September 2013 - Sensible Stylista

Wardrobe Staple: The Statement Necklace

For today's post, I've featured an edgy skater dress courtesy of Deb. The faux-leather bodice is just too cute!  
I paired the dress with an eye-catching necklace from Stella & Dot. You guys know how much I love wearing statement jewelry!  I just couldn't resist...
I won this gorgeous piece of jewelry from LaBelleMel - I was so stoked when she told me I was the lucky winner of her Stella & Dot giveaway.  If you guys love free swag as much as I do, make sure to check out my weekly "Free Swag Sunday" series.
Bag:  Prada - gifted
Dress:  c/o Deb 
Belt:  came with an H&M skirt - old
Necklace:  Stella & Dot c/o LaBelleMel
Shoes:  c/o Deb ($25.83)
Tights:  Talbots Factory Outlet - old 

The Floral Lace Skater Dress

Today's post features a lacy floral dress courtesy of Deb.  Since the piece is strapless, I paired it with a pretty ruffled cardigan for a fall-friendly look.  Then I accessorized with a regal statement necklace and fun starfish cuff.  FYI: if you're interested in purchasing any of the aforementioned items, links are provided at the bottom of the post!
I don't understand why my bag looks crumpled in this photo.  Crumpled bag = grumpy Kim.  TIP:  Stuff bags with old clothing to maintain shape in storage.
I'm so in love with my gorgeous necklace from Taara Jewelry...
A closer look at my starfish cuff courtesy of LookBook Store...
Bag:  Tory Burch
Dress:  c/o Deb ($24.43)
Bracelet:  c/o Lookbook Store ($10)
Cardigan:  Say What via Kohl's - old
Sunnies:  Coach Factory Outlet - old
Necklace:  c/o Taara Jewelry
Shoes:  c/o Deb 

A Little Bit of Lace

For today's post, I've featured a lovely dress courtesy of Choies.  The piece itself is so trendy and cute that I had a tough time figuring out exactly how to accessorize.  Since the dress itself is rich in detail, I decided to keep it simple.  
My Kate Spade clutch matches my dress beautifully while adding a pop of personality!
I chose to slip on nude heels to elongate my legs.

Bag:  Kate Spade
Heels:  Jessica Simpson via TJ Maxx
Dress:  c/o Choies ($41.99)

Bonnie Cribbs on Social Media - Part 2

For today's post, Bonnie Cribbs will be guest-posting on my behalf.  I actually featured him on Sensible Stylista last week.  He answered a slew of  important questions regarding social media.   Click HERE if you want to know more about develop a bigger following!

How do I engage FB “fans”? 

Ask questions. Start conversations. Follow up questions.  Extended conversations.  Follow up comments. Once you can get conversations started with a few, more people are more likely to join in the conversation. 

It may serve you and a few friends to get together and comment and engage on each others’ blogs and facebook page.  This will entice others to join in.  No one seems to want to comment on a status that hasn’t been commented on before until you are viewed as one who has lots of comments.  Odd isn’t it?

How often should I tweet?

This is another one of those million dollar questions.  Every blog and every marketer on twitter should have a target audience and should know the demographics of their following.  Do your followers (as a whole) follow a lot of people or do they follow less than 250?

A tweet only has a shelf life of 10-15 minutes for most users.  If most of your followers follow more than 500 people, that shelf life is much shorter, so it’s ok to tweet frequently.  If you have followers who only follow 20 people, then their twitter feed isn’t seeing a lot of activity and most likely they are not checking twitter much.

I tweet about once an hour.  Most of my followers have 500+ people they follow so my tweets are rather hit or miss for a lot of them.  But for those followers who follow less than 100 people I’m sure I annoy the heck out of their twitter feeds.  My target market includes influential people who are well connected, so even if I am annoying some people it’s ok, because most likely they do not fall in my target market.

All that said, you have to know your target market to make this determination.

The better question to ask is how engaged are you on twitter?  If you are very well engaged and having conversations you are doing the right thing!

How does one manage their time effectively? 

It’s much like managing your money and being on a budget.  You have to tell your time where to go and how its going to be used. 

From your goals you should have a set of tasks and activities that you need to do in order to reach your goals. Start by taking those tasks/activities and plugging them into your schedule.  This way you have on your calendar the things you must do in order to reach your goals. 

Just this week I wrote a post on time management and how to effectively use your time.  Actually, Kim’s question prompted this post - Here is the link to it.

If you do not control your time, it will control you.

I do a ton of Internet Marketing on several social media platforms.  So I have to schedule time that I will be on each platform.  I also have to be disciplined enough to stay focused and work and not play.  Social media can suck hours out of your day, or it can be incredibly beneficial - it all depends on how you use it.

A daily routine that is scheduled out telling your time how it’s going to be used will help you get your time deficit under control.  You have to have a balance of work, relaxation, exercise and fun.

This could have been summed up with one word: Discipline.

Which social media platform do you find to be most “effective”?

The beautiful thing about social media is all of the major platforms are highly effective if used properly.  I believe the answer to this is up to the user and what they enjoy the most.  I always suggest you find a platform or two and master them instead of having 7 different accounts and do none of them well. 

A laser focus on one platform is much more effective than being on multiple platforms and not doing any of them well. Engage & provide value - it’s the key to all of them.

What makes a blogger go viral? 

I believe it’s rapport, like-ability, outstanding content or something so absurd it has to be shared or talked about.  But the latter only has a short term life.  Being a person people connects with seems to be the biggest indicator.  And typically people connect well with great story tellers.

If ya'll want to learn more about social media, make sure to check out Bonnie's blog.  He's also a very active tweeter, so click HERE if you'd like to get in touch with him personally.


How-to: Rock an Embellished Collar

For today's post, I'm featuring a classic black & white blouse courtesy of Chicwish.  I kept it simple and paired it with black skinnies and lace-up wedges. As ya'll can see, the top already has an embellished collar, therefore I went easy on the accessories - I skipped wearing jewelry altogether and sported a statement belt instead.   
The bag adds just the right amount of color - the electric blue stands out beautifully against the black & white.  
Bag:  The Quiet Riot ($62 - won in a giveaway)
Skinnies:  Vince via TJ Maxx ($29 - originally $195)
Belt:  Michael Kors via TJ Maxx ($20)
Top:  c/o Chicwish ($36.57)
Shoes:  Simply Vera Vera Wang via Kohl's - old
Sunnies:  Coach Factory Outlet - old

Q & A with Bonnie Cribbs, a Social Media Wizard

For today's post my good friend, Bonnie Cribbs, will be guest posting on my behalf.  I'm so thrilled to introduce him to ya'll. I frequent his blog NUMEROUS times daily for incredible social media tips, and his advice has helped me so much.  I know you guys will really benefit from his knowledge.  On top of it all, he happens to be one of the sweetest people I know.
How do I use Pinterest to drive more traffic to my blog?

Pinterest is a perfect social media platform for most bloggers because most blogs incorporate quality and appealing graphics, making Pinterest a powerful tool to drive traffic to your it’s a ton of fun too!

The first step is to use high quality graphics on your blog and make the graphics easy to share on Pinterest by using a plugin or code.  People pin graphics that are visually appealing or that lead to information they are interested in, so make this easy for people by providing top notch graphics.  Think about it this way, would you pin your graphics if you saw them on Pinterest?

If it’s a how to, DIY or recipe be sure to include details in the graphic that will auto populate when your reader shares your graphic on Pinterest.  In the descriptions use language that will entice pinners to want to learn more and cause them to visit your site.

I also suggest that you have a Pinterest Board that provides links to all of your social media accounts like this one.

I created a training video several months ago that can be viewed here.  It goes into detail about how to use Pinterest for your business and blog.  Matter of fact, that particular post has about 25 tips for using Pinterest and driving traffic with Pinterest.

How do I develop a bigger following?

Isn’t that the million dollar question?  By providing value you keep your readers coming back.  “Value” will be defined by what your target audience is looking for and you need to know your target market like they are your best friends.

By engaging with your followers you build a tribe of loyal followers who will share your content and spread the word about your awesomeness.  It really comes down to the ripple effect and you start the ripple by connecting with a small crowd and from there more people find out about you. 

By getting in front of new audiences you introduce new people to you. In the blog world, guest posts are an ideal way of how to do this.  Networking online follows a lot of the same principles as networking offline.

By using Pinterest above there are always new people coming to your site.  I believe one of the biggest keys in developing a bigger following is by consistently being seen, helping people and showing up in new places for people to find you.

Here is a post that shares some ideas about networking your blog and some of the things you can do to build traffic and a loyal following.  Trust me, it takes time so do not give up and give your following time to develop.

Do numbers really matter?  How and why?

I’m a numbers guy, so to me numbers definitely matter.  If you’re trying to attract sponsors or brands, they’ll want to know your traffic numbers.   They’ll want to know who your target market is and how you are attracting them.

Be honest about your numbers!

It’s always interesting to me the numbers that bloggers decide to share.  You may have a HUGE facebook following, but unless you are promoting your sponsor on facebook, the huge facebook following is of no use to your sponsor.  It may give a blogger more people to promote your brand to but it does not necessarily translate into page views on your blog unless you are being very intentional to drive people to your blog.

Most savvy sponsors and brands will want to know the number of page visits that you have on a daily basis and your monthly average.  I’m always interested in the number of email subscribers you have to whether or not your email subscribers are going to your site to read your blog or if they are getting the full article in the email. 

Ideally, a blogger is growing their email list but that is only helping a sponsor out if you are sending your subscribers to your page.  Again, it comes down to page visits for most sponsors.  But for the blogger, you want to know your overall reach.

Wait, this question was about numbers and whether or not they are important.  They are to sponsors so if you are trying to attract them, yes. If you’re trying to generate leads or traffic to your site, then yes.  If you’re just blogging for the fun of it and don’t care if anyone is seeing your pages or not, then no, they are not important.

What’s the most effective way to promote a post?

IF you have captured the email addresses of your blog followers (and you should be doing this), email is the best way to promote your post.  Your existing readers are the ideal and best audience and are the easiest audience to engage with. 

There is a saying in marketing that says “the money is in the list.”  If you’re growing a blog and building an audience, you need to build your list.  By that, I’m saying you need to begin collecting email addresses of your followers.  You may change blogs, you may change companies you work for, blogger or wordpress may shut down.  You want to have easy access to your list.

The best way I’ve found to keep a post alive is through a wordpress plugin called “Tweet Old Post.”  It does exactly what it sounds like it would do, it automatically tweets old posts and keeps them alive.  Your post will continue to generate readers long after you have forgotten about it!

You have to think long term and several moves ahead.

Here is a very interesting infographic on one of my Pinterest boards that will tell you what you need to do on social media for each post.  Outside of your email list, promoting your post in as many places as possible will gain traffic. 
I hope ya'll found this post as helpful as I did. I'll be featuring him again next week, so make sure to check back!  For more amazing posts, check out his blog by clicking HERE.


50 Shades of Blue

For today's post, I've featured a funky blazer courtesy of SheInside.  
I went all out and sported an all-blue ensemble.  I actually showcased a similar look a couple months ago - clicky HERE to access the aforementioned post.  Which look do you guys prefer? 

My heels and bag match!  OH, I totally forgot about THIS look -  It's another denim-on-denim outfit post, if you're interested!
Dude, my hair looks cray-cray in this photo.  I look like an asian lion, bahaha
My necklace (very conveniently) contains all the different blues I sported in today's ensemble, tying the look together beautifully...

Bag:  Kate Spade
Top:  Mudd via Kohl's ($26)
Necklace:  J. Crew Factory Outlet
Blazer:  c/o SheInside ($35.34)
Sunnies:  Coach Factory Outlet - old
Shorts:  AG via Off Saks Fifth - old
Shoes:  Jessica Simpson via TJ Maxx ($30)

Some more options if you'd like to shop my look...

PS.  Have you checked out my newest giveaway?  Clicky HERE to enter.  You could win a fab Betsey Johnson gift set...