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!


The Key To Chic said...

Thank you for compiling this post! I know it involved lots of hard work! Thank you for including me as well! I think that quality content, persistence, positivity, and active participation in the blog community lead to growth and success. One of my favorite themes is quality over quantity. If you work hard, produce great content, and keep at it with patience, you'll learn how close knit and supportive this community is. (Also kindly pointing out that there is no "e" in glamorous.) I don't think bloggers have to post daily, but consistency in posting schedules is important. I strongly agree that reading and commenting on other blogs is key to keeping the conversation going and creating awareness. I could go on and on, but here's a huge THANK You for all of your hard work Tori. Great job!!!!! Hope your computer issues are fixed very soon!

Tori said...

This post is so true and I cannot believe more bloggers haven't made a post about it! A lot of people don't understand how much work running a blog takes. They think that you just get free clothes and pretty much don't have to do anything. Which is so not true! Thanks for posting about this :)

Sarah Hulbert Style said...

Such a great post, Tori! You come from such an organic and realistic POV and I love the thoughts you incorporated from other bloggers. Most blogs cease to exist within six months, and I feel fortunate that the hard work I've put into developing blogger relationships has encouraged me to keep at it. I'm coming up on my one year anni here soon, and I am loving every difficult and wonderful moment of it! Thanks!!! ~Sarah

Unknown said...

What a wonderful post. I agree, blogging is sooo time consuming, but it does have it's rewards for sure.

Unknown said...

I recently just started having this problem so I've been trying to plan everything out the day before so the actual work of writing the post isn't as long. I'm glad you shared this though! I get a lot of people not thinking this is a real thing too. Keep it up, girl!

x Ashley

Shabby, Chic, & Cheap said...

This is so true, I often struggle with posting. I have a FT job, I'm a mom, and a wife and not to mention LIFE can get int he way. I just try to post the best I can and I hope that my readers are understanding.

KT said...

Tori- the post turned out great! Thanks for including me among so many wonderful bloggers who I respect and look up to! I love reading everyone's stories (and I was just like you when I first started blogging, so all those silly little things made me laugh!)

Unknown said...

You are so right about this Tori! Good luck to you and your blogging endeavors. For me, I'm in the military, so I don't even aspire to make any fame out of my blog except to have a place where I can really be myself, be inspired, inspire others, connect with other people, and be entertained. -Jessica L


Unknown said...

What a great post, loved reading it! I'm a new hobby blogger and even though my goals are just to ENJOY the posts I create, enjoy the other blogs I read, enjoy connecting via Twitter and commenting... if I'm not careful, it can be overwhelming and compromise that joy. I'm so pleased when, despite my limited time, I land on great sites like this one! Thank you for all your hard work - it really is inspiring to everyday women such as myself.


Anonymous said...

AMEN, Sister! I've been burned out time and again from blogging, but instead of chasing people to follow my blog, I've just been doing it for myself. Never checking stats, not breaking my back to find new ways to grow. It's my hobby--I started it for me and will continue to do it for me. And as a result, it's grown. Do your thing--you're good without trying. :)

xo - Kari
Style at a $teal

Unknown said...

Thats awesome you have kept your blog up and going for that long! I have only been doing it 3 months and now know how much time and effort it takes! I hope I can keep on going like you!

Chelsea Oliver said...

Thanks for this post. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one with these problems, so I appreciate seeing so many opinions from other bloggers!


Madame Chic Bcn said...

You're sooo right Tori!! It's great to see that the're many bloggers out there that feel and live the same "stress" in their lifes... ;-)
Blogging it's a hard work and most of the times a non rewarded one!! So there's always a strong and real passion behind any blog...

Unknown said...

i couldn't agree more with this post! it's funny that i just stumbled across your blog, so obviously your point about networking is spot on!

dash dot dotty

Erin Caldwell said...

Thank you for posting this. I have been blogging for about a year and a half now, and have kind-of platueaed with the amount of new readers and comments I have. It's frustrating, but the good thing is that the blog is fun and I definitely love challenging myself with it. You are right, it is very time consuming. I have similar dreams to you, and I approach it the same way. It might not pay off in money or in a viral following, but for some reason, there is something that is pushing me to keep doing it.

I like what you said about how the job world has changed. You can't just climb the ladder anymore, because nowadays you're hired for your personal brand and vision you are creating. Advertising has become so creative and non-traditional, and businesses are looking for people who have that creative edge.

Thanks for the insight!

-Erin Caldwell

Jeans and a Teacup said...

Blogging is definitely a lot of work! Luckily, I'm not trying to get into the fashion business so I don't feel a lot of pressure to have my blog grow...I can just do it for fun. But I was definitely surprised at how much time I spend commenting/checking out other blogs to build a network!

NATALIE said...

Thanks for posting this because blogging is a lot of work!

Love it!!!

I invite you to check out my blog:

Anonymous said...

I feel you on ALL of this! I had no idea what I was getting into, but I'm definitely not giving up now! Great post

Xo, Rachel
Glitzy Blues

Taima Ramsey said...

What a great post. I recently started my blog this year and what started as a creative outlet and a distraction from everyday life has fast become an obsession. Keeping up with a blog and working full time is not easy. Thanks for bringing this to light. Such a great post.

Loyal fan and fellow blogger

Unknown said...

this is so very true, I was pretty naive when I first started, but there are still people who blog and after one or two months have loads of followers? It is alot of work but didn't figure you had to promote it until about two months ago. Keep up the great work!
xo jess

Megan said...

You provide some great insight here! I enjoy the variety on your blog and how you feature other bloggers as well, i have found some good ones to add to my Reader through your site.