1. Our Voices
A lot of us started our blogs because we had something to say. There was a void in the fashion industry that we felt like we needed to fill. A few bloggers I know started because there wasn’t a lot of accurate ‘plus-size’ representation in the media. Bloggers and body positive influencers are changing that. They researched, they contacted companies, they called out ‘fat-shamers’, and modeled dope outfits simultaneously. They spoke out without fear against the ‘MAN’ that was fueling self-hate and unrealistic body types.
The reason, I started my blog was for the exact same reason. I didn’t see any Black, plus-size, Muslim chicks in the fashion game. So I made it my point to fill that gap. I wanted to make a difference. Show them whose boss! And break those stereotypes plaguing African-Americans and Muslims in the world today.
On the other hand, some people become bloggers for the perks: the free tickets to fashion shows, the recognition, and of course, the money (if they’re lucky), and the big one is fame. They just want to be ‘in’ and ‘popular’.
If you want to become a blogger for those reasons solely, then don’t. Because you’re not genuine and you definitely won’t last very long in the field. People will see right through that transparent face you’ve put on.
2. Building Platforms
Most style bloggers, work full-time and blog. If you are able to blog every waking moment of your life and still have an income, then more power to you! But if you’re like most people, you’ll have to have an income to fund your blog. Blogging doesn’t come free, which most people just don’t get. Cameras, lenses, outfits, accessories, shoots, gas, websites, marketing, and time all cost money. Your money.
So right off the bat, companies aren’t going to just start sending you cash and clothes for you to post because they can totally see the value in your services over everyone else. You’ve got to understand that there are hundreds of thousands of bloggers out there in the blogger-sphere. Your job is to show them your worth by differentiating yourself from the slew of others, staying true to your readers—your platform, and producing quality content.
3. Prejudices in the Industry
Time to get to the dirty part. The part no one wants to talk about. The fashion and blogging industry can be, at times, extremely frustrating. There was a time that I wanted to quit because I felt like there was no taming the monster. Cliques form, other bloggers get very nasty and competitive, and companies can and will use you for your time and resources and dismiss you like a bag of rotted turnips. I have many, many horror stories.
Also, there is prejudice and racism that occurs. There will be events and shoots that will strictly have white bloggers present. There will be other times when the ‘lighter’ skinned bloggers will be chosen over the ‘darker’ skinned ones. Same with size and age. If your too old or too big then you will get overlooked and dismissed.
With that said, it is your duty to rise above all the cattiness and bullshit that comes with any and all fields of work and creativity. You just keep doing you and do it unapologetically. What keeps me from quitting? Other bloggers that are supportive, who understand the struggle, and lets me know that it’s going to work out if I stay persistent and true. My fans and readers who constantly uplift me and send me nice and encouraging messages. That’s who I do this for, not the duds in the industry dictating what’s new and trendy and pretty.
4. Blogging with a Purpose
So many people inquire about blogging and how I’ve built and maintained my little platform. And I tell them everything I said above, but the one thing that I really want them to get is the purpose and the goal. Why do you want to do this? What do you want your viewers to get from this? And what’s the goals (big or little) to reach them?
If you’re doing this because you want to take pretty pictures and post them to get likes on Instagram, then do whatever floats your boat. If you want to make a difference in someone’s life, help someone who hates their looks and is unhappy all the time because of it, then go for it. Whatever angle you want to take just make sure it’s with a goal and purpose in mind.
Words are powerful. I think a lot of us spend too much time on social media that we’ve become invisible to one another. People still actually read and the words that we allow out of our mouths and through our fingers will float on in reality forever. So do yourself a favor and really think before you put something out there. Think about where you want it to go and what affect you want it to have on people.
5. Persistence is Key
Sounds like an after-school special, I know. In anything you do, you must be persistent and confident in your abilities. You have to be that person that goes above and beyond. You can’t be a slacker then expect something to just magically happen. If you think that, then please stop. Because that, my friend, is pure insanity. Have realistic goals of yourself and realistic expectations of who you’re working with as well. Because your blog is your brand. And if you allow your brand to have a bunch of typos, collaborate with shotty people, and post once in a while then you’re off to a very bad start.
I’m not saying this to detour you. I’m saying this so that you can start your blog with good intentions, great work ethic, and a message that WE, the reader, can really relate to. I want you to feel confident about starting your blog, Youtube, and social media pages. Trust me, it’s all a learning process, but I know you can do it.
So, happy blogging!