Tell us a little about yourself and your blog!
My name is Alexandra Nicole and I am a single mom, blogger and entrepreneur from Memphis, Tennessee. I fill my days pursuing the dream of being my own boss as the founder of The Confident Boss, business consultant, fashion brand developer, and blogger; and spend my nights playing superheros, bathing kiddos, making dinner, and tucking in my littles. In my work life I wear many hats. I am a full time influencer making local appearances at non-profit events, shooting for national brands, and speaking at women empowering events. I am furthering my consulting expertise by beginning my PhD this Fall. I make podcast appearances and create new lesson plans for The Confident Boss in which I give lessons on knowing your worth and cultivating your dream work life.
What inspired you to start City Chic Living?
City Chic Living began as a way for me to showcase the latest fashions at a boutique I beagan and sold last fall after 7 years of ownership, The Ivory Closet. It quickly evolved into an outlet in which I would escape daily obstacles over a glass of wine and share some of my passions with the world. As a mom blogger I love to cover relatable topics such as, personal editorials on fashion choices as a 30 something mom of two, beauty hacks for the boss mom, single life discoveries, lessons on staying healthy when there is no time, ideas for entertaining and dressing your kids, home decor tricks, and my travel diaries (with and without the kiddos).
Tell us about the mission behind your blog.
I cover many topics relevant to moms but I would say the most popular posts are the ones in which I touch on unconventional parenting topics. Things that we all do as moms that lead us to guilt and a feeling of failure. A post I did in late 2018 was one of my most read posts called, “How Do I Stop Being A Codependent Parent?”. It was writing this post that made me realize that none of us are perfect moms. So many women reached out and continue to do so. I began sprinkling in topics that were more raw and transparent, maybe not the best face of life and my audience could totally relate! I was relived to know there were other moms out there going through the same thing and was thrilled to be a voice for them and to help others.
What are your favorite beauty products at the moment?
This is easy. I am loving my PMD at home MicroDerm beauty tool. It is perfect for deep exfoliation in between MedSpa facials. I am also in to Henna Hair Treatments. The kind I use is from Surya Brasil and only strengthens and smooths the hair with no color changing aspect to it. This is all the rage in Brazil and I really know no one in the states doing it, except myself! I am determined to get this little secret out to the ladies of the USA!
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Share with us a favorite quote.
I have it tattooed up my spine, “Stars can’t shine without darkness.” I lost my baby brother 5 years ago to a car accident. He was only 19. It turned my entire world upside down. I began to question everything that is good and the blessings that I have had through life. I began to wonder if any of it was real. This quote stood out to me and made me realize, you need darkness to shine your light and find your way. It took a lot of searching but I feel like with the help of him and God, I have come out of the darkness and learned that while my past world will never be the same and this new world without him in it is different, there can still be light and laughter. I can still shine, maybe not as bright as I used to, but I can still shine. Here is our story written 20 days after his death : “A Piece of me Lost in 2014, A Guardian Angel Gained for 2015”.
What tools or resources do you use that help with your blog?
SO MANY! I am a firm believer that an influencer should choose 2 or 3 social platforms to master. I have discovered the power of Pinterest and began heavily pushing every blog post. I find that Tailwind is perfect for influencers that choose Pinterest and Instagram as their social media focus. I also like Canva for creating Pinterest posts. Moz.com is great for SEO analyzation. Google Page Speed changed my world for my blog. I used this free tool to determine my page speed and followed the list of corrections to increase my rankings. I believe a lot of bloggers are missing the mark on this one.
What social media platform can you not live without?
Definitely Instagram and then Pinterest.
What do you focus on most when it comes to creating content?
I research topics that people are searching for and if they pertain to my blog and are topics of interest to me, I write about them. It is important to appeal to your market demographic and answer their questions to keep them coming back for more. In my search I note important searched terms and am sure to optimize my posts with these keywords to improve search rankings!
Share with us any goals you have for 2020.
I have come to understand the power of pushing your own URL/Blog as it is “real estate” that YOU own. Improving rankings on my personal blog is my main goal for 2020!
What’s the biggest lesson you learned in 2019?
It’s OK to benchmark yourself but never compare yourself. We are influencers because we are uniquely ourselves. I have never had an issue with this until after my divorce. Being a single mom of 2 trying to run full-time businesses and a household alone in the south can be tough. There is always that stigma in the back of my head that I do not fit in with the proper southern woman stereotype. I began to compare myself among my peers who had seemingly perfect lives more and more. Thank the lord the real Alexandra stood up. I gave myself a good long hard look in the mirror. I am a square peg in a round hole. Nothing about my life has been perfect but it is what has molded me and crafted me in to this big ball of creative, empathetic, tough, gritty, determined, powerhouse woman who has never marched to anything else than to the sound of my own grunge. (I say grunge because I do not play a drum and I love 90’s grunge! haha)
Any tips you want to share with bloggers just starting out?
Think your branding through and through as it will be your first impression and the business that you build upon from here on out. Is it you? Does it speak to your audience? Do you like the text and color? Is your URL clear and easy to type? Does your writing tone match who you are? So there are some basic questions and then there are some deeper ones on this topic but it seriously is the most important thing in the beginning. Your brand will become you in your working world so make sure it is something you actually love and can carry with you in the future. Changing a brand later down the line is a business killer. It means starting over. Seriously think about it!
What is your favorite thing about being a SHE Media Partner?
Umm… EVERYTHING! I truly feel like I am part of their team. Like I am just a work at home team member. I know most of the amazing ladies and gents up there. I love attending their events and catching up with my friends at SHE Media. They are truly invested in helping me as an influencer grow and I completely trust their expertise and guidance. It’s also cool that they have several revenue streams for bloggers of all levels to begin monetizing.
What’s your favorite book?
You are going to laugh. I am a Gemini and am intrigued and curious of those around me so I have read this one several times. It is about time for me to pull it off the shelf again. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
I fell in love with West End beach in Honduras. It is a secluded quiet beach, at least when I was there, and there are tons of 100 old ship wrecks sticking up out of the ocean. I also felt this wave of emotion when I was in the Dominican Republic and stood in the sand on a beach that opened up from the rural land where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean. It is majestic. One of those moments that stand still for a second.
Favorite fashion trend!
90’s are back! I am here for it all in a more grown up mom kind of way!
Share with us a beauty hack.
OMG I have so many! There is a category on my blog called Beauty Hacks. Warning, it is a rabbit hole but there are some pretty cool products and demos that I have discovered throughout the years.
What tech accessories can you not live without?
I have an iPhone LED ring light with tripod and bluetooth photo remote that has been a game changer! I have literally retired my professional camera for my iPhone 11. I have several other tech accessories I recommend here.
Any website enhancements pay off big in the last year?
Definitely using Google Page speed. I improved my speed score from a 30 to a 95!
What is your favorite thing about blogging? Least favorite?
I love the creativity behind the shoots and type. I hate the cliques. In 2020 I vowed to only host events that were inclusive of all women, bloggers or not. We are here to empower women, not fellow blogging babes. Let’s do our jobs and help other ladies to step outside of their comfort zone, meet new friends, and make a difference!
Have you had any exciting sponsored campaigns recently?
Amazon has been amazing to work with! I absolutely love their push for creativity. They also go the extra mile to make their influencers feel special, like it isn’t just a job. They send personalized prime boxes and encourage us to use promote from Amazon that we use on the regular. They are also huge with charity! Another company that gave that personalized experience was Vaseline. I just felt truly appreciated.
What’s the best blogging advice you’ve ever received?
Be consistent yet go at your own pace. This is a passion more than a job. Don’t cram so much into your content calendar that you begin to hate it! If your calendar is getting full yet you can’t pay the bills? Up your prices!
What are you most looking forward to in 2020?
Starting my PhD! I studied so hard to get awarded one of the two PhD in Business Marketing Scholarships and it paid off!
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