How Amy Poehler Can Help You Build a Better Fashion Blog


Whether or not you've read Amy Poehler's Yes, Please, I'm here to either provide a refresher and new context for it, or an enticing proposition to go out there on the inter-webs and order yourself a print or digital copy (I highly recommend the audiobook version, btw, as Poehler herself narrates, along with some celebrity guest readers like Seth Meyers and Kathleen Turner). I wanted to like this book, but ended up completely loving it, being fully absorbed in it and designating it as my main mission in life until I finished it (and then went back in and re-read it again!).

It wasn't necessarily the subject of the book and Poehler herself that I was so captivated by, but rather the elements that she brought forth in her writing, coupled with the more macro applications of her catchphrases and topics.

Just as I did with my feature on #GIRLBOSS, I of course see a direct correlation to the world of fashion blogging. I'm thrilled to share with you what I found to be some of the most poignant and witty  on-point Poehler-isms from the book that I dug into a bit deeper to bring to the IFB community.  Please read on below for my major takeaways from Yes, Please:

 Assertive, Powerful, Concise

I love saying ’yes’ and I love saying ’please.’ Saying ’yes’ doesn’t mean I don’t know how to say no, and saying ’please’ doesn’t mean I am waiting for permission. ’Yes please’ sounds powerful and concise. It’s a response and a request. It is not about being a good girl; it is about being a real woman.

Let's start at the beginning and dissect what the title “Yes, Please” means.  In the quote above, Poehler addresses the multifaceted interpretation that saying “yes, please,” can illicit, and shares what she thinks it means. The phrase is at once assertive, powerful, concise, and a bit polite, a response and request, as Poehler says. In the online space, these are all of the things that we need to be; our words and images speak for us, and we need to make the most of them to grab (and keep) attention, succinctly get our point across, and be inviting and hospitable to our reader. We create our own worlds, our own environments in the online space, and exuding these characteristics can help build success in this arena.

“Good for You, Not for Me”

I chose not to even paraphrase this straightforward gem of a quote, as Poehler gives examples of applying it to both life and career choices across several chapters in her book. From a blogging perspective, I dub this as the most important lesson to be excerpted from the book, since as bloggers, it's so easy, in fact, way too easy, to compare who we are and what we have to other bloggers and blogs. We are all individuals and bring incredible and varied things to the table, so to be able to discern that and have the ability to recognize that there isn't a one size fits all philosophy to blogging and success, the better we will all become at what we do best.

Love, and I Mean REALLY Love, Your Blog's Content

Creativity is connected to your passion, the light inside you that drives you, that joy that comes when you do something you love, that small voice that tells you “I like this! Do this again! You are good at it, keep going!” This is the juicy stuff that lubricates our lives and helps us feel less alone in the world.

Fashion blogging can require a major commitment, and its lifeline is certainly creativity and passion. If you love fashion blogging, it won't feel as much of a chore, and more like working toward a larger goal that you enjoy doing. Granted, you don't have to be smitten with every single aspect of running a blog, but the true guts of your site, the part that makes your blog unique (i.e. the content), should win your confidence and express your raison d'être when it comes to blogging. In a world where the market is becoming saturated, as more and more fashion blogs surface and it's become easier than ever to create and run a decent looking blog, relish in the fact that yours will stand out due to your clearly detectable passion for it, that comes across to readers in your words and images.

Writing Isn't Easy, so Don't Beat Yourself Up Over it

Everyone lies about writing. They lie about how easy it is or how hard it was. They perpetuate a romantic idea that writing is some beautiful experience that takes place in an architectural room filled with leather novels and chai tea…The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great, but usually not.

Writing may come more naturally to some than others, but overall, Poehler speaks the truth when it comes to how much of a challenge it can be to write, write well, and write often. As bloggers, there is a certain expectation for writing, and frequency of posting that can be relatively unattainable, and at the very least, suck some of the fun out of being a blogger. For me personally, when life happens and I can't write posts as often as I like, the guilt of not writing and the anxiety of the pile of items I need to write about accumulating can be quite overwhelming. When I'm free from the daily responsibilities and restrictions, and can focus on one, leisurely post at a time, it feels much better.

What I took away from this quote in a fashion blogging context is not to be so hard on yourself when it comes to writing, editing, and publishing your posts. We all have other things going on in our lives that can detract from writing and take up a solid chunk of space in our minds, so we should be kinder to ourselves if a writer's block occurs, feelings of being uninspired surface, or we just don't have the time or energy to get to writing. Inspiration can strike at any time, and come from the most unlikely of sources, so keep your eyes and ears open, and remain hopeful.

Would you like to add anything to the conversation on Yes, Please, and its comparison to fashion blogging?

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14 Responses

  1. Susu Paris Chic

    I love your encouraging words here. Life happens and fashion blogging should be fun. We can’t always be online when real life takes us. But that shouldn’t matter. We are doing this out of love. I’m blogging in order to connect with likeminded people, and maybe to get invitations to fashion events. The rest is secondary.

  2. Suzanne

    Great interesting post.

    When you can use some of the insight from a book directly in your own life, or apply it to other situations, it is a worthwhile read.


  3. Alex

    Great post. I’d like to add that when I’ve read the “Good for You, Not for Me” quote, the first thing that sprang to my mind was the countless mails we have to deal with that try to sell us that promoting a certain company in exchange for eventual (not guaranteed) social shares/a ridiculously low amount of money is a really fantastic deal for us Bloggers.

    Alex – Funky Jungle

  4. Andhika

    Writing is never easy..Yeap..of course,,because some folks forget if that is your job,,and doing jobs is never easy for some people..

  5. Donna

    This is such a great post! As a sewing/fashion blogger its even more difficult especially to get followers and responses on your blog. And equally challenging to have the photos taken for the blog. I am really trying to do better!

  6. Onianwah

    There was a time, not too long ago, when if I was a fan of my blog, I wouldn’t read it. This has made me tweak and re-tweak my blog content. I still write like I talk but it’s more mature and more me now and the mix of images and text is something I’m quite proud of right at this moment.
    Thanks for this post Julia.

    Lagos, Nigeria

  7. katelharper

    This is really interesting to read, I am currently trying to establish my blog at the moment and have been looking everywhere for advice so this is really great! If anyone would like to take a look at my blog and give me feedback it would be much appreciated! Kate x

  8. Brooke

    I love all of these quotes and your take on them concerning fashion blogging. Writing is not easy and sometimes I think, “Why the hell did I start this blog?” But, then I step away and an idea strikes me and I forget the strain I had in the first place. I’m passionate about writing and want to keep sharing my ideas and stories, otherwise I wouldn’t continue it. Thanks for reminding me that blogging and writing is fun and can be enjoyable even if it feels like work sometimes.

  9. anna

    yes please sounds amazing. hopefully ill read it over summer. love this article!