Savilla Mountain isn’t through teaching when she comes home from a day in the classroom at Albertville Primary School.
That’s when she sits down to start blogging as “Vogue For Breakfast,” and begins dispensing her wisdom on style and fashion.
That may not sound like much of a business, until one learns that Mountain has 20,000 Instagram followers who look for her thoughts on clothing and accessories. Traffic on her website is growing, and she’s thinking of forming her own LLC.
From blogging? you ask. Well, more brands are considering the value of “influencer marketing” – using bloggers with loyal followings to move the market through sponsorship.
“I think a lot of people don’t fully understand what I’m doing,” she said. “They think I’m just getting free stuff and taking pictures of it. But I’m working with brands like American Greeting Cards and Coca-Cola.”
Spotlighting a brand involves becoming something of a brand yourself. “Vogue for Breakfast” posts begin with a snappy “Hi Babes!” and then segue into Mountain’s thoughts on a particular style. She follows with photographs of herself taken by her husband, showing off the looks.
Each blog post encompasses a lot of planning – when to post, which photos to use, the layout. But the idea is to have the reader engage personally with the blog and its author. That’s how influence happens. According to Adweek, 81 percent of marketers say influencer campaigns are effective.
Mountain isn’t giving high fashion tips, though. She can’t – not on a teacher’s salary. Her blog began merely as a creative outlet; just another way to share her fashion likes and give pointers on affordable looks and her favorite beauty products and accessories.
Those first blog posts were primitive, with iPhone photographs. She admits she didn’t know much about layout or web design. When she bought her domain, she wasn’t really sure what that meant.
“I watched a lot of YouTube videos and figured it out as I went,” she said.
It was only later, as her audience began to expand, that she understood she could turn it into a moneymaking outlet. She just completed her fifth year of teaching, but she said the money coming in from blogging is becoming a larger slice of her income.
And her fashion sense has changed. Instead of black combinations, Mountain likes to experiment with color and focus on details. She enjoys experimenting, and thinks more people should as well.
“So many people will say, ‘You can pull that off – I couldn’t,'” she said. “They say, ‘People expect me to look like this.’ You never know how you’ll feel until you put it on. They’re scared to try new things for fear of what people will think. If you’re scared of color, start with something small. See how that makes you feel. Then you can warm up to a whole range of possibilities.”
What’s next for Mountain? She’s becoming more proficient at Pinterest in hopes of driving more traffic to her site. Oh, and she’s working on getting her master’s degree.
“I like being busy,” she said. “I really enjoy what I do.”