Since the meteoric rise of the digital age, fashion bloggers have captured the pulse of street fashion and trends, reaching wide audiences. Few have successfully turned their hobby or passion into a business. First time bloggers do not all turn out to be Garance Dore.
Fashion journalist, Zandile Blay started her first blog The Blay Report in 2007 – a blog she kept going for about five years.
While working for publications like Seventeen, In Style and Complex, to name but a few, Blay felt she needed an outlet for her own voice, “as a journalist, and when you work for a publication, you are still (only) doing what the publication wants you to do.” The Blay Report, she said, gave her the freedom to develop her own, but equally strong, voice.
British Vogue had the blog connected permanently to their website. As such, Blay knows the right people were looking it, “I don’t mind saying I crashed and burned with the Blay report.”
For Blay, the lesson here is acknowledging when a blog transcends and becomes a publication that connects with and engages an audience. Blay notes this was her learning curve on how to navigate “the business of being a blogger, and maintaining that business.”
Blay’s business model has changed rapidly over the decade; it is now less about being a blogger and more about fostering an audience. Expanding her platform, Blay has created a site that speaks to multiple facades of the African diaspora. Africa Style Daily includes tech, travel, biz, job, sports, music, food, film, art, style, beauty and models.
Her goal, from this point, is to continue to be organic and authentic and, ultimately, to grow. When asked to sum up her brand, Blay says, “I think the true way to define a brand is not to define a brand.”
Article by Martine Granby