If you’ve made it past the title and you’re still reading- congratulations you’re a real one! By now I’m sure you’re wondering why this is even a topic to begin with. Well, my explanation should clear that up real soon.
Yep, that two-word phrase that can drive a sane person straight into anxiety depending on what context it’s used in. Social media has become an information highway of sorts. And while it’s information, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s accurate info. In fact, social media is rife with opinion more than actual facts.
Over the course of the last two weeks I’ve engaged in more than one conversation, read more than one opinion on social media about bloggers where I found myself scratching my head and wondering where people got their information from. If you guessed social media, you’d be correct. People are formulating opinions on bloggers based solely from what they see on social media.
Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this conversation, allow me to share the actual definition of a blogger:
I think it’s fair to say that we live in a society who loves to protest labels as much as they love using them. So on social media you can call yourself whatever you want to and it doesn’t necessary have to be true. Blogging has been a thing long before social media came along. There are all sorts of blogs out there; politically focused blogs, cooking blogs, fashion blogs, entertainment news blogs, news blogs, parenting blogs etc.
Social media became a place where you could utilize it to market your blog no matter what type of blogger you are. Eventually, brands began to recognize the power of bloggers to sell and therefore partnering with bloggers has become the norm in order to push the product. While many different types of bloggers have partnered with brands that align with their blog subject; it’s safe to say we see this a lot with fashion blogging.
It’s common to see many bloggers with #sponsored or #ad hashtagged in their captions along with a discount code. Heck, I’m guilty. Who doesn’t want to secure the bag and be able to do the thing they love while doing it? The problem is, the masses have caught wind of the ability to blog and make money- and all of a sudden we see an influx of bloggers on social media.
But let’s be real, there are a LOT of people claiming to be bloggers who don’t even own a blog.
They even have a name for it: Instablogger. Their literal sole purpose is taking pictures and pushing product. And hey, while I personally don’t have an issue with the way they get their coins; it definitely confuses the masses about what a blogger actually is or does. Honestly, they fall more under the category of what social media likes to call an influencer. I’d
love to get into the discussion about that but that’s not a topic I’m getting into today. Matter of fact, Melissa of FabGlance.com wrote a great article about it that you can read here.
I’ll be the first to admit, there are a LOT of fashion bloggers. And if we break it down into niches, there are a WHOLE lot of plus size bloggers. For a long time, the plus community had little to no visibility in the fashion industry. I’d be remiss to not acknowledge that plus size bloggers have helped hurdle the plus fashion industry forward. As to be expected, many women have different styles therefore there is really enough room for plus bloggers to share their thoughts.
The problem? There’s a competitive energy that permeates the plus blogger community. Now if you’re a plus blogger and you’re reading this, you’re reacting one or two ways:
Or you’re one of those classic deniers who will insist that this doesn’t exist and it’s only a fraction of the community. Either way, ultimately; you either know this is true or you will find out sooner or later.
This competitive spirit causes many to compare themselves to their contemporaries; wondering why some receive the collaborations, partnerships and brand deals while perhaps they themselves are on the slow and unsteady train. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter only perpetuate this spirit because bloggers and influencers are notorious for watching their own numbers and yes- watching the numbers of their fellow bloggers.
Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason; one good photo or blog article, retweet or reblog or repost could catapult one to what others perceive as success. And then you may begin to question why this has not happened for you.
Other times the reason is (and forgive me for those who this might offend) your content isn’t that great on your blog or your social media sites.
Yes, I said it. Presentation is everything. Your blog or your social media site are a representation of you. So no matter your personal style; how you present it can be the what’s either going to garner you support or discourage it.
First up, if you actually own a blog, but it’s rife with misspellings, grammatical and syntax errors; I’m personally less likely to want to give you my readership. A typo here or there is to be expected; but if you continuously show me that you can not string a simple structured sentence together, you can bet I’ll skip reading.
If you’re a fashion blogger and you utilize Instagram to showcase your fashion sense (or lack thereof because seriously, sometimes there’s effort but failed execution) but your photos are unpolished; how exactly are your inspiring me to hit that double tap?
And let me clarify on what I mean by unpolished. How your clothes are put together, are they ironed? Do they fit? Did you put a proper fitting bra on? Did you accessorize? Hows your face? Makeup may not be your thing but are your lips chapped? Your face moisturized? These small details end up affecting the bigger picture. And if your goal is to be a successful fashion blogger, you can’t pretend you don’t know that these things do matter.
Now, if you’re an “influencer” or blogger who does not care about brand deals or collabs then it’s all good in the hood and this doesn’t matter. And chances are you’re also not wondering about why someone else received acknowledgment you didn’t.
Every blogger is not chasing recognition, or a collaboration with brands or trying to be the next Chasity Garner, Marie Denee or Maui Bigelow. Some of bloggers may love fashion but it’s not your main focus. Some bloggers may want to speak to social political movements like fat acceptance or Body Positive activism. And then again for some they may just want to blog for the fun of it.
Whatever the lane of blogging you’re in, I think it’s safe to say that all bloggers are not created equal. Some are great at it, some are mediocre, some just suck, while others may excel.
And the end lesson after all of this?
That simple truth is absolutely ok.
You can use your platform as a blogger for whatever you want; just don’t have the expectation that you are entitled to reap the same “rewards” as another blogger. In the end, my word of advice: