Antionette Blake loves a good deal — and even more than that, she loves sharing deals, recipes and advice on her blog, DelBlogger.com.
A self-described “Boomer who blogs with a Millennial mind,” Blake, who moved to Delaware in the ‘70s, grew up learning how to thrift and find deals at her grandmother’s side. Blogging is just one of the things she does that helps carry on that legacy.
We asked her some questions, and it’s clear to see why Blake may be the hardest working blogger/vlogger/podcaster/brand ambassador/TV host/educator/IBM-contractor in Delaware.
How long have you been blogging, and how did you get into it?
I’ve been blogging since 2012. It started as a way to fill a void after the death of my grandmother. My grandmother had raised my sister and myself and we grew up in the housing projects in New Rochelle, N.Y., and then in 1976, we moved to Dover with my uncle, her son, who was stationed at the Air Force base. In 1992, after the death of he and my sister, Gloria who were both killed in a car accident, I moved her in with us, with my husband and two sons, to Middletown. She and I loved shopping and finding deals as she actually was the one who started me on the road of thrifting in the early ’60s.
After she died at the age of 98, I continued to shop to find deals and savings, but with a house filled with testosterone, they didn’t care about how much I saved while shopping, they just wanted to be fed!
So I started posting my deals online, which was just Facebook at first. If you remember, Facebook at the time was literally just a few family members and friends, and I wasn’t “feeling the love” from anyone so I started watching YouTube videos and my world opened up when I started following other “thriftinistas” who also blogged about their shopping hauls.
I am an educator by trade (BS Elementary Education from Delaware State University, ’83) who loves to write, so I decided to start a blog to share my deals and savings, and “DeDivahDeals” was born. I started blogging about deals and bargains, which would take hours, especially when shopping, because I would be taking pictures and people would stare at me — snapping pics back then also wasn’t very popular. I started posting on other platforms as well, Twitter and Instagram, which caught the attention of brands who were just beginning to work with Bloggers/Content Creators/Influencers and offering products and payments in exchange for postings.
I was also writing about free events in Delaware and on one particular occasion, I had attended the Purses to Portfolios event at the Chase Center sponsored by The Money School of Delaware. I had an amazing time and wrote a blog post about the day which caught the attention of Ronni Cohen, the Executive Director of the Money School, who, after meeting with me, asked if I would be interested in blogging other events. I did, and she offered me the opportunity to be a volunteer instructor teaching blogging and social media workshops at local libraries, which I starting doing in 2013.
I continued creating content for my lifestyle blog “DeDivahDeals – Fashion and Fun after Fifty” and created a YouTube channel and another blog, “Blogging with Blake” which was geared towards education and training. DeDivahDeals was recognized and awarded the Best Blog Award by Delaware Today Magazine in 2013 and recently received the Best Blogger Award by North DelaWhere Happenings Mag, so I am proud of my first blog.
DeDivahDeals started as a hobby blog but it landed me an all-expense paid trip to Hollywood to be a Brand Ambassador for Depend/Walmart which was featured in Woman’s Day Magazine and on a national YouTube video. I had received so many accolades for my first blog, was being recognized as “The Delaware Blogger” and invited to speak at many events that I decided to start my own business, A.Blake Enterprises in 2015.
— 𝓐𝓷𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷𝓮𝓽𝓽𝓮 𝓑𝓵𝓪𝓴𝓮 (@DelawareBlogger) June 26, 2017
How did Del Blogger come to be?
As I am now known as the Delaware Blogger, thanks to my excessive use of the hashtag #DelawareBlogger on all my postings, I decided it was time to change my name from DeDivahDeals to DelBlogger which to be honest is much easier to say, remember and spell, don’t you think?
Actually the domain name Delaware Blogger was taken, by a someone who had attended a few of my free courses, and I didn’t want to pay him to buy it back so, I shorted the domain name to DelBlogger and changed all my social media platform urls to be the same except on Twitter, which is Delaware Blogger.
I love being known as the Delaware Blogger and although my blog is still basically a lifestyle blog, it contains a mix of social media education and training because I am doing more presentations and it also includes my weekly Podcast.
Tell me about the podcast and you got started with that.
Social Media Sunday with the Delaware Blogger started in September 2016, after the Executive Producers of AAU Teen Talk Radio/TV/Magazine which has since been renamed to AAU Global Production Media Group read a few of my blog posts which I posted to Facebook. Chevonna and Roger Johnson are the CEOs of the Whitney E. Johnson Foundation and Executive Producers of AAU in Long Island, N.Y., and Chevonna had also attended Delaware State College.
After conducting a demographic study which showed that their listening audience also included millennials and boomers, not just teens, they wanted to include social media issues and topics for all generations, so they reached out to me to gauge my interest.
Social Media Sunday with the Delaware Blogger is live every Sunday at 6 p.m. EST and I usually have a guest on to talk about social media topics for small business owners or entrepreneur. We cover a broad range of topics; for teens, tweens, Gen X, millennials, boomers and seniors. Topics have included everything from Cyberbullying to The Pros and Cons of Livestreaming on Facebook.
I also hosted an Internet Television show on MadHouseTV, as well as the Brand Launch of our new AAU Ambassador, WWE Superstar Ron “The Truth” Killings.
What do you do for a living when you’re not blogging?
I am a contract employee for IBM in Wayne, Pa. I was an IBM employee for 20 years until being laid off in 2005, since that time I have been a Facility Coordinator, responsible for two sites one in West Chester and the other in Wayne. My daily commute is three hours long so I am looking for other local opportunities because the commute is not good for my health, mentally or physically. I pray for a breakthrough every day which is why teaching Blogging has become my No. 1 priority, speaking of which, come this fall, I will be conducting Blogging and Social Media Courses for Del Tech Community College, Stanton Campus and hope to meet with the Department Chairs at Delaware State and Wilmington University to solicit opportunities as well.
What’s the best thing about blogging in Delaware?
Delaware is a small state, so being a big fish in a little pond is always a good thing. Delaware is also a great state for an Encore Entrepreneur such as myself because there is less competition. I need to have my finger on the pulse of all things social media in the world of IoT, because as we know, social media is here to stay and educating others is my passion and purpose and I think I do a pretty good job at it!