8 Things No One Told Me About Fashion Blogging


Ok, so I'm ripping off the post title from Entrepreneur, which talks about, entrepreneurism, but  I'm going to take the sentiment and apply it directly to what we all talk about here. Blogging.

When I started out blogging, I didn't know any other bloggers. No one in my immediate circle of friends knew other bloggers either. Since there is that layer of things you don't  really talk about online or in public, there are things that I had to learn just by experiencing. And trust me, I am a knucklehead who enjoys learning things the hard way.

You may NEVER feel like you know what you are doing.

Sure you may get to know your readers, you'll get the hang of creating editorial calendars. You'll figure out what the difference between a press release and a blogger campaign is. But every time you think you have this whole game figured out, something will happen when you realize you don't know shit. Seriously. This has happened to me more times than I can count. All I can say is that that feeling like I don't know what I'm doing… is there because, well no one really knows what they are doing. If they do, well, good for them. Chances are they don't though. We're all figuring things out as we go along. All. Of. Us.

Sometimes you won't know you made a mistake until long after it happened.

When I first started my blog, I was seeing a career coach about changing my career. He really thought I was on to something with my blog, but he thought my photography was lacking. At the time everyone was taking photos of themselves in a mirror with a cheap digicam, so I didn't think I needed to up the ante by using a photographer. Little did I know that six months later bloggers would start taking editorial like photos and become mega popular. So instead of being a game changer, I had to adapt quickly. It was a hard lesson learned.

Sometimes you won't know if you are doing something RIGHT until long after you did it.

When I started IFB, it was just a thing where you could get a badge saying you were an independent blogger. It took years for it to become something resembling a career. Literally, years. It took a long time for me to realize that writing content that helps people was the right way to structure a publication.

Rules are meant to be broken.

Rules, schmules. There are a lot of “rules” out there, which clearly need to be broken. “Paying your dues” by being an unpaid intern, then working as an editorial assistant, then becoming an editor. Waiting for someone to give you a job. Fuck that. You can play your own game and do your own thing simply by just starting and doing it. No one has to give you permission to follow your dreams.

But some rules are there for a reason.

Back to that “paying your dues” thing. Sure, you can break the rules by not paying your dues the way they've been paid for decades. But in one way or another, you will have to pay your dues. Whether that means working on your blog for years without recognition, or learning the skills like photography or writing for years before starting your blog, or whatever, you can't escape the work no matter how you cut it. Even the “overnight successes” have paid their dues somehow, some way, if you really listen to their story.

You'll have to be competitive.

I know, I hate competition. I don't like being competitive, but if you ever do something successful, people will follow and try to compete (ie, when I founded the IFB conference, then all the sudden everyone started fashion blogger conferences). There will be times when you have to be competitive just to stay alive. It's just the way things are.

You'll have to be open to collaborating with others.

No one exists in a vacuum.  Just because things get competitive doesn't mean that you have to shut out every other person out there. You'll have to work with others, because we all depend on each other for success. That is also the way things are.

You'll find the voice you never though you had.

When I first started blogging, I didn't think anyone would be interested in what I had to say. And granted at first my blog was not so interesting. But over time I was able to find a voice and the confidence to make it heard. That would have never happened without my blogs.


[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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25 Responses

  1. ~ Carmen ~

    These are some awesome tips. Blogging — as well as any creative career — involves a lot of work, change, inspiration, & motivation. I can totally relate about not knowing I was doing something wrong (or right) until wayyyy later. :] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

  2. Accidental Icon

    It is good to hear that I may never feel like I know what I am doing! I have been focusing on putting out good writing and good photos and seeing what responses I get. It is also good to know that being successful does not come overnight. My approach has been spending time every day on research, commenting and social media. I would really love to collaborate with other bloggers of different ages. I think that could be an interesting dialog. And yes, paying of the dues…that is why I am being patient and just doing something everyday.
    Accidental Icon

  3. Andrea Christine

    This article was a breath of fresh air. It’s good to get a reminder that you’re not the only one still trying to figure things out. Great advice that I will take to heart.

  4. Emotera Goddess

    A very helpful article indeed. I can relate to some of those listed above. Learned things the hard way through my blog too but the learning paid off now because of my experiences I am able to share it now to newbie bloggers and in return earn their respect. Because of my blogs I am able to do speaking engagement which I didnt think I’m capable of… My blog help me a lot in gaining confidence. 🙂

  5. Tiff

    A lot of these tips come from personal experience after blogging. I took some time off and switched my blogging from fashion to beauty and while some of the same tips apply, it’s like diving into a new world! Great article as always!

    Tiff | AMtoPM

  6. Sagan

    So true!

    And this applies to ALL of blogging. I have a fashion blog, a communications blog, and a health blog, and I’ve found that so much of this is applicable to all of them. There’s so much more to learn, all the time!

  7. ahhhsoneo

    What a great article. I often feel discouraged when I think that I am the only one who doesn’t know certain things, or hasn’t worked on certain topics, pr that everyone seems so much further ahead. Reading this article just gives me the inspiration to keep going, to keep learning and growing and believing in myself. Thank you. Now I’m going to pay it forward by checking out new-to-me blogs from others who have commented on this page!

  8. Charmystique

    I’ve been blogging seriously for a year now, and I find I still learn new things everyday. It’s those who go the extra mile to keep improving themselves that eventually make it. I’ve moved from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress myself recently which I didn’t think I could do myself and was seriously considering paying someone a literal fortune just to do it, and that’s something I’m proud of. I’ve also upgraded to a DSLR after using a Leica digital camera for the past 6 years, and I hope to keep improving my photography skills. Being a blogger is like holding multiple jobs at once and being the best you can at all of them.


  9. Gracious Store

    The best things we learn in life are those we taught ourselves, the one we learned stumbling and picking up ourselves, making mistakes and learning from our mistakes. Those are the things we own, we make them our own and they make us who we are

  10. Brooke Vlasich

    I have found that both my experience as a blogger and in a creative career that my ideas, inspiration, and focus on what I create change all the time! My blog has focused on clothing from many different aspects as I have taken on different career experiences from theatrical costuming to sustainable fashion and I have loved writing about each focal point! I love being able to explore clothing and culture from so many different aspects!

  11. Toya

    This post was exactly what I needed to read! I often feel like I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. It’s very refreshing to know that I’m not alone. I feel more motivated and inspired to keep moving forward,due to this blog post. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Marta

    fashion blogs become so boring, they are all identycal, no creativity, no personality, so sad

  13. Marta

    I really dont’ think you depend from each other, do you remember blogging is not made as a self referred community but was born for audience and for people who don’t have a blog? this is fundamental,some bloggers seem to talk each other to gain more likes etc it’s really like bloggers are blogging for companies

  14. Kaisha

    I could really relate to this post. This Tuesday will be 1 year that I have had my blog and I’m not sure if I want to keep it up but I do love talk about it. I just started to learn about these forums and conferences about blogging, connecting with other bloggers but I just cannot seem to shake feeling like I’m really late. Either way this was a great read. It was just what I needed to hear – Everyone is learning as they go.


  15. Carol @ Jolly Caucus Race

    ‘Waiting for someone to give you a job. Fuck that. You can play your own game and do your own thing simply by just starting and doing it. No one has to give you permission to follow your dreams.’
    I am printing that off and sticking it above my desk!! YES!!!