Naty Michele is the author of A Love Affair With Fashion.
Q. Which is more of a dominant influence of your cultural identity, American or Latina culture?
My parents were born in Puerto Rico, but I was born here in America. I do not speak the language fluently, however I do understand it. I am very proud to be Latina and even prouder to be a Latina blogger. I only blog in English, so in that sense I feel being American is more dominant. However, I embrace my culture 100% and absolutely love connecting with other Latinas through my blog. I also love being able to work with publications like Cosmo For Latinas and Latina Magazine. I think that we are beginning to make more of a name for ourselves in this industry, and that is amazin
Q. How did you first become interested in becoming a blogger? What was it that made you choose the topic areas that you chose?
I was going through a difficult time in my life after losing my father to cancer and losing a job that I had for four years. I was looking for a new creative outlet and a way to express myself and find a new path in life. I have always had a love for both fashion and writing so starting a blog just seemed like a good fit for me. It's allowed me to have a voice and connect with so many other people. It may have started out through my personal style only, but it has evolved into much more today
Q. How would you describe your voice when it comes to blogging/vlogging? What are the elements of your "brand" that you want readers to resonate with?
I want to always be authentic, genuine, and honest with my readers. It's important for me to connect and communicate with them daily. I want my blog to be a source of inspiration for not just fashion, but life in general for them to go after their dreams and step outside of their comfort zones. I want it to be a place of empowerment. My voice is always relatable. I want them to see me for more than the clothes and beauty products that I wear. I show them my struggles and my flaws, and that is how I build a deeper connection with them.
Q. How has your blog evolved over time? How has the emergence of various new forms of social media and other communication platforms changed the content you create or how you connect with your audience?
My blog started out as something that was only geared towards fashion and my personal style, however over time as I have evolved as a person I have wanted to make sure that my blog continues to evolve as well. I now cover other topics including beauty, travel, lifestyle, and more personal pieces, which I believe allows me to connect much more with my readers. The new forms of social media, specifically ones that focus on video content, such as Snapchat, have allowed me to show more of who I am as a person and a closer look at the "behind the scenes" of my life. A photo can only say so much about who you are, but videos give you the opportunity to connect with your audience in a different way.
Q. How do you maintain an authentic relationship with your audience when you work with brand partners?
I am very honest about my partnerships and sponsored posts, and I think that is very important. I will only work with brands that are a good fit for my blog. I always want to make sure that the collaborations I participate in are organic and authentic to who I am and to the voice of my blog. If something doesn't make sense to me or if it doesn't feel right then I will not work with that brand. I believe that if you stay consistent in this way then that shines through to your audience. It needs to make sense to them just as much as it needs to make sense to me.