Jersey Girl, Texan Heart: 4th of July Series-What it means to be a blogger and a Linkup
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4th of July Series-What it means to be a blogger and a Linkup

12:00 AM








Dress:  Cavender's // Shoes:  Smith and Angie // Clutch:  Gifted

Hey y’all!  This week I’m sharing all of my 4th of July outfit ideas but I also wanted to take the time to talk about something else today.  I wanted to talk about what it really means to be a blogger (mostly focusing on a fashion blogger since that’s predominantly what this blog is) and some misconceptions that a lot of people have when talking to me about it.

What is a blog exactly?

First let’s start off with the question I get asked the most; what is a blog exactly?  There’s really no way for me to give a general answer on this so I’ll give my answer.  It’s my creative outlet.  It’s my own website where I share my daily outfit ideas and sometimes other things that are beauty or health and fitness related.  Basically for me it’s kind of like a diary in a sense.

You get so much free stuff, must be nice!

Yes, it is, however it took a lot of work to me to be able to “get free stuff.”  It’s not about getting free stuff.  Don’t get me wrong being able to test out new products and review clothing is great!  There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that’s involved with making sure you present the product 110% so that the client is completely satisfied with your work.  The flatlays that you see on my Instagram, yea most of those take me at least 5-10 minutes to take with just my phone because you have to get the right angle, and the right order etc.  I’ve also been blogging for 4 years and it took a lot of hard work for a company to even notice me to ask me if I wanted to work with them.  Thanks to some of these reviews I’ve done, I’ve actually switched and started using those products because I loved them that much.

All you do is just take pictures of yourself.

Ok, hold the phone.  Let me just say it’s more than just taking pictures.  Every Sunday is dedicated to blogging pictures because I can’t take them during the week due to the boyfriend’s and my working schedule.  It takes almost an entire Sunday to take these pictures.  I have to get ready and do my hair and makeup as if I’m going out with friends so that it looks picture perfect.  I have to figure out which location would be best for the outfit and actually drive to those places (which sometimes they are out of the way).  Try changing in your car and trying not to have anyone see, or even worse try changing in a car in the summer time, even with the AC it’s not that easy when you have 7-8 outfits to take pictures of that day.  If it rains, I’m SOL.  If the sun is too bright it’s hard for me to find a good place to take pictures that will look good.  You also have to remember that my photographer is the boyfriend, and I’m my own editor.  I have minimal skills in photoshop so my photos will never be as good as some of these bloggers who have professional photographers and professional photoshop editors working on their pictures.  I’ve tried watching tutorials but it just gets so confusing, then I get frustrated, and I walk away from it and try to figure it out on my own.  I honestly think I need to take a “photoshop for dummies” course or something.

Your life is so perfect.

To be honest, this is probably the most untrue thing.  Nothing is perfect.  Just because I took a good picture or wrote a positive/uplifting post doesn’t mean that life is perfect.  My life is hectic, exhausting, I have ups and downs, stressful, etc.  I just choose not to talk about my struggles in detail because a lot of things I like to keep private and plus, no one wants to listen to be complaining about life.  Honestly, if my blog wasn’t so upbeat with the occasional struggling post because I know someone else might relate, would you still read it?  Probably not.

You’re so narcissistic for always uploading pictures of yourself. You must think your hot s***.

This is one reason why I get nervous about taking pictures.  I always wonder if people think I’m narcissistic because I usually take photos in the usual areas, and it’s kind of weird if you are taking a picture in a bathing suit all perfect, then leaving right after the picture.  That’s just weird haha.  I honestly would think it was weird if I wasn’t a blogger or didn’t know anything about the blogging world.  I’m probably one of the most self conscious people you will ever meet. 

How hard can it be?

Oy, this question/comment is always the hardest one to answer.  I’ve learned to just smile and nod or just say yea it’s just a hobby, but really it’s not just a hobby and there’s so much that goes into being a blogger.  I know a lot of bloggers who don’t JUST blog full time, they have full time jobs along with their full time blog.  Any extra time that I have is spent on blogging.  I basically only give myself Saturday nights to relax because Monday through Friday I work full time and by the time I get home after the gym and feed the dogs I’m basically showering and getting ready for bed, but I still somehow squeeze some extra time in there for my blog.  Sometimes I stay in during lunch at work to be able to type up some content.  Saturday mornings are meal prep and blogging time.  As I said earlier Sundays are my full blown blogging days.  It’s the day I take pictures and edit all of them.  All of this doesn’t sound hard and it’s fun for me, but it is a lot of work.  I’ve learned minimal HTML thanks to my blog.  I’ve learned about SEO, I’m my own social media manager (trust me, there’s a reason why companies hire people who are just in charge of social media), my own R&D, my own CEO, CMO, CFO, etc.  This blog is actually not a hobby, it has turned into a business.  Two tax seasons ago was the first time my blog made a profit and it was the best year ever.  I was so incredibly excited and I felt like I had accomplished so much.  I finally had a business that I loved and was proud of.  If I could I would blog full time, but unfortunately I don’t make a big enough profit to match my current full time salary at my job. 

Why are you so obsessed with likes, comments, or followers, you’re so immature.

This is something that I think has to do with people not understanding what a blog is or what the industry actually is.  Usually I excuse this type of comment because I really honestly think the person saying it just has no clue.  The more of all of these things that we have, the more brands want to collaborate with us, and then more people are reading our blog, which means our hard work is paying off.  It’s not like I base my self worth off of how many likes I got on that selfie or anything like that.  I base it off of my blog and if my blog is interesting enough for people to keep coming back.  I want people to enjoy my blog and like the content, not just like it for a few days and then say “yea, ok, I’m done.”  I work hard on this blog.  I’ve also met some awesome bloggers who have become real life friends which is awesome, because I love having friends who I can also relate to when it comes to blogging, because you don’t really understand unless you do it yourself.

Why are you still doing it if you aren't a big time blogger?

I love when I get this question, I think it's honestly my favorite one.  I'm not blogging to become popular or become Instafamous.  I'm doing this because it's my creative outlet.  It's where I can go write and let my thoughts out.  This is my spot in the world where I can be myself and not be afraid.  I work in an office full time and it's extremely boring, there's nothing that's fun and exciting about it, it's the same routine every, single, day, that's why this blog fulfills that hole.  There is always something I'm doing or learning and I love meeting and making cyber friends.  I'm not doing this so that I can blog full time and ditch my office job, I mean that'd be nice however I know that's not in the cards for me.  How long will I blog for? I honestly have no clue.  I'll do it until it's time to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next one.

In the end, there is so much more to blogging than what non bloggers actually think.  There have been times where I've cried over this blog because something happened to my layout or I thought I should just stop because my blog wasn't worth reading to the world.  I have worn my heart on my sleeve on this blog so to speak and my readers have actually seen me at a vulnerable state because I've opened up on this blog.  I've told you about struggles that I've had and how I overcame them whether it be in life or with blogging.  I've come out of my shell a little bit and I'm way more comfortable than I was when I first started this blog back in 2013.  I honestly can say that I love this blog.

Now, let's linkup!

Jersey Girl, Texan Heart Link Up




   
   


   

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17 comments

  1. I think this is my favorite look and shoot you've done! Those shoes are amazing and I love the shade of blue on the dress. Blogging is such a weird hard fun thing all at the same time! You do a wonderful job at it!

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

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  2. Let me know when you find that photoshop for dummies course! I could do with that too! Be proud of what you have achieved. You have done so well xx
    www.vanityandmestyle.com

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  3. Well said, my friend! I think what you are saying is true for many of us bloggers. It is also my creative outlet. And there is a huge difference between narcissism and self-care. Wanting to look nice and putting the effort into it on a daily basis is completely and totally self care and more people should be aware of that and practicing that. And that is a lot of what blog is about. Looking good in order to feel good. And looking even better on the days you feel the worst. Great post!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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  4. I couldn't agree more with all your points on why you are a blogger. I feel the same way and appreciate that you explain how hard we all work. Love this dress and it's so perfect for the holiday.

    http://www.kathrineeldridge.com

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  5. Today on my blog I posted a piece called Should I Start a Blog--People ask me that all the time--I don't think most people realize the time and effort that goes into a good blog. Yours is beautiful, keep up the good work.

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  6. First---that dress is fabulous!! I would wear it in a heart beat!
    And second, until you start blogging, you don't realize all of the work and craziness that goes into it! It's definitely much more than I thought it would be, in work & fun!!
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  7. Wow! Do I ever love this post. You spoke of everything that is in my mind and heart.

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  8. You've summed up my feelings exactly of why I blog too! Great points! Love the dress. The color is gorgeous on you!

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  9. This is a great post! And yes, everything you mention I have heard or thought about at some point. I have worked my whole life and been relatively successful. My blog is my happy place. A place where I can be creative and myself. I love it if people read but it's not why I do it. I think it's one of those things where if you love what you are doing, others will too. Peace!

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  10. Omg, Monica, I have gotten some of the same questions! And most often I give very similar answers as you do, but on occasion I have questioned myself. Great post, and gorgeous look! This dress looks amazing on you!

    xx, Elise
    www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com

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  11. Thank you for this, I always wondered how fashion bloggers do their pictures. Wondering if they changed in their car and how they keep up. I think you do a fabulous job, keep up the good work. Thanks for keeping it real.

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  12. Yesss! I completely get this! Taking pics is the hardest part. My husband or my 9 year old takes pics for me and its so difficult when its too bright out or we cant find a good spot. Not to mention my 9 year old is just a kid. So I have to bribe her hahahah and like most kids shes not really interested so i have to try convincing her to take 5 million photos in a matter of 5 minutes and hope 2 or 3 turn out good LOL

    Erica Valentin
    www.EricaValentin.com

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  13. Great Dress! Love the vibrant color! Looks so pretty on you!

    Enjoyed reading your thoughts on blogging. Thanks for sharing!

    Mary
    http://marymurnane.com

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  14. Such a great post! I can totally relate in all of these areas... I just wrote a post about blogging + working full time and how I juggle it all (oh and being wife and mommy) PHEW!!! Great post and you are killing it girl!

    Brittany :)
    www.kingdomofsequins.com

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  15. Great that you're not blogging to become Insta famous and because you really love it!

    Beauty & Colour | Vegan Lifestyle Blog

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  16. Such a beautiful post, Monica!!! Love your blue dress and I loved the answers you gave to these questions. So many of your answers resonated with me and I couldn't have said it better myself! I'm so happy we've become friends through our blogs!!! Happy Wednesday, girl!

    Sarah
    Trendy & Tidy

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