They are two of Kenya’s biggest fashion bloggers and between them they command thousands of loyal followers. We’re talking about Sharon Mundia (This is Ess) and Joy Kendi (Our Style Kenya), two ambitious, go-getting and sexy girls who want to revolutionise the way Kenyans look at fashion. Today we take a head-to-head look at the fashionistas and find out who comes out on top…
Sharon started her website in January 2012, this was over a year before Joy, who launched hers in June 2013. Not only do they have their own websites, they have other social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, which they use quite effectively to engage with their fans.
1. FACEBOOK FANS
Because This is Ess started her page earlier than Joy (Joy Kendi M), she seems to have gathered a lot more followers as reflected in her Facebook fan page. This is Ess now stands at 13,880 followers compared to Joy’s 9,810 followers.
2. BLOG NAME
Sharon named her website “This is Ess”, the same name is also reflected in all her other media platforms. Joy named her site “Our Style Kenya.” However, her Facebook page is called “Joy Kendi M”. They have both been quite creative in the names they have given their pages, though Joy has a bit of inconsistency, and unless you know her name, it would be a little difficult to relate all her pages as being from one entity.
3. CONTENT CREATIVITY
Although they are both awesome fashion bloggers, each had added a little extra something to their site. Sharon has a “Travel” tab. Here she posts her fashion style when she has travelled. Although a cool idea, she only has two posts since January 2012 to date. Joy has a “DIY” tab. This is pretty fabulous as most creatives like to make their own styles. A DIY section gives people ideas on how they can re-create old stuff into fab new fashion conscious merchandise. Joy, just like Sharon is doing poorly in her section, with only one post since June 2013.
4. LEVEL OF FAN ENGAGEMENT
Looking at their Facebook fan pages, Sharon’s posts have a larger number of fans responding to them. This may be due to the fact that she does have a wider fan base as compared to Joy. Sharon’s single post has an average of 151 fans responding to it, while Joy has an average of 50 fans per post.
5. PHOTO QUALITY
The heart of a fashion blog is in the photos. The picture is the thousand words in every sense of the expression. Sharon’s blog has really big photos! She also seems to have employed the services of a professional photographer in virtually every post. They are a lot cleaner. Joy’s photos tend to be done at random, outdoor urban settings – perhaps on purpose to make them look as ‘natural’ or ‘raw’ as possible. Whether this connects with her fans, I’m not really sure. Also, there are also instances where Joy has had the caption totally encase the whole photo, not quite clever, if the point is to showcase fashion.
6. CONTENT UPDATE FREQUENCY
Though still a little new, Joy seems to be more frequent on posting on her website, having her latest post today. Sharon’s latest post was also today, though she didn’t post for 2 days before that. Overall, they both update their content frequently across all platforms.
7. COMMERCIAL SUCCESS
The websites seem clean enough. No advertising clutter at the moment. They have both picked different spots to place their adverting, but it’s not too intrusive. In the real offline world, they were both tapped by Lux to promote the launch of the Unilever beauty product. Ess recently joined Capital FM as a show host and writer for their Lifestyle section of their website. Joy is an actress and TV show writer, having appeared on ‘Changing Times’ and writing for a couple of TV shows. They were both nominated in BAKE Awards Best Fashion/Beauty/Hair/Style Blog category, where This is Ess (Sharon) topped Our Style Kenya to emerge the winner. What is sad is that advertisers haven’t yet figured out the rich resources that are these two blogs.
It is important for your fans to be able to reach you. As such, both have a contacts tab. Sharon has a complementary photo – more fashion! Plus she also has a few words for her fans and all her relevant contacts. Joy has only put an email address. She seems to have neglected the fact that she has a Facebook page too that could be linked to the site.
It was a really tight call to make. Both bloggers are exceptionally talented and fiercely active on their various social media platforms. However, I feel Sharon has a slighter edge, and this time around seems to have won this head to head fashionista battle. Her posts are authentic, loud & colourful. And her photos are really, really big. Joy is also doing well with the DIY section, though she only has one post in it. Sharon’s travel section has just two posts also – good idea, little work put in.
These ladies really seem to enjoy what they do and their fans engage them too. They are blazing the trail when it comes to fashion blogging in Kenya. Hats off to Kenya’s first ladies of fashion blogging!
Who do you think is the better blogger?
Pictures: Our Style Kenya, This Is Ess