So you want to be a full-time successful fashion blogger? I am here as your very own personal Walter Mercado. Here’s what you’ll need to do: Boil 3 flat tummy tea bags in 4 cups of water. Put a towel on your head, and then put on tiniest sunglasses you can find. Grab the hairs from 2 InStyle Magazine employees, put on your Gucci belt, look in the mirror and say ‘Poshmark Poshmark LikeToKnowIt Avocado Toast Go comment on my post YAS GIRL! GLOWING.’ Dassit. You’re a blogger now. Not.
Let’s debunk this shit. As someone who has worked with influencers for 6+ years (before anyone ever actually took it seriously), you should know that I know what I’m talking about. As someone who is now an influencer, I still know what I’m talking about. So let’s begin. My friend @torontoshay posted this and I then posted it on my insta story.
I felt this on a spiritual level. I have NEVER been a full-time blogger and I have no interest in being one. I know from working with full-time bloggers that it’s A LOT OF FUCKING WORK. Add a kid, a husband and a mortgage to that equation and “I can’t even.” But the internet is mostly smoke and mirrors and some influencers have a lot of people believing that life is literally all Gucci and sponsored lipstick. It’s not. Let’s talk about it because 9 times out of 10 here’s what’s really happening in the background.
LACK OF FINANCIAL STABILITY
Most bloggers who have the privilege of having that be their full-time job either have money, come from money, or have someone who’s making money for them. That can be a financially stable partner, a trust fund, mommy & daddy, a savings account, whatever. But that cushion allows them to blog for a living. There are few and far between who have been doing this since like angelfire.com, where they’ve been in the game so long they can secure the huge projects because they know how to. But I’m talking YEARS OF HARD WORK in the game. YEARS of networking and contacts, and they STILL have to work for it.
While there’s nothing wrong with any of this, and I applaud those that can afford that privilege, I do not agree with the lack of transparency in the industry. Like the ones who aren’t telling you they maxed out all their cards to pay for that YSL bag. Or the ones that won’t tell you that all 7 of their looks for the month are borrowed from a store. The ones that won’t tell you those shoes are borrowed from a friend and the ones that have part-time jobs but want to make you believe they’re sitting at home all day unboxing shit. Bye. These are the same people that can post 5 designer bags, and 3 different designer flats, but want a discount on their photos. The same people that always want to collaborate with you and post you for exposure but will walk into the Barney’s and burn plastic for a belt they can put on the gram to impress you only to return their purchase the next day. Fuck. That. Shit.
About two years ago I received an influx of incredibly bad ass blogger clients who had no problem with my pricing and requirements. What did these women all have in common? Blogging was their side hustle. Doctors, nurses, luxury retail stylists, etc. They were all able to blog to their highest potential because they had a stable source of income that allowed them to invest in their business. Partners who have health insurance or enough income to float their dream. Women who work actual office hours for their blog and invest a lot of time, because yes, if you’re trying to be an Instagram star, then you need to know blogging is a business.
Where is your retirement fund? How do you plan on taking care of your children if you choose to have any? Can you handle the fluctuating income? Are you okay with a ton of free shit and no money? Are you fine with chasing PR companies down for checks because 5 out of 10 times they forget they even owe you money? Hard work. But obviously, all we see is the Fendi and the tiny predator sunglasses.
You have to understand that when you’re successful it consists of a lot of sponsorships. Tomorrow it’s NARS and today it’s NYX. That’s why you’ll see bloggers posting 12 different face masks and 8 beauty creams in one month but they love them all [insert eye roll here]. Personally, I find that inauthentic and tasteless. I say yes to sponsorships I’m actually interested in trying. Otherwise, I have no business telling y’all to go fry a layer of your skin off with a mask just because some French company wants to pay me $300 to tell you it changed my life. Nah son. That’s the bullshit aspect of it, but if it’s what you really want to do then you need to know that sponsorships are a lot of hard work.
I have friends who have to pay others to edit their videos or stay up for hours editing a video. They have 5 deadlines in one week but also 3 events to go to. All you see is the insta story and the goodie bag. What inspires you is the 4 consecutive blog posts and the 15 minutes of unboxing shit. Which by the way, 99.99999% of those packages don’t come with a check. So please tell me where you are going with all that free shit? I mean don’t get me wrong. I am incredibly grateful for all of my amazing packages, and hell yes I’d much rather get it for free. However, my point is that none of that pays your actual real-life bills all of the time, and that is what people need to understand.
It’s a very privileged industry. It’s a cut-throat industry. It’s an exhausting industry. But it’s also an industry full of amazing opportunities, friends, and professional relationships. I got to travel so much last year with several bloggers. Most of that was bartering. You pay for my flight, food and stay and I’ll take your photo. That’s a sacrifice I had to make because I’m not home to make actual money. A lot of times you see these bloggers on boats and trips and all this other shit, and it’s not paid. They either fund it themselves and act like it’s sponsored, or they are out there on a free vacation. Free is amazing, but free doesn’t pay my rent.
One of the reasons for still nannying (aside from loving the girls that I work with) is that I love not being poor. I love having consistent income that I can use to buy the nice things I like because I’m high maintenance AF. I run a full-time photo and brand consulting business. I’m essentially a freelancer. My money is never consistent but my hustle is also never off. You think I’m trying to be out here posting concealer and free Revolve clothing for the rest of my life while also trying to beg these bloggers to pay my full rate? No, thank you.
If it’s what you want to do, go for it. Try it out. But I want you to try it out with REALISTIC expectations. These bitches will have you out here feeling like 2007 Britney Spears when you can’t get 40k in one month like them. They also won’t tell you they’re in comment pods and loop giveaways. They won’t tell you that their following isn’t authentic and that they broke into a full-on rash from all the free lotion they put on. Go at your own pace. Do your own thing. If you can’t be a full-time blogger that’s totally okay. I always say this and I always get heat for it. If the internet shuts down today, who the fuck gives a shit about your liketoknowit tag? If companies found a way to replace influencers, where does that leave you?
Everyone says that influencers aren’t going anywhere and it’s an ever-evolving industry. How quick we are to forget that not too long ago actual commercials was where it was at. Billboards were super important and people were valuable. Now we have machines and people willing to do all of the work for .2% of the price. Influencers. Corporations and brands will always choose to protect their coins first. They will ALWAYS ALWAYS do the thing that benefits them. So in two years if influencers die out and Instagram turns into MySpace, ask yourself, “Where will I be?” What skills do I have aside from promoting shit on Instagram? What can I bring to a job that makes me irreplaceable? Real life skills are still important.
If you have a job and blog, be proud of that. If blogging is your job be proud of that too but keep it G ‘cause y’all got people out here fucked up thinking all they have to do is sell their soul to reward style and switch their Instagram profiles to a business account.
That’s my rant. I’m done. I wish y’all so much success and happiness and like my boy Walter says “Sobre todo, mucho mucho Amor.”