After a great response to my last “How To Be A Better Blogger” post, I figured we’d keep the momentum going with another edition of my new series. This time, we’re tackling all those questions us style bloggers get asked that we h-a-t-e. These questions come from all across the board, either from friends/family members that doesn’t understand the blogging world or, even worse, questions you get asked by fellow bloggers. So after lots of research on Twitter on what you despise being asked, I give you my Top 5 list, and the best ways I’ve found to answer them.
1) “How much money do you make off your blog?”
Why on earth do people, bloggers and non-bloggers, think it’s OK to ask someone how much money they make? Would you ask me that if I worked a normal 9-5’er (which I do, too, FYI)? Probably not. So yes, I make money off my blog, duh! (You can see I even mention that on my policies page.) I love what I do and I love making money off what I love to do. So the short answer: it’s none of your damn beeswax how much money my site brings in per day/month, but maybe I can spot you some cash so you can go and purchase the latest Miss Manners book.
2) “Do you use photoshop on your pictures?”
Now this is a tricky one. Any blogger would be lying if they said they haven’t enhanced an image in one way or another. Either just to make something brighter, crop or adjust the size. Now, with posts like this calling out some of the top bloggers for going “Photoshop Happy”, you’ve got to be careful how you answer. I 100% am not ashamed to admit I do small adjustments to my photos if needed – i.e make the image brighter, size it, and yes, remove something if needed. For example: one time I was taking photos and a mosquito was biting my face (unbeknownst to me) the ENTIRE shoot. So there it was, a black bug smack on my forehead for about 75% of my frames. Did I use a shot or two with the bug, yes. Did I stamp that little sucker out so you couldn’t see him, totally. I definitely have never created a larger thigh gap, smoothed cellulite, tightened my tummy or even blurred some under eye circles. Not only because I think it’s totally ridiculous to change yourself in those ways on your blog (leave that to the big fashion mags) but I have no f’ing clue how to do that with my minimal Photoshop skills. Plus that shit takes time to do, and quite frankly I’d rather be sleeping than trying to make myself look perfect in a picture. I have zits, my clothes are wrinkled and my hair if frizzy…get over it. Let’s move on.
3) “Can I have your contact for (insert brand/PR agency name here)?”
Long before I found myself in blog-land, my career was in magazine editorial and publishing for many years. I worked directly with PR agencies and brand managers to get samples for photo shoots, attended countless press previews and NYFW shows and yes, received gifts from some of these coveted brands. So the relationships I have with some these industry insiders goes back many moons before PLIG was born. So while not all my contacts I’ve made are specifically from my magazine days, I do know how annoyed PR execs/reps get when some rando starts stalking them via email asking for free shit or seats to their show. With that, I rarely hand over someones contact information. I’ve worked to cultivate these relationships and I have no clue how you, another blogger, approach PR people in your e-pitches. Are you polite and informative, or annoying and needy? Well, that’s a chance I’m just not willing to take to potentially risk my own relationship with that particular rep. With that, there are so many ways to find contacts to brands, PR reps and even editors at your favorite magazine: LinkedIn is a great resource, use your good ol’ friend Google or, my personal favorite, send them a DM via Twitter asking for more information on the correct person to contact for collaborations!
4) “Isn’t it shallow/self centered to take photos of yourself/your life and post them everywhere?”
There’s a lot more that go into blogging besides smiling in front of the camera. I’m running a brand here, people! Sure, I snap pics of myself a couple days a week, but why am I doing that? The actual picture-taking part of my blog is one of my least favorite things. It’s awkward and I hate always having to smile and wear makeup. But, what I LOVE is sharing with my readers a great affordable fashion or beauty finds that I’m currently obsessed with! Besides my view on style, I also love expanding my presence on social media, perfecting the art of working on a great pitch, and just all around learning how to manage my brand and be my own boss. So yes, while photos of myself all over the place can be viewed as self-centered on the surface – when you dig a little deeper you’ll see bloggers care about way more than perfecting their smile in front of the camera.
5) “Can we collaborate on a post/will you do a guest blog post for me?”
If you’re starting out in the blogging world, one the best ways to get your name out to a larger audience is both by writing guest posts for your blogging peers, and featuring other bloggers on your site. I did a handful of these guest posts when I started out and it really can make a big difference. Now that I’m four years in, managing Poor Little It Girl takes up way more time than it did when I was 1-2 years in. In addition to writing PLIG, I do work a full time job (yes, that 40 hours a week I am not in front of a computer), all while managing Southern Blog Society, the newly launched Southwest Blog Society (JOIN here) and maintaining some sort of normal life with my boyfriend and family. So while it’s always great to help bloggers out in the community and work together, sometimes time is just too limited. And right now, I have to focus on just making it through my “To Do” list for the day and get to bed at a reasonable hour before I have to do it all over again. Moral of the story: don’t be afraid to say NO to additional projects if it means you’ll have a bit more sanity in your day.