A few weeks ago, on my Instastories, I did a little Question and Answer session for my new followers. Over the last month I’ve gained so many new readers and followers and wanted to have a place for all the answers to my most asked questions. So here in blog post form, I’m finally answering them. To my Day 1’s thank you for riding this ride with me and hopefully you’ll learn a little something new too. 

Is Monroe my real name? The short answer is NOPE. When I started blogging in 2010 I was fresh outta graduate school and studying for my boards to get my Doctorate of Physical Therapy license. I knew one day I’d be a doctor and what do we do when we get a new doctor or a recommendation for one? WE GOOGLE THEM. Thus, I created a pin name to thwart my future patients nosey-ness. Don’t worry, Monroe is practically my nickname (I’ve been going by it for nearly 10 years) and about 50% of the people in my life call me Monroe and I answer to it. Steele really is my last name though LOL. If you didn’t already know me before 2010 then you don’t need to know my real name.

How did I end up in New York? I’m from Durham, North Carolina and I visited New York City when I was in high school to check out colleges. I just kind of knew it was the place I wanted to live. I wanted the hustle and bustle of city life. After living in the south for so long, I needed something different. I needed adventure. I got an Exercise and Sports Science Degree in college and was a few credits shy of a minor in Communications. So I applied to NYU and Columbia for graduate school and ultimately chose NYU. I ended up going to NYU Graduate School for my Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree and graduated when I was 25 with my doctorate. I’ve been in New York City ever since. I’ve worked everywhere: Bellevue Hospital, New York Sports Club, at a few private practices in the Upper West Side and in Harlem. If you wanna know about moving to New York City, check out this post.

Am I Caribbean or African? I listen to a lot of Afrobeats and West African chunes because I genuinely LOVE the music. I am also mad about Soca. I attribute this to all the Caribbean people in my life and relationships I’ve had. I am Black. Just Black. If you’re into Soca or AfroBeats, I made a banging playlist that you can check out here.

What Apps Do I Use on Instagram/Instastories? I actually stopped answering this question because it gets asked so many times, it’s become quite the annoyance. Everything I know, I know from a simple google search. Some people get upset because instead of telling them, I send them a link to my eBook, Instastories Pro: 10 Apps to Take Your Instagram + Instastories to the Next Level. or to my Insta-Grow eBook which has 33 Apps I Use for Instagram/Instatories and comes with a 4 Video Tutorial! Sorry not sorry. At this point I’d be an idiot not to monetize my knowledge. I encourage each and every one of you to do the same. Everything you need to know about blogging can be found in the Blogging Category on this website, my Youtube Channel or my Etsy Shop where I sell all my Blogger eBooks and Pitch Templates.

How did I get comfortable with video (Youtube and Instastories)? Practice. That’s it. There is no secret formula. I used to HATE video especially doing YouTube Videos. YouTube is one of the most hyper critical places on the internet. People will say just about anything and not care that there is an actual human being reading the comments. That’s why for a very long time I shied away from YouTube. But over the last 2 years it’s almost become a necessity of blogger/influencer survival and longevity to have a hefty dose of regular video content. So I sucked it up and just made a lot of videos. Now, I can do it pretty easily. I don’t care if I make mistakes or mispronounce words. I leave all that stuff in. I just talk to the camera like I’m talking to my friends. It also helps that I do A TON of Instastories which got me really comfortable with video (and talking to myself LOL). 

How do I stay Motivated to be Consistent with Blogging? Passion. I have it. I really and truly love blogging. I would still do it even if I didn’t make one cent from it. In fact, that’s what I did for the first 2-3 years. I just have a passion for the written word and for fashion. You can check out all my favorite blog posts here is the Essay Category and all my fashion editorials here in the Editorial Category. I also love Traveling and that I can share those experiences with my readers and inspire them to go new places and try new trends. Some people have hobbies like swimming or running and they don’t feel complete or normal unless they do that thing regularly. For me that’s blogging. Blogging was my hobby. It was what I did and still do for fun. I just make money from it now, which is amazing. I still can’t believe this is my actual job.

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Universal Standard Tee Shirt | Thrifted Yellow Linen Pants | BCBGMAXAZRIA Sandals | Michael Kors Fanny Pack | Lele Sadoughi Earrings | Mango Bracelet | & Other Stories Sunglasses | Nars Mysterious Red Lipstick


When did I start Pitching to Brands and at What Point Did I Start to Make Money?

Many people are very interested in the money and sadly that’s not what you should be concerned with when it comes to blogging/influencing. It’s a great perk but if you have nothing to offer brands, no matter how many followers or how long you’ve been blogging, it won’t help you. You can pitch to brands with 500 followers of 50,000. You just have to make sure what you’re offering is unique and will be a return on the brands investment. I blogged for 2-3 years before I made money but that was in 2010! Times are different now and brands are more in tune with the power of influencers. When you’re working with brands you are essentially introducing them to your audience.
If your audience doesn’t trust you or take your recommendations, you’re not ready to work with brands unless you are specifically providing a service (such as graphic design, flat lays or photography work). New bloggers who barely have 5 posts on their website will hit me up and ask when they can start pitching to make money with brands. And I never give them an answer. It’s different for everyone. But trust — if you only have 5 blog posts you don’t have an audience. If you’re not getting 15 comments on your Instagram Posts, you don’t have an engaged audience. You shouldn’t even be thinking about money. You should be thinking of building an engaged audience. 

That’s it! There’s actually one more question I get asked rather often on social media, but that deserves an entire post so stay tuned. I’ll also be doing a tutorial on my instagram soon on how to tie this shirt like this as well.

xx

Monroe

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9 Comments

  1. AndySunflower
    July 19, 2019 / 9:47 am

    LOVE! Especially you not sharing your real name AND your blogging and IG secrets. You give LOTS and that is enough at least for me. Keep being great girl!

  2. July 19, 2019 / 10:18 am

    I’m new to blogging I truly enjoy it so much fun. It gives me something to do other then the boring routine of daily life. I’m definitely building my audience at this time. I had one brand reach out to me which I love I was extremely excited. I’m glad you are doing what you love! I tell my students all the time find your passion….

    • monroesteele
      Author
      July 20, 2019 / 7:31 pm

      Thanks so much for reading and congrats on blogging! It is fun isn’t it!

      xx
      Monroe

  3. Elaine
    July 19, 2019 / 1:40 pm

    Great post Ms. Monroe !!! I once wondered if Monroe was your given name and thought , “ Unusual …but fitting” Lol
    I’m an old-timer and not just to your blog (smile), so I’ve watched your progression and it’s fabulous.
    Harlem book fair this weekend…. thought to accompany my husband this year to check it out and catch a glimpse of FashionSteeleNYC’s Harlem but honey this HEAT may thwart those plans .
    Keep being authentic !!!
    E from CT

    • monroesteele
      Author
      July 20, 2019 / 7:30 pm

      HAHA! Thanks Elaine! Its too hot of real but definitely make your way to Harlem soon. Thanks so much for reading!

      xx
      Monroe

  4. July 19, 2019 / 2:03 pm

    LOVE! Especially the part about NOT exposing your real name and your blogging/IG secrets. You give us a lot and that is good enough at least for me. Keep being great girl!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      July 20, 2019 / 7:30 pm

      Haha thanks boo! You’re a day 1! Appreciate ya!

      xx
      Monroe

  5. Lavette
    July 19, 2019 / 6:38 pm

    Great read!!!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      July 20, 2019 / 7:29 pm

      Thanks!

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