lifestyle blogger

Blogger Spotlight: Sade of Stay Joyful

stay joyful

Introducing Sade of Stay Joyful...

Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.

I am 25+ London based blogger who thankfully could pass for younger (so I've been told). By day I work in education, but I'm also a dedicated volunteer with several organisations and work as an events coordinator part-time. I pretty much fell into events work and had no clue at the start if I'd even know what to do but I love it now. My work in education is definitely my passion and I love being involved in having a positive impact on the younger generation. As a self proclaimed positivity enthusiast I choose to live my life on purpose and helping people is definitely what I feel I was put on this earth to do. My blog focuses on empowerment and lifestyle and is a tool that allows me to share my journey and ideas. I discuss a wealth of topics and aim to leave my readers thoughtful and uplifted by the end of my posts. My main aim for my blog is to empower people to overcome challenges that they feel are holding them back and to inspire them to seek their purpose and to live it fully.

When did you start blogging and what motivated you to start?

I started blogging around 3 years ago, my friend actually inspired me to start. We used to have conversations where I would talk a lot about empowerment, my journey and the things I have done in order to grow myself. Our conversations often involved me putting on my mentor hat and encouraging him to never let challenges pull him down. He suggested I start a blog and share my empowerment with the world, and that's exactly what I did. I wrote my first post and felt so proud of what I had written and then the spark for writing was ignited. The journey began then and has continued, and I'm so grateful for the encouragement I received.

How has your blog evolved since starting your blogging journey?

My blog has evolved so much from the start, from the humble beginnings of a Wordpress blog to having my own domain. I first started specifically focusing on just empowerment, but I have now branched out to include lifestyle topics. I made the decision to branch out a bit as I felt I had so much to share and the lifestyle category allowed me to have flexibility. I have also included a quote section on my blog called 'joyful inspiration', I love writing quotes and usually share them on Instagram but I wanted a place on my blog that allowed my readers to connect with my quotes as well. My blog is still evolving to this day, I'm planning a layout refresh soon so watch this space. My blog is like a plant and I will continue watering it and enjoy its continued growth.

stay joyful uk

What has been the most challenging part about running a blog?

For me consistency has been the biggest challenge with running my blog. I have had several blog breaks due to writers block, inspiration decline and also just trying to fit in content creating into my hectic schedule of work, events and volunteering. Although it's been a challenge I always manage to overcome it and return to blogging, I never quit even when it feels like it's hard. I love it and the freedom I have to share my views and ideas excites me.

What's your favourite post/s and why?

My favourite post is 'Toxic clean out: in progress'. I wrote this post at a time where I felt so overwhelmed with people who no longer deserved a place in my life. Although for a long time I had distanced myself from them I knew there needed to be a bigger step to truly free myself from the history we shared, the vibes that surrounded them and the ties that just needed to be cut once and for all. The post was therapy for me, and with every word I felt a sense of freedom, almost like a release. Writing that post allowed me to get a lot off of my chest and to truly let go of a lot of things I'd buried. The post Toxic clean out: in progress was literally that, me cleaning out toxins and reflecting on how important it is to be strong enough to cut ties.

Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years’ time?

In five years I would love to be an empowerment/inspirational speaker sharing my journey as well as being on my life coach journey and having a role in creating positive change for people both near and far.  In terms of my blog, I see it continuing to focus on what I'm truly passionate about and that is empowerment. I see the photography on my blog improving and capturing a beautiful visual representation of what best suits my type of content and all round having a blog that continues to bring me joy and remains true to why I began.

stay joyful uk

Do you have any advice for bloggers who want to get into blogging about empowerment and self improvement?

My advice for newbies who want to get into empowerment and self improvement blogging is to 'get started'. The hardest step is writing your first post, but once that's done you're on your way. Always remain true to yourself and keep your content unique and authentic, there is nothing worse than copycat blogging. Use your experiences as testimonials for your content and don't focus on how many people read your posts. Remember this, even if just one person reads your post and takes something positive from your content that's what truly matters.

What are your hopes for the Black British Blogging community?

I hope that more black bloggers get the renegotiation they deserve for their content and that black bloggers are welcomed on to the main stage of the blogging world. I'd love for there to be more equality and appreciation for black bloggers in the wider blogging community and for black bloggers to be able to access more opportunities as a result of their amazing blog content.

Visit Stay Joyful's blog and follow her on Twitter and Instagram

Blogger Spotlight: Kemi of SKYLISH

Black fashion blogger

Introducing Kemi of SKYLISH...

Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.

My name is Kemi and I'm a full time Investment Banking analyst who blogs part time. I blog about all things fashion/life/advice with a little bit of beauty here and there. A definite niche to my blog is the number of advice posts I churn out - essentially my goal is to support, motivate and empower women. This is one of the ways I do it. I tend to reminisce about a lot of experiences I have had myself in order to give some insight and tips to those who may be going through similar things.

When did you start blogging and what motivated you to start?

I actually started making websites when I was very young, around 10 years old. I had the generic website where I would just post photos and talk about my friends and days out (memories), then I started creating websites whereby I offered out free graphics for people to use on their websites. There was a huge community of us young 'graphic designers' back then, we all ranged between 13-15 years old however a lot of those people have disappeared off the web now. I started having a go at beauty websites when I was 16 but I was really quite in and out of it until I was around 19/20 where I started to take it a lot more seriously.

In terms of what motivated me to start… I think I've always just been a creative person, and this was just a means of expressing that side of me. For example by the age of 5 I started writing stories, and by 15 I was typing up 100+ page novels onto Word; I used to edit videos of all of my family holiday videos on Windows Movie Maker which I started doing around age 12; I also self-taught myself to code HTML at a similar age and started selling web designs when I was 15. Basically - I was always, always doing something creative, so when I fell in love with makeup I decided to combine both things and make a beauty blog, which of course has evolved over time.

How has your blog evolved since starting your blogging journey?

I think the number one thing has got to be the quality of my blog - the content I produce now versus what I was producing a while back is simply so much better. I also put a lot more effort into my blog now in general, it's definitely still a hobby (as it was when I started out) but of course the longer you blog the more it starts to become a sort of business where you're managing your own finances, content and also interacting with brands. Naturally you devote more of yourself and your time into producing content that is as top notch as can be. However, one thing I miss about being a new blogger that is that there was a lot less pressure (because I didn’t take it too seriously), and therefore a lot more fluidity in terms of what I content I would create.

What has been the most challenging part about running a blog?

I think the hardest thing about blogging is how mentally challenging it can be. Of course producing content and trying to grow your blog is tiring and requires a lot of hard work and dedication - but the mental challenges of blogging to me are even more tiring! Basically, there are some days I'm so proud of my blog and the direction it's going in, but there are many days I just feel like giving up and essentially feel lost in a world of thousands of blogs, completely irrelevant. It's so hard sometimes not to compare your blog and your content to others - so I'm always in between these two mind sets.

What's your favourite post/s and why?

Of my recent blog posts, three of my favourites include:

1. "The tragedies of Valentine's Days passed" - this was a post for Valentine's Day where I just reminisced on a few funny stories of v-days I've had in the past. It was just nice to appreciate how much I've changed and how much life has changed since these events.

2. "How to balance blogging with a 12h a day job" - this blog was quite a popular one, so I guess a lot of people found it useful to learn a bit about how I stay organised with my blog when I'm not a full time blogger! As everyone knows investment banking isn't a 9-5 job, in fact it's more like an 8-8 job and that’s on a good day! But it’s definitely not a job that can ever pull me away from my passion for blogging.

3. "My 2016 in words" - because who doesn't love a good yearly round up post? And 2016 was definitely a good year...

Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years’ time?

In 5 years’ time for myself - I'll be 27, and by that time I would hope I had purchased my first property/have a mortgage of some sort. For my blog – I would want my blog to have expanded to being more than just a blog; in 5 years I want 'Skylish' to be a full-fledged brand name! And of course, I would want another business of my own by that time as well. 

Do you have any bloggers you admire and follow yourself?

I'm a big fan of Fisayo Longe, love her work ethic and think she's generally just killing the industry. Same goes for Sarah Ashcroft, I really cannot pinpoint many people that produce content that's as high quality as what Sarah produces. Others I like include of course Patricia Bright, Shirley B, Sammi Maria, Chloe Plumstead from The Little Plum, and so many others.

Do you have any advice for bloggers who want to get into blogging?

To get into it – just start, put yourself out there and start creating content. Also, strive for quality! Blogging/vlogging is now a very over saturated market so one way to get yourself out there is to just produce amazing quality content, it's a proven method of success. Otherwise be passionate, put your all into it, and also be patient. Do it because you love it and everything else will fall into place.

What are your hopes for the Black British Blogging community?

Recognition! There are too many times I just sit and shake my head at brands seeming to never work with black bloggers when it comes to their campaigns and their events, so for the BBB community, what I really want to see is more recognition!

Visit SKYLISH and find her on Twitter and Instagram

Blogger Spotlight: Ade of ADZVICE

black male bloggers uk

Introducing Ade of Adzvice...

Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.

I'm a bit of a rarity in that I'm a Black British male in the blogging world. I've been blogging off/on for well over 5 years and I would classify myself as a travel and lifestyle blogger if I had to get technical - (who likes labels anyway?). I am a marketing professional with experience across various marketing specialist areas such as brand management, e-CRM and customer marketing as well as over 3 years in the alcohol industry.

Outside of work, I am an avid traveller and tend to visit 10 cities a year. Attending street food markets is another pastime of mine I enjoy. As a self-professed cocktail enthusiast, I love seeking out the coolest cocktail bars in London and abroad and putting them to the test. I am a hip hop head and a proud J. Cole fanatic (#Coleworld). Useless at football but that hasn’t stopped me from being a lifelong Manchester United fan, which given that I have always lived in South London, makes perfect sense! ;)

In terms of blogging, I am the founder of ADZVICE, the online hub for guidance and recommendations. Through blogs written by myself and other contributors, as well as the ADZVICE podcast, we aim to empower young men and women with tips and recommendations on a wealth of topics. If by the end of reading just one of our blogs or listening to a podcast you haven’t picked up practical tips, you’re probably on the wrong blog.

When did you start blogging and what motivated you to start?

I launched my first ever blog, http://mr-adz.blogspot.co.uk/ back in 2011 with the intention of using personal, real-life experiences to give practical advice and techniques to show why progression in life shouldn’t be considered as optional. I wanted to give advice on topics which I felt young adults need to speak about more, all with a personal development focus. I remember getting tired of the ample amount of trash ‘blogs’ I was exposed to which were trivial and always left me with a big “so what?” after reading. Thus, I set to be a positive alternative to those kind of websites.

black british blogger

How has your blog evolved since starting your blogging journey?

Fast forward to almost exactly 5 years since my first blog I mentioned (several more were launched and abandoned in between) and ADZVICE was born. Originally, it was still very much a personal blog where I would give travel tips, restaurant reviews and lifestyle guidance. I worked on it independently and after a few months of positive feedback, I realised the potential for the ADZVICE brand beyond it’s then format.

I took the blog down in the summer and relaunched on the 1st December, which was also my birthday. Now, I have a partner (@BonitaRS_), who helps curate the site and we both lead a group of contributors who each share advice and guidance on a topic that relates to their personal blog. The aim of this is to open up readers to many bloggers all in one central hub. Whether you need tips on how to manage your money, a cool bar to impress a date or just want some lifestyle guidance, ADZVICE has something for you.

In the process of launching ADZVICE, I also began a podcast which is an extension of the brand. Originally called ‘For Millennial Minds’, the ADZVICE podcast, as it is now known sees myself and a guest sit down over drinks and a meal to discuss a topic they’re passionate about with the aim of sharing tips for the listeners. Previous episodes include ‘Quarter Life Crisis’, ‘Managing Money’ and ‘the Art of Self-Investment’. It’s interesting to see that although my blog has changed quite a bit, giving advice to others has stayed firmly at the centre of my motivations for blogging.

Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years’ time?

I have not done my 5 year plan (yet) but I am confident ADZVICE is going to be significantly bigger. I see it as something that is going to add value to so many people out there and open up all types of opportunities for me and those involved. It may sound cheesy as hell but as long as I am happy, travelling loads, healthy and ADZVICE is a respected and commercially viable brand, I will be in a fantastic place in 5 years time. There are some specific things that I am speaking into existence but are too secret to share in writing at this moment :)

black bloggers male

Do you have any bloggers you admire and follow yourself?

I am much more aware of bloggers on Twitter that I follow than the British bloggers with huge followers. I like what @ZeenaXena has done with @BloggingGals and take great tips from @Bola_Sol who runs @refinedcurrency. A personal friend and relatively new blogger is @Disunomics and he uses his humour and economics background to show how ‘everything in life is a transaction’.

From a purely aesthetic point of view more than anything, @AFIANATASHA takes beautiful photos and is someone I follow and now personally know. Finally and although she’s not British @QuirkyBrownLove is an incredible blogger and her blog is a great showcase for alternative Black culture. I’ve actually been featured in a list of 50 male bloggers they put together which was pretty cool.

Do you have any advice for bloggers who want to get into travel and lifestyle blogging?

Everyone is a blogger these days so I would tell a newbie to think carefully about what will set them apart from the many others. Think about your brand, what’s the long-term vision for it and if you were an outsider looking in, would you read your blog? In terms of just general blogging tips, I’d say start simple. Get yourself a nice Wordpress theme, take photos on your phone, provided its of good quality and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, learn and change the direction of your blog. Progression always beats perfection.

What are your hopes for the Black British Blogging community?

I think it's a great time to be a Black British Blogger to be honest. We’ve seen the power of Black Twitter and although it has some negative connotations, it shows the influence Black people can have via social media. My one hope is to see more Black British MALE bloggers. At the moment, I’ve come across a handful, if that (myself included).

Check out ADZVICE and follow the blog on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.