On Blogging Vacations

blogging vacationsI’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.

 

33 Comments

  1. December 21, 2013 / 8:24 pm

    Allie, I love this. I have a TINY blog (and don’t really expect it to grow – and that’s okay for me), and even though my life is wickedly stressful right now, I love having my blog as a creative outlet and special “me” project. It has allowed me to connect with other women WHILE exploring my personal style, and that has been so wonderful for me. I am happy to hear that your blog gives you a similar feeling. I hope that it continues to do so, because you are one of my favorite bloggers. I hope that when I am in my 30s like you, I can be as confident as you are.

  2. graceatwood
    December 19, 2013 / 5:33 pm

    I don’t really like taking blogging vacations. I’ve done them from time to time but for me, blogging is my release from my day job, so I get sad when I don’t post.

    I related to your post, a lot. While I do own a pair of Rockstuds (so kill me – they were bought after a bad breakup!) I am with you on the rest. I’m 32 and wear a size 6 which is small in regular life but a weird, in between size in blog land. But whatever. We need to be trailblazers. I love that line.

    And man, to your comment on shitty bloggers who can’t put their sentences together… Yes!!! The typos. The grammar. Not bothering to spell brands’ names correctly. Terrible!!! If you are getting paid thousands of dollars by a brand, at least spell their name correctly.

    (Clearly I am getting caught up on your blog today… I added you to my Feedly after that last post, but for whatever reason it didn’t work…grr)

    • December 19, 2013 / 5:47 pm

      Well your first comment last week put you on my Feedly too. So glad all of this connected us, it’s inspiring to see bloggers with strong work ethics succeed, rock on with your bad self, Grace!

      • graceatwood
        December 19, 2013 / 5:59 pm

        me too… and you too! 😉

  3. AvgGirlsGuide
    December 18, 2013 / 12:50 pm

    love this lady. it’s so true. debating on taking time off but really it’s because of baby not because of vacation. too much going on. have a feeling we could talk about what this post is saying for hours, days. adore you and love how you put it out there!

    • December 18, 2013 / 12:56 pm

      FAMILY IS PRIORITY! And you know, say the word and there’s an army of us bloggers who would be happy to guest post and keep things running while you enjoy your new little one. Much love to you!

  4. Jane
    December 16, 2013 / 11:01 pm

    you’re so awesome! i’m so glad you don’t want to break from blogging. your blog has always been consistently one of my favorites.

  5. December 16, 2013 / 4:30 pm

    I’m so glad you’re here, Alison, contributing to and changing the direction of the larger blogging conversations.

  6. December 16, 2013 / 12:46 pm

    I panicked when I first started reading this that you were going to STOP blogging. Like, what would I do without your blog as a guide? Seriously, I skipped to the bottom before continuing to make sure you weren’t leaving. I am happy to hear you aren’t going anywhere. I truly love your blog and can’t wait to see what 2014 brings!

  7. WTFHaveIDone
    December 15, 2013 / 10:52 pm

    I took a few blogging vacations after some real life changing events… Now I regret it. I haven’t written in years. It’s hard to get back into it. It’s like starting over again. With all the new social mediums like twitter and FB I have been able to keep in touch and have close friend ships with my blogger friends. But I do miss writing. Any advice on how to get back into it?

  8. Fae
    December 15, 2013 / 4:43 pm

    I am not a bit like you, Allie — I live in S. America, am decades older than you, have a totally different body type, have a wonderful bald husband and several children older than you, love classical music, and respectfully disagree with some of your opinions. AND YET despite all of these differences I LOVE YOU TO BITS. I hope that you never stop blogging – at least until I can’t read any longer!

  9. Abi Tiki
    December 14, 2013 / 9:51 pm

    Lurker, coming out of cover, to say how glad I am to hear this, how glad I am to see and hear you through your blog. Grateful for lovely quirky, honest, open, vulnerable, heartfelt, kind, thoughtful, inspired and inspiring blogs and bloggers I have found through blogs like yours. It’s not just about the clothes.

  10. LaJuan Cook Quander
    December 14, 2013 / 6:34 pm

    I enjoy your blog for all the reasons you just listed! Keep doing you! I enjoy it. Love your insightful tips. Made many a purchase based on your blog! Fell in love with CAbi through you! You’re awesome!

  11. December 14, 2013 / 5:45 pm

    Don’t quit it if you love it and since you do and we do too so keep rocking it!! Almost the entire post is how I sometimes feel.. But then I am relatively new to fashion blogging itself, not to theblogging world but it’s still so different.

  12. alice
    December 14, 2013 / 12:50 pm

    I like your blog because you provide so much written content that is applicable for professional women of all ages. I’m in my 30s and I sometimes feel like professional style can make me look frumpy and older than my years, but you’ve shown me how to inject a personal youthful style into professional dress while still being appropriate. I’ve been following your blog since graduate school (several years ago now) and you’ve helped me navigate what to wear in various stages of my career so THANK YOU!

  13. Karen Alfke
    December 14, 2013 / 11:32 am

    I have to say thank you for taking the time and making the effort… as another woman over 30 and over a size 4, I’ve clicked through and purchased more things on your recommend than just about any other place on the internet! Gwynnie Bee, for one… and some ponte knits… and I can’t even remember them all. Keep up the good work, keep it fierce and fabulous and personal and authentic. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you through the blog, and fashion through your eyes!

  14. eds_77845
    December 14, 2013 / 10:34 am

    Truth be told, if you are young and thin, dressing well isn’t all that hard. But none of us stays that way, and your blog is so helpful in learning how to dress a real, aging body and have a blast doing so. Thank you!

  15. December 14, 2013 / 9:38 am

    I love that you’re not a conventional blogger, please never change <3

  16. Letícia Tatsch
    December 14, 2013 / 6:54 am

    I don’t follow any “thin, young, Valentino wearing bloggers”. They are irrelevant. I maybe thin, but I am not young and I have no wish to wear Valentino.

    The fashion bloggers I follow are smart and have a voice. They either wear vintage, or agonise about the over consumption, or talk about a subset of fashion. Be it the weird extreme, or the barest down to earth.

    I love your blog for it’s common sense and your head firmly planted on your shoulders. Keep it coming, I will be enjoying it immensely.

  17. December 14, 2013 / 6:00 am

    Keep rocking on! (Says the girl who hasn’t blogged for a couple of weeks… but I’m not in it in any serious kind of way and life has just been too much of late).

  18. December 14, 2013 / 3:51 am

    Amen. I couldn’t agree more, Allie! I am following since you first appoached me for an interview for Wardrobe Oxygen and you can’t believe how honoured and flattered I have been!
    I am 51 and I can’t afford Rockstuds and a Céline either but I feel I show my readers something they can relate to. I follow some of the big bloggers like Wendy&Co. They are beautiful, no doubt but from a different planet in their size 0, designer clothes and professional photos.
    But excatly that is why our readers follow us, isn’t it? Keep up your excellent work, Alison.
    I also agree to the 1000+ but I am not there yet…

    Annette | Lady of Style

  19. Crafty Lulu
    December 14, 2013 / 3:42 am

    Alli, I’m glad you are keeping with it. I’ve been reading your blogs for years (since high school & now I’m 23). I feel like I know you and your family and always look forward to your posts. I love your attitude and your writing style. I’m glad to support your blog! Lots of love!!

  20. December 14, 2013 / 12:35 am

    Yes! So glad to read this post – I just found you recently and you have been a major source of inspiration to me. (The tip about Duo boots alone has made you my new favorite!) Skimming the title of the post I was panicked to think I had no new Wardrobe Oxygen content to look forward to – thrilled to see that’s not the case. Keep being you!!

  21. crtfly
    December 13, 2013 / 11:44 pm

    I had to look up Valentino Rockstuds. I had no idea what they are. I don’t want to insult anyone so I’ll say I like your shoes and purses much better. And the price of those Valentino Rockstuds! I could buy a really nice camera, a tool set, or a new laptop for the price of one of those pairs of shoes (that I don’t like).

    Chris

  22. Kathy Frazier
    December 13, 2013 / 11:28 pm

    Blog on! You WILL be read and appreciated!

  23. Patti_NotDeadYetStyle
    December 13, 2013 / 8:41 pm

    you’re an original, Allie, and your enthusiasm for blogging comes through every day. It’s one of the reasons you are a must-read for me, and an inspiration to keep upping my game. xo

  24. kianja
    December 13, 2013 / 7:49 pm

    Love this post! I check out this blog everyday! I am not a skinny 20-something woman who can afford Rockstud Valentinos. I used to follow some of those sites because they were popular and get a lot of press, but they did not speak to me. Then one day last summer I stumble upon your site and I was like finally a fashionista I can relate to, who inspires me. I wish there were more sites like this one. Keep up the good work.

  25. Keri Henderson
    December 13, 2013 / 7:00 pm

    “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.” —-> As a fellow blogger, note to self!

    Great post! 🙂

  26. December 13, 2013 / 6:32 pm

    “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”

    This right here is why I went from “oh, hey, she’s linked on this site I read as someone cool, I should check her out” to “Welp, I’ve been up for an hour, better see if Wardrobe Oxygen has a new post!”

    There are too many skinny 20-somethings holding Starbucks red cups. Your wardrobe style isn’t always the same as mine, but it’s a huge self-esteem boost to see someone rock trends I’m not sure I can while having a body type not dissimilar to mine, to see that same woman dispensing incredible, down-to-earth, totally-sensible advice. To have her answer my emailed question within a day 😉

    In short, no matter what happens to your Instagram account, you’re loved here. I look forward to 2014!

  27. crtfly
    December 13, 2013 / 5:22 pm

    I thought you were going to blog about a vacation you went on. In other words, blogging about vacations!

    Chris

  28. kristi owens
    December 13, 2013 / 5:21 pm

    Rock on, lady!!! Love your blog!

  29. Adrien
    December 13, 2013 / 5:19 pm

    Bravo!

  30. December 13, 2013 / 5:09 pm

    Sometimes I miss blogging. Sometimes 😉

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