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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!