the not-so-glamorous life of a fashion blogger

Friday, November 9, 2012

I have been blogging for almost 2 years, and I have written over 290 posts. I can confidently say that this is the longest hobby/venture I have ever done. While blogging is rewarding and I feel like I am working towards the bigger picture (being a fashion icon, my ultimate dream), blogging is not easy work. I guarantee if you were to ask any blogger who is actually trying to be successful, they will tell you it is downright exhausting.

When I first began blogging I thought I could get away with posting once a week and my blog would gain exposure and someone would give me a book deal. Okay, I wasn't that naive about it, but I did not realize that in order to build a brand through a blog, you have to post everyday! In addition to coming up with your own content, you have to visit other blogs and comment on them. This was the surprise factor for me. You see, blogging is actually a fairly close knit network, and the only way to build your brand is by promoting others around you. It took me a long time before I figured that out. I thought as long as I could generate my own interesting content, I would gain readership. Simply not the case. In fact I would say, one could slack off on the amount of posts as long as you are visiting other blogs, your stats will still increase. I once read on another blog that the author visited 20-30 blogs everyday! I have tried to live by that, but it's pretty darn hard. I have a full time job, with quite a bit of freedom and I still struggle to meet that quota.

The most difficult thing about trying to create a successful blog, is the lack of a road map. There are quite a few people who have gained global exposure from their blogs and have moved on to actual careers. That being said, no one achieves success the same way. In the olden days (okay, 2 decades ago) people knew that there was a corporate ladder they could climb, but there is no ladder in the blogosphere. There is no one way to make your blog successful. Virtually everything is trial and error and all you can do is pray for a little luck. I still don't know what will come out of blogging, I hope that somehow, someway I land myself an awesome fashion related career... but I don't know when or how. I cross my fingers and I get up and blog everyday, that's all I can do.

I caught up with a few other bloggers to see what their experience with blogging has been...

"Blogging really can be a challenge at times, but overall it's been so rewarding. I would say one of the biggest challenges with blogging is finding time to get things done. We all have busy schedules and it can be difficult to find time to get photos done, edit photos, and put together a nice post. It can also take some time to get your blog noticed, which was very frustrating when I first started. But it just takes time and not giving up." -Tonya, The Mop Top

"Blogging at times, is like having a second job. Taking photos, editing them, coming up with creative blog posts, commenting on blogs, and keeping up with social media can be exhausting. But I've learned the harder I work at it, the more I watch my blog grow." -Sharon, The Tiny Heart

"I say it so often, that blogging is hard work and takes so much time! Whether it's pictures loading slowly or needing a lot of editing, or a tutorial that takes forever to write - it just is time consuming! Even my posts that I write week after week, like "wiww (What I wore Wednesday)" - it still takes me well over an hour to edit the pictures, write the post and add in all the necessary links!" 
-Lindsay, The Pleated Poppy

"In my five and a half years of blogging, I've experienced a lot of amazing, fun, and challenging situations. I try to take each experience and see it as a lesson from which to learn and grow. It's a lot harder than it looks to create original and high quality blog content, as many things happen behind the scenes that can pose challenges."
-Melissa, The Key to Chic

"It's understandable to want to be on the forefront of all the social networking that comes with blogging.  Figure out what's most important, and do those first. Use your off days to catch readers up with "reminder" posts."
-Toni, The Love Hanger

"It's tough to balance everything sometimes. I have a full-time job; I am a mother to a very active 5 year old, and I blog 3-4 times a week. My first commitment is to my husband and my son- if I miss a blog post because of them, then I miss a blog post. It's not the end of the world. When I first started blogging I freaked out when I would miss a day, and I was wearing myself out trying to keep up the demands of full-time blogging along with teaching and being a wife and mother. Now I don't stress about it, and it  makes everything so much easier and enjoyable!"
-Katie, Hems for Her

So, basically blogging is EXTREMELY time consuming. It's nice to know I am not the only one who struggles with balancing my life around my blog. This post is definitely not a "How To" for bloggers, but I want others to know how hard we work. I sometimes get an "aww your a blogger, how cute" response, and it drives me crazy! So please friends and fellow bloggers, show us love by leaving us comments and telling your friends about us ;)

I also had some "behind the scenes" pictures to share with you, but my back up hard drive crashed and now I am waiting to harvest my pictures from it. I hope my words have been inspiring enough :) A special thanks to the bloggers who shared their stories with me!