July 4, 2012

Fashion Blogging. Connections and a Lot Of STUFF.

First, I am so sorry I was a b***h. But let me make it up to you...


let me butter you up with a champorado...so are we good now? Are we good?


Now you have a blog. Woohoo! Congratulations. You have readers now and get reactions from some people too. That's great. But you feel that you're not out there yet. Like totally-exposed out there. So you need connections and exposure. Again I am not an authority for these kinds of matter but I believe I am a huge authority over myself as a reader to distinguish the annoying kind of exposure and the classy subtle way. So it's a personal opinion.

Some are:

  • Form a small group. Blogging sisterhood not sorority/mean girls. We are meant for community because we know we need each other. So contact bloggers same as your blog-age, same with your style or someone you feel most comfortable and form a "bond" so you can help promote each other. Having a group with diverse individuals is how we will find our security, also learn to help other bloggers and form a vibrant blogging culture. Do not go for the big-guns-bloggers yet. Don't even try to kiss their cyberspace-ass. That's blog climbing. And it's not classy. I suggest for the sake of your sanity, do not mind these bloggers. Do not follow their lead. Don't get me wrong, most of these bloggers are fabulous, jut like what I said, they've been doing this for the longest time. My point is, if you compare yourself to them, you're a toast. Blog outside the fashion blogging norm. Fashion blogging now is in a complete rut. Why/how dare I say that? It has become so lazy. They create a look. Picture.picture.pose.pose.do the duck face: with a caption: i went to Starbucks wearing this, or Do i look fat?, or say hello to my new babies, and bam! That's fashion blogging. I wish there was more concept and idea going through each post. But i guess some kids don't like to read. They prefer to "read" who are most likely on top of the envy-peddler bloggers, and wishing they were them. I read somewhere, some blogger wanting to be the next Laureen Uy. I hate to burst your ombre-bubble but dude, you have a penis! c",) Again, having your set of blog sisters will give you a stable hype. It may not be huge at first. But as long as it is stable that is enough. Remember blog success isn't an overnight thing. 
  •  Do a make over. This is so girly-girly and so fun to do. Do not wait for sponsors to fire up your blog. Example here. See?
  • Great Styling Idea. Example: One dress, twenty ways. See the Uniform Project? She landed a book deal because of that and it's for a cause. Eat your heart out wanna be sponsored bloggers. 
  • Guest posting. Say, it's your finals week, You can ask your blogger friends (new or advanced bloggers) to guest post on your blog. It's not laziness. It is a perfect example of blogging strategy. Example here. The idea is to get your name out there. Promote yourself and your friends too.
  • Do an interview. This is work. The real kind of email job you do to contact people. You can showcase all your favorite bloggers through interview. You can ask fun, witty questions that shows how smart you are. Examples here and here
  • Links and credits. If you're going to use other people's photos or ideas make sure you link it back to them. Or at least try to mention it. Links in blogs are like "poke" in facebook only it's not that annoying. The owner of the photo will surely notice some of her traffic are coming from your blog. So it's a great way to get noticed. 
  • Hashtags. But do not annoy your followers with the abusive 30 hashtags. Not funny. 30 # will cost you more that 30 un-followers. Trust me. 
  • Twitter mention. If you buy something and you want to tag the brand, that's good. That way they will notice you and they will probably tap you for your dream of a lifetime "collab". ("probably" being the operative word)
  • Lookbook and chictopia. 
  • Join groups. Flicker groups. You can join here.   
  •  Blog comments. Instead of doing 100 comments a day to all the bloggers you follow, narrow it down to ten. And make it meaningful like you read the whole blogpost. And do it constantly to the same number of bloggers. But leaving comments like this:

 " cool shoe.


follow me and Ill follow you.

follow me on facebook
follow me on chictopia
follow me on lookbook
follow me on myspace
follow me on friendster 
follow me on twitter
follow me on instagram "

....seriously, what is wrong with you?

  • Swap. Clothing swap. You won't spend anything with swapping. Hello? The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants? Or dress, or Jacket. Go here. Your dress will go places and so are you. Remember the beginning and  future of blogging is sharing. So share, swap. Set up a day with your blog friends. Document everything, all the clothes or make up you brought and the snacks. (gossip too, of course, but you don't have to blog about it) These are the blog contents we are talking about. Ideas. Bring back the fun to blogging so we can stop obsessing about freebies. 
  • Create your own event. If you're not getting invited to any, go make one. I don't know exactly what kind of event but you do the thinking this time. I mean, by this time you can ask for sponsors and pitch your idea to them. I have no problems with sponsorship especially if it's for a cause. What cause? Feed the whale. Save the frogs. Save the gangsta. c") Etcetera, etcetera. And just be-cause you have nothing to wear it does not count as cause. 

What else? Please please add more.

But then again blogging-success has no formula. You may do all of the things mentioned above or more but still your blog isn't reaching the hype you want compared to others. You may copy this blogger's outfit from head to toe, post after post but still you're not making any progress when it comes to exposure. I have no doubt that there are bloggers telling themselves that they too, with enough hard work and great content, could match this bloggers success and pull in an extra money per month just by blogging. But, the reality is that for every top blogger X there are thousands and thousands of lookalike bloggers littering Bloglovin’ and Blogger. They’re mostly indistinguishable and they’ll mostly stay that way. Success in blogging is more about luck and connections than hard work. Im telling you, blogging is weird. But sure, when it hit you, success may come and sadly when it happens (for some) here comes this enabled, entitled, I-am-the-most-important-person-on-the-Internet blogger persona that slowly corrupts a normal, well-adjusted person into an a-hole. If you want to blog, good for you! But don't do it (again) for fame and free stuff. Sadly the big buzzword among bloggers is “sponsorship.” They always look for a way to sponsor their blog, their outfit posts, their shopping suggestions. They’d love someone to sponsor their vacations. Hell, why not sponsor their entire life?  Is that the big Filipino Blogger Dream? Really?

Let me tell you a little secret. I have a friend in the US working for a clothing company and according to her, sending items aka "collab" in exchange for a blog mention will not be part of their campaign strategies this year…they are not seeing increase in sales compared to the amount of clothes they have sent out… companies are finally seeing that style blogs don’t have nearly the influence on the buying habits of their readers as they have made it sound. So to sum it up, no matter how much a reader loves a blogger or the item she’s wearing, if they don’t have the money, they won’t buy anything. My friend (i swear, this friend of mine is real. Scout's honor!) went on to say that bigger bloggers will most likely still receive some free goods but the days of anyone-with-a-style-blog being able to wrangle free stuff is ovah! Woohoo! This could change the whole face of style blogging, making it even more competitive as bloggers try to reach the level necessary to appeal to companies still offering swag.

So if you're a blogger with a one month old blog looking for a way to wrangle free stuff, am sorry but it's time for a blog make over. But then again, we do not live in US. c",)

I'd love to pride myself on being a simple person, a mom, a wife, living a simple life. But honestly speaking I want more. What kind of "more", I am not entirely sure.  I am, after all, human just like everyone else, I am a woman, I fall prey to the same human vices and temptations. Everyone wants to be successful. Everyone wants to stand out. You may see this blogger's success and you may think that it's just as easy to replicate it. If they can do it why can't I? So you try and hope for success, but really, how do you measure success, especially blogging success? By page views or the number of comments? By recommendations or write ups? By the amount of free products you receive? I'd always been wary about balancing life with an "actual" blog so maybe, I just continue to observe from the sidelines. Sometimes I wonder If only I said Yes to all the invites or those "collabs", where I'd be now? Would I have the same type of exposure and opportunities that many of my blogger friends have now? Would I really desire those things to begin with? I love fashion. I love clothes and shoes. I want a gazillion of them. This blog shows that. But that's not a career for me. I know in our heart of hearts, all of us understand that there has to be something more to life than money and fame. I mean, if you let yourself be honest, the more we have, the worse we feel.

As a blogger, we have some sort of influence to our readers. Even just a little, of course we have. Each time we pitch our voice, share our photos and ideas out there, a life is in a balance. They may be young or old and even with just one blog post we could sway them positively or in other direction. I was saddened by a 14 year old Filipina girl on instagram. Her profile says, " i love fashion bloggers, they are my idol, someday I wanna be like them". Whatever happened to I wanna be a doctor, or a teacher or pilot or the President? I know it is not our fault. But it made me sad.

Denise Katipunera is a collection of events in my life that makes me happy. Some days I am in a rut. Some blog posts reflect that. There is no way I am trying to live in a twee-happy life through this blog. Some people love playing to the crowd and know how to reward people who appreciate them with a certain air of greatness. I am not a politician. I can't do it because I'm always aware that I am far from the person they imagine. As I always say, a blog is just a blog. And I am more than my blog. The blog trend will fade away, and I am happy to be part of it. But It is not my whole life. And I hope, your blog isn't your whole life too.

Again I am sorry. But hey I believe that any idea that comes from a place of honesty is all worth saying. Maybe you should do it too. And yeah, I should stop making speeches like this. Okay, that's it. The End.....aaaand thank you for your time. 


Honey Andrade said...

I really enjoyed reading this post.. To be honest, I don't always have the time to read an entire post especially if I visit all my friends' blogs (ang dami nyo haha!), sometimes I just skim and look at the photos, but this entry was really interesting. :)

#1 (blog sisterhood) reminded me so much of the girls that I got really close to because of blogging and I mean it when I say that going to events wouldn't even be fun if they weren't there.

Sobrang totoo when you said that its all about luck and connections.. There are so many "unknown" fashion bloggers out there and to be fair with them, they are really stylish also pero wala sila masyado exposure (and parang hindi din naman sila interested maging "famous"). Let's face it, Laureen Uy is super famous because she's friends with celebrities and her siblings are from the Preview team. Even if she didn't have all that, I'm sure she'll still be famous because the girl really knows how to dress up.. Pero you can't deny the fact that nakatulong ng sobra na kapatid sya ni Liz Uy... that, plus the fact that they're filthy rich. She can afford to buy the "trendiest" stuff. Lol.

Blogging is supposed to be fun.. It shouldn't be "forced" and you shouldn't expect to be "popular" or get free stuff.. Bonus nalang yun. Ang dami dyan sobrang hayok sa invites, sa free stuff.. Its gonna sound mean pero grabe, ang cheap tignan ng ganun.. If you get invited, then great! Pero kung hindi, grabe naman, its not the end of the world!

For me, blogging is not a real profession.. Its just something you do as like a "hobby".. Hindi dapat masyadong kina-career yan (unless you're BryanBoy)! ESPECIALLY if you can't afford to buy new stuff all the time.. Sikat ka nga, baon ka naman sa utang.. Sus!!! Ang pagiging cool, hindi dapat pilit. Kung talagang cool ka, kahit galing lang Divisoria ang damit mo, mukha ka pa din talagang cool. You're so right.. These girls shouldn't aim to "be like Laureen Uy".. Its okay to look up to others but its always better to strive to do your own thing, strive to be the one who people will look up to. :)

krissy ♥ said...

I read everything and I have to say I loved every single point you raised. Thank you for letting these out in the open :)

krissy ♥ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bubby's Mummy said...

Too funny!

I have to admit I'm a wannabe fashion blogger but the total number of fashion related posts I've written not counting my son's outfit posts is zero. Okay maybe one and that was about my fashion faux pas. Fashion blogging takes a lot of effort and quite frankly I don't have that many clothes or money to spend on outfits. Now if someone told me sooner that fashion bloggers get free stuff I might have tried a little harder.

I hate blogs that are all about product reviews and sponsored posts. I follow blogs because I'm interested in the blogger as much as the outfits they post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Denise! This is Jean. I hope you remember me. I asked for help from you two years ago for my thesis and your writing has gotten good since 2005. Wow! THIS is great writing. But i love your old blog post where you still write in Filipino and English and a bit of gay lingo. hahaahaha. I love it then and i love it now.

Goodluck Denise. You've always been so honest and pure.

I hope young generation would subscribe to "older" bloggers such as you.

You've changed a lot Denise. I guess being a Mom changes a lot of things for the better.

Myrted said...

Trulaloo talaga yung LUCK & CONNECTIONS. Camille Co became famous in 3months time... same goes with Laureen Uy and Kryz Uy as well. If you look at their names, they're all Chinese and came from business-oriented families. Hence, they don't even have to knock on the doors of different businesses since the brands already know them for sure... Plus, to be really really honest, MONEY is 50% factor of your blog's content specially if you're into fashion kasi 'heller' ang mamahal na ng gamit ngayon specially designer items. Pero if you really have the passion, creativeness, and resourcefulness then that's when people can really see your potential and talent.

I learned a lot from your tips as well, kaso ang hirap gumawa ng sariling event ah! Haha. Time and patience talaga ang puhunan sa blogs na to. So you really have to enjoy what you do, kasi it's not as easy as it looks...

great speech! :D

Noemi said...

hi Denise,

I'm your silent follower of your blog. I love your simplicity & honesty.

Princess Dane Recabe said...

I love everything what you said and you pinpointed. It seems an eye-opener to everyone. I read everything, word by word. :))

vanessa east said...

sana nga lang talaga nagbabasa pa hanggang sa dulo ang mga blogettes. i miss reading/going to blogs na may content. not necessarily mahaba but something that goes beyond what and who theyre wearing :) natawa ako and kinda natamaan din cause at the end of the day, we all want more. and Honey is right. blog sisterhood. i have met the kindest and the truest people through blogging. and once in a while, we need a post well-written and thought of like this to remind us na yes, Wag masyadong careerin ang blogging (unless your bryan boy - honey) and to have fun while doing so. :)
thanks for sharing this, denise.

your forever silent reader,

banisa :)

Roxanne said...

i love this post miss den! super daming tips, at the end of the day dapat cool ka lang di ba. without even pressuring yourself about the number of your followers or the stats. kumbaga just enjoy every post, bonus na lang kung sisikat ka with matching sponsors pa haha

sittie rainie limba said...

Amen to Miss Honey's post! naku lage ko pa nmn sinasabi i wanna be like ate den someday huhu, pro xempre isa lng un sa mga dream ko. Hindi dhil sa dress, shoes at sa photos mo katipunera kundi sa pagiging Happy mo sa lahat ng post mo, sa life mo with kuya jayson and yllac. For me kasi sobra perfect ng life na tulad ng sau, I mean ako kasi I dont have a mom and dad na lge ko ksama, so I envy you. You're family, but in a good way. I want to have a perfect family someday just like you.

Last month was my first blogsary. Inaamin ko sangalan ng kapangyarihan ni sailormoon na hindi ako isang matalinong blogger na nose bleed ang readers kng basahin ang post ko. I BLOG because I want them (my friends) to know that I CAN dressed up kahit na mataba ako, khit na maitim ang tuhod ko, gabalyena ang binti ko, khit na kasing laki ng troso braso ko, khit na malaki muka ko, MAGANDA PDN AKO AT kering kering MGSUOT ng UKAY DRESS at heels ni katipunera. BOW!

Hindi ko hinangad na mgkaroon ng bonggang followers, tulad ni Krizy Uy, hindi ko hinangad maging model ng F21 dhil una sa lahat hindi kasya skin mga damet nila hahaha, MSAYA na ko sa simple bati ng mga kaibigan ko na "uy u've changed, ang ganda mo ngyn sa mga pix mo at SEXY" . hihi. That means, isa kong ugly duckling during high school days at isa ko sa mga kinatatakutan ng timbangan during my college days.

Thank you ate den =D I hope bati tau khit na lge ko sinasabi idol kita. Sa true! Your blog changed me. Mula ng sinubaybayan ko si denishabeybeh sa multiply mas naging confident ako sa sarili ko. Coz you are my Inspiration.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this post. You are funny and smart. I just hope more bloggers would be as real and as unpretentious as you.

Cherry said...

That is straight forward and very true! One of the reason why i keep coming back to check on your blog...you write soooo well!!!

Maiba ako, your champorado made my stomach growls at 11:17PM...kailangan ko ng itulog to!!!!

Rae said...

So that's what they're called wannabe-sponsored-bloggers.

It's been said over and over that if that's the ONLY reason why you created a blog. You'll run out of content.

...and you can't ever fake it til you make it.

Elilea said...

This made me reflect on my actions. For that, I thank you.

I admit I like receiving free things from blogging (not that I often receive any haha!). Free stuff can be very tempting (at least for me). Haha! Sometimes, I join blogging-related contests not because I want to win (okay... maybe deep down I want to) but because I want my blog to be updated. It's actually helpful especially when I start gaining interest on the subject of the contest such as photography and fashion.

I don't really know where I'm getting at with my second paragraph comment. Sorry about that. Haha! Anyway, thanks for posting this. It made me realize something important. :)


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