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The Problems with Fashion Blogging

Are style blogs getting boring?

Fashion blogging is undoubtedly popular. From small "hobby" blogs to career bloggers to designers and boutiques that blog to attract additional attention to their products, there are endless style-related blogs online. Some encompass everything from clothes to accessories, some cover specific fashion industry news and yet others focus on niche topics, like only writing about lingerie or shoes.

There are several well-established fashion blogs that have been around for upwards of ten years, before many of us even really knew what a "blog" was. Furthermore, with the establishment of social media and micro-blogging services like Twitter and Tumblr, the number of fashion blogs is only increasing.

But is this good or bad for the industry and those who are seasoned, professional fashion bloggers? And what are some of the problems fashion bloggers are currently facing?

Reportedly, the overall tone of fashion blogging has changed significantly lately. Bloggers are feeling pressure to change or tone down their opinions on certain matters or increase the amount of promotional posting instead of genuine writing they're doing, just to keep up and stay interesting to readers and advertisers.

Furthermore, the perception of fashion bloggers is that they're enjoying a life of working from home in their pajamas, raking in event invitations, taking photos and coming away with free shoes in exchange for doing very little work. Of course this couldn't be further from the truth, but it's the only side fashion bloggers show to their readers - the whole truth would be less interesting and not worth reading about!

Another problem fashion bloggers are facing is the pressure to whitewash what they say or change their opinions in order to keep attracting readers and advertisers. This is a "darned if you do, darned if you don't" situation as not swaying to popular opinion can mean losing readership and revenue, while doing so can also result in backlash from those who like bloggers who aren't afraid to write what they want in their own, unique voices.

Another significant issue fashion bloggers must address constantly is unrealistic expectations regarding how much content they can produce and what sort of return on investment their posts and advertisements should achieve. Once again, this goes hand in hand with the misconception that bloggers have easy lives. Most fashion bloggers work full time jobs and manage family or other personal commitments in addition to writing. In fact, very few are full-time bloggers. Yet those truly dedicated to their websites desire to churn out quality posts on a consistent basis and even generate revenue for all their hard work. The fact of the matter is, these aspirations are attainable, but they certainly don't come without effort.

In addition, established fashion bloggers are being hurt now by an over-saturation of the market. Too many bloggers have the same style, the same opinions and produce much of the same content. This makes standing out difficult, which also related back to the "darned if you do, darned if you don't" issue. While professional fashion bloggers generally believe there is room for everyone who has a sincere desire to blog about style trends, it is becoming too difficult to differentiate between websites. Accordingly, more bloggers need to find and stick to their own voice in order for everyone in the fashion blogging community to benefit in the long term.

Many fashion bloggers also struggle with trying to keep up the image they feel they're required to maintain. This is no different than any other area of interest, as most people want to put forth the impression that they know what they're talking about. However, maintaining the appearance of a fashion blogger can be hard work, not to mention expensive. While the truth is that looking stylish can be done without spending a fortune and that - reality check - it's just a blog, the temptation is there to purchase the latest must-have bag or pair of shoes and legitimize it as a necessary expense.

Finally, one distinct and less than simple issue to address is the feeling many seasoned fashion bloggers have that their community is weakening. In the days before everyone had a blog, a Tumblr or a Twitter account and could call themselves a fashion blogger in a matter of minutes, style writers knew (or knew of) each other and were mutually supportive. However, many established bloggers now state fashion writers see each other as competition more so than allies and even try to undercut one another. Unfortunately, while they may see some initial benefits for doing so, over a longer period of time they're more likely to see negative effects of a weakened blogging community than reap any rewards.

While there are undoubtedly some significant challenges facing seasoned fashion bloggers in 2013, they can certainly be addressed and overcome. Those who write about style and trends out of love and passion for the topic will continue to do so. Some will gain advertising revenue and a large following and others will keep writing regardless of how small their readership may be, simply because they love what they do. Each, in their own right, will be a success.

If you are a fashion blogger who is concerned about these or any other issues hurting your community, what can you or are you doing to improve them? How do you get through the challenging moments and carry on writing about the topic you're most passionate about? What motivates you to keep going?

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