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Fashion Blogging in the Worst Dressed City in America

So when that came out, obviously we did not know is how they came up with this rating, but we are here, for one final Throwdown to you know give our rebuttal on the worst charity in America, but in reality we all five of us have fashion blogs And a little bit later on in the talk, we’re going to talk about blogging within an Asian nation, down your blog, but as an overarching theme, we all have fashion blogs, so we’re just going to discuss what it’s been like blogging in Pittsburgh and fashion.

We’ve all had blogs for different lengths of time, so we’ve experienced really different environments with that and we’re going to also finish up by giving you some tips on where we take our favorite outfit of the day pictures. So that’s sort of like a fun little thing to end the talk on so Ashley and I are sort of the hosts of this panel because we are two of the founders of a group called style, social Pittsburgh or stylish.

Pittsburgh is our hashtag and we’re. We started an event series for fashion bloggers in Pittsburgh and that’s how we got to know all of these. Ladies really well over the last year. So Ashley is going to tell us a little bit about style, social Pittsburgh, I’m Ashley Fletcher um. We are all here, like Tori, said on behalf of our blogs, but also in addition to our style, social Pittsburgh, so style social Pittsburgh.

So there were four of us on two of the girls actually aren’t here today, but there were four of us and we all have blogs and we kind of knew each other in different ways. Um and I think one of the girls Kim she was a connector to all four of us, and so we were talking and we just really wanted to get together with like-minded individuals. Because we didn’t know many bloggers in the area. And when you have people that are doing something similar, you can really be creative and bounce ideas off each other and be very innovative, and so we were like well, let’s get together.

We weren’t really expecting much because we didn’t know of many bloggers in Pittsburgh or fashion blog excuse me fashion bloggers, so we got together. We we started, you know, searching out the bloggers here locally and we found way more than we were ever expecting. So now this little networking group has created. It was the first one here in Pittsburgh, and so now we work locally with the local boutiques and we’ve got some great plans coming up in the next year and you know we like to emphasize being creative and innovative and working with each other and collaborating together.

So we can all continue to build our brands and show people that Pittsburgh is not the worst-dressed city in America. So tell us Ashley a little bit about your blog, so my blog is afternoon espresso and it’s it’s a life and style blog that I focus on my personal style for the everyday girl. I you know I try to be relatable. I try to put outfits on there that are wearable to work to going out for weekend, wear and also affordable, but don’t get me wrong.

I certainly have some high-end taste that I you know like the occasional expensive bag, but um, but I try to make everything wearable, relatable and affordable. They also do a cupcake of the month recipe and afternoon espresso. I am clearly obsessed with coffee, so you will probably find something coffee related on it as well and travel so well. My name is Tori mystic and my blog is called where wagger Pete, I just celebrated my third blog of ursery earlier this year.

On that blog, I had another blog before that, so I’ve been blogging a lot longer than three years, but where wacker Pete came about because I love fashion and I love dogs. So that is how I came up with the name and it was sort of an idea to post outfits and do outfit photos and things like that. That included my dogs and, as I was researching the concept, I found that there was a lot of people in the fashion industry, fashion, bloggers and fashionistas, who had dogs and didn’t always include them in their social media.

And, as you know, dogs are one of the most popular things on the internet, so I thought it was a really good idea to integrate them into my fashion blog and I found a lot of people who email me and say: oh, my god, fashion and dogs, Or my favorite things I am so happy to find your blog, so I do a lot of that stuff and then recently this year, starting in January, got a lot more interested in doing article.

So I also periscope about five times a week doing my daily dog walk with my dog and just talk about whatever I feel like talking about, and then I also have a new YouTube blog, where I do stylish DIYs that you can do with your dog. So I recently did one where you made, or I made pom pom gladiator sandals and a pom pom collar for my dog. So I tried to do everything work, my dog’s into everything that I do on my blog.

Does this work? Yep? Okay, it’s working hi! I’m Zoe, I have a lifestyle, blog called Zoe with love and the main takeaway from my blog is it’s fresh and feminine, very ladylike style, and I like to feature a lot of home decor as well as fashion. I think they go hand in hand with each other, so my blog is really tailored toward young. Ladies, like us, in this age range as well as young millennial moms, I feel like.

As you know, time is progressing more and more young people are having kids and either staying home or not having that outlet, maybe to feel like they’re fashionable anymore, and my goal is to show moms that you you stand, can still be fashionable and a lot of My clothing, that I feature is very relatable, easy to wear, think lots of dresses, rompers Easy Pieces, some things that don’t wrinkle as much when you’re you know you have a baby.

You have to think of clothes that you can nurse with. So there’s a lot of different things that come into it with mom related clothing, but still being fashionable. So that’s where I feature you know, that’s how I feature the clothes that I do and as far as home decor, I typically feature my house because I am a stay-at-home mom and people have this fascination with seeing inside of other people’s homes, and that seems to Be one of my more popular things that people like to get that inside look of everything.

So I do like to feature that, and hopefully one day it segues into something more, and I also like to feature flowers and gardening and things of that nature and showing DIYs how to make flowers without having necessarily to go to a florist. How you can do it yourself and you know, save some money while you’re doing that? What’s up guys, my name is Jessica Vinny. I am a transplant, don’t hate me from Philadelphia.

I’ve just celebrated my two-year anniversary in Pittsburgh. I currently live here with my husband Ben and we recently got a little puppy, opal she’s, the best ever my blog is called we, the alabaster, I’m kind of the rookie of the group. I definitely look towards these women as far as inspiration for growing my blog and kind of growing my content, my blog, is, I like to describe it as an open journal with style.

I’ve always loved the written word and handwritten words, and letters and notes always have done that all of my life, my fave, my inspiration behind my blog, is literally my mother, my freshman year of college. The day that I went off to it. She gave me a journal in which she kept every day of my senior year of high school, literally just documented every single day. It was two separate journals, and it was most amazing gift that I have to this day and so documenting with the written word is really huge for me and you’ll find a lot of stuff, I’m very written heavy, but I’m also, I know images are very powerful And I like to connect style to a lot of kind of daily inspiration.

For example, my last post was, I recently got this awesome vintage white kimono and I related it to my husband so right. That sounds weird like how are my husband and this vintage white feminine floral kimono have something in common, but I kind of tried to connect the two. I have a very different path into blogging in Philadelphia. I was all wrapped up in sports. I was in the sports industry for a very long time about seven years, probably the peak of my industry, and my time with that was.

I worked with the Philadelphia Eagles for a good amount of time, but coming to Pittsburgh kind of opened up this whole new world of change and there’s always been this side of me that loves not just fashion but individual style. I think individual style is so cool and it really opens up the door into people’s life and their journey, and I love making that connection so yeah, I’m going to pass it off to Tara, hey everyone, I’m Tara, McBride, my current blog is love.

Nothing more. I’ve been blogging, though, for a very long time. I took a bit of a hiatus for a number of years, but I actually did start blogging years ago because of the worst-dressed city ranking. I thought it was ridiculous and it infuriated me, because I had several friends who were boutique owners, friends who were stylish and interesting and really had their own kind of point of view with their personal style.

And I thought it was important for somebody to stand up and say that Pittsburgh is a stylish City and to you know, if you’re going to come to Pittsburgh there. Not only are there places to shop and buy things locally, which is really fantastic, but Pittsburgh is beautiful. It’s a beautiful city. I wanted to show off the fact that you can, you know, hang out on the riverfront. You can go walk from downtown over to the stadiums I wanted to show off, not just the fact that you can shop locally, but that Pittsburgh is a great place to be.

So that’s how I started years and years ago, the most recent iteration of my blogging experience was really you know. I was reading what was going on with fashion blogging in Pittsburgh, and I just missed it. I missed it desperately. I loved the connections that I was making with people through blogging and social media, and I wanted to be a part of what was happening. There was this great movement that that I was seeing happen and I just thought I need to be part of this again.

So I the reason that I stopped blogging was because I had gone to a new job and it’s the the industry that I work in is highly regulated. So when I first started working there, they were a little hesitant to have somebody. You know out there talking about things, even though it was just fashion, it wasn’t about the industry. So after some time with the company, I went up to my superiors, and I said you know I really miss this.

It means a lot to me. Is it something that I could get back into and they were, they were fine with it. So I started love nothing more in January and I’m so glad that I did you know I’m not creative, like all these. Ladies, are I don’t DIY, I’m terrible, I’m absolutely awful I why? But I am a working mom. I work downtown. I I have to dress conservatively for work, but you know if you, if you look at my style, there’s a lot of very conservative work clothes and then I’m like this on the weekend where you know I’ve got ripped jeans and ridiculously high heels.

So I’m kind of all over the place. I guess that’s typical Gemini right like I just cannot pick what I want to be, but really the the reason that I blog is to have memories about what’s been happening throughout my weeks or months. I can look in an outfit and say I remember that day. I remember exactly what happened that day conversations I had and I like to have that kind of a journal to keep track of those things, but I also just I love the community.

I love connecting with other people, and blogging has been you know way back when I started and to this day it has brought me together with people who, I think, are really humble, fantastic, supportive people, and so it’s been delightful to be back back into the community. All right well, thank you. So next up we are actually going to go ahead. We have a couple topics for discussion that we are going to talk about and then we’re going to open it up.

So if you guys have any questions whatsoever about blogging fashion, the industry Pittsburgh, whatever you guys, can feel free to ask. So I know Terra kind of touched on her opinion on this, but we want to ask you, ladies, what you think if you think that Pittsburgh is the worst stressed city in America and how you feel about that? Obviously I disagree. I think if I agreed it would look pretty bad so, but no, I do disagree and you know I remember when that article came out and I think I had you know I had an old blog at the time and I was you know doing a fashion Blog this was before Zoe with love, and you know, is it’s a little offensive when you’re a fashion, blogger and your city gets that that title? But I was looking you know through a lot of the cities that share this title.

Um I notice Boston is on there lining what is Boston in Pittsburgh? Have in common there’s a very strong sport culture in the city, and if you read, you know the the articles that somebody you know would write about it. It’s targeting the you know the person in the Jersey in the high socks with the converse, and you know they just you know the appearance isn’t what’s important to them in that moment, going to a sporting event is what’s important to this person, so um.

I think it’s really easy to typecast Pittsburgh as being a worst-dressed City because of the extremely strong sports culture in you know the city of Pittsburgh, but I think you know looking at it. We live here. We, you know, know what it’s like it’s to our benefit, because that’s just part of what makes Pittsburgh really great. There’s a really strong cultural thing in the city. Where there’s different segments, you have the people that are really into sports.

You have people that are really into fashion. You have people that are really into culture in the art scene. It’s there’s all these different. You know segments of the city that aren’t taken into account when somebody like GQ, you know, wants to sell a magazine. So I think you know it definitely does a disservice to the city saying that, because it’s you know neglecting to take into account a lot of other people in the city that you know they do shine and you see them – and I think now with social media And even just the Renaissance at Pittsburgh’s, you know been experiencing with all the young people staying in the city and young people coming back to the city you’re starting to see you know all these different people with individual style.

I think you know it’s like Jessa said it’s not just fashion, it’s individual styles, people that take pride and express themselves with what they’re wearing and I see it when you walk through Lawrenceville, it’s going to be different than when you go through Shadyside. You know it’s always you see the different individual style and it’s you know it is a disservice to the city to say that, because it’s inaccurate um, I think now, though you are going to start to see a lot more stronger.

You know style through Pittsburgh and you know our. I say you know a lot and I just noticed that, but I think with social media, it’s going to be to our advantage to be able to put Pittsburgh on a platform that completely debunks that title. But I all think that it’s going to be easy to get that title, because their sports are always going to be relevant here and you’re always going to have. You know those people that do just like that, and that is fine, but not everybody dresses like that, and that’s what I think about it.

I think that I’ve never really thought about it in that sense is like sports. Being I mean sports is obviously a huge part of our community, and the great thing about sports is that it does bring people together. I mean that’s the best thing about it in my opinion, and I think that a lot of people think of the fashion industry as being like a really exclusive but fashion blogging. I haven’t really felt that way and I think especially with our style social group like we’ve made just.

I know if speaking for the two of us we’ve made so many friends in the last year by doing the style, social events. So I think that that getting the title of where snow city in America or third worst dress a tea or whatever it was. It really was a reflection on how much community we have around sports, but there’s also people who, just like form, great community. I think people are so friendly here and I think that’s makes the fashion industry and fashion blogging really approachable, because we get people coming to our events, who want to start a fashion blog or want to want to post more fashion on Instagram, whatever level that you’re At I think everyone who’s in our community is really supportive of that.

It’s just like a mirror of the sports community kind of I have. I have something else to say: I love that people underestimate Pittsburgh. They do it with everything they do it with fashion, but they do it with everything. I’ve had friends who are from Chicago Philly Florida wherever and when they’ve never been to Pittsburgh and when they come they’re like oh wow. This is a really great city, so you know what it’s to our advantage: that people think that Pittsburgh’s not fashionable that Pittsburgh is not beautiful, because we we get to set the tone we get to.

We get to tell people no. This is what it’s like, and I think that we’re in a really interesting time right now, because we were changing the the conversation, we’re changing the narrative about Pittsburgh and yeah, it’s it’s just fashion, but fashion and art and music and photography. And you know the creatives are the ones that sort of drive the way that people start to look at the city. So I’m I’m happy that people think that were the worst-dressed City, that’s great fine! We’re going to prove you wrong! It’s great, I think, being a transparent into Pittsburgh.

It was interesting I had. I remember one day specifically, a good friend of mine said: why would you move to Pittsburgh and then start a fashion blog right, you’re in Philly? I was in downtown Philly like why? Wouldn’t you do it then, and I love stereotypes. It’s not so much that they’re, not true, sometimes, but it’s that they’re incomplete right and saying that we’re the worst stress city in America I think, is super incomplete.

There is. This is a small town city right. I can’t even begin to tell you people that I’ve met and then I go to a different neighborhood and I see them walking down the street. It’s incredible to me. I think it’s awesome, but just because folks, wear jerseys or just because I wear very red boots that are probably blinding you and I match the seats and the curtains it doesn’t. I mean everyone’s individual style.

It’s one person’s opinion, saying what they think style is right and Pittsburgh. I think Tara’s right. We are changing that narrative and showing that style encompasses a whole lot of things, regardless of what people say. Sports and fashion have so much in common on what drives it, and it’s kind of like a sports metaphor right. I love what you said like go ahead. Put us down at the bottom will prove you wrong right.

The best narratives and sports are the comeback stories, and I love being a part of that I feel like. I just fell into this perfect time in Pittsburgh and fashion when I first moved here finding other Pittsburgh bloggers. For me, it was really difficult, like I couldn’t find people I found bloggers, but I’m like where are you from like? Where are you from and the style credits of style, socialist credit to Kim Tory Ashley and Nicki for bringing us all together and since then I feel like really since then – and I mean I’ve had a limited time here, but people have been talking about Pittsburgh more.

It’s in their profiles, you know we’re from Pittsburgh and I think that is it’s awesome. I wasn’t born and raised here, but I’m happy to say that this has already become my home and I don’t know that I’m going to leave and that’s really I mean that’s crazy to say I never thought I would end up here. But there is a lot of things happening and to say to say to pinpoint us into this worst-dressed category I mean go ahead, it’s it’s cool, come and meet us and we’ll change your mind, but yeah it’s it’s.

It was something that I actually didn’t know until I became a part of this panel. I was like who’s this person telling us where the worst stress like city. I had no idea, and then I did a lot of research and terror actually was quoted in 2011. Coming back at and she’s still fighting the good fight, and I love that about her but yeah, I think it’s it’s an incomplete and I love being a part of this group of people.

These are, ladies, that I don’t know that I would have met if it weren’t for blogging and that community is it’s. It’s strong and we’re only getting stronger for sure awesome um. Can I ask you guys a follow-up question around the whole concept of big fish in a little pond? How do you feel about fashion blogging in Pittsburgh versus doing it in like New York or London or Paris, or something like that? I love this question so and I think sometimes it’s easy to pinpoint us is not maybe having that mecca for fashion bloggers, because a sheer volume right, we’re a smaller city and in Philadelphia in New York and LA you.

Just have this plethora, and it’s just so vast that yeah eventually someone’s going to break out to the top a lot quicker, maybe then in cities. But I think it’s I think I mean you’re looking at some girls that have some amazing amazing following and have an amazing brand for themselves, and I think all we have to do is keep on keeping on and eventually we will get. There might be slow and steady, but eventually we will get there and we will put Pittsburgh on the map as having some, like amazing content creators, and it’s not just us fashion bloggers as Tara was saying.

There’s amazing photographers here. There are amazing creatives here. One of my favorite keep Pittsburgh dope if you’ve seen that I’m sure you have how inspiring I love that he’s kind of bringing that street style to Pittsburgh movements like that as long as we’re supporting each other, I mean we’re going to be unstoppable and Pittsburgh will Be on the mat bed – some I mean it already is, but for a fashion blogging we’ll be yeah.

I have no problem chiming in what do I think about being a blogger in Pittsburgh versus in New York or Paris or London. The community here is so supportive of each other. I have always felt like if you have an idea in Pittsburgh. People are going to rally around you, they are just like and you don’t get that same sense of community in a city like New York or London or Paris, because they’re so big because they’re these mecca’s, and so it’s really.

What is your goal? What do you want to accomplish and who are you, and I think that I am Pittsburgh – I I don’t want to be in New York. I don’t want to be London. I like what Pittsburgh stands for. I like that, we’re a Midwestern, Rust, Belt kind of a city that people wrote off and – and I think that there’s something about the way that we rally around each other. You know Pitt girl, always talked about how how important the community in Pittsburgh was for itself.

Right, like we just supported each other, and she was always so right on with that stuff. You know the same sentiment that we have about our sports teams. We have that for everything, that’s Pittsburgh based and I think that’s what’s really beautiful about our city versus somebody else. I’ll add some to that um. I definitely love blogging in Pittsburgh versus if I were in a bigger city – and it’s like these girls said when I have an idea or something crazy, I’m thinking of it’s realistic.

I can approach a boutique and pitch them an idea and I’ve had it where it happens, and nobody necessarily maybe knows who I am from that realm, but they’re open to it, because people are very down-to-earth and friendly here and people do want to collaborate with you Here and work together and do cross collaborations to promote each other, especially women in business. I’ve noticed, especially in the fashion industry in Pittsburgh.

Same thing goes with bloggers. I don’t know if I could say that I would have met the people I’ve met if I was in a really big city – and you know, nationwide fashion blogging is very competitive. It’s saturated and I feel like within our community. It feels like we have something special and you see other people, for example, in Austin they’re like is there any Austin bloggers? Can I meet somebody, you know and you realize, and you notice, like not everybody has what we have going on and I do think it’s something really special that it’s native to Pittsburgh and there’s a reason for that all righty great answers, ladies okay.

So next topic of discussion, so what social media platforms do you find most effective for a fashion blog, okay, I’ll go again, I’m a highly visual person fashion blogging is highly visual, so my main focus is on social media or Instagram and Pinterest Instagram. I I treat it as a mini blog. I have you know gotten more followers from there who are interested in you and interested in your brand, and you can keep them engaged.

Even if you necessarily don’t have a blog post going up every day. It’s you have to stay on top of it. You have to be doing it all the time and always thinking about it and serving it as a part of your blog. It’s an extension of that so instrument play is a very big part, the other you know. I said Pinterest and it’s because pins Pinterest is very visual. You know content related you. If you use Pinterest correctly, you can get a ton of traffic more than Google.

Even you know you can get one thing to go viral and you’re set with traffic. Coming to your block, and then it’s your you know it’s your chance to get them to stay there, so Pinterest and Instagram. As far as, if you’re doing something that’s content that has a high visual, I would definitely focus on theirs and that’s not to say anything. You know negative about Twitter, Facebook. I have those as well, but I’ve focused a lot on my visual content and going through those two strategies and then, as far as with the social media, it’s the whole other aspect of it is keeping up with it, because it’s constantly changing Instagram and Pinterest.

Just change their algorithms, so it’s honestly teaching yourself how to use these to your advantage and educating yourself strategies how to get yourself out there. But those are my two favorites and then with Instagram hash tagging is really important. You can use, I think, 29 or 30 hashtags so use them. Do not waste a hashtag use as many as you can and geotag. When you’re in Pittsburgh. People find you like that people are always looking for other Pittsburgh people other Pittsburgh bloggers.

I used the stylish Pittsburgh hashtag Pittsburgh, bloggers, hashtag and I’ve actually met and made relationships with people from that. So it’s crazy, but it just we’re in a different time like that’s the norm now so I’ve gotten used to it. So I am a relative newbie. I wouldn’t say a newbie on Instagram, but in January, when I started my blog, my second vlog I decided to put a higher emphasis on Instagram, and so you know I found some editing.

Apps Snapseed is a really great editing app for your photos. It helps you control levels, it can help you crop or rotate, or it’s a pretty powerful app and it’s it’s nice to be able to take a photo with my iPhone. It’s a pretty good photo, but then to kind of refine it a bit. Give it the tone and the field that I want, and so I have really tried to emphasize Instagram a bit more. I do use Pinterest quite a bit, but I don’t use it as much to promote my own blog.

I repin a lot and I’ve gotten a pretty strong following on Pinterest, because I just I mean I’ll literally take 10 or 15 minutes, while I’m waiting for dinner to cook and I’ll pin like mad anything that I like, and it’s been very helpful to to get A following, and then I still use Twitter, I still use Facebook, I just got onto snapchat and it’s I really got on snapchat because of this one who keeps trying to talk to me while I’m up here, because my friend said that kids really love snapchat, because I just thought: forget: snapchat, it’s right, I’m never going to get it and now I’m obsessed.

So, oh and that’s that’s kind of what happens, and I I agree with Zoe hashtags on Instagram, especially are your friend the one thing that I will say about Instagram that I have found since I’ve really put more of a focus on it. That really frustrates me is the follow to get a follow and immediate unfollow. It drives me bonkers if you want to grow your following on any social media platform. I believe very very strongly in a highly engaged follower who is interested in what you have to say versus quantity, and I never noticed it until I again started focusing on Instagram and I would I would start following somebody who would follow me as like.

Oh, I, like your feed and then two days later they unfollowed me and it it just really rubbed me the wrong way. I have to say I’m a little bit of an OG but uh. I still believe very very strongly in engagement in creating content that people want to consume versus gathering a whole bunch of people. I just think it’s really important to yes pic paying for exposure having a boost post that, I think, that’s all, that’s all great, but I still feel very strongly about the content.

It needs to be there in order to have an engaged. You know good solid following who’s, going to stick with you and really rally for you when, when you’re, when you’re posting so yeah, the big four I mean we all know they’ve done a great job of explaining Instagram Pinterest Twitter. Facebook. I think Instagram for us is like the mecca for me, where my blog has a little bit more writing to it. I’m really loved and I’ve found a lot of great interaction on an app called stellar stellar stories.

You can hashtag it on Instagram. They feature a ton. I’ve actually been featured myself. It is, if kind of Zooey said it’s very much a mini blog. So it’s a very career. Creative community you’ll find a lot of photographers on there and it’s creating a story through various pictures. Various different, like word, options they have like six or so different ways that you can present your story and you literally click on a story and you kind of swipe through like a book and they don’t let you have more than 15 slides or so.

But it’s a great way to introduce folks into my initial blog posts, because sometimes you might read the first paragraph or you might see a word or two and then you’ll see my pictures and you’re like that, doesn’t relate at all. So it’s a great way for me to kind of pull in and I found a great amount of engagement from that and obviously everything is connected and the one thing that I have found with social media and I worked in marketing in Philly for sports.

So the one thing engagement is huge right and you have to realize that every platform is different in the way that you present. Information on each platform needs to be different and I fall victim to this all the time, because time is of the essence, and I just share everything from one platform right, so my Instagram, I share it to everywhere, but I find I have way more engagement. If I’m organically posting to Facebook – and I prime it to my facebook following or I organically post an Instagram – and I prime it to that – I’m definitely I fall victim to it all the time where I just kind of post the same exact wording, the same exact Picture whatever it may be to all blogs, but engaging with folks at different platforms have different views.

Different content translates to people differently on those platforms and so figuring out. It’s more time, but I mean again anything worth doing – is going to be hard but kind of individualizing toward those platforms, I think, for me, has been really a big focus moving forward. Well, I am very visual as well. I am very big on Pinterest and Instagram again, you got you, ladies explained it very well.

The big thing that I can maybe give advice to anybody would be to create a brand for yourself and it’s like they were saying. You know it’s an extension of your blog, so your blog has a brand and you want that to flow through your Instagram. You want people to you want to find people that enjoy what you’re putting on there, because it’s all about your audience and you you want to make your audience happy, and so you know I’m going to stick with my brand and a particular palette, or maybe you Know particular style, like my style, is different than some of your styles.

So if maybe I went on there and I posted something – maybe that Torrey would post my readers might be like whoa. What is she doing because it’s not necessarily part of my brand, so it’s very important to figure out what your brand is and stick with that and carry that through all of your social media blogs. So I do a lot of article which you guys didn’t touch on at all, but I am on periscope all of the time and have found that it’s a really engaged community over there and I’ve found followers or viewers on my periscope who have have told me That they tune in every day, you know on periscope, you can read a rebroadcast, you don’t have to read everything live, so I’ve had viewers, say that they’re in Australia and they when they wake up my broadcasts from the previous day it’s available and, and they always Read my broadcast and they’ll come over and follow me on Instagram and one of my periscope followers followed me on Instagram that you follow me on snapchat and then he’s like.

Please follow back, follow back and I didn’t follow him back originally, because his Instagram account was marked as private, and I don’t really like to follow private accounts, because that’s not why I’m really on moron they’re, like for my blog and for traffic and branding and things Like that, but I followed him and now he sends me like all these, like private messages like asking how my dogs are and stuff, so I found that the periscope people really get to know you at a different level through article than they do through photos and The written word so I have found it to be really really great for engagement, but I’m really focused on article.

So this kind of leads into my next follow-up question for you guys and you all sort of touched on it a little bit. But what do you find to be the most engaging type of content? Obviously Zooey. You talked about photos, everyone, if you’re a fashion, blogger everybody posts, photos but doesn’t make a difference for engagement when you have more thoughtful text, or do you just prefer to post 25 photos what works for you? Well, what works! For me, the text is very important with the photo copy is next to you know.

Photography copy is very important a lot of times when I’m thinking of the photos I’m going to post or you know what I’m taking a picture I’ll have a caption. In my mind already – and it’s all one – you know it’s like a circle, so I do think that makes a huge difference when you’re, for instance, putting something on Instagram and you’re trying to sell something, people can sniff it out when you’re not being authentic.

You have to take the time to think about what you’re writing you have to keep. It simple, keep it straight to the point, but it has to be in your voice and that’s another thing that goes with your brand. You find your brand, you find your voice and you stay consistent with that when you say something like oh look at this shirt you can buy it from here is just on sale. If you have a little bit more flavor to it, people are more likely going to look at it.

If it sounds, organic people are more likely to engage asked about it. They’re not just going to what you swipe through there’s so much clutter that people are just going through going through and just trying to you know, eat as much content as possible. So you have to try to make yourself stick out and writing copy is very important. You can have a great picture, and you know if you don’t have as great as a line under it.

It might not read as well, whereas you can have a really simple picture of a flower and if you write something meaningful it’ll get people’s attention and the same thing goes with the blog post. You know you can post 25 pictures but then not say anything. So there’s no personality behind it and people do want more. I think for myself I like to keep it short and sweet to tell maybe a little story in there talk about.

You know the reason I’m doing what I’m doing through my eyes. Through my perspective and people relate to that a lot more, so it’s about making things relatable, organic, organic and authentic and taking the time to not only think about the photography but the words that go with that yeah. It’s like a team right so text and visuals they’re, they’re, interconnected right. They work together. For me, quality quality over quantity is really huge.

I try to do a variety of different pictures when I write, but I also try to sprinkle them throughout the writing right. We are oversensitive like we are just have so much media going on and we constantly need our attention to be being kept so breaking up. For me, I have a lot more text, but breaking it up with very impactful pictures, whether it’s the scenery, whether it’s the position, whether it’s the outfit for me, is really important.

It’s it’s definitely one. I can’t have one without the other for sure, even though I would love to just write, I would love to just write sometimes, but there are other people where your audience is going to react different. Well, it’s going to what I want to say accept things differently. So there’s some people that they cat – I catch them. First, with the photo and then they’ll read, there’s other people that will read and then kind of play into the photos.

So, like I said, you can’t have one without the other for sure that my content gets different people liking different things. So if I take, you know a shot of guys way up on a skyscraper cleaning, the windows with the blue sky and the background I’ll get a lot of in tag it with all my Pittsburg tags versus outfit of the day and fashion bloggers. All that sort of stuff I get a very different kind of reaction and a different set of followers who engage with that photo versus something from my blog or you know that features me in some way.

So you know it’s really. I I just kind of post what I feel like posting. I you know this, isn’t this isn’t how I make a living? It’s something I do as a creative outlet. So for me it’s all about expressing how I’m feeling in a given moment – and if I don’t have anything to say, then I don’t say anything I used to have a blog that was a daily. It was every single day, an outfit post and I felt confined to hosting every day, and I found myself getting really burnt out on writing and taking the photos and spending time in the evening.

Trying to you know, get everything edited and written and posted and then promoted, and I just it I felt like I was on a gerbil wheel, so the the second iteration with the blog I said to myself a you’re going to have somebody else. Take your photos. No more for me, it was no more tripod remote. You know trying to find a wall that was this high. That could take my photo for me, and that means that there’s coordination involved and it takes more time and it takes more effort, and it takes.

You know making sure my calendar jives with my photographers calendar, and that means I don’t post every day anymore and I don’t write as much anymore because I just don’t necessarily have as much to say and I’m ok with that for the most part. Sometimes I look around and I see what other people are doing and I get I can. I can feel myself getting. You know questioning whether I’m doing the right thing and and shouldn’t I be doing in a different way, and then I have to remind myself no.

This is this is how I want to express myself and stay true to that. For me and – and I think that’s what’s important – you’re going back to something Zoe said about having an authentic voice. That’s your own! You need to figure that out and it can evolve right. It can be something one month and something completely different another month, but you know find out what you want to say and how you want to say it and the people who want to follow you will they’ll, find you and and they’ll be your advocate.

So just kind of stick to who you are alrighty well, we are actually cutting it close to time. So we have two other topics of discussion, but we want to see if you guys have any questions first, since we are so close on time, we want to make sure we answer them for you. So yeah welcome one of the things that you know. We have emphasized the hashtagging when you’re on your social media and you’re talking about maybe, if you’re on Twitter, giving tech tips even as bloggers.

We definitely need some tech tips, so you know that’s one way you can do it. Another way is, if you know somebody that might be in the industry, or that has a podcast in another location, don’t be afraid to reach out to them, even if they have a million followers, or you know, million views or whatever just just reach out to them, Because, honestly, you never know when someone’s just going to respond and at the end of the day they may have a lot of views and followers, but they’re just people too, and they were they had a starting point.

Also – and so you know, I’ve reached out to some really large bloggers and you’d be surprised that and who responds and you know, sometimes they don’t that’s, okay, but there’s plenty of people to reach out to I agree I would get get deep down in the hashtags, Because that’s how we found most of the fashion bloggers that we wanted to tell about style, social Pittsburgh and our events. You know we would just look at the geo tags for Pittsburgh and see if people were posting outfit photos and then look at their account and see if it did have a lot of fashion on it and maybe send them a DM saying.

Hey, do you know about style, social Pittsburgh or the stylish Pittsburgh hashtag? So it is a little bit tedious in that sense, but personally, reaching out with an email or a DM or something like that will get you really far mm-hmm. I’m really quick. I think Facebook groups could be really helpful too. I know for fashion blogging, there’s something I’m not familiar with. You know podcasting, but you can find some really good.

Facebook groups and people are really active and talking about what they’re doing on there any other questions whoo. I’m going to add something: oh yeah um always be ready to have a have a business card ready like good, old-fashioned networking that has led me so far and made relationships when you’re traveling. Sometimes I know it’s vacation or whatever it may be. You’re visiting a friend have they have those business cards ready and if you hear a part of a conversation or if you meet people, let them know about it.

Tara said something that really hit me hard when we were prepping for this, and it was don’t be afraid to promote yourself like don’t be afraid, it’s it’s sometimes it’s. It is difficult, it’s difficult to put yourself out there, but that face-to-face connection. It’s going to be remembered so always always be on the lookout, sometimes the most random interactions when you’re traveling or when you’re just walking down the street or conferences like this they’re, going to lead to something special you’re welcome any other.

That is a great question. So for me you know your terms of success are different. For me, in terms of success, for me is my pageviews and like people, like repeat people, that come back to my blog and people. That comment on my blog one of my favorite posts that I ever did got the most comments on my blog and fell so flat on social media. It was insane, but to me that was the most successful post that I ever had a good thing in.

That is when she, when you have someone that comments, when your blogger gets a thoughtful comment, wherever it may be, make sure to interact with that person and tell them whether it’s don’t just give them a thank you and like a little winky face kissy face like Tell them why you know. Thank you so much for reading this part of my blog. When you’re writing. You know people are going to take a little bit more time with your blog, and so you should give them that respect back and give them a little bit more time, or even I mean if someone writes a really nice comment on my blog and they leave It their blog.

I make sure I take the time and read theirs back. You know what I mean, and in that comment back to them I might say something about theirs or I make sure to go and interact with them. Interaction is huge when it comes to writers like hashtag. I’m writing is a huge community across multiple multiple platforms and that hashtag leads to a lot of like worrier interactions and things of that nature. So it definitely takes a little bit more time, but that’s how you kind of you people get invested then, and that’s to me is more than anything yeah.

I also try to think about my posts, as I’m planning out my content schedule for the month about what is going to be like a long tail post and what is going to be like a briefer engagement. So, for example, something that’s about, like top shoe trends. For fall 2016: it’s only going to be relevant to people for a few months, but if I post about like, if I just want to change the headline slightly to just say my favorite fall shoes or something that could be something that people might come back to.

Every year, and that’s a really specific example, but it’s I do use like headline analyzer that you can find on Co schedules website. It’s a free headline, analyzer that sort of tells you how good your headline is for SEO, and I also use the Yoast SEO plugin and I not every post is going to be a long tail post, but you do want to make sure you have enough of Them in there and that you’re just being thoughtful about how you phrase things so that they are more evergreen content and that gets more organic traffic anyone else they look up to you in general and the last one.

What would you say give you a quick answer? Some of my favorite fashion bloggers would be Atlantic Pacific. She doesn’t write a thing. It’s all photos sincerely Jules Carla’s closet. You know there are tons of Pittsburgh local fashion bloggers who do really incredible things. Obviously you can look at the stylish Pittsburgh hashtag the covert. Oh yeah tour yeah, and what was the last part of your question? What do we see fashion going? Well, I have to say style.

4. 1. 2 is a really fantastic movement right now. We’re there we’re having the community is having a discussion once a month around a particular topic in Pittsburgh fashion and it’s Minh 3. Now right and I participated in one that was the good, the bad and the ugly. So we’re like literally talking about everything in a small forums 10 to 12, maybe 15 women or men talking about what’s happening in Pittsburgh, and I think that at the end of this you’re going, we are going to have a really robust document that outlines what’s going On in Pittsburgh fashion, what are we missing? What do we need to do to fill gaps, to keep those creative minds that want to do fashion in Pittsburgh here and support them in some way, and so I’m really excited about what’s happening with style.

I went to because I think that we’re going to have a really great SWOT analysis at the end of it that we can actually use as an actionable document. So if you’re at all curious, just Google sigh will for one too and you’ll you’ll see, what’s been going to talk to Alicia yeah she’s here and there are within those discussions, we there’s local designers, there’s vloggers. Obviously, people who work for corporate fashion companies that are based in Pittsburgh, like American Eagle or ModCloth or route 21 things like that, and I think something that a lot of you are talking about as a desire to have fashion manufacturing in Pittsburgh.

So there’s there. It’s really all over the place in every different corner of the fashion market. People are interested in growing every direction, I would say, vintage is really taking off. We’ve had some awesome vintage stores. Opening juju is one. There is another one in the gentleman’s store is escaping. My name right now, but Lawrenceville is kind of like a mecca for some upcoming vintage stores and that like kind of repurposing – and I think, vintage also lends itself to like some really daring outfits and it’s just kind of how people merge decades.

So I think that’s kind of cool I’ve really seen an emergence in that in Pittsburgh. Just in the little time that I’ve been here, I think it is 159, so Mike’s going to kill us if we don’t get off the stage here. There’s another session coming in. It’s two o’clock, but thank you guys so much. Thank you to our panel. If you’re interested in this topic, please check out stylish Pittsburgh hallways anymore questions.


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By Jimmy Dagger

Find out my interests on my awesome blog!

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