Living over 11 years ago by Liz Adams

Blogging as a Business

Yesterday I read an extremely interesting and insightful article called The Business of Blogging, an interview that BoF did with Leandra Medine, the Man Repeller. In the article, Leandra discusses how being a “new age” blogger is a fete, because keeping your blog ahead of the game is almost impossible when you count the number of successful pioneer blogs out there {think Tommy Ton and Scott Schuman}. I also learned the Leandra has only been termed “the Man Repeller” for two short years, and she is younger than me, but she entered the blog world with a killer idea {and brand!} that separated her from the rest of fashion bloggers – which is really all it took to make her a stand out. “Man Repeller as a concept was the door,” says Medine. “But it’s what I’ve done with the site that has enabled me to walk through that door. Execution is almost everything.” 

Lately, I’ve been a little distant in the blog world – not visiting others as often, few comments, and trying not to get entirely wrapped up in “the blogging community.” Not because I don’t love it, honestly words can’t describe the effects that this sweet + creative community has had on my life, but sometimes I think it is important to think of yourself as one. I never want to look at another blog as competition, because the purpose of this blog is to discuss my passions, create a relationship with my readers, and have my own voice without any external influence. When I look back at the beginning of S&S, I can see that some of my posts don’t feel as genuine to me. I never want that to be the case. 
So I ask you, what keeps you motivated in what sometimes seems like a constantly competitive world? If you haven’t, I highly recommend reading Leandra’s article, it sparked a whole new fire on my constant strive to be ahead of the game. 

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  1. it’s so true, there can be tons of pressure to stand out as a blogger! what keeps me motivated is the idea that even if it’s not a million viewers, i know that at least someone is reading the blog, and i owe it to them to make it good! 🙂 can’t wait to read that article, thank you!

  2. I agree, it’s so easy to get wrapped up and it’s SO SILLY to ‘compete’ for placement with your blog. I go in and out as well, but the most important thing and what keeps me motivated is the fact that I get personal satisfaction by sharing a piece of my life, my taste, etc and having even one person respond or mention an old post that they liked or got something out of. That’s what’s worth it. Great post. XO

  3. First of all, I won’t lie when I say I can’t stand her. Mostly because I don’t think vaginas are good material for humor. However, I do like the article. I just try to keep my “eyes on the prize” but mostly my boyfriend beats it (NOT LITERALLY OKAY!!!) into me. I try to not compare myself to this (not yours obvs) lame fashion blog that has a bazillion followers because I don’t have a fashion blog. So on and so forth. But it’s freaking hard as crap.

  4. Great post my friend! I too feel the pressure in blogland! There are so many good ones out there, but I often remind myself that there is only one me. My blog may not be the best one out there, but it is often the one thing that makes me feel like I have acheived something. Plus I really enjoy it! Thanks for sharing the article!

  5. It is VERY easy to get wrapped up in it all, which is why I tend to just do my own thing. I just blog what makes me happy and I love to work with new bloggers and show them the ropes. It is important to continually remind myself that there is life outside of the blogging world.

  6. Love this post, I was just talking to my husband last night about that article and was criticizing myself that I need to have a better blog and get more followers etc. Adding pressure on myself when it is definitively not needed. I joined the blogosphere as a creative outlet because my paying job doesn’t allow creativity. I have to remind myself that it’s for that reason only that I do this and not to compare myself to others!

  7. I love reading blogs and yours is one of my favorites. I love Man Repeller, but her style is so far from what I can wear in my corporate job. I love that you style whole outfits that can be worn on the weekend but can also be incorporated into the work world! I also love that you update so often 🙂

  8. I started a blog last year and kept it up for a couple of months but because life got in the way it fizzled out. I got discouraged. I would look at more established blogs for inspiration but would find myself feeling even more discouraged because I would find myself comparing my little start-up blog to them.

    But recently I found myself missing the blogging community and the connections I had made in such a short time. So I’ve recently started up a new blog and have decided that it’s going to be about me. Sure it’ll probably be labeled as an overall “fashion” blog, but more. I’m sure I will include other little snippets of life in general. And I’ve forbidden to compare myself to other bloggers. Everyone has their own style and preferences. And sure to an extent it’s about followers (everyone wants to be heard) but this time even if no one does read it- I’m okay with that. It’s my outlet to express some sort of creativity as a break from the stress of college and the monotony of my day job.


  9. this.

    I know when I’ve put a genuine post up when I leave excited and fulfilled from hitting the “publish” button, but when I do something just for the sake of blogging, or to fit in with the “blogging community”, I leave feeling stuck and dissatisfied. so yes. could not agree with you more.

  10. I hear you! I don’t like to compare myself to other bloggers or try to emulate what they are doing because I think that’s what I should be doing. Instead I just post and write about what I want to write about, what inspires me, and keep in very true to who I am. I think that’s the key to staying motivated – keep it honest and personal. And never compare ourselves (or our blogs) to others! xo

  11. My tried and true method for staying inspired to blog? Basically what you said. Not getting too wrapped up in the community and falling into the comparison trap. It’s become easier over time. I adopted a new mantra a couple months ago — I’m not going to give a s**t about what anyone else does, and just do what *I* like. It’s 1) so much easier, 2) will always feel more authentic, and 3) seems to work pretty well! xo, vmac

  12. I hear you – I’ve been reading less blogs and seeking inspiration outside of the box.

    It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the blog world, especially living in Manhattan – where it seems, that everyone is a professional blogger. My full time job means I just don’t have the time to leave tons and tons of comments every day, that I can’t go to very many blogger events (why do previews always start at 4pm!?) and that I have to say no a lot. I make the choice to try and focus on the things that matter most, but it can be hard as it gets so competitive.

  13. Liz, I could not agree with you more. I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed recently and I refuse to conform to give into the comparison trap. True success only comes when you’re being your best self, not an imitation version of someone else.

  14. I love this post. It is so hard not to wrapped up in the blogging world and it’s competitiveness. I am constantly reminding myself not to compare my blog to others, to do my own thing, as it is, MY blog.

  15. i try not to wrap myself up too in the blog world and realize there is a real world that i live in too. i have ben taking a step back as well not commenting as much, replies have been less. it kills me because people are so sweet to come to my blog and take the time to comment

  16. I completely agree with your post. As a new blogger it can be easy to become wrapped up in the “competition” of blogging and not stay true to your original thoughts and passions. My biggest challenge has been not comparing myself to other, more established bloggers, but to focus on my little blog, foster it, and help it grow.

    Thank you for your words of wisdom. I always love to hear your insights 🙂

  17. Came over here from note to self, I agree with your post 100% & find myself feeling the same way constantly.

    I’ve figured out lately what keeps me motivated and it might be a bit strange but being kind to others keeps me motivated. Showcasing other bloggers, complimenting others on their work/posts/photos. Sharing and spreading the love does the trick and get’s rid of that feeling of “competition” that can creep up uninvited. Then just do my own thing, post things I like and not think too much about what others are doing.

    Lots of love xo
    Anna from annawithlove

  18. In this crazy competitive world, I visualize and meditate on my mission statement of all things, which is that I want my blog to be a community for people to come together and be inspired and share their inspirations, all to make a better world. I write posts that are “me” and it definitely took a long time to find what that “me” was (and I’m sure it will keep changing) because of the competition. But now, I feel like as long as I can sift my posts through the purpose of my blog that I have set, then I can throw out the stuff that doesn’t make sense and post the stuff that is hitting the target. As a business, growing my blog has been hard, but I use other blogs that my friends have or those blogs that I admire as creative inspiration and motivation, never competition. When someone does something to update their blog or move their blog forward, I engage them purposefully to see why they did it, how it’s helping their traffic and creative space, and then go ahead towards it on my own journey. As long as you believe in your creative self, the rest will follow.

    It’s been a hard lesson, but one that I feel so strongly about now.

    Thanks for this great, honest post!

  19. Oh I need to read this article. I find I get the best feedback when I am just stating my opinion and being completely genuine. I don’t know if I’m going anywhere with my “blog business” really, but I don’t want to get too caught up in all of that. xoxo

  20. My blogging is about what I love, who I am and that’s what sets me/us apart from each other. I understand the business aspect, but if it’s not about expressing you, then you’re just copying/comparing with others. Of course I want lots of readers, but I write as if it’s for me.

    Thank you for the inspiration you give, I look forward to every new post!

  21. I agree…I’m going to check out that article because I have been having similar feelings about blogging. I love it, but it is also really difficult to try and separate yourself from the competition and well to just not get too wrapped up in it all. I want blogging to remain fun and creative, not a chore.

  22. i really love this. very insightful. people always ask me if i have sponsors or a major following-both of which i can say no-and i always say that’s not what it’s about for me. i just have a blog because i think it’s fun. a few people like it and read it. that’s enough for me.

  23. It’s so true- I do sometimes feel the pressure! When that happens and I don’t feel motivated to blog, then I find that works best for me is getting away from the internet/social media. Then when I’m excited about blogging and have something I really want to share, I’ll come back to it on my own again naturally 🙂 I’ve also cut down on the amount of blogs I read and focus on the ones I find truly inspiring and that make me want to be creative and inspire others too!

  24. So interesting! Yesterday I posted that perhaps blogging was a dying art form. I’ve felt a bit distant lately too. Thanks for this, Liz! x

  25. Thanks for posting this! I haven’t yet read the article but I am very intrigued! I don’t think I could ever be motivated enough to make it my sole business, to be honest. But I been extremely lucky and continue to be surprised at the response, relationships and work I’ve gotten out of it.

    I go thru lulls like we all do. And we’ve talked before about how it’s tough to keep it up when your clients should be first and foremost. So I have to let my time commenting and visiting others fall short.

    I honestly just write about whatever i’m obsessing over at the moment! I find that I’m much more excited about my posts. Right now it seems to be a lot of decor-related posts, but I know come fall it will be more fashion-related.

    p.s. I never think that your posts aren’t original, FYI!

  26. Thanks for linking to the article. What an interesting read! I find my favorite blogs are the ones that stay true to themselves, so you can hear their own voice in their writing. I’m fairly new to blogging but the few posts I’ve done simply because I thought “I should post something”, I’m pretty disappointed with. I’d rather someone post less often but more authentically then just getting something out there. It’s one reason I stop by here often 🙂

  27. Great collection of thoughts, girl! I think it’s great to remember how important a blog is for personal expression, and there’s no need to compete with anyone else because your blog is about you. I sometimes wonder about where my blog is going and have also wanted to step away, lately, though the blogging community is so great and I’ve met so many like-minded people in it. But I need time away, too, and time to relax and live the life I’m supposed to be blogging about!

    Good points!!

  28. Just read Leandra’s article… so fascinating and thought-provoking! I read Sarah Tolzman’s response to it as well and was equally motivated to join in the discussion. It seems we’re getting to a turning point in blogging. There’s so much out there and so little time to see it all. I’m incredibly curious to see where it takes us! Hopefully, my blog will be thriving amidst a community of supportive, encouraging fellow bloggers who have a similar approach to the one you mention here.

  29. I think as the vast majority of us blog as a hobby, we need to make sure to keep things fun. If blogging becomes like a part-time job, then some of the fun and lightness of it goes away. Blog because you love it and like it, not because you feel like you have to!

  30. I haven’t read the article, will check it out for sure! I agree that we shouldn’t compare, the only time when comparison is good is when you do it to those who are less fortunate, so that we can be grateful for what we have, but otherwise is not healthy. I honestly do what I like and what makes me happy, first and foremost. If my readers like it then that’s great, but I wouldn’t change the content of what I would like to post just to please someone you know?

  31. I haven’t read the article, will check it out for sure! I agree that we shouldn’t compare, the only time when comparison is good is when you do it to those who are less fortunate, so that we can be grateful for what we have, but otherwise is not healthy. I honestly do what I like and what makes me happy, first and foremost. If my readers like it then that’s great, but I wouldn’t change the content of what I would like to post just to please someone you know?

  32. GAH! I totally understand the pressure to stand out, I’ve recently been thinking about this lots, and it really just sucks the life out of you when you compare yourself to other bloggers and their success! I think blogging about things that you naturally gravitate towards and that you’re naturally interested in is always key, people are so good at knowing when your’e faking it! Thanks for this post Liz, it puts things into perspective and helps me to feel less alone in this struggle! 🙂 xx

  33. Such a great post, thanks for sharing! Lately I’ve also been reading less blogs, and I’m feeling more creative than ever. I try to focus on the ideas that really spark my interest and always try to make each post better than the last, even it’s just making a small adjustment. I used to constantly compare myself to others, but over time I have learned to stop myself, analyze what exactly it is that I’m responding to, and think of ways I can use that information to improve my own blog in a way that is genuine to me.