I've touched on this lightly before, but it's something that I think bears repeating. All the time. Daily. Every few hours, even. Independent fashion bloggers (that's you guys) are amazing. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in doing what we do, that we forget to acknowledge just what that is, exactly. We get lumped under that “blogger” umbrella that can invite stereotyping, judgement, and dismissal – and while yes, technically, we are bloggers, that label can actually mean so much more than it implies.
Maybe you didn't know it at first, but by choosing to start a blog and really put some (very chic) muscle into it, you've taken on more than just a self-published web site. Depending on what you blog is about, and whether you share any of the responsibilities of running it with partners or clients, you are probably, on any given day, serving as no less than eight of these roles:
- CEO & Founder: At the end of the day, every decision about your site comes down to you. What you want, your vision, your mission: it's up to you to maintain the direction and the standards you've established.
- Creative Director: The artistic direction, the visuals and graphic design – this is all decided by you.
- Editor-in-Chief: You decide the editorial direction of your blog, making decisions about what to cover and when, how often to publish, the tough calls and big ideas all come from you.
- Staff writer / fact-checker / copy editor: Writing, editing, re-writing, and editing again – you do all that. You come up with the stories, you get the info, you cite your sources and double-check your links. Each little detail is your responsibility.
- Stylist: Each outfit, each story, each photo feature, you're deciding how it looks. Whether it's fashion or interiors, DIY projects or editorial-style shoots, styling gives your content it's unique flair.
- Photographer: From learning the ropes of a DSLR to posting Instagrams, you're behind the lens as often as you're in front of it. And who does the editing after each shoot? That's probably you, too.
- Model / brand ambassador: Especially if you're a personal style blogger (and even if you're not), your personality and your image are part of your business.
- PR & Marketing team: Taking your site from an online diary to an influential publication involves engaging public relations and marketing strategies. You're pitching yourself, fielding opportunities and deciding with whom you want to align yourself and your site.
- Social media & community manager: Across multiple platforms and at all hours, you're the social media command center for your blog. Replying to tweets and pinning images, engaging with your peers and chatting with your followers, it's up to you to create, manage and nurture the relationships you want.
- Administrative assistant: All the nitty-gritty? That's you as well. Organizing your editorial calendar, sourcing products and managing your finances, these are the tedious but essential tasks you all take on to keep the business of your blog running smoothly.
- Graphic designer: From your header image to color scheme, template or layout design, you make the creative decisions and execute them to give your site the personalized and professional design elements you want.
- IT department: Coding issues? Intalling Google Analytics? I bet you handle that. What about your server? Are you on WordPress.org? While you may have to call in for reinforcements to solve major issues, you handle the day-to-day technical issues with your blog.
- Unpaid intern: Yep. When you're first getting started, your blog might not be profitable. You're working and learning to gain experience and make connections above anything else. The next steps, the growth, the promotions, they come with time and hard work. We've all been there!
Have you ever stopped to think about your site this way? All the different hats you wear as a blogger? And people wonder why brands want to work with bloggers. We are each a full-service package deal with a lot to offer. As multi-talented and multi-tasking creative entrepreneurs – we should remember to pat ourselves on the back every now and then. Do we do it all perfectly? Of course not, no one does. We learn as we go along, we delegate what we need help with, and we grow and adapt with our sites. It takes patience, a willingness to fail and to learn,