photo by Briley Noel
When I started blogging in 2011, it was because I wanted to be a part of the community I already followed and loved. I was a big fan of early fashion bloggers and loved the idea of bringing style inspiration to people who felt stuck in a closet rut but didn’t follow the fashion blogging scene. My goal was to provide real outfits that I had worn in my real life and bought with my own money.
After getting into a rhythm and gaining a bit of a following, this space changed into something more than daily outfit posts. I wanted to create a safe place online for people, especially women, to feel less alone when it came to things like body image, depression, and anxiety. These topics have been pillars of Writes Like A Girl because they have a lot to do with who I am as a person and I wanted my blog to reflect that.
While I’ve had general goals for Writes Like A Girl (post more consistently! fine-tune your style! get more followers!), I realized that I’ve never thought of this space in a long-term capacity. Working alongside Indiana of INDIANA/ELSEWHERE (formerly Adored Austin) as we’ve prepped for CAMP has been a whirlwind of awesome. Not only is she just such an inspiration to me as a funny woman who writes on the Internet, but she has pushed me to see something greater for myself in this sphere. She believes in what I’m doing here, and that made me believe more in what it could become.
On several occasions Indiana has asked me what my goals are for Writes Like A Girl. For as dedicated to this space as I am, I hadn’t ever really thought about it. That worried me. I, like many bloggers, have been feeling a little burnt out lately. I’ve had middle-of-the-night meltdowns asking myself “Do people ever care about these outfits? It’s not like I’m reinventing the wheel here,” and “What do I have to say that isn’t already being said on a blog with more followers.” These questions can be the start to a really ugly spiral of doubt if there’s no one there to remind you of your value. I am so thankful to have had Indiana on the other side of my text messages telling me that I’m not alone and that what I’m doing is good.
I have spent a lot of time thinking this season about what I want for Writes Like A Girl. The blogging community is so unbelievably saturated, but there is still a place for me here and I still have things to say and do that are valuable. One of the big things I’ve been considering (and reconsidering) is working with brands. To be transparent here, I get contacted several times a day by brands I have no interest in working with. Having seen what marketing is from their side, I feel bad because they A. don’t know how to send a good (or even grammatically correct) email, and B. they don’t know who their audience is. So many brands have heard “bloggers are the future” and they just assume we’re all the same. Spoiler alert: we’re not!
After politely declining or ignoring (oops) so many emails, I started thinking about my role as a blogger in a new way. There are products I love and would love to tell me readers about. That’s all these brands want anyway, isn’t it? Someone to market their product in a real way? I have never wanted this space to become a marketing platform for products I don’t care about/don’t believe in just for the money or free swag. No shade to bloggers who choose that path (girls gotta pay the bills, you know), but since the beginning Writes Like A Girl has been a safe space for readers to read something real and I will not sacrifice that for anything.
Having that brands just want someone who believes in their products to write about them, I’m going to start searching for my own partnerships. What I hope is that I can create some amazing relationships with people who make products I’m so excited to tell you about. Starting my blog was about community, and I have been wary of including brands in that community until now. With this new inspiration, I’m excited to grow my space a little bigger, while continuing to provide useful and honest content to my readers.
From a reader perspective, not much is going to change. You may see a few more c/o (meaning “courtesy of”) items around here, but know that this is never going to become a place where I try to sell you things for the sake of it. This feels like a positive next step for both Writes Like A Girl and my little community, so I’m glad you’re coming along for the ride!