When you move 500 miles away from the city you called home for 27 years and return three years later, it can feel a bit like seeing an old flame again. You can’t really remember why you left, there are new surprises around every corner and the city itself is full of new adventures you have yet to explore.
This is how I feel moving back to Mobile after spending a few years in the beautiful city of Tampa, where I owned a boutique and worked regularly with several local style bloggers.
Smaller cities tend to be behind in the fashion trend cycle but Mobile has a reputable fashion scene since the launch of Mobile Fashion Week, a thriving boutique community and up-and-coming designer brands such as the Mermania swim line. It has been nearly a decade since the style blogging phenomenon first kicked off and after a great deal of blood, sweat, tears and ripped seams, style bloggers are now an accepted part of the fashion establishment.
You’ll see them in the front rows at major fashion shows, landing prominent ad campaigns, starring on magazine covers and launching multimillion-dollar businesses. With so many potential possibilities in a fun side gig, I am fascinated by the fact that there are no known style, travel or fitness bloggers in Mobile.
The competitive world of style blogging is beneficial to local boutiques, designer labels and even hotels. Social media itself is easy advertising when collaborating with bloggers with a local following, then tie in the daily readers on the blog websites and you have cross-promoted multiple times.
Blogging has also become very important for small businesses. Local boutiques are now starting their own style blogs on the company’s website, which links all social media accounts and promotes interaction by potential customers. A business blog is a unique way to connect people to your brand, boost search engine optimization (SEO) and create opportunities for sharing.
There are a few up-and-coming bloggers in Alabama who do a wonderful job of spotlighting their favorite shops, brands, restaurants, etc. Kirby J. Cox currently lives in Birmingham and is a style/travel blogger featuring outfit posts, favorite brands and gorgeous travel photos from Spain and Ireland. You can find her at kirbyjoanna.com and on Instagram at @kirbyjoanna. I spoke with Kirby and asked her to give me a little insight on why she is passionate about blogging.
“There are a lot of things that I love about blogging, but I’d have to say my favorite is that it allows me to meet people from all over the world and to be able to collaborate with them on projects,” she said.
Networking with like-minded individuals is a perk for most people with a passion for writing, style, travel, health and so many other topics but how much time does it take to start this as a new hobby? I asked Kirby how much time she estimates she spends monthly on blogging and the research that goes into each collaboration.
“It is hard to say exactly how much time I spend on blogging because there are so many things that go into it. It is definitely a full-time job,”
As with any hobby, it needs to be something you enjoy but if you are a local fashionista already posting your daily inspirations and outfits, it can’t hurt to try a new avenue. Kristin Jones, another Birmingham blogger, concentrates on fitness and the many marathons she has finished around the country, from Walt Disney World to the New York City Marathon. You can find her at BamaGirlRuns.com and on Instagram at @bamagirlruns.
The people behind companies such as Independent Fashion Bloggers (heartifb.com) have built successful businesses by offering online courses for beginners wanting to learn the latest trends in blogging, photography for social media and tips on how to increase traffic to your website. Many bloggers start with simple “do it yourself” sites such as WordPress while others are spending good money to have their blogging websites built by professionals.
Not all outfit posts are created equal. Listed below are my personal favorite bloggers who stand out from the pack thanks to their unique sartorial sense and sharp business acumen. These gals are a true inspiration for anyone who believes style is art and enjoys keeping up with the latest trends, not only in fashion but in the fashion business as well:
• Julie Sarinana of SincerelyJules.com
• Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat.com
• Helena Bordon of HelenaBordon.com
• Aimee Song of SongofStyle.com
Follow along, get inspired and share your passion with Mobile. Whether it is style, fitness, food, art or travel — blogging is a fun, creative outlet that will open new doors and introduce you to other like-minded folks in your own city and beyond.
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