Who’s The Boss? Well, You Are

fashion blogging

If fashion blogging is your full-time career (or if you want it to be), then my hat goes off to you. I've realized firsthand that it's not an easy job… but you make it look easy — because, simply, that's the point.

There's a reason why there is such a surge in this industry: the fantasy of living the fashion blogger lifestyle falls nicely under the umbrella of the “American Dream” (or any dream for that matter). It's having your cake and eating it, too. It's business and, to the untrained eye, mostly pleasure.

The general public sees a shiny new Louboutin stiletto, brunch with friends, a trip to fashion week. What they don't see? The long pitching, negotiating, and delivering process of working with a brand. The nights when you're staring at your laptop until 4 in the morning trying to finish a post after your computer just crashed. The bill for dropping your camera and cracking the lens. The year when you worked two jobs, only ate Ramen, and blogged at night to build up a following.

Readers don't see that because if they did, it would ruin the fundamental elements that makes fashion blogging so alluring — the fantasy. The catharsis. The feeling that is relatable, because a blogger is “real,” but also the lifestyle the general reader wishes they too could one day obtain (whether it be a classy outfit on a budget in the midwest or luxury goods by the pool in Paris).

Running a daily independent publication online is more work than those reading blogs may realize; often times the assumption is made that bloggers don't work hard, that they make a ton of money and have luxurious gifts thrown at them. But the reality is, when you are just one person running the whole show (as the photographer, writer, editor, graphic designer, web developer, publicist, brand and marketing manager, social media director, business accountant, so on and so forth) it can damn well be overwhelming.

Working independently, you are the CEO, managing editor, and the unpaid intern.

It's not easy balancing it all, but being an independent publication and business means all the decisions are only made by one person — you. And at the end of the day, that's what makes every sleepless night worth it.

[Image credit: Carola Remer in spring 2012 campaign from Canadian retailer, Le Château. Shot by Max Abadian, Takahiro Ogawa for Elle Mexico via FGR]


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23 Responses

  1. Rhythm and Ruffle

    This is so true I could cry! I never imagined how hard it would be to make blogging a business – but oh my word. When it’s just you, your objective is to get things done while praying you remain sane. Some days are better than others. I know it will pay off, but readers really have no idea. Thanks for this Chelsea! x

    http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

  2. Diana

    There is also so much more to blogging than just writing posts. I know there is a lot of discussion about whether it’s better to spend your time creating content or promoting it on social media but my day consists of doing both! Not to mention keeping up with technology, design and any other new developments in the blogging world. My site is not my full time job yet but this is my goal. I love doing it so much that failure is not an option! It’s all worth it in the end.

    http://blog.imtoofancy.com 🙂

  3. Rachelle Porsenna

    It is overwhelming I just started my blog and I do have a fulltime job. So I know I have a long way to go before i get the following and the jobs. But I can see how others might think it’s easy. I’m ok with that, if you make it look easy then it probably means you are doing a good job.

  4. Stefan aka SpeedTutorial

    Love this post.
    I know what it means to be a all in one person.
    My normals job, a writer, photographer and so on…
    But its my life, so I can rock it 🙂

    Greetings from germany
    Stefan aka SpeedTutorial

  5. Lisa

    Well said. On my grumpy days, I feel my patience wearing thin with people who say “Oh, but it’s all FUN!” when I’m particularly worn down. There’s fun, and then there’s work.

  6. mia

    I love this article. It describes exactly what it is to be a blogger.. In my case (and so many others) having to do everything yourself is overwhelming, stressful and frustrating..but the end result makes the struggle so worthwhile! This article was exactly what I needed to read today – for that I am so grateful I found it!

  7. Kalyca Romeo

    Preach! The same can be said about fashion design and why consumers don’t understand why a custom made garment cost much more that something in a department store. Until they’ve sourced for fabric, spec, cut, fit and sew themselves, they will never understand all the work behind the scenes.
    Kalyca http://romeostyle.com/

  8. Heather

    Amen! I have a full time and a part time job… sometimes blogging can be a great creative outlet – other times I struggle… it’s a balancing act that you’ve captured perfectly!


  9. Stefanie Grace

    This is so true about the world of blogging. It can be so lonely -I’m back to building mine up once again after taking some time off and then moving from Blogger to WordPress and it’s really hard work. Great article! 🙂

  10. camille

    Although officially we are writing as a pair, I feel like this is my current status: ‘Working independently, you are the CEO, managing editor, and the unpaid intern’. And my best friend is freelance writer or guest editor.

  11. TheAsiaMonique

    PREACH! PREACH the good word! My goodness, if this isn’t the truth.

  12. Sarah

    This is a really good post as I wish to turn blogging into a career one day (One day!)
    “The year when you worked two jobs, only ate Ramen, and blogged at night to build up a following.” – rings so true to me. A month ago I had two internships and a full time job… oh, and blogging too!

    Sarah x

  13. byMelissaBee

    I’ve been blogging just over a year and I am learning so much. It’s not easy doing it all on your own and most people I speak to just look at the end product on the screen. It’s taken me a year but I have one PR company that I am working with and so I am starting to see the fruits of my labor.

  14. Vanessa

    Very good and true posting… and written from the right way… it is really hard if you have to make every single step alone, without the background or true friends telling you their opinion and what you might can do better…
    If you want to change your personal style – it is your decision – but I can say – after blogging now for 15 months, nearly daily, you will find your personal style and as long as you keep yourself and do not try to copy other blogs, fashion stylists, etc., you can still launch your blog successfully.
    Reflecting the first months of my blog was “hard” and it was a real hobby, just doing it in the evening, night, etc. – but when the first contacts to companies come and you see that it makes fun and people know how hard your “work” is… you will get pay back for that…
    Speaking to other bloggers I see by myself and heard by them, the first year is really hard (because of the tons of blogs everyhere, the second gets much better…)
    Wishing all of you the power and friends for a great and interesting blog!

  15. RoseKeats

    Totally relate! I’m currently a student doing 5 full days at university, as well as working 3 nights during the week and both Saturday and Sunday and maintaining my blog whilst trying to keep the quality of my posts and photos up is hard!

  16. Ascending Butterfly

    You have certainly captured it in a nutshell, but in all fairness, no one’s job is as easy as they make it look, especially if they really are adept at it! 😉