Full Time Blogging: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from 4 Seasoned Bloggers

The price one pays for pursuing any professions or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side — James A. Baldwin

I get a lot of questions about blogging especially how to transition from working a full-time 9-5 job into entrepreneurship. I answer a lot of those questions here but I wanted to dedicate a whole blog post to the behind the scenes of blogging. I’ve been a fashion blogger since 2010 and have been updating this website since then. I did it all while working a Full-Time 42 hour a week job. So yes, it’s extremely possible to be a successful blogger and have a Full-Time job like my girl Amanda @fromtheheelsup. Blogging Full Time is absolutely amazing. It can be scary but still amazing. Yes there are free things, tons of events and lots of amazing opportunities like being featured in magazines and working with notable brands like NARS and Shopbop. I’ve also made some of my closet friends from the blogging community. From a quick look at Instagram it can seem like the perfect life but don’t get it twisted. I feel supremely blessed that I get to wake up and do this every single day but it is still work. No matter how rewarding and fun the work can be. So in this post you’ll here from myself, Danielle @stylenbeautydoc, Vic Styles @thevicstyles and Amanda @fromtheheelsup about the good, the bad and the ugly side of blogging. 

Monroe @monroesteele

BLOG: www.fashionsteelenyc.com

BLOGGING SINCE 2010

29.3K INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS

PAYMENT RANGE FOR INSTAGRAM CAMPAIGNS: $800-$3000 

THE GOOD: I really love my job. I get to use all my creativity from writing, to styling to video editing. I love the camaraderie amongst other bloggers as well. It’s a very new field as far as being a legit occupation so it’s great that I have a solid network of blogger friends who I can go to and ask questions. They have helped me with negotiating payments and everything in between. I love getting to make my own schedule and that I have the opportunity to use my platform to inspire people outside of just fashion (although fashion inspiring is dope too). It’s very rewarding that I can turn this passion for writing and fashion into a full-time job. I also love my audience! They are my tribe and push me to keep elevating.

THE BAD: It can be really frustrating dealing with Influencer Agencies and getting paid in a timely manner. One of the reasons I was so scared to go full-time is because I love a steady paycheck. That security is nonexistent as a Full-Time Blogger. You either get paid in 90 days, 60 days or 30 days. Luckily, brands are moving away from 90 days which is just crazy. But even 60 days to wait for a paycheck is ridiculous. Currently most of my contracts are 60 days. I have been successful at negotiating a lot of collaborations to a 30 day payout but it’s hard. Some agencies aren’t good at paying on time and that’s when it gets dicey. You don’t wanna come off like an angry black woman that they wont work with again but you also want to get your money. There are certain agencies I will never work with again because they paid me so late. Like hello…I have bills to pay. Then there’s affiliate payments and although I love RewardStyle, payouts range from 120-150 days! Like WOW. That’s insane and that platform was created by a blogger!

THE UGLY: There aren’t too many things I can complain about other than not getting paid on time but undoubtedly the ugliest part of blogging is the negative comments. Yall, I cant even put into words how people will say just about anything, especially on Youtube. I’ve been told to get my teeth fixed, that my makeup makes me look sickly (when i was actually sick), and so much more. Everyone will have an opinion about anything and everything you post online. So developing very thick skin is critical. I would also advise against reading Youtube comments specifically and learn how to utilize that block button on Instagram. It’s been my savior.

Amanda @fromtheheelsup

BLOG: www.fromtheheelsup.com

BLOGGING SINCE 2012

25.7 INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS 

PAYMENT RANGE FOR INSTAGRAM CAMPAIGNS: $900-$4000

THE GOOD: The women I have met through the blogging industry is one of the best aspects! Through social media, I’ve formed genuine friendships with people who have supported me, looked out for me or guided me through this unknown career. When I feel discouraged or lacking inspiration, this network of like-mined and driven females pushes me and keeps me going. I’m forever grateful for the amazing circle I’ve formed throughout the years!! They make it so much sweeter!

THE BAD: The bad thing is that there is so much unknown to blogging. While it’s been a career for many people for years there is still no blueprint or set step-by-step. There is no exact amount a blogger should charge per post, there is no set path or journey you should follow in order to grow a following – all of this is unique to the person and the platform. Because there’s no blueprint, I’m pretty much learning as I’m going which can lead to me feeling like I’m not doing enough or feeling the need to evolve daily.

 

THE UGLY: Social media can be a really scary place. We open up about ourselves and share things like our families, relationships, personal health, finances and our daily struggles to relate to our audience and show that we are just regular people going through regular things. This creates a space for people to share their opinions and feelings and most times it can be quite hurtful. While it comes with the territory and I understand we signed up for this, it’s mind-boggling some people forget we are humans behind the platform. This sometimes stops me from oversharing certain aspects of my life in fear of how it will be interpreted or terrible messages I’ll receive.

 

Vic @thevicstyles

BLOG: www.vicstyles.com

BLOGGING SINCE 2012

43K INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS

PAYMENT RANGE FOR INSTAGRAM CAMPAIGNS: $500-$4000

THE GOOD: The ability to inspire countless women, it’s incredible. I’ve been able to touch so many people and impact so many lives- people that, without the internet, I would never be able to connect with.

THE BAD: The inconsistency of pay. It can be hell waiting for checks.

THE UGLY: I’ve been VERY fortunate to not have experienced anything too ugly. I know it can wreak havoc on your self-esteem. Both by negative comments and by constantly comparing ourselves to other influencers.

Danielle @stylenbeautydoc

BLOG: www.thestyleandbeautydoctor.com

BLOGGING SINCE 2007

37K INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS

PAYMENT RANGE FOR INSTAGRAM CAMPAIGNS: $1500-$3000

I typically work with the same brands on longer term deals so often that is factored into the overall fee which may also include blog posts and Youtube videos. But when I do one-off campaigns where there’s a single post, my fee varies depending on the asks and ranges from $1500-3000 per IG post with things like usage, exclusivity, etc. adding to that range. I know you didn’t ask this, but thought I’d share…lol. I’ve learned over the years that it’s not often worth it to go too far below your range. There are exceptions like if it’s a new lane for me or if it’s a brand I want to start a relationship with, but I rarely go below $1000 for a single IG post. What I find happens is those who try to lowball you often also want the most work out of you. Some of my easiest, stress-free work came from brands who paid my asking fee.

 

THE GOOD: The community you build—I love my audience! The people who follow me tend to look like me physically (as people especially in beauty tend to follow people with similar skin tone and in fashion with similar body type), but in having in-person events and interacting on Instagram, I’ve found that they also have a similar sense of humor as me. Every time I have an event, the energy from attendees is on 1000! I also love the amazing bloggers I’ve met over the years—I get so inspired by the women I’ve known over the years. Especially happy that I got to meet Monroe—we go back like 8 or 9 years!

THE BAD: I think some people have their own perceptions about bloggers and think that what we do isn’t work (it’s actually A LOT more work than what you might imagine). There’s also the politics of working with some brands and the internalized racism that sometimes comes with it. And I’ve had a moment or two in my nearly 12 years of blogging that I’ve considered riding down to an agency to find out where my SUPER PAST DUE check is.

THE UGLY: This doesn’t happen to me often thankfully and mostly tends to happen where a brand boosts my posts to people who don’t follow me, but some people can get really nasty with their comments. I had to disable comments on a flat iron video I did for a brand that boosted my post on Instagram. Mind you, I look cute in the video and my hair looked nice as well, but I got so many nasty comments from other Black women about my hair. I even had some that went on my actual profile to leave comments after I disabled the comments. You try not to take it personal because these people do not know you, but you’re human and it can hurt your feelings sometimes.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a Full-Time Blogger. But just like any job, it has it’s ugly sides. It’s not for the faint of heart. We still read most of our comments and even DMs, though we may not have time to respond to them all. We are just regular women who found out how to make a living doing what we’d be doing anyway. If you’re getting into blogging for the money or the fame or the gifts, you won’t last long. You have to have a real passion for it because otherwise it will eat you alive. I’d love for this post to be a resource for anyone looking to get into blogging or influencing or Full-Time Blogging. If you blog please drop your GOOD, BAD and UGLY below in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you’re interested in blogging and want a mentor be sure to check out Vics Mentorship Program. You can also head over to my Etsy Shop for my So You Wanna Be A Blogger Ebook, Instastories Pro Ebook and Pitch Templates to Brands, Hotels + To Cover Fashion Week. Use Code: MONROE20 for 20% Off Your Order! 

xx

Monroe

Pitch Letters + Ebooks for Bloggers, Influencers + Business Owners

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Thanks to my girls Danielle, Amanda and Vic for contributing to this post and being raw and honest. Also shout out to the best photographer Rose @dadouchic.


29 Comments

  1. June 14, 2019 / 9:27 am

    Such an amazing post! Thanks so much for transparency! You are incredible

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 14, 2019 / 3:22 pm

      Thanks so much for reading! Appreciate the support!

      xx
      Monroe

  2. June 14, 2019 / 10:32 am

    Thanks so much for including me! I looove collaborating with you 🙂

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 14, 2019 / 3:22 pm

      Always boo, you’re such an inspiration to me! Had to include you!

      xx
      Monroe

  3. J
    June 14, 2019 / 10:46 am

    Wonderful, well written and honest peak into the world of Blogging/Influencing. Thank you!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 14, 2019 / 3:22 pm

      Thanks for reading!

      xx
      Monroe

  4. June 14, 2019 / 12:43 pm

    Monroe Monroe! This post was so helpful. I’ve been blogging for a few years now and it’s hard to build a following and stay consistent. Like you said, it’s so much work! I have a hard time balancing being a mom, a wife, working and blogging! As you mentioned, there has to be REAL passion behind it to keep going. Thank you all for sharing and being so transparent, greatly appreciated!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 14, 2019 / 3:21 pm

      Thanks boo! You know I love ya. It is hard to stay on top of it i can only image having a whole family and trying to do this too. Thanks for reading!

  5. June 14, 2019 / 1:07 pm

    This post needs to be on every platform. Wow, the information is 100%. Thank you for the blog post.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 14, 2019 / 3:21 pm

      Wow thanks so much! Appreciate that.

      xx
      Monroe

  6. June 14, 2019 / 3:21 pm

    So informative! Great job ladies! Thanks for introducing me to from the heels up. I’m already a proud fan of the other lovely ladies!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 14, 2019 / 3:24 pm

      Thanks for reading! Amanda is a gem!

      xx
      Monroe

  7. Jocelyn F.
    June 14, 2019 / 6:50 pm

    This post was amazing ! I decided to start blogging and fell off because of a lot of the pressure, but this just lit a fire in me in so many ways ! Such a nice read! Thanks for sharing !

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 15, 2019 / 11:59 am

      YAY that makes me happy! Thanks for reading.

      x
      Monroe

  8. Rayya Ansari
    June 14, 2019 / 9:20 pm

    I love this so much ! I think the ugly is I have a tendency to compare myself to others unfortunately. I’m working on that.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 15, 2019 / 11:58 am

      Yeah comparison is the thief of joy and we are all human and been there. But you can’t stay there. LOL.

      xx
      Monroe

  9. June 14, 2019 / 11:41 pm

    Thank you for you transparency. I just started blogging in October 2018 and definitely call relate to blogging because you love it and not being driven by money. For me the ugly with being a new blogger is comparison to others, getting in my feelings with numbers, and understanding how to work with brands.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 15, 2019 / 11:58 am

      Yeah it can really be tough but if you think about why you started it always puts things into perspective.

      x
      Monroe

  10. June 15, 2019 / 1:32 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post. I got consistent with blogging this year. I’ll likely come back to read this post again!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 15, 2019 / 11:57 am

      YES! Congrats! Thats no small thing being consistent!

      x
      Monroe

  11. June 15, 2019 / 4:05 am

    Great post Monroe!! Very informative! Thank you for your honesty and for sharing.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 15, 2019 / 11:57 am

      Thanks so much! I’m glad it could help.

      x

  12. June 15, 2019 / 7:59 am

    Wow such a lovely post babe, thanks for keeping it real, you and your friends

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 15, 2019 / 11:56 am

      Thanks so much for reading!

      x
      Monroe

  13. Gloria Bissessar
    June 17, 2019 / 10:55 am

    Monroe, it was so refreshing to hear from all of you. Each of you are facing similar issues, though you are each uniquely different. Just goes to show that no one is exempt from negativity. One of the things that drew me to you and Daniel were your realness and friendly demeanor. I recently started following Vic and Amanda who seems super dope. I wish you all success and less stress because you all deserve it! XOXOXOXO

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 17, 2019 / 4:52 pm

      Thank you so much Gloria! Love ya boo!

      xx
      Monroe

  14. Rishea
    June 17, 2019 / 1:39 pm

    Lovely Post! I always appreciated your transparency and honestly.

    I

    • monroesteele
      Author
      June 17, 2019 / 4:50 pm

      Thanks so much for reading!

      xx
      Monroe

  15. Lavette McGill
    June 17, 2019 / 5:04 pm

    It’s a refreshing read… even the bad and the ugly was truly informative

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