I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. You know in grammar school when you go around the room and say, “I want to be a: teacher, nurse, mechanic, astronaut (how many times did you hear that one?!) when I grow up,” I never had an answer. When it came time for college I knew I liked customer service, business, and fashion but none of the most common majors combined the three. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I realized I could earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Textile and Apparel Merchandising – the business side of the fashion industry!
With ties to the Northeast, I finally had a plan. I would finish college at LSU and move back to the Tristate Area to work in NYC. But even after earning my degree, I wasn’t sold on the idea. I was managing a clothing boutique and LOVED styling outfits for my regular clients. I knew if I aspired to become a retail buyer in NYC, I would not be working directly with consumers. Plus, excel spreadsheets make me crosseyed and dyslexic tendencies start to enter the picture. That could get ugly when you’re in charge of hundreds of thousands of dollars in apparel.
Little did I know that my move to San Francisco would not only place me in the “center of the universe,” but it would open my eyes to a passion for writing. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not and will never enjoy writing research papers. However, when I arrived in SF almost four and a half years ago, I didn’t know a soul! I lost my hair stylist, brow lady, veterinarian…the list goes on. I found myself reading a ton of reviews on Yelp. The reading eventually turned into contributions of my own and I became a “Yelp Elite” having written 200 reviews on food (DUH!) and everything in between. Evidently I do enjoy writing when I have a genuine interest in the subject matter.
And just like that, my blog (business) was born. Well, sort of. My website started out as “KK and GG,” a resource for dog owners looking for pet friendly things to do in SF. But my passion is fashion and it became clear to me that my website and blog needed to be more fashionable in every sense of the way! Long story short, Kelsey Kaplan Fashion is where it’s at and I don’t envision that it’ll change in the foreseeable future. So why am I telling this story? Because the blogging industry is still new and it still gets misconstrued as a very time consuming hobby. That it ain’t! It is certainly time consuming, but it’s WAY more than a hobby. It is a business. There are start up costs and investments, monthly expenses, contracts, and account receivables.
While the blogging life may appear glamorous at all times, behind the scenes it is a lot of work, sometimes sacrifices, and it never turns off. As long as there are consumers trolling the internet, you must continue producing fresh content. While store fronts close for holidays and maybe even Sundays, Instagram never closes. That means on weekends, vacations, and maybe even wedding anniversaries it is your responsibility to engage with the platform. In a conventional workplace, there is something called a corporate latter that you can climb after meeting benchmarks. There is no such thing in the blogging industry and there are no manuals either. You learn on the way. I remember publishing my 300th blog post and it being like crickets. Was I ever going to reach a “tipping point?!”
I think it is important to note that I’m not complaining. I’m just being honest. Just like everything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with a career in blogging. Obviously to me the perks outweigh the disadvantages or I wouldn’t sacrifice my beauty rest (you think I’m kidding?!) It never gets old receiving boxes of “blogger mail.” As my mom says, “it’s like Hanukkah 365 days a year!” But aside from the awesome gifting opportunities, it’s very thrilling to be one of the first people to try a new product. But the fun doesn’t stop there. In the scheme of things, the blogging community is small. Everyone is connected via Instagram and hashtags make it possible to virtually “meet” like-minded people worldwide. It really is amazing. I used to think I was the only person who dreamt about clothes all day everyday, then I went to NYFW.
Do You Have What it Takes to Excel in a Career in Blogging?
- Do you consider yourself a self-starter?
- Are you determined?
- Does working alone/from home entice you?
- Are you creative?
- Are you passionate about any subject matter?
If you answered yes to the questions above, then you have what it takes to make a career in blogging. Now all that’s left to do is: buy a domain name, find somewhere to host your new website, buy cloud storage to store your data, get the lowdown on SEO, pretend to be a coder, design a theme, write your first post, learn photography and Lightroom/Photoshop, and maybe even find an IG husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend! My blog would not be possible without Jonathan’s support and I’m forever grateful!
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Thank you to Shandru Photography for capturing the moment.