This week, I had the opportunity to chat OTP (On The Phone) an inspiring woman, Candice VanWye. She is a fashion and lifestyle blogger. The 23-year-old is also the creator of Brown Girl Bloggers, a growing platform that attracts female minorities. Read the Q&A below to learn a little more about Candice and her blogging tips! Also, click on the picture to hear our full conversation, mess ups and all! #Imnotperfect.
Prinsey: What made you start blogging?
Candice: I started blogging because I grew up in South Carolina.
So, I am a southern small town girl. I started blogging because I was moving to California. I was really nervous about it and I wanted to document what it was like being a small town person (I had lived in a small city in South Carolina) to come driving across country, coming here, getting my first post graduate job after college, and then I wanted to talk about fashion and stuff like that, so that’s why I started.
Prinsey: What made you start Brown Girl Bloggers?
Candice: Well, when I started blogging in 2013, I had almost been blogging for one year, and I could not find brown girls. I would go to these little blog groups, and it was all white girls. I could not find anybody, minority women or black women especially. I wanted to follow black women who blogged about stuff other than style and a makeup, which is funny because I do like blogging about makeup. But I was like, what about interior designers, blogging about positivity or whatever. I made it my mission, I was like one day, I was going to find as many bloggers as a I can. It just has grown over the years, but when I started it was like,
I want to see where the brown girl who have blogs are, I wanted to find them.
Prinsey: What have you learned through blogging?
Candice:Basically, I’ve learned to approach life and blogging more generously. So, when I started Brown Girl Bloggers, I just started it to make friends like I said, and eventually I learned that the platform was growing. I was getting more Instagram followers, Twitter followers, and more people were following the blog. Then I realized, I could use it to highlight other bloggers. When I started to do that, I had no intention on like, oh I am going to turn this into a business, this is going to be a thing.
I just did it.
I thought, if this person has good content, whether or not I personally like it, I want to amplify their voice, I want to advocate for us. Through that, so many opportunities have opened up for me I have met so many amazing people. I learned so much about blogging, I can build websites now, branding. Its been so good for my resume. I have learned to approach life more generously and if you do that, you will reap the rewards period.
Prinsey: Did you have any fear making Brown Girl Bloggers?
Candice: There was no fear because I didn’t really expect people to read it like they do. I did not really expect to get the numbers that I have at all , so I wasn’t afraid. Also, it was less about me and more about other people.
I only saw fear when I am putting myself out there.
Fear came later once I realized, Oh people are reading, people are watching me, people email me and they care about what I have to say. So there was no fear to start. I kind of think as a blogger, there shouldn’t have fear when you’re starting because that’s the perfect time. When your audience is small you can make mistakes and break your website and three people will notice, and you get better and grow overtime. Yeah, os there was no fear to start. So yeah, I think I feel more fear now than I did when I started.
Prinsey: How do I keep my blog afloat? How do I keep viewers, and people reading my content?
Candice: Comments are a weird thing. Comments are kind of dead right now. People do not comment anymore because of social media . Even my blog, I get 1,000’s of hits on my blog, my blog gets really good readership. However, if you go to my Instagram, you know, I get a bunch of Instagram comments.
So, worrying about comments your blog is pointless, don’t do that.
Secondly, there are a lot of blogging rules out there, right. I write about them all the time. But the real truth is that if your content is good, people are going to look at it or watch it or whatever. If your pictures are really good on your blog, if you’re writing style is really good and you’re saying stuff. Something I almost got caught up in, and something you’re getting caught up in now is just like, ‘Oh my god you got to write three posts, or three posts a week’ or whatever. Here’s the thing, when you force yourself to write content, its just not that good.
Don’t get caught up in just creating content just to create it.
1. You have to have some type of Consistency
2. Because of the amount of people that are making blogs, your content has to be good. Find your thing.
3. Stop worrying about the NUMBERS. That will drive you crazy,you will literally go insane, you will start second guessing yourself, and you will start making crappy content, and or just stop.
Thank you very much Candice for giving me the rundown on your success and how to become a stronger blogger.