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