Confessions of a Popular Fashion Blogger: Noha Elsherbiny

Written by: Jehan Selim Harney

Date: 2016-04-01

Confessions of a Popular Fashion Blogger

As a little girl, Noha Elsherbiny loved fashion - especially when she used to raid her mothers closet. The marketing grad of the German University knew back then she didnt want a corporate type job even if it paid a lot. She was devoted to anything to do with art, style, and fashion. Stepping into the unknown territory of Instagramin November 2013, when it was fairly new in Egypt, Elsherbiny followed her passion: Posting her fashion moments regularly in photos for the world to see. And, today, at the age of 25, her passion is paying off, but not without challenges. 

Nearly 90,000 people from Egypt, the Gulf States, Turkey, the Levant and even Europe, are following her posts on Instagram. In turn big local and international companies are taking notice. They are paying Elsherbiny to post their brands on her Instagram blog, Satisfashionbysn. 

Recently, for example, she posted photos of her El Gouna trip, frolicking in the sun wearing a Bimbaylolastraw hat, a low-cut see-through white peasant dress from Zara, holding a cute straw purse that features the colourful faces of two birds by Okhtein.

Life couldnt be better for somebody like Elsherbiny who gets paid to feature big brands in cool vacation spots, right? But there is a lot that goes on behind the doors of professional fashion and style blogging.

 The blogging biz didnt start out very smoothly for Elsherbiny and other breakout style bloggers when Instagramwas fairly new in Egypt. We used to get compensated only with gifts, not money for the products we post on our blog,Elsherbini says. 



Companies considered the Instagramimage of a normal person - like Elsherbiny - who creates the fashion statement look that their audience desires mixed with her own style, as the lowest cost commercial and public advertisement for reaching a bloggers growing social network. Such companies realised this is a much faster way to reach their audience than, for example, through a costly blog that requires hours of writing, editing, and managing.

Elsherbiny followers eventually crossed the threshold of 16k, a number considered significant enough back then to lure a considerable number of people to try those brands. Along with bloggers like Hadia Ghaleb and Nourhan Eissa, she realised they deservedto get paid for their role as influencersin society who help market such brands and generate revenues for those companies. 

Eventually, the money started to flow in and pay rates started to rise. Her big break came in March 2014, when a major company called Azadeahad approached her at a LOreal Parisevent to promote the Stradivariusclothing line. Elsherbiny now gets paid nearly LE900 per brand post on her Instagramblog. The more followers a blogger has, the higher the rate per posting. Still, the Egyptian rate, she says, remains much lower than that of her counterparts in the Gulf region, for example, where fashion bloggers are paid the equivalent of LE12,000 per post.

Elsherbiny explains why the pay rates for fashion bloggers in Egypt are relatively low. As influencers,she notes, our impact on the population in Egypt is not considered as big as the Gulf bloggers on theirs.Egyptian women, she says, are too busy working and taking care of their families in a country where the economy is struggling to a certain extent.So many such women dont follow Elsherbiny and her counterparts and dont necessarily buy the products they post. In the Gulf region, however, women have significantly enough time and means to follow and buy the brands promoted by the Gulf bloggers. 

Despite her rising popularity online, Elsherbiny does not like to charge rates that are too high, particularly on local brands and fashion. Similarly, Elsherbiny does not want to make her blog all about making money and endorsing brands, otherwise, she says; I lose touch with the people who appreciate my blog and personality. 



Surfing her blog, you will notice some of Elsherbiny personal photos feature her family. I want to connect as a mother with many other moms.Elsherbiny tries to convey to them that she, too, has kids and responsibilities but also tries to make the most out of life.This is importantfor her she asserts, because reaching peoples heartsis what drives her to work harderand, of course, expand her follower base.

In the past, Elsherbiny would post her fashion photos more frequently on Instagram.After having her second child, Nazli, six months ago, the new mom posts every 5 to 6 days. And, her family members sometimes take part in her brand promotion. 

Five-year-old Ali was featured in several brand posts. I have to beg him and ask his dad to convince him, sometimes with chocolate, cake, and brownies.And, little Ali usually delivers; he posed with his artist mom on Mothers Day for a home product and for a charity event for Bulgari. He even voices his opinion on which of his photos to post!  

While the job appears glamorous on the outside, it is demanding,Elsherbiny says, as she arranges for Ali to get picked up from school. It sometimes takes her away from family for days at a time on brand photo shoots outside the country. And, if the shoot is local, it still takes almost her entire day. 

Luckily, Elsherbiny, who grew up in a family of artists, knows how to get the job done even if it is totally on her own. As a little girl, she designed make-shift dresses from curtains to copy the style of her favourite fashionable girls and stars. When surfing her blog, you notice that Elsherbiny has a knack for positioning the brand she is promoting well. She decides the theme of the shoot, the location and clothes that reflect this theme, as well as the colours, accessories, makeup and hair style. Elsherbiny says she is addictedto the style of Egyptian celebrity stylist Aliaa El-Esseily in Egypt.Internationally, she lovesthe styles of Victoria Beckham and Sarah Jessica Parker - and who doesnt! 



Her experience growing up in places like Florida, New Jersey, Jeddah, and finally settling in Cairo at 17, made Elsherbiny more cultured, daring, curious, and independent. Studying marketing at the German University has helped her learn to market herself in this field.

The job puts Elsherbiny under the public microscope and pressure. Since she gave birth to her daughter recently, Elsherbiny has struggled with losing the baby weight. She also hasnt had the time to workout at the gym the way she used to. But her challenges are becoming a catalyst for Elsherbiny to start a new project: A lifestyle blog to address in detail various beauty and lifestyle tips based on her own experience. 

Of course the prospective lifestyle blog will involve her endlesspassion for cooking. Did I mention the brown-eyed blogger almost opened a pastry shop before stumbling on her Instagram photo blogging!  

The fashionista blogger has obviously gone far since her days as a little girl raiding her mothers closet. She is ready to conquer new fashion fronts; I would like to style celebrities and people,she says, only if they really let me do their complete makeover.And, Elsherbiny is happy to embrace everything that comes with fashion, including seizing any opportunity to play disguise with her kids.