Professional Blogger Spotlight: Go Fug Yourself

This week's Professional Blogger Spotlight is an extra-special one for me. I have been an uapologtic, fall-out-of-my-chair-laughing-out-loud fan of Go Fug Yourself for years. The founders and editors, Heather and Jessica, have such a spot-on, completely honest and relatable sense of humor that you can't help but think of them as friends you've known your whole life. As you'll see from the interview below, they're two friends who started writing about what they loved because it made them happy, and turned that passion into a career.

1. Tell us a little about Go Fug Yourself?

 

HEATHER: We got started in 2004. Jessica and I had been friends for several years, and we were just wandering around the mall one day, window-shopping, and noticed that all the posters for tween and teen movies were TERRIBLY styled. Like, we're talking wonky eyes and hideous clothes… we kept joking to each other that maybe we were too old to understand that looking fugly was the hot new trend with the kids these days. As an extension of the inside joke, we started the blog, figuring it'd just amuse us at work for a little while, but then suddenly it took off and had a life of its own. We never came up with something as sophisticated as a mission statement, but basically, we just have fun riffing on the weird and wild red-carpet choices that celebrities make. But rather than being stuffy about the fashion side of it, we're the blog equivalent of sitting around with your friends on Oscar Sunday and gaping at the stuff people are wearing.

 

2. How do you monotize GFY?

HEATHER: We sell ads.

 

3. What role does social media play in your blogging life?

 

HEATHER: We were resistant to Twitter for a long time, mostly because I think Twitter is something that seems insane when you don't belong to it — if you're just reading somebody's Twitter page, it's like listening to half of a conversation on the subway or something. But once you join and you see how it works, you realize it's kind of fun, and also pretty beneficial. Tweeting lets us engage with our readers in such a way that they really feel they know us. We've interacted about everything from the Real Housewives to my dad's death to parenting tips to advice on how to brine a turkey. That's so important for building loyalty, but also, we just enjoy it. Our readers are really funny, really smart people.

 

JESSICA: Twitter is great — it's been a really wonderful way to communicate with our readers. And our Facebook page has been great at driving traffic — it's really, really effective as far as that goes.

 

4. How has blogging affected your career (how has it transitioned into your actual career)?

 

HEATHER: This blog has changed my career. I had been working in reality TV, but once ad sales took off and we sold a book based on the blog (“Go Fug Yourself Presents: The Fug Awards,” published in 2008), we realized we had enough to do that it could be our full-time job. So we held our breath and took the plunge. It's led to freelance assignments, and most recently, the publication of our young adult fiction novel, “Spoiled.” Getting our writing out there was the best thing that happened for us. I mean, no way in the world would I ever have gotten to attend Fashion Week — much less cover it — if we didn't have GFY, because that's how New York magazine found us. The great thing is, GFY has opened so many doors, but it is also in and of itself still really fun and fulfilling work. It's creative writing about, essentially, pop culture, and we get to do it on our own terms. How lucky are we?

 

JESSICA: Yeah, it basically changed our entire lives. Which is remarkable, considering that we just started it as a joke. We're really fortunate.

 

5. Any exciting projects in the works?

 

HEATHER: We have a follow-up to “Spoiled,” called “Messy,” coming out in June 2012, and we're hoping to work on other fiction novels. And awards season is coming up, which is always one of the most fun and frenzied times on GFY. So many clothes. So many failures.

 

6. What advice would you give to aspiring, up-and-coming bloggers?

HEATHER: Just write. Seriously. It's like a muscle — you have to work it out and tone it. Very few people come out of the womb knowing exactly who they are as writers, and what voice they have that makes them unique and stand out from the pack. Ten years ago I didn't know what mine was, but through writing and writing and writing, I've settled into it. Also, write about something you have legitimate interest in. People can tell when you're just doing the minimum to pay the bills.

 

JESSICA: Exactly. Write about something you'd want to cover even if no one else was reading it.

 

You can follow Heather & Jessica on Twitter here

 

 

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7 Responses

  1. Vanessa

    If you’re down, the Fug Girls is the best medicine around! Been following ’em for years, and it’s still my fav pop-in blog. Cheers!

    Reply