Xaviera Bryant On Stepping Out of Her Comfort Zone and Never Losing the Trust of Her Audience
Hi Xaviera, we’re so excited to feature you this week! Tell us about yourself and your life!
I am a South Jersey native (Bridgeton, NJ) who relocated to Atlanta in 1996 with dreams of being a singer (we’ll talk more about that later)! I’m married to the man of my dreams and I’m a mom of three – my oldest is 28 and my youngest is 12. This past December, I became a grandmother and there is no love like a grandchild (cue the heart bubbles). My personality is my biggest asset. I have a heart of gold and lot of old fashioned values because I was raised by my great-grandmother. I have a ridiculous sense of humor (see also: intermittently childish), and I’m a people person, so this pandemic is totally killing my vibe. In October 2010, I launched my website, Ice Cream Conversations. I left my job in accounting to become a full-time publisher in 2014.
Tell us about your site, Ice Cream Convos.
Ice Cream Conversations serves delicious scoops of Entertainment and Celebrity News. You’ll find everything from movie trailers for the most highly anticipated films of the year to the latest happenings in the lives of your favorite celebrities. What sets Ice Cream Convos apart from similar sites is our dedication to providing accurate information (to the best of our ability) and our commitment to maintaining friendly energy while reporting on the latest hot topics.
How did you get started blogging?
I began blogging over 10 years ago on a little social media platform some of you may remember as MySpace. (Hi, Tom!) I would share stories about the antics and shenanigans of my kids. A coworker, who enjoyed my posts, suggested I create my own blog. I did some research and decided to launch Ice Cream Conversations to share my affinity for Pop Culture and Entertainment with the world.
Share with us some of your greatest lessons and challenges over the last 10 years with Ice Cream Convos.
Over the past 10 years, I believe I have faced every challenge imaginable and unimaginable as a full-time publisher…from finding the right hosting (so your site doesn’t crash when you get the biggest story of the year) to growing and maintaining your audience. But, I can say with full confidence the best lesson I’ve learned over the entire 10 years is to NEVER give up! There is ALWAYS a resolution for any obstacle or challenge you may face. I promise.
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Share with us a favorite quote!
One of my most favorite and frequently used quotes is, “Two tears in a bucket…f**k it”! This is my abbreviated version of the Serenity Prayer. In life, there are going to be things that are just beyond your control. Rather than freak out, stress yourself out, or have a tearful meltdown – just put two tears in your mental bucket and…well, you know the rest! LOL
What tools or resources do you use that help with your blog?
Feedly is my cyber bestie! It allows me to create a feed of all of my favorite sources and top news sites. Feedly prevents me from running through the streets of the internet all day looking for content like a mad woman without GPS. I also rely on Google Trends to tell me what’s trending around the world. Last, but certainly not least, Instagram is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to Celebrity News.
What do you focus on most when it comes to creating content?
My main focus while creating content is the accuracy in my reporting. Once you lose trust with your audience…it’s a wrap! It’s also very important to me to inject morsels of my personality in my writing to give our scoop a more relatable and natural tone.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned this year?
The biggest lesson I’ve learn this year is plans are cute, but God has the final say so. Towards the end of 2019, I purchases an ah-may-zing planner and I began to outline my 2020 Year of Vision. No one saw a pandemic coming. (See what I just did right there?). Adaptation is another great lesson I’ve learned. It’s important to be willing to step out of your comfort zone to adjust and adapt to what’s going on around you.
Do you have any advice or resources for bloggers just starting out?
Last year, I created an online course titled, “The Scoop On Blogging”. The course is designed to put everything I’ve learned over the past 10 years into one resource to assist other bloggers. The “Scoop On Blogging” course is available for the pandemic price of $25 and it literally covers everything from purchasing your domain to partnering with ad networks to monetize your site. I am very proud of it!
What’s your favorite book?
I have never loved another book the way I love “The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah. It is a timeless classic.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
I really enjoy traveling to California. It’s absolutely beautiful and there is a different type of energy out there. It almost feels like the streets are buzzing. Or it could be aftershocks…
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is being my own boss. I no longer have to meet the demands of Corporate America as I once did working in accounting for a freight forwarding company. I make every decision from the size of the font on the site to the content I will be creating.
Creative freedom literally sets your soul free.
If you had taken a different career path, what would it be?
Before blogging, I had dreams of being the next R&B star. I have always loved to sing, but after releasing two independent albums and doing a small tour overseas I saw that dream realized and was open to “what’s next?”. My “next” was blogging and creating content. The best part is I still get to fulfill my passion for entertainment…just in a different way.
How do you define success?
Success is something that I am always redefining. You tell yourself, “When I reach this goal or attain this particular thing I will consider myself successful.”. But, I am constantly moving my goal post back. Success is a very personal thing for each individual. At this point in my life, I do consider myself successful because I turned something I love to do into a profitable business that takes care of my family.
What is your current state of mind?
It’s a mixture of heartbreak and hope. My heart hurts as a result of the current state of the world from the lives lost and impact of COVID-19 to the lives lost, the inequality, police brutality, racism and injustices endured by the black community. However, I remain hopeful that a change is going to come and there are better days are ahead.
If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be?
Oh, I’d love have dinner with Dr. Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama, and Ellen. Could you imagine how amazing that conversation and dancing would be?!
What are the most popular posts on your blog?
Celebrity News is always a draw. Right now people are fully engulfed in the lives of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith with their tea cups in hand.
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