Professional Blogger Spotlight: Grechen Cohen

This week, I'm so happy to feature Grechen Cohen,  for Professional Blogger Spotlight, she owns several blogs. In a world where bloggers seem to come and go, Grechen has built a powerful niche with her blogs with personally curated content. I really admire Grechen's consistency, entrepreneurship, and how she maintains the individual spirit of blogging that made the medium so appealing to begin with.

 

Tell us a little bit about the Grechen blogs.

Well, I started out with just one site in 2004 – Grechen's Closet – which was a place for me to post outfit pictures, host my designer directory, and feature the fun things I found online.  I created my second site in 2007, grechenscodes.com as a place to post the coupon codes advertisers & affiliates were providing to me, which turned out to be a great idea – grechenscodes.com is now the bigger money maker, and allows me to keep Grechen's Closet for outfit pictures and random cool things and not be cluttered up with coupons.  In 2008 I started Green Grechen for eco-fashion finds, and Free!Grechen as a place for fellow fashion bloggers to post their giveaways to an audience already interested in fashion.  Then in 2009 I started grechenblogs.com as a place to talk about blogging and in 2010 when I moved to Austin, TX, I started newtoatx.com, which is mostly now a place to announce  the local blogger meet-ups that I host. Whew! My “baby” is still Grechen's Closet though, it's where I get the most personal with my readers.

 

 

How did you monetize Grechen's Closet? (ie. consulting, ads, product sales, etc.)

I'm a bit of the odd-woman out amongst professional bloggers it seems; I monetize only with ads/affiliate sales on all of my sites (only 4 of my sites make money).  I work in the pretty specific niche of contemporary women's fashion and am affiliated with or have as advertisers most of the major players in that field, so I make enough to do well.  I'd like to branch out into consulting eventually, but at the moment, my time is taken up nurturing what's working for me right now.

 

 

How has blogging affected your career?

As soon as I saw that blogging was becoming successful for me in 2005, I started transitioning away from my previous career and towards blogging as a career.  This is SO FAR AWAY from what I originally planned to do with my life (wanted to be a international political economy professor!), but right now, blogging is my career and I can think of no other.  I never really tried to do both things; I had to devote my life – everything – to what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and fashion/shopping blogging was it.

 

 

What are you working on now?

I'm trying to re-build a large part of my site (the designer directory) that I had to abandon a couple of years ago.

 

 

What is the most important piece advice would you give aspiring bloggers?

Don't read other fashion blogs.  No, I'm just kidding – kind of.  But I do think it's important not to compare yourself to others. If I was just starting out today, I might not have started Grechen's Closet for fear that I'm just too different.  There's so much competition now, and to be honest, all of the a-list fashion/style bloggers are the same to me.  They look the same (not like me or anyone I know), act the same, go to the same events, work with the same brands…it's almost as if to be successful, you somehow have to emulate them.  Which, even though it does seem like it sometimes, is NOT true.  There's room out there for everyone, as long as you are genuine and have a passion for what you do.


Visit Grechen at grechenscloset.com, grechenscodes.com, grechenblogs.com, newtoatx.com, and greengrechen.com

 

If you are a professional blogger or know someone who is email jennine (at) heartifb.com with a blurb describing the site and a little about how they made their career as a blogger.

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13 Responses

  1. Cathy Benavides

    What a great post! I’ve enjoyed getting to know Grechen since she moved to Austin- she is a great organizer and networker, and she’s brought a brought of fashion bloggers/lovers together in the best way! I’ve always admired her business savvy, and am glad I got to read a great profile on her budding empire.

    Reply
    • grechen

      cathy, you are awesome 🙂
      i’m so glad i met you, and all of our other blogger friends, i’ve learned so much from everyone…

      Reply
  2. Ashe Mischief

    I’m so happy to see Grechen on here– she’s constantly a source of inspiration to me: someone who isn’t like the A-list bloggers, but who is managing to carve a space for herself in the blogosphere. It makes me happy to read her posts, and I almost always react to what she says on Grechen Blogs or think, “That outfit is so realistic (and looks comfy)” to Grechen’s Closet.

    Reply
  3. Kathryn

    It is so great to see Grechen and her blogs featured here! As Cathy said, Grechen has really improved the fashion/lifestyle blogging scene here in Austin since she’s arrived, by mentoring new bloggers and fostering a real-life community for all of us here. Her online presence is great, too, and I really appreciate getting a peek behind the scenes in this profile. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Sandra at Debutante Clothing

    Grechen,
    you are such an inspiration. I have been reading your blog since 2005 (yay us older girls!) I really wish I could could devote 100% of my work day to my online endeavors like you did. Good for you!

    Reply
    • grechen

      thank you so much sandra! i love it when i hear that i still have readers from 2005 LOL – guess i’m doing something right 🙂

      Reply
  5. de la Pen

    I loved this interview! Especially the last part about there being room for everyone & why new bloggers shouldn’t read other fashion blogs. I’ve been blogging for 2.5 years and I only started my fashion blog 4 months ago and it’s doing pretty well. However, when I read other fashion blogs (usually ones bigger than mine) I become a little self conscious. Not because I feel that my blog is no good but I compare myself to that blogger which makes no sense!

    We are two totally different bloggers with different blogs and just because someone does something and becomes successful, doesn’t mean you will be too. In essence, I’ve had to cut down on my reading of other fashion blogs so I don’t go crazy. Again, awesome interview!

    Reply
  6. madia

    Grechen, you are superwoman. Thanks for this interview and that advice. I’m a newbie blogger and I’m still trying to find my voice; I had to realize that comparing myself to others wouldn’t get me far.

    Reply
  7. Diana

    I am totally with Grechen on that last piece of advice – just be unique. I do read other fashion blogs, but sometimes I ignore them on purpose just to ensure I continue to create something unique.

    Reply
  8. Christine

    I love grechenscodes! I got my Alexander Wang Rocco on sale at Satine, thanks to your site Grechen! 🙂

    Reply
  9. Christine

    How can she say the A-list bloggers “act the same, go to the same events, etc…” when she may not even know them, interact with them in person, or follow their activities? Sounds like she has a chip on her shoulder and might be jealous of their success, and not supportive of other bloggers. Sure, she’s different from them (chubby, less attractive), but she doesn’t have to produce negativity like she does in this interview. In that regard, she is not a good example for other bloggers!

    Reply