Using, Utilizing & Making the Best of Your IFB Experience

This post is by Ashe Mischief

It’s a phrase I’ve heard before– “I want to grow/go pro/learn XYZ with my site, but I don’t know how.”  Then I always ask, “Are you using IFB?”  The answer is almost always the same: “I’ve tried, but I find it confusing and just haven’t gone back.”

 

IFB can be a confusing place the first time you sign in, but remember– so was MySpace and Facebook (hell, FB is STILL confusing whenever they implement new changes).  The best way to optimize your time at IFB is spend some time here and get to know the functions and how they’ll help you develop as a blogger.

 

IFB was created as a means for fashion bloggers to find information on taking their blogging to the next level.  We have such a unique situation compared to some niches.  Some of the information found on sites like ProBlogger may not pertain to fashion bloggers.  IFB was created to fill in that hole, to answer the questions that other pro-blogging sites were unable to.   If this isn’t what you’re coming to IFB for, then you may find the resources we have simply aren’t for you.

 

If that’s what you’re here for, you’ll find there are a lot of amazing resources on the community to discover (and figure out which work best for you!). In the meantime, here are a few shortcuts to get you going.

 

Help! I’m looking for information on “Monetization/Interacting with PR Agencies/Text Advertisers/What Platform to Use”!

While this may sound like the idiots answer, there’s a treasure trove of posts in IFB dating back the past 3 years– sometimes there’s no need to head to forums for answers, because the answers you want are in the most overlooked place: the content.

Help! Where do I find anything once I’ve logged into IFB?

Once you’re logged into IFB, your primary means of getting around is the black toolbar at the top of the page.  The toolbar is broken down into the following tabs:

  • Home: simply gets you back to the main page!
  • My Profile: a view of your public IFB profile, along with settings control, finding your friends & groups, see blogs, respond to polls, etc.  My Profile offers you one stop access to most of the features on the IFB forums.

  • Dashboard: the dashboard is exactly as it sounds– a customizable page of widgets that you specialize.  It’s IFB site optimization at its best!  Above, you can see how I’ve customized my Dashboard– so that I can see my friends easily and browse for new users quickly.  On the right you’ll see Click to add a new widget and a list of options below it.  If the default Dashboard doesn’t provide what you want, you have the ability to create it.

  • Community Links: This is where you’ll find, in my humble opinion, the second most useful part of IFB– the forums.  By clicking on latest discussions, you’ll be taken to the most recently updated forum posts.  However, if you click on Groups, you’ll be taken to a master list of all the groups in IFB and can seek out specific information (whether you’re looking for Southern Bloggers, Chictopia & Lookbook, or the Business Side of Blogging).

     

 

  • Useful Links: In a quick pinch, it helps the new blogger submit their best posts of the week to Links a la Mode, find IFB Badges, or contribute to the site.
  • Help
  • Friend Requests (not shown, as I’ve approved all of mine recently– it’s a little figure silhouette with a red + number next to it, indicating how many requests you have)
  • Mail (like friend requests, this is also lit up red when you have unread messages)

 

 

Now I know where things are, but how do I use the forums?

First off, familiarize yourself with the Forum Rules.  These are a recent addition, but make the forums a much more useful place!

When you check out the Latest Discussions, you’ll see something like the screen above: two permanent posts (the Forum Rules and Links a la Mode), followed by the most recently updated threads.  These will change each time you login, giving you new opinions, viewpoints, and topics to read about.

Say though, that you’re looking for a certain group or thread?  So long as they’re tagged, you can use the Search option as below.  In this example, I was searching for the group on 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

 

How do I promote my site on IFB? Isn’t that what it’s for?

While IFB has elements of social media,  it’s a site to learn about the professional blogging elements from a fashion blogging standpoint.  Self-promotion comes from being a useful member of the IFB community: find bloggers and add them as friends; comment actively in the forums with useful information; contribute guest posts; submit your best personal blog post each week to Links a la Mode.

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29 Responses

  1. Vahni

    Hey Ashe, great post! I once was asked to clarify the Links a la Mode process, so I thought I’d include it here as well:

    To submit a post for Links a la Mode:

    1. After logging into IFB, go to Useful Links in the top navigation and select Links a la Mode. You should then be here:

    http://heartifb.com/members/pg/groups/34/links-la-mode/

    2. Submit the title, URL, and a brief description of your post as a COMMENT on the current week—you’ll see where others have done this.

    For example, I was the first one to submit a post for this week’s LALM: http://heartifb.com/members/mod/groups/topicposts.php?topic=433666&group_guid=34.

    Once you submit (by midnight Eastern time on TUESDAY), an IFB editors will select posts for the roundup. They do not contact you personally—you just have to wait for the post or tweet from @_IFB on Thursday.

    3. If you’re chosen, then you go here: http://heartifb.com/members/pg/groups/34/links-la-mode/ and scroll down to the Links a la Mode Code under Group Pages on the right.

    Click that link and follow the instructions to grab the code.

    4. Create a new post on your blog with “Links à la Mode” in the title of the post. In the HTML or source editor view, paste the code you copied in step 3. Save your post and be sure to schedule it for publication before MONDAY of the following week. You can see an example of how I do it on G&G here:

    http://www.gritandglamour.com/category/ifb-2/lalm/

    ♥ V
    http://www.gritandglamour.com
    twitter: @gritandglamour

    Reply
  2. fuyume

    i’m glad you included the part saying that the LALM editors don’t contact u directly V cos that’s what i didn’t understand the time when my link was featured 🙂

    Reply
    • Jennine Jacob

      yeah, they couldn’t do that, it’s just too much to ask them to contact the bloggers individually (it already take almost 2 hours to select the links). it’s just best to check back on thursday to see if you made it.

      Reply
  3. lisa

    Very helpful post for new and old IFB members alike Ashe. Thanks for clarifying exactly how “self-promotion” should work in the context of the IFB community. 😉

    Reply
  4. Amy

    Oh, this is awesome! Totally what I needed when I started in IFB. Now I can take another whack at it. Thanks, Ashe!

    Reply
  5. Treacle

    Sooo glad you posted this.

    I actually joined IFB over a year ago, but I couldn’t figure out the forums. The layout perplexed me. I didn’t see any handy how-tos. And there was so much “noise” that I decided to leave it alone and come back later.

    (I’m so glad I did by the way)

    I wonder if there’s a way to permalink this post as well? It could be so useful for new IFBers.

    Reply
  6. gaby

    Thank you! I have been on IFB a lot lately. I learned so much about blogging….

    I really do not know what I would do without this site!

    keep up the great posts and the good work <3

    Reply
  7. de la Pen

    Thanks for posting this article! I’ve only been a member of IFB for a couple of months and when I first joined I didn’t know what to do with it. But I felt the community when I went to the IFB conference back in Sept in NYC. Now that I’m using the site more, I see how useful it is. It’s a site for and by fashion bloggers on how to make that transition. So awesome!

    Reply
  8. Shilpi

    Just started here and thought this was useful! I am excited to join this website now.

    Reply
  9. Aiisha Ramadan

    My husband introduced me to the blogging conept a couple of years ago (how primitive huh!) and I’m still getting the hang of it. Its a little challenging from a designer’s point of you. While the other fashion bloggers simply experience other designer’s items and that provides them with variety.

    I hope that with IFB I’ll learn more and become more active. I look forward to your support and feedback:

    blog.aiisha.com

    Love,
    Aiisha

    Reply
  10. Paula

    Great post. Not only is ifb a place for fashion bloggers to promote themseleves, but meet new people. Ifb will help me more not only with what it already does, but will help me be less socially awkward 🙂

    Reply