Photo from Pexels

The culture of our world has shifted drastically in the past decade. Blogging and social media have made their way to the forefront of the marketing and advertisement market. In fact, 84% of consumers make purchases based on reading about a product or service on a blog.

So with bloggers having so much power in today's world it is honestly appalling how often brands neglect to work with us in the proper way. Seriously, the stuff I've seen and heard is honestly jaw dropping to the point where we, as bloggers, can't just turn a blind eye. So here I am, writing this post not for my readers or my blogger followers, but instead for the brands who are "so excited" to work with us.

Now understand this is not to sit here and be a venting, ranting post where I bash companies I've worked with. I'm here simply to deliver the different stages I feel so many companies need in order to get THE MOST out of the bloggers they want to work with and for bloggers to feel VALUED within the collaborations. So, let's get to it.

Photo from Pexels
Stage One: The Research
Research is so important in any aspect of our lives. Whether it's specific, library textbook research or googling around before making a purchase, doing research helps us navigate our everyday lives. So it's astounding that companies are making decisions to work with bloggers without doing any research at all.

Let me ask you this, would you hire an employee without looking through their resume, contacting former employers or confirming credibility with references? 

More than likely not. 

So, why would you blindly hire a blogger as a temporary employee for your company? 

Don't believe a blogger is an employee? Well, you normally interview them through a series of emails back and forth on the specifics of the position, contract them on those agreed upon terms, pay them in monetary form or in certain cases with product/services and they provide labor to get your business out there to their audience. That sounds like an employee to me.

As a company looking for more employees take the time to investigate what you're getting yourself into. Everything about a blogger matters, because they're essentially being the face of your company and if the messages don't align the benefits will not be what you had in mind. Utilize your resources and really find the right blogger to take your company to the next level.

So how do you effectively research a blogger?
  • View ALL of their stats - When I say all, I mean all. Look at their unique monthly visits, their social media following, their ENGAGEMENT and more. If you're just looking at that 10k number on their Instagram page but not actually looking at how many of those thousands engage with their content, you may be disappointed if it turns out to be a small fraction. 
  • Figure out WHO they write to - You can't effectively sell/promote something if you're sending it to the wrong audience. Find out who your blogger is writing their content to and who's actually responding. 
  • READ a blog post...or two - Hearing the voice of a blogger is so important. If you're promoting professional workplace product through a blogger who has an immature tone or poor grammar, they may not be the right fit. Read what they produce so you have an idea what they'll produce for your business. This can also gain insight on things they do/do not support. 
These three simple tips can make the most difference in navigating your choices of bloggers and these would honestly take a short amount of time. I've heard it all - from hair straightener companies reaching out to bloggers with dreads to luxury exotic car brands reaching out budget bloggers, it just doesn't make sense. Don't be that company. Do your research and thank me later. 

Stage Two: The Conversation
They say that the first impression is crucial to any relationship because it literally sets the tone, sends an image and says a lot about you. Whether it's a networking event, job interview or talking to your crush, that first conversation will leave a lasting impression on the other party.

This is no different with starting the conversation with bloggers, so STOP with the mass emails.

We KNOW when an email is genuine and when it's just a mass email sent to anyone and everyone. If it's not personal to us it's more than likely not going to be successful in getting us on board with your campaign. Curating the right wording and formulating the perfect conversation is imperative to making a blogger feel valuable to your company and making it worth their while to work with you.

Now the research that you did already comes into play here. Tailor your email to the blogger specifically instead of just swapping out the person's name at the beginning. WE CAN TELL. So even if you just add a quick sentence that's personal to our blog it let's us know you took the time do do some research. And no, saying "we check out your blog and we love it," does not count as personalizing an email. Your email pitch to bloggers should tell a story. In order to tell the story you need show the relationship between the two parties.

Here's an example of the difference between a mass email and a tailored email:

"Hello, my name is Victoria and I am from X Company which is all about x, y and z. We checked out your blog and love it! We'd love to send you free product to review for your readers. Please let us know if you'd be interested in collaborating."

"Hello, my name is Victoria and I am from X Company which is all about x, y and z. We've checked out your blog and love the way you do a and b. We think that our product that is meant for c would perfectly align with you doing a and be, so we'd love to send you free product to review for your readers. Please let us know if you'd be interested in collaborating." 

Changing just a few things around makes all of the difference in explaining who you are, why you're reaching out and why you believe this blogger would be an excellent pick for your product/service.

Photo from Pexels
Stage Three: The Exchange
Now that you've thought about this collaboration, drafted the perfect email and got the blogger on board, it's time for the actual exchange. Whether you're shipping hair extensions to be reviewed, providing complimentary dinner or providing access to an exclusive event, the exchange between a company and blogger can make or break the entire experience.

One of the biggest problems during this stage is communication.

Whether communicating the specifics of what the blogger will receive or communicating to a restaurant staff that a blogger will be attending for a comp meal, communication across the board is so important. I'm in no way saying that companies need to treat bloggers special, but let me tell you there's nothing worse than showing up at an agreed upon event/venue and everyone looks at you like you have three heads since no one communicated you'd be there nor is the point of contact in, (yes, this actually happens). All that does is leave a bad taste in a blogger's mouth AUTOMATICALLY before you even get to the actual exchange.

The same thing goes for sending products to bloggers. If you say you're shipping the product out on X/Y/Z, do exactly that. If there's special instructions for how to utilize the product to get the best results, disclose those instructions. If there's any issues, delays or problems with the order, send us an email. Communication is key in any relationship and what you're doing is cultivating a relationship with this particular blogger, whether it's short term or long it's still a relationship nonetheless. If there were issues with a regular customer/employer of yours you'd communicate changes, so please do the same with us.

One other tidbit I have to add is that during this process A BLOGGER SHOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY FOR ANYTHING. The little things like paid parking passes, waived entry fees or even shipping and handling costs should be paid by the company. Period. Keep in mind you're asking us to take the time to review a product/attend an event, edit all photos taken and curate a quality blog post or video...that's actual work, so treat us like a business not a person doing a favor for you.

I remember when I was working with a particular company for teeth whitening. I was shipped product to make molds of my teeth for the custom trays and shipped them back in the prepaid postage. I received an email days later saying they'd printed the instructions wrong on the packet so my molds were incorrect. They said I'd be able to redo them if I paid for postage to receive them and send them back in.

So basically they wanted me to pay for their mistake. As you can see, we ended up not continuing the collaboration. 

Bloggers should not pay for anything, especially company mistakes! If a mistake was made, own it and rectify it accordingly, but do not penalize us. If a lawyer incorrectly drafted a will, would they charge the client to come back in for the new documents? They wouldn't, and if they do that's definitely not good business practice.

At the end of the day the exchange process should be easiest, but little things just snowball into bigger issues than cause the company, which may be amazing, to be viewed poorly by the blogger. You wouldn't want to lose a collaboration with a big name blogger who could bring you so much publicity for your event because you couldn't cover her $10 parking pass, so just think of all these factors during the exchange.

At the end of the day, working with bloggers should be a fun experience for both parties. The blogger should enjoy whatever new product/service/experience they're receiving and the company is getting promotion from a bomb ass blogger, that's why you reached out to them in the first place isn't it?

Bridge the gap between bloggers and brands so that way everyone can be happy and this line of work can continue to be a profitable market for ALL of us. Treat us like a business and we'll treat you like a business, I promise.

Did I miss any tidbits? Share them with me below in the comments so I can add them in!


Etiquette + The Blogging Commandments 

Before I even get into all of the ins and outs of blogger etiquette, understand my blog is called 'She's Candid' for a reason. I'm not here to beat around the bush or sugar coat the truth. You clicked on this post because something about it enticed you, so now I will TRUTHFULLY be sharing what I believe is appropriate blogger etiquette. 

There's several reasons why I decided to make this post and one of them is simply because blogger's are still people and people can still do some pretty dirty things. Yes, I said it. Blogger's are capable of doing bad just like anyone else. So, my hopes are that people who don't follow blogger etiquette will see how absurd they are and people who had no idea there was blogger etiquette will be able to seamlessly continue to blog in this oh so small blogosphere. That's my hope, so let's see how this goes.

Now what exactly is this blogger etiquette I speak of? Well to me it's the unspoken constitution in the blogging world; the set of rules that we may not verbally say but we all agree to abide by in this tight-knit world. I'd say the second you sign on to being a blogger and join alliances with other bloggers in your niche, you've signed the oath to abide by such stipulations. Am I being dramatic? Maybe a little, but I truly believe everyone who knows of blogger etiquette tries to abide by the rules. 

So let's get to the nitty gritty, the bulk of this post and the reason you all are here. For proper etiquette I believe you should follow these "Blogger Commandments". If you choose not to just know that although we may not say it blatantly in the blogger community, we may feel some type of way towards you. Don't want that? Well here's my advice for you:
  • Thou Shall NOT Mooch - I know we all want to make it in the blogging world, but finding your OWN connects, companies to work with, networks, opportunities, etc. is vital. No one wants a blogger "friend" who just wants to mooch off of their connections. Sharing is caring indeed but there's a line between that and mooching, which brings me to my next point... 
  • Thou Shall Give More Than They Receive - The BEST way to not be a moocher is to always give to your blogger friends as opposed to only hitting them up when you want a connect (yes, I said it). Hit your friends up with opportunities, events, connections, etc., so that way when you want something no one will look at you crazy. 
  • Thou Shall NOT Be A Link Dropper - Look, we all want our content to be read. Trust and believe I get it. But, dropping your link every time you have a new #OOTD post or Recipe post in our blogger networks is not the move. There's nothing wrong with a little bit of self promo, but these networks are not just designed for you to shine. They're creative spaces to SHARE ideas and GROW together, so please stop dropping your links. 
  • Thou Shall NOT '@' Other Bloggers For Promo - This one is self explanatory. Stop it. Even when you're like "oh hey girl, check out my latest post," we see through the tom foolery. So, save us all and just stop it. 
  • Thou Shall Be Active In The Blogger Community - As the Founder of a blogger network it kills me to see people not utilizing the network to their advantage of a platform that was built to elevate them. Just like you wouldn't join a club or sorority on campus to sit and do nothing, don't join a blogging network if you don't plan to be active. Networks work when YOU DO. 
  • Thou Shall NOT Steal Other Creatives Content - Whether it's "just an image" or an entire blog post, you and I both know it's wrong to take another's idea for your own. There's nothing wrong with being inspired by someone's work, but just know nobody likes a copycat. 
  • Thou Shall Support Fellow Bloggers - Whether it's a simple retweet, like or comment, IT MATTERS. Show your support to other bloggers because you never know who you may want to collaborate with in the future and let me tell you it matters. I'm much more accepting of working with bloggers who actually support me rather than one's who may have just found me on Instagram and slid into the DM's. Supporting each other gets us all to the top so support and you shall be supported! 
So there you have it. Blogger etiquette is not difficult to follow if you're in it for the right reasons. Supporting someone else's blog and growing alongside them is completely doable if you just follow along. Like I said, blogger etiquette is unspoken in the blog community, but if this is the first time you're hearing of some of these be sure to share to save another blogger's life. ​That's it! 

Did I miss any Blogger Commandments? If so, drop them below in the comments so I can add them to this post! 


I had the honor of graduating from Florida International University this past August and let me tell you, it was a long time coming. If  you really break down how long we've been in school, (16 years to be exact), there's no better feeling then knowing you are finally done. As I walked across the stage I knew in my heart all those years had paid off and I could breathe for a second.

But of course that wasn't the case. Immediately after I was the first woman to receive a Bachelor's degree in my household I was swarmed by friends, family and colleagues about having a job lined up. 

"Where are you working now?"

"Have you been searching for jobs?"

"So you graduated, what's the next step?"

All these questions and my only answer is...I don't have an answer, yet. See there's this notion that as soon as you graduate you're supposed to have all the answers, have the dream job lined up and be at the top of the company within the next 10 years. In today's economy and job market that's just not practical. I've seen fellow college graduates striving to get entry level positions because that seems to be the only thing out there for us. So many of us choose this route of all this additional schooling only to fight to make just a dollar more than you were making in college. Then we take the job because we have to survive, right?

See, I saw the route that everyone's been taking and I swiftly went in the other direction. The reason I did this is because it's all a lie to me; so many of the graduates I've seen take these positions are the same ones I see starting up companies on the side because they eventually realize these second hand jobs are not enough. And when I say not enough, I don't mean in terms of money. I'm talking about the bigger picture, here. Mr. Smiley said it right in this article for Quartz when he said "millennials are not motivated by money. Rather, they are driven to make the world more compassionate, innovative, and sustainable." Innovation and entrepreneurial endeavors are where my head is at during this stage of my life, that's just what it is.  Everyday I make strides to ensure that what I'm creating will eventually by my career. 

So yes, I did in fact graduate from an accredited university and no, I did NOT land my dream job. You know why? Because unlike most jobs, my dream job has to be 100% built from the ground up by me. So as a post-graduation update I am taking everything day by day as I continue to push forward for my career as a full-time entrepreneur. I know I can do it and for all my entrepreneurs out there, you can do it too. 

Share this post with a fellow entrepreneur who needs some assurance that they're not crazy for not working the regular 9 to 5 post graduation. I believe in you all! 


The day you decide to be a business owner, blogger, or an entrepreneur of any kind, you've decided to present a particular image to the world; that image is your brand. From graphics, to image colors to fonts alike, everything you put out correlates back to the overall brand you are trying to showcase. 

Now I had a brand once upon a time called The Budget Divaa. That brand was all that I knew for over two years of my womanhood in the entrepreneur world. I grew my brand from the ground up and can honestly say I was extremely proud of what I accomplished in that time period. From invites to events, sponsored products and even a few coins, The Budget Divaa flourished from what I initially started it out to be. 

But alas, I relinquished the title of The Budget Divaa because I found that the brand no longer aligned with that I wanted to produce. Not only did I feel I had outgrown the name but also felt obligated to attach some monetary insight in every single post. I loved being able to give tidbits on deals every now and then, but sometimes I just honestly felt like talking which I felt didn't fit in with what my brand upheld. When I discussed the idea of changing my name with my friend Bree, she made the statement of "What do you want to go viral for"? That question stayed with me because budgeting was NOT what I wanted to go viral for and alas, that was the key idea of what my brand was built on.

Needless to say She's Candid was born after that. I struggled with some time to find the perfect name, layout and persona I wanted to write to on my new blog. It took time and effort, but I can confidently say I think I did an excellent job, (correct me if I'm wrong). 

What were my secrets? Nothing crazy, but definitely NECESSARY nuggets of information that made the transition smooth sailing. So if you're looking to rebrand, relaunch, refocus or reinvent something you're in the right place. Grab a notepad because I'm dropping knowledge on you.

Before you rebrand, LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE. It may come across as I didn't like my name anymore so I just jumped ship. Nope, not the case at all actually. I realized a trend in my analytics over the past six months and the trend was people would come for the fashion, but they would stay for the content. My audience likes when I actually talk, when I share or when I drop "the real", and I wasn't producing enough of that on my old blog. Not only was I feeling like it was time for a change, but my audience was also screaming at me that they wanted more of something The Budget Divaa just wasn't able to deliver on. 

Even though you know your audience will love the new brand, INCLUDE THEM. This is one of the things I learned from Miss Chakayla Taylor's blog post on rebranding and it is CRUCIAL to keeping your online community. If I just switched everything cold turkey my audience would feel neglected in a sense that they had no say. Yes, you're making the ultimate decision to rebrand, but letting them know what's going on and how they can stay in the loop let's them know you still care. I also included my audience by hosting a Twitter launch party to bring in She's Candid where they won prizes and chatted with me leading up to the actual launch of the site. Doing little things to include them will help in the long run because you keep your following even though you may be changing to something very different. Retention is vital for us bloggers, so take some time to figure out how you're going to factor in your audience in your rebranding process.

Once you've decided on taking the leap into rebranding, SET UP A TIMELINE. Let's be honest, you can continue to improve on yourself and your work for forever and that's exactly how I felt when I was preparing for my launch. I wanted to continuously tweak this, add some stuff to that and overall I could've continued to go through my brand with a fine tooth comb for quite sometime. What stopped me from doing so? I had a specific timeline I stuck to so there was no time to continue to perfect my vision. I set up three important dates which were the date I announced I was rebranding, the date I let everyone know about the relaunch date/Twitter launch party, and the actual launch date. These three dates kept my entire process in check and gave me specific deadlines I had to meet. This is so crucial for getting your rebranding done in a timely manner and not wasting so much time that you lose people in the process. 

Don't just think short term, THINK LONG TERM. It's so easy to get caught up on the now with a new brand; the new colors, the new blog posts, etc., but after the new phase comes and goes will you still be happy with your brand? This rebrand was my first one and I plan for it to be my ONLY one, because I thought long and hard about She's Candid years from now. Call me crazy, but I thought about when I travel the world, when I get married, have kids and guess what? It can ALL fall under She's Candid. Every milestone I plan to hit within the next ten to fifteen years can be showcased through my new brand and that's exactly what I was looking for. So yes, doing the vision board and figuring out a cohesive look for now is important, but don't forget to think long term so rebranding is a one time thing for you. 

Your new brand is a big deal so...GO BIG OR GO HOME. If you're rebranding that tells me you've grown and growth deserves recognition. Don't downplay or diminish your relaunch, let the whole world know and relaunch with a WOW factor. You want your old followers to immediately understand why you decided to switch things up and delivering above the expectations is EXACTLY how you do that. So get all your graphics, events, sponsors and other entities in order to make the unveiling of your new product an extraordinary affair. 

Now here we are at my new, recently launched blog, She's Candid. It was easy to rebrand because I was catering to my needs and my audience's, so if you're doing the same it should be painless. If not, email me so we can work on it together and until next time, stay candid.


For those of you who have never left the country, you need to get up TODAY and book a trip somewhere. There is too much in this world to stay stagnant in the US of A. My trip to Bermuda was my first international trip and honey, let me tell you, it was more than I could've dreamed of. 

Bermuda is GORGEOUS to say the least and for an entire week I was able to absorb all that this 20 mile island has to offer. Prior to my trip I looked into where to go, what to do and all the pictures accurately depicted what I was in store for, but being there was absolutely surreal. 
Lunch in the city of Hamilton

Fort Scaur
Now before we get to the pictures and everything I did, understand I went to Bermuda for two specific purposes which included seeing my boo and to remove myself from the world. I didn't have a crazy agenda of activities I wanted to so much as I just wanted to pretend I was a Bermudian for a week. I went with the flow and in doing so I primarily grabbed my camera when I was actually out and about rather than the times where I was just chilling in my pajamas...which was the majority of my vacation. To each her own, right? 

While I was in Bermuda I was able to visit a multitude of places including St. George, Horseshoe Bay, Church Bay, St. David's Lighthouse, Dockyard, Fort Scaur and Tobacco Bay. Bermuda may be a small island, but trust me each place is unique and has something special to showcase to us foreigners. 

The streets of St. George
St. George was where we traveled to via ferry during the middle of the week. This place definitely had shops for tourists and plenty of photo opportunities with the scenery. While we were there we stopped at White Horse Pub & Restaurant which had delicious fish and slippery nipple shots, (don't ask about the name). 

Church Bay
Church Bay is right up the street for where bae lives and let me tell you, I was jealous. Living so close to such a beautiful, tucked away spot is truly a luxury. Church Bay was the sight of the video content for my little bikini lookbook. You can purchase the red bikini (top and bottom sold separately), gold choker bikini and black one piece swimsuit all on Amazon!

Denzel & I at Tobacco Bay
Rum Swizzle for the win
Tons to climb at Tobacco Bay
Gusy is the GUY! 

Paddle Boarding at Tobacco Bay

Tobacco Bay was my absolute favorite while I was on my trip. The staff was so kind and the drinks were off the chain. This place is tucked away from the city of St. George's, but when you find it it's like a hidden treasure. From kayaking to paddle boarding and exploring a cave, Tobacco Bay is the perfect spot for a relaxing or adventurous beach day. If you go, make sure you ask for Gusy because he's definitely the best. 

Let's not forget about Dockyard, the site where all the cruise ships and ferries come in. This part of the island is also geared towards tourists, but what captured my attention was Snorkel Park. This hot spot comes alive at night time with music, drinks and tons of good vibes. This is definitely the place to be for all my party animals. 
Overall my trip couldn't have been more amazing...but it was when Denz took me jetskiing with Somerset Bridge Watersports! I would say that if you do nothing else make sure you take a jet ski tour with Harry, (he's the man). Before we totally wiped out in the open water, we got to jet ski by ship wrecks, coral reefs and I even got to jump into the water to swim with the fish. Needless to say the experience was out of this world. Somerset Bridge Watersports is a MUST for all my tourists. 

Swimming with the fish

Feeding the fish with Somerset Bridge Watersports
So that was my trip in a nutshell! Bermuda was literally the breath of fresh air I needed in my life and the slight adventure I was yearning for. I can't wait to go back and visit sometime soon. Next trip I'm going back with an underwater camera for sure so I can capture the beauty in the coral reefs and shipwrecks. Let me know what you think of Bermuda and, if you've traveled there, what your favorite spots are so I can check them out next time. 

Until next time, stay candid!

This post contains affiliate links as well as sponsored content in which I received complimentary services in exchange for inclusion on this blog post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. 


The time has finally come to share my vision with the world. It's been a bit hectic for the past few months, but I am beyond excited to be sharing She's Candid with you all. The decision to leave The Budget Divaa wasn't easy, but I truly thought it was in the best interest for my own personal growth as well as for your experience as a reader.

Why 'She's Candid'? Why the new platform? Why? Why? Why? You already know I've got you covered.

Let's begin with this new name... "She's Candid", what's that all about? To me, candid describes the REAL me. The me that's honest when I say I'm not on social media all the time because I just can't with the photos of Instafamers using protein power. The me that keeps it real when people do the most to get recognized in the blogging world but just look foolish. The name also resonates with 99.9% of my photo stock which is the impromptu, not perfect photos where I'm just having fun. She's Candid is the me that I showed snippets of on The Budget Divaa, but never fully unleashed...until now.

I unveiled She's Candid so does that mean I'm completely done with The Budget Divaa? Absolutely...NOT. The Budget Divaa was a fraction of who I am as a woman and will forever be a part of the entire picture. Although not explicitly named on here, you'll see snippets of that persona here and there. Don't ever think I'm just a baller and shot caller now that my name has changed. I'm still the same old bargain hunter I was before, just showcasing a different range of things on my blog.

What can you as a reader expect to see on this new blog? You can continue to expect the out of the box style as always, but I'm giving you a little bit more of ME on this blog. I found that on The Budget Divaa the majority of what I delivered on was material items; whether it was clothing or shoes or even beauty products, I was always talking about a physical products as opposed to more motivational, inspirational and just personal talks. I wanted to have more conversations with you all, whether it's getting straight to the point on what you need to do to be a girl boss or talking about the topics that people kind of brush around. She's Candid is here for all of that and more. Expect to see more travel, events and #girlbossness happening right here.

Will there be more videos for She's Candid? You bet there will be. I can honestly say that I struggled with YouTube because the focus is literally on you. Your hair, makeup, tone, outfit, backdrop and all that jazz was just a lot for me to perfect. But I've found a way to incorporate more video by saying screw it all and giving you the informal videos where I'm just keeping it real. From my traveling adventures to tips of the week, you'll get a dose of the every day girl that I am - all on video.

So what now? Now is the part where I thank you. Whether you're a veteran follower of mine or a recent one, I sincerely want to thank you for taking any second you've taken out of your day to read my content, stop by from time to time or just even give your girl a retweet every now and then. I'm ecstatic to have you here and I hope you'll stay awhile.

Again, thank you for everything and welcome to She's Candid! 


"Because sometimes you just want to be a badass."

Oversized Sweatshirt (similar herehere*)
Thrifted Distressed Shorts (similar here)
Thrifted Platform Wedges (similar here)
Gold Rope Chain (here*)
Gold Hoops (here*)

*This post contains affiliate links which means I make some coins if you shop through my links*


Photo credit Createherstock

In my previous post about entrepreneurship being the new trend, I said a few things that may rub people the wrong way but hey, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. I think one attribute I love about the majority of the entrepreneurs I look up to and try to emulate is their transparency; with them there’s no secrets or keeping certain pieces of information reserved. Now I’m continuing to keep it all the way real with you all and let you know the things no one told me about entrepreneurship. Yep, there’s some major key things that I wish someone let me know way back when.

Going off of this idea of being a trend, entrepreneurship is NOT a get-rich-quick-scheme. Just to put it into perspective, approximately nine out of ten start up businesses FAIL. Yes, you heard right, they fail. So what’s the lesson here exactly? No one told me that in order to make being an entrepreneur your break and butter, you have to WORK. Now this one sounds like a no-brainer, but let me explain. I’m going to be honest with you all, when I first wanted to seriously dive into working for myself as a blogger I thought alright cool I’ve started now I’m going to make money. Nope, not how it works at all. You have to work towards making your business a full time form of employment just like you’d do with any other job. So long hours blogging in advance, scheduling social media months out, doing market research to understand what others are doing to get sponsorship opportunities, doing research on your market so you can better appeal to them, and the list goes on and on. So let me tell you this:


There is ALWAYS something to do to keep your business at the head of the game and current with new technological advances, current events, etc.. So if you haven’t been told yet, let me be the first to let you know that you have to put in work to see those results. Finding the perfect balance of researching, scheduling and continuing to produce quality will get you to the top.

Moving along with all that work, it’s important to realize what you need to succeed. Working towards your business taking off takes time, but it also takes money. No one told me that becoming an entrepreneur is expensive. You always see those “start a business with no money”, but realistically it takes money to make money. Now as The Budget Divaa I know there’s tons of ways to cut costs on certain things, but there are some unavoidable costs that you just have to pay out. For example, your own domain for your website. I’ve spoken about it before and companies are more likely to take serious over Yes I started there, but when I was serious about making money from blogging I picked up that hefty $200 bill to make it happen. I say entrepreneurship is expensive because all the little things add up to expenses you didn’t have before. Take my blog for example, from the documentation to be a corporation, the upgrades on software, the photographer or camera upgrades, trips to conferences and lighting for your videos, it all adds up. Can you buy them in small increments when things are on sale? Absolutely, but nonetheless when you look at how much you’ve invested in a year’s time you’ll be surprised that owning your own is expensive. So along the way, be sure to save some of the coins you make to reinvest into your vision.

So you’re working, you’re investing, what else is there? You’re doing everything you can to make your dreams a reality so what other secrets to success could there be? Well, there’s this notion that I believe is extremely important for all up and coming entrepreneurs. No one EVER told me that your journey will NEVER be exactly like someone else’s. There are people out there, (myself included), who have blog posts and manuals and the whole nine yards showing you how to be successful in the world of entrepreneurship but that doesn’t mean it’s right for your journey. You may be the complete opposite of me in needing money to make it or to put in a lot of work. Hell, you may just become a millionaire by not even lifting a finger so if that’s your path DO YOU BOO. I think the sooner we all realize that there’s general information out there on entrepreneurship, but there’s exceptions and adaptations based on the specifics of your business. If you realize that before going into the game, you’ll definitely save yourself a lot of those “why are they successful and I’m not” moments.

So here I am telling you all the things I wish someone told me, (and explained in detail), about becoming an entrepreneur. I support all of you in all of your entrepreneurial endeavors as there’s room at the top for each and every one of us. Keep on keeping on and I hope my insights have made some sort of positive impact on your journey.


As an Event Management major I have to say there is a simple joy that I receive whenever I plan an event. Although Event Planners are said to have the fifth most stressful job EVER, there’s something about the initial planning, sending out invites, biting your nails because you think no one will show up, then cleaning it all up in the end that has me hooked on event planning. I always knew I wanted to do event planning, but who knew I’d be doing it through my blog? Being able to host a blogger event for my personal blog, and now work on the first ever conference for Black Bloggers United, makes me so happy to be putting all my knowledge to good use. When I realized I didn’t necessarily want to work for people, that didn’t mean I didn’t want to still use my Event Management expertise. Now I’m sharing with you my expertise to help you host an event of your very own!

I always knew I wanted to do event planning, but who knew I’d be doing it through my blog? Being able to host events for my personal blog, and now work on the first ever conference for Black Bloggers United, makes me so happy to be putting all my knowledge to good use. When I realized I didn’t necessarily want to work for people, that didn’t mean I didn’t want to still use my Event Management expertise.

Why on earth would you go through all the stress, you ask? Well simply put, hosting/throwing events is a great way to not only network with other bloggers/creatives in the area, but also a way to get your name out there, work with brands and even make a profit! All that and you’ll have a fabulous time? You’ve got to get in on this action.

So to get things off to a good, no GREAT start, you’re going to need to pick a stand out theme. We’ve all seen the reoccurring themes and they can get old after a while. Now this part is where people may get confused and think they need to pick something standard that’s been done a million times like a luau, but when I say theme I don’t necessarily mean the decor. My boo Lauren is a perfect example of this in that she hosted a “Bossi” Brunch for women local to the area who have entrepreneurial goals, small businesses and are visionaries. Although there was no set “theme” for this event, the overarching concept of female empowerment and entrepreneurship was felt throughout. THAT is a theme. So understand what you want to be the theme felt throughout the course of the event and help you pick out the perfect venue for the event. Are we improving our blogs, are we networking to build connections or are we hear to get to work? If you’re planning to host a blogger event understand that it more than likely serves a specific purpose and be sure to showcase that purpose through the overarching theme.

Once you’ve set in place the theme and the why you’re hosting this event you can move right along to the attendees. Like any other event, although “bloggers” are your broad audience, you should also narrow down your target audience. What kind of blogger would this event be useful for? Which blogging niche is this event geared towards? What is the benefit for these particular bloggers to attend? Answering these questions will better direct who this event is for and allow you as the host to better plan for it. For example, let’s take a look at the sponsorship aspect of an event. When reaching out to sponsors it’s more likely they’ll sponsor your event if you’re able to say “I’m hosting an event for Fashion & Beauty Bloggers so your company sponsoring cosmetics would be amazing,” rather than “I’m hosting an event for Bloggers so your company so your company sponsoring cosmetics would be amazing.” It’s a simple difference but the defined and specific demographic of your audience can be crucial to taking your blogger event to the next level.

Speaking of sponsors, let me add this: If you are hosting a blogger event, you NEED to have sponsors. It doesn’t matter if it’s a workshop, networking event or social gathering, sponsorship is a must. Why? Well it’s simple if you think of it in terms of the goals of the vast majority of bloggers which is to one day make money from their blogs. Even though the majority of us started our blogs as hobbies and still aren’t only in it for the money, being able to bridge the gap between brands and bloggers simply by having them sponsor your event creates opportunities for the attendees is amazing. Think of it this way, if Essie sponsors your event with a nail polish for every guest, that blogger may showcase it on their social media or blog and then Essie may reach out due to the fact that they found the blogger by being linked. It’s little opportunities like that which stem from the initial contact between the blogger and product, so getting sponsors ignites that process. Additionally, the benefits of sponsors for you as a host are more budget/less money to come out of pocket with, history of working with brands to add to your media kit and you’ll be taken more serious by your audience if a big name brand is on your flyer. So, needless to say getting sponsors for your blogger event is top priority once you’ve figured out the basics.

So you’ve got your theme down, the target audience and sponsors, now it’s time to put it all together but you most certainly can’t do it all alone. To execute the perfect blogger event, don’t forget to get help. Depending on the size of the event, you can get help from a few family members or hire a few volunteers to help out at a larger scale event. Either way, it always helps to get help to assist with the setting up to help alleviate added stress on you and keeps your eye on the prize. Having people to help facilitate the event is also crucial because don’t forget, YOU ARE THE HOST. So when people come in they expect to see you and interact with you instead of you being in the back tying up loose ends. Take it from someone who’s been there in the past, have help. The worst that can happen is you don’t need the help, but at least they’re there.

Now when it comes to the actual event there’s one major thing needed to ensure success is inevitable. It’s a blogger event, right? So it’s imperative to get people talking about your event on social media. The best way to achieve this is through a hashtag. Make your presence known on social media with something short, descriptive and catchy. If you’re a blogger you already understand why social media is so important, because without it who’s going to find your posts? So hosting a contest of who gets the most likes when posting at the event or who can post the most pictures in a certain time span with the hashtag will get people excited about posting on your awesome event. They enjoy themselves while enjoying the party, while their audience gets to see what they’re missing out on so hopefully they join in on the next event! Moral of the story is get social and spread the word so your event is seen by all.

The final step? Put all of this together and roll out a fabulous blogger event for all your local blogger friends and boos. Now get to it!