In a post from last week, I mentioned that one of the most important lessons I've learned from fashion blogging and my time at IFB is that there is a difference between success and celebrity in our industry and our community. An interest in this topic was echoed on Twitter by Lingerie Addict, so lets dive in a little further.
Truly, when I first started blogging, I thought the two were inextricably linked. I didn't know (for lack of doing even a little research) that bloggers in every kind of niche you could file under “fashion” or “style” are creating careers and businesses for themselves, as well as amassing huge followings. All this, without reaching this pie-in-the-sky status we associate with hyper-visible bloggers like Leandra Medine, Susie Lau, Rumi Neely, Emily Schuman, Emily Weiss, or even Blair Eadie.
Their kind of success is great, and I'm not discounting it. What each of these bloggers (and many whom I've not named but are also hugely visible and considered “celebrities” in this industry) has done is remarkable. For many bloggers, success and celebrity have come hand-in-hand.
Sometimes I think we (myself included) get a little too wrapped up in associating success and celebrity as one in the same. We get carried away setting near-impossible benchmarks for ourselves, discrediting what we've accomplished because of how it stacks up to the achievements of others.
I don't mean to say that just doing it at all is success though either. Success means prospering from an endeavor, the obtaining of something you wanted, or the achievement of a goal that you set.
I think we need to remember that as with so many other creative industries, from music to acting to art – success comes in many forms. Just because you're not in blockbuster feature films doesn't mean you can't make a living as an actor… You get the idea.
How do you define success, in terms of your blog?
- Does it bring in financial earnings?
- Is it your full-time job?
- Did you create a book inspired from your blog?
- Has it helped you build important personal and professional relationships?
- Have you created mutually beneficial partnerships or projects with brands?
- Is your blog a resume-boost for other professional positions?
- Are you contributing to and working on your site in the way you want?
- Is it growing in some way?
Make no mistake, I'm not suggesting you pat yourself on the back for every small achievement. Self-satisfaction can be poisonous to real growth. Unless your goal really is just to do it, you've got to make a plan, strive for something more, and then chase after it like your feet are on fire. And then set another goal – and another – and keep moving forward.
Many of us have no desire to be a presence like BryanBoy – with television gigs, a global travel agenda and a seemingly endless schedule of public appearances. And some of us do – and that's great too. (We're always fans of dreaming big!)
My suggestion? Define for yourself what “making it” means. Do you want to be your own business? Do you want your blog to bring in some supplemental income? Do you want to make friends and connections? Maybe you don't know yet, and that's okay too. However, once know where you want to go and what you want, you'll be able to develop a plan to get there, and start checking off your successes along the way.