A few of you have asked me how I got the gig as style editor for CocoaFab and to be honest, it's because of my blog.
QUICK BACK STORY One day a PR contact of mine (hey, Renee!) reached out to me and asked me if I'd be interested in writing for a lifestyle site. I said, "I'd be interested." The next day I get a phone call from Angela Burt-Murray - yeah, the one who was once the editor in chief of ESSENCE - and she interviews me for the style editor position for her new lifestyle site, CocoaFab. She mentioned to me that she enjoyed my blog and even my video content and would like me to host a style webshow for the site. ALL BECAUSE OF MY BLOG. Not a formal resume - my blog.
I mention this because there are many opportunities like this that will come your way especially when you take your blog seriously. And sometimes, even when you don't.
LUCK DOESN'T REALLY EXIST I totally agree with Regina when she says she hates when people say "you're so lucky, you can __________" fill in the blank with some great circumstance you have due to HARD WORK. I'm really fortunate - even blessed - that someone thought of me when Angela was looking for a style editor for CocoaFab.com.
But because I take this blog seriously, she was able to see what I could bring to the table as far as content was concerned after reading a handful of posts and watching a couple of my videos. At the time, I wasn't making a significant amount of money because of my blog. But I knew that eventually an opportunity would present itself where I could and preparing quality content would make me ready for said opportunity. No one's out here creating great content by accident. They either want to blog or write full time, so there's a goal in mind.
While I never had a direct plan to be a style editor, it was something that I ALWAYS wanted to do (ask my mom about the thousands of Teen magazines I acquired as a teenager. She'll tell you, it's true.) So, I've tried my best to treat Mattieologie like it's my own personal style magazine - in a sense it is - and that people would want to hire me or collaborate with me because I do. And that has nothing to do with me being lucky and everything to do with my effort.
SHOW OFF YOUR VARIOUS SKILLS While I'm married to a graphic artist, it's always been important to me to learn how to do things for this blog myself no matter how hard it was. And I also don't have the budget for an entire team of people so, sometimes learning how to edit and shoot my own YouTube videos was out of necessity versus desire. I have moderate PhotoShop skills, my iMovie editing skills have gotten better over the years and while I'm no photographer, I have a good eye and understand my angles. I try to show all of these skills off in my blog posts. In a lot of these cases, I had really great potential and did the appropriate research to turn it into skill.
Because I took the time out to learn three point lighting and research what lights to buy for video, I was able to execute my style webshow for CocoaFab without having to find someone to shoot me at a specific location. I've figured out how to pull it off all in the guest room of my house.
Instead of just writing about what I'm wearing, I've tried my best to balance out my writing with personality and develop a voice. It took a while, but I paid close attention to the posts my readers would actually respond to. Then I would try my best to mimic the voice from that post in my future posts.
If you have a blog - a personal blog, at that - that is certainly where you want to show off what you do well. Not only may you create a paid situation - be it freelance or sponsored - but you will impress your readers.
WHAT ARE YOU ALL ABOUT Your niche is so important because it lets people know what you're about and even passionate about. I love style, makeup, being inspired and blogging + writing and I've tried to love it in a way where you can see that through my blog content. I share my love of style through my outfit posts while you see how much I'm into makeup via YouTube. My lifestyle posts show you that not only do I enjoy writing & blogging, but I love inspiring while being inspired.
Sharing is caring especially through blogging.
Does your audience know what you're passionate about? If someone were to hire you right now because of your blog, what would it be for? And is that something you would actually like to do? Narrowing down what you're all about isn't only good for you, but your readers as well. It also makes things clear when a brand or potential employer or publication reaches out to you after reading your blog. They understand what you're about, how you do it and that you're good at.
AS OF LATE At the end of 2014, I really made a noticeable effort at increasing my YouTube content. Not only that, but going out of my way to ensure that my video content was stellar. CocoaFab reached out to me recently, but this time to host their new pop culture webshow, The Countdown, sponsored by Xfinity. (Starts this week!) I also saw a 12% increase on pay per video for The Countdown vs my style webshow. I'd definitely say my tunnel vision focus on video for my blog had something to do with that.
If you take your blog seriously, then you know ANYONE could be watching and reading your content. Make dynamic, quality content that will knock their socks off and hopefully, even get you a check. After all, your blog is your resume.