiring article.

    xx

  9. Avatar of Janelle
    Janelle says:

    *inspiring

  10. Claire was my inspiration when I started my blog and she continues to inspire me today as I try to take it to the next level!

  11. I honestly hadn’t heard of Fashion Bomb before I read this post. I must be living under a rock or something! Well, after visiting it for the first time, I couldn’t look away. I love that it focuses on women of colour. Unfortunately, diversity seems to be missing among the group of most popular fashion blogs. It’s great seeing more representations of style online!

  12. Michelle says:

    This post is very inspiring. Claire Sulmers is right. You really do need to find your niche. Once you figure that out, you then need the guts and patience to stick with it. I’ve seen so many blogs start off strong and then tapper off over time. If you can just hang on while everyone else is slowly fading away, I think you’ll see that the rewards were well worth the effort.

  13. jhon says:

    Really really inspiring and awesome effort .I just came here and found latest information.Have a great regards.

    hairstyles 2012

  14. Avatar of MissMikelah
    MissMikelah says:

    Absolutely love Fashion Bomb Daily and Claire! Been a fan of her blog for years a daily must read for me!

  15. Daphne says:

    Claire has been such an inspiration. Great interview and article!!

  16. qasim says:

    Fantastic and awesome blog .So beautiful and latest posts have been posted here.Nice collection..

    fashion trends

  17. kimmie says:

    SO glad you interviewed Claire! I don’t read Fashion Bomb every day but it really is a wonderful source for those interested in urban fashion, without all of the extra gossip and nonsense that a lot of other blogs cover. It’s simply about the clothes, beauty, and she also interviews both experts and up-and-comers in the field.

    She’s definitely one to study when it comes to figuring out your niche!

  18. Avatar of MsK_NY
    MsK_NY says:

    I love her, thanks for that fab interview!
    http://www.africanprintsinfashion.blogspot.com/

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