Crafted by: Amanda Bellantoni

Social media is an incredible tool. It allows us to share ideas, knowledge, and connect with friends and loved ones from all over. For me, social media has been an incredible networking tool, and I've met some incredible women on this platform who are crushing it in life and work. Amanda Bellantoni is a fellow Connecticut-based blogger who is crafting her life on her terms with her flourishing fashion and beauty blog. Our insta-friendship started last year when she asked me to help her re-design her logo. With her strong following on social media, her engaging videos, and knowledge of the blogger space, I had to sit down and find out her best kept secrets! Lucky for you, I'm sharing it with you here!

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Amanda Bellatoni, Fashion & Beauty Blogger

IG: @_amandabella || Twitter: @_amandabella

Facebook || YouTube

What inspired you to start your own blog? I wanted to do something fun! I was a couple years out of college, I had been working, and I felt myself becoming really bored and uninspired. At that time I loved reading blogs and figured why not write one myself?! So I decided to go for it in January 2012 – it was my New Years Resolution to start it!

You have such a strong social media following, how has social media affected your business? Why thank you!! In the grand scheme of things, my following is pretty small, but the people are very real. To be honest, social media has kind of become my business - I find that most brands I speak with are more interested in a sponsored Instagram campaign than a sponsored blog post nowadays.

A couple of years ago when I was really diving into this world, I agreed to a few campaigns that I probably wouldn’t do again today. It’s hard when you’re trying to establish yourself and show your capabilities (but you don’t have many options yet). I’m grateful that I can be more selective now. I recently wrote a blog post about Influencers and this new wave of marketing; one thing I think a lot of people don’t understand is how important it is to build a real community… no matter how long it takes you. 500 real followers will always be better than 50K fake ones. People are so quick to try and buy their way to the top, but all an Influencer has is their audience and their authenticity. Be patient, it really will pay off.

What advice do you have for girls who might be interested in starting their own blog? Go for it, there’s really nothing to lose. Just stick it out! So many people start a blog and then just stop...which is fine if you find it’s not for you. But if you get joy from it, don’t quit. You’ll be so surprised by the relationships, opportunities, and passion it can bring into your life.

Blogging can definitely be a full-time job, what's the one thing you do to stay organized? Oof! My biggest struggle. I do my best to stick to a schedule. I like to set days or times to film, edit, write, reply to e-mails, and post content. Some weeks it works, some weeks it doesn’t, but when I’m on my A game, having a schedule makes all the difference.

The best piece of advice you have ever received: I think the best advice I ever got was just to be myself. At the end of the day, there are millions of girls doing what I do, but they’re not me, and they’re not (nor can they) do things the same way I do… for the mere fact that they’re not me! The thing that sets you apart is YOU. Embrace that. Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. But if you’re just being yourself you’ll attract the right people, repel the wrong ones, and you’ll never have to worry about keeping up or being something you’re not.

What's your unofficial business motto/a quote or saying that you live by? One of the quotes I’ve always loved is by Diane von Furstenberg “I didn’t always know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be” and the first time I heard it, I was like YES! That’s me!! It always stuck. I feel like I have so many interests and passions, I’m constantly exploring new ideas! But whatever happens in my life, wherever this all takes me, I’ve always been dead set on the kind of woman I want to be. My character, the way I treat people, and the kind of energy I put into the world is always most important.

What's the one beauty product you cannot live without? Ahh only one?! I’d say a bottle of nail polish (probably mauve) I really don’t like when my nails are naked. A close second would be the e.l.f. Eyebrow Pencil ($2 and it’s SO GOOD!), I could survive without makeup, but those brows need a little direction.

In the rare moments where you're not being a total #girlboss what are some things you love to do in your spare time? Well, in the dead of a Connecticut winter… nothing too exciting LOL. I’m a total homebody this time of year! I like to read, bake, and binge a good show! I do spend a lot of time with my family and a handful of some really special people. Making time for the important people in my life is nonnegotiable, especially when I spend so much time online! You need that human interaction & quality time. It’s like the gym, you never regret it & you always feel good afterwards. Life is all about the people we get to share it with!