You know them. You love them. You’ve seen their names in bloggy lights.
We’ve invited 8 blogging rockstars from our community to dish on how they’ve built their media empires. Of course, in true Blogalicious fashion, this lineup of moguls brings a diversity of background, experience and career paths to the table and they’re eager to share their blueprints with you.
Join us in welcoming these inspiring, brilliant entrepreneurs – who are always on their grind – to BlogaliciousFIVE:
Trinidadian writer Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate natural hair and beauty in all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.
Afrobella has done campaigns for Urban Decay and Lancôme, and has been featured in the New York Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, Essence, Ebony, Glamour and Fast Company. Internationally she has been featured in Caribbean Beat, the Trinidad Guardian, the UK’s Black Beauty magazine, and OK Nigeria.
In 2011, she partnered with MAC Cosmetics to create the “All Of My Purple Life” lipglass — it sold out in a week! She has covered New York Fashion Week, the BET Awards, the Essence Women in Film luncheon and the Oscars, and was listed in Ebony Magazine’s Power 100.
She has spoken at several conferences including Blogging While Brown, BlogHer, Blogworld’s New Media Expo, Blogalicious, and at TEDx 2012 in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Sheila Bernus Dowd
A serial entrepreneur, visionary, community builder, and speaker, Sheila leads Clever Girls Collective‘s overall vision and strategic alliances.
Over the last 18 years, Sheila’s led dozens of high-performance teams and raised over $10M in operating capital for social venture start-ups. While Executive Director of Public Allies (holding the same position as Michelle Obama), Sheila ran the Silicon Valley office, developing a new platform to train the next generation of non-profit leaders, and creating a national tech plan for 10 sites. Sheila was responsible for long-term strategic planning at Project Cornerstone, where she formed partnerships to engage Silicon Valley’s businesses, elected officials, schools, and residents to expand youth development programs impacting over 450,000 children. As co-founder of the Left Coast Live music festival and conference, Sheila has been directly responsible for securing sponsors and hiring the emerging artists who showcase the best of the West Coast, revitalizing San Jose’s music scene.
Sheila is a sought-after and inspirational speaker especially among the digital and blogging community, and has spoken about blog monetization and SEO on over a dozen panels. Sheila serves on the Yahoo! Mother Board, is the co-founder Lookiloos.com (a nationally syndicated home and garden site), and frequently trains local non-profits on social media applications.
A corporate girl for nearly fifteen years, Shameeka Ayers married her love of marketing and public relations with her obsession with new media to create her alter ego, blog and brand, The Broke Socialite™, in 2006. Through this newly-found voice, Shameeka has utilized social media to create a national series of highly-lauded dessert festivals called Sugar Coma Events™ in 2010. She also produces lavish!™, a lifestyle bloggers’ conference for those who utilize social media to engage about interior design, style, travel, food & wine and other general lifestyle considerations. Shameeka recently penned Instantly!: How Quickly I Realized I HATE My Job, a snarky novella about occupational crossroads. Shameeka made her “Exit, Stage Left” from corporate America in 2010 and is a highly sought motivational speaker about her transition from employee to unlikely entrepreneur.
Luvvie Ajayi is a writer, digital strategist and trainer with a passion for social justice. She’s been blogging for 10 years, and Awesomely Luvvie is her award-winning entertainment and humor blog where she covers all things pop culture from TV to technology to life’s random adventures. As a trainer, Luvvie’s presented at several conferences over the years on the topics of social media, online communications, nonprofit marketing and digital strategy. She’s also winner of the Women’s Media Center 2012 Social Media Award.
In 2009, Luvvie founded The Red Pump Project with Karyn Watkins. Red Pump is a national nonprofit that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. Their work has earned them a Congressional Record from the U.S. House of Representatives and Red Pump has been featured on the Huffington Post, in EBONY Magazine, NBC and many more outlets.
Isabel is the founder and chief at Alpha Mom, an online parenting destination and marketing research lab. Isabel and Alpha Mom have been featured by leading national media such as USA Today, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Forbes anointed Alpha Mom one of the Top 10 Mommy Hood Gurus and Parents Magazine named Isabel one of the ten “Power Moms”. Isabel lives in New York City with her husband and eight-year-old son. When she grows up she wants to be Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights.
New York Times best-selling author Denene Millner is a hotly sought after award-winning journalist whose insightful and captivating pieces have secured her foothold in the entertainment, parenting, social media and book publishing industries. The former Parenting magazine columnist has penned 22 books, including Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, co-written with Steve Harvey. She also is the founder and editor of MyBrownBaby.com, a critically acclaimed blog that examines the intersection of parenting and motherhood through the multi-cultural experience. Under Millner’s leadership, MyBrownBaby has won numerous awards and enjoyed recognition as a Top Mom Blog of 2011 and 2012 by Babble.com, solidifying it as one of the most respected and celebrated niche blogs on the web. Millner frequently contributes as an entertainment writer for Essence, Ebony and Jet; her extensive television experience includes appearances on the The Today Show, The Nate Berkus Show, HLN, MSNBC and the Rachel Ray show. The former political reporter and entertainment journalist lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two daughters.
Lamar Tyler wears many hats, not the least of which is being a husband and father of four. Using his motto “The Gatekeepers Are Gone,” Lamar, along with his wife Ronnie, has successfully leveraged social media to move the couple’s website BlackandMarriedWithKids.com in the last five years from a small personal blog to an international brand with over 180,000 Facebook fans. As a filmmaker Lamar directed and produced four full-length documentaries which deal with the challenges and triumphs of marriage in the black community and have been screened to sell-out crowds nationwide. Among the recognition received for his work, in 2012 Lamar, along with wife Ronnie was named one of Ebony Magazine’s Power 100, a list of the top 100 movers and shakers in the black community for the second consecutive year. The list also includes President Barack Obama, Beyonce and Jay-Z and Tyler Perry among its ranks.
Since 2000, Maggie Mason’s lifestyle site Mighty Girl has drawn hundreds of thousands of readers a month. Her Mighty Life List has been sponsored by Fortune 500 companies, and she is a co-founder of Mighty Events, which hosts Camp Mighty and the Mighty Summit. Mason pioneered the shopping blog space with Mighty Goods, named one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Cool Sites of the Year and Best Shopping Site by Forbes and BusinessWeek. That site was acquired by Staircase Ventures in 2010, along with sister sites Mighty Haus andMighty Junior. Mason is author of No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog, a Twitter power user (@Maggie), and a two-time Bloggie nominee for lifetime achievement. She keynotes and speaks regularly at conferences including SxSW, Mom 2.0, the ALT Design Conference, and Blogher. She is a member of Intel’s social media advisory board, and her work has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition Sunday, in The New York Times, and Elle Magazine among others. She lives in San Francisco with her son.