Tell us a little about ‘Miss Whoever You Are'?
Miss Whoever You Areis a blog about beauty, fashion and a healthy dose of Naomi Campbell worship :). I recently started incorporating outfit posts to a) get myself comfortable in front of a camera, and b) to force myself out of my t-shirt and jeans comfort zone. I graduated college last year and quickly realized that all of the clothes I bought for “special occasions” can easily be integrated into my everyday life. I started my blog back in 2007, after reading the SAME beauty tips being given to women of color in mainstream magazines and really wanted to get my voice out there. Women of color don't only have to wear blue eyeshadow! The name comes from my favorite movie of all time, “Breakfast at Tiffany's”. I've seriously seen this movie a million times.
How do you monetize Miss Whoever You Are?
Ads, baby! Since I'm a member of Glam Media, they assist me in terms of running ads since I work full-time and don't have the bandwidth to do it myself. Eventually I want to do more but I honestly have to find time!
What role does social media play in your blogging life?
Social media – that is, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram etc. – is a HUGE part of my blogging world. Since my blog is inherently social (me talking to a group of people, just online), I find that Twitter has been my best friend since it extends that conversation. It introducing me to other bloggers and brands as well as introduces my blog to readers that might not find me via Google or what have you. It [Twitter] is my third source of traffic and I don't doubt that at all. I'm addicted to it and love how quickly I can meet new people and quickly strike a friendship just off a mutual love of lipstick/shoes/etc. These additional social networks allow me to update my readers/ followers in real-time, when I don't have the chance to sit down and process everything for a full blog post.It also makes it more human. When I'm talking about more than just fashion I'm able to reach a wider group of people, where if I kept it to one topic I feel like I'd alienate those whose style isn't the same as mine.
How has blogging affected your career?
Well, it's because of my blog I currently work where I do! Since I started my blog sophomore year of college, I was exposed to different bloggers early on and networked my way into an internship at a social media marketing agency, which eventually led to getting hired. The amazing thing about bloggers is that they're SO much more than just people who write about a specific topic all day. These are people who work in various fields with a wealth of knowledge. I definitely recommend high school and college students learn to network and meet other bloggers because you never know who may be able to help you whether it's landing an internship/job or simply giving you career advice. Now that I work in social media, it's part of my job to read blogs!
What's the most important advice you would give to aspiring bloggers?
This has probably been said before but remain authentic. There are SO many blogs out there and the only thing that makes you stand out is your voice and style. When you start copying a more well known blogger, it's not only obvious but gets you overlooked. Why would a brand want to work with a copycat? Why would a reader go to you if they can go to the original source? Also, don't worry about what X blogger received from Y company. I see so many tweets/ comments where bloggers are reaching out to companies because they weren't gifted something another blogger was. Yuli Z's book, “Blogging Your Way to the Front Row,” is a great read and I highly recommend it!