A few months back I received a harassing message from a stranger. That person did not identify themselves however criticized my social media presence. Their harsh text suggested I live a luxurious life of blogging due to the financial support of a wealthy family or affluent boyfriend. Perplexed by their unsettling words lead me to open up to you about the truth behind social media versus reality.
From the outside it appears glamorous making money for sharing personal opinions, blog posts and beautiful photos. The truth is there is an enormous amount of work involved in curating and completing marketing campaigns, advertisements, content creation, et cetera. I assure you my experience does not involve loans, investors, donations or handouts. The misperception of blogging is that it is an easy profession to quick success. Capitalizing on a blog is a full-time job. I cannot speak on behalf of my fellow bloggers, but I was not brought up by a well-off family, know a financier, or have an Instagram husband/boyfriend to help me out. What I have keeping me going is my constant drive to exceed my personal goals and achieve success for the love of my passion.
When this began I always wanted it to become bigger than me. I knew it was a dream but wanted my dream to become reality. That dream came with a price. In 2011 I paid a web developer to design a product placement website for me. Keep in mind that was long before companies like Who What Wear and LikeToKnowIt monetized their traffic via other bloggers. I had this brilliant idea first and I was going to catapult my career but it failed. Epically! The web developer I hired took all of my money, left me without a website and ran off. That’s reality. At the time I was working full-time as a stunt double and playing the actresses twin while going to school full-time. Teaching myself how to develop a website required time and I had bills to pay. So my dreams were placed on hold.
Fast forward five years later, I took a summer off forced by a health scare.
That summer after I suffered a heart complication and was rushed to a cardiologist everything changed. There wasn’t time to wait for my dreams to happen. It was now or never. Nothing I was going through like emergency hospital visits made social media news. Anyone who followed my Facebook and Instagram posts were oblivious to my condition because I didn’t share the reality of my “real life” on social media. I posted things people wanted to see. The FAKE glamorous side. During my forced time off I taught myself how to own a business and build one from the ground up. I was learning business 101 from web tutorials, books and YouTube. I was also suffering from an abusive relationship and a heart condition. Struggling to stay healthy while sharing my first blog post glorified my life appearing happy living the Hollywood dream. It couldn’t be further from the truth.
During my hardships I hit a personal milestone learning to develop and design my website, create my own content, coding, SEO, product placement, marketing, modeling and editing. I was ecstatic. My dream was coming true… on social media. But in reality I was managing depression from learning to cope with abuse. I was also back to working multiple jobs to stay afloat.
Being a full-time blogger is a career but it’s not a cake walk despite the portrayal behind the glamour shots. I hire a team of people for each sponsorship I work on. It takes days sometimes weeks to capture a perfect advertisement for a brand or publish a personal blog posts. I am constantly aiming to be innovative and create something different someone hasn’t done. Not to mention the financial side of blogging. In the beginning phases spending thousands to make hundreds to brand yourself and company accordingly and grow a loyal following. It’s serious work and time management balancing many jobs. Every trade I learned I taught myself. I didn’t have family, a boyfriend or friend to help. What I had was hard times and a reality no one ever posts. But I overcame continuous setbacks and obstacles by a burning desire that would not let me give up.
I’m still defensive in regard to the ignorance of the uneducated people who confuse social media and reality, but the fact is starting any business on your own is hard work and a constant struggle. It’s a learning curve. In my industry it’s staying current and relevant but ahead of the time. Knowing how to please brands while taking a genuine interest in the concern of consumers without offending or disappointing anyone. It is a career. A hustle. People who knock others success have very little self love and self respect. They are not aware that social media is not reality but it takes talent and hard work to maintain reality and social media simultaneously. Being in the business of owning a business, acting as CEO and a successful entrepreneur means being proficient in your industry and caring for yourself and your career first.
I aim for authenticity in my work through the projects I chose to take on. However, in the blogger business world separating reality from your profession is necessary because social media is not reality. After all, I am just a girlboss building my empire by a novelty of idealistic fantasy’s.
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