Some days, I feel like a bad blogger.
I see girls on my Instagram feeds posting daily photos of outfits they just bought at Nordstrom / Shopbop / *insert other stores I drool over here*. They’ll do try on sessions from their weekly shopping sprees and link them to show audiences how things fit, how to style the pieces, etc. That’s why fashion blogging began, actually – real people reviewing retailers’ fashion items for consumers in ways that online photos cannot. Sure, maybe some of these items are gifted or returned the second after they are posted, but they are bringing value to their readers by getting the newest items out there.
Although I wish I was able to, I don’t the ability to go to Nordstrom each week and buy 10 things to shoot. While I’m extremely happy for my friends who can do so, I sometimes find my mind drifting and imagining what my career would be like if I could do the same. Would I be more successful? Would I have grown more quickly? Would I be more helpful to my readers?
Then, of course, I snap out of it. I have to remind myself I’m self-employed in the third-largest city in America. I work hard for the money I make, but the vast majority of it goes to the government via taxes or right back into my business. I sometimes get upset with myself for ordering more than one drink when I go out with friends because that $10 could have gone toward my new checks or a third memory card. Needless to say, I am extremely frugal, especially when it comes to spending money on clothes. You can see how this is a problem for a blogger, especially one who tries to post about fashion.
“Just put it all on a credit card and return it!” someone told me. This idea seems very contradictory to the transparency I try to maintain with my audience. I’m real with them, they’re real with me. Pretending I can afford new things all the time just doesn’t sit well with me, partially because the vast majority of my audience is like me.
My readers can’t, or won’t, drop $1,000 in one day on things they think are cute or fun for the season. Sure, there are days they go out shopping with friends or family and buy a few things, or days they stock up on items for a new job / trip / etc., but no crazy weekly spending. For these reasons, I try to make all the items I link affordable and reliable. I only link to retailers that I stand behind and actually shop at myself.
To try to create content without having a lot of new items each week to feature, I’ve had to get creative. I end up rewearing a lot of items of mine, some as old as my high school days. I borrow friends’ clothing from time to time for something new. I constantly scan the clearance section of retailers’ websites, buying popular items in the off-season that will be back up to full price the next year. I incorporated my Daily Deals as a way to help my audience save that $ and still get some new things (because, let’s face it, there’s no better feeling than wearing a new outfit for the first time!). Another way I want to help is a new series on my blog. I titled it “If I Had $1,000 to Blow,” because I don’t have $1,000 laying around to spend on items to shoot, but if I did, these are what I would buy.
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To shop this image, simply click on the item you’re interested in to be directed to the retailer’s website.
Today is the inaugural post of what I hope to be a monthly series. Some of these items are just way too much $ for me to justify, others are things I have zero idea of how I’d actually wear them, and a few are things I actually want to buy, but am waiting to hit “add to bag” until some checks come in. In total, there are 11 items that add up to $973, without tax.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the blogging industry, and what ideas you have to help me push new exciting content to you in a transparent and realistic way. In the meantime, feel free to click through the 11 items below to learn more about what drew me to them!!