The pages of Facebook have been blazing the past week or so, since a fashion designer commented on what he considered to be the poor quality of many of the hundreds of applications he had received from hopefuls wanting to become official bloggers for his brand. People were upset. Some of them were really, really upset. The designers comments about applicants lack of photoshop skills seemed to be particularly upsetting for some. And the fact that he hadn't stated that good quality post-processing was one of his expectations from his bloggers in the application process. I have to agree, the tone of some of the designers comments on the issue was a little insensitive. But I also believe that any designer has the right to choose whoever they want, and set whatever standards they want, to represent their brand through blogging.
It's perhaps not surprising that this issue has become so big. A quick Google search for "Second Life Fashion Blog" comes up with about 145,000,000 results in 41 seconds!
When I started this blog, back in 2011, there were already a lot of SL blogs - probably a few hundred, but today, the sheer volume is gobsmacking. It’s hardly surprising that designers are inundated when they open applications for bloggers to "represent" their brand. And of course, the standards vary just as much as the numbers - from breathtaking, amazing, beautifully crafted blogs with fantastic styling, photography and writing, to the frankly abysmal, and everything in between. Anyone who has a computer up to running SL can make a blog - but does the very act of making a blog make you a blogger? Or at least a blogger worth following, let alone sponsoring?
One of the comments that has really stuck in my mind is that designers requirements for things like photoshop skills, blogs being a certain age, frequency of posting, numbers of views and/ or faves on Flickr are somehow mean or unfair because "they don't give new bloggers a chance". This is so wrong. You don't need sponsors to make blog posts. You can use whatever you want - you can buy stuff, you can use freebies, gifts, even stuff from your inventory library to blog. Anyone can make a SL blog! It's important to develop your skills - to make your blog as appealing to readers as possible, and build a following in order to be an attractive proposition for designers to sponsor. This takes time. And work!
If you want sponsors, your photos and blog posts DO need to be of a good quality and attractive to readers - enough to make them come back for more, enough to make them want to look at your photos and even buy the things you're wearing. The reason designers sponsor blogs is to promote their brand. It's not a charitable or educational endeavour - it's business!
Does it mean you HAVE to have top notch photography and post-processing skills? Nope, not necessarily. I'm a firm believer that it's YOUR blog, and YOU decide on the style, standards and approach you take on your own blog. But you can't expect designers in SL to be giving you their work for free unless what you do on your blog fits their vision for their brand. Having sponsors isn't the be all and end all of fashion blogging. It actually shifts the focus of your blog from a personal expression to "representation". So there are minuses. Having to deliver a certain number of quality posts, to certain timescales, can be a lot of pressure. You might actually be happier and have more fun doing your own thing at your own expense!
As someone who is still a blogger at heart, I say work on your blogging and develop your skills to your own standards - there are masses of resources out there to help you develop as a photographer, stylist and writer. Make your blog something you're proud of. It's YOUR voice. Aim to get readers, not sponsors. Treat sponsorship from designers as an amazing bonus, not a necessity or a requirement. And especially not an ENTITLEMENT. Make your blog fabulous, build a following, and the sponsorship will happen if it's the right thing for you, and the designers!
Anyway - enough of me - scroll down for credits and SLURLs, and have a great week!
/me blows kisses
Dress: Ghee - Slinky Cocktail Set /maize
Boots: Ghee - Thigh Boots /carbon
Tights: Ghee - FW15 Tights (Maitreya Appliers) /carbon
Necklace & Earrings: Maxi Gossamer - Morello Drops
Hand Jewellery: Aisling - Endora (gacha)
Lips: UtopiaH - Haunted Lips /smoke (no longer for sale)
Body - Maitreya - Lara
Pose by DARE
Pose by DARE