With a degree in graphic design and a masters in business admin, Mei Jorge, the Cuban-born blogger behind the fashion blog Blame It on Mei, had her pick of careers. But the Miami-based fashionista shares that, "It is very gratifying to know that I can inspire women to look and feel their best no matter the price tag, age, lifestyle, or even personal circumstances. Even though I love graphic design and have had a lot of fun in that career, I have always been passionate about fashion."
For years she skirted around the suggestion from friends that she should start a blog. "I pushed that idea aside," she explains. "Only to find myself wondering 'what if' a few years later. I finally took that big step and I couldn’t be happier about doing so."
We caught up with Mei to talk the importance of design, why her style is steeped in the traditions of Latin women, and the three questions new bloggers need to ask themselves.
How does your background play into your content?
My feminine style is flavored with the traditions of the Latin women. In our culture, feeling sassy is intertwined with timeless style, and our days are bursting with vibrant colors and music. Because Miami is an extension of my Cuban background, it’s easy for the customs, colors, and cuisine to inspire my colorful looks. Even when I wear muted or neutral tones, I always add a pop of color.
What is it about the Miami blogging scene that is different from the rest of the country?
Miami is such a dynamic and eclectic city. There is always something to do, a new place to see, or a new restaurant to try. Events like Art Basel and Swim Week have made the Miami fashion scene one not to miss. And because of our coveted beaches, warm climate, and especially large blogging community, many brands choose it as their destination to host events or launch products.
Since you studied Graphic Design, how important is a logo?
A logo is one of THE most important aesthetics of a brand. That is how your audience will visually identify you so I strongly suggest with a professional if you are unsure about where to start.
How much time did you spend designing your own site? And what are some tenets of site-building that you think bloggers should consider?
Initially, I took a few days to research, design, add widgets, and customize it to my needs. I am always trying to improve it, which makes it an ongoing project. Because of my graphic design background, I obviously had an advantage. However, building a website is not only about the pretty aesthetics. Finding a good host, searching for the right customizable template, whilst also learning the ins and outs of your publishing platform, takes time. If you are somewhat savvy, you can try to build it yourself but even then it takes time. It will probably take more time than if you hire a professional.
How did some of your first partnerships come about? Did you reach out to brands with a media kit? Did they reach out to you?
Most of my first partnerships reached out to me directly. At that point in my blogging journey, I was hesitant to reach out to any brand. After I gained some confidence and became member of a few blogging communities, I finally designed my media kit and reached out to some of my favorite brands.
How are you working to evolve your brand?
My brand is an extension of myself, my style, and my personality. By being consistent, adding value to my content, and being relatable to my followers, I keep true to my mission; which is to inspire women to be confident in their daily lives.
What is the “big picture” goal for you as a blogger?
I would love to work with a large retailer to create and design my own line of clothing and accessories. As an influencer, this would be a huge accomplishment and the climax of the hard work and dedication I have put into my brand.
Where do you think the blog/influencer world is heading?
The blog/influencer world is experiencing a growth phase that will eventually reach maturity. Currently, brands and influencers alike are learning that influencer marketing will become more meaningful in the years to come. This type of marketing will take over traditional mediums, it’s just a matter of time for brands who are not already aware, to grasp the concept.
What tips and tools are you using in your day-to-day to keep up with the changing world of social?
I try to keep myself informed, thus I am constantly researching the newest changes to the different platforms. But more importantly, I see what my audience responds to. At the end of the day, social media may change but I want to stay as loyal to my followers as they are to me.
Are you utilizing stories on IG?
Yes, I am really enjoying it and so are my followers. It can be hard to connect to your audience with a still image, but through the Stories feature, your followers get to know you on a one-on-one basis. They get to relate to your everyday life and see that you are no different than them.
If someone wanted to start a blog today, what are the top three questions you think they should ask themselves before they get started?
1. What is the main reason why I want to start a blog? Be specific; do you love writing and want a book deal? Do you have an on-air personality and want to be on TV? Do you want to help others?
2. Can I commit to blogging consistently? Blogging is a very self-sacrificing career, but it definitely comes with very rewarding opportunities and experiences. But if you want to grow your blog, commitment is a trait you will need to possess.
3. Am I willing to work hard? Blogging is hard work. It takes many hours in a week to plan your editorial calendar, reply to emails, pitch to brands, be active in your social media channels, prepping for a photo shoot, among other tasks. But with dedication and commitment you will reap the benefits.
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