Monique Frausto is using technology to connect Latinas online, this Los Angeles native went from being in the air force to founding Blogs by Latinas, a directory and Ning site of Latina blogs. If you are a Latina blogger, sign up and be part of the directory for free! This year Monique also organized the first Blogs By Latinas Award.
Diana Pando: What impact are you looking to make on the online Latina community?
Monique Frausto: To be honest, I don’t think I was trying to make an impact in the beginning when I created the Blogs by Latinas directory. I wanted a place for Latina bloggers to not only network, but view what other Latinas throughout the world were blogging about. But, now the only impact I am looking to make is one that is positive and empowering for Latina women.
D: What are the top three blogs you follow religiously?
M: Wow…good question. I don’t think I can choose just three. All blogs are so unique in their own way, that I follow a lot of them. But, if I had to choose…hmmm…La Dolce Vita, Skorch Blog and Bleubird Vintage
D: Why did you decide to hold the first annual Latina blogger awards?
M: I really wanted to honor all the hard working Latina bloggers out there. They deserve the recognition. And what better way to do it, then by being voted as the best by your peers?
D: What do you think are three things that make a blog successful?
M: In order to have a successful blog, you need to be your original self, be creative, and make your posts clear and concise. Without these three, you won’t stand out.
D: What are some of the challenges and opportunities of managing an online community?
M: The only challenges I have right now is adding the blogs to the directory in a timely manner and deciding on a blogger layout that will please those who visit it. I’m no graphic designer, but I would to design a blogger directory unlike any other. The opportunities are endless. I love meeting and networking with all the wonderful Latinas throughout the world!
D: You also have a Latina bloggers Ning site. What’s the difference between both sites?
M: The Ning is more interactive. You get to make friends, leave comments and messages, give gifts and add apps. It’s more of a social networking site. The directory is only here to showcase the blogs by topic.
D: Do you have a suggestion for bloggers wanting to increase traffic to their blogs?
M: Increasing traffic can be a tad difficult in the beginning, unless you tap into a subject that no one has touched. But, for starters follow and comment on other blogs. Don’t be shy. Also, joining blog directories is a great way to get people to visit your blog.
D: What resources do you recommend for Latina bloggers?
M: The only one I can really recommend would be the Latina Bloggers Ning site. It’s a great way to meet other bloggers. There are over 180 members and it’s free to join.
D: Are there any Latinas who are considered mainstream successful bloggers?
M: If by mainstream, you mean the top 25 blogs as of today, then no. But, that’s the thing with blogs. You can be nobody today and #1 tomorrow, if you have the best and most unique content. I think there are Latinas on the verge of being mainstream, but we have to support one another in order to break that glass ceiling.
D: Are there any Latinas making revenue from their blogs if so which ones?
M: This is something I’m not really sure of. But, I’m guessing it’s those bloggers who sell a lot of ad space and somehow get chosen to blog for mainstream sites.
D: What is your vision for Blogs By Latinas and Latina bloggers in general in the next year?
M: To be completely honest, I haven’t really thought about that. Blogs by Latinas has really exceeded my expectations at this point. But, now that I think about it, I would love for Blogs by Latinas to be the first directory that comes to mind when a Latina blogger starts out. I would also like the site be more functional, easier to navigate, and fun! For Latina bloggers, my hopes is that we continue what we’re doing, blog from the heart, and continue supporting your fellow bloggers.
ABOUT Monique Frausto: “I’m a third-generation Mexican American born and raised in Pomona, California. I come from a supportive and loving family. I was taught to work hard and never give up, something I live by today. Since I can remember I’ve always dreamed of becoming a writer and traveling the world. I was a typical teenager. In high school I played softball, volleyball, and soccer. I was a member of many campus clubs. A year after graduating from high school, I joined the Air Force. This is when my dream of traveling came true. Living in North Dakota and Germany opened my eyes to the diversity and beauty of the world we live in. My time traveling in Europe was by far one of the most amazing and fulfilling times of my life. I met the most amazing people and I don’t regret a thing. Shortly after leaving the military in 2001, I started working on my education. I was a staff writer for El Paisano Newspaper at Rio Hondo College and The Poly Post at Cal Poly Pomona. This is where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications. During this time I got married to my wonderful husband Carlos. Today, we live in Los Angeles with our two furry babies, Kiki and Stinker. Blogging is a creative outlet for me. I can honestly say that I am living and loving life. You can contact me on twitter @blogsbylatinas
Latina bloggers, who are you? Let us know you are out there by leaving a comment that connects us to your blog.