If you're looking for a prime example of a style blogger who has taken her niche, owned it and turned her online presence into a full-on media personality – look no further than Carmen Ordonez, the savvy and stylish woman behind Viva Fashion. She's all about embracing her Latina heritage, and cluing her audience into great fashion finds on a budget. She's worked with numerous brands, and even made television appearances – in English and Spanish. IFB caught up with Carmen this week to find out how she got started, what's in store for Viva Fashion in the future and get her advice for aspiring bloggers.
Tell us a little about Viva Fashion?
I started my blog in September of 2008 and it focuses on everything from fashion on a budget to personal style. Before staring my blog, I had recently made a career switch and had left my job working as a TV reporter and producer in Miami. I ended up missing working in TV so much that when my friend suggested I start a blog, I found it was the perfect way to continue doing what I loved so much. One day we got together during lunch and she gave me a “Blogging 101” course and I’ve been blogging ever since.
How do you monetize Viva Fashion?
I monetize my blog through several streams. The majority actually comes from working as a spokesperson for brands and doing TV segments. I’ve had the opportunity to work as a spokesperson for brands such as T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s and this year became the 2012 Hispanic/Budget Fashion spokesperson for David’s Bridal. I also do everything from sponsored posts, styling, speaking engagements and banner ads.
What role does social media play in your blogging life?
I think it plays a very important role, especially Twitter
and most recently Instagram. It’s a great way to connect with my readers and just share with them random things that they would not find on my blog (like my husband taking a nap with our 120lb Rottweiler, LOL).
How has blogging affected your career?
I feel very blessed that blogging has been able to open so many doors, like working as a fashion writer for a bilingual magazine. It’s also helped me discover things I never knew about myself, like my entrepreneurial spirit and passion for empowering women, which I’m currently doing through speaking engagements.
Any exciting upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I have a couple of exciting partnerships in the works as well as some upcoming TV segments for David’s Bridal. I also have meeting next month with a Spanish-Language TV Network, which I’ve very anxious/nervous about, ha! (Fingers crossed.)
What is the best piece of advice you could give to aspiring bloggers?
I would say to blog about something you are truly passionate about. Blogging every day is a huge commitment—especially when it’s not your day job. But if you’re writing about something you love, blogging will come easily. I would also say to be patient and don’t give up on your dreams. Blogging success doesn’t come overnight so it’s important to be patient and stay motivated. Most importantly just be yourself, a blog is such an amazing platform to express your ideas and inspirations, so don’t be afraid to be yourself.
You represent a couple of huge demographics, latina and budget fashion. How do you marry those two facets of your personality and style on your blog? Does your background play a big role in your personal style, voice and how you blog?
Definitely. I think they really go hand in hand, especially when it comes to my personal style posts, which is where I share more personal anecdotes. So you’ll typically find me sharing stories about budget finds I scored while visiting my family in Colombia to featuring Hispanic designers.