With digital influencing reaching new terrains through micro-blogging platforms like Instagram and video-sharing media like YouTube, reaching out to an audience seems to have become an easier and more engaging endeavor. But for long-time fashion and travel blogger-slash-influencer Laureen Uy, nothing quite compares to having a virtual space to call your own. As one of the country’s top influencers, Laureen has got years of blogging experience in the bag. She’s been awarded the Top Fashion Influencer title in 2015 at the Influence Asia Awards, and has amassed almost 900 thousand followers on Instagram.
After perusing through her blog and Instagram account, it’s apparent that Laureen has found a sense of style that’s unapologetically hers. “It took me a really long time before realizing I was actually 100% comfortable with what I’m wearing. I tried preppy, glam, rock—all the styles you can think of—before being really comfortable with my own style. You just have to have an open mind,” she shares. With fashion stitched to her genes and blogging etched into her like it’s second nature, Laureen shares a thing or two about finding your own style, the unknown hardships of blogging, and her two cents on why having a blog is like having an extension of yourself.
How did you get into blogging?
On my 21st birthday, I decided to create a blog/visual diary so I sort of have an online journal where I can check my style posts and adventures any time I can.
What’s the idea behind your blog Break My Style?
Break My Style is all about breaking away from your inner style and just experimenting with whatever you feel like wearing. We all have this feeling that people might judge us if we wear something a little different, but I want people to not be afraid to wear whatever they want to wear.
How would you describe your taste in fashion?
Let’s just say I like men’s clothing more. I love wearing jeans, shirts, denim jackets, etc. I like wearing boy’s clothes and glamming it up!
Do you believe that your sense of style reflects your identity as a person?
DEFINITELY. I always include this sentence whenever I give talks: What you wear is who you are.
Who are your biggest style inspirations?
Am I biased if I say it’s my sister Liz?
What’s one thing about blogging that most people don’t know about?
It’s a hard job. You only see the beautiful pictures online but you don’t see the effort behind every post we make.
What’s your approach when it comes to balancing blogging with your other commitments?
I must admit, there was a time na blurred yung line because I was working so much. But a few years ago, I decided to just shut my brain off after working hours so I can spend time with family and friends and just unwind.
What’s been the hardest thing you had to face as a blogger and online influencer?
Bashers. When they notice one bad thing about you or the mistakes you did (like my Bulbasaur incident), prepare yourself.
The dawn of Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms has made micro-blogging popular amongst online influencers and viewers alike. Would you say that micro-blogging is more ideal than the traditional way of blogging?
To each his own. Micro-blogging is definitely another way to reach your followers and influence them. But I like having a blog because it’s another platform I truly own. All my years of experience and adventures are written there. For me, I like having a blog because it’s mine to keep—hopefully forever.
You’re also trying your hand at vlogging. What’s the biggest difference between vlogging and traditional blogging in terms of content production and audience engagement?
It’s so different! Now that I’m trying out vlogging, hands down to content creators and YouTubers out there. It takes up a lot of your time, but I do enjoy it and I love that my readers/followers get to see another side of me. Photos are more inspirational, but with videos kasi, the viewers feel like I’m really talking to them. It’s more conversational.
Do you think that traditional blogging will soon be obsolete now that producing content is made easier and more engaging through other online platforms (like Instagram and YouTube)?
I know that with IG and Twitter, everything can be real time and it’s fun to post on social media. But when it comes to deeper research about something you really want or a place you want to go to, I feel like going through a blog and reading one person’s article or story is still better. It’s a different process when you read someone’s blog about a certain place they experienced.
When it comes to collaborations and sponsorships, how do you select who to work with?
It really has to be fit with my style and personality. I’ve accepted multiple projects and have declined a lot as well. You don’t want to lie to your followers or audience at the end of the day just because you’re getting paid.
Being a blogger often means you put a part of your life out there for the public to see. How do you deal with that kind of exposure?
I love sharing my life with my readers. I’ve been doing it for 7 years and I don’t plan to stop. I enjoy sharing my experiences with them because I feel like I really get to connect with them that way. It’s a two-way thing, and even if I’m not friends with all of them in real life, I think of them as my virtual friends.
Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring bloggers?
Be unique and never let anybody pull or bring you down.