Deborah Cruz is the author of The Truth.
Q. How does your cultural identity influence the content that you create, or how you interact with your audience?
As a Latina, my entire life is colored and influenced by my cultural upbringing from the types of foods we eat/cook to our beliefs and the importance of family. I create content that is relevant in my world and I hope it resonates with others like me, who share my same beliefs and cultural background.
Q. What are the most positive/negative things about being a Latina blogger?
The most positive thing to me about being a Latina blogger is that I feel that since it's a smaller group, they are much more supportive of one another, and I think that goes back to the strong sense of family support that is a big part of the Latino culture. As far as a negative thing about being a Latina blogger, I think some brands have expectations of what being a "Latina" is and it doesn't necessarily match up with who we really are (humans) but more with stereotypes, and that can be hard sometimes to reconcile the reality with the stereotype.
Q. Who/what are the most important influences in your life and how do they shape how you thinking about blogging? (Family, friends, peers, celebs, other influencers?)
The most important influence in my life is my family, more specifically my children. They shape the way I blog because I want to teach them that if they have something to say, to say it, and I also want to teach them that every voice is valuable; even just one voice can change the world. I also want them to live their life with honesty, integrity and laughter and that is how I write. I hope they can learn more about who I am as a person and what I expect from them, as they grow older. I want them to be true to themselves above everything else.
Q. Where do you personally find inspiration related to the topic/topics that you blog about? How has that changed/evolved over the last year?
I find inspiration in my everyday life. That is how I have always blogged. I wake up and write about whatever inspires me that day. Also, when I do sponsored work, I only take on brands that I would use in my everyday life and that are an organic fit for myself and my website.
Q. How would you describe your voice when it comes to blogging/vlogging? What are the elements of your "brand" that you want readers to resonate with?
I would describe my voice when it comes to blogging/vlogging as open and honest. I started my blog as the truth about motherhood and my pseudonym was truthful mommy because I wanted to just let it all out there about my life as a mom. I still do. Motherhood, life, is hard sometimes. It is not always rainbows and unicorns and sometimes things are hard and sometimes they are sad and sometimes life leaves you wanting and angry but in the end, that is what makes life's beautiful moments even more beautiful. I knew so many new moms who needed to know they weren't alone and I wanted to provide that with a lot of honesty and a little humor. This is what I have become known for and i am proud of what my voice is.
Q. How do you maintain an authentic relationship with your audience when you work with brand partners?
The only way that I think I can truly maintain an authentic relationship with my audience when I work with brand partners is to only align myself with brands that I would use in my real life (whether paid or not) and that fit my beliefs and the integrity of my website. It also has to be something that fits my audience. For example, I probably wouldn't write a post about a brand for a product that I find unhealthy or unbeneficial to my readers like smoking cigarettes because it's not something I do or advocate. No amount of money would be worth compromising my readers' opinion of me and their trust in my authenticity.