Today's blogger of the week is the smart and sassy Vahni from Grit & Glamour! Not only is she a style setter, but also a highly educated writer and web developer.
Learn more about this dynamic blogger and the many facets of her profession and personal life.
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LadyLUX: What inspired you to start your fashion blog?
Grit & Glamour: A career in financial services writing and content development. The financial services industry has been very good to me, but I needed somewhere to put my creativity! Uh, variable annuities and traditional IRAs, or Victoria Beckham and Tom Ford? That’s a no-brainer.
LL: How would you describe your personal style?
GG: Edgy, sophisticated, and a little unpredictable. One day I might be in leathers and platform boots, the next a demure pencil skirt and spiked pumps. I like clean lines, rich textures, and often, a little hint of subversion.
via Grit & Glamour
LL: What’s your take on sponsored reviews?
GG: I don’t mind them as long as they align with a blogger’s aesthetic. I would never contract to review something that I didn’t think I’d really like or that doesn’t actually interest me. That doesn’t mean I won’t be honest, but I’m not going to set myself (or a company) up for failure. I do think it’s important to balance the amount of sponsored content with genuine editorial, however. Otherwise, your blog becomes an infomercial.
LL: What does being an influential style blogger mean to you, and what’s next for the evolution?
GG: Great question. It seems that brands and bloggers have (finally) realized that influence isn’t necessarily just about numbers. For style bloggers, it’s not just about your page views, subscribers, and followers. Authenticity, uniqueness, and voice are paramount. That said, I think what’s next for bloggers is the real possibility of a steady paycheck borne of blogging. Not necessarily from freelance work (though that is possible), but from a corporation or company. Businesses across all industries are realizing that social media like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are NOT going away, and are quickly becoming a critical part of doing business. So I think more hobby bloggers will be recruited by big players to help manage their social media endeavors. If I were running a style- or fashion-related business, that’s what I’d do. I’d want to see active, working knowledge of social media and online engagement. What’s better (or more bonafide) than a blogger’s social media accounts? Then it’s just a matter of matching bloggers to business objectives.
via Grit & Glamour
LL: What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?
GG: Commenting on other blogs and developing relationships with other bloggers (who have a similarly-sized following) has been very helpful for me. I think a lot of new bloggers are dazzled by what I call the “superbloggers”—you know who they are—and they spend all their time commenting on blogs that already have a massive following. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that, but with so many commenters, it’s not likely you are going to get much attention. Maybe just look at those blogs, but spend time leaving genuine comments on blogs that are also smaller and looking to grow. Start small and build from there, because the more online relationships you have, the more shares and features/exposure you are likely to get. We all love Kelly Framel of The Glamourai. But do you really think she has time to make jewelry, create blog posts, appear on TV with Nate Berkus, have a life, AND comment on your little blog?
Contributing to and interacting in blog communities like Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) is also valuable. Attending conferences helped me a lot as well…virtual relationships are cemented and deepened when you actually meet other bloggers face-to-face. I’ve also found a new site and weekly Twitter chat called Blog Trends Chat (blogtrendschat.com) to be a wonderful way to learn and network with other bloggers. And that’s a great segue, because one of the best ways to network is by sharing great content via other social media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook. Not your content, but the content of others that resonates with you. I promise you, bloggers who are looking to expand their reach will notice.
via Grit & Glamour
LL: What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
GG: When I’m not obsessively checking Twitter and Instagram (no joke), I can be found working out, dining out, or taking long walks with my husband. And stalking other people’s dogs (I can’t have one at the moment, and I miss it). Oh, and window shopping online. I can’t tell you how many carts I’ve abandoned! I’m so easily influenced. I’ll sit down to send a quick email, and the next thing I know I have Alexander Wang boots in my Shopbop cart. Sigh.
LL: What is your favorite part about creating content for Grit & Glamour?
GG: I’ve always said that the draw for my blog is the writing. I’m not the prettiest girl in the world, or the skinniest, or the wealthiest (which helps tremendously if you do outfit posts)—but I have a very strong personality, and a very determined voice. So I love the challenge of the writing, especially when something has really piqued my interest. You can see the journalist in me come out in my posts Why I’m Not on Weardrobe, Chictopia, Lookbook, or Hypeed and Klout—What it is and Why it Matters.
LL: When you’re in need of some fashion inspiration, where do you look?
GG: Blogs! I’m endlessly inspired by so many personal style and streetstyle blogs. And fashion magazines, of course. Can’t live without ‘em.