Mar 30, 2023
Did you know that about 77% of Internet users read blog posts regularly? And these posts have
the potential to generate three times as many leads as paid search. That’s how influential and
relevant blogging is, even today. So, whether for creativity, employment, or to build an audience,
the place of blogging cannot be overemphasized. Meet Kayla McDowell, the founder of Dallas
Black Bloggers. Her work in the Dallas creative and writing community has caught the attention
of many looking to establish themselves in blogging.
How Kayla Became a Blogger
Like other creatives, Kayla started with different artistic expressions before finding her true
voice and fine-tuned passion for blogging. It all started in 2016 when she had an idea for a
podcast with a friend. They started the podcast and YouTube content simultaneously, with the
audio content uploaded on the podcast while the video content was uploaded on YouTube. Kayla
had a section that explored current news and recent happenings in her environment. According to
her, “I had my own segment on the podcast and it would always be about current events, up-to-
date events that are happening throughout the metroplex.”
However, things began to take shape as she received frequent compliments on her makeup while
presenting her podcast on YouTube. So she decided to start making YouTube videos herself
where she would discuss makeup tips and product recommendations. Kayla said, "People always
shared they liked my makeup, “And so, I started producing makeup tutorials on YouTube.” Like
many vloggers, she was making videos on different makeups and reviews of skincare products.
So, Kayla switched to blogging, “It was a platform for people can always go back to find out
about the latest beauty products I was using.”
The Inspiration Behind DBB and Membership
Dallas Black Bloggers, as a vibrant community, came as a solution to one of the most pressing needs in the Dallas creative community. Having become a blogger, Kayla wanted to associate with other bloggers and influencers in the DFW area. But she saw a gap in the assimilation of newcomers in the blogging communities. Most communities appeared cliquish and were barely welcoming to newbies like herself. Thus, she decided to find a more suitable solution for new breeds of bloggers and creatives in the Dallas area by creating a welcoming community. Kayla said, “It wasn't warm...it just wasn't something I wanted to be a part of. It didn't feel real and authentic. And so I thought that since there are so many of us in the Dallas area—bloggers, black bloggers, influencers, and creatives—we should have our own platform. And so that's where Dallas Black Bloggers started."
The circle officially started in 2019, with Kayla inviting friends she had met at the previous networking events to join her in building this community. Word of mouth has largely contributed to the blogger membership. Kayla remarked, "It's really been word of mouth, and all the bloggers are supporting this movement. This aspect is needed because they understand and know that it can be hard to find a community of like-minded individuals and to have a community that supports each other as well, basically.”
Today, for those looking to be a part of the community, Kayla said: “We have our audience follow us on Instagram, follow our subscriptions, to our newsletters so they can find out about other events and join our blogger membership. They can connect with us through social media, emails, and/or attend one of our events." They can also browse to see previous events and find other resources available on their website.
What the DBB Community Membership Offers
Kayla has detailed the different perks of being a part of the group, i.e., the quality of social connection and support the community gives its members. For instance, members get the opportunity to connect with local businesses, and brands and “attend exclusive events that Dallas Black Bloggers gets invited to. There are many resources and workshops and things that we do for free and other networking opportunities. Basically, our community is a hub for exclusive invites, and opportunities happening throughout the city.”
These networking events have ranged from a Galentine’s Brunch in Legacy West to a meetup at Neighborhood Goods. This organization was invited to paint at a private art studio. DBB also regularly attends local organizations throughout the city like the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Theater Center. The organization also offers regular blog articles and content for inspired creatives, whether it’s giving small business shoutouts or giving tips to upcoming bloggers. They post articles about the Instagram Engagement Tracker and learning to choose between blogging and journaling.
The community also offers a lot of business features. Some are in the Dallas Logo directory, while some are people with whom the community has established a relationship. In addition, the community foregrounds members with local businesses and bloggers who have new brands or have just launched new businesses. The aim here is, as Kayla mentioned, "we want to make sure that we're supporting them [members of the community] as much as we possibly can.”
It’s noteworthy to mention the annual bloggers' conference at this juncture. DBB holds an annual conference that provides resources, connections, and networking opportunities. While local speakers from the Dallas area are invited, in-house members also get to make their presentations.
You can see things like past events on their websites. They post pictures from these meetups on their website for you to relish.
Goals and Achievements of the DBB Community
There is a lot to talk about DBB’s achievements. For example, as a community, DBB was featured on GMT (Good Morning Texas) in 2021. That was a proud milestone for the group as they got to share the power of journaling to manage the stress and anxiety that came with the pandemic. Another accomplishment is the annual conference that they organize every June. This year’s conference will be the third. According to Kayla, the 2022 conference was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Legacy West Plano. We had the founder of Urban Hydration, Psyche Terry, who is also a local business in Dallas, be our keynote speaker. And on top of that, the other speakers that we had for the conference were all bloggers, so [we] allowed them to go ahead and highlight themselves. So that was really fun."
Now, one of their big goals going forward is for DBB’s annual conference to be bigger than it has been these past two years, and for it to have more inclusion. They also are enthused about being featured on a national level in the coming months and years. Kayla said, "So definitely, we want to get more local features, but also on a national level." This will be achieved through the community connecting with more brands to “get brand partnerships, receive multiple collaborations, and so we'll be utilizing DBB kind of as an agency.” said Kayla.
Will the annual conference become a major event in the Dallas area and beyond? Wait until you see Kayla's inflamed passion for the mission. She is earnest about opening more collaboration opportunities for the community members.