Unprofessional Blogging: Stop the Monster from Taking Over

by Vyqué White of Fasshonaburu

 

Say it with me now, “It’s OK to not be a professional blogger!” Whew, I don’t know about you, but I feel loads better. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that when it seems like everyone around you has sponsorship deals with top name brands, books coming out and are appearing in magazines like Vogue and Lucky. But the majority of fashion bloggers have day jobs completely unrelated to the glittering world we all adore!

 

There are many reasons to not go pro. Maybe you truly love your career; I handle social media for a non-profit and love going into the office every day! Or perhaps you have children and a mortgage to worry about – not everyone can take the risk of moving to an unreliable income and no health insurance! Finally, there’s always the fear that if you monetize your beloved hobby it would become a burden to dread every morning.

 

But it’s no easy task managing both a successful career and a popular blog! There are probably hundreds abandoned ever year as responsibilities become too much. Just last month I had an epic meltdown over my job plus blogging and NY Fashion Week plus planning my rapidly approaching wedding! I was close to giving up completely, but I stopped, took a breath and realized it’s all about finding the right balance. Here are some tips I think will help all of you before you hit critical levels.

 

  • Schedule Time to Blog. Don’t leave everything until the last minute, or it will come crashing down on you! I make myself blog at least an hour every day – many times it’s the last thing I feel like doing after a long day at the office, but it means I always have posts scheduled for the next day! That means the following morning I can focus on the job that actually pays the bills. Hobbies are fun, but they’re also hard work and require commitment. Blogging in particular requires a certain amount of consistency or you risk losing all your readers!

 

  • Find Help. There’s no shortage of fellow fashion bloggers out there! Send out the call for guest posts, you’d be surprised how many people will step up. Not only will it help ease the burden of supplying new content for your voracious readers, but it will help you build connections and probably increase your traffic. You can also look for regular contributors – I imagine there are many people interested in dipping their toes into the world of fashion writing and want to start off on a more well-established blog.

 

  • Be Realistic. My blog focuses more on shopping than long in-depth analytics of the fashion industry. While this means I can whip up a few posts in an hour, it also means I need to get up multiple posts every day. Earlier in my career it was easy-peasy for my to update ten times a day! But now that my career is reaching new heights, I’ve had to cut that down to about five times a day. Did my traffic take a hit? Yes. Does this make me sad? Definitely yes. Is my sanity worth it anyway? One hundred times yes! So, while it’s important to maintain your blog and be consistent, set yourself realistic goals or you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.

 

Blogging, whether as a full-time job or as a hobby, is extremely rewarding and can lead to unexpectedly great things in your life! But always remember why you started in the first place – for the love of fashion!

 

 

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56 Responses

  1. joann, sidewalk chic

    This is such a great post. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that now is not the best time for me to try to take my blog to a professional level as I deal with transitioning my IRL career. I’ve tried to find a balance with posting, and you’re right, it’s important to remember the reasons for starting in the first place!

    Reply
  2. Madeleine Gallay

    Yes yes yes. Love it, don’t dread it. If you can only do it sporadically, well that happens.

    But. Always proofread because spellcheck does very quirky things sometimes. Think about grammar and tense: consistency in tense slips us all up. And unless you’re writing a y/a book, use proper language and do avoid kinda and gotta unless you’re playing with language to make points.

    And do not feel badly if you’ve subscribed to too many blogs that you really love and you can’t leave a comment. That happens … it’s ok.

    And don’t do the “cool blog, follow me and I’ll follow you.” You will get followed and commented back is your blog is relevant to that person. And if it’s not, it’s not about you, it’s just about different interests.

    Enjoy and be kind. Not agreeing is very fun and must never get to name calling.

    Blogging is kind of cool.

    Reply
  3. Leanne

    Some really good thoughts there! And I hear ya on the feeling-less-than due to being non-pro sometimes. I too had a mini-meltdown recently, partly due to comparisons with others.

    I think some of us with erratic lifestyles (I’m a rotating shift-worker) need to give ourselves a break and realise that what works for others may not work for us. Also, remembering what our niche is should help us not to compare ourselves unfavourably with others’ blogs, which may well be broader and naturally have a larger audience.

    As you say, write about what you love! (And I say use your own voice, even if it uses words like fab, cool and kinda)

    Reply
  4. Amy COAFE

    Thank you for the wonderful advice – it’s always reassuring to hear that I’m not the only blogger who doesn’t want to make it a career!

    Reply
  5. Tom W

    Thank you so much for helping me realise that I can maintain what’s left of my sanity and blog at the same time! I’ve needed to read something like this for so long!

    – Tom

    Reply
  6. ObiageliN

    Great post!!! I think it’s nice to go professional but I’m okay with the pace of my blog. For one that’s only a year old I think I’m doing pretty well. I think we all have to pay our dues before the big break comes. In addition, since my blog is a little bit of everything I love creatively, Fashion, Arts, Craft-Etc, I think, it give me more creative freedom. When the sponsors and all comes, I’ll welcome them, but until then, I’m just going to keep writing about what I love and sharing it with anyone whose interested!! So see you all in blogsphere and no matte what, “Keep Blogging”!!!
    Latus~

    Reply
  7. Ashe Mischief

    “Say it with me now, “It’s OK to not be a professional blogger!” Whew, I don’t know about you, but I feel loads better. ”

    YESSS! Thank you, Vyque! You’ve hit the nail on the head of a lot that I’ve been going through recently… I felt guilty at first, and then I had to let go of that guilt. It’s a hobby. It brings in a bit of extra cash each month, which is awesome. It allows me to connect with people.

    But it’s OKAY to step back. It’s okay to take time off. When you’re not a professional blogger, there’s no point in giving yourself a heart attack over the stress of “working” non-stop, esp when you’re in a high stress field like you & I both are (non profit work).

    Reply
    • lisa

      That makes 3 of us who feel that way! Lately I’ve been struggling with feelings of frustration: spread too thin between all my passions (career, dance, blog, freelance writing) and unable to step up and be truly good at anything because of it. I’ve also been feeling envious of the bloggers who have the luck or luxury of focusing on blogging F/T. It’s important to remember to cut ourselves a break once in a while.

      Reply
  8. Li

    excellent post. I’d love my income to be social media related until my acting kicks off. But you’re right, we can love our blogs for what they are, schedule the time to work on them and not allow it to eat up our very existance.

    Best,
    Li
    @LaLicenciada
    @HerDeepThoughts

    Reply
  9. Julia Matheson

    It does suck when it seems like all your fellow bloggers are securing sponsorship and being friends with designers, when I’m sitting in front of my computer writing about my shoes. But, contrary to popular belief, blogging isn’t everything and it’s totally ok not to make it your #1 priority! Yes to everything in this post!

    Reply
    • Christy

      Julia I know how you feel about the sponsorships. Just try to keep doing what you are doing and if sponsorships is what you want then it will come. I turn down more sponsorships than I take on, not because they are bad but they don’t mesh with my strictly southern stance. If you keep on theme with what you are doing you’ll grow a reader base that is genuine, not just following you because you are giving things away for free.

      Reply
  10. Plami

    Great post! Thanks for sharing your experience and advice with us 🙂 I started blogging regularly just several weeks ago although I have my blog for almost a year now. And maintaining it and building a relationship with you readers really takes some time.

    XoXo
    Plami

    http://fashion-thrill.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  11. Christy

    Great points made here. I’ve been taking a small blogging break these past few weeks and it has been really nice. Sometimes you really need to prioritize and for me I was getting behind on IRL stuff which made me feel bitter that I had to keep up on my blog, reading other blogs, etc… And the funny thing is my pageviews have remained about the same.

    Reply
  12. SJP

    Excellent advice – it’s hard to balance blogging and ‘the real world’ sometimes, especially when you want to do one way more than the other! : ) I started off with two blogs but had to cut back to focus on one as it just wasn’t fun anymore – now I’ve had a few months off I’m trying to revive the old one which is time consuming but worth it. x

    Reply
  13. Tammy Trujillo

    I totally agree. I’ve been slacking on my blog for the same reason as you! Moving from coast to coast and back again, wedding, job, etc. it all builds up. I do schedule in time for posts, but then get busy doing something else. Definitely a good reminder that I just need to put my priorities in line. Thanks for the advice!

    Reply
  14. Tymbre Armstead

    Wow, thanks for posting this!! It’s bittersweet for me, while I wouldn’t mind attending fashion events, and getting invites to exclusive private parties. i still will soley blog for the mere fact that I like to share my insight with others and be my own editor responsible for every creative aspect of my website.

    Thanks for posting this!

    Reply
  15. figo

    Thank you for writing this article. i just started blogging and like you said it seems like everyone goes pro and is endorsed. i just love doing it to get my mind off things and my ideas down. this article eased my mind on things.

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  16. Casee Marie

    Wonderful post, thank you! I really appreciate this approach. While it’s wonderful and inspiring to read the how-tos and intricate tips on professional blogging it’s refreshing to see a post that reflects on not going pro as well. It makes for excellent balance and always interesting content here at IFB. Love it!

    Reply
  17. bonita

    ~ * ♥ * ~

    I love this post ~ I keep having to remind myself that I am not a professional blogger.

    I do not need to improve my stats, or get more readers, or even find some sponsors. I forget that. In a blogging world where a substantial amount of bloggers are pro, or are at least monetized, I forget that there are bloggers out there like myself who are doing it purely for the fun of it!

    Yes, you can blog well ~ like all my hobbies, I want to be good at what I do. But that doesn’t mean I cannot also forget about what other bloggers are doing and do my own thing.

    “It’s OK to not be a professional blogger!” My new motto! Thanks Vyqué!

    xox,
    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

    Reply
  18. Steff Metal

    You ladies are all so incredible – you put out such insanely amazing blogs every day, every week, and you do it because you love it.

    I am about 18 months into my main blog (6 months into the others). I don’t earn money from my blog, although I have the readership I probably could. I am a bit different in that fashion is only a little bit of what I write about – my blog is about being a metalhead (and other alternative lifestyles like goth, etc … but mostly metal). There’s music, there’s head-banging tips, there’s a few pictures of me wearing metal t-shirts. It’s cool.

    When I started, I had all these ideas for monetizing, but now I’m not so sure. I just like writing, really. I don’t even have any ads. I am starting to get media attention, and labels are sending me CDs and stuff. That is truly amazing … but it would be a LONG, LONG time before I could live off my blog.

    You are so right when you say it’s OK to not be a prof blogger, or to even WANT to be. We’re all different. And you know, sometimes it’s nice to have a RL job that isn’t in front of the computer. 🙂

    Keep up the amazing work, all of you. You totally blow me away with your style and dedication!

    Reply
  19. Louise

    This was so needed for me right now! I have started to schedule time to blog, and it makes a world of difference! It’s hard doing this with a work-from-home husband and an active 2-year-old, but worth the effort.

    Reply
  20. Tiffany, Destin Wedding Photographer

    Such great advice! As a photographer, I try to find a healthy balance between work and the online presence I try to create for my clients. When I do not have a shoot or wedding to showcase I try to leave personal/industry related posts so my clients get to know me, but often times I let several days go by. I have learned that pre-blogging is the only way I can do it!

    Reply
  21. Elle

    Amazing post! thank you so much- this does make me feel better – and I 100% agree with the tips too- scheduling ahead, planning and such is such a help.

    Reply
  22. Debbie Baker Burns

    This post really got me thinking. I ended up writing about it today in my post. I’ve been blogging about two months now. I love being able to create my own little world and have complete creative control over it. Blogging is helping me to work on my personal style, learn new things and meet lots of like-minded people that I wouldn’t have met any other way. Like I said in my post today, if I ended up making money somehow through my blog that would be icing on the cake, but I don’t want to forget: “I’ve already got the cake!” And I have to say, it’s pretty sweet!

    Reply
  23. Victoria West

    Great post. I am exactly in the same situation — “civilian” job from 9 to 5, blogging in my spare time. Sometimes I find it overwhelming, but i don’t want to give up. I love blogging about fashion, this is my second nature, and I will keep going no matter what.

    Great idea about inviting guest bloggers — I actually might consider doing this, so, thanks for the tip!

    Reply
  24. Diana

    May I say Amen? I’m often pushed toward “professional blogger” and while I love what I do in the blogosphere, it’s not even close to my whole story. While other people talk about Google page rank and goal conversion, I like the freedom to think “so what can I write that matters to me?” I love having the freedom NOT to write when nothing floats my boat, too!

    Reply
  25. Cloud of Secrets

    Thank you, thank you for this post!

    Recently — and especially in IFB circles — I’ve felt like an uninteresting second-class style blogging citizen, as an easygoing hobby blogger who intends to stay that way. Who wants to write and show pictures in a way that is pleasing to herself, first and foremost. Who appreciates interactive relationships with a few dozen bloggers, rather than thousands of potential ad-clicking surfers.

    If I ever have an advertiser, it will be someone carefully chosen, whose ad won’t wreck the look of my blog, whose products I use personally and shamelessly recommend to friends.

    Reply
  26. Rania

    Thank you for sharing this and for the tips… It reminds me to set up a time every day to focus on ‘taking care’ of my blog 🙂

    Reply
  27. Irene

    Im so glad i came across this article.
    I have a 9-6 job and its unfortunate that while i’m at my full time, i am thinking about things to blog about – when i cant. After work, in the evenings i don’t have the energy to do anything creative. Inspiration is something of a mystery because when it comes to me at an instance and if i don’t do something quick its gone. For the most part i carry my sketchbook to write thoughts, draw and carry my camera.

    Reply
  28. Mode Plus

    I agree with you to remember the first love you had when you started blogging. Also I agree that setting realistic goals, that you actually can achieve will make the blogging experience pleasant and with more ease.

    Reply
  29. Pheobe

    Nothing against professional blogging–I admire those who do this for a career…more power to you. Personally, I don’t think I’ll be ready for my blog to be in a professional level for a long while while. I’m still a rookie, so right now I like looking at professional blogs for inspiration, rather than an aspiration.

    Right now, I’m in this because it’s fun. I’m making new friends, I’m seeing great inspirations, etc… I’ll take it one day at a time and see where this takes me.

    Reply
  30. Stephanie

    I don’t think I would want my blog to be my -5 job. I really enjoy it as a hobby and it’s a great way to share my thoughts and ideas.

    Reply
  31. Monica

    What a thoughtful post. I definitely agree that although posting less often means a dip in pageviews, it’s 100 times more worth it for your sanity.

    If your blog becomes a burden then chances are you are less and less willing to post.

    More readers isn’t always the most important thing to aim for. Sometimes your enjoyment of blogging comes first too.

    Reply
  32. marion

    this post is terribly written. sorry. i mean, grammatically. please… while giving people advice to stop or not go professional, make sure your sentences are complete.

    i only say this because as a blogger, i turn to this site for well versed education about the subject. and i expect that the writers on this site have more experience with grammar than i do. it is important, after all.

    Reply
    • Jennine Jacob

      We have reviewed Vyque’s post and have not noticed any blaring grammatical errors.

      We try to have good grammar, but at the same time, IFB isn’t the dictator of the English language, nor should it be viewed as such.

      Reply
  33. The Seeker

    Oh my, I feel so related with this post!!!!
    Trying to manage a demanding office job, a home and a husband with blogging it’s not easy indeed.
    I feel sad about my lack of posts and the traffic lost as well as the missing comments. But as you say so well my sanity worth it.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this and the help you gave me not feeling so alone with this.

    xoxo

    Reply
  34. Literal Gemini

    Whew, this makes me feel better. Yeah, it is hard seeing other bloggers making a profession out of blogging, getting free clothing and sponsorships, and little ol’ me with my simple camera and tripod photos has to buy her own clothes and go toa 9 to 5 job everyday (more like 8:30 to 6 job but you get the point). Ive got a kid and a mortgage to worry about, free clothes dont pay the bills.

    literalgemini.blogspot.com

    Reply
  35. Simone

    This post was so helpful! I don’t blog professionally and between filling out job applications all day (just graduated, currently searching for my first real job) and trying to get everything else in my life done, I don’t make enough time for blogging. I certainly enjoy doing it, I just sometimes get too wrapped up in things I have to do. I think officially setting aside blogging time will help.

    Reply
  36. Marie

    Fabulous suggestions, I have a busy day job and it does make me frustrated because I want to blog well. I might just get some guest posts going!

    Reply
  37. Jennifer Nini

    You hit the nail on the head with this one! I currently have a “day” job as an employment consultant with a not for profit organisation but I am a fashion blogger by night. And I agree – I didn’t start off doing this for the money, the freebies or the sponsorship (which is naught for me anyway as I am only new to the game). I love writing, I love fashion and so I put the two together and my blog is the result: http://ecowarriorprincess.net
    And I think it’s important to schedule time for writing/blogging – I’d take artistic expression over the daily grind any day of the week! (although I too have a mortgage I am hoping to freelance… but one day!)

    Reply
  38. Bonnie Phan

    I love this post, I feel like I can really relate to it. I’m not on the exact same boat as you at the moment but close. Instead of a full time job, I’m a full time student. It’s hard to find the time to update multiple times a day but you’re right, my sanity is very important!

    I absolutely hate it when people ask ‘if I make money from blogging.’ It seems like some people don’t consider blogging as just a hobby. I blog for fun because I love writing, especially on a topic I enjoy. It’s not like every person who plays a sport gets paid for it. This is no different!

    Bonns

    Reply
  39. Ondo Lady

    A very inspiring post – so many of us just blog for the sake of it but sometimes it can take over our lives and the key as you mentioned is all about balancing things.

    Reply
  40. miss pepper vintage

    Yes, thank you. Love this post!! I blog for fun. Because i have “civilian” job from 9 to 5, blogging in my spare time. It’s OK to not be a professional blogger!

    thanks a lot to you for this great post!!!
    x milla

    Reply
  41. Exie

    Thank you! This rings a delightful tone in my ear. I’ve been inspired by all the fashion blogs that I thought I’d give my passion a try. Thanks so much for the morale lift.

    Reply
  42. Jonas Deweer

    All the things you siad are very true. We shouldn’t forget that for the most of us, blogging is just a hobby. And I myself should make shure that it won’t take over my life :)x

    Reply
  43. Reina

    Hello!

    I find this post VEEEEERY interesting and true. Great steps that I’ll be sure to follow so my blog doesn’t go into the blackhole. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
  44. julie iliana

    what a helpful post! thanks so much for this 🙂 while I don’t work at a fast-paced job (it’s a job to help pay for college books and pay my car, not what I believe a “real” job would be) and I don’t have a popular blog, I was freaking out for the smallest things and then realized that my hobby was becoming a burden. glad to have read this because it’s so realistic for where I intend to go with my blog 🙂

    thanks!
    XX

    Reply
  45. Jing

    Great post. For me, I know I’m committed enough to my blog to post like a professional blogger, meaning that actually BEING one is even farther away. But the problem for me is knowing which point should I look ahead and think I actually become a professional blogger? Sometimes looking too far ahead actually becomes demotivating because it can seem so far away!

    Reply
  46. Akisa

    Your article REALLY resonated with me & is reflective of my blogging choices for 2011! Definitely will take up the advice to have more guest blog posts in future~

    Reply
  47. Tarryn La Marque

    Haha, love your post, thanks!!! Just recently started on the blog quest and although I studied fashion I am by no means working in the industry or making fashionable waves. I just love fashion and music and blogging is so much fun!

    If I am looking for some one to guest blog for me, how do I put it out there or would it be wiser for me to be searching to go forth and guest blog for others?

    Thanks again…

    Reply