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Coco Bassey, also known as Millennielle, blogs all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle. We’ve interviewed her to share all she has learned in the blogging world. We hope you get inspired and learn from her helpful tips to take your social media to the next level!

Coco Bassey

Photographer: Vivi Carrasco

Tell our readers about yourself and your blog.

I am a Nigerian native, based in Atlanta and work as a marketing professional by day and run Millennielle.com every moment in between. Millennielle is a digital fashion and lifestyle destination, created by and for millennial women. With the aim of inspiring young women around the world to create a life full of adventure, Millennielle’s mission statement is to, “redefine the millennial experience, one outfit at a time.”

Tell us how you first got into blogging.

I’ve always been into digital content creation! I self-taught myself the basics of coding during the MySpace era, when I was so obsessed with learning how to customize my own page. Through college, I loved reading Refinery29 and it was my dream to move to NYC and become a writer for their team.  Until the blogging world moved to the industry forefront, and I realized that I can create an online community of my own.  One that truly follows my very own creative vision!

How did you establish your “theme” or brand?

Paying attention to digital marketing trends is part of my professional job, so I feel very keyed into what people love to see and engage with online. A clean, white website allows my images to speak for themselves, and it’s 100% important to me that every image I publish is clear and beautiful. You wouldn’t believe how many photos never see the light of day because they don’t make the cut! For my photo editing process, one of my favorite photographers, who I follow, released an Adobe Lightroom preset that I use as a starting point. I then tweak it to my taste. When it comes to my visual theme, I love cool-toned, high contrast and sharp images.

For your theme or brand, do you have things that you do consistently?

First and foremost, my readers always come first, so I always ask myself before a post goes live, “does this post offer value to my readers?” If it doesn’t, I tweak my copy content accordingly.
Coco Bassey

Photographer: Udee B.

Where do you find the inspiration for your blog posts?

I love reading other blogs! Some of my favorite sources of inspiration are HappilyGrey.com, SongofStyle.com and TakeAim.nu. I also religiously read WhoWhatWear, to keep my finger on the pulse of the latest trends in fashion. I love that their team also sees value in working with bloggers, so it really is a great place to read about fashion that spans the entire spectrum: from A-list celebs to your average girl next door.

What do you think is the best strategy to get more traffic to your blog?

SEO is everything! I use the Yoast WordPress plugin on my site. Another major source of traffic (and why you need beautiful images on your site): Pinterest! Create content that your readers will pin… you never know what will go viral, and that’ll be a major source of new readers for you!

What’s your favorite social media platform? Why?

I know that as a blogger I’m supposed to say Instagram… but to be very honest, I love Twitter! It’s a good mix of visuals and copy content. It’s my favorite way to digest the news and see what’s buzzing in the Internet world. If you’re following the right people, Twitter can be the BEST source of comedy too!

How do you gain followers?

Since I work a full-time job and am busy around the clock, I’ll be honest… I’m not tracking my follower growth and engagement stats as religiously as most other bloggers I know do. As a matter of fact, I find the follower growth conversation exhausting sometimes! I think that if you’re creating something you love, and engaging with the followers and community that you already have, your passion will shine through and you’ll grow your community that way. I know people who have more followers than me, but only get one-third of my number of likes and comments. I think an unengaged audience is a MUCH bigger concern than a small following.
Coco Bassey

Photographer: Federico

Once you have the followers, how do you keep them & engage with them?

By posting and creating content that offers value, answering questions that people ask, and being REAL (no click-bait headlines!)

How many times a week do you post?

Twice a week to my blog, and approximately thrice a week to my Instagram. I wish I could post more on Instagram, but living a double life doesn’t really allow that for now 🙂

Is this a part of your strategy to keep gaining followers or do you post at random?

It really is mostly random. I like to alternate images of myself with pictures of other things (to keep my feed from looking too narcissistic.) So, there definitely have been moments where I get “Instagram-block” and can’t find the right image to keep my feed looking uniform so I don’t post for a couple days. But, I think that’s OK! Some people advocate for posting 3-5x a day… but I haven’t seen a difference in my engagement when I take a break.

What are some misconceptions about social media?

People think that blogging is a narcissistic, materialistic venture but I see it as more of an art when it’s done right. From the writing to photography… it can really be a great feeling to have a beautiful corner of the internet that’s all yours.

How do you find relevant hashtags for your photos on Instagram?

I don’t do a lot of hashtag research, to be honest. I’ve heard about the recent “shadowban” that Instagram’s doing, so I’ve kind of abandoned my hashtag strategy for something more organic: Geotags! They’re a great way to push local discovery if you tag where your photos were snapped!
Coco Bassey

Photographer: Udee B.

Do you have photos taken professionally or do you take them yourself?

My sister shoots 95% of my content for me, and I edit it.

What are some tips you can give in order to take a good photo?

Avoid direct sunlight, keep your camera in-focus — and in post-editing, fix the white balance to remove the yellow cast from your images and bump up your stronger whites.

What’s your favorite location to take photos?

New York City! I wish I lived there, to be honest. Maybe one day when I go full-time with my blog, I’ll do a half-year residency there, I love that city!

What are your top 3 favorite emojis?

✨????????
Coco Bassey

Photographer: Anne Kim at Laura Metzler Photography

How do you keep your website updated & relevant?

I work with a development team to discuss opportunities for monetization and improving website engagement, and based on web design trends and my readers’ needs. I push new features on my site that hopefully address both in the best way possible.

What apps would you recommend to our followers?

VCSO for photo filters, and Adobe Lightroom for photo editing

What else do you want to add to help small business owners?

Social media is a big part of a small business’ success.  I truly believe that business owners need to concentrate more on the quality of content (or product) that they’re creating than concentrating on their social media numbers. I see people who have it backward ALL the time, and that’s just not the way to go… you’re never gonna get one million followers if you’re not focused on constantly improving your brand’s value propositions, but once your branding is on point, the followers will come.
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Blogger Insight: We're Talking Social Media With Coco Bassey
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