I've contributed for IFB for the past four years and have written a LOT of posts. I've also received thousands of comments over the years, so I feel like I have an idea of “what the IFB community wants.” Success varies from blogger to blogger, but the members of the IFB community emphasize their desire to grow active, engaged communities; to make money off their sites; and to develop relationships with brands and other bloggers that may lead to larger opportunities.
Fashion blogging is a bit like acting, and IFB is a bit like Hollywood– thousands of bright young things begin blogging every day and want to make a dream come true. A dream that seems glamorous and fun, but that's really hard work. Behind the glitter, IFB is here to help you make your dreams a reality. But like all dreams, there's always a fear that crushes us… that we won't “make it.”
In my experience, of running my own site and being part of this vast community, here are the 12 attitudes and qualities that hinder bloggers from “making it.”
1. You don't have your own distinct voice… or style.
Readers complain about this all of the time– that personal style bloggers all look the same. They wear the same shoes, buy the same statement, luxury pieces. The bloggers that float to the top? They all bring a distinct vision and style– THEIR distinct vision and style to their site. What do you have that no one else has? What makes it attainable– or aspirational?
2. Your posts offer little-to-no value for your readers.
Why are your readers coming to your site? As much as we love ya… it's not just YOU they're coming for. If your posts consist of a bunch of poor images and no text… well, what are they coming for? What are you offering or what can they apply to their life? You can get away with bad images if your content is also offering something else AMAZING.
Ultimately, it's what you can offer THEM. I feel like the best equation for creating content is “You + What You Can Offer = An Engaged Audience.”
3. You think you're producing new and unique content… but you're just regurgitating what everyone else is doing on the web.
I don't believe there is new, original content, but I do believe how we present it is what makes it unique. That being said– if you're doing the same roundup of 5 Summer Essentials on a white background with no text, what is distinguishing you from 100 other bloggers? Or 1000? How can you present that amazing Miu Miu editorial with a new idea, instead of just posting the photos?
4. You're so focused on being the next big thing and being on the cutting edge– of fashion, technology– that you haven't mastered the simple basics that will help your site.
Fashion bloggers have a bad habit of brushing off the technical side of building their sites in favor of the social side. (I'm sure this is actually prevalent across many types of blog niches!) The fact is, if you don't learn about SEO, you're losing a lot of organic traffic. If you ignore simple elements of design, people will get turned off when visiting your site. You ARE expected to “know it all” to run your site– or outsource it to someone who does.
5. You ask, “My site is great, why aren't people coming?” OR you compare yourself to others: “Why isn't this happening to me? How come I'm not getting those opportunities?”
As someone who worked in marketing and events, this is a common problem. Everyone wants to believe, whether in business or blogging, that their product is good and that is enough to make people come– and stay. But the reality is, that's simply not the case.
Comparing yourself to other bloggers is a quick way to hinder your site, your progress, and lose your vision. Over the years I've been plagued by this one myself, trying too hard to be the next “Insert Blogger's Name,” so that I could get the same opportunities they did. All of these great things WILL happen to you… on your time and with a whole helluva lot of hustle!
6. You lack patience.
For every bright eyed babe that starts a blog, another blog dies. I've seen so many come and go, and one of the biggest hurdles a blogger faces is patience. Very few sites reach 100,000 pageviews in 3 months or 6 months. Few are able to build amazing, interactive communities overnight. It's okay lil' grasshopper… just be patient, work hard, and recognize that you're doing far better and more than you believe!
7. You're focused on your own end game; you worry about competition and growth instead of building community and quality content.
I think competition is only healthy when it motivates us to push ourselves forward: outside of our comfort boxes and to try new things. If you let competition take control of you, it'll cripple you as a blogger.
Growing your site is a combination of working hard and working smart. Thousands of “Great outfit! Come see my site!” links may temporarily bring you traffic, but they won't sustain your traffic in the long run. Developing genuine, real relationships with other bloggers (much like your friends in real life) will make you happier, will develop your site, and foster your community in ways you can't imagine.
8. You say, “This doesn't apply to me,” instead of thinking creatively about how it CAN apply to you.
I see this a lot at IFB– bloggers want the information to be targeted directly to them, their specific site, and niche. But the fact is the information is presented for the largest denominator of bloggers. It's up to YOU to figure out how to apply that information to your site and make it relevant for you. Success comes from creative thinking, and creative thinking comes from learning, creating, and applying it to your site.
9. You're too damned lazy to do the work.
This points back to “mastering the basics” and “this doesn't apply to me,” and I say this as the laziest blogger ever. Really. The fact is, to “make it” as a blogger, you have to have more that dedication and passion. Like success in any field, it's a combination of obsession, hard work, drive, ambition, a thirst for knowledge, and a good dose of luck. You can't control whether or not you get lucky, but you can control how hard you're willing to work. And if you're lazy (like I am), it may be time for a reality check: how much can you honestly accomplish with the work you're willing to do?
10. You get caught up in acquiring new things, instead of creating new content.
This is another complaint I hear from bloggers and readers– that X blogger is always buying new things for new content. This is a vicious cycle, as old as fashion blogging. While it may help to attract new readers and keep people coming back for more, it's not a sustainable blog practice in the long run. It just leads to too much consumption, too much debt, and a loss of your own style and identity. And ultimately, your audience will feel alienated if they can't relate to you.
11. You hold yourself back…
Whether it's “I don't have enough time” or “things get in the way,” to meeting other bloggers, reaching out to brands, making yourself vulnerable, or genuinely putting yourself out there. You're holding yourself back.
This is another one I've been guilty of, and it's why I've become honest with myself about why I “won't make it” as a blogger. I have only so much time to give, and that time won't always grow me or my site beyond its current level. Blogging isn't the most important thing in my life…and so I've stopped holding myself back, and blaming other factors in my life for that.
12. Your definition of success is limited or too big.
Crazy, right? The idea of a “successful blog” is kind of vast and overwhelming and undefined. That's why should be clear and HONEST with yourself about what it will take for you to feel successful in your site. Is it a certain number of page views each month? Is it a certain number of comments? Is it having readers email you with requests and questions?
Only you can answer what makes YOU successful, and it's likely a different answer than mine. Write down what will make you successful. Make a road map with what you can do to get there. And if it doesn't happen… not everyone is successful their first time around, or their second. But it WILL happen, one day.
So what do you think? What stands in the way between you and success? What do you think stands in the way of bloggers and “making it” overall?
great points and honestly, what a wake up call! i’ve been blogging for a little over 8 months and I use to hustle non stop! this post definitely inspired me to kick it back up. x
I think it’s definitely a tough balance between looking at your competition and seeing them as just that – healthy competition – and being overwhelmed by their success and wishing it would happen for your site. Totally agree with the patience sentiment too! Slow and steady with great content, baby. Slow and steady. Definitely something I need to continually remind myself of.
I think you are awesome Bridget! 🙂 I watch your youtube channel as well.
Thanks for this! Comparing myself to other bloggers is definitely one of my biggest weaknesses. I’ll post something that I’m really proud of just to hate it a few days later because I saw some awesome post another blogger did. Obviously, as bloggers we read other blogs for inspiration, but it’s really difficult to not compare ourselves or envy other bloggers.
Wow,truer words have never been spoken. That is a great post. Every step i was reading was thinking wow that is me . I compare my blog all the time to other blogs and it gets me down. These 12 steps are so helpful and encouraging well said .
Omg this comment is exactly me ! nice to know people out there feel the same way. Sometimes I don’t feel as motivated because I look at how successful other bloggers are and wonder that’s not happening on my blog, and it sets me back or makes me want to give up. I guess patience is the key.
this is an amazing post! especially for beginner bloggers like myself. I see myself coming back to this list again & again! thank you for all the great info xoxo
Much thanks for this article! This is a very big help for me, as I have just started my blog for 8 months now. I can really relate both positively and negatively to the list you elaborated. “I believe I could so I did, and I have to have patience.” =)
Excellent food for thought! my blog is a brand new but I already feel quite satisfied with my little “success”… who goes slowly goes safely and goes far!
I find planning ahead is key to getting a regular stream of readers.
I work a full-time job including evenings and Saturdays, and I find that there are some nights I would love to come in from work, veg out in front of the tv and do nothing else until I go to bed.
However I haven’t come this far to allow laziness to set in! Planning blog posts for the week, and utilising your time wisely means the best of both worls – great content and a social life.
I’m not in blogging for the freebies or the millions of hits every day (although that would be lovely!)
I genuinely love vintage fashion and crafts and view my readers as friends who want to be able to enjoy a cup of tea and have a regular catch-up. 🙂
“I work a full-time job including evenings and Saturdays, and I find that there are some nights I would love to come in from work, veg out in front of the tv and do nothing else until I go to bed.”
I’ve been there, Helen! For 3 years I worked in theatre & dance, so it was 60 hour weeks on top of trying to blog & have a life… eventually part of it had to give. It’s brutal, but you have to make it work in the way that feels best for you! I’m glad you’ve found a way to beat back the lazies and enjoy the best of both worlds…
Great article! I think it’s only natural to get caught up in some of these reasons and comparisons… I’m guilty as charged, but over time I have learned to be patient. I started my blog for my self fulfillment, not for success, so when I get caught up in the hooplah of blogging I remind myself of where I started and how far I have come. Everybody has their own path in this blogging thing… I heard you either have to be the 1st, the best or different 🙂
LOVE THIS! I am getting back to my blog when I am finished doing social media for a fashion event next weekend…and starting a new job next week…and this has only increased my excitement. 🙂
Honestly, I’m a person who strongly believes in luck. I mean, I agree that you must work hard to get results. But, considering what I see, many bloggers can’t even write well, they don’t have style at all, they just try to imitate other famous bloggers, they’re not even nice person, but they work a lot, earn a lot, have many many followers, they have a dreamy lives.
One of my favorite bloggers, The Cherry Blossom Girl is somebody who created a lovely blog, I don’t always like her outfits, but her photos are beautiful, she’s kind of unique. There’re bloggers who just display all their money and clothes, take photos of themselves half naked and that’s it, nothing else.
I’m a person who strongly believes that you make your own luck.
And as for bloggers who seem big – often that’s an illusion, as real as the magic curtain in the Wizard of Oz. What you perceive as a dreamy life, with lots of money and opportunities may just be the way that person is presenting it to their readers. (Which isn’t necessarily a bad, or deceitful thing. People will perceive you how you present yourself to them, like it or not.)
I’d be willing to bet if you could actually break down the money most of those seemingly “big” bloggers are making, it wouldn’t be as much money as you think most of them are making. There are also plenty of ways that people inflate their numbers all of the time too.
I think that working hard and luck a perfect match! I understand what you mean, but sometimes, when I work on a post, searching for info and photos and links etc etc I think about those bloggers you just post a photo of their feet and shoes and get 200 comments… or, as I wrote before, take a photo with iPhone at the mirror while they’re wearing a bikini.
Of course, when a blog is very famous, other bloggers leave a comment also to get attention. It’s a tough world 🙂
*those bloggers who just post* I made a mistake.
Bravo!! I love this!! As someone who’s been blogging for almost 4 years, I tell you it takes a lot of hard work, putting yourself out there, and learning everything you can. The point that you said you have to take in information and see how it can work for you is soo true! There’s no magic pill for success.
“The point that you said you have to take in information and see how it can work for you is soo true! ”
Absolutely! And I think you’ll find that in ANY business… that there’s no guaranteed model for success, wealth, happiness… it’s all about finding what works for YOU. There’s a lot of trial and error in that process.
Thanks for the big dose of perspective and honesty. I think many people (myself included) need some of that!
If you work hard at your blog, you will see results. This article points out a number good pointers to really make a difference.
Oh these all points are really inportant to know! Thank you, IFB)
Im not a blogger expert (far away from it). But I think the first thing is treating the blog like a company. You have to work hard, find you niche. Work on content and then find new followers.
I have seen a lot of blogs that the first thing they try to do is find followers entering a lot of contests in other blogs and when you read their posts, all are from contests and no interest content.
Im an entrepreneur in other area but as far as competition I can tell you that the best thing is just look your path and find new strategies. Never compare to the competition or try to do what they do. You can make it different. I think this also applies to blogging.
Also, I have seen that my regular followers don´t comment on my blog expecting me to follow them, they interact with me on twitter or facebook.
Nice article it got me thinking in a lot things 🙂
Wow! The timing on this post couldn’t have been better! I recently launched my blog and the self-sabotage totally kicked in yesterday. I began to have doubts about what I was doing and why I was doing it and felt like I wanted to take it down and throw in the towel.
What a great post! I really appreciate you sharing your experiences and how to overcome some of these challenges. I’ve clipped this one onto my Evernote notebook for times when I need a reminder and boost:)
I understand the self-sabotaging and doubting all too well! The sad thing is, I feel like once it kicks in…. it’s hard for it to EVER really truly go away. You’ve just got to fight through it and remember always why you’re doing it.
I think another element is ‘not having something to say.’ I see so many blogs go on hiatus and so many bloggers asking how to produce new content. Have a reaction. If you love something, WHY do you love it?
I have a backlog of 17 posts for my blog right now because I am inspired by Pinterest images, Youtube videos, and other bloggers.
Maybe it is easier because I have such a tight niche – wearing hats to the races, polo and evening events. The act of wearing a hat is such an emotion filled subject – people feel shy, brave, amazing, outrageous, beautiful, stylish, chic, beautiful, ugly, flirtatious and the list goes on…
So many good points in this article! Understanding the search engines and how readers may find you is so important. So is having your own voice and creating a unique writing style. Networking with brands and creating your own bootstrap PR campaign is also a critical step.
There are only so many hours in the day, but I try to set aside time for each of these important tasks.
Great tip & point, Erica– we can really only do so much with the hours we have. It’s best to know what works, what doesn’t, and what we like doing. That will translate so much more than anything else!
This was such an amazing post!
First of all, amazing post, Ashley 😉 Thank you.
Now, while I think the comparing to other bloggers thing is what holds a lot of us back (and I say “us” because I still do compare my site to others and it kills me haha!) what I think stands between most bloggers and success is their (our) own ego.
I don’t know, perhaps not everyone should have a blog, who says that we are all interesting enough to have great audiences?
I agree with you.
“what I think stands between most bloggers and success is their (our) own ego. I don’t know, perhaps not everyone should have a blog, who says that we are all interesting enough to have great audiences?”
You said it well, Jessi! (And outloud, which is much braver than I am a lot of times.) The fact is– not everyone DOES have an opinion worth sharing. The comments section on news websites always reminds me of that! That’s really when it comes back to how you’re serving your readers… and if you’re not. If you’re doing it SOLELY for yourself, with no interest for others…. then that’s fine. Typically I find a connection between the two…
Thank you so much for this post – it’s amazing! I’m always looking for ways to improve my blog and this truly helped. It made me realise how much I need to define my voice and make it unique as well as take more time to study up on SEO and the “basics” that you referred to. Thank you again for sharing!
But how do you “hustle” without sounding too bitchy or fake? I find that many of the very successful bloggers (at least around here) tend to be over-positive or their sites seem cluttered and difficult (for me, anyway) to stay around and read. Yet, they have thousands of Twitter followers (as in over 3K) and comments within a relatively short time. Also, do you think “me, me, me” bloggers (ones with lots of personal pics) get more press?
Those are a lot of good questions, Cynthia!
I’m not good at hustling. Which is evident by my site’s size and my numbers. All I can say is be genuine. Where that’s hardest, I find, is to be genuine and spread yourself as thin as blogging implies that you need to. “Hustle” doesn’t always mean being the turtle in the race… gathering dozens of “great outfit see my site!!” comments quickly doesn’t look good for you, and those that are hustlin’ in a fake, bitchy, or phony way often burn out most quickly.
As for the blogs with lots of personal style pics… (I have a post coming up on this, but the short is) I find that they’re successful because they’re the most easy to relate to and it’s very easy to establish credibility and authority when people see you “practicing what you’re preaching.”
I don’t read a lot of fashion blogs but perhaps these bloggers have a huge following because they’ve found a way to genuinely connect with (engage) their readers/fans. I don’t think they’re necessarily being fake or overly positive to attract fans.
Many reviews tend to be overly positive, which gives me the vibe that it’s fake and that the writer is in it for the money rather than writing how she (or sometimes, he) really feels about the product. I’ve seen this with food, as well (Mommy bloggers tend to top the charts at this. They LOVE to be overly positive when they’re not writing about their own kids). I’m always honest and will tell you how things really are. I can’t, for example, watch a fashion show, and then rave about how beautiful the looks are when I think their atrocious. I can’t rave about a collection if I don’t think the looks can work on non-model sized women (basically everyone, including most of Hollywood). I can’t even say that a collection is gorgeous when the pieces are pretty, but the stylist did a horrible job. Meanwhile, I see post after post of “such-and-such designer’s F/W 2013 pieces are beautiful and I can’t wait to get my hands on them/wish I had the money to buy them.”
Very good tips!!!
I was watching this video yesterday:
And I think it actually has a lot of valid points that can be applied to any blog or website as well. I think too many bloggers, too many businesses, are out there trying to please and appeal to EVERYONE. And that will usually smack you in the ass, because it dilutes you and your message. You gotta get SPECIFIC. Figure out exactly who YOU are, what YOUR style and your message is, and reach out to others like you.
This is one of the most informative posts I have read yet! It definitely makes me realize faults in my attitude towards blogging and “making it”. I’m very aware of these things but it’s still a struggle for me to stand out and make my blog different. I want my blog to be simple, easy to read, a blog where I can share my personal outfits with an anecdote – as simple as that. And yet, there are so many blogs out there that do just the same. I still find it difficult to establish what works for ME. When I compare some of the very well known blogs I love, I do find that a lot of them look the same and yet, have big audiences. I guess personal blogs will usually gain a lot of viewers with commitment and personality. It definitely requires a lot of hard work.
My blog is so new that I don’t expect “success” in any traditional sense.
For me, blogging is about creating, first and foremost. I have a simple black & white photo blog, but I try to make every single picture look great, and my text is a mixture of french, english, and italian.
I would add to this list, though: that sometimes other bloggers are not as generous with giving support or feedback. I get emails saying: “look at my blog / I’ll look at yours” – and I DO go their links, make comments, try to build community by liking on bloglovin! And then, Google stats tells me that they didn’t even go to my link.
So, adding to the list that maybe some people are not as honest when it comes to building community, instead they just want more visits.
Not criticizing anyone in particular or trying to make myself a saint, but this is one of the major turn-offs for me. Blogging is also about community. If I take 15 minutes out of my day to give an emerging blogger good feedback, they should follow up with what they promised. Of course, I’m happy to look at other people’s blogs without expecting someone to go to mine – it’s more the “look at mine / I’ll look at yours!” failed promise that turns me off a blogger immediately.
You took the words out of mouth Justine!! Warning: mini rant
When I joined IFB I got a ton of messages of the impersonal “follow me and I’ll follow back” vein. I checked out and responded to 95% of the requests. I replied with something I liked about their site and if I chose to follow I mentioned that. I included in the reply my links, a little about myself, and a disclaimer, ‘hey if you want to follow and we have similar style I’d love it but if not no big deal.’ I got about a 2% response in both replies and follow backs. And the best part is the people who accidentally send you the same message several times, several days apart, “OMG, just found your blog! Love it!” blah blah blah.
It’s clear there’s a lot of people here who have no interest in community and will do anything for a pageview or follow. Kind of pathetic actually. I’ve learned a lot in the few months I’ve been blogging. I am perfectly happy now to have a small group of followers if it means those are people who actually like my content and have a similar style to mine.
Wow,truer words have never been spoken. That is a great post. Every step i was reading was thinking wow that is me . I compare my blog all the time to other blogs and it gets me down. These 12 steps are so helpful and encouraging well said .
I absolutely love this post because it sums up my frustration as a new blogger. Although I have only been blogging for a little over two months, I always get upset, over the lack of traffic I have received thus far. Despite my frequent posting, I always question whether my voice is worthy to be heard and/or recognized, but as stated, the key to any successful blogger is patience.
I think you forgot one thing: knowing who you write or post for. Bringing something different to the table is important but if you don’t know who you are talking to it is tricky.
That being said, thank you for the good tips and ideas, it keeps the mind busy.
I don’t think you need your own distinct voice, first of all, because you don’t need a voice at all! always love it to read ‘thank you for reading’ when there is actually nothing to read. I think you need a certain look, especially not a distinctive one! I mean, i can even predict hypes: skorts, acne tees, IM sneakers, … . it is not that hard. design, another one i don’t believe in! people are lazy and they just want to scroll. what stands between success (cannot say it in a more neo-liberal way than that), the x-factor, being drop dead gorgeous, being photogenic, … . what i am trying to say, and i have said it over and over again, there is no causal relationship between being good and being popular, there is a lot more to it! and BTW maybe not the best blogs are the most popular ones.
Great and informative. I agree! But I would also add something else. It’s a cliche for a reason. If you do it for the success you’ll keep losing! I started blogging recently and I rebranded my blog a few days ago. I ended up NOT liking what I had created (design-name mainly) so I changed it. If you don’t like what you do there is no way someone else will! So blog because you like it not because you want to be famous!
I’m not a fashion blogger, but I think this can be interesting for other bloggers as well.
I have now been blogging for two years, and I have a mix of food, interior, travel, cities, peace & love, and my personal experiences in life.
I started to blog because of my tiny apartment, and then I found that I really did like blogging, and to do it “my way”. So my basic blogspot blog changed to a domain blogger blog, and the style changed from a messy blog with a lot of gadgets to a much more simplier blog when I finally start to really listen to my self, about what I wanted out of my blog.
I don’t have much readers, about 600-700 in a week, and it is basically people of variable age that don’t focus so much on fashion blogs reading my blog. Also a lot of people are bullying bloggers, and refusing to read blogs only because they think every blogger is sponsored and paid.. And I’m afraid that this is affecting people not to read blogs.
So in Norway, there is not any really big bloggers focusing on other things than fashion, even when people says that is what they want.. They want more really good bloggers up on the list, but they don’t work for getting them up. So, what if a blogger do her/his best, and the blog is fabolous, but the readers “decide” who is the popular one this year?? Even really bad blogs can then be the “best” or the most read blog then?
I’m retired because of beeing hearing impaired, and I think maybe some readers stay away because of that. And then my age, beeing 43 and blogger in Norway is almost a “thing not to do unless you are political involved”.. In Norway, it tend to be the “pinkbloggers” up on toplist, and they buy a lot of clothes for their daily outfit pictures.
So, what is an “ordinary” non fashion blogger to do, to be seen and “heard”?
Thank you for your blog post, I will read it more and look into things from your points of view.
I’m not a fashion blogger but I find that IFB posts awesome articles that are helpful to blogger in any niche (I guess this is an example of #8 on your list!). Keep up the great work on providing content that all bloggers can relate to; I appreciate it!
Point #1 is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. My favourite bloggers have their own style and voice yet the majority of them have a small readership. It seems (my observation) that the majority of blog readers want to see trendy outfits with the newest, latest, trendiest pieces. Which leads ultimately to #10. Which is such a shame because so many great blogs out there go unread.
That’s my 2 cents anyways!
Always good to hear advice from a sound source- helps put things into context.
Did you know I needed a swift kick in the butt? I’m relatively new blogger and found myself very engaged on the ball in the beginning but then life/work craziness set in and a bit of blogging laziness set in. I definitely need to go back and bone up on the basics. Consider this page officially bookmarked! Thanks for sharing.
its like some of these were talking right at me.
Great. Thank you,
#11 is really true. No matter how great your plan is, if you are holding back you’re not gonna make.
thank you so much for these tips! such a thoughtful post 🙂
I’ve got to be honest, I was nervous to read this. but as soon as I did I knew it was right! You had great facts and advice offerings! I’m a big fan of the quote “comparison is the thief of joy” basically because it’s my biggest character flaw, but I also think I do my best to stand out!
Thanks so much for all the advice!
This article really made me think. Oh gosh how many times I’ve asked myself: “Why am I doing this???” Sometimes it just feels that my blog doesn’t matter to anyone and it’s pretty much pointless, but then I think about it and realize that the reason why I do it, is that I love it! I love fashion and even if I have 3 true fans, I will still continue. It really is so hard sometimes to come up with amazing ideas for posts and it gets only harder but hey – gotta stick with it an stand tall! 🙂
Much love to all of you,
Great advice! I really love these features because it is very helpful and always around the time where I am de-motivated. I think the relevance to the reader is a very important point. While it is about “my” experience, how can they relate and what insight can they get out of reading it? For me, I am aiming for a “Oh I feel that way too!” feeling or “Hey, I have similar items in my closet, never thought to put it together like that before” response.
What a great way to check and see what I am doing or not doing to make my blog “successful”. I am still trying to develop my personal blog voice and stand out. I also completely agree that buying new stuff is the worse way to provide new content. I enjoy seeing bloggers reinvent stuff in their wardrobes instead of seeing completely brand new outfits.
Thanks for the tips. I know I need to work on some of these! XD
What got me for a long time was: How come nobody wants to read what I write? I have a travel blog and I found a million reasons why I wasn’t successful (I actually DO travel and enjoy myself and don’t waste time in front of a computer etc. etc.). Until I realized (like a week ago) what the real reason was: It is not about THEM reading my blog, it is about us bringing the blogs to THEM. You said it: It’s engaging, being interactive and also being realistic about what you want and what you are willing to do for it.
So thanks for writing that out loud!
Great article. It’s the cold hard truth, but it needed to be said. I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year now I get a little frustrated from time to time. I always hoped my readers came back for my distinct voice or style, not because I’m a world class photographer or own the newest stuff. Hopefully my personal voice will draw in even more readers because I honestly have fun blogging about my personal style and the places I go.
Wow what a wake up call! I great and very necessary kick in the butt i personally needed. Thanks so much for this article
Style n love, jamaica
I can definitely relate with 5, 6, 10, and 12. Patience has always been a problem for me, and my definition of success is WAY too big for sure! Thanks for this eye opening article!
While reading this article, I felt like I was being lectured by my parents about things I already know I should be doing but haven’t been following through on. Lol. I find it very helpful to be reminded of these points, so thanks for writing this article.
The one item here that I am SUPER guilty of is #5. I look at similar blogs and think, “Whoa. They have like 700 followers and we’ve been blogging for about the same time. I have 280-something.” It’s hard for me to produce as much content because I’m also a full-time grad student and I work part-time, so blogging is really my escape from academic and career pressures. Therefore, I go through periods where my followership will increase whenever I have more time to post more frequently, and then it’ll stabilize for like a month because I’m only posting once a week.
The worst part is I have all these great ideas for giveaways and guest posts, but I have such a hard time finding the time and energy to keep up… Where there’s a will there’s a way though, and I’m not giving up (ever). For now I really am content with my small followership and I’m very thankful to everyone who’s been interested enough in my blog to follow along.
This is a great wake-up call for all of us bloggers. We HAVE to remember our audience. I try to notice what grabs my attention and why. Often, I have an aha moment that inspires me to take a strong critical look at what I think I am doing right 🙂
Great advice! Thanks and Good LUCK!
This is such a great topic and you touched on some great points! Thank you so much for sharing! It gave me some great inspiration!
Thank you so much for this post! I think it will really help to buld and make my blog even better! Luckly for me I know what stands between me and succes! It is lack of experience, but I’m not worried at all, because I just started, and I’m learning so many new things about blogging every day! And thanks to post like this I am off to a great start! I’m pushing my definition of succes higher and higher every day and that keeps me motivated!
Incredible post….thank you so much for sharing…gave me a little inspiration!! You touched on some great topics!
This is a great wake-up call as she said above; they’re all great bullet points that need to be on my own bulletin board–so that I check on my progress consistently. Thanks!
You have just hit the nail on the head. At first, I couldnt understand why my blog receive such little traffic. I know what I have to do, but I have become so lazy! My site needs a complete make-over because it looks like something from five years ago. Very dated.
Thank you for the advice. I think I need to outsource in order to improve the design of the page. The only problem is: everything is so expensive. Nonetheless, there should be someone willing to help refurbish my site. Anyone? lool
Wow. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with the “everyone is doing this already” type of content, as well as the lack of patience. It is very easy to get frustrated, especially when you KNOW your site offers something unique and valuable!
I think that this is true across niches… I remember having a blog for 6 months in 2004, and it was SO much easier to get traffic back then (6000 hits in six months- I would kill for that today)!
Nowadays, building an audience is definitely harder, and the zeitgeist is moving towards quality and bloggers who have at least some technical skill.
This is what I hate about it, being a website designer for 90% of my income: People expect instant results because they have an awesome looking site with the SEO structure… but if you do nothing with it, if you don’t add quality content, if you aren’t spending time updating social media… you can have the best looking blog in the world that nobody ever sees.
These succinct tips apply across niches and I’ll definitely be sharing this article with others!
Hallelujah! Someone had to say it! It is so true that often when i am looking for interesting blogs, I instead find whole blogs packed full of pictures of themselves. Why would I want to go back to it or follow it? I certainly aren’t the next big blogger but i do try to mix it up and keep it interesting. Sure you have to throw some images of yourself in, but what counts most is your original VOICE not what you wear everyday.
Just my opinion???!! Best of luck to all of the bloggers our there!
xo xo r
I agree with all of this except #1. Almost all of the big fashion bloggers are wearing the same few expensive pieces, a LOT of the time. For example, the stupid white zara skirt? Over it. While I refuse to follow trends for the sake of “everyone else has it”, and want to believe that others do too, I can’t take #1 seriously. Sorry.
Thanks IFB for offering us the opportunity to read this points of view, it is really refreshing.
I invite you to visit my fashion blog made in Peru: http://www.fashioneverywhere.pe/
So, how does one measure “making it”? Does being monitized make you a success? I want to teach on my blog but I’m not going to feel successful until it’s monetized. And, yes, I need to work on learning the platform.
Anyone else want to chime in on this?
Very wise post with a bunch of truth to it! Alot of bloggers (including myself) need to hear this!
You know, this was was really helpful. I keep going through spurts of inspiration with blogging, but without conscious effort (and I think this is one of the hard parts of blogging) I inevitably start focusing on one of the things above, become unhappy with my blog/myself, and disappear for a few weeks. This post is a wake up call for me to try again, but try differently; push my self destructive tendencies aside and make positive choices in the way I view my blog/myself.
Thank you for your inspiration!
These tips are a fantastic primer into the blogging biz! I’m a new blogger (well, new to my current blog), and the biggest things I feel are important to “success” are to have a solid vision, a clear voice, and to make your own rules.
I put off having a blog for a very long time. Not because I didn’t think I had the talent, but because I saw what was out there and what was popular and didn’t think I had what it took to fit in. Finally, I realized that I didn’t want to be like all the other lifestyle bloggers with their seemingly picture perfect lives, glowingly positive reviews, and expensive veneer. That wasn’t me, so why should I force myself to fit into that mold? Instead, I decided I wanted to show people that you can be happy with an average life. Sure, it is fantastic to visit all of these blogs and dream about all you can attain, but what about right now? What about today? Why not see the beauty in your life as it is at this very moment? Once I found that niche, I felt like the world had opened up for me. Instead of trying to be like everyone else, I decided I’d do my own thing, and it gave me the confidence I needed to do what I’d always wanted. So whether I ever “make it” by blogging standards, I know that I’ve done what I can! I’m making my own standards and it feels amazing!
I definitely suggest that bloggers take a good long look at themselves, their lives and their blogs and figure out whether they are being true to who they are, regardless of what is popular right now. You never know when that risk might pay off! Just stay positive and work hard! x
Thanks Ashe…I think a pep talk every now and then really helps, and it has this time for me. I find some days if i don’t recieve an e-mail offering a sponsorship i get disheartened…wow how materialistic of me?? This has really made me see the light a little 🙂 thanks again!
Adelle from wherethestyledthingsare.com
Yeah, this post sums it up for me. I’ve been getting pretty frustrated with the fashion blogging world lately. For me at least, the experience has not been a particularly enjoyable or rewarding one because everyone seems to be out for themselves. And everyone is doing the same thing so it’s not that interesting for me anymore. Don’t know what’s gonna happen next, but I honestly think the majority of fashion bloggers need to get some substance into their blog and their interactions with other bloggers.
I personally do not consider myself a fashion blogger anymore. Either not cut out for it, but more likely it’s not for me. Right now I’m in limbo land in terms of what type of a blog I have, but hopefully I can figure it out!
I’m mainly a beauty blogger (some fashion, as in the occasional clothes/accessories haul) that focuses on budget beauty. I’ve been blogging for a little over 6 years (since 2006) & the main thing I’d like to see is more comments. Any suggestions?
Such a great article!! So many of the things on this list are things I find myself being challenged by. In fact, I launched an Instagram fashion blog because everyone was using their SLR for photos and I wanted to be different. But a year in, I have been toying with the idea is busting out my SLR-just like everyone else. Thanks for reminding me that it’s good to be unique and even better to just be yourself!!
Fantastic article! Bookmarking it and will be re-reading weekly. Just as a reminder to myself!
Than you for posting Ashe!
My blog will be 4 this November and I receive at least an email a week with a request to help someone grow their blog. More often than not I take a look at their blog and write a response with my suggestions. I have had TWO ever implement these changes and do the work to maintain them. TWO. Ha. Most people don’t want to put in the hours a successful blog takes.
I LOVE the Hollywood analogy, that’s about as perfect as you can get. SURE there’s that girl that someone discovered in a shopping centre, but that was ONE GIRL. Time to hustle people.
Lots of great advice here for me, I’m in a bit of a slump at the moment and looking for the motivation to get out. This could very well be it. Kick in the bum accepted. 🙂
Thank you this was such a useful article (although the title was confronting – I couldn’t not read it!) and the reason ‘you don’t have your own distinct voice or style’ really woke me up – I’ve been thinking about it but until I saw it written this way I didn’t actually click! So thanks you have motivated me to refine my blog to what I do best and to offer something different in the process.
This article spoke volumes because as a fashion blogger/writer it isn’t just an overnight deal. It takes time and we’re all online brands rather we know it or not. These 12 reasons is what I faced a few years ago and I still deal with them. And everyday it’s about standing out and having the time and energy to work through these stigmas (as a fashion blogger). I go on many style blogs and indeed I see the same outfits/trends and I learn really nothing. Sorry but it’s the truth it takes time to find out who you are in the blogging world. SEO and tagging does help and having a good blog platform can help pick up your views. But comparing yourself isn’t really that great either and this article sums up the many faults that comes with it. It’s a game that wasn’t always like that when I started. But if you’ve been seeing the changes lately just stick to who you are in fashion. The most valuable thing I’ve seen that works is creating honesty, within your blog and sometimes reflecting your thoughts on certain fashion issues. It works and creating a voice that doesn’t follow others. Yes at times it’s stressful and feels like it’s worthless, but sometimes reflecting what you think is how to stand above these 12 reasons. I would like to help bloggers with this issue of creating a platform that’s not about the blogging game, but about the growth and building confidence within your blog. Just email me about further details. I would love to help because I’ve gone through this and more! Super Thanks! Great Post : )
Hi IFB members! All these are great tips. However, I am unable to relate to my failure to attract followers to my three year old blog. I would be very grateful if someone can review my blog and maybe point out its weaknesses. If not, maybe please give some suggestions on how to improve it. My contact details are in my blog. Cheers for you time and effort!
This is a very good article! I’ve only recently started to take blogging seriously and I’ve learnt that it is hard work (or can be) its not all glamour etc. You have to find your niche, your style. In all honesty I believe I have found my style, my own voice but I still have a long way to go with understanding the technical aspects of growing my blog. I am just really enjoying the journey so far, learning slowly. My blog is much more than a hobby for me and reading this has helped me understand and reiterate that to myself! Great post! Than you for sharing, I agree with every point!
Thanks a lot for this very interesting article. It helps me keep my focus and also be patient to find my own voice.
These are great points!
This is definitely something to consider. Quality content is so important and it can be really easy to wonder why things aren’t happening and comparing yourself to others.
Thank you for sharing!!! My biggest issue as a blogger is not celebrating my accomplishments and comparing myself to other bloggers. One of my favorite quotes is ” success is when hardwork meets opportunity.” I know that if I keep working hard that eventually the opportunities will show up, but until I get there I’m going to enjoy the ride.
The article is great! It’s looks like every reason is very familiar to me…hmm. I guess I have something to think about 🙂
This is a great article and wise words for someone like me, who’s new to the blogging world. Some of these points are so true and on my mind constantly, so thank you for putting in plainly and giving me the extra incentive to make it work for me – because I love blogging all ready!
A great article and touches on valid points. I do try to treat my blog as a business especially since I have some ad’s on the site and they expect me to keep it updated. I recently have been going through some stress in my personal life, an ill family member, but I still make the time to be sure the blog’s posts are pre-scheduled as much as I can. I have had some guest posts as well to try to give me a break. No matter what is going on, the site must still run because that is important to me. I think patience is also a big thing with blogging as it doesn’t become an instant hit overnight. Lots of hard work and dedication pays off in the end. Thank you for the information!!
I’m glad I got around to finally reading this. I had kept it open in my tabs. But it’s really made me think of what I need to do if I’m going to take myself seriously, or rather the blogging seriously. Sometimes it seems so strange because yes I get lazy because it’s such an informal setting (excuses, eh).
Thanks for the enlightenment.
Thank you very much, really good points.
Great advice sister. I hustle hard and I’ve been slowly moving forward. I’ve got great content but I don’t do a typical Fashion Blog. I’m not able labels so much as Style heavy. Whateves.. I’m blazing my own trail and I dig it. So do others.
Much love brothers and sisters.
Really great + timely post. I’m feeling reinvigorated again today after reading this and another blog post where the blogger was incredibly authentic.
I think trying too hard stands in the way of success. Trying to be something you are not – I was so focused on everyone liking what I was writing that I really watered down my true voice. I’ve been on hiatus for well over a month or so. Purely to work out your first point – what is my voice or style?
So many people are blogging now – with poor content, bad design and we’re saturated with information. It’s so noisy! I don’t want to be another voice in the crowd.
Thank you for a truly enlightening and well written piece.
This is great advice, I’m very impatient with the number of views i get in a week.
My blog: www.stylaholics.blogspot.com/
OMG!!! This is what I keep telling people all the time. You have to engaging and interactive with your target audience. People are do adamant in their beliefs that their own response to it is ”yeah we will feed our posts to Google then everything will be A – OK”. That is not how things work in the bloggersphere.
Thanks for the great advice))) My blog chocobrunette.com
very helpful! I have just made a beauty/fashion blog
Wow, great insight. Thanks! I will definitely keep this in mind!
-Alex of http://snippetswithalex.wordpress.com
Absolutely worth the read!! Great topic, points, and information…
Keep it going!
You write very well; this was an engaging article filled with wisdom,…thank you for sharing so much!
I hope to discover more of your articles 😉
Wow, such an insightful article – thank you!
Very helpful and some interesting tips – definitely some things to think about!
Thank you for this wonderful articel.
I am trying to build my fashion blog and I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but If I follow the steps I learn I’m sure I can get it off the ground. From your articel I found lot of things that I should focus one. Mostly I liked the first one where you talked about style.
If you’re intrested you can check my blog and give me a feedback: www.fashionnotesbytriinu.com
I started a fashion blog with my friend recently and these tips are very helpful! 😀 please check out my blog, we’re from jakarta!
This article is FANTASTIC!!! I think everyone who starts a blog and even those who already have a blog should definitely read this! Thanks for the pointers! 🙂
LOVE this post! So many great statements that I constantly need to remind myself of as a new blogger. Thank you!!
This post is exactly what I have been needed. I assume, like any other blogger here, I have started mine just recently, about one month ago and after so much effort, constant blogging, great deal of work on photographs to make them “perfect”, website building etc I suddenly got tired. And my tiresome came from my impatience. I expected SO MUCH for this little amount of time that I began to question everything – my blog, the idea of having one, my style, do I even have anything to offer to my potential readers? True to be told, in this fast fast fast 21st century we expect everything now and immediately. And it just doesn’t happen. People, just believe in yourselves. And time has to do its thing.
Really helpful article! I have definitely had many of these thoughts over the past year of blogging. Thanks for the useful tips.
Thank you for remind me to create a blog not make a blog.. ricardoedwrad.blogspot.com
Thank you for reminding me to create a blog not make a blog.. http://www.ricardoedward.blogspot.com
OMG, this is just what I needed. I just launched my fashion blog yesterday and I am so happy to have bumped into this article. Thank you!!
This is very helpful because I just started my beauty and fashion blog. You are right it takes time and hard work. I couldn’t sleep for 3 days because i was thinking what to do to make my blog successful. I got some views but i don’t have followers yet. I do reviews on beauty items and I do fashion outfits with my 9 month old daughter. I created my blog because I wanted to feature a mommy and baby theme. cataleyac.blogspot.com
Awesome!!…..his is one great article I needed as I plan to start a fashion blog this week without coming out so disorganized and unplanned. I am tensed of my first experience but say what its worth a shot since I am a lover of fashion and I should utilise my creativity….
Thank you so much for your information.
I’ve been trying to get to know how to get more people to my blog.
That’s just what I needed to know. I’m new in this and you just brightened my mind. I’m ready to work for it. Thank you.
I agree with these points!! Specially with number 9. Most people think that creating a blog is an easy way to get famous, and do no realize that is very time consuming and that it’s A LOT OF WORK!!!
Great blog. Encouraging. Motivational. I’m starting mine and currently working on my articles for good content and a photo shoot in the works. I am still trying to figure out my voice but I want it to be organic and not forced. Thanks for the ideas. insta: @deysofsummer
I love your tips and I will use them to make my blog better. Thanks for taking your time to make this post.
Wow….thanks so much for this i’m just starting out in blogging, of course i realized how much hard work it is, however this helped me realize that if i want to post something that I really want to share with the world i shouldn’t be afraid to do it just because it’s not the “trend” at the moment.
This was a really great piece to read, but even more I loved the fact that so much additional advice was given in the comments. Keep the great content an comments coming!
What a great article! It’s exactly what I needed to hear right now as I’m navigating my way though the world of blogging.
These points really are steps to sucess
Thank you so much for this, very Helpful !!
This was such a good read! I sometimes wonder what others who are doing the same are thinking. Maybe this is my wake up call to meet other bloggers and gain a support system :). Thank you for this! best of luck to you and to all on here!
Thank you very much for this article. I recently launched a blog and I spend so much time on the content I feel like I haven’t even tried to promote it. I probably am working a lot but if no one’s going to read what I write, what a loss of time. These are very good tips, gonna try to apply them as much as I can! Cheers
Really interesting points that are even more relevant 3 years after being published.
This is amazing content. Will keep them in mind. Thnkyou
Thank you for this….i really need it.