Empress Morgan & Black Girls Who Blog
This Empress has been in the blogging game before the thought even surfaced my mind. She is behind @BlackGirlsWhoBlog, an award-winning brand tweeted into existence that has now turned into a community of black women bloggers! From #FashionFriday to #TravelThursday, bloggers from all around the world are shared and recognized by this Instagram account (started only three years ago) with over 49.6 thousand followers!
I happen to have a SPECIAL connection with Empress Morgan, the founder and spark of the Black Girls Who Blog social media movement, and was incredibly happy when she granted me an interview to talk more about this influential project.
Usually when you set off on a journey or start a project, a lot of planning is in order. The weird part about how this project began is that it was not planned at all. Started in 2014, Empress Morgan tweeted #BlackGirlsWhoBlog and a small network of women started forming around this hashtag. Soon she came up with the idea to put the hashtag on a shirt (the fashionista that she is). One of our sorors then reached out to her saying she had a design in mind for the T-shirt and the merchandise started getting made. Thus Black Girls Who Blog as we know it today started off as a simple fashion statement.
But the project didn't stop there. Empress Morgan kept the ball rolling because she felt that so many talented, hard-working, and qualified bloggers did not receive as much recognition and opportunities as their white and asian counterparts. "I wanted us to be appreciated, to share each other amongst ourselves." So rather than complaining about black women bloggers making it to a certain list, she made one herself.
Empowerment & Recognition
Empress Morgan has literally seen bloggers introduce themselves, form relationships and build their network off of Black Girls Who Blog. "What I do is empowering to me because I know I make a difference in other people's lives." The enjoyment and excitement these women experience when they are featured fills her with happiness. One thing Empress Morgan loves to do after featuring someone is periodically checking to see their followers increase throughout the day. "Just to give them that sense of joy, more views, more exposure, a support system, even a sisterhood, is a great feeling."
Black Girls Who Blog gives black women bloggers a sense of esteem and pride. Empress Morgan says that confidence is something that has to be worked at daily. Even if bloggers get in a slump, Black Girls Who Blog acts as a source of motivation to keep going.
Black Girls Who Blog has not only received an enormous amount of support from black women bloggers, but also awards and a few magazine features. It won the "Hashtag of the Year" award at the Black Web Blog Awards in November 2014 (when the Instagram account had no more than two thousand followers) and was further recognized in June 2015 at the Blogging While Brown conference for the same award. It has also been featured by Man Repeller, Essence, and in the United Kingdom print magazine, Grazia. This is also on top of the many bloggers that feature her on their site (just like this)!
Her Empress Decree
I couldn't let Empress Morgan walk away without giving black women bloggers, including myself, some advice on starting their own blogs, brands or projects:
- "Be authentic, have your own voice and stay true to yourself." Empress Morgan warns us not to write content just to gain clicks or followers. Just say what you want to say and how you want to say it.
- "Do it for the right reasons." Empress Morgan tells us that nothing should be done for fame or fortune. Start a blog because you genuinely want to produce content. It really grinds her gears when somebody uses the excuse, "well what if nobody reads it?" You should be doing it for yourself.
- "Make sure to share your work." Empress Morgan advises to not be mad if no one knows your blog exists. You have to put in that extra time and effort to get it out there! If you want to know more about ways you can do this, The Empress can help you out with that. :)
- "Be consistent." Empress Morgan says that while you don't want your content to feel forced, you should be producing it on a consistent basis. She advises us to create a content calendar, have thematic series, or make a schedule. This will all help to build your brand and your following.