What You’re Not Told About Being A Professional Fashion Blogger
Whenever you say to someone ‘I am a fashion blogger’ after they have asked what you do for a living, you’re usually met with two responses. The first one being ‘what’s that?’ and the second one usually something like ‘wow, that’s cool, you’re so lucky to live that life’. If it’s the first one and they wonder what does a fashion blogger do, that’s fine, you can explain in a way you’re comfortable with, but if it’s the second one, I personally find that they have a large misconception of what your life actually is. Usually they think it’s jetting off to multiple countries in a month, living a lavish life of luxury, getting everything for free, and a permanent vacation because after all, how hard can blogging actually be? You just write and publish a post in less than an hour, right? Wrong. Honestly, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
I wanted to write this blog post about the side effects of blogging because when you’re a professional fashion blogger and it’s your career, much like any job that requires engagement and involvement at all hours, it leaves marks behind and I wanted to show you what it’s like on the other side. I’m not saying I’m not lucky to have this job as I’ve put in so much hard work for about 10 years now in order to create this career for myself, and I’m not saying I hate it, but I don’t feel like enough truth is out there for what fashion bloggers really go through on a daily basis and how difficult it can actually be. We only seem to portray the amazing, luxurious lifestyle to our readers and I don’t think it’s a great perception, especially given most the time I am personally in my loungewear, sat at my computer for the majority of each day. So here are some of the negatives that come with fashion blogging, which I hope you find interesting.
Life Constantly Revolves Around Photo Shoots & Posts
This might not be the same for every fashion blogger as it depends on what type of fashion blogging you do, but if you’re a personal style blogger and it requires you to photograph your outfit on a regular basis, it’s true. Each time you go out, it becomes an opportunity to wear something good and to photo it, otherwise it feels like a completely wasted opportunity. Since Adam takes my photos, when we spend the weekend together, we always have to incorporate outfit shoots into whatever we are doing and revolve the weekend plans around them to make sure they’re done. We often find ourselves not even doing something purely because we needed to both get outfits shot. So definitely make sure the relationship between yourself and the photographer (if they’re your partner) is strong enough to take the strain it causes, as well as making sure you’re personally strong enough to incorporate it and make sacrifices.
You Only Get To Wear Your Clothes Once Or Twice
Another annoyance that’s a huge irritation to me is the fact that you only get to wear your clothes once or twice. This isn’t because that’s all they’re worth and then they’re disregarded, it’s because as I mentioned above, each time you go out it’s an opportunity to do your photo shoots and you can’t wear the same items each time because you can’t repeat them over and over, it’s boring and your readers have seen it once already so they don’t want to see another set of photos of the same look. Especially if you bought some statement pieces (like my Chloe Susanna boots), those can generally only be worn once or twice. It does annoy me a lot as it means some of the designer pieces I’ve saved up for are not being worn much and it also ends up dictating what I buy because I have to see if it’s suitable for my blog or not. So much thought and clothing sacrifice goes into personal style blogging on a professional level. It would be nice to get more time to wear them without having to take photos.
Your Brain Is Permanently Switched On 24/7
As with any professional blogger in any industry, I’m sure you already know that it’s a 24/7 job. You have to be constantly alert, checking everything that’s new in, everything that’s trending, and keeping up with all of the social media interaction, as well as the blog interaction. This crosses over into the night, into the weekends, and even into your holiday as well because social media is an everyday thing. Even when I try to sleep, sometimes my mind is racing with thoughts and ideas of blog posts, photos, outfit combinations etc and it’s impossible to switch off from it because your brain is trained to think in certain ways and that’s usually always centered around your blog and the brand you’ve built up. Trying to find the right balance between your personal life and your blog is tricky, it needs a lot of work.
You Have To Brave All Weathers
If it’s raining or freezing cold, you have to suffer for the photos and it causes so much stress and anger. Arguments are known to happen if the weather conditions are terrible and we can’t get the right photos. Especially when it’s winter here in England, the dark rolls in around 3-4pm and we have had to plan our day around photoshoots. I know I personally get so cold, it’s unbearable, I turn pink and I get so short tempered and want to be finished with the set before even starting. It’s caused some serious grumps on my behalf and especially if I am collaborating with a brand that requires a dress or something with not much material, I honestly feel like quitting sometimes when it gets like that. It takes so much mental strength. The rain often ruins photos and when it’s so dull and grey, the lighting can be awful too.
Emotions Like Stress & Failure Run Wild
As fashion blogging is your profession, you will often compare yourself to others in the same industry and usually that’s to the top ones. I sometimes forget to look at how far I have come and what I have built up and instead wonder why mine is not the next Song of Style or Blonde Salad etc. It’s always a competition and if you want to succeed in this industry, you have to try and stay ahead of the game and try and be better than everyone else so you can rank well. Since you live in a world of comparison, you often feel like a failure and your stress levels run really high because it’s a constant rat race just to be seen and just to stay afloat. It does put your emotional side on high alert most days and that’s taxing on your body. You’re financial income is completely dependent on you and how well your blog is ranking in comparison to everyone else. You’re also at the hands of search engines too, and that’s stressful if they change their algorithms.
You Don’t Know Who’s Fake Or Real
I know this one is true for anyone who has something to offer someone as a career or for anyone who’s famous as well. You never know who’s being fake or who’s real. I’m lucky enough to have met some beautiful people through blogging and made some genuine friendships, but 90% of the time, everything isn’t real and it’s usually a false relationship for personal gain. As with any business though, I know that happens as you can mutually help each other out, however I’m not sure if it’s because of how I was brought up or being from the countryside, but it took me a long time to realise that. I was constantly getting screwed over and hurt, putting my effort into friendships with companies or PR people, only to realise none of it was true and I was constantly getting walked all over. If you’re new to an industry like that, put your guard up and don’t offer yourself freely to everyone because you think they’re your friends.
It Can Cause Relationship Resentment & Irritation
I briefly touched upon it up there, but when you have to constantly do photoshoots and your brain is switched on 24/7 for blogging purposes, it can cause some strain on relationships. If one half of the relationship is not a blogger or even in the same industry, it can be difficult to understand and appreciate what goes into maintaining and running a professional blog, so it can cause a bit of resentment and irritation between a couple when stuff needs to get done and you’re working all the time. You have to learn to balance work and your relationship, as you would with any job, so it’s not causing a strain.
Your Self Esteem Gets Low
When you’re living in a constant world of comparison, there’s always going to be someone out there who’s better than you, prettier than you, has more money than you etc and as you’re putting yourself out there to be judged on the internet, a lot of negativity comes in. People feel that they have the right to criticize you, to tell you how to live your life, pick out all of your flaws (which are usually completely normal attributes) and complain about certain things. Of course a lot of positivity comes in as well and most people can be extremely supportive, which I cherish, but our brains are usually wired to remember the bad and the negative often takes pride of place in our thoughts. If you don’t have a thick skin, your self esteem can end up hitting low points, especially if you’re not confident within yourself. Being judged by others is hard.
Your Existence, Life & Worth Becomes Reliant On Numbers
Now this one I was thinking of touching upon in a separate blog post as it’s a subject worthy of a lot of coverage, but I’m including it here as well because it’s important. I was talking with a friend of mine who works in PR and outreach and he knows just how important a bloggers statistics are, however he doesn’t like the fact that it’s only about numbers and the quality of a bloggers work gets overlooked. I feel the same way. Someone like myself who has a social reach of almost 100k in total but has a high quality blog in terms of how much content text is written (and written well for SEO purposes), with great photos, can get looked over and cast aside because someone else who might have a social reach of 200k, but doesn’t write much content or put a huge effort into their blog posts, gets the opportunity instead. It really does boil down to your numbers. It’s always about the follower amount and how many hits you have more than it is about the passion, dedication, creation and quality you put into your blog posts. That also contributes to the stress, the low self esteem and not being able to switch off. It’s not like this for every brand, but the majority of them it is, they don’t want to know you until you are deemed ‘popular enough’.
You Can’t Take An Unplanned Break
Of course you can go on holiday, but in order to do that if you’re a professional fashion blogger, you have to plan ahead. If I want to take a week off then I have to do that weeks work in advance, so for 3 weeks before, I have to go in overdrive and do double/triple the work load in order to schedule it all so I have enough content to cover me while I am away. You can’t just randomly say you’re gonna take a break and book your holiday in unfortunately as you will lose money and if you leave your blog dormant for a long while, you can lose followers too. That’s one of the side effects that gets me the most because you never feel like you can take a proper break.
Since you’ve done so much work before you leave for your vacation and your brain has been wired up making sure you did it all and it’s scheduled correctly, you end up more stressed than before so it takes a while to unwind on your holiday anyway. Besides, you need to be alert while you’re away in case your blog goes down or something malfunctions, and you still have to keep up with social media too, so you don’t shut off entirely. Luckily, I do love Instagram and my social accounts so it’s not a huge issue for me, but the huge workload before a trip away is a problem. We also usually don’t waste the opportunity of a gorgeous beach and a new location for outfit shoots, so we still end up doing those on holiday as well, as you see with most personal style bloggers. Photos are constant.
– So, these are some of the side effects to professional fashion blogging. It’s not just a jet set, glamorous lifestyle which is like a permanent vacation. It’s only an industry you should get into properly if your heart is 100% in it and you’re ready to take on the bad with the good. Of course there are numerous great things that happen as well, like collaborating with fantastic brands, developing a relationship with your readers, the gifted items are great (as long as they’re a gift and not requiring you to spend hours of work on them), and it’s a joy to be able to write and chat with you all, sharing my passion, but it’s definitely tough. I hope this helps shed some light on what it can be like! Lorna.
Wow, thank you Lorna for sharing what goes on behind the scenes. I had no idea that fashion blogging is so difficult at times. I’m glad Adam is your strong support.
You’re welcome, John! Glad you found it good!
I had always wondered I you made a living out of blogging, so now I understand a little but wonder who actually pays you.. Presumably you need us to view each of your posts to keep the numbers up, so I will make an effort to do so
Thank you for your support, it’s nice to hear from you! I don’t think I recognise your name in the comments before, so definitely feel free to leave more whenever you want!
There’s various ways in which you can make money, brands pay you for collaborations, the Google adsense makes money from views and also when people buy items using the links I put on my blog, I get a commission of the sale, so there’s a few ways. As always though, your continued support is everything to me! Thank you!
I feel a little saddened to read the paragraph about only being able to wear your clothes once or twice. 🙁 It seems such a pity but I totally understand why it is so… But speaking just for myself, I’d have no problem in seeing the same clothes appearing more than once or twice – it’s actually nice to see the same things again sometimes. I appreciate that this is easier with jeans, skirts, tops, shoes etc to mix and match… much harder to wear one piece items such as dresses in more than one shoot… But even then… a few repeat classics in different settings and locations would be cool to see too… I’m still waiting for that gorgeous metallic dress to reappear… 😀 (Aside from on your “About” link, of course… 😉
Anyway, this was a very interesting read and you’ve raised a lot of issues… some of which those of us who are not bloggers will not have given a huge amount of thought to before.
Oh unfortunately I didn’t get to keep that Coast metallic dress, so it wont be showing up again at all 🙁 Sorry to ruin that for you, Steven! Ha ha. It was gorgeous though, I agree! I do get to wear my jeans and bags more than once or twice, but it definitely is harder with dresses or statement pieces as I think a lot of people are different to how you feel, they don’t want to see the exact same thing again, it’s always new stuff that’s more interesting! It’s good to hear your opinion on it though!
Yeah, I know I’m in a minority on this. 🙂 LOL
Oh no, that’s tragic about the dress! 😉 Oh well, better once than never. 😀
Yeah, it was sad, but I don’t think I would have been able to fit it now anyway as I’m a lot bigger now than I was back then 🙂
Thank you for such an honest post and sharing with us your experience. I didn’t even think that you can only wear some things once or twice =o(
You have a beautiful blog =o)
Thank you! Glad you liked it!
Very well said, Lorna!
All true. I hate the fact that I’ve been blogging on and off, and it’s getting hard to get back when the blogger block is at play. Not writing or updating regularly makes a blogger to actually lost opportunities. It is for me, cos I always procrastinate ha! Hopefully to get back up on track soon.
Well, thanks for sharing this post, it’s really a good read and I know a lot of bloggers out there can relate on this, even those that are not fashion bloggers.
Hope you’re feeling okay and well always. Take care!
Jhem | JhemSays.com
Hi Jhem! Yeah, it definitely does have an impact if you take too much time off as people forget to come back and it also ruins chances of working with brands too since they want someone who posts frequently, it’s so tricky!
So SAD… but SO TRUE!! I found myself going “yep. yep. Yeah, I heard that!” while reading through your post. I fully empathize.. It’s tough gig!
With Love & Style,
ALL THE AMBIENCE
Glad you could resonate with it, Amber!
Thank you, Lorna, to explain how this happens for your blog. It is very interesting and reflective
Glad you liked it!
Very interesting post Lorna, thank you for sharing! There is so much in there to keep in mind, even for an amateur such as myself. It’s not an easy thing to build up, that’s for sure.
Glad you liked it!
I used to post outfit posts too, so I know how stressful it can be. With time, my blog has become centered around my hobby (art&drawing) and honestly I just don’t know how to find time to do outfit posts anymore. People think it is easiest thing, but it is not. As you said, outfit posts often need to be planned…and every fashion blogger needs to present their readers with something creative…It is not as easy as it might seem. This was a lovely post to read.
You’re exactly right. It really does take up so much time and can be tricky to get it all right, without getting stressed out, so I’m glad you understand and enjoyed this post!
I’ve read a tweet today that says, “The challenge with being a blogger is that you are never, ever done. There’s always more to do.” so it’s true, our brain is always switched on 24/7. Also, whenever someone ask me as well what I do for a living, when I say “blogging” those older than me are usually baffled WTH is it, while those around my age actually understands it.
xx Alyssa // STYLE VANITY
Yep, that’s definitely completely true! You really are never done, it can be exhausting, but at the same time it can be exciting. It’s a roller coaster of emotions sometimes!
My life revolves around photo shoots and posts and I’m not even full time blogging. I find me not fully enjoying places we visit cos I have to shoot. And that’s the reason I decided to disconnect from blogging on my last vacation. I just wanted to enjoy life’s little pleasures completely. I also feel you on the weather. I shoot early and in the winter months I’m freezing my tush off. I leave my engine running with the heater on full blast so I can jump in for quick warm up breaks. Oh and a thick skin is definitely needed. I remember in my 1st or 2nd year of blogging when Fashion Bomb Daily did a post on me and also published on their blog, some trolls on their FB page took it upon themselves to be so mean. I must have sent her at least 15 emails to take down the post and she eventually did. One of my biggest regrets as a blogger but it shaped who I am today. Great post Lorna!
When I saw you were taking the month off I was really happy for you! I think it’s great that you did that, to really enjoy your life and not be stuck around outfit shoots all the time. I do the same thing, jump back in the car to warm up when it’s absolutely freezing! It’s just a nightmare. Your hands are so cold you can’t even use the camera properly either. I’m so sorry you went through that bullying though, that’s never nice for anyone. I definitely sympathize with you as I know what it’s like. People just seem to think it’s fine to abuse someone because they can’t actually see them. Maybe see it as a learning experience and as it has shaped you, that’s amazing! Good always seems to come from bad xx.
i’m agree with you my dear
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have an happy day
Glad you liked it!
Wow Lorna, that was really an eye opener. When you read someone’s blog I didn’t know how much effort was needed to be such a good blogger, like yourself. Do you ever sleep?? It would seem you are always working maybe not on a shoot but planning and thinking of new ways and places to for a shoot. I may not be into fashion but I really do enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work Lorna. xx
I’m glad you found it really interesting, Norman. That’s so good to hear! I do get about 7 hours each night actually, so I manage to sleep! Sometimes it’s difficult and I’m not sleeping until 3am, but I’m trying to make more adjustments and changes to make things easier and better for myself.
there goes lot of work into any blog and it can be stressful x
It really can!
You are so right, babe! It definitely isn’t always glamorous! We all work so hard! You are amazing, never forget! Hugs!
Well said dear! Blogging may not be my full time career but I also experienced these things, so much pressure sometimes. But I just do it because I love it. Such an honest post!
I’m glad you could resonate with it and liked the post!
This post is right on the money Lorna! I experience all these emotions too. Thanks for bringing these struggles to the light.
I’m glad you resonated with it, Kathrine!
Thanks for sharing. Although I don’t do it full-time I identify with so much of this. There are a lot of downsides and stressors that people outside of it don’t understand.
Straight A Style
Thanks for your comment, Amy! Glad you understood it!
Wow I didn’t realise there were so many side effects, like not being able to wear your clothes more than a few times xx
Yeah, it can be crazy sometimes!
Thank you Lorna that has been very enlighting a pleasure to read . I know I have been quite for a while , but due to working at sea it is not always possible to keep up to date . Your hard work is much appreciated ,and insight in to the fashion world . take care Ian
Thank you, Ian! Glad you liked it and it’s lovely to see you commenting again!
Thank you, Lorna, very interesting and reflective to share your experience
Glad you like it!
This is a very insightful and interesting post Lorna, showing the reality of what full-time fashion blogging is like. It must be a challenge to maintain all these demands on your time, and find a work-life balance that allows you to still have a personal life. It’s great that you’ve dispelled many of the myths surrounding professional fashion blogging. Thank you for sharing your insights!
Lots of love Saba xx
Really glad you liked it, Saba and that I could shed some light on it for you!
I had no idea it was like this at all. You never see anything on this level when you look at peoples blogs and social. It always looks really glamorous, so that’s good to know. Thanks for sharing this hun xx
Happy to help!