To many people who work under fluorescent lighting at desk jobs, fashion blogging may seem like a glamorous and easy living. The early findings of a study due out this fall in the journal of Social Media + Society showed that fashion bloggers work up to 100 hours a week. Life isn't all press trips and fashion weeks for fashion's newest influencers, researchers Brooke Erin Duffy and Emily Hund found.
While going window shopping online for the "bargains of the week" seems like a dream compared to collating copies and filing reports, participants in the study divulged that compiling posts like that can take bloggers a full day to do. All those enviably chic IG outfit posts you see? Bloggers in the study also divulged that styling and shooting them can take up to a day.
Aside from the actual work of blogging, crafting and promoting a personal brand — aka marketing yourself as the product — is work that never really ends. The invisible emotional labor of not just blogging, but being a blogger, might be even more grueling than creating content. The pressure to make it look like it's all an effortless extension of their regular life makes talking about that even harder.
As some of the participants stated, attending dozens of PR events, conferences, and other functions for their work and dealing with online bullying, negative commenters, and always having to be "on" in social situations can be draining.
“You are your brand, so you have to market yourself and be professional at any time [be]cause you don’t know who’s sitting next to you," Alice Chan of Dalabooh told the researchers.
While, like any job, there are definitely many perks to being a fashion blogger (probably more glamorous ones than a 401k or health insurance) it's also important to acknowledge the hard work and creativity that it takes to make a living at being a fashionista. Hey — Mansur Gavriel bags don't just fall into people's laps, as much as I'd like to believe that's a possibility.
Here are 7 other things you probably didn't know about being a fashion blogger:
1. Instagram Is A Huge Money-Maker
Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What told Harper's Bazaar that she can earn up to $15,000 for a sponsored Instagram post.Those #OOTDs aren't just to show how cute they look.
2. They Stay Together During Fashion Weeks
Bryanboy aka Bryan Yambao talks about how he and other bloggers cut the huge expense of attending fashion week by renting apartments together. "This way, we have tons of space, living area, fast Internet and we also have a room for our assistant. The costs are still expensive but it's much better because we don't have to get three separate rooms," Yambao told Fashionista.
3. Instagram Presence Is Pretty Much A Must
Instagram is the way to find new style inspiration and bloggers know that. “Honestly, blogs are dying out, because Instagram is taking their place,” Gabi Gregg told Who What Wear. “Especially with style bloggers, our whole thing is photos, so if we have a platform to show our outfits, we’re going to use it. Thankfully, I still get high traffic to my site, but my comments are down, because people are looking at and discussing my pictures on Instagram."
4. They Have To Foot The Bill For Their Own Glam Squad
When bloggers host events or attend other brand functions, I always assumed that they get to spend the whole day being pampered by the brand to get them prepped for the event. Nope, that's an expense bloggers incur. Nicolette Mason explained this to Fashionista, "When I'm hosting an event or doing on-camera work, there's also an expectation that my hair and makeup are done professionally and I arrive 'camera ready.' Thank God for Drybar!"
5. Bloggers Have Agents And Managers
When bloggers start to make the big time, they need professionals to help them with the business side of things: book them gigs, get paid fairly, and keep tabs on everything. Fashionista reported that both Yambao and Mason have agents, while Yambao also has a manager. This means they're also giving a cut of their earnings to these professionals.
6. Affiliate Links Are Huge
You know how bloggers will always link to the items they're wearing (or similar ones) or will only tell you what they're wearing through liketoknow.it? That's because most of the time, they're earning commission through your purchases. According to The Wall Street Journal, bloggers can earn up to tens of thousands of dollars a year in affiliate links alone. It also helps brands: Blogger-featured items sell out quick.
If you want to support the work of your favorite bloggers, buying something they've linked to can help!
7. They Don't Share Everything
While we often see their pets, their loved ones, their beauty cabinets, their meals, and their workouts on their blogs and Instagrams; fashion bloggers don't share their entire lives with their readers. "I’m a full-time student and full time student-ing is not glamorous at all. [...]I don’t know why anyone would think it is an accurate representation of our lives, particularly because we don’t post every minute," Margaret Zhang told The Glow.
So while we might be jealous of bloggers with front row views of the latest collections at fashion week, while we have a front row seat to our dog licking its butt, the glitz and glam is not all there is to the biz.