Mikelah, tell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m the founder of Style & Vibes! It is a Caribbean-American lifestyle blog with a unique perspective on music, fashion, beauty and travel that continuously highlights the best of both cultures with the Fly-Caribbean-Chic in mind.
What inspired you to begin blog, “Style & Vibes”?
Originally I wanted to be a VJ, remember those? I started the blog to showcase my written work and audio samples from my college radio program. But then I started to incorporate more than that, highlighting others and putting a more personal spin on the content. It grew from there. Caribbean culture is always inspiring, it’s inspiring to see how Caribbean culture has permeated its way into mainstream music, fashion runways and motivates people to try something new through travel or other cultural experiences.
Where do you draw inspiration from for some of your features?
Instagram! It’s visual and gives me so many ideas for blog posts. Because it’s mixed with brands and consumers, you get a mix of what’s visually appealing in small bites. People are into shorter formed content that lead up to a big picture story. Searching different hashtags and different profile pages really inspire different blog ideas.
When you sit down to update the blog, do you have any rituals?
E.g. Glass of wine, tea? I’ll grab my headphones and listen music then I’ll find a quiet space to write a first draft. It’s an oxymoron to have music in my ears yet be in a quiet space, I know, but for me music allows me to tune out everything else and it relaxes me. I’ll write all of my thoughts then edit down from there.
What are some of the tricks of the trade used to engage readers and drive traffic to the blog?
Treat all your readers the same whether you’re writing for one person or thousands. A lot of new bloggers focus on growth and numbers. Focus on your core audience that reads and follows you on social media - those are your ambassadors that share your content. If they have questions, answer them. If they comment, respond to their comments. You never know who’s reading!
Who are some of your favorite bloggers?
Demetria Lucas, Claire Sulmers, Jay Blessed, Marcus Troy, Mattie James, Danielle Gray, Eva Green, Luvvie they all blog about different things, but what I love about these bloggers is they have crafted their own unique voice for people of color.
What is one site that you visit everyday and why?
Mashable is my staple for news, tech and occasional clever commentary.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to start a blog?
Just start writing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You’ll find every excuse not to do it, but as you produce more content you’ll learn more about writing, marketing, branding...embrace the growth period, which actually is never ending.
What three items are in your Ultimate Beauty Arsenal--those Holy Grail items you can't live without?
Coconut oil, I used it for hair and skin, NYC Liquid liner, Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding and a matte red lipstick.
For more information and to keep up with this Fly Caribbean Chic, follow her on Twitter and Instagram.