Meet Yuli, someone I'm lucky enough to call a friend in the industry who's entrepreneurial skills and drive for success makes her unstoppable.
Her site, myitthings.com
was one of the first user generated magazines, but most of her time is spent running the Style Coalition
, working with fashion and beauty brands and celebrating social media.
Just this month she published her first book
, "Blogging Your Way to the Front Row." Check out what she has to say...
Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I hold BA in Design of Visual Communications from Tel Aviv University - it taught me everything from branding and conceptualizing to graphic design, video and web production. I also hold MFA in Computer Art from School of Visual Arts in NYC - this program was very intense and dived deeper into both technical side of the web (I had to take classes in computer science and C++ programming - yikes!) as well as the history and theories behind digital space. In addition, I'm a big fan of continuing education courses and took several at NYU and FIT.
What made you want to start a blog and how did you get into it?
Back then I worked as a Creative Director at one of the biggest digital agencies and was watching the blogging revolution from the other side. I knew I wanted to be on that side, and as early as possible. I quit my job and launched the first user generated fashion site My It Things in 2007. My vision was to allow everyone to share their favorite "it" things with others, and my own blog (myitthings.com/yuli
) naturally grew on that platform.
How long have you been blogging now?
It's been more than 5 years now, which probably makes me a blogging veteran (ouch!) I remember the days when I'd go shopping to look for stories and trends to share. Today my inbox explodes with pitches and story ideas, which of course are nice to have access to, but at the same time I have to admit it's really challenging not to lose my own voice in all this information overload...
What's your favorite part of your job?
These days I focus mostly on the business side of Style Coalition - creating and overseeing our client campaigns, and developing new business, which isn't as glamorous, but I enjoy a lot. As a blogger my favorite part is the opportunity to meet some of the top industry people - I remember coming into Tory Burch's showroom back in 2008 and chatting with her for few moments about entrepreneurship, travel, blogging. Or having a breakfast with Joe Zee and Sarah Jessica Parker back in 2010 - I live for these moments!!
What's your least favorite?
Dealing with people who have disproportionate sense of self importance, and I have to say I've seen them in fashion industry more than anywhere else. This quality also tends to culminate during Fashion Week time from some reason, making me often ask myself "Why am I doing this?"...
What advice do you have for people who are trying to begin a blog today?
[Screaming out loud] Have a niche! Find something unique about you, your past, your knowledge, your look, your town, your character - something that will separate you from the crowd, but also people could relate to or find value at. If you don't have it - create it!
Congratulations on publishing your first book, "Blogging Your Way to The Front Row," why did you decide to self publish it?
My initial thought was to try find a publisher, but after talking to several people in the publishing world, I was convinced self-publishing is the way to go for this type of book. I felt like people needed this advice right now, and the traditional publishing route would have take at least a year, if not more. With self-publishing it took me exactly 6 months from the moment I wrote the first paragraph to the moment my book was available on Amazon! I also felt I was already connected to my target audience - aspiring bloggers, or blogger who are looking to take their blog to the next level, and wouldn't find much value in a publisher who isn't familiar with this particular space. So far the book has been getting lots of buzz in the blogosphere, on Twitter and Facebook, so I'm happy with my decision!
What can readers expect to find in the book? Is it all about fashion?
The book gives you all the tools needed to turning a fashion blog into a successful business. This is not Blogging 101, rather how to take an established site to the “next level.” It's filled with practical business advice based on the expertise I've gained in this industry for more than 10 years and most recently through Style Coalition and its strategic partnership with ELLE. It gives advice on how to brand yourself as a top blogger and sought-after influencer, build valuable relationships with PR companies and brands, work with advertising networks, develop new revenue streams and generally position yourself at the forefront of the fashion blogosphere. It also includes inspirational chapters by some of the most successful and business savvy fashion bloggers I know - What I Wore, College Fashion, Gala Darling, Second City Style and Corporette. I can't wait to see more and more bloggers turning their passion into a real successful career!
Outside of the blogosphere, what's your guiltiest pleasure?
Have to admit - watching silly romantic comedies, especially those about New York... They always get me!