Hello, my name is Natonya and I graduated from my university with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations. Now I’m taking a high interest in Fashion PR. My ultimate goal is to launch a body-positive clothing line with a magazine to accompany it. In the meantime, I run JustNatonya, which is my lifestyle blog. Through fun interviews, easy style tips, inspiring lifestyle stories, and beauty secrets it focuses on empowering people to be their best selves.
When did I first realize I wanted to become creative?
I fell into blogging by accident. As I was on the hunt for a fashion-related job, I was told by recruiters to sign up for Polyvore (which is discontinued) to develop a stylish profile.
Polyvore was a website developed to bring together aspiring fashion curators, interior designers and beauty gurus. This community was a place for like-minded creatives to share their passion through designing sets and building various collections of your favorite products. The website contained links to your favorite online shops for purchasing items and you had opportunities to collaborate with fashion companies too.
After a year of styling fashion sets, I racked up about 85k followers, 1.5M profile views and several collaborations with fashion companies. Numbers aren’t the only thing that matters, but as someone who was trying to find her way, I took it as a sign I was headed in the right direction.
Shortly after Polyvore sold it’s website to SSENSE, I took it as a sign for me to invest in my blog more. I started blogging about how I style my clothes and where I get the confidence to try new looks, it seems to resonate with people more and that leaves a pleasant smile on my face.
Where I Find Inspiration
About 90% of my blog topics derive from personal experiences. For example, if I’m having a bad hair day and I figured out a solution to fix the problem, I blog about it. I try to write about my life experiences more than mainstream topics. Not that there’s anything wrong with sharing your perspective of popular topics, I just find myself more passionate about writing on my personal lifestyle experiences.
The Challenges I Crossed
When I first started blogging, I took the whole experience for granted. My first blog SimplyUntamedNatonya gained traffic quite quickly and I became too invested in growing my numbers. I guess you could say I was spoiled with likes and views, let’s just say it, I became greedy. Stopped returning comments and reading other bloggers’ posts. I just lost my real passion. One day, I was adjusting the theme on my blog and accidentally deleted it and lost everything! All my posts were gone. I had the blog for 7 months with 30 posts and it was all gone.
My Second Chance
What may be seen as tragic to a blogger was, in fact, a blessing to me. I believe this was God giving me a second chance to take my blog more seriously. He put me in a position to share my energy and positive outlook on life with others. He rebranded me. So months later, I came up with JustNatonya. I like this blog. It’s me and it’s helpful to others. I learned my lesson and I’m so invested in this blog now. It really has opened more doors for me.
While the first blog gave me likes and views, this second blog gave me friendships and brand collaborations in addition to the high traffic. Here I am now 1½ years in with 135+ blog posts written. My passion is stronger now than ever. Now I try to give back as much as possible through retweeting, commenting and sharing others’ posts. I engage more with my audience on a genuine level and it feels so good to do it the right way this time around.
Here’s Some Advice
Never compare your content to others. Know that you are good enough. You were born different for a reason so don’t be afraid to not think or write like everyone else. Embrace who you are and never change for the world, let the world follow your changes.
My main goal for next year is to purchase a domain so I can take my blog to the next level. Ultimately my goal is to launch my own body-positive magazine with a clothing line to accompany. In order to get a feel in running a magazine, I want to treat my blog like a business. The first step into treating my blog as a business is purchasing a domain.