Breaking the Blogger Mold

Breaking the Blogger Mold

I met with one of my blogger girlfriends the other night for dinner. She’s a bold and eccentric African American trying to ease her way into the fashion world. We recapped on her recent trip to New York Fashion Week which then led into the topic of finding your way into the in-crowd of these industries. As popular as blogging is, it’s a tricky path. Many who attempt fizzle out and few get to live out their blogger dreams. It’s truly an industry where you can’t predict your results.

Before I had my own blog, I obviously followed bloggers I favored. They seemed to be what looked like overnight successes, growing their audiences by thousands overnight and quickly receiving sponsorship opportunities. They all fit a mold, showcasing their messy hair and street style. They had perfect flat-lay photos and could make any plate of food look photogenic. They’d get dressed up every day to take photos of their picture perfect life without bothering to touch on the ugly parts of it. Their captions sounded alike, their writing sounded alike but obviously that’s what people liked. If it works for them, we think it’ll work for us. We mimic what we like about others without even trying because it’s what we’re used to seeing.

I’m only nine months in, but one of my biggest struggles was deciding how much of me I wanted to be with all of you. When I say that I mean, how much of myself I was willing to share. How much of myself was I willing to own? I even had a hard time using Snapchat because I was impartial about people seeing the “real” me, without the poised photos and perfect punctuation. Don’t misunderstand, I adore the real me. I love everything she’s about. However, I was unsure if she would fit into a blogger mold.

You’d think the odds were against me. I’m a multiracial minority, I work a full-time corporate job and I’ll be damned if I put on a pair of heels just to sit on my bed and take a picture of them (talk about unsanitary). I cuss a lot sometimes and I would never try and convince you that life is a piece of cake served with a cup of coffee that has the perfect latte art. I never wanted to be that kind of blogger. The question was, would I be able to talk about what’s important to me and share that with an audience who would embrace, or better yet appreciate it? Could I succeed without having to change who I was? If you’re reading this it’s proof that I could. When you’re not like them, it’s difficult to believe that there will be a place for you.

I see it all the time. You start a blog and it doesn’t bloom because you sound like everyone else, you dress like everyone else, you copied my webpage design (shade or no shade?) and your content is inauthentic. Let’s be honest, that’s why you were afraid to begin one in the first place right? You were uncertain if you being yourself would be enough for people to care.ย Your discouragement is a reflection of you wanting someone else’s results.

If you are attempting to find your voice, you’ve already looked too far. You own it already! You don’t have to change how you talk, how you dress, or your guilty pleasures in order to build a brand. You are who you are, embrace that. Walk comfortably in your own shoes. Your individuality is the key to your success and you being you is the only thing that makes you unique. Being me has been proven to work. If you’re needing inspiration, take a look at Shiona Turini andย Sophia Amorusoย who are always unapologetically them.

34 Comments

  1. October 5, 2016 / 11:08 am

    Yes, yes and yes. As a writer first and foremost, my hesitation is sharing myself with people directly. As much as I love fashion and lifestyle blogs, putting myself out there has never been easy. Maybe there’s an idea in just that….hm. ๐Ÿ™‚ great post once again!

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 9:08 am

      Thank you hun! As writers it’s almost our responsibility to go in depth. I love to get dressed, but I wouldn’t consider myself a fashion blogger. My life consists of so much more. Thank you for reading! xx

  2. October 5, 2016 / 11:55 am

    It is critical that black women present their authentic, diverse selves online. We’ve followed the mold of mediocrity for far too long and enough, is enough.

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 9:09 am

      And then we wonder why we don’t succeed in the same way. I’m with you on that one. Thank you for reading!

  3. Brianna
    October 5, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    I think a lot of people “force” themselves to be “unique” because they don’t realize that they’re an individual, meaning you’re already unique.

    People start blogs and the more sponsorships they get, they start looking like everyone else, doing the same things and promoting the same products. So I see how they fall into that hole of looking like everyone else, because sometimes it’s hard not to!

    Great post beauty!!

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 9:10 am

      BASICALLY. Every person is unique, some just less interesting than others lol and that’s okay! That doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that person will excel in. Thanks for reading Brianna <3

  4. Neasha McDowell
    October 5, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    Great post I can definitely relate!

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 9:11 am

      I’m glad you feel me, thanks for reading baby doll!

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 9:15 am

      4 years is SUCH a long time Jasmine. I applaud you! And by the way, your site looks amazing. I love the aesthetic of it. Keep pushing ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. October 5, 2016 / 1:32 pm

    This post is so true and came right on time for me! I also struggle with trying to decide how much of “me” I want to share in my blog/vlogs. I sometimes look at others and think that I need to sound like them or look like them too! How can you not? It’s hard when you see all of their success! But you are completely right, what is unique about us IS our brand, and it is what is going to help us shine. This post is helping me to re-focus on the idea that being me is more than enough! I’m going to share this ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 9:23 am

      And that’s exactly what I wanted you to walk away with Olivia. Being you is all that you need to do in order to succeed. I try to limit how much time I spend looking at other bloggers. It’s important that I remain myself and not mirror everything they’re doing. Glad I could help <3

  6. October 5, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    I’ve decide that I’m just going to be me. I love cursing, I swear I do.

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 9:24 am

      LMAO you sound like me! And I don’t see the damn problem, hell! Keep on being you ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. October 5, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    “Your individuality is the key to your success and you being you is the only thing that makes you unique.” …another gem I will be quoting in the future. This was spot on, especially the point “We mimic what we like about others without even trying because itโ€™s what weโ€™re used to seeing.” Happens all the time for me! You have aspirations, admire someone who has the same & then before you know it your mirroring them instead of just being yourself; figuring out what you love. Another great post! Cant wait for the next one. Thanks Courtney!

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 1:48 pm

      Thanks so much Lauren! I’m glad you took away some gems ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for reading boo xx

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 9:39 am

      Haha that’s one of my biggest pet peeves! Thank you for reading Tarah <3

  8. October 5, 2016 / 5:56 pm

    I’m a year in and still struggling to find my voice. It’s hard sharing parts of yourself that you’ve kept hidden for so long. Thanks for the encouragement and affirmations I didn’t know I needed!

    xoxo,
    Amanda
    http://www.trulyyoursa.com

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 9:25 am

      Thank you for reading Amanda, I’m glad that I could help! Let me know if there’s anything else you might need xx

  9. Tanand
    October 6, 2016 / 9:37 am

    Even though this post is mostly geared to bloggers, because I find inspiration in all of your post I still read it anyways. I’m not a blogger, I don’t read any other blogs and I have no intentions of being a blogger either. But I love the authenticity and positivity of your posts….your post conveys that you care about your readers and you’re not willing to change just to fit the mold and for that I love you and your blog. Your #coffeetalk segments have done you great, it shows your realness and it allows us to believe that you share more of your personal side than you have to. I love your blog please keep the posts coming.

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      Awwww, that means so much to me! Thank you so much for the kind words and the continuous positive feedback you give. I’m so grateful that this blog and community are making the impact I hoped for, that’s priceless to me. I truly hope you continue to follow along! xx

  10. October 6, 2016 / 10:43 am

    Awesome post! Something i have struggled with my blogging for some years now and I just get into the blogging runts a lot more often. I believe I have found my voice a long time ago but I just have a hard time showing that in my blogging hence why I just started blogging in awhile but I’m so ready to get back into it and this post was everything that I needed to read.

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 1:46 pm

      It’s easy to be excited about something when it’s new only to not want to deal with it when it comes challenging. Not just blogs, but jobs, relationships, etc. You’ve got to push past that if you want to see results. It’s the only way. I hope your site does great! xx

  11. October 6, 2016 / 11:10 am

    Hey Courtney!

    Thank you so very much for this post. I have been blogging off and on for about 6 years and it is easy to want to fall into the same footsteps of those with huge blogging success. As a Nigerian-American beauty blogger I really had to just resolve to doing what makes ME feel good and what makes MY readers feel beautiful.

    xoxo, Maisha

    • Courtney
      October 6, 2016 / 1:52 pm

      Whew, 6 years is a really long time Maisha. I admire your tenacity because Lord knows we don’t all have it. It sounds to me as though you’ve figured out exactly what it is that you need to do. Keep on doing it! <3

  12. October 6, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    Great post hun! Definitely a struggle of mine too! Ugh…I’m so behind the scenes! I’m like why I have to share that Lord? That’s tew murch! LOL Glad you have found yours Hun! Keep it up! <3

    • Courtney
      October 7, 2016 / 10:46 am

      LOL! I know right?! It’s difficult but very necessary. Thank you for reading Mama E! I hate I’m gonna miss Kori’s birthday this weekend ๐Ÿ™ give her a hug and kiss for me! xo

  13. Brianna Scott
    October 7, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    This was a great read for me, being someone that’s been wanting to start my blog for the past 4 years but haven’t had the courage to. I’m ready to take the plunge though.

    • Courtney
      October 8, 2016 / 7:29 am

      Thank you for reading Brianna! Just imagine everything you could’ve accomplished in the four years that you’ve been waiting? Even if you wasted a year and decided that it’s not really for you, that still gives you three more years to take on something else you’re passionate about. I undoubtedly encourage you to just get started! Figure everything else after that. If there’s anything that I can help you with please don’t hesitate to let me know. xx

  14. October 7, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    You are doing a great job with your blog and bringing interesting content for all. As someone starting out, you definitely have to identify your niche, dabble in other but own your niche. That is what makes your different.

    • Courtney
      October 8, 2016 / 7:35 am

      Thank you very much! Your words are appreciated <3

  15. October 15, 2016 / 5:55 pm

    This is was very authentic and eye opening. I sit and struggle with the same questions I ask myself. Recently went on a trip to reflect and let me know that ME is just fine whether only a few like or not! Love reading your content!
    Xo, Crystal Chanelle

    • Courtney
      October 17, 2016 / 9:48 am

      Hey girl, hey! We actually had a good panel discussion regarding this on Saturday night. There’s no other way to deliver your message other than to be authentically you. That’s your magic! Keep at it, you will do great things. xx