Stop Whining, Start Shining: A Manifesto For The Modern Blogger


It's time for some real talk from us over here at IFB. I mean, it's always real talk – but we're going to lay some things out for you here that may be a little bit jilting, harsh – and totally inspiring. The truth is, we felt moved to action after reading this piece from Jezebel: For Chrissakes There's Nothing Wrong With You: A Dating Manifesto.

The author, Lindy West, implores single women everywhere to stop chalking up their dating woes and perpetual singledom to their many perceived flaws (or being “too something”). She asks women to stop defining themselves solely in relation to “dudes.” Interestingly, it seems like many of the imperfections and issues that plague the modern single gal, also apply to the modern style blogger.

We felt inspired to write this little manifesto because it seems like there are a lot of you out there who doubt yourselves, your talent, your drive and your abilities. You're creating barriers and roadblocks for yourself that need not be there.

“I'd be more popular if I were thinner.” 

“More brands would want to work with me if had more expensive clothes.”

“I can't afford a nice camera, so what am I supposed to do?”

Stop it right now. Bloggers, it's time to stop defining yourself in relation to other bloggers.

Curb that whining! Seriously, just knock it off. We need you to believe that you can create the blog you want, get the traffic you want, and generally succeed at life if you… Wait for it… JUST DO IT. We all know that nobody ever got anywhere by feeling sorry for themselves, so it's time to apply that same mentality to your blog. We believe that each and every blogger can achieve whatever level of success, popularity, or Internet fame they desire. Stop letting your fears and doubts hold you back and decide to actively pursue your goals with fierce confidence.

The Beauty Myth

This is a big one, we know. We don't deny that when you browse the spectrum of mega-popular bloggers, it can feel like you're looking at a buffet of beautiful, tall, thin and wildly photogenic women. If you're looking at them and the success they've garnered, then basing it on their looks – you need to check yourself. Bloggers don't get big for being beautiful – they get big because of how they style themselves, how great their blog looks (I'm talking design) and the work they do to promote themselves. Trust me, they work. Hard.

If having confidence in your looks is an issue for you, you are a human. Congrats – we're all right there with you! Shift your focus to a positive place: What do you love about yourself, and how can you showcase that through your personal style and your blog? Put your energy into styling yourself well, shooting your photos when the light is perfect, and writing compelling copy to accompany your images. It will be your individuality, expertly expressed through a well-done blog that gets you to the top of the heap – not a size 0 waist.

Mo' Money, Mo' Traffic

Starting a blog is free. Taking photographs, writing things and publishing them on the internet, registering a Twitter account, a Facebook fan page, a Pinterest account or a Tumblr – these things are all free.  Already, bloggers are at a huge advantage when getting started: you're basically able to build and grow a small business for the cost of a computer and wireless Internet connection.

Like any business, when you're a blogger, having a little money to work with doesn't hurt. You can hire a graphic designer, purchase your domain name (that's only like $10 a year so do it right now!), upgrade your camera, get a smart phone and build out your wardrobe with new and on-trend pieces. Do you need these things? No. Do a lot of the top tier bloggers have them? Yes.

Whether or not you feel like you want these extras is up to you, but don't convince yourself that you cannot succeed without them, or you'll never be able to afford them so wah wah wah woe is you. Getting what you want in life is always about how hard you're willing to work for it. Adjust your budget. Bring a lunch to work. Cut out the coffee breaks. Pick up a babysitting job. Sell your clothes at a consignment shop. If you want that 3.1 Phillip Lim bag or that DSLR camera you'll find a way, trust us. (Just don't steal it!)

I Just Want To Be In A Relationship

When you're an up-and-coming blogger, the prospect of advertising yourself as worthy of a brand or retailer's attention can be daunting. It's like hitting on the captain of the football team, am I right? Well let's be honest about something: The captain of the football team wants to be seen with the coolest girls in school. He wants to parade her through the halls wearing his letterman jacket with pride.

Be worthy of the attention. You've got to set yourself apart from the pack, establish your awesomeness and strategically appear at all the right parties – ready to mingle. Ladies and gents, the party is social media. Show up, talk to people, engage and smile! At this prom, no one's going to ask you to dance if you don't strut out on the floor and show off your moves. If you want to work with a brand you admire, show support and genuine interest by writing a post that includes their products, and tell them about it on Twitter. There will be a brand willing to give you that first chance (or first dance, if you will).


The bottom line is that success is earned, not given. If you want to be a top-tier blogger, put in work! Make your blog good. Make it really good. Make it so chic, so smart, and so well done that the Internets will have no choice but to take notice.


image from GalaGonzalez



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43 Responses

  1. Andrea Miñoza

    Well said! One blog should be unique in order for it to stand out. Success doesn’t come with just a snap but with actions. 🙂

  2. Laura Muscat

    Great blog! Absolutely amazing! So I need to buy an SLR camera, and I need to find a consignment shop, are there any online? Where I live there aren’t any, I have just organised my wardrobe an got rid of around 60% of it. Can you recommend any maybe online or in London at least?

    • Regan

      I just learned about a site called Threadflip where you can get rid of some of your older (but still in good condition) clothes!

  3. Fashionable in Montreal

    So easy to be hard on yourself – I know I am, more often than I’d like. I work as hard on this blog as I’ve ever had. I try to do it better every single day so that after every post I can feel proud of my work, but I would be lying if I said that I don’t catch myself often obsessing with stats.

    I have also faced many dilemmas. What to do when you are finally contacted by a brand? I have tried to stick to my guns and pass on the opportunities that don’t resemble me and my blog. But it is a hard thing to do!

    I have also decided to stay away from the back follow business and grow my blog organically and based on its quality. Again, very hard, because you see people grow their number of followers overnight and sometimes it so obviously has nothing to do with quality but rather with random and persistent commenting all over the internets. Don’t get me wrong, I support bloggers I love but I never ask for back follows.

    Nevertheless, I am sticking to it, working hard, and hoping for the best!

    Danina of Fashionable in Montreal

    • Donna

      I’m glad to know that there is someone besides me that doesn’t follow everyone just for a follow in return. And on my personal FB page, I don’t accept a friend request unless I actually know and LiKE them. I feel like an oddball because I don’t have hundreds of “friends”.

  4. Marionberry Style

    lovelovelove this. Taylor – you always write the best content. I adore the prom reference. Sometimes, you just gotta strut your stuff and be okay with dancing alone. That will set you apart 🙂
    XO – Marion

  5. sanaa ansari khan

    Nice article, but I find it troubling to suggest success as a blogger comes from doing “anything you can” to buy a 3.1 Phillip Lim bag. Dropping $1K+ on an accessory will not guarantee your success as a blogger. There are ways to be a great fashion blogger without going broke: DIY fashion posts are some of my faves, and mixing high-low fashion in a chic way is pure talent. I would have liked to see this article discuss different ways to gain fashion cache as a blogger without breaking the bank.

    • taylordavies

      Hi Sanaa, thanks for commenting! I’m not suggesting that success comes from doing anything you can to buy a phillip lim bag. I’m saying that if you want one, be smart and save your money. Directly above taht I say, “Do you need these things? No. Do a lot of the top tier bloggers have them? Yes.
      Whether or not you feel like you want these extras is up to you, but don’t convince yourself that you cannot succeed without them.” It’s a personal choice for anyone, and plenty of bloggers have mega success without designer goods. As for blogging on a budget, see this post from last month:


  6. REEM


  7. Jade

    It definitely can be hard seeing how successfull some bloggers are in comparison to yourself but I think this article definitely has it right – put the effort in, network and make your blog the best it can be and you’ll see amazing results!

  8. Morganvsmorgan

    I enjoyed this too. I also have noticed recently that there alot of bloggers who lack an original voice – or you can tell that they arent blogging “from the heart” – which is absolutely fine if you’re blogging in a professional journalism-style manner, but often I find thats not the case. It’s almost as if they’re trying so hard to be a ‘bigger blogger’ that they’re imitating their voice instead of having their own…
    I love to get a sense of who people really are from their blogs, and I like that admittance that “hey, I’m not perfect but that’s fine.” in a blog.

  9. Alexandra

    No matter the niche, or even for bloggers without one, this manifesto is important. So important. What looks easy generally takes a ton of work to achieve. Both bloggers and blog readers need to respect that.

  10. Linda

    I am definitely printing this out right now and sticking it up on my bedroom wall as a daily inspirational reminder! Like Corrine said, this post is so spot on and is something i think every blogger should read! ❤ Thank you for this fab post Taylor! x

    XO, Linda at The Style Moodboard

  11. Kaya-Quintana

    I love this article! So much inspiration and I totally agree. Sometimes you just have to do it without thinking it over too much

  12. Donna

    I agree with most everyone. It is a great post. I’m fairly new to fashion and beauty blogging, and I often feel like a little fish in the big ocean. But I enjoy being creative, so even if I never “make it big time”, at least I’ll have spent my time doing something that I enjoyed, and I’ve learned new skills.
    But would I like for it to grow into a full-time job?? Absolutely! Thanks for this post!

  13. Sascha - Coffee and Heels

    Really great post!

    I just don’t like the idea of a blogger having to “work hard” to buy expensive clothes AS A WAY TO REACH SUCCESS. A camera – yes. A graphic designer to make your layout – crucial. A smartphone – why not? Even a photography class, if that’s what your content is focused on. But a 3.1 Philip Lim bag? How does this help you become a better blogger? How does having a designer bag improve your content? Does it make your writing better? Your photos more unique? I don’t think so.

  14. MJ

    Amen!!! Thank you so much for this!! Bloggers have to realize that blogging success does not happen overnight. If they took a look at the top bloggers around today, they’ll realize that it took them years to get to where they are today. I’ve been blogging for almost three years now and it’s hard work, but you have to love it and put yourself out there.

    Where you want to take your blog is completely up to you!

    This post was awesome!

  15. Asia Monique

    LOVE this post! Great motivational piece in the blogosphere and in the reality we see outside of the net.
    Thanks for this!

  16. JoD

    What a great comparison…all to often, no matter what age we humans feel not up to being the best at what we do. We all must remember no matter what your spiritual roots are; you are perfect as is and you have value. Believe & achieve!!!

  17. Aves Gry

    I have to say this just may be the most inspiring post as of yet. It reminds bloggers that we are all people with self-esteem issues and to overcome that. And in order to be a successful blogger, we must work hard and stop comparing ourself to other successful bloggers-lets face it, if we keep comparing ourself to other bloggers..we’ll just eventually become just like them, so where is the originality and individuality in that?

  18. Heather

    I hate to be a party pooper, and I understand this article is meant to be encouraging, but I think it’s important to also accept that you can do everything right, work really, really hard, and never achieve the financial success you desire. My blog might never receive the popularity I want it to have, but I can’t blog just for that. I need to blog for fun too.

    • taylordavies

      Hi Heather – I don’t think you’re a party pooper at all. It’s true that working as hard as you possibly can may never lead to financial success. I only want to impart to those who DO seek that kind of result with blogging, that writing yourself off for one reason or another is pointless & you’ve got to have confidence in yourself and what you’re capable of. If you’re just blogging for fun – hoorah! and good on you – and I think it can’t hurt to channel lots of confidence anyway 🙂 Hope that makes sense, thanks for commenting!

  19. Daniel

    What a fantastic post!

    I’m really glad you mentioned the appearance aspect of blogging. I’m a male blogger and, for me, it’s still pretty daunting. I’ve made a decision and I’m going to begin posting outfit posts this summer, yet I can’t say that I don’t get a little down when I flick through and see the male style bloggers. I mean, almost every single one of them has an 8-pack of abs and look great in pretty much anything. That has definitely been one of the aspects that has been holding me back because, believe me, I’m no prince charming. I’ll take this advice, focus on the styling, and hopefully I’ll see a positive outcome!

    Thanks for the honest yet inspiring post!

  20. Ana


    Thank you for a great post!!!!

    I just started my fashion blog and this is sooooo inspiring! Even though I started the blog I do have issues with my looks (I had a baby three months ago), but I agree that if you concentrate only on negative (no money, designer clothes, your looks) your blog is doomed from the start. We all started blogging because of our passion (I hope) and all of us would like that our blogs get big, just having a lot of money (I admit it does help)will not make your blog better. I know a lot of people with designers clothes and absolutely no sense of style and on the other hand I know some that rock $20.00 dress like it is most expensive thing in the world. Again, I agree designers clothes do help, but without your passion, love and hard work…..your blog is just that…blog with a lot of designers clothes.

    Thanks again for inspiring me to continue with my blog. And sorry for long comment. 🙂

  21. TheOnlineStylist

    Absolutely loved this post and RT’d it several times – such an important message to get across. Sadly too many times I’ve heard people being mean about other bloggers due to recent successes they’ve had. We should celebrate each others achievements, after all, if blogging continues to be a successes over all then surely that makes the community a better place to exist in for the long term? Inspiring and really well written – thank you! xx

  22. MIllare fashion

    is it possible to be a successful blogger without been the main act in your blog style diaries? I find myself reluctant to feature myself in my style diaries. Don’t get me wrong, it is not an issue of self confidence cos i have all it takes but i just think the focus of my content and blog will be all about me while all i want to talk about is fashion and feature normal pips(not the celebrated fashionistas) on my style dairies. bottom line, i want my style dairies to consist of real people with their different interpretation of fashion and not just me, me me. but lately, it seems i have to succumb to the trend…. advice/opinions pleaseeeeee

  23. Anon

    I think it is disingenuous of you to avoid mentioning that many of the very top fashion bloggers come from wealthy families and have leveraged that asset to the max.

    I have read a number of helpful posts on IFB, but I must say (because I’m going to be “real” with you) that this one falls very short of the mark.

  24. ElsaD

    That’s insightful and encouraging! I started with my blog at the end of January. I’m focusing on creating cool posts on a daily basis Mon-Fri. AS for the promotion, at this point I focus on creating loyal relationships with fellow bloggers and my favorite online magazines such as XOjane via comments. I’m missing facebok page, instagram or pinerest …(I find twitter SO boring…) I cordially invite you to visit my blog and will welcome some comments/suggestions:


  25. Tammy Lau

    i JUST started a fashion blog and this is exactly what I want to hear!. Actually i agree starting a blog need minimum money but if you want you site to look good, it really take up a lot of time and effort and extra money to do it right. Because you really want people to follow your blog after all. Yea, start now, do it right, put up all your heart and soul into it and continue your effort. I believe everyone can succeed cus my philosophy is-if time is unlimited, everything is possible:)