Sizing up the perfect blog post/ Instagram shot takes work
Danie Vanier is a fashion and beauty blogger. And a very successful one, at that. Focusing on the plus-sized fashion sector, Danie has amassed over 65k followers on Instagram, most of whom love a good chat beneath her alluring, bright and often fun-filled photos. I have known Danie for a few years, and even interviewed her for my own final project while at University, for my self-created magazine Forecast, when Danie was working as a fashion designer for H&M. It has been captivating to watch her progression in the world of blogging and social media, and I caught up with her as she embarks upon Snapchat as her latest tool of her trade – listen up wannabe bloggers, Danie’s advice is gold dust…
In the fourth of a new series on FashCatherine, editor Catherine Hudson talks with Danie about the brilliant highs, and few pitfalls of, being a ‘blogger’. Read the first in the series, with Caroline Watson, stylist and bag designer, here, the second, with kids’ fashion designer Jessica Seaman, here, and the third, with lifestyle PR guru Shosh Kazab, here.
Danie, how would you describe what you do for work, and how much of your time does it take up?
I am a fashion and beauty blogger, focusing predominantly on the plus size sector. I live, eat and breathe my job and seeing as a lot of my work is based online; it takes up a lot of my time. Luckily I love my job, so I don’t mind at all
How did you reach the position you are in now?
I started posting outfit pictures on Instagram and then moved onto tumblr, using it as a blog. The more I posted, using hashtags like #plussize #psblogger the more followers I gained and I was able to transition over to a proper blog. This was just over three years ago, and I am now a full time blogger.
What was your biggest setback, workwise, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest set back is on going, sadly. I have a chronic pain condition, Fibromyalgia, and this affects me all day, everyday. I try my best to put a face on and push my issues aside, but some days it makes it very difficult for me to attend meetings, photo shoots etc. I hate having to cancel fun things and I can miss out on a lot of things.
How do you feel about being a ‘blogger’? What does that mean, and did you term yourself that?
I absolutely LOVE being a blogger and inspiring women across the world. I love the feeling of knowing I have helped someone gain confidence, either in themselves or in the way they dress. I have also been given some amazing opportunities that I wouldn’t have been given if I weren’t a blogger. As a blogger it is my job to show my readers the latest in fashion and beauty and showcase brands and products as if I were a walking, talking magazine.
Do you think being a blogger has any negative perceptions? If so, why?
I think a lot of people think that bloggers just sit around, get sent free stuff and then brag about it. I promised myself at the start that I would always stay true to myself, keep my integrity and only blog about stuff that I truly love or feel passionate about. I feel that bloggers, who just review absolutely anything they are sent, give the rest of us a bad rep.
Did you ever feel held back in blogging, because you are a woman? If so, how did you conquer that?
I have luckily never felt held back. Blogging is a very female heavy career and I love being surrounded by so many interesting, inspiring women.
How have you gained confidence within the blogging-sphere?
I think it is super important to just be yourself. I try to be the same person online as I am offline and I always try to make sure I am approachable and friendly when I’m at events. I feel like making friends with other bloggers has really helped and its important to always believe in yourself and your brand.
Work aside, how do you prioritise your social time? We all know how busy our diaries can get!
Due to my Fibromyalgia, my memory is atrocious! I rely heavily on a calendar and I have to make sure I balance the week with work, social and rest time. Thankfully I get invited to some really fun events, which I can sometimes take my non-blogging friends to.
What would you say to women who are interested in starting a career in your industry?
Go for it! Anyone can start a blog, what have you got to lose? One thing I would say is that you must find something that makes you stand out, find or create your niche.
How do find your inspiration – for work, and for play?
Fashion and music heavily influence everything I do. I am obsessed with both. I look to online platforms like Instagram for fashion inspiration and I follow trend-forecasting websites so that I am one step ahead of other bloggers. I try to predict upcoming trends and then make them work for a plus size body.
What are your three top tips for starting your own blog/website?
- Use an easy to use platform such as blogger, and watch lots of YouTube tutorials on how to use the sites.
- Either make yourself or buy a very user-friendly template. Your blog should have a clear layout and it should look inviting!
- Ask around! Ask fellow bloggers or social media influencers for help. We all started somewhere, and you might gain some valuable knowledge.
How ambitious are you? Are you still striving for more success? How?
I am ambitious, yes. I have had to slightly water down my ambitions, due to my Fibromyalgia, and I have to listen to my body now and manage my expectations on what I can do. I have heaps of goals though; my biggest is collaborating with a brand and bringing out my own fashion collection.
What is your favourite/best social media tool?
I love Instagram but I recently joined snapchat & I must admit; I’m slightly obsessed!
Follow Danie on Istagram
Visit Danier Vanier online
- Read the first in our ‘women inspiring women’ series, with Caroline Watson, stylist and bag designer, here.
- Read our interview with Poppy + Ned kids’ fashion designer Jessica Seaman, here.
- Read our interview with lifestyle pR guru Shosh Kazab, here.