The Business of Blogging - Having the IT Factor

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

*In response to this article my pal Helene sent me today.

If you're in the world of blogging, you'll want to read it. If you're not a blogger, you'll probably read it and be like whatttttttt? Then again maybe you should read it, it may help you understand why I post some of the stupid shit that I do.

(insert shoes on white rug, my GO-TO!)


The article is about Caitlin Covington, aka @cmcoving. Again, bloggers know her. Others may not. I'm a late bloomer so I just started following her in 2015.

In the article she discusses the secret to her success, making tons of money off outfit posts, and a look inside her free vacations. As her mom said, "With blogging, you just kind of have an ‘it’ factor."

Moms are the cutest. I could totally see my mom saying this too, you know about me and my... my... I definitely have the IT factor when it comes to.... the things... and... the DOGS. Dogs love me. I've just got that IT factor.

Anyway.

I've accepted the fact that I don't have the "it factor" with blogging. Whatever IT is, this old gal missed that boat. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely still swimming after the boat, but it's always a few waves ahead of me. And it's full of pretty women who own homes big enough to have floor to ceiling mirrors.

But to be honest "big bloggers" work for that IT factor. It's not the type of work that for example the miners I met in Idaho Springs do, shout out to Weasel by the way! But it's still work. (Albeit it's fun work, and if bloggers don't admit it's fun and very privileged work they are kidding themselves) in my opinion.

Bloggers like Covington get free vacays all the time. I've mentioned before how I think that would be pretty great, but after reading what Covington does on said trips, I'm not so sure anymore.

"On such trips, they get up at 6 a.m. Then it’s shower/hair/makeup/prep, for photos at sunrise to catch that good early light. They eat breakfast, then change completely and do a second photo shoot (each) before lunch – and do it all again at least once more, later in the day."

That sounds intense. Up at 6 a.m.? Hair AND makeup? Eeek, no thank you. My "getting ready" routine on vacay is usually: roll out of bed, brush teeth, find nearest Bloody Mary.

In the article she mentioned how she made "thousands of dollars" off of posting a photo of a straw hat on vacation.

I made $8 off of this hat and I was all like HOLLA!!!! (One) drink is on me tonight!


Covington said that her "fan favorite" mirror selfies take hours to post. HOURS. I can't wrap my head around this. Maybe that's because when Chris takes my photo we have literally two minutes to get it done before we're arguing. Then I slap my favorite Instagram filter on it and call it a day.

Thus the reason Covington has 500,000 followers and I have five. She's putting in the hours and I'm not. But what's not to LOVE about this photo? Really? It's fun. Look at that face.

BRUNCH! Jeans. Jacket.
When Covington hits a selfie out of the park, she watches the dough roll in. She once posted something like this and it sold out entirely in one day. She had more than 200 sales. That's a lot.

I've been blogging for 100 years, but this side of it is still very confusing and complex to me. I think it's great women can be their own bosses, but the superficiality and narcism that goes right along with this world is what sometimes makes me have to step back for a bit.

*I don't know Covington, so I have no idea if she's narcissistic or superficial, this is basically just me casting judgement on blogging in general. 

It's just that all of the showy showyness of it makes me itchy. Then again, who am I to judge how someone makes their money? We all do what we have to do to pay rent.

Lastly, I think she's just referring to life in general here:

“It’s our goal to make it look effortless and fun and fabulous, but really we’re working so hard behind the scenes,” Covington says.

Oddly enough, I say the same thing about my snapchat. So if you really want to see a fun and fab life, you should follow me @thedailytay. Sneak peak: this shot took hours to capture!


I've rambled on long enough of this topic. Read the article if you want to more know more about the business of blogging, then let me know what you think below.

47 comments:

  1. I have so much to say about this.

    This just seems WAY too curated. Like, WAY too much. It's like one marketing department for a large firm, but it's one person. It's just so insane - and doesn't feel authentic.

    What I like about your blog is that you seem authentic. I'm sure you are, but for this comment, I'm writing that you "SEEM" that way. it's all about optics - what you SEEM to be.

    "She spends hours every week buying clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry, online and in stores." 80 hours a week. what?

    "blogging was more of a critical art form and not just advertising". But, reading her "path to insta-stardom" .. like .. I don't know. Am I jealous? Maybe. Is it all in the timing - when she got famous is when instagram got popular, so did we all miss the boat?

    Or am I not driven enough? Is this rant talking more about my own problem?

    I don't know. This frustrates me. I'm happy for those who are successful, especially when it's in a new and creative way. BUT reading things like "My mood is affected by it (instagram) for sure. If I’m excited about an Instagram photo and it does terrible, I get upset about it.” - and I know yoiu joke about it on snapchat. But like, really???? It's fucking instagram.

    I don't know. Maybe I'll write another comment when I'm not as fired up.

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    1. And this is really why I've been giving up on my blog. I want to GET STARTED and be ALL FOR IT and DRIVEN and all that shit, but it's just too much. TOO MUCH.

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  2. BUT DID YOU SEE THAT THE ROMPER SOLD OUT A SECOND TIME?!

    That article gave me a lot of weird feelings. Like, I was kind of scoffing at how it's 'so hard' to basically be instafamous and get everything for free. But then I was jealous because she's instafamous and gets everything for free. But your right. On vacation I want to be on vacation and I never want to spend hours 'perfecting' an instagram picture.

    I enjoy bloggers who I can actually believe are real people. Who have messy homes and whose hair isn't always perfect and who I can actually relate to.

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    1. I'm seriously right on the same page as your comment with how I feel about this as well. I appreciate when I can relate to a blogger instead of trying to emulate their seemingly "perfect" life.

      Ashleigh | MermaidontheMove.com

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  3. I copied and pasted a quote in the wrong spot. What I meant to say was, perhaps I am one of those people that really wish "blogging was more of a critical art form and not just advertising". But again, is it envy? I don't know. Good on her, I guess. Not for me. Which is why I give up.

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  4. See...as a blogger, but a lover of fashion blogs...I go both ways. I love the simplicity of old blogs- the ones that drew me to starting one of my own, like yours. I love the community I have that is based on conversations, thoughts, etc...and not about how well I wear a hat. On the other side of it, she's hustling. It may not be "real" to us because she puts in hours to post an outfit, but damn if I can make thousands in a few hours then maybe I'm in the wrong line of business. But really...at the end of the day, it's not about money to me. I'm happy-I have a job that I love, a blog, a new Etsy shop that I would have NEVER had the courage to start years ago and so many other things I wanna do. If she's happy...then props to her. SOrry I just rambled on, but I just go so back and forth on this subject.

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  5. I prefer a job I can leave behind at 5 o'clock. And when I'm on vacation. I feel like you have to really love all those things (fashion, social media) before you start to even be successful. And I don't. I loathe social media. And if 10000 people go out and buy the same outfit and accessories, you can be sure I will never want it. I like to call it being different, my mother calls it 'difficult and attention seeking.' Tomato tomahto.

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  6. I have so many feeling about this! I also feel like I don't have the "it" factor for blogging and it really comes down to the fact that I don't want to put that level of effort into "curating" my life. I'd much rather be actually living my life. This is apparently not appealing to people haha. I personally find your blog really great. I look forward to your snap chats the most, though, because you're hilarious on camera. For this reason I would personally like to see you take over Periscope, because you can't edit on there, and a lot of big bloggers won't be able to shine on camera that way! Take it or leave it, but I hear Periscope is the next big thing. Wayyyy less effort to look perfect, which I appreciate! :)

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  7. ha! And as a sometimes, mostly not blogger I still think you've got the IT factor because I keep coming back.

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  8. Amy Poehler has a quote I love, "good for her. Not for me." That's how I feel about @cmcoving's blog. We all get into blogging for different reasons and mine was to be relatable & real - that seems vastly different from what her blog is (taking HOURS to edit one photo? yeesh). I don't want to hate on it because she seems like a sweet and good person; it's just not a life I'd ever want. Quite frankly, it sounds EXHAUSTING having to keep that all up.

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  9. Such good good for thought in that post and these comments. I totally believe she puts in those hours and all that work, blogging is so much more than people think it is. That said, I'm curious how her work life balance will change as she looks to get married or have kids. Those sorts of things can change priorities. I know I'm constantly telling myself to stop blogging so I can go spend time with my husband.

    Her Heartland Soul
    Herheartlandsoul.com

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  10. I tend to stay away from fashion blogs because they are so aggressively "curated" (every fashion bloggers favorite word? While I think photos make a blog way more appealing, showing some personality and having solid written content is what keeps me around. On the other hand, I get that this girl is creating something that is more magazine-esque and personality isn't her goal, she needs to make the sale. I guess I think there's room for a large range of blogs (ranging from sales-oriented to content-driven) since the internet is so dang big. The one thing that rubbed me the wrong way was the comment about working 80 hour weeks. I could see how you would always have to be "on" as a big blogger, but it also seems like really fun work, so is it that bad? You work for yourself, make a shitload of money, and have full creative control. I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't love to have a six-figure income based on Instagram.

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  11. Girl, you've got to tell me how you got that volume in your snapchat picture!!!! It looks so tres chic! ;)

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  12. Lol.. but seriously. I agree completely. For the record, I would match rather read your blog than "that" type of blog.

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  13. I think you have the it factor, but if you don't, Harlow definitely does. And he doesn't even wear clothes.

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  14. Well, I'm definitely off to read the article now. I've been following Caitlin for a while now, so I'm not super surprised that she takes hours to perfect her outfits, photos, etc. I'm with you - I don't think I have the IT factor when it comes to blogging either, but hey - we still work just as hard, right?

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  16. Your snapchat seriously makes me day regularly! I typed a long few sentences about my annoyance with fashion blogs and the amount of pictures they post but it seemed so snarky and rude. I'm reading them so hey, it's working. I very much so prefer your blog, insta, snapchat (creeper status?) more so than fashion blogs. Could be because I love dogs a ton and get enjoyment from harlows crazy antics..

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  17. I have so many thoughts about this article. I don't think I have the "it" factor either when it comes to blogging, but I kind of already knew that. I enjoy reading your blog (I don't always comment) but it's because you're real and your content doesn't seemed forced. Maybe it's me getting into my old age but I find myself rolling my eyes at a lot of blogs lately because I know half of their pictures aren't effortless and let's be honest, no one wakes up like that. I can't say I'm not ever guilty of this but at the end of the day I enjoy a good candid or picture that doesn't look so perfect.

    I also get annoyed when someone does a post about 9,000 more blogging tips to tell you about and what you're doing wrong all filled with pictures of me posing in my new favorite outfit. Like what? Let's be real here.

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  18. Eh, I stopped following her a long time ago. She's boring. I'd rather watch Harlow any day. How exhausting.

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  19. Oh my fuck. I cannot even believe that article. I have a lot to say about it, most of which will probably be sent to you via text. I agree with the commenter above who quote Amy "Good for her. Not for me."

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  20. i think we gotta realize we'll never be THOSE people and that's okay. at least, that's what i tell myself

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  21. Best post ever. Also, $8 on a hat? You go girl! xx

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  22. Ugh. Fashion bloggers. I dont think people go to them for a good read, that's for sure. But there is an "it" factor and you definitely have it, but your blog is so well rounded that you have something different. And your fucking hilarious to boot. There are some non-fashion blogs that write a lot but I can't always finish the post or even come back. Because they're not good writers. Same with fashion, if your photos and site look crappy I'm not coming back. This girl got lucky, has NO thigh gap and insane hair. She's an Insta-Baby curated into Fashion blogger, heh. That's it. Good for her, but I'm not interested.

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  23. I made $.94 yesterday. $.42 on a Target tee shirt and $.52 on lifting powder. If that doesn't scream IT factor then I don't know what does. Now if you'll excuse me I am off to spend my earnings.... :)

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  24. Your blog is my new favorite & I am still trying to decide if my LET'S DAY DRINK shirt is too inappropriate to wear while toting around my three daughters on days that aren't St. Pattys. :) XO

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  25. Does that romper come in size no thigh gap, breastfed four babies? No? OK. I'll pass then.

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  26. Oh my gosh. Such first world problems. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) But I get so sick of big bloggers acting like their charmed lives are SOOOOOO difficult and that it is just SOOOOOO hard to be successful at blogging. Puh-lease.

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  27. I'm new to the blogging world and yours is BY FAR my favorite because you make blogging seem so easy, like something anyone can do. You gave me inspiration to start my own! Some fashion blogs make it all seem like some fictitious world I'll never achieve. Blogs like yours, everyone can relate to.

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  28. I hate to be the one to break it to ya, but you do not have 5 followers on Instagram. You have 16k. I checked. If that's not it factor; I really don't know what is. There is always bigger and better. That's life, but you can't pretend that 16k 'aint pretty gosh darn good. I know, I know. Easy peasy for me to say and the truth is, I need to learn to practice what I preach. Some day I'll take pride in my 350 followers and you will take pride in your 16k.
    : )

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  29. Loved this! Sometimes, I feel like the sense of community/fun in "blog world" gets overshadowed by the "business" side of things and living in Curatedville USA (or not USA as the case may be). Thanks for always keeping it real! I'll take real over anything else any day.

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  30. I would much rather read your blog over hers. Great that she's had success, but her blog isn't my style.

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  31. This post makes me stabby. I do not get the whole fan girl thing on just a basic girl faking her way through instagram. Maybe I am envious that I don't get all of this stuff for free, but it's SO fake! I dont like blogs like that. I don't.

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  32. I'm so torn here! On the one hand, I would love to make a career out of blogging, and sometimes I wonder if I'm just not driven enough to do it. On the other hand, getting up at 6 AM on vacation? Working eighty hours a week? I'm not sure if I want it that badly. Maybe I'm okay with being a small blogger and just doing it as a hobby. It's definitely food for thought, either way!

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  33. mostly i'm mad that she has "curls" in her blog title and yet it appears her hair is really straight but then she CURLS it. speaking as a naturally curly haired lady, i am obviously morbidly offended.

    ps. cheers to making $8 bucks on that hat - heeeeyo!

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  34. Hi Taylor, I found your blog through another friend's blog who shared this post. I also just read the article. Thank you for sharing. I follow Caitlin and honestly good for her, but I don't want to stress over perfecting an outfit photo. I also want to enjoy my vacations. I also follow Emily Gemma the girl from the Sweetest Thing, and I find her much more relatable than Caitlin. Her life just seems more real to me haha. She also responds to comments and she is very nice. I started my blog purely for fun and even though I don't have the "IT" factor, I'm OK with that. :-) Thank you again for sharing, and I'll continue to follow along. Especially since you are in Chicago too. :-)

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  35. One thing greg says a lot is that success comes at a price. If you are willing to pay the price for stardom/ fame/ success then go for it. I tend to get jealous of people with a lot of success but then I realize I'm not willing to do what it takes to get there so am I really jealous? Jealous of the results, yes, but not at all of the grueling process it took to get there. I don't want to pay or sacrifice whatever it takes to get to that level.

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  36. Also Amy Poehler said something similar in her book. ^^^^ the years of sacrifice to try to break into the comedy world, of driving in vans to the next gig, of living in crappy apartments, of never having stability... she paid for the life she enjoys now.

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  37. Also Amy Poehler said something similar in her book. ^^^^ the years of sacrifice to try to break into the comedy world, of driving in vans to the next gig, of living in crappy apartments, of never having stability... she paid for the life she enjoys now.

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  38. One thing greg says a lot is that success comes at a price. If you are willing to pay the price for stardom/ fame/ success then go for it. I tend to get jealous of people with a lot of success but then I realize I'm not willing to do what it takes to get there so am I really jealous? Jealous of the results, yes, but not at all of the grueling process it took to get there. I don't want to pay or sacrifice whatever it takes to get to that level.

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