I love the internet. Back when I was starting out my career in fashion publishing, the internet was definitely around, but it wasn’t anything like what it is now. Blogging wasn’t really taken very seriously. (Very few girls were even doing it, honestly.) If you wanted to be in fashion publishing, your best bet back then was to get a good internship at a recognized publication and work as hard as you could to get noticed.
Fast forward a few years and the world of fashion and lifestyle blogging has changed drastically. What started out as a fun hobby for a few girls has evolved into a full-fledged industry that is projected to pull in $6.5 billion in 2019. It even has a name– Influencer Marketing. These girls have figured out how to monetize being themselves and honestly… it’s kind of amazing.
For me, I always thought my dream job was working in the magazine world. I’ve discussed this a lot in the past… how my dad’s sudden death drastically changed the course of my career and eventually led me to start my own blog. As it turned out, BLOGGING was truly my dream job… one I didn’t even know existed, one I didn’t even realize was a possibility.
And yet, here we are. I’m my own boss, I run my own business. I absolutely love my job and feel so blessed that God had a plan for me that was better, bigger, and more rewarding than my own plan was.
One of the best things about blogging has definitely been meeting and connecting with other bloggers. If you’ve been following me a while you know who these girls are. My best friends are basically all bloggers. I’ve been bridesmaids in their weddings, travel partners on amazing trips, co-workers in campaigns. We’ve cheered on each other’s victories, bounced ideas off of each other, offered advice on everything from which photo to post to how to navigate a sticky issue with a brand. Blogging can be lonely and solitary, but the interesting thing is that other bloggers sort of end up feeling like your co-workers.
While the internet is something I am insanely grateful for, something that has allowed me to create and build a business I love, there’s also another side. The internet can also be a dark place. While tons of people use Instagram and the internet for inspiration, connection and information… there are some who allow the content they consume to make them feel inferior, less-than, jealous.
I don’t blame them. Instagram is the highlight reel, and we all are guilty of using it to show only the good parts of our lives. Comparison is a really dangerous trap that we can all fall into. It happens to me all the time!
The trouble begins when instead of taking a step in the moments you feel this way about someone else’s photos, you let them slowly poison you. The danger ramps up when you allow a screen to shield you as you say something hurtful to someone else with the intent of tearing them down.
Lately, it seems like it’s become a bigger and bigger problem. This weekend alone, I feel like I’ve seen more girls than usual addressing these ugly interactions on Stories. It really struck a nerve in me and really just sparked this post idea.
Recently, a few good friends seem to be battling followers on IG who claim that “blogging is not a real job” and that “blogging is NOT hard” and that “the REAL hard-working women are women who have to work in offices with other co-workers and bosses”. Um. What?
First thing’s first. I don’t really understand why women with traditional jobs, co-workers, and bosses are the only women who can be hard workers. I think those women absolutely are hard workers!
But why does that mean that I also cannot be a hard worker? Why does the fact that another woman’s conventional job is more socially acceptable negate the validity of my unconventional one? Do we both pay taxes? (yes) Do we both have deadlines? (yes) Do we both make money? (yes)
Blogging is meant to seem effortless and natural. The whole point is for it to be authentic and real. You aren’t meant to see the work behind it. You aren’t supposed to see the effort. And yes, it isn’t curing cancer or saving lives, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. Inspiration and encouragement are very valuable things.
Blogging is absolutely a real job. Is it a traditional career path? No. Is it a real job? Yes. Does it have amazing perks? Yes. Do you see all the work that goes into it? No.
Let me tell you a little bit about blogging as a job. The photos, Stories and posts you see… are the end product. What you don’t see is everything leading up to those moments. Bloggers are all entrepreneurs. We own our own businesses. We are accountants, SEO specialists, graphic designers, photographers, negotiators, marketers, and a million other things. We have contracts and deadlines and invoices and emails and all the things other people have at their traditional jobs. Except benefits. And paid time off. And job security. And steady paychecks.
Just because a job has GREAT perks doesn’t negate the validity of the work. Just because you get some great benefits from your job doesn’t mean that your job doesn’t have challenges. Yes, blogging has amazing perks. Better perks than most jobs!! You get to go on great trips and are gifted awesome products. You get to shop and try new things, eat at cool places, go to amazing hotels. EVERY job has perks. But it’s important to know that these perks all have strings.
They come with requirements and work involved. And that’s OK! We chose this as a career path. But just remember that when a blogger is on a trip, they’re working. Just because it seems like 100% fun, doesn’t mean it is the whole time. There is a lot of work involved! It’s fun work, but still work nonetheless.
Now… that’s the trade-off. We have to hustle ALL THE TIME for EVERYTHING we have. We have to constantly justify why we deserve to get paid. We have to fight for and negotiate our paychecks EVERY SINGLE DAY. Multiple times a day. If we decide to take time off, we do not make any money. If we get sick and take time off, we do not get paid. Some months you make more than others. Your paycheck is never steady or guaranteed.
This honestly isn’t the life for everyone or even an option for everyone. It’s a life full of uncertainty and doubt. There are days you compare yourself to another blogger and feel defeated. There are times you’re overwhelmed and can’t keep up… but only have yourself to lean on. Don’t be fooled by the perfect pics and the fun Stories… there are definitely challenges to choosing blogging as a career path. This isn’t a complaint. It’s truly the best job I’ve ever had. But don’t think it doesn’t come with its own unique set of challenges and hardships. EVERY job has cons.
Just because the struggles of blogging are different than your own doesn’t mean they aren’t tough. Just because the perks are FANTASTIC doesn’t mean that the challenges don’t suck.
Now that I’ve defended blogging as a career, it leads to the bigger issue at hand, which honestly, has nothing to do with the validity of influencer marketing as an industry.
Why does the safety of a screen allow so many people to get away with saying horrible things to other people? Why does the privacy of a keyboard make someone feel empowered to message someone with something they’d never in a million years say to their face? Why do some people feel the need to tear someone down just to build themselves up? Does your success/beauty/personal style/worthiness depend on someone else not measuring up?
Why can’t we be happy for others instead of allowing their success to make us feel inferior? I don’t know about you, but if I see something I don’t like on IG, I keep on scrolling. If I hate someone’s outfit, I may think “Ew” but I’d never actually COMMENT that on their photo. I’m continuously baffled by the need some people seem to have to put in their two cents when it’s a negative opinion. Why do you feel deep down like you need to hurt the other person?
There’s so much talk about women supporting women. I think it’s SO important. There is room for everyone at the top. I don’t think we need others to fail for us to be lifted up. ‘A rising tide lifts all boats.’ Why don’t we CELEBRATE each other instead of tearing each other down? Why can’t we just be happy for each other’s successes instead of allowing them to make us feel like we are inferior?
Let’s not place our value in comparison to someone else’s. If someone makes you feel bitter, angry, or jealous… just hit the unfollow. If you see something you don’t like… just keep scrolling. Let’s spread positivity and kindness instead of poisoning others with our bitterness. Know yourself. Only allow things that encourage and inspire you into your life and heart. If something makes you feel bad, cut it out. Don’t let the negative take root in your heart, it’ll only poison you. You’ll never feel better by tearing someone else down.
I hope that any content I create only makes you feel good and inspired and encouraged. I hope that you feel connected to me in a personal way. It’s always been the most important thing to me about blogging… our relationship. Please reach out, I always love to hear from you. You’re the reason why I do this and why I’m able to make this untraditional career path a viable one. Thank you for letting me do this and for always supporting me.