Running one successful blog is one thing, but what about running TWO successful blogs? Meet Ana Dominguez. As the Editor-in-Chief of IFB- Independent Fashion Bloggers or as most people know HeartIFB.com, Ana has a lot on her plate to say the least. She also runs her own personal blog about travel and helping creative entrepreneurs at The City Sidewalks.
In our interview with Ana, she discusses everything from her best blogging tips as well as her productivity hacks. Be sure to read her "Day in the Life of.." at the end where she describes her daily routine. Talk about organized and strategic! We took some major inspiration from this post and we hope you do too!
Where are you currently located? Chicago & NYC
Hometown/origin city/country? Tell us about how you grew up?
My family is originally from Puerto Rico and then transplanted to Carmel, IN. I always felt like a fish out of water growing up where I did. Suburbia never really spoke to my soul and I always felt like I was meant for something bigger. I moved to the big city as soon as I could and am never looking back!
What is the focus of your blog:
I am the Editor in Chief of Independent Fashion Bloggers, where we focus on blogging, fashion, and other helpful tips helpful for to grow their business.
I also have my own personal travel + lifestyle blog, The City Sidewalks, where I help other bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs grow their businesses so that they can achieve financial freedom to travel the world on their own terms.
How many years have you been blogging and is this your full-time job:
I've been blogging for two years and yes this is my full-time job. But I have at least 10 different revenue streams (including e-courses, consulting, and sponsorships). That's the key for monetizing as a blogger! You need to have more than 1 way of bringing in money!
How long did it take you to build your following or until you could start blogging full-time?
For my personal blog, it probably took about a year and a half until I really started seeing significant changes and big opportunities coming through.
What is your favorite social media channel?
I've got 2... Instagram is my favorite to get creative and grow my audience, but Pinterest is my favorite to grow my blog and business! Pinterest is amazing and all bloggers should be using it to grow their businesses.
The BEST and WORST thing about blogging?
For me, the best thing about blogging, is all the unique opportunities that arise from it. Job opportunities, photo shoots, networking, and more. Blogging has opened so many interesting doors for me that would have never been opened had I still been sitting behind a desk.
The worst thing about blogging is probably trying to keep up with everything you need to! When you run your own business (because bloggers ARE business owners), there are so many things that can always be done, always be tweaked, or always be changed. It's kind of a never ending to-do list... But I still love it!
What's your biggest dream/goal?
I would love to have a TV show on Travel Channel one day a la Anthony Bourdain (maybe a little less abrasive, but still with plenty of personality)
Biggest Accomplishment as a blogger?
Landing a partnership with Four Seasons Resort and becoming the Editor-in-Chief of IFB were definite highlights of my year so far. Also making my first $1 from my blog (yes--even the little wins need to be celebrated!).
What are you working on next, or excited for?
With IFB, we are working on incorporating tons of new content and free workshops that are relevant for bloggers who want to continue to grow their presence and brand online, make more money, and be more efficient with their processes (seriously so many great things coming with this...be on the lookout!). With The City Sidewalks, I'm working on starting a YouTube channel/mini-series, and even creating a new e-course for bloggers who want to work with brands. I got into consulting bloggers on a number of topics this year (and even created an Instagram e-course), so I'm excited to expand that side of my business too!
What do you love about fashion in your current city and in other parts of the country?
What do people think about fashion and fashion blogging in your opinion?
What I love about fashion in the United States is that every city has it's own unique sense of style. In New York you see eclectic, modern, experimental, and everything is always changing; in LA you see funky, boho, artistic, and unique; Miami has lots of Latin and Caribbean influence; Chicago is chic and put-together... The list goes on and on with every region and city of the country. It's actually something that I really love about traveling--seeing all the different styles in every location. I think people in the US also look to fashion and fashion blogging as a way to express themselves and connect with other like-minded people. It's an incredible phenomenon that I'm so excited to be part of!
How did you become and editor for IFB?
Our previous editor decided to take a new route with her career and the position became open this past Spring. I had started working with IFB as a Content + Marketing Editor and stepped into this new role as a promotion. It was an incredible opportunity that I couldn't pass up!
What piece of advice would you give to new bloggers?
BE CONSISTENT. No matter what you do, be consistent. There are so many things that we have to juggle around--from social media to blog posts to monetizing--it can get overwhelming. The best thing you can do is to always be consistent. The easiest way to do this is to simplify. Example: Don't worry about being on every social platform all the time. Have a profile on all, but BE CONSISTENT on only 1-2. It's better than stretching yourself too thin on all of them.
Any productivity hacks/tools that you absolutely need for blogging?
Keep a calendar and a daily schedule! I have a planner that I look at literally every single day to see what I need to get done and where I'm at for the week. The calendar serves as my to-do list, my planner (for implementing concrete deadlines), and my goal tracker. It's the best thing that you can do to hold yourself accountable to getting things done.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANA DOMINGUEZ OF THE CITY SIDEWALKS
Oy... With all the travel I do, my schedule is ever-changing and hardly ever consistent, which I actually love. I hated the mundanity of the 9-5 life and decided to pick a career where every day is always different. But, when I'm at home for more than a day, this is usually the schedule I follow:
7:00a - Wake up and start my morning routine. I usually start off by meditating, writing in my journal (goals, affirmations, and positive vibes to start the day!), and reading something of value and learning.
7:30 - Workout. I like to get it out of the way so I don't keep putting it off in the afternoon/evening!
8:30 - Breakfast and get ready for the day
9:30 - Read and respond to emails and other general prep work for the day
10:00 - Start Work: Creative Block #1. I usually pick whatever creative task I have that will take the most mental energy to complete first. This can be blog posts, creating things for my courses or webinars, newsletter preps, etc.
12:00p - Creative Block #2. This block is usually for the slightly less mindful tasks that I need to complete, but are still important. This can be sending newsletters, updating social media, making graphics on Canva, or creating proposals for partnerships. I also use this time for meetings or phone calls.
1:30 - Read and respond to emails and prep for the afternoon
2:00 - Lunch break! I put my work completely away for the hour to give my brain a little rest.
3:00 - Promotion Block. I take this time to promote anything I need to--IFB posts, my own blog posts, my courses, etc.--on social media.
4:00 - Creative Block #3. This block is to do anything else that needs to be done for the day. That can be meetings, catch up, finishing blog posts, or anything else.
5:30 - Read and respond to emails and prep for the next day
6:00 - Finish any other work for the day and make a list for the next day
8:00 - Dinner and chill for the rest of the evening!
11:00 - Usually when I tryyyy to go to bed (sometimes earlier or later depending on my day). It's VERY important to me to get my 8 hours. I cannot function without proper sleep!
Be sure to read more about Ana and City Sidewalks!
Did you like this article? If so please leave us a comment below! What is one of your best blogging tips and how are you the most productive in your day? Let us know! xo