I remember when I just started blogging all the way in 2007. It was a fashion blog called Fashion Over Style and the point behind it wasn’t to showcase my OOTDs and sense of fashion (which I don’t think I’m particularly fashionable) it was actually to give Jamaican designers a presence on the web, giving them exposure that was not easy to come by in Jamaica in 2007 when nobody knew what a blog was and social media wasn’t what it is today. My very first interview was with Keneea Linton as she had her studio inside of the Pulse complex where I was employed briefly to help with Caribbean Fashion Week. Slowly but surely I began to carve out a name for myself in the local fashion world and soon I didn’t need to contact designers to show off their wares. They were contacting me in droves, inviting me to their fashion shows, sending me clothes to wear for the blog or asking to be interviewed.
I was aware of Claire’s website FashionBombDaily ( I think it was TheFashionBomb.blogspot.com back then) as one of the top fashion blogs for black people in the blogosphere and I definitely looked up to what she was doing. Even back then in 2007, she was blazing a trail of designer clothes, fashion weeks and celebrity parties. She was living the life I wanted to be identified with and was on the level I wanted to take my own blog. Eventually I would lose all my hard work in a transition as my blog outgrew its server and I gave up blogging after that experience.
Following in The Bomb Life Book’s Footsteps
Some time later munchkin entered the picture and I decided to start blogging again. Not as a fashion blogger but simply blogging my life in Jamaica and all that came with new mom territory. I knew from studying up on places like Problogger.net and SocialMediaExaminer.com that one of the best ways to get traffic to your website was to get a more established blog to link to your own, so I decided to reach out to FashionBomb, submitting my pictures in hopes of being featured as a Fashion Bombshell of the Day. Now as I said before, I don’t think I’m particularly fashionable. All my life I’ve always opted for a cutesy kinda look, rarely stepping into ultra trendy or cutting edge territory but staying in my round-the-way homegirl flavour that the everyday chica could relate to. So I knew my pictures weren’t necessarily FashionBomb quality but dammit I wanted to be linked to from such a major site. And link I did. Here’s my post on FashionBomb in 2010! And traffic did it send! I was getting steady traffic from that link for maybe 6 months. It was amazing!
Reading The Bomb Life Book
I’ve kept up with Claire’s social media, particularly her personal handles and not so much following her blog as I was interested in her life, how she got to where she is now and how she maintains the site without getting burnt out. After reading Jen Sincero‘s book and being encouraged to find a mentor, I realized that Claire was definitely one of those for me. So I immediately went to Amazon and bought her book. I’m so happy I did! I learnt that we employed much of the same techniques to get our blogs off the ground. Though of course she kept up with hers and put much more work into it while I went into the corporate world instead. Her tales of gate crashing and using other people’s names to get into fashion week shows and celebrity parties was hella funny. Fake it til you make it! Her very first sidebar ad paid $900 which is probably about half of what I’ve ever made from this blog. Then she said her first major advertising cheque was $5000 and that’s when she realized that she didn’t need a job, she could actually make coin from blogging. Hello?!?!?! That’s where I need to be!
Lessons from the Bomb Life Book
In the Bomb Life book, Claire talks about the transition from making big bank from ad dollars to the need to be an influencer and being social media savvy. Some people on social media are making big bank simply posting about something on their Instagram pages without the need for an actual blog. This isn’t to say that blogs are becoming irrelevant, far from. But it did remind me of the need to build out my social media presence and be more active in posting and mindful of the types and quality of the posts going live.
Claire also spoke about her love life, something I’ve always been curious about. Not just because I was being nosey but because blogging about personal relationships was something I struggled with when I just started out. I used to overshare for sure, putting a lot out there that wasn’t meant for public consumption and so I struggled to reel it all in and learn to share lifestyle updates without divulging all my personal business. It was definitely interesting to learn about some of the things that were happening behind the Fashion Bomb scenes and realize that I can cultivate an interesting and captivating online persona without oversharing.
As a blogger, I totally loved the Bomb Life book. It gave me lessons for life and for blogging and solidified my plan to continue to be a blogger and keep pressing. I will press until my blog is a significant source of income for me and is popular in the niches I’ve selected. You know why? Because the blog has brought me so many opportunities and no matter how many times I stray away from the blog for whatever reason, I always end up right back here. It’s clear that this is a passion of mine. I love to blog. So let me go ahead and take it seriously, finally. Thank you guys for reading and please check out Claire’s book! It was well worth the read.