Black Girls Blogging: Bridgette Bartlett of Black Bridal Bliss

Don't believe the hype. Black women aren't tragically single. Many of us triumphantly partn...

Don't believe the hype. Black women aren't tragically single. Many of us triumphantly partnered. Black Bridal Bliss celebrates the beauty of black love and marriage. The site's creator, Bridgette Bartlett, made it her mission to spread the joy of women descendant of the African Diaspora.

She shares her blogging success story with us.

How long have you been blogging?

I started blogging in 2007 as a creative release. The blog was called People.Places.Things and I posted on everything from fashion and travel to hip hop. Although it was strictly recreational. I didn't realize it at the time, but it was preparing me for

What made you decide to start Black Bridal Bliss?

I was laid off from my position as Research Chief of in November 2009. Although my title was research chief, I basically functioned as the lifestyle editor for the site. While there, I launched the widely popular Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Bliss feature. It was definitely one of the most rewarding parts of the gig. So when I received my pink slip I quickly began planning to launch my own Bridal Bliss site highlighting the nuptials of Black women and five months after leaving, was born. It sounds so cliche but getting laid off was a blessing in disguise.  

How important is good web design to a blog's success?

"Good" web design is pretty relative. I'm currently in the process of a redesign that will hopefully be complete by mid-May. The design and general aesthetics of is extremely important to me because I am a visual person and most women planning their weddings are driven by images. However, I think the content of Triple B has proven to be more important to the success of the site than design. The bridal blog world is a huge one and many of my peers have sites with far more design bells and whistles than I do. However what is unique about Triple B is the connection and dedication to Black women.

Does "black love" exist? What makes it different?

Yes, Black love does exist but I think Indian, Italian, Japanese and Australian love exists, too. My decision to name the site Black Bridal Bliss has given and occasionally still causes some people to pause. The bottom line is this: My site caters to women preparing to get married who are a product of the African Diaspora. She can be American, Canadian (like my former Road to Mrs. blogger, Nadine Mauricette), Caribbean, British, etc. She might be marrying a Black man, a Chinese man or a Swedish woman. My goal is to assist (planning a wedding is a lot of work!) and celebrate Black women who are getting married. When people aren't viewed as human beings, it is challenging -- to say the least -- to view their love as real and true. Black men and women historically have had their love dismissed and discouraged. Just within the last year, the otherwise esteemed publication Psychology Today printed an absurd article about Black women being less attractive than their peers, a Dutch magazine referred to global pop star Rihanna as a niggerb?tch and senator Jim Sensenbrenner made crude comments about the size of U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama’s tush without consequence. And then there are the countless messages in media about Black women, especially professional Black women, being lonely, bitter and angry. All of these factors make Black love different and if nothing else resilient.

How do you find time to blog?

I struggle with this constantly. In addition to maintaining, I am a regular freelancer for other publications such as Heart & Soul, PEOPLE and JUICY. I also attempt to have some semblance of a personal life and the latter is increasingly more important to me. At times I succeed at balancing it all and other times I fail. My time management is truly a work in progress. I recently starting working with an intern to assist with some of the administrative Triple B tasks which frees up my time to actually "blog". In addition, I constantly jot down post ideas in my notebook or phone because my ideas are fleeting. I'm also accepting that every blog post doesn't have to be 500 words long -- this is a hard practice to break coming from a print background.

What's the best thing your blog has given you?

Oh wow, I don't think I can narrow it down to one! The top three would be as follows: 1) Women and even men of various ages and economic backgrounds have informed me that Triple B gives them hope in love again because they can actually see themselves in the stories and pictures featured on the site. 2) I've in turn met so many talented people who inspire me! Just this past weekend I attended the shoe launch of a young Black woman in Baltimore who I plan to feature on Triple B; there is a bridal collection in her line. She's also working on her PhD. Tomorrow I'm speaking with a Princeton University student at her request for her senior thesis about African-American brides. Triple B attracts some amazing folks. 3) I get the opportunity to show nearlyweds that having your dream wedding does not have to send you to the poorhouse. There is a misconception that weddings are always debt-inducing (and yes they can be) but they certainly don't have to put couples in the red yet they can still be stylish and memorable.

What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Blog about something that you're truly passionate about; not just topics that you think will give you access to celebrities, events, freebies, etc. When you follow your bliss (no pun intended) the perks will eventually come -- perks you probably weren't even expecting. Do take the time to read blogs of those that have similar content to you but don't let what they do (or don't do) consume you. That is a dangerous road to be on in blogging and in life. You should only compete with yourself.

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