Is there a blogger glass ceiling? Is success and the well-paid brand collaborations reserved for bloggers who already have some modicum of celebrity status prior to blogging or who have deep pockets? Recently a blogger friend shared with me how discouraged she was with the fact that there is a lack of diversity in top bloggers. Even as she looked at her target brands for 2018 she didn’t see herself reflected in any of their pictures. Added to that she noted that the most successful bloggers appear to be in the entertainment business or they are wealthy enough to bankroll their shopping sprees or travel. Her question then was how are we supposed to break through the glass ceiling? And how do we keep pushing?
The way I look at it no baby is born walking. None. Some walk at 6 months, 9 months some at 14 months. Some have parents who can afford to buy them a walker…and they get a head start. One day however we’ll look up and just see teenagers all running…and we’d never know who walked first. My point is that it doesn’t matter who has celebrity status or deep pockets to jump start their blogging career. Success is hinged on continuous and diligent attempts at “walking”. You crawl and slink your way forward for as long as you can. Pull yourself up and make that tentative step to walk. You may fall…but pull yourself up again, again and again until you’re not just walking but running.
I remember the first time my sister walked. I tempted her with a bottle of baby powder. I’m not even sure what the fascination was with the baby powder but she wanted it. She tottered and tottered towards the baby powder container not even realizing that I was moving further back. If you take your eyes off your goal — your baby powder – you’ll fall. Further to that having income or ready cash can change what clothes you buy or where you go but it should not impact your blog. It shouldn’t change who you are, your heart, or what you write about. Don’t waste time being envious of other bloggers. This only creates mental hurdles which would make you not take that step. Instead focus on building your engagement.
Who loves you?
With regards to not seeing ourselves represented on a brands Instagram page…my short answer would be who cares! Racism and prejudices are not going anywhere anytime soon. So, so what, if XYZ brand does not want a Latina or an African American to promote its brand? Yes, fight for change but don’t let that stymie your movement or kill your spirit. Instead find your niche, find where you shine and then shine as brightly as you can. When you’ve made headway in your niche you would then have a solid portfolio and your own audience that your goal brand may want to reach. My mom used to always say “love who loves you.” She was clearly talking about relationships, but I’d say apply this same principle to blogging. Yes, you have your “goal” brands but focus on brands that want you. My advice too would be to quit looking at social media accounts that make you feel less than enough.
No Glass Ceiling
So is there a blogger glass ceiling? “Girllll puhhhlease, what ceiling?” If there is one I refuse to acknowledge it. Every day I wake up thinking that I’m the baddest boss babe there is. I really do. Call me cocky, conceited, stuck up, over confident all you want – yes, I’ve been called all of that – It does not change the price of eggs in China! This is not predicated either on being better than anyone. Oh no! There is a slew of baddest boss babes and room for more — you believe it there’s room for you! This comes with self-awareness.
You must be so comfortable and confident in your own shoes, your own skin and your own talent that you celebrate the differences and uniqueness of others instead of being jealous. You look at their success and let it drive you. “I can do that too!” You take your struggles and turn them into motivation. “I know I can!” When I look in the mirror I don’t see what I’m not. Instead I see everything that I am and what I have to offer. Anyone who doesn’t see that that’s THEIR loss not mine! I’m already on to the next willing brand. And when you get discouraged, learn to encourage yourself as the Psalmist David did. There’s no time for extended pity parties on the road to success
How to keep pushing on the glass ceiling
You may not be able to shop the Nordstrom sale but you can still create a wish list and share with your readers.
Reach out to local boutiques and stores and request that they loan you clothes for photo shoots or team up with a local designer
Instead of traveling to Mexico find the little hole in the wall restaurant with authentic cuisine and blog about how your mouth traveled.
Research and blog about your travel wish list. Even interview someone in your neighborhood who is from the city or country you wish to travel to
How to be the baddest boss babe
Believe that you are and then act like it!
Find your niche and highlight it. For instance, if you speak Spanish as well as English write your Instagram posts and blogs in both languages. Do your Instastories in Spanish too!
Don’t wait for someone to give you the “baby powder” – go get it yourself. Pickup the phone or write the email to the brands you’d like to collaborate with
Don’t be intimidated or jealous of someone else’ success. Instead celebrate it, learn from it, and use it to motivate yourself.
All Photos By: Michelle Perez Photography