Lifestyle

Making the blogger circle bigger

Last year was, for me, a great 365 days of blogging. I became better acquainted with some amazingly fierce individuals who are juggling life, whilst writing about it. I was involved in some great campaigns with LG, Minimi Atelier, SA Venues, and many more. For life as a lifestyle and parenting blogger, 2017 was good.

But, I noticed something that really bugged me:

  • I saw so many of those gorgeous baby brands, the #localislekker ones, posting beautifully styled product shoots….with white babies. Which is weird, because I kinda thought this was a rainbow nation? I’ll admit, I’m getting so bored with seeing gorgeous teepees in white-washed rooms, with white-washed children. I don’t want to see another pink tutu on a blonde kid…yes, this does rule out Rosie (even though she would look ADORABLE in one).
  • Alcohol brands seemed to either target affluent looking whites, or the “black diamond” demographic. There didn’t seem to be a happy medium. Again, weird, because I know a majority of POC bloggers who enjoy a fantastic glass of wine.
  • Food brands, especially toddler and baby food, could have made waves if they sent drops to a more inclusive group of influencers.

Brands, why aren’t you increasing your market share by expanding your focus?!

Okay, before I whip myself into too much of a frenzy, let’s look at both sides of the coins:

Is this a matter of POC Bloggers not having big enough audiences?
I am guilty of not always expanding on my reading material, sticking with bloggers I know because I find their blogs to be easy to read, familiar, safe. I’m also guilty of not always reading blog posts, tending to stay in the social media sphere of involvement. If reach is the issue, it could be down to there not being enough effort to share content of others. I’ve seen quite a few bloggers who are so self-involved/self-important, never commenting on others posts (be it social or blog post) never doing anything to big up their fellow comrades. But we all started somewhere, we all deserve to have a little push, and to have our hard work recognized. Imagine the power of backing your fellow bloggers, and the growth that we could all be a part of?

Are their blogs as good as the big guns?
2018 needs to be the year of everyone upping their blog game. I want to see clear imagery, themes that don’t give you a headache, blog posts with punctuation and your own domain name. If we all want to be taken seriously, we need to offer a space for brands to shine (if that’s the direction we want to go). With that being said, that’s not me dismissing anyone, but one of my favorite things is helping bloggers readjust their blogs to be more user-friendly, more PR friendly.

Is it a matter of PRs not doing their research?
This is totally plausible. After last’s year fantastic breakthrough on bought followers across social media platforms, a lot of people were exposed for picking influencers based on their followers rather than their engagement. This, to me, is about as redundant as ironing underwear. A lot of agencies still need a shake-up, but it will happen when brands start waking up to the potential they are missing.

And finally, perhaps there aren’t enough People Of Colour (POC) Bloggers out there?
WRONG. Incorrect.

At the beginning of this year, I saw some amazing InstaStories of bloggers sharing feeds of those they follow, there were no colour boundaries. It was about spreading the word on the accounts that inspire and uplift, that offer real, authentic content. It made me want to do this on a more permanent scale.

So, folks, here’s an ever-growing list of South African POC Lifestyle, Fashion, & Parenting bloggers.
Click on the links, familiarize yourself with their content and if they speak to you, give them the love and attention they deserve:

Hayley’s Joys
Best for: Great parenting & stylish lifestyle posts.

The Milk Memoirs
Best for: In-depth parenting advice.

Liam & Cole
Best for: Parenting tips, tricks & reviews.

My Daily Cake
Best for: Tips & tricks for working mums.

We Are The Humans
Best for: Life lessons, funny moments – her blog is so clean & modern.

Surviving The Madness
Best for: Parenting posts & charming real moments.

Just Ella Bella
Best for: Honest, real parenting posts & niche, resonating content.

Modern Zulu Mom
Best for: Product & lifestyle reviews.

A New Brandt Of Family
Best for: Parenting & Lifestyle content.

Muller Kids
Best for: Newborn & toddler posts & reviews.

3 Boys B4 Thirty
Best for: Honest family posts.

Crazy Mom Journal
Best for: Parenting journeys, blog interviews and lifestyle content.

High Heels & Fairytales
Best for: Parenting reviews and tips.

My Spreadsheet Brain
Best for: Personal life & parenting moments.

Tazz Discovers
Best for: Discovery, how-to posts.

An Ordinary Gal
Best for: Great beauty reviews and tips.

In The Meantime
Best for: Parenting & Lifestyle content.

Tyranny Of Pink
Best for: Raw, honest, funny posts on life.

Afro Daddy
Best for: Hilarious parenting moments.

Life & Times Of The Fireflies
Best for: Parenting & Lifestyle content.

Rube’s Closet
Best for: Fashion, reviews & life content.

Official Dragon Mommy
Best for: Parenting tips, tricks and honest moments.

Me Mrs Me
Best for: Gorgeous, styled fashion posts.

Shiny Sequins Blog
Best for: Fashion, style content.

Through My Wine Glass 
Best for: Exploring the winelands and expanding your wine knowledge.

Curlyheads & Dimples
Best for: Parenting reviews and tips.

Real Life Mum
Best for: Parenting reviews and tips.

Peanut Gallery 247
Best for: Parenting reviews and tips.

Love Made Me
Best for: Birthing assistance and reviews.

Chev’s Life
Best for: Honest & personal family posts.

Melissa Javan
Best for: Money matters, tips and tricks.

The Authentic Girl
Best for: Reviews, Fashion and lifestyle content.

Phumza Marumo
Best for: Family, relationship and life.

O So Inspired
Best for: Lifestyle and personal journeys.

Glam Hipster Diaries
Best for: Beauty, fashion and lifestyle

African Orchid
Best For: Personal life stories.

Miss Dhanusha
Best for: Lifestyle & reviews.

Spice Goddess
Best for: Cooking & travel.

In Africa & Beyond
Best for: Travel and exploration advice.

Life’s a Treat
Best for: Healthy, vegan recipes, and motivational parenting.

Pretty Palesa
Best for: Beauty content.

Butterfingers
Best for: Delicious food and recipes inspired by Ming’s Taiwanese heritage.

Got more people to add to the list? Let me know in the comments and I’ll edit the list.

Please note that I am in NO way stating that the above bloggers are small, unrecognized – the majority of them are fierce individuals who graft daily. I am merely saying that we ought to expand on our diversity, our reading material, and our brand campaigns.

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45 Comments

  • Reply Luchae Williams January 10, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Thank you for the mention, lovely lady 🙂 There are so many great SA blogs out there that I had no idea about until the Instastorie game. I love this iniative, so thank you … again… lol

  • Reply Mandy Lee Miller January 10, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Some of my very favourite humans and blogs on this list ❤️ Prepare to fall in love with the writers, their writing and their stories. These are some of the most important and influential people in my life x

  • Reply Juwayra January 10, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I’ve also noticed how the same bloggers promote the same products/brands on social media. This probably means that PR companies only notice/use these bloggers for their campaigns. It might be because of following or whatever but I’m glad you brought the topic up. There are so many bloggers that I never knew about who I discovered through the insta story game.

    Great post!

  • Reply Charlene | High Heels & Fairy Tales January 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks so much for this Shante! I think it’s pretty amazing what you’re doing. x

  • Reply Celeste Booysen January 10, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Grat post. You always hit the nail on the head.

    • Reply Celeste Booysen January 10, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      Apparently, I forgot how to spell over the holidays.

      • Reply Shante Hutton January 10, 2018 at 1:02 pm

        Hahaha. You’ve made me chuckle!

      • Reply Simone Cameron January 11, 2018 at 10:32 am

        Ha ha…This made me chuckle too, because initially I missed the typo!

  • Reply Tracy Dawson January 10, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I literally got goose bumps as I read this, thank you for sharing the sentiments of so many. I’ve been seeing so much of this and you’ve really just written it all in such a nice way. Thanks for listing my blog. Your blog is awesome by the way, going to do some reading tonight with a lovely glass of wine 🙂

    • Reply Shante Hutton January 10, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      Thank you so much for the compliment but most of all, thank you for sharing your voice

    • Reply Nicola January 11, 2018 at 6:14 am

      Hi Tracy

      Thanks for sharing this post on the SA Blogger Facebook page, which is how I came across it and happily so, stumbled upon this blog for the first time too 🙂

  • Reply mira naidu January 10, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Love your sentiments. More needs to be done.

    Please can you add : Real Life Mum

    http://www.reallifemumsite.wordpress.com

  • Reply Melissa Javan January 10, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Yay for this post 🙂

  • Reply Munira January 10, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this post! More people in PR need to be aware that:
    a) POC bloggers exist
    b) We put in just as much (or more!) effort as our white counterparts
    c) They’re missing out on a very huge audience!

    Parenting blogs isn’t my niche but I’m so happy that you’ve included so many POC bloggers! Well done!

    – Munira

  • Reply Faheema Petersen January 10, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Really great post and you are such an amazing person for writing this post. ?

  • Reply ChevsLife January 10, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Great bloggers on this list, people who keep it real!

  • Reply Mommabeartrax January 11, 2018 at 5:41 am

    Such a great post with a truly worthwhile intent. Thank you for creating such awareness, as well as for the mention.?

  • Reply Nicola January 11, 2018 at 6:13 am

    I love this post and I think it is apt as I have personally felt that there are many preferences, whilst I think it is ok to have preferences, I don’t think it should be dependent on the colour of our skin. You have so eloquently expressed a sensitive reality which I am sure not many would be brave enough to do, I applaud you for this. It certainly is food for thought. Thank you for including my blog on the list.

  • Reply Odette January 11, 2018 at 7:14 am

    As a blogger of colour, I follow mostly other bloggers of colour and can agree. There are many POC bloggers with big/decent-sized followings that make great content and actually influence their followers. I come across more each and every day, and I don’t mean newbies but established bloggers that I haven’t heard about before because I didn’t step outside my normal reading (I follow quite a few on your list already, but will check the ones I don’t know out). I agree brands are definitely losing out on huge markets by putting themselves in a pigeon-hole.
    Let’s hope in 2018 brands will be more inclusive with their online campaigns.
    My little blog is over at http://www.osoinspired.com, I blog about beauty, lifestyle and fitness. I’d love it if you check it out and add it to your list.

    • Reply Shante Hutton January 11, 2018 at 9:42 am

      Thank you so much for your comment. I definitely think it’s about us sharing the word, and doing our research!

  • Reply Cherice Landers January 11, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Excellent post. Thank you for touching on this issue. I hope that the blogger circle does grow and become more ‘colourful’.
    This post also prompted me to get back into nurturing my ‘ baby’, http://www.glamhipsterdiaries.com. Consistency has been my biggest struggle over the last few months.

  • Reply Emma M January 11, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve discovered new readings from this post and I’m most definitely permanently adding ‘through my wine glass’ to my reading list. We really should support each other more as bloggers whether a beginner or a seasoned blogger.

  • Reply Simone Cameron January 11, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Such a great post. It’s easy for us to feel like we’re really never going to get anywhere, be as successful as our favourite fairer skinned bloggers, but posts like this give me hope…for everybody <3

    Thank you for including me on the list <3 I will definitely be adding some of these blogs to my list!

  • Reply Sara Essop January 11, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Great post! Thanks for touching on this issue. I’d love to be added to your list. My blog is about travel in South Africa and beyond.
    https://inafricaandbeyond.com

  • Reply Puveshree January 11, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Beautiful read. Thank you for sharing these sentiments in an elegant but impactful read.
    My blog is a lifestyle blog focusing on healthy vegan recipes and raising empowered children.
    http://lifesatreat.co.za/

  • Reply Palesa January 11, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    I thought I was the only one seeing this. It’s so discouraging to enter a market where you don’t even know whether you will be valued or not. Hopefully this will change and we will start seeing more POC working with brands.
    I just started a Beauty, Hair and Lifestyle blog a few months back
    Prettypalesa.co.za

  • Reply Venean January 11, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    I love this – thank you for including me in the list, and wow – there are so many bloggers on here that I wasn’t already following. So much has already taken place in terms of supporting each other in just the last 24hours since this post went live. It’s amazing. YAY for bringing this to everyones attention and for making the circle bigger!!! xxx

  • Reply Rick January 11, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I’m all for diversity and breaking barriers. I know of a big South African blogger who has a really big audience, but can’t get paid because he posts content that has been labeled as “too edgy”. His audience clearly doesn’t find offence in his content, yet brands don’t want to work with him because of ideological bias. That’s also a horrid form of exclusion.

    But we have to remember that your audience size, and who is in your audience matters. If I look at the comments here and follow the links, it becomes pretty clear that this is a group if bloggers that all engage with each other’s content. But where are the outsider, the non-bloggers, the ones who are not commenting just so that they can link back to their own blog?

    I’m a POC, but I don’t know all that many POC bloggers that actually have a big audience outside of the blogger circles they run in. What is our POC-audience worth, if only bloggers know other blogs, but they average guy or girl on the street doesn’t know any of those blogs?

    I think we all as bloggers have to start being honest about who our audience really is. Because at the moment we are lying about our audience to each other and to ourselves.

    • Reply Zoe Hawkins January 12, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      Ruan, is that you? 😛

      j/k – but what’s your blog address? Don’t see it as part of your comment and would love to see what your blog is like.

      I think parenting blogs are a bit of a different kind of tribe. We might all engage with each other’s content, but that’s also because we’re interested in many similar things, like what to feed our kids or how to wean or how to lose baby weight or deal with people trying to judge us for our parenting styles. So yes, there might be a bit of a circle jerk tendency of all reading and commenting on each other’s blogs, but that’s because we’re more than /just/ bloggers.

  • Reply Candice January 11, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! It does give you something to think about. I am a blogger too.

  • Reply Nicole January 12, 2018 at 5:50 am

    Thank you for this post, my fiancé and I have a lifestyle blog, we feature travel, beauty and restaurant reviews – http://www.meletso.com

  • Reply Jurie Weidemann January 12, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Great read…you make some valid points and I also believe if we all (South Africans) would just support each other more, regardless of background, this country will soar! I am not a Lifefstyle blogger and clearly I am not a mommy blogger, but I think the principle of your article rings true across the board.

    • Reply Shante Hutton January 13, 2018 at 6:00 am

      Thanks so much Jurie – I am 100% with you! I found starting my blog to be so difficult because it can be so cliquey. We forget that by empowering others, we do the very same for ourselves!

  • Reply Zoe Hawkins January 12, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    Love this! Always get frustrated when I’d go to events in Joburg and it was mainly white, affluent mommy bloggers with maybe one or two PoC. Thanks for writing this and hope it’s a useful resource for people looking to find more awesome bloggers to follow – I’m already a huge fan of many people on this list. <3

  • Reply Bianca Balutto January 12, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Great post. Last year I experienced racism from a well known brand where they indirectly told me that they can’t work with me because of the colour of my skin…reading your post gives me hope. Im glad that others are also noticing what is happening and I really hope that things change this year. I would love to be added to your list I am a beauty blogger.

    https://aobmblog.wordpress.com/

    • Reply Shante Hutton January 13, 2018 at 5:59 am

      Oh my goodness Bianca, I’m so sorry to hear that! Thank you so much for sharing on this post

  • Reply Chanene January 15, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    I can not fault you in what you have said those bloggers you have mentioned never mind a few others are respected in the blogging community and the bonus is they are super fabulous people. Great insight and so much truth excuse me while I go read the follow up

  • Reply Hayley January 15, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Great post and thank you for the mention Shante.
    Let’s hope to see some more diversity in campaigns this year!

  • Reply Carmen Barends January 16, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Thank you for a great list of bloggers. Always good to find peeps material to read.

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