Today is Black Friday, so all we can think about are deals, discounts, and must-have products. With last year’s Gift Your Empire being a success, it was only fair that we upped the ante with our 2016 Content Is A Gift guide. In this quick and easy guide, you’ll find deals on fashion and accessories, decor for your home and office, new planners to #GetYourLife, and so much more. As always, we’ve got your back.
We’ve used the word ‘excited’ so many times to describe our feelings toward #Blogalicious8 that its become cliched at this point. We’ve shared the shimmy on all our sponsors, upcoming sessions, day parties, and so much more. Instead of rehashing what’s already been said, we chose to rely on our community to learn firsthand why their excitement persists. See why 6 bloggers can’t wait to pull up to #Blogalicious8 in Atlanta, Georgia in 2 days.
6 Bloggers Share Why They’re Excited About #Blogalicious8
“Blogalicious is the very FIRST blogging conference that I ever attended back in 2013. At that time I was new to professional blogging. It was at that conference that I got my very first paid opportunity and it has been uphill ever since. Now I have my own brand! I haven’t missed a Blogalicious conference since that day. Each experience that I have had at these conferences has been positive and uplifting. There is tremendous sisterhood and fellowship and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I cannot wait to connect (and reconnect) with likeminded people.”
“I’m excited because this is the first conference where I feel like I’ve found my true voice. I’m comfortable being me now, and I know the information I receive at Blogalicious will enhance my skills versus define my skills. When you’re new to the blog world, you can let too much information stifle your true self. I feel like now the sky is truly the limit to what I can learn at Blogalicious because I finally realized the only person I’m competing with is “me.”
“I’m ready to collaborate and learn from some amazing voices. Let’s all win together. Plus, I’m part of the Social Squad, so I can’t wait to serve and help my fellow “Blogging Queens & Kings”.
“After attending Stacey Ferguson’s Rock Star Retreat there was no other choice for me but to make sure I did not miss #Blogalicious8! I thought that transitioning from traditional media to #newmedia would either dilute and devalue my brand or that the blog world didn’t have a place for me. That it wasn’t the kind of exposure I was looking for, what do they know that I don’t know? And now I just can’t enough of the opportunities for growth and the new ways to connect and identify with my audience. Since the launch of my new blog, the support from the Blogalicious Community has been fabulous! Knowing that what I do and what I offer is valuable professionally, financially and emotionally. An entire industry, an entirely new audience to reach out to, share with, grow with and be inspired by.”
“I am beyond thrilled and blessed beyond measure that I am registered for #Blogalicious8. I claimed this awesome conference last year after three years of blogging, praying for a breakthrough, and standing firmly and boldly on my faith.
The blessing of #Blogalicious8 is that the amazing team brought this spectacular opportunity back to Atlanta. As a wife, mother, blogger, and mompreneur I have to schedule my time wisely, and when I make a commitment to anything in my life it is a family effort, so Atlanta fit perfectly since I am a recent transplant to the Peach State from Michigan. Last but never least, this is my absolute first blogging conference! I am humbled, honored, and ready to take my blog to the next level, meet like-minded smart people, network and collaborate with new kindred spirits and just have a blast at #Blogalicious8!”
Toiia L. Rukuni MA
Pinterest Marketing Strategy Coach
Mommy Lifestyle Blogger
“Blogalicious 2016 will be my 5th time attending and 2nd time speaking. It was the 2nd blogging conference I ever attended, and I was instantly hooked because it felt like family. To see so many of my favorite bloggers in one place while being in a top-notch learning environment has made it a MUST-attend event for me annually. My family has even got in on it! My husband attended my first Blogalicious with me in Las Vegas in 2012, we made a family trip out of it when it was in San Antonio in 2014 when I first spoke and next week in Atlanta my 2-year-old son will be joining me. I attend a lot of conferences but when bloggers ask me if they can only attend one which it should be it’s an easy answer: Blogalicious!”
“My first year attending Blogalicious in 2013 I was a newbie to networking. After participating in the workshops and sessions I gained the confidence to introduce myself, talk about my platform, and learn how to market my brand. Using social media helps me express my interests and stay connected with industry tastemakers. Online is where I can communicate with thought leaders, share my own voice, and create the best version of me. Thanks Blogalicious for recognizing my accomplishments in the digital landscape.”
Do you remember being home all day watching movies on Lifetime? Blogalicious is proud to be working with Lifetime Movie Club to share their new app that allows viewers to watch Lifetime movies anytime; plus they add new movies every day.
If you love Lifetime movies, you’ll love Lifetime Movie Club! There are no commercials or hidden fees — just the movies you love, ready to stream anytime you need a fix. You’ll get access to a great selection of Lifetime movies on your iPad, iPhone, Android device, or Roku Player. Monthly and annual subscription options are available.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your free 7-day trial to enjoy themed playlists and a wide variety of genres to choose from. Plus, new movies are added to the viewing library every day. So kick off your shoes and get comfortable with Lifetime Movie Club.
See what some of our Influencers had to say about Lifetime Movie Club:
In ‘My Kid Has the Easiest Halloween Costume Ever‘, Brittany of Clumps of Mascara writes, “Seriously? Gabby Douglas? That’s it? EB has been hooked on Gabby Douglas for over a year now because she watches Lifetime’s The Gabby Douglas Story every week. The 2016 Summer Olympics had her cheering for Gabby even more but really it’s the movie that she can’t get enough of and she literally watches it on repeat thanks to the Lifetime Movie Club.”
Candice from Naturally Stellar isn’t a “traditional TV watcher” but when she does watch TV, it’s commercial-free, thanks to Lifetime Movie Club. “So whether you are curled up on the couch with a glass of wine, riding in an Uber or killing time waiting for a flight, you can stream your favorite Lifetime Movies, anywhere commercial free. You can sign up for a monthly subscription or become an annual subbie. Watch themed playlists or, however, you like. Plus, new movies are added daily.”
Remember we announced our Who’s That Girl? contest in May? We needed you to help us name the mysterious woman in the Blogalicious logo, because after all, she’s been down with us the longest. That feat alone deserves a naming ceremony.
The rules stated that whoever came up with the best name for our mystery woman would win a complimentary two-night hotel stay at the Grand Hyatt hotel during Blogalicious Weekend. After months of deliberation, Team Blogalicious came together and chose the Who’s That Girl? contest winner. (P.S. thanks to all of you who participated in our final poll in the Social Suite.)
*drum roll, please*
And the winner is……Sommar Theodore!
You might know her online as @andinsommary. From Team Blogalicious, Sommar, we’re so excited to meet you at #Blogalicious8 and hope you have an amazing time! Thank you for your very cool name submission: Lady B!
If your conference was themed Content Is Life, wouldn’t you find the best influencers and rock stars to promote your brand during show time? We know you would! That’s why we handpicked some of the best influencers in the game for the job. With great pleasure, we’d like to announce our Social Media Ambassadors (#SMAB8) for Blogalicious Weekend 2016.
Elayna, author, speaker and award-winning success guide, is predominately known as The Positive Mom. With a mission to encourage, empower and equip moms to have more influence at home and in the world, Elayna lives a life of joy, balance, and success. Her philosophy is “BE positive and you’ll BE powerful!”
“I love Motherhood and I believe it is a partnership with God; the highest calling of a woman in this planet. I love mentoring mom bloggers how to turn pain into purpose and their passion into their paycheck by developing a millionaire mom mindset. I consider myself a geekess and word-nerd and I love pouring my heart out about the topics of motherhood,mompreneurship, and motivation for moms.”
Neosha is the mastermind behind the popular stock photography company, CreateHer Stock, “your destination for images you can truly relate to. Curated for bloggers, creatives, and online influencers of color.” When it comes to producing delectable digital content and cultivating healthy communities, Neosha is a veteran go-to. Her skill set is impressive, but what will win you over is her bubbly, ambitious attitude.
“I’m also the graphic creative designer and business owner of @HUNCreative, a brand design studio for awesome women who mean business. I’ve been blogging since about 2010 and have come quite a long way from where I was in the beginning. In a nutshell, I’m a girl boss, who enjoys lounging in her bed while rocking luscious natural hair and connecting with wonderful women.”
LeAnne is a social entrepreneur, who serves artists, producers, and entrepreneurs looking for help with their online presence. On her lifestyle blog, Moments of a Black Queen, she chronicles the intersections of fashion, art, and being a Caribbean Afro-Latina living in America. LeAnne is enthusiastic, energetic and just as crazy about media as we are!
“I am a Jamaican blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia sharing my ideas about the world through my online platforms. Social media is where I discover content, interact with brands, and market my profile to thousands of virtual users every day. Using the internet to connect with people from across the globe spreads my mission to endorse reggae and a positive lifestyle to hundreds of followers on the web.”
If we do say so ourselves, our Ambassadors are lit! They’re pumped and ready to help foster a positive and unique experience for Blogalicious Weekend attendees. Over the next 2 weeks (and of course during the conference) you will begin to see conference-related content on their social channels and blogs. Please welcome them with warm comments, likes, and shares as we gear up for the #ContentIsLife #Blogalicious8 conference.
Seeing the people in our community realize their dreams and follow them is both rewarding and fulfilling. That is what Blogalicious is all about, so when we learned of Tevyka’s newest passion, we got excited. Tevyka, better known as Tee, is an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and founder of the blog The Phoenix Chronicles. On her website, she talks about her journey of being born to military parents, her own military experience and what it was like transitioning from soldier to civilian. Tee’s mission is to “give back and share with my community; a community of fighter, heroes, leaders, sisters, mothers, daughters, best friends, divas, entrepreneurs, and independent influential women.”
“This campaign is two-fold in purpose. First, it promotes a lifestyle-blog,The Phoenix Chronicles, which was created by a female veteran who shares her ups/downs/and sometimes comical approach to life after service.
“Second, the proceeds from this campaign will be donated to a non-profit organization that provides homeless female veterans and their families with transitional housing, employment transition assistance, and financial planning based out of the DC area with a national reach. “
The proceeds from the campaign will be donated to Final Salute, Inc., an established non-profit organization with the simple mission to provide homeless women veterans with safe and suitable housing. To date, Final Salute has provided 10,000 transitional housing days to women and families in need in the DMV area. Additionally, 500 women have received employment transition support. Final Salute also hosts beneficial programs such as H.O.M.E. (Housing Outreach Mentorship Encouragement); S.A.F.E. (Savings Assessment and Financial Education); and Stand Up.
Tee’s goal is to sell 40 shirts and/or sweatshirts to directly support our veteran sisters struggling to transition into civilian life. We encourage you to read the experiences of these brave women on Final Salute’s website and also purchase a shirt from Tevyka’s inspiring campaign. We see you being great for a cause, Tevyka, and we’re honored to be your community.
Order your v-necks, tagless shirts or hoodies here.
This post contains affiliate links, however, the opinions written below are our own.
We’re eating ALL of the jollof rice tonight in celebration of our girl Luvvie Ajayi’s launch of her debut book: I’m Judging You, which is already a #1 Best Seller on Amazon. Shonda Rhimes calls the book a “truth-riot that gives everything from hilarious lectures on bad behavior all around us,” while Issa Rae comments on Luvvie’s special way of “tapping into universal things that make us suck as people.”
I’m Judging You is the handheld version of Luvvie’s insanely popular blog, Awesomely Luvvie, but a whole lot better. It’s funny, witty, critical and makes you reconsider making terrible human mistakes. You can buy the book on Amazon right now by clicking this link.
If the book isn’t enough, grab an I’m Judging You t-shirt and mug created exclusively in partnership with Tees in the Trap.
Take it up a notch with Luvvie’s I’m Juding You and JudgeyPop pins, exclusively created with Pin Vibes LA.
We can’t wait to dig in (to the book AND the rice.) Congratulations to you, Luvvie! We’ll give you an official Blogalicious hug in Atlanta at the conference.
Purchase your copy of I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual here.
Whew! Guess what? There’s still more to come! Spread the news and tell a friend to tell a friend. Many of you asked about our online agenda, well you’re in luck – you can find it HERE! Note that it’s still a work in progress, but you’ll get a sense of the awesomeness in store.
iBlog Magazine recently hosted a survey where they asked 10,000 women influencers and bloggers from various niches about their blog life. The survey asks detailed questions that gauge how bloggers are making money, where it comes from, if they enjoy those avenues and what they’d like to see in the future from brands, agencies, firms and PR representatives. Surveys like these give bloggers and influencers the chance to speak up and share both positive and negative work experiences. Being that it is also in-depth and leaves no stones unturned, the survey-taker is afforded the chance to self-check and realize areas of opportunity.
6 Reasons to Take the iBlog Magazine Influencer Survey
With this survey, iBlog Magazine plans to accomplish the following:
Aggregate thousands of survey responses
Analyze and produce the survey findings and trends from last year’s survey
Deliver findings to Industry Experts to analyze and provide their feedback
Compile, design and layout 50+ page standalone Report
Compile, design, and layout the July/August Feature article with findings & Experts Feedback
Prepare for Print magazine, digital magazine and Standalone Report to go out in July
With 10,000 women influncers and bloggers taking this 10 minute survey, we’re confident that they’ve accomplished these goals and so much more! To sweeten the pot, survey-takers have a chance to win one of five $50 Amazon gift cards and a discount code for 50% off an iBlog digital magazine membership.
If you haven’t taken the iBlog Survey already, hurry and do it! We encourage you to take the 2016 Women’s Influencer Industry and Business Survey and join over 10,000 of your peers in 25+ blogging niches to reveal how women bloggers and influencers make money, use social media tools, spend their time and interact with brands.
Studies have shown that countless hopefuls blindly enter the world of entrepreneurship expecting immediate success and rewards. Somewhere along the way – possibly while working in reprehensible work environments – they’ve coveted entrepreneurship as the holy grail of endless opportunities, impressive deals and comfortable lifestyles. While these markers do exist in abundance, the average entrepreneur pre-sweet spot is often faced with years (some, decades) of uncertainty, biting off more than they can chew, and having limited financial resources. This is entrepreneurship folks: honest-to-God blood, sweat and tears!
Technology and social media are constantly leveling the playing field for aspiring and new entrepreneurs. Information is literally at our fingertips, and thankfully, so are multiple willing and knowledgeable companies and organizations that’ve created programs and events specific to offering structural and financial guidance. We’ve seen it: the right mentors can create those favorable opportunities once dreamed about. But the question is how do you get them?
The answer is simple: the perfect pitch.
In our weekly blog series, Blog Tips, we share dozens of tips on building better blogs, enriching your communities and getting to “your tribe” – supporters, potential customers and future mentors. A few weeks ago, we touched on pitching – the ins and outs, how to take the plunge when you’re afraid, and we included a sample pitch letter for those in need. When it comes to securing your next deal or adding key people to your growing tribe, perfecting your pitch is critical. Knowing this, and wanting to support fellow entrepreneurs in funding their brands, is why we’ve partnered with Wells Fargo for the past three years to bring you The Perfect Pitch contest during conference weekend.
Before opening submissions to this year’s contest, we decided to track down Vicki Sylvain, our 2015 Perfect Pitch contest winner. Last year, Vicki confidently presented her business idea to a panel of small business expert judges in front of nearly one hundred people. Knowing her product inside out, The Shoe-B, Vicki won $5,000 to contribute to her company’s success along with consulting sessions, an exclusive radio interview and a financial review with Wells Fargo.
Vicki sat down with us and discussed the progress she’s made, the Perfect Pitch experience and how she won.
AW: People have multiple reasons for “going for it”. Did you apply for the Perfect Pitch III contest just to win the prize or did you do it to build your confidence? Was it a combination or a totally different reason?
VS: I would have to say that it was a little bit of both. I was so used to working on a shoestring budget, that I knew I would need an infusion of funds to help take The Shoe-B to another level. I was most excited about the mentoring that would accompany the monetary prize. Having the money means nothing if you don’t have the proper guidance or a plan.
Being in front the camera was nerve-racking for me. I literally had 200 takes before feeling confident enough to submit my pitch to the Blogalicious team. I believe that I have a winning product, however, I needed to learn how to effectively share the information to have others believe in it as well.
Vicki Sylvain, Owner of The Shoe-B
AW: Fear is REAL! Were you scared when you were chosen as 1 of 3 contenders for the contest?
VS: My twitter account was usually very quiet. Suddenly, my notifications just kept buzzing. I was shocked to see I had so many interactions, but I still didn’t get it. Then, I saw my picture and the tweet about being selected to present. I was very excited. After a short while, I realized that I would have to pitch in front of a room full of people. That realization burst my bubble of excitement really quick!
AW: How much preparation went into your presentation? Did anyone help you do this?
VS: Thankfully I had just submitted my business plan for the Brooklyn Public Library’s PowerUp Kreyol Business Plan Competition. So I had a good grasp of my business. Local business organizations provided support and assistance with creating the plan. I did some research on how to create a pitch deck (PowerPoint) for the presentation. I created it based on my plan, and my counselor at Business Outreach Center – Women Business Center gave me the opportunity to practice the pitch aloud and provided helpful feedback.
I started following Alfred Edmonds, Jr. on Periscope and YouTube and paid close attention to his tips on pitching. They were very helpful, as they focused on the do’s and don’ts in pitching to investors.
AW: Did your presentation embody everything you wanted it to?
VS: I was proud of the outcome of the presentation. I was confident that I did adequate research and preparation. I saved it onto my phone and kept reviewing it on my 4 hour bus ride from Brooklyn, NY to the conference in Baltimore, MD. I felt well acquainted with the material.
AW: Wow! Did you encounter any OMG moments leading up to your moment on stage? Tell me about your process!
VS: Did I? Girl! When I got to Baltimore, I realized I forgot my wallet. No identification, no debit/credit cards and NO MONEY! I was unable to catch a cab to the hotel, so I walked 2.5 miles to Blogalicious!
When I arrived, I gathered myself, changed [clothes] and continued reviewing my presentation. I meet an awesome woman, Jessica Clark, who helped calm my nerves. Then I sold a Shoe-B while in the lobby (via credit card, but a sale nonetheless), which was definitely a confidence booster. That experience confirmed that women really need The Shoe-B and that they see its value.
When I got inside the conference room and saw the layout, I realized that I would not be able to see the presentation. That was an “Oh No!” moment [for me]. Thank goodness, with all the practice, I memorized the presentation. This made me feel a lot more at ease. Because I was going based on what I memorized, I wasn’t locked to the screen.
After winning, although I had to walk back to the bus station, I had more of a pep in my step. I was elated!
AW: Vicki, you’re an inspiration! Who was the first person you called after learning you were in the Top 3? Who was the first person you called after you won?
VS: When I learned I was part of the Top 3, I called Sazara Johnson, my friend and a member of the team. She is the one that told me about the competition. When I won I sent a group text to my team members and called my mentor. Being that they were following on Twitter, they were already sending me messages and posting on Facebook and Instagram.
AW: You’re blessed to have a supportive tribe! What lasting advice do you have for this year’s pitchers?
VS: Preparation is everything. You have to be ready when opportunities arise. If I hadn’t been working on my business plan, I would not have had all the information needed to present and address the judges’ questions. The confidence comes with knowing your business. Do the necessary research. Know what you want for your business and your why. I was pleased in seeing that one of your requirements was submitting a case study. This encouraged me to reflect on my accomplishments and set them to paper. Pride, confidence, belief, and self-awareness goes a long way.
Photo credit: Daisies and Mixtapes
AW: Tell us, what’s next for you and The Shoe-B?
VS: I am actually preparing to pitch in the Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition in May at the Entrepreneur’s summit. We are working on product placement in boutiques and also in product enhancement. The cross body version is in the works.
More about Vicki Sylvain and The Shoe-B
Vicki Sylvain was born and raised in Westbury, NY to parents of Haitian descent. With an ever-innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, she coined the motto, “Where there is no opportunity, create one. Where there is a need, fill it.” Sylvain created The Shoe-B to give women a fashionable and discreet option to carry their heels and flats. In its clutch form, The Shoe-B can fit a woman’s flats and later expand to fit her heels.
The creation of The Shoe-B came to mind not only to address the dilemma stiletto-wearing women face daily, but to help further the work Quiescere (key-s-air) Resource Center (QRC), a 501 (c) 3 designated nonprofit organization founded by Sylvain to fuel her passion to provide educational support to families in the US and abroad, does in the community. A percentage of the sale of each Shoe-B goes towards the Survival Kit Drive for Haiti and other QRC initiatives. With the success of The Shoe-B, Sylvain hopes to move production to Haiti and bring viable job opportunities to the “Pearl of the Caribbean.”
What is The Shoe-B?
The Shoe-B is “a stylish clutch and a shoebag. In its clutch form you can carry your personal items and a pair of flats. When you’re ready to change out of your heels, The Shoe-B transforms and expands to fit up to a size 13″ stiletto shoe. It is available in canvas, denims, faux leather and leather.”
Here’s how it works
Vicki will be at Blogalicious Weekend in Atlanta in November. Keep up with her and The Shoe-B in the meantime on social media, via email or at www.theshoeb.com. Her Spring and Summer collection needs to be on your shopping list!
Ariel C. Williams is the Digital Content Manager at Blogalicious. She is the editor-in-chief of Slay Culture and owner of Danzy Bird & Co., a fun agency that creates digital media and services for creative women of color.