Why Money & Fame Are Never Enough

By Hilary Rushford, of Dean Street Society

Why did you start your blog?

Let’s say it was to make money. A perfectly respectable reason. You wanted to make money on the side or own your own business. Or perhaps it’s because you looked up to one of your favorite “power bloggers” & thought you would enjoy the life they’re leading. A life with, appropriately, power; an element of fame in some ways, at least within the world of style blogs.

And so you began to write, photograph, edit, Tweet, Instagram, Facebook, pin, comment, pitch, collaborate … & it became an immense amount of work. Some days you’re tired. You’re behind, exhausted, spread thin, over-worked, feeling guilty you’re not blogging more, producing more content, frustrated you’re not growing your numbers more quickly.

This business slump, Dr Seuss might say, is hard to unslump from. And impossible to avoid. Everyone will go through these bumps. But when the lack of sleep & productivity guilt are getting you down, will the glow of money & fame be enough to keep you going?

I would propose that neither money nor fame are as powerful a motivator as passion. And if you don’t have the latter, a true vision for why you’re doing what you’re doing, it will get harder & harder to get out of bed early, stay up late & work weekends.


I believe you will only still be a successful blogger three years from now — or running a business that has come out of that blog — if there’s something you’re really passionate about.


This could be community. For Anna of Skin & Blister a primary motivation is the incredible friendships she’s developed since starting her blog, all around the world, at all sorts of events she would never have experienced otherwise. It might be the shop you’ve always dreamed of owning, that comes to life because of the eye for style  you’ve honed as a blogger like Kendi with Bloom. For me, it’s a passion for education & attainability. I don’t think fashion should be exclusive — either that only a few understand it or only a few can afford it — so I blog, host videos & see clients to help people feel included & empowered.

Don’t get me wrong. Money & power are universal desires. But I think it’d be easier to achieve that by becoming VP of a local factory if those were truly your only desires. This is about what you want beyond that, that’s inspired you to take what — even though in our world you feel like everyone you know has a blog or is an entrepreneur — is a path only a small percentage of people take. And one that takes more hard work than oodles of other jobs out there. There’s no logic to why we would do it, & invest all the hours we do to make it perfect, unless there’s passion.


Why did you start your blog? What are you passionate about? If you stumbled upon a treasure chest tomorrow & money was no object, what would you spend the next 50 years doing?


About the Author:

Hilary Rushford is the blogger behind Dean Street Society

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23 Responses

  1. Monica Joseph

    I started my blog, because I love to write and share my ideas with an audience, if it’s five people or five million people, but I also started it to unleash opportunities if I want to work in the field of fashion when I get older, because I am still young. If I could do whatever I wanted and money was no object, I would be and editor for an influential fashion magazine like ELLE or Vogue. *Sigh* Maybe someday.

  2. Drew @ Catfish & Caviar

    I created my blog to share my passion for photography, design & style but a few months in and I am now looking into starting a tiny company from it. Crazy how things change but as long as you have a goal in mind & a passion it makes it easier to bounce back from those bumps!

  3. Kathleen Lisson

    I created my blog to share an idea – that hats are a ‘wearable’ part of fashion that can make a woman feel feminine and ladylike. I am excited that I can use the blog as a platform to express my ideas about fashion and as an entree to interview and learn from the best milliners and most beautiful hat wearers in the world. I feel happy every time a reader leaves a comment that she tried on a hat because of my blog posts.


    • Hilary Rushford | Dean Street Society

      Love that, Kathleen! I’ve been living in London this winter & am smitten with my first fascinators! Truth be told, a year ago I never would have been bold enough to wear one. But I’m headed out to the theatre tonight in total confidence that the only looks I’ll be getting are from gals wishing they could wear one too. 😉

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  4. Cynthia

    I started DelectablyChic! after Prospere Magazine, its predecessor stopped posting business-related articles. It was just time for a change. DelectablyChic! focuses on a lot of things that other fashion/lifestyle sites leave out such as arts and culture pieces (even if they’re fairly infrequent). The site has also posted about designers (often local, but some from other parts of the country and international as well) that other blogs ignore, especially ones that are size specific (especially petite). If you include the Prospere Magazine years, 2013 will mark five years online! It’s interesting, though. I did not get much contact from PR firms until I became DelectablyChic!. The DelectablyChic! Closet, on the other hand, is more of a personal style site.


    • Hilary Rushford | Dean Street Society

      Love that! If you ever decide to open your own little foods shop you might check out my friend Alison at Butter Plus Love. She’s turning her dream of owning a bakery into quite a fab little business!

      with grace & gumption,

  5. Nasreen

    My love for fashion plus my passion for writing is why I blog. It’s the best of both worlds, I get to write plus illustrate it with outfit posts and fashion in general. If I had no reason or passion to blog, it’d be pointless really.


  6. Lauren

    I started by blog because I needed a creative outlet. I had just moved from New York to Chicago and I was missing a lot of my friends. I thought, instead of emailing all of them the dress I love or a recipe I made, why not post it on a blog? I’m glad I took the plunge, because it has turned into my favorite thing to do. I need creativity in my life, otherwise I will go crazy! This allows me to explore and write about my favorite things: Fashion and Food!!


    • Hilary Rushford | Dean Street Society

      Oh I love that story! And I’m sure your friends loved that they had such a cool & on-going way to really keep that friendship connected too. 🙂

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  7. Addison

    This is an amazing post… and one of the reasons I read IFB. Thanks for reminding me why I love blogging and the fashion blogosphere community. 🙂

    We don’t put hours of effort and thought into our blogs and social media because we think it will make us rich (at least not immediately…). We do it because we are passionate about fashion and social media!!
    Thanks for this awesome post.


    • Hilary Rushford | Dean Street Society

      Thanks Miss Addison! And your comment is the reason I love writing both the Weds column here & the Fri follow-up on my blog. 🙂

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  8. Alexandra Lazar

    I started my blog out of, I don’t know, the need to have a constant hobby, something that I wouldn’t give up too soon. I’ve had my blog for 2 years now and I must say it’s reached its goal 🙂


  9. Travelle McFarland

    I started my blog out of frustration for the lack of menswear bloggers and the style I am trying to achieve. After high school I had planned to attend FIDM before getting a dose of reality to the true cost of attending such a college. After many years of soul-searching and non-stop obsession over fashion, photography, and the related, I decided a blog would be the perfect opportunity to build into a fashion career. I got bitten by the ‘I’m Gonna Do This!’ bug after reading the inspirational story (e-bay seller to multi-million dollar company in just 5 years) of Sophia Amoruso, owner of Nasty Gal. My blog serves as a creative outlet as well, that way I can not bore family and friends talking about Christian Louboutins and and watching Mark Fast runway shows at 4AM.

    If money was no object I would be a philanthropist and world traveler.

    • Hilary Rushford | Dean Street Society

      Travelle, I love that! I’ve been living in London this winter & have met so many fellow bloggers I’d become friends with online over the past year. It’s fabulous because you truly have something in common, you have those shared interests that brought you together. And sometimes they’re things not a lot of other people in your life share. Definitely one of the best parts of blogging — connecting with likeminded people.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  10. Monica Gonzalez

    I started my blog as I already had a blog for quinceaneras and I post 3 times a week about fashion trends. Several mothers that visited the blog wrote me asking information about fashion for women. Here in Guatemala fashion blogs are not a trend so I decided to open my own fashion blog for fun.
    I love blogging and I want to learn each day more and more about fashion and styling so my blog can become a tool to every woman in my country.

    • Hilary Rushford | Dean Street Society

      Monica, I love hearing about fashion bloggers in other countries! Especially ones that don’t have a huge market yet. Way to blaze the trail m’dear!

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  11. PJ Gach

    Why did I start my blog? If I didn’t write, I would explode. Just blow up and it would get REALLY messy.
    For awhile, people were bugging me to start a blog, but as a full time editor, I barely had time to breathe, let alone work on my own project.
    Since I was laid off, I started blogging. It’s saved my sanity! I apply the same concepts (editorial calender etc.,) to it that I did for work and I’m so glad I’m doing it.
    Of course I’d like to make money from it. I mean to be able to get paid for your passion is every woman’s dream, and my dog DOES need new shoes.
    If there’s one thing I’ve learned about business it’s this: If you’re heart’s not in it, you won’t succeed.
    I’m not just talking about writing, but whatever it is that you do. If you can find enjoyment with your work, it spills into your life and it makes everything more interesting and enjoyable.

  12. MonicaP

    I started my blog to show pear shaped women that in a world of skinny jeans, there are clothing options out there for your shape. I also chat about makeup products and health + fitness. I love it.

    It’s so much fun to be in charge of something. *I* get to decide what to post and what to write. In my real job, I’m just a cog in the wheel, hoping the next round of re-org doesn’t cut out my department – such is the life of working for a large, global, corporation.


  13. Marie McGrath

    I started my blog The Joy of Fashion because I wanted to show that being happy is all about attitude and perspective. I love taking photos of beautiful things and making colorful happy outfits. I also love showing every day that it is important to be silly, to laugh, and to not take things so seriously. I hope that my fashion blog would bring a smile on people’s faces and remind them to be happy!


  14. Ana

    I started my blog because I needed something to be proud of. I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t want it to go somewhere one day, but for the time being, I’m happy just posting about things I like! It’s entertaining and fun! It’s also gives me a way to put everything that I’m interested in, and all of my ideas in one place! I love it! 🙂