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Blogging success: Find ways to add value to the lives of others

From fashion tips and beauty tricks to dressing modestly as a married Muslim woman, 28-year-old Aqeelah Harron-Ally is one of South Africa's first fashion bloggers who has genuinely stood the test of time.
Fashion blogger, Aqeelah Harron-Ally.
Fashion blogger, Aqeelah Harron-Ally.

What started in April 2010 as a simple fashion blog, Fashion Breed was a platform for the young fashion and makeup enthusiast to document her interests, activities and travels. Witnessing everything from her graduation to her marriage as well as her achievements, the blog held up a mirror to her life.

Eight and a half years later, the blog and accompanying social media accounts have become a full-time business for Harron-Ally who routinely shares relevant and thought-provoking content with her audience totaling over 85,000 and counting. In 2016, Harron-Ally introduced her followers to her YouTube channel where she also uploads fashion and beauty tutorials.

Cover, Girl

Describing herself as fashion-forward and well-travelled, it was her travels to over 30 cities around the globe that directed Harron-Ally to develop and nurture her faith as a Muslim woman. And it is from those experiences that she developed the popular YouTube series titled ‘Cover, Girl’, which offers styling tips and advice for women of any faith wanting to dress modestly or conservatively yet still remain highly fashionable and on-trend.

While I am not in hijab, I felt I wanted to cover my body more, and as someone who really loves fashion that was really hard at first. But now I love and embrace my style, and through this series, I aim to help other women who are starting to cover up to feel the same way. There isn’t nearly enough content online for the girls ‘in the middle’, so to speak, and I wanted to change that. Despite being so niche, it hasn’t held me back in any way and my followers equally consist of modest-dressers and women with an unrestricted sense of style.
Here, Harron-Ally shares how blogging, in general, has changed since she started her own blog in 2010 and how she manages to keep her content fresh and relevant.

BizcommunityTell us more about yourself.
I'm a digital girl boss with a passion for the travel, fashion and beauty industries.

BizcommunityYou started your fashion blog in 2010. How has blogging changed since then?
It's changed so much. As social media and technology ages and develops, peoples' needs and ideas of entertainment or consumption changes, and so blogging or digital content creation changes with it. In 2018 and even more so in 2019, everything is heavily geared toward video which is something I'm super excited about! I do miss writing more frequently on my blog, which I don't think I'll give up on, but today people want to see and watch more than they want to read.

BizcommunityHow do you keep your content fresh and relevant?
I try to find a balance between what people want and how I can add value to their lives. I also look at what's trending and see what I feel like doing or whatever is inspiring me. I ask myself questions around the criteria often when I'm creating, and that's what directs me.

BizcommunityWhat has been the most memorable campaign to date that you have been involved in?
Being a brand hero for Canal Walk was really special. Nothing beats seeing yourself up on billboards!

BizcommunityWhere do you get your inspiration from?
Anywhere and everywhere from Pinterest to people. I don't have a set place that I go to or one thing that governs me frequently.

BizcommunityWhat advice would you give the newbies trying to crack it in the industry?
Ask yourself what you bring to the table that's fresh and new. Ask yourself why your voice is unique and what needs to be heard. Find ways to add value to the lives of others and to stay true to yourself.

Together with her content creator-photographer husband, Abdul Malick, the couple have also released their own custom-made Lightroom Presets called ‘Fashion Breed Filters’, which can be purchased on her online shop and installed into the free Lightroom app. The duo is also in the process of adding a collection of e-books to Shop Fashion Breed, offering guides to modest-dressing as well as digital content creation.

You can follow Harron-Ally the following social media platforms: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter. You can also connect with her on her blog, YouTube channel or visit her online shop if you’re interested in the presets for sale.

About Juanita Pienaar

Juanita is the editor of the marketing & media portal on the Bizcommunity website. She is also a contributing writer.

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