Blogging isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Sure, it can appear very exciting–attending events, photo shoots, an audience of readers–but anyone in this industry will agree that that fancy stuff is about 5% of our reality. The truth is that fashion blogging is a rather cut throat industry and plenty of people are eager to see one fail. Unfortunately there is no blogging guidebook out there to help you wade through the tricky beginning stages and you are left to figure it out on your own. I would like this post to help newer bloggers know that the hurdles they are experiencing are perfectly normal and to hopefully help them to cope with them. For those of you who are not bloggers, I hope this post will give you a small glimpse into the less glamorous side of this career.
Your friends & family
“Does anyone actually read your blog?” “Why don’t you get a REAL job?” “All you do is take pictures of yourself.”
I have heard versions of all these statements and I know I’m not the only one. It’s not that your friends and family don’t want you to succeed, it’s just that they aren’t aware that it is possible to do so in this industry. They don’t realize that it is normal for it to be a year or two of constant hard work before you ever score a paid collaboration. It is hard for them to see the longterm of it. Use the negative comments as fuel and take pleasure in proving them wrong!
Companies & Designers
There are a lot of fabulous companies out there who are eager to collaborate with bloggers. They treat us with respect and value our time and the service that we provide. Unfortunately, there are just as many who are looking to take advantage of us. Many companies will offer an inexpensive product in exchange for your photography, multi-platform advertisement, and copywriting. At first it is important to accept some of these offers in order to build up a collaboration resumé. However, as your blog grows, it is essential to realize that these “gifts” are anything but. These companies are providing you with something that is of very little cost to them and, in return, are asking for semi-professional photography, multi-platform advertisement, and copywriting. Design yourself a media kit and do not be afraid to put a price on your service when companies offer you a product in exchange for your work. Some will turn you away, some will continue to pressure you into working without pay, some might even be insulting, and still others will fail to follow through on sending product/payment. But in order for this to be a career, you need to get paid for your work. When you realize the value of your work, others will too.
It wouldn’t be fair for me to vouch for other cities, but at least in Los Angeles you need to tread carefully around other bloggers. I know I’ve touched on this before so I don’t want to sound repetitive and/or whiney, but I’ve been stabbed in the back many times by bloggers within the year and a half that I have been here. I had to take one to court after she scammed me out of a few grand (read about it here), had another one rip me off for around $300, and yet another admit to trying to sabotage my honeymoon. I promise I am not being melodramatic; just be wary of whom you trust. This is not to say that there aren’t tons of amazing and kind bloggers out there (I have some really lovely blogger friends)!
Have you experienced any struggles as you have developed your blog?
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