Don’t Get Caught in Blogger Peer Pressure


When I wrote about maintaining your individuality as a fashion and style blogger, several people commented on how much they appreciated me sharing my buying experiences.  It happened that I shared the decision making process before buying both my Prada Baroque sunglasses and my Valentino Rock Stud heels. I thought on both of these purchases for nearly a year before making the plunge.

By this point, many bloggers would have moved on– after all, a year after they came out? They're hardly a hot trend anymore!  They're not new and noteworthy, and billions of designers have knocked them off.  Yet it was only at that point that I felt confident knowing my purchased wasn't motivated  by blogger peer pressure.

Why Do I Want THIS?

Whenever I make a purchase, I always try to figure out WHY I want it: Is it really my style, or am I just drawn to how the blogger has styled it?  Am I having a bad day and in need of an emotional outlet?  Does it fill a whole or need in my closet?  Do I want it because everyone else has it, looks great, and I think that by owning it, I'll look and feel great?

Figuring out WHY I want a lot of pieces really has helped me from engaging in blogger peer pressure.  95% of the time, I move on. Within a week, I've forgotten the item in question.  Turns out, I usually don't actually want the dress, shoes, or sunglasses, but am wanting something else in my life.  When I figure out what that something else is, I'm much more fulfilled.

This doesn't just apply to material items either: why do you want 100,000 pageviews a month?  Why do you want brand partnerships? What is MOTIVATING your desires?  Sometimes we find that it's less about our own personal long-term goals, and it's more about the expectation that's what we SHOULD be reaching for.  It's okay to set your own goals that are realistic for what you want from blogging, even if they don't match what others think you should want.

Let Go of the Fear of Missing Out.

When you see dozens of bloggers in the same item, raving about how it fits, how yummy it feels, or how good it smells, it's hard not feel like (or fear that!) we're missing out on something. Or maybe they're all at the same event (New York Fashion Week, anyone?)– and we feel like we're missing some essential blogging experience.  Maybe we are.  In life we have to take the good with the bad, which means when we're experiencing FOMO, we're just as likely missing out on the bad as well as the good and exciting.

The reality is– if you don't have that Philip Lim bag, you're not missing out.  It may be beautiful, it may be quality, and it may be practical, but at the end of the day… what value does it provide your life?  It won't keep you warm on a cold day or keep you fed.  We may think that an invitation to NYFW means that we've made it… until we find out how miserable we are clomping through the snow in impractical shoes, have a horrible view of the runway, and just want something to eat.

I believe that surrounding our lives with beautiful items  and experiences that inspire us is worthwhile.  We also have to recognize that there's a point when that “beauty” may have a limited shelf life, or it may just not be as great as we think it will be. Sometimes it takes the experience of it to understand that, though.

Align Your Personal Values with Your Blog.

Fact: I've grown up with my blog.  I've been blogging or journaling since 2001.  I began when I was 18, and I'm 30 now.  I've spent the last 12 years of my life writing online, so it's safe to say that I've grown and changed, my values have shifted, and it's important to match those with your blog's values.  While I may post shopping roundups on my site, it's hard for me to encourage conspicuous consumption when a big part of my life has been learning to live within my means and debt free.

This may not be the same case for you, but I'm sure you have values and beliefs that may conflict with any blogging peer pressure you may feel, whether it's earning money through sponsored posts and advertisements, shutting off comments, taking products for review that may not be ethically produced, or what you share of your personal life. One way to easily combat blogging peer pressure is to say, “does doing this fit with the core values of how I live my life?”  If you answer “no,” then move on.

Think About Your Future…

Not to get all Mama Bear on you… but the American mentality of “Keeping up with the Joneses” is pretty directly linked to our country's credit card debt. In my years of blogging, I've pulled myself out of $15,000 in credit card debt.  It's HARD to be a fashion blogger, to be so surrounded by new purchases and free items, and not reach for the card to keep up with your peers. Now that I'm debt free?  I can't imagine giving back that control to credit card companies so that I can have some shiny item that I won't remember or own in 3 years.

This also applies to what you share on your site.  It may seem worthwhile and a great boost for your traffic to be vulnerable and share the dirty details  of your personal life online, but how will you feel in 15 years when you're applying for a badass job, and suddenly you miss getting it… because your boss found old blog photos of you online?

In other words… blogging may make up a brief span of your life.  Even if you do it for 10 years, if you live to be 90, that's only 1/9 of your life.  Think about the other 80 years of your life, and the impact your choices NOW can make on the rest of your life.  If you rack up $15,000 in debt buying things because you're falling for peer pressure, you're going to be paying for that pressure for a long time.  If you post photographs in your underwear online, what repercussions will that have?

Don't just jump into these boats because it seems like, “all the other bloggers are doing it.” Bloggers are secretive creatures in a way, and so it's really hard to know what any other blogger is ACTUALLY doing.  And beyond your peers, the beauty of blogging is that there will always be people who respect the choices you've made, the decisions you come up against, and the voice you share.

What other ways do you combat feeling peer pressured by blogging?  I'd love to hear your experiences!

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23 Responses

  1. natafemme

    Thank you so much for writing this article!
    I have felt this way many times myself when shopping and attracted to more trendy popular items. The way I see it is, if it’s something expensive I ask myself “will I regret it if I do not purchase this item?”. If the answer is yes, then it is a truly rare, unique, or “essential” item and I will buy it. But if the answer is no, I know that it is not really my style.

    • Lisa

      I loved this article. These words are spoken like a true woman of confidence. succumbing to the peer pressures of blogging are no different than high school. Standing out, in a good way, and having your own unique voice is what will truly get you noticed. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rock stars, and Celine bags, but it real life, the shoes are over worn, not actual office wear, and the Celine bag is heavy as all get out empty. Being true to yourself is going to far out last you in regards to your readership, and your authentic self will keep your happy with your blog.

  2. Onianwah

    Aligning my personal values with my blog as well as thinking about the future – mine and my blog’s; has really helped in the evolving of my ideas, creating partnership ideas and overall growth and maturity.

    There is nothing worse than comparing one’s self to others and buying things because others have them. Thankfully, I have gotten past that stage of my life (dang, that was my pre-teens, lol). I can’t wait to create my own personal trend.

    Lagos, Nigeria

  3. Seppy

    Amazing post – thanks Ashley that was very insightful! You just talked about things that I knew but had not clearly concretized in my mind. It’s definitely hard to resist buying items of the latest trend, or seeing bloggers with coveted items. Part of it might just be envy for being ‘cool’ and ‘on trend’, but you are so right in saying that these items will not impact your life in 5-10 years, might just be things that we want to fill an emotional void, and can be just a bank breaker..and for what?

  4. Isabel Campanioni

    This was a great article! I think everyone can relate and really makes you think twice about purchasing “unnecessary” items. Necessary items to me are the things that will keep my children happy and take care of them the way they deserve. And what I write about it what I want and like. Not what everyone else is doing. Ofcourse there are some things that we can’t help but want but as log as u make it your own, I think you’re ok!

  5. Megan Stylish + Scatterbrained

    Love this article! When I first started blogging a few months ago, I wanted to go and buy a whole new wardrobe and be right on trend with what the season had to offer. I am typically not one to spend a fortune on clothing because I personally would rather have my future children’s college fund growing than my wardrobe, but it was hard, and still is, to resist the urge to buy new things. I am bookmarking this article for times when I find myself trying to keep up with the Joneses and need to revisit my values:)

  6. Jeanine Marie

    I stay true to myself and stick with classic styles. Maybe I will pick up a new style of leopard shoe but I ALWAYS make sure I can pay for it with cash. If I do not have the money, I don’t buy it.

    I do agree that reading other peoples blogs does influence your choices. I see loads of trendy items I would like to have but by the time I can afford it, it’s already old news.

    Know your spending limits and shop your own closet once in a while. That will keep you out of trouble. : )

  7. N'war

    I’m so can relate with this. I’m not blog about fashion but the blogger peer pressure is there. Sometime it’s hard to explain to people why I’m not the same like others. I’m just like to start slow and build my readership/traffic/followers first.

  8. CynthiaCM

    I understand where you’re coming from, but if bloggers want to become bigger, they have to succumb to the “pressure.” I feel that being too “different” will lead to not only the lack of sponsorships (unless you belong to a blog network), but other bloggers ignoring you. I always feel like I’m a bit “out” from the rest of the Toronto-area fashion blogging community (and I don’t really belong with the foodie bloggers, either). For example, I don’t “do” my nails all the time (pretty much only for weddings and other special occasions) and abhor nail art (I think it’s trashy and cheap) and when I expressed this opinion to several other bloggers, I could literally FEEL the air of “wtf are you thinking??!!” I get acknowledgement when I go to events, but few of the other bloggers treat me like I’m a good friend of theirs and I rarely do I get asked to pose in pictures with them. Maybe I talk too much about height issues and fit for shorter women and it’s not something that fashion bloggers are “supposed” to discuss. But this is what I do because it’s also something that the mainstream really talks about. I feel that many bloggers think collectively and if you’re not like “them” you’re just…odd.


  9. Sarah Lee

    What a fantastic and timely article! I so appreciate your willingness to share your learning experiences and growing edges in blogging, and it’s making me think about my own process thus far. It can be tough to avoid blogger envy when seeing the fabulous styling on major fashion blogs, but it’s important for me to remember that I started my blog to share my personal style and personality, not an imitation of someone else’s.

    Thank you for helping me get a reality check & bring it back to basics 🙂

  10. Lisa

    I loved this article. These words are spoken like a true woman of confidence. succumbing to the peer pressures of blogging are no different than high school. Standing out, in a good way, and having your own unique voice is what will truly get you noticed. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rock stars, and Celine bags, but it real life, the shoes are over worn, not actual office wear, and the Celine bag is heavy as all get out empty. Being true to yourself is going to far out last you in regards to your readership, and your authentic self will keep your happy with your blog.

  11. Anastasia Polosina

    This is a very important aspect, that must be discused! Simply because at times when looking at certain blogs it gives you the feeling that the the main aim of blogging is to obtain\strive to obtain\ show off some “it” pieces. And this approach shifts the values from personality towards to what? In the end of the day, everybody get fed up seing these endless pics with Pashli\Rocky\31 hours bags! It is amazing for the brand’s income, really. But for the blogging community? I doubt it.

  12. Laura

    I am the same way, I only buy something if I truly love it, not because other bloggers have it. ( I have the Valentino Rock-stud heels and I love them everyday as if they were brand new again.)
    I will admit to having FOMO (Fear of Missing Out.) Seeing photos of other bloggers doing exciting things can be hard, but I use that to fuel my work ethic to work towards those things. Inspire me to publish better content, reach out to PR companies, and I always remember to be humble when I finally reach that goal.

  13. Christine Buzan


    First of all, thank you so much for writing and posting this article. Although it’s said that “fomo” is one of the leading “diseases” within our post-millenial time period, it’s difficult to remember at times that other people experience it as well. I feel like sometimes as a blogger, I get so wrapped up in my own head with false expectations about how I should look, or where I should be, or what types of posts I should be creating. It’s reassuring to know that many others are experiencing the same internal dialogue about whether or not they should buy something.

    I feel like your point about wanting something because of FOMO, vs actually wanting it was super valid and interesting. It could be that it’s not really the Rockstuds someone wants, but rather the prestige that goes with wearing them.

    Oh and— “We may think that an invitation to NYFW means that we’ve made it… until we find out how miserable we are clomping through the snow in impractical shoes, have a horrible view of the runway, and just want something to eat.”

    Yeah.. tell me about it. I skipped Lacoste and Herve Leger last year to sit in Bloomingdales’ 40 Carrots and chow down on a veggie burger and fries! Hahaha!

    Take Care!

    XxMadame Ostrich

  14. Nikki

    Ashley, this is amazing. Funny thing is I just wrote a post about blogger trends. Visiting a lot of fashion and style blogs, I’ve noticed certain ‘luxury’ items (i.e. handbags, shoes, etc.) that are consistently featured. You hit that Phillip Lim bag right on the head. As a new blogger I can tell it will be an on-going task to remain true to self and not get caught up in the hype. It’s encouraging to come across others who are believers in discovering alternate paths that best suit them. Thank you!

  15. Danne Ch.

    This article means a lot for me in this moments. Sometimes i think that we lose the original propouse of why we star blogging, is not about the sponsors or the relative “fame” , for me in this moments is about have my own space for writting and perfection my photos and my own style, i want to star a project with indepedient mexican designers that made original things with her own hands (that means that i want to star to purificate my shops, trying to use less brands that have “her” fabrics in third worl countries, like Mexico my countrie). But i need to admid that the fashion have that magical sparkles thatcan dazzle us and take us apart of our original popouse.
    I love this article, thanks for sharing 🙂

  16. Hey Mishka

    I agree with this advice and I like where it’s coming from, but I think it is essential to point out that you don’t have to convert the thing you’re missing out on to something -negative- in order to reconcile with not being a part of it. The good does always come with the bad, and that goes for the things you’re missing and the things you’re in the thick of. If we can make the most of the opportunities we do have and not obsess over ones we don’t, I believe more organic, authentic (and resourceful) content can surface from our efforts as a result.

    This tendency to fear missing out probably goes hand-in-hand with the age of information anxiety we live in. We think if we don’t spring out of bed, absorb our favorite websites, read the news, and watch whatever is trending on Youtube, we’re going to be behind the game somehow. Same with shopping for the latest and greatest accessory, etc. But I’ll give two examples… I’ve never regretted not opening my RSS reader in the morning when I just didn’t feel like it, and I’ve never regretted watching the live feed of a runway show from bed despite having an invite, because I needed a hot cup of tea and my tempurpedic.

    If people need more tips on getting over this frantic idea of missing out, there are a surprising amount of articles on the Goog. I like this one from Marie Claire:

    And this one from Life Hacker:

    Anyway, I know that was a tangent based on one of the first few paragraphs of this post, but it’s what resonated with me the most. ;} Great post, thanks!


  17. Carla Molina

    This is such a great article and it really motivates me to keep blogging about what I really enjoy and not to get to focused on what my favorite bloggers have that I don’t instead to use it as inspiration and find things that are me and within my means just like all of us do. I may not be able to afford the Chloe boots I see my favorite bloggers wearing but I can afford similar ones from a discount dept. store. I should not feel ashamed because that is what I can afford right now. Maybe one day I will have the real deal but for now be happy with what you have.
    Thanks again for such a great post!