SO, WHY DID YOU START BLOGGING?

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I was recently emailed by a gal who has been blogging for a while and has started to get frustrated at not reaching these goals she set for herself. I'm obviously deciding not to share as those are private to her and I's conversation. Either way, it lit a spark in me and made me realize that no many are speaking the truth behind blogging and the realities of it all. So this being a stranger and for no other reason than me being me, I decided to give it to her straight as I won't any of you, my best friend or in front of a room at a conference.

I decided to share with you this email I wrote in response to her to maybe either: 1. Help with any frustrations or 2. Resonate and spark something inside of you. Peace and blessings ya heard.

(DISCLOSURE: For those of you who know how I talk and write and all that good stuff, this is familiar but for all you newbies. Hold back on the defense tip. Take it in and think about it.) xprofresh

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Hey girl!

Thanks for emailing. Listen, totally hear you. I've been blogging for 5 years now and it's no where near what people think it is.

1. I'm broke, brands don't pay shit unless you have an agent (which I don't advise, I've turned down opportunities that sounded good at the time but wouldn't be worth sacrificing my brand)

2. The life I've created on the blog, although definitely more realistic than most blogs, my life isn't actually all that great and exciting. And to a lot of people, it looks as if I'm successful. Boo, I'm far from it.

3. I work a full-time job (which is my career choice), blogging money is never enough and I hardly have time to actually blog. With all that said, the blog should never, ever, ever be about the money or making it a full-time gig.

Here's my advice. You've got the normal requirements for a blog: white background, clean layout, beautiful images and cute style. But.... WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?! Here's the thing: there are 2 million fashion blogs in the U.S. alone. That's 2,000,000 and counting! So think about your blog and be honest with yourself when answering these questions:

What do you stand for? What is your purpose? Who is your audience? Why should they care? What makes you different? Why did you start a blog?

And there are a few things to remember. 

1. It's not about money 2. It's about working with brands 3. It's not about becoming famous 4. It's not about getting free shit

If those are the reasons you've started your blog, it's time to reconsider. Don't be unrealistic with yourself because only you know the truth. If you have started your blog for any of those reasons, go back to those questions I wrote above. If your answers don't lead to a conclusion of, "I wanted to start a blog because I had something different to say/contribute/add" then blogging just may not be right.

This all prob sounds harsh but listen boo, the blogging world is ridiculous. It's nothing of what it used to be. Blogging back in 2008ish, was about saying something in the open air just because your friends didn't understand you, so at least you could tell the internet. Now, it's just incredibly corporate feeling: with politics, bribery, deceit and disgusting individuals all around.

Now, if you're truly blogging because you have something to say and something to contribute, here's my advice:

Find a group of girls with similar interests/blogs. Have meet-ups to learn about each other, make friends. That will be your support system + a new group of girls who get you

Go to blogger conferences like IFB, BlogHer, LuckyFabb, etc. For most new bloggers, you definitely gain knowledge. But for most, it's just a good time to meet other bloggers plus meet some of your favorites that you've got bookmarked. AND it's just nice to be in a room where everyone just GETS it

Don't expect this to be your day job. You can definitely aspire to that if that's where you'd like it to go but know that a real, full-time job has to be the focus. Otherwise, what happens when the blog fails or you get sick of it and you "invested" with no back-up plan?

Don't kill yourself over posting. Content and quality is KEY. Never just post because you haven't posted in three weeks. What helps me is a content calendar and I plan everything a month ahead so I know when I need to shoot, edit, etc and schedule my posts accordingly. It saves time and effort

And if brands are what you are truly after, I would just hit them up. No harm, no foul. But never be eager, it's not a good look

NEVER EVER EVER just shop because you think you need to be relevant because it will leave you broke. Fuck that shit girl. Most people want to see how you can wear your existing closet over and over again while remaining fresh. Adding in a few new pieces here and there are good but when you start looking like a Zara lookbook, well boo, you just drank the kool-aid

Most importantly, relish in the struggle. All of us are struggling even some of the biggest bloggers who you may look up to are struggling; it's just their job to make it look like they're not ;)

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So now that you've read my advice, tell me what you think. Anything to add? Anything you disagree with? Preach onnnn. Also, my girl over at

Grit & Glamour

is writing an uber cool blog series about well, blogging. Go. NOW.