FBFF Q&A: The rules of engagement

31 Mar
Official facebook House in the Clouds page
Check out The House in the Clouds on facebook


Guess what? I’m really excited about this, I finally set up an official facebook page for The House in the Clouds. I’m still trying to figure out how to integrate a widget in a way that I find aesthetically pleasing. It feels painfully slow to be hindered by the reality of a full-time job and personal life, not to mention the stack of laundry decorating my office space, formerly known as the dining room. Check it out!

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing blue and coral pattern blouse with navy skirt and gold belt
Snuck away from a desk for a few to snap these on a beautiful afternoon
Daily outfit and style tips, wearing blue and coral pattern blouse with navy skirt and gold belt
We call this pose “looking for snails”


{ friend friday: }

We want our blogs to succeed however we have chosen to define that success. Most likely, we want to gain followers, fans, loyalty, even acclaim of some sort. We want to be recognized, we want to influence. It’s a daunting task at best, completely overwhelming to digest as a whole.

Our mothers warned us not to be too boastful, to play nice and to say “thank you.” Where is that fine line that we are supposed to ride, one that engages and encourages without becoming as annoying as a late night infomercial? How do we get there? What are the rules?

This is this weeks Fashion Beauty Friend Friday’s topic. Read on.

FBFF: Guest posts are a good way to gain exposure. What do you think is the appropriate way to go about securing a spot?

FJ: Personally, I’m a big fan of developing and nurturing connections. I make the most effort with those whose persona and voice appeal to me, those I would have just as likely been inclined to get to know in person. Once I feel that I have this type of rapport, discussing anything is easy. A dialogue and friendship already exists. I treat my online friendships with the same courtesy I extend everyone else, I don’t really have a specific tactic.

FBFF: Leaving comments is essential to growing your blog. But how can you leave a comment without coming across as “Follow Me. Follow Me!”?

FJ: Don’t make it your objective. It’s assumed you want to grow your blog but be cool, be genuine. People can tell when you’re not really into what their blog is about. Honestly, it’s just plain ol’ weird. We’re not little kids anymore. I would never walk up to a total stranger and ask them to be my friend and offer to be their friend. Where else in life is this acceptable for adults? It strips integrity from the action.

FBFF: We’ve all gotten a mass email at one time or another asking for blog exposure, a link exchange, etc… But the mass emails don’t work. How do you make your email stand out from the crowd?

FJ: There’s a huge difference between spam and a conversation. An email blast purely to promote my blog is marketing, more specifically, the worst kind of spam. I care to foster community or have a conversations, not be detached or irrelevant in the context of a group. It would be disrespectful in that context. Tweeting to people who have independently chosen to follow my blog is acceptable. Spamming within the confines of a group is using that group disrespectfully.

Here’s an example of how I did recently ask for support from some friends for my facebook page. Firstly, I had an easy, realistic goal: to reach over 25 “likes” in order to claim my name. Secondly, I sent an email to my best friends. Not everyone in my address book, that would have been really uncool. I sent an email to my absolute closest friends, those who have a vested interest in my success and would not be put out in helping me out in this fashion. I don’t make it a habit to do this so I didn’t worry that my actions would be interpreted as annoying and careless. They came through. Fantastic!

Why did this work? They know me, they like me, they support me. I laid out what I was hoping to achieve and how they could help. I made it clear and I only sent out one email. Why would a group of people who don’t know me want to help me? What’s in it for them if I have not made any attempt at developing a rapport with them? That’s reality. If I want support, I create and become an active participant in that group or community. Being purely self-serving is shallow and easy to ignore, it’s certainly not a likable trait.

FBFF: In interacting with other bloggers, where do you draw the line between seeking support and begging for exposure?

FJ: Seeking support is valid, we all benefit from a helping hand. We help, we get help, it’s a nice way for the world to go around. There’s really no line to draw, they may seem similar from afar but I know the difference between the two and I would never confuse one for the other. My actions speak to that very clear distinction.

I’ll speak loudly on this: there’s no integrity in begging. DON’T. GO. THERE. Don’t beg, Don’t plead. You want advice or support, just ask for it. Be genuine with your request. One hundred people is no more or less valuable than a single one. That is my absolute truth. It’s easy to get caught up, it’s human nature to compare ourselves to others’ successes and failures in order to assess ourselves. Every follower, every person who digs what I’m doing is an individual with their own worth, they’re not lumped in some category and boxed up to go. So why beg for exposure? I have it. It’s right here. If only two folks read my blog today, guess what? That’s two valuable humans. People aren’t numbers. There’s never a good reason to compromise ones self-esteem over anything.

FBFF: What’s one rule of engagement error you made and how have you remedied that?

FJ: I don’t recall making any. I took my time observing and learning before dipping my toes in the water. That just happens to be the kind of person I am. I might be all kinds of things but one would be hard-pressed to call me clueless. I pay attention, listen to others and I learn well. And no, I’m not going to point out my flaws to counterbalance that statement.

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for crafting these questions. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!


{ style tip: }

I matched my belt and tights to one of the colors in the pattern of my blouse. It provided contrast nicely without being jarring or too matchy-matchy. It was a way to keep the outfit colorful without introducing yet another color. The somewhat sheer tights are a sparkly ochre yellow which made them fun, but the sheerness kept the sparkle from becoming overwhelming.


{ deets: }

Blouse/ModCloth, navy blue skirt/MaxStudio, elastic belt/Anthropologie, sparkly tights/Urban Outfitters, brown vegan suede boots/Munro, necklace/Linkel Designs.

Photos: Filip Jach


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  1. Mode Plus

    April 1, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Hi Fabienne,
    I think you’re spot on by approaching this topic as you would in real life. I agree: no way you would step up to a stranger and ask to be friends. Well, in kindergarten maybe. I identity with this approach, starting out with some rough ends, I quickly switched to just being me on my blog. And if I connect with others, all I can give is myself. The result was me relaxing more and enjoying the experience. Truly meeting and connecting with fellow bloggers. That is priceless. Have a nice weekend!
    Mode Plus recently posted..FBFF- Rules of Engagement

  2. Anika

    April 1, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Hi sweetheart, I love love love your answers! I completely agree with you, keeping it real, building relationships, sharing and supporting, but not apologizing for putting out there what you have to offer. I love your blog, your strong voice, your smile and your blouse :D

    Happy Friday dear!

    x Anika
    Anika recently posted..Friend Friday- Blogger etiquette – Paying it forward


    April 1, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Yes, there is indeed no integrity in begging. I’ll never understand bloggers who ASK you to visit their blog instead of leaving a comment that might pique curiosity and prompt a visit. I never did that when I first started, because I thought, who the hell am I? Why should anyone care?

    If you have a gazillion followers, but no real connection or influence, what’s the point? Bloggers who are only interested in boosting their numbers, who want something for nothing are vacant. In real life and on their blogs. That’s a total ego trip, you know?

    Anyway, sorry for the rant. It totally does not apply to you. And yay for the FB page! Great strategy. I liked.

  4. Fashnlvr

    April 1, 2011 at 5:23 am

    Hey girl! Great answers to today’s questions and I totally agree.
    Love your colorful outfit too! The tights and belt are such a bright happy color! You added some sunshine to the dreary grey day here where I am.
    So happy to call you friend!
    Fashnlvr recently posted..FBFF

  5. Joy

    April 1, 2011 at 5:42 am

    You are an excellent conversationalist, Fabienne.
    I enjoyed reading your responses — some of which made me laugh. “DONT. GO. THERE.” LOL — indeed, wise words.

    If I were on Facebook I would connect with you… I don’t know what it is about Facebook, but it’s not my cup of tea. But that outfit you’re wearing in the above photos is – very pretty.
    Joy recently posted..Feeling Lucky Giveaway Ending on April Fools Day – Enter Today!

  6. Kirstin Marie

    April 1, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Your outfit is so colorful, I really like it :)

    Great answers on this week’s questions. As a new blogger, questions like these are so helpful for me to answer and to read others’ answers and opinions. It’s so helpful! Have a great weekend!
    Kirstin Marie recently posted..Friend Friday- Rules of Engagment

  7. Sarah

    April 1, 2011 at 6:26 am

    The first thing that struck me about your answers was when you compared asking for followers to walking up to a stranger and asking to be friends. It reminds me of videos that came out making fun of twitter and facebook. It boils down to the fact that it is kind of ridiculous. You cracked me up, though, because I’d never put it in those terms for myself.

    I appreciate how community-minded you are and you, unlike me, have a stellar example of how your dealt with a situation well (your facebook page) and did not become one of *those* people notorious for begging and spam.

    And by the way, I love, love, love how you tied colors all together in your outfit way up there. You look like spring in an outfit. (:

  8. Señora Allnut

    April 1, 2011 at 7:04 am

    nice to read you, and very interesting!. I would like to have time to develop a facebook page, but I think it’s too much for me (I agree with you: we have a job and a life to enjoy!!)
    And love that yelow-ocre on your tights and belt, with all that blue, it’s a great color combo!

  9. Apple A Day

    April 1, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Congrats on the FB page and the new home office! Thanks too for the post on networking etiquette. Sometimes I feel awkward about publishing my blog posts in my FB friends feed because some of the stuff I write is political in nature and I know all my friends might not want to hear it. I limit myself to posting about my blog on FB once a day and tell myself that if they don’t want to see my blog posts they will probably just block my updates and that’s OK by me. I’ve blocked people who update frequently about stuff I don’t want to hear about a lot too and to me it’s no big deal.
    It’s always a fine line though between being assertive and overexposing yourself, especially in the beginning.
    Good thoughts!

  10. brett

    April 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Love the yellow and the blue and I am not even a fan of the color yellow
    Enjoyed reading your ff answers and super congrats on the FB page.
    I have a hard enough time even remembering I am on twitter, FB would send me over the edge LOL
    Hope you hearing my voice is not a scary thing. :)
    Have a great weekend
    brett recently posted..Friend Friday- Rules of Engagement

  11. Ofelia

    April 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I agree with you in your statement about blogging being a way to develop and nurture connections.
    I only read and comment in the blogs that I feel I have a human connection. Either because I share a similar taste or interest with the blogger or because I like the person spirit. And trust me our spirits do show in our blogs!!
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Ofelia recently posted..What Ive being

  12. Allyson

    April 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    “I treat my online friendships with the same courtesy I extend everyone else…”

    YES. THIS.

    I struggle to grok how some don’t seem to get this. People are people regardless of the space within which you interact with them. I blog for the people — not in the sense of “for the masses,” which would be more than a little pretentious, but for the people I meet by and through doing it. I’m in it for the connections, the relationships, the friendships. Like you said, “Every follower, every person who digs what I’m doing is an individual with their own worth.”

    For the record, I dig what you’re doing. Thanks for doing it!
    Allyson recently posted..Born that way

  13. Sydney Shop Girl

    April 2, 2011 at 2:29 am


    You make ‘looking for snails’ look impossibly chic.

    SSG xxx
    Sydney Shop Girl recently posted..Paddock To Plate April 2011 The SMH Growers Market- Pyrmont and the Essential Cooking School- Rozelle

  14. Sam @ MyGrowingObsessions

    April 2, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Hey Fabienne, thanks for stopping by my blog! I agree with a lot of the things you’ve said here. You’ve definitely made me rethink my opinion on followers. Somewhere within the numbers I think we all tend to forget that any person who chooses to follow and read your blog on a regular basis should be highly valued! I try to make sure I visit the blogs of my followers regularly to let them know I appreciate their support. It’s a great way to try and create blogging friends and relationships.
    Sam @ MyGrowingObsessions recently posted..Fashion-Beauty Friend Friday- Rules of Engagement


    April 2, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Hi Fabienne, I just hopped over after reading so many of your helpful, well-written responses in the FBFF discussion groups. Gotta say I cracked up at your answer to #2 because it is oh-so-true!

    Find any snails?
    MONKEYFACE recently posted..on the whorizon

  16. Emma at Daily Clothes Fix

    April 2, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Wow, that is a full post! Congratulations on your Facebook page. I love your look (yay for yellow) and your answers to the questions were very similar to mine.

    PS The pose you call looking for snails is called where’s my dog by me and my friends. I love both names.
    Emma at Daily Clothes Fix recently posted..Saturday day fever

  17. Emma at Daily Clothes Fix

    April 2, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Wow, that is a full post! Congratulations on your Facebook page. I love your look (yay for yellow) and your answers to the questions were very similar to mine.

    PS The pose you call looking for snails was called where’s my dog by my friends. I love both names.
    Emma at Daily Clothes Fix recently posted..Saturday day fever

  18. Emma at Daily Clothes Fix

    April 2, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Wow, that is a full post! Congratulations on your Facebook page. I love your look (yay for yellow) and your answers to the questions were very similar to mine.

    PS The pose you call looking for snails was called where’s my dog by my friends. I love both names.
    Emma at Daily Clothes Fix recently posted..Saturday day fever

  19. Cynthia

    April 3, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Great answers. I think people tend to expect that the internet will somehow provide them with instant gratification that real life does not.
    Cynthia recently posted..I told you I wore clothes today-Jacket- Lucky BrandDress-

  20. Katie

    April 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Taking your time to figure everything is a great idea when you’re getting into blogging. It takes time to learn the ropes!
    Katie recently posted..Lightning Crashes


    April 3, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    First off… I looove this outfit! The pops of yellow are so cute!!! The whole look is very spring-y and playful and fun. Yay :)

    Now onto the serious stuff. These are great questions and you gave excellent answers! I love how self-aware and self-confident you are. I wish I had been as smart as you when I first started blogging! I made plenty of mistakes that I’m embarrassed about now.

    I don’t have much else to say except that I’m really happy we’re friends — both on-line and in “RL” now. Still planning a visit! :)
    Twitter @theloudermouth
    Birthday Blog Event
    THE-LOUDMOUTH recently posted..Snow Day

  22. Melissa

    April 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Congrats on the Facebook page, that’s awesome!

    I absolutely adore this outfit. Yellow is one of my most favorite accent colors EVER and I’m totally in love with how you used it in the belt and tights here.

    I agree with so many of your answers. I especially like your answer to the fourth question – SO important to remember that every single person is so worthwhile!

    Come take a look inside A Working Mom’s Closet
    Melissa recently posted..Daily MelWear- Monday Flowers


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