I’ve had an Instagram account for two years and I just broke 1,000 last month. The only way I did that was by writing a post about my Instagram account. I have mentioned it before in posts, shared pictures on my Facebook page, occasionally share to Twitter, and there was even an icon (or two!) always in my sidebar. I hate when bloggers recap their Instagram on their blogs, come on people, we already SAW those photos! But now I know why – for each post they likely get a few handfuls of new followers, those who haven’t been reading since the beginning, those who missed that last Instagram recap post, those who read in a reader or by email and don’t see the icons in the sidebar. The new fans.
Once I broke 1,000, the followers have continued to roll in. There’s a tipping point of sorts with blogging social media. Once you break 1,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram you’re legit. If that many people already follow this blogger, they must be relatively decent. There’s another at 2,000 and the speed in getting more followers after that goal number doubles. When you hit 5,000 you can easily get 100 new followers in a day. You need followers to get followers.
Many of you have told me over the year to take a break from blogging. That if it isn’t fun anymore, I should have a blog vacation. However, I really enjoy blogging. While my day job is great and I work with wonderful people, it’s not my dream job or in a field in which I am passionate. Blogging is my way to do something I positively, absolutely adore. I love writing, I love helping fellow women, I love the community, love learning new technology… and I love fashion. When I have a bad day at work, coming home and opening up Word on my laptop is more soothing than a glass of wine.
One cannot take a break from blogging and still keep up. Blogging is constantly changing and becoming all the more competitive. To stay relevant, one must regularly provide quality content. One must maintain social media channels and be active on them. One must constantly improve, be it quality of photos, of content, methods of communication, usability of site. There’s 50 zillion blogs out there, one needs something to stand out.
And yes, with all this time and effort I put into this blog, I like getting paid for it. There’s a part of me that gets mega ragey when I see a shitty blogger who can’t even form a proper sentence win an amazing partnership with an amazing brand. I feel I need to perform not just for you who do read, but for those who may read in the future. Those who may tire of carbon copies with Starbucks cups who don’t proof their copy and don’t reply to comments. Those who give blogging a bad name and are the reason for all the negative stereotypes. I want not just to be great for you, but to prove that not every blog is the same.
I’m not thin, I’m not young, and I don’t own a pair of Valentino Rockstuds. I’m not the conventional blogger, so I won’t get the conventional audience and will never make the same money. But I believe that I offer something a bit different, and something that I would want to read. I believe future readers are as important as those who read now; I regularly receive messages from people who just found Wardrobe Oxygen and how they like it or were looking for something like it. So I continue to promote and blog and encourage any other blogger who offers something different and fresh and necessary. And often, I take sponsorships purely because I know I will be the odd one in the roundup – the only one over a size 10, the only one over 30, the only one who isn’t a full-time blogger. I feel it gives not just my blog exposure, but all of the blogs that don’t fit the norm. We have the power to change the face of blogging. All of us. We can’t stop, I won’t stop.
There won’t be a holiday from this blog, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I hope in 2014 to promote more great brands, more great blogs, and give the blogosphere more of what is missing/being ignored. And I hope you bloggers with a message that is more than dollar signs do the same. Don’t get frustrated, don’t compare yourself, be a trailblazer. We need you.