From the early years of dial-up connection, embarrassing AIM screen names, Xanga, Myspace, etc., social media has always played a huge role in Alyssa Lenore's life. Over the years, her fondness for fashion, travel, writing, and photography grew, and as the world of social media grew as well, finding herself on a journey she never expected to be on.
You can follow Alyssa on Instagram at @Alyssa.Lenore and also on her blog here
Your background is in Interior Design as well as business marketing and advertising. That’s quite a laundry-list of skills! How has this knowledge and experience benefitted you when it comes to blogging?
I went into business marketing and advertising right when I started college. I still wasn't sure what I really wanted to do, but I figured declaring that major would be a safe bet. After two years, I switched to Interior Design because it was something I really began to fall in love with and could see myself doing after graduating. And although I'm a full time blogger now, the courses that I took never went to waste. Business helped me so much with the way that I run my brand, marketing helped the way that I wanted to share content, and Interior Design helped refine my style, fuel my creativity, and really allowed me to develop a certain style that people recognize. It's so wonderful to know that although I didn't follow a career based on my exact majors, they've still become extremely useful in what I ended up doing anyways.
You were born in the Philippines and moved to New York when you were 8 years old. Do you identify more with Manilla or New York, or both and do your roots play a role in your approach to blogging today?
Growing up in New York has definitely influenced my style, but where I was born has made an impact on how I approach the way I blog as well. My parents made sure that I always remember my roots, the language, the food, how I grew up, etc. I'm a proud Filipino and I'm not afraid to share aspects of my culture with my followers. Both Manila and New York are dear to my heart because both have taught me important values that I try to incorporate everyday.
Manila is my first home and my childhood was filled with so many memories with my family. I share moments with my family on my platforms because it really is such a big part of who I am. I haven't traveled back as often as I would like to, but I have an upcoming trip to the Philippines that I am so excited to share with my readers. The Philippine values that have played a role in my blogging are humility, hard work, and a strong family bond that has helped with the way I communicate and connect with people.
I've been in New York for about 19 years now, and the lessons and values I've learned here are so important. Not only did growing up here shape the person I've become, but it is a great environment for someone in the creative field. There's constant inspiration and I could never get tired of it.
When did blogging become such an important component of your life? Is it a full-time thing for you or do you also work at another job?
Blogging was my escape all throughout school. It was my way of expressing myself online and it just became this hobby that I really loved when I needed a break from school. While I had my full course-loads, I also worked in retail part time. Blogging was always an important part of who I was ever since 2010/2011 I'd say, right out of high school. After all those years of school, I graduated in 2016 with a following strong enough that allowed me to make it my full-time job.
How important do you think it is to maintain a strong color story across your socials? Do you have a tool or system to help curate your feed?
It used to be very important to me to be very minimal, no colors. But as I got older, I've allowed this flexibility into my life because if there's a beautiful moment, why let it be left out just because it doesn't fit into a specific color scheme? I still keep things neutral, because it's just what I'm naturally drawn to, but if there's a pop of color here and there, I'm not against it! Moodboarding through school helped me visualize my content so it's practically second nature for me now.
More often than not, you’re in front of the camera rather than behind it. How do you manage this? Do you work with a photographer?
I'm very fortunate to have a boyfriend that has taken a majority of my photos all these years and friends that know the right angles! I've worked with photographers for certain campaigns, 99% of the time, I work with my boyfriend or friends which make the shoots just that much more fun and enjoyable!
Where do you find your inspiration for your posts? How do decide what to post each day?
I'm constantly capturing content in my daily life, so my inspiration comes from everything around me, magazines, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. What I post each day depends on my mood, what's happening, what's relevant to that day, and then of course some content like sponsored posts are also just scheduled to go live certain days.
We’ve noticed that you don’t regularly use hashtags in your posts (besides sponsored content). Why is that?
I used to always post hashtags, thinking it would help boost my content. Until I found out that Instagram blocks certain content from showing up if you use the same hashtags all the time. I'm not sure if that's true, but after a while I just stopped being a serial hashtagger. I may incorporate some here or there, but the 20 hashtags in a comment just didn't feel right anymore.
Instagram has undergone a lot of changes in the last couple of years. New algorithms, advertising, etc. Has this had an impact on your work at all, for better or worse?
There's definitely been a slowdown and it's unfortunate that sometimes people don't see certain things, but there's nothing I can do to fight the change. I just have to go along with it. I continue to post the things that I love and if it works, it works. Stressing about the numbers never did me any good so I try to play it cool. Sure, it's frustrating, but I'd rather put my energy towards my work than being mad about something I have no control over.
What would you say is the best advice or tip to build your business/ following on Instagram?
CONSISTENCY! And be yourself, you can't build a following by doing something someone is already doing. You have to stand out somehow.
In your opinion, how do you see the “business” of blogging changing over the next few years? Do you think that Influencers will always have such a strong role in marketing?
I'm hoping that it gets stronger, I don't see any signs of it slowing down. Influencer marketing has made such an impact in the industry and it's really exciting to be a part of it.
What are the vital skills needed to be a successful blogger?
Creativity. Originality. Consistency. People Skills. Writing. Photography.
Any more advice for budding bloggers?
Take inspiration wherever you find it, but build upon it. Make it your own.