Happy July!
It’s another Breaking into Fashion Post! It’s been a while, so I thought I’d bring it back with a bangin profile of blogging superstar…


Tia Williams!
Haven’t heard of her? Where have you been?? Tia is the author behind the uber fabulous black beauty blog “Shake your Beauty” (www.tiawilliams.net/blog).
Launched in May 2005, Shake Your Beauty attracts 500,000 to 1 million beauty mavens a month looking to be blessed by Tia’s recommendations for everything from blush to bronzer.
With that many devotees, you know she stays super busy! Still, she took a moment out of her fabulous life to give you aspiring bloggers the scoop on how to break into online journaling.
A former beauty editor for titles like Elle, Glamour, YM, Lucky and Teen People, Tia decided to leave magazines to focus on her writing career. She says, “When I left the industry three years ago, I wasn’t willing to give up my obsession with beauty, so I decided to start my own beauty blog! For years I was the only black beauty editor at mainstream magazines, and I’d developed a voice that spoke to women of color. I started “Shake Your Beauty” to continue that voice, and provide a forum for brown women of all ethnicities to learn about the hottest products and tips–for us.”
If you want to get started, she says, “These days, anyone can become a blogger. You can write about anything under the sun.” Just log onto blogger.com or wordpress.com, pick a name, and start writing! But, with women’s lifestyle publishers like Glam.com counting 339 bloggers, how do you set yourself apart? Tia says, “First, pick a topic you know a lot about a major hobby, a career, a lifelong interest–and develop your blog around that theme. ”

Second, develop your voice. What can you bring to the topic that no one else can? And finally, work on the design. I suggest reaching out to local colleges, universities, or art schools in your area to find design talent (usually, they’re so eager for experience the work will be gratis!). But first, do your homework–print out blogs whose design you really love, and use this as inspiration for your own site.”
You’re type, typing away, but noone’s reading. What to do?? Tia says: get personal. “The more anecdotal you make your posts, the better. Readers love to find out more about the person behind the blog.” Not into becoming an internet celebrity? She says, “You can also build readership through Google listings. Give your posts straightforward, simple titles (this way, Google has an easier time finding your post through all the others). For example, if you’re blogging about Rihanna’s new hair color, the title “Jet-Black is Beautiful” won’t get a high listing because it’s not specific enough. If you call it “Rihanna’s New Dye Job.” you’ll not only attract readers Google-ing hair color, but also the scores and scores of readers looking for items on Rihanna.
Now the all important question: Can you make money?? Tia says, “Ummm…you can, but it’s not easy. But there are ways to do it, like charging for advertising. You can also join networks that will help you pull in advertising. I would never suggest starting a blog to make money!” Agreed!
In sum, she says, “I really think it’s making yourself stand apart from the crowd. If you have some special angle to bring to a topic, this will make your readers come back every day. Voice is so important, too. Are you funny? Snarky? Earnest? Figure out your tone and work it! ”
Work it!
For your beauty fix, visit Shake your Beauty at www.tiawilliams.net/blog.
Tell ’em I sent ya!
PS I know a thing or two (or three) about blogging, so may I add:
*Buy your Domain Name!!! Some who-ha offered to sell me ‘TheFashionBomb.com”…for $15,000!!! Yeah Right!!! And you know it’s not because he likes Fashion or Bombs. Cybersquatters are real. Buy your domain name at GoDaddy when you start just to be safe…if you start to attract a readership, please believe there is someone out there who will try to take advantage.
*Blog consistently. You don’t have to do it everyday, but try to stick to a schedule so people visiting will know when to expect something new.
*Listen to comments/criticism. The Fashion Bomb has changed a lot since it started (check my archives). What you see today is the result of lots of trial and lots of error.
*Show Love to Fellow Bloggers. There’s a lot of room out there in cyberspace. Give as much as you can, it’ll come back to ya.
Good Luck!