When I first started blogging, it was more of a public journaling experience. I didn’t care who read it. I didn’t care who commented. As my blog grew, more and more people would tell me something specific about a post that really inspired them. Then and only then did I realize that someone actually reads this thing. One of my biggest fans of my blog is Miss Heather Lindskold of Between the Covers. I can ALWAYS count on Heather to like, comment or share one of my posts. I have never met Heather in my life but I promise, the support I receive from her, a complete stranger, (well not really because we’ve beeeen buddies on Twitter ), means the world to me. And I know it comes from a genuine place.
In the beginning, I used to take it personally when my close friends didn’t read my blog. Not in a badgering “Why haven’t you read this post” way but in a “What I did this weekend is up on my blog. It’s been up -___-” kinda way. But, I got over that really quickly. A while back, I attended a going away gathering for a friend and one of the ladies said something that completely transformed my perspective on receiving support from friends. She said “your friends are not your customers”. OOP. And it makes so much sense. So when a friend of mine asked a question on Facebook yesterday, I had the perfect (well, I thought so) response for her.
My friend asked:
“Why is it that you can receive more support from strangers than of those who you’ve known for years?”
My elaborated response:
I decided that I wanted to be a photographer in high school. I loved working with film, spending countless hours developing images in the dark room, playing with lighting and just being a general observer of people. When I was in college, I got the lofty idea that I could be the next Gordon Parks. I just knew that I’d become an amazing photojournalist one day. Until I realized that that really wasn’t my dream, lol. My love of photography still remains but I’d much rather appreciate the art as an observer.
I’ve been a fan of Ross Oscar Knight’s work for many many years. Any chance I can get to show my support of his endeavors, I will. In 2010, he attended his first trip to Haiti. I was so very impressed by the images at his opening exhibition then. This time, I was able to hear the story behind his first (and recent trip) to Haiti.
I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see the Atlanta Ballet. Thanks to Mattie of the Atlanta Style Bloggers, I was about to see an amazing performance by the New Choreographic Voices. MAN. I’ll discuss it in Wednesday’s post. It was absolutely phenomenal.
The best and most hilarious part was when my friend Naomie (see: short girl; red pants) got chosen to go on stage and dance. I could not stop laughing. Most importantly, I couldn’t stop thanking Jesus that it wasn’t me the dancer picked. I can’t dance to save my life.
Previously in my style spotlight posts, I wrote about celebrities who presented a style that I admired. I will still do that from time to time. Now, I’d like to incorporate interview posts of people I actually know (online and in real life) who exemplify great personal style.
I first met Mattie…actually, I can’t remember! Lol. Probably through a fashion event or via Twitter. What I admire the most about Mattie is that she has a tenacious spirit and she executes all of her aspirations effortlessly. I’m often left wondering, “when does this girl have time to sleep?!” She does it all gracefully.
Mattie James is from a little bit of every where. Born in Huntsville, AL, raised between Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, she traveled around a lot with her parents (originally from Liberia). She eventually settled (back) in Atlanta in 2006. In June 2009, she won Miss Liberia Georgia and in July 2009, she won Miss Liberia USA.
“I said that if I was gonna do Miss Liberia Georgia, it was to win Miss Liberia USA.”
This was very important to her as she was engaged to an American man. In September 2009, she got married. By this time, her name was everywhere, which created a great buzz for when she started her blog, Mattieologie, in January 2010.
I last posted about some inspiring young ladies a while back who are definitely women to watch. This past Saturday, Diamonde and Bella hosted a brunch at The Mosiac for their new women’s empowerment group, Be Bella. The sisterhood was created to promote inner growth which includes, but not limited to, spiritual, financial and emotional growth. I was really pleased to see women coming together to share ideas and supporting one another. It feels good to be surrounded by young, beautiful and powerful women.
Be Bella, “Changing the world one woman at a time.”
On Wednesday, I attended a women’s empowerment mixer at Free People. The event was coordinated and hosted by Diamonde Williamson, director at The Style Diamond and vlogger, Alicia James of Be Chic from A to Z.
A friend asked me how I got “so many” followers and I was kind of taken aback. It’s one of those questions that you don’t really know how to answer because it seems so simple that it’s complex. The same criteria that apply to following someone also applies to myself. But I do believe that there is a strategy to gaining quality followers.
Here’s my process:
1. Be yourself - I know it’s pretty trendy to have several personalities on social media but your cover will get blown eventually. All it takes is one tweet.
2. Watch your language - Too many swear words and eventually people won’t take you seriously. Use sparingly and only for emphasis.
3. Tweet strategically - You only get 140 characters to get your point across. Twitterlonger is a trap. Don’t do it. Most people won’t waste their time to click on it. Keep it short.
4. Engage - This is probably the most important and one that I’ve slipped on as of late. It’s all well and nice to tweet randomly or cryptically but twitter is a place to connect with others. Ask questions. Take a poll. Don’t just follow someone and never tweet them. Comment on their tweets. Hop in on conversations.
A great way to connect with others is by using hashtags. Ex: I love the show New Girl. When I tweet about it, I use the hashtag so that those watching the show can see it. Another ex: Have a question about beauty or hair products? Ask a question and use the hashtag #hair or #beauty. Search what’s trending and interact with strangers!
Don’t just lurk or only communicate with your friends. Diversify.
6. Create and/or post quality content - Are you an “expert” on a topic? Teach your followers something. They want to learn something from you.
7. Be interesting - Share personal stories about your life. Post about your third grade teacher who changed your life. Tweet about the boy who broke your heart and later got stuck with a overbearing loser. I wanna know who hurt you!
I want your timeline to be GREAT. Show your current and future followers that you’re worth the follow.
Sounds simple, right? But why do we make it so hard? Why do we get so scared? I came across this tweet the other day and totally agreed the young lady.
“At what point did things become so complex between men and women that asking simple questions warrant intense fretting and self-doubt?”
Like, really. We create these scenarios in our heads instead of just communicating with one another. Are we afraid that the answers we’ll receive won’t be the ones we want to hear? Are we afraid of rejection? Are we afraid of the truth?
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m an undercover over-lover. I just feel everything and I want that same feeling returned. It’s terrifying and exciting at the same time. But it’s the uncertainty that I don’t like. It makes being vulnerable difficult. It makes expressing what I want and how I want it an arduous task.
But what do I know. I’m just an emotional girl, eating a burrito and ice cream and drinking my very last glass of wine. Pray for my insides.
Ohhh…just some random facts about me.
- If I were a gemstone, I’d be a ruby.
- If I were a scent, I’d be the faint smell of soap.
- If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be colorful flats.
- If I were the weather, I’d be summer rain.
- If I were a facial expression, I’d be a tight-lipped smize.
- If I were a car, I’d be a mini cooper.
- If I were a time of day, I’d be half past noon.
- If I were a month, I’d be October.
- If I were a place, I’d be an island.
- If I were a liquid, I’d be sweet tea.
- If I were a taste, I’d be tart.
- If I were a sea animal, I’d be a penguin.
- If I were a food, I’d be fried chicken.
- If I were a color, I’d be purple.
- If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a violin.
- If I were a flower, I’d be a lily.
- If I were an object, I’d be a stone.
- If I were a fruit, I’d be a mango.
- If I were a sound, I’d be the wind.
- If I were a day of the week, I’d be a Saturday.
- If I were a nail polish color, I’d be blush or cashmere.
- If I were a bakery treat, I’d be a warm croissant drizzled with chocolate.
- If I were a store, I’d be Target.
- If I were a season, I’d be Autumn.
- If I were a perfume, I’d be light and airy (but I can’t tell you the name).
Feel free to copy. It’s what I did. Stolen from my blogger friend in my head, Lesley Jean, over at Yessiree Petunia. Happy Tuesday.
Finally got to meet the wonderful Rosetta Thurman of Happy Black Woman blog.
She was very surprised that with all of the Black women in Atlanta, we didn’t have more meet-ups like this on a regular basis. Nevertheless, a good group of women came in support and we had a blast.
And guess who won the biggest prize??? THIS GIRL! Earrings, necklace and bracelet gifted by Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry.
To read more about the event, click here. And definitely subscribe to Rosetta’s blog, Happy Black Woman. Inspiring!