Is Your Blog Apsirational, Inspirational, or Attainable?

blogquality

I have a theory that most blogs fit into one of three categories: aspirational, inspirational, or attainable.  The goals and missions of the bloggers is providing one of these three qualities to their readers (and they may overlap a little bit!).

You want your readers to aspire for the type of life you have and are presenting; you want to inspire your readers– whether to take action, share new ideas, or create a particular type of life; that they too, can attain,  have, or achieve a particular life: whether it's financial freedom while loving fashion, expressing themselves through fashion at the workplace, or finding plus-size fashion to express themselves.

Your blog may be Aspirational…

1.strong desire, longing, or aim; ambition: intellectual aspirations.
2. a goal or objective desired

If your blog is aspirational, you may focus on high fashion or fashion as an art.  Aspirational bloggers may showcase the newest runway collections, have carefully curated closets, or their posts may look like fashion editorials.  When we think of the top tier of fashion bloggers, many of them tend to be aspirational.  We'll never have Jane Aldridge's killer shoe closet or Wendy Nguyen's effortless LA looks, but we certainly can be aspire to bring beauty into our every day lives.

Aspirational bloggers don't have to have a lot money or killer closets to be successful, but they do have to have a keen eye, a unique perspective, and cherry on top kind of attitude.

Your role models: Fashion Toast, The Glamourai, Sea of Shoes, and Wendy's Lookbook.  Also see sites like Bag Snob, which are niche, be still aspirational!

Your blog may be Inspirational…

1. stimulation or arousal of the mind, feelings, etc, to special or unusual activity or creativity
2. the state or quality of being so stimulated or aroused
3. someone or something that causes this state
4. an idea or action resulting from such a state

If your blog is inspirational, you likely fall between aspirational and attainable.  You've got your head in the clouds, but your feet planted firmly on the ground (those feet may be in Manolos; that head may have on an Old Navy hat).  It may have a strong information or educational component if the writers are sharing their expertise in the hopes of inspiring others within their field.

In short, you find the beauty in fashion, style, and life, and want to help others do the same, whether through messages of empowerment, shared expertise, showcasing ways to create the fabulous, trend inspiration, or through tips of cultivating a beautiful life.

Your role models:  A Cup of Jo, PR Couture, PS. I Made This,  and… IFB, of course.

Your blog may be Attainable…

1. to achieve or accomplish (a task, goal, aim, etc)
2. to reach or arrive at in space or time
3. to arrive (at) with effort or exertion

The attainable blogger realizes that most of her readers don't have thousand dollar budgets each month (or even year).  They often focus on a particular goal or niche, whether it's showcasing style in the workplace or recreating expense looks on a budget or helping men and women achieve their style dreams.  It's inspirational to some degree, but there's also a practical element: you're about putting it into practice.  It's one part education mixed with one part action.

At the end of the day, you're focused on helping your readers achieve a goal, even if it's “I'm the polished girl next door with a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget.”

Your role models: Already Pretty, Corporette, Grechen's Closet, The Lingerie Addict, Pretty Shiny Sparkly, and Wardrobe Oxygen.

As I mentioned, it's not unusual for bloggers to fit into two of these areas simultaneously.  Any great DIY website like P.S. I Love This is going to be inspirational (Look at this gorgeous belt/frame/coffee table!) and attainable (Here's how to make it yourself!). A site like Already Pretty may show men and women find comfort in self-love, but the attitude of Sally is inspiring as well. And while we're aspiring to have Jane Aldridge's closet, we may still find inspiration from the way she masterfully crafts an outfit.

It's when we start spreading ourselves out over all 3 areas, without a distinct purpose, that we may feel our site becomes diluted or we lose focus. When your blog is transitioning, you're at a plateau, or you just feel burnt out and overwhelmed, sometimes having an idea of which you are– or which you'd like to be– can provide clarity.  It makes sense that when we start we may be focusing on one vision, to find that as we fulfill it in ourselves, or as our lives change, we shift into another.  As long as we're conscious of that, that growing pain is a lot more manageable and less difficult to shift through.

Do you think your blog fits into one of these 3 qualities? If so, which one?  Are you shifting between them right now?

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19 Responses

  1. Aida

    ooh this is a pretty interesting article. Hmm I’d say my blog would probably fall into the inspirational category seeing as I blog about personal style and how it’s influenced by things like film, music, art. A lot of the blogs I follow I guess would fall into that category too or an overlap like Gala Darling and Rookie and other personal style blogs with messages of empowerment and self love and weirdividuality! Weirdividuality forever!

    -Aida

    http://sunshinesuperwoman.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply
  2. Lynsay

    Very interesting article. Before even reaching the bottom of the first paragraph, I was already second guessing and jumping to the conclusion that my blog as attainable. However, after reading through its occurred to me it is more inspirational, as I challenge how to dress fashionably in the workplace and has more of a “how to” approach than a “I’ve got this” or “Get this now” tone of voice (although, of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these perspectives). Definitely think this will help to keep me focused when writing posts in the future and when defining my tone of voice in general.

    Lynsay x
    theworkwearedit.

    Reply
  3. Anh Le @ B.E.L

    This is a great post that makes me put a deep thought on my blogging journey. It is good to look back at why and what message one wants to send out through her/his blog. These “categories” aren’t not just applied for fashion/style blogs but any kinds of. It depends on the way/manner a blogger sends out the message

    Reply
  4. Kathleen Lisson

    I think that my personal style and my blog are totally attainable, and they provide inspiration for women looking to dress up for the races or another social event.
    Kathleen

    Reply
  5. Etta

    I would say that I am inspirational because I believe everyone has beauty. Beauty is not solely based on the structure of your face or body, the makeup you wear, the clothes you wear, or even the things you possess. It’s all about who you are as a person and how you compose and conduct yourself. 🙂 See…inspirational and I can’t help it. Thought provoking question!

    Reply
  6. Gemma

    I guess mine falls into inspirational as I blog about DIY as well as having informative posts. I like to think I write about fashion in a way that is inspirational but still achievable.

    Reply
  7. Célèste

    I don’t really understand how these are mutually exclusive.

    Reply
  8. Farhana

    I’ve never thought of blogging in this way but I have to agree. I’m not a fashion blogger at all but I think the same three categories can be applied to almost any blog.

    I’m not quite sure what mine is, but I shall take some time to figure it out. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Sarah Harman

    I think my blog is mostly attainable, only because I only blog about things I think other people like me (taste, budget etc) would like. I hope it can be a bit inspirational too!

    Sarah x
    sarahloves.co.uk

    Reply
  10. Kyleha

    This was sooo helpful. Im in the process of trying to get into blogging but Im at a loss. Im so glad I came across this article/post and hopefully I am heading in the right direction 🙂

    Reply