Blogging brings out my insecurities

top dc blogger summer style 27 1 810x540 - Blogging brings out my insecurities

Comme Coco is my baby. It is my little place on the internet that I can share my thoughts, outfits, inspirations and photography. It makes me oh so happy! But yet, blogging in general, wait not blogging, the blogging industry brings out my insecurities. Big time!

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Overall I have worked very hard on myself and have gained a level of confidence that I never knew was possible for me. I was the girl who one day was over-confident (INSECURE RED FLAG) or way too shy for words. My over confidence came with putting others down in my head in order to build my own self up. Yeah, I was an expert with that. But at this point in life, I know the difference between that and actually realizing that I am good on my own without putting someone else down to rise.

I am currently struggling with a different type of insecurity and it stems from the blogging world. It is competitive, over saturated and hard as heck for a woman of color. You’ve heard of “black tax”? Well you pay a whole lotta of it as a blogger. For those unfamiliar with the term it is this- black people have to work harder, better, and faster to earn or get the accolades others do without working as hard, fast or better. We are expected to work for free or for less money than our counterparts. It is real. It is hard. And that truth is ugly as ever.

For example… a well known women’s brand was opening a store in Baltimore about 5 years ago. I was contacted by a PR company to host the launch party and I was unbelievably GEEKED! They asked me to send invites to my sphere of influence, they asked me to do promoting of the event on my social channels, they were going to offer me a small gift card to purchase something to wear to the event, and they asked me to send them a list of Baltimore bloggers and influencers. I had been populating a spreadsheet for quite some time and happily sent it over. Then 3 days before the event, I was sent promo flyers for the event to pass on.

I. Was. SHOCKED!

There was NO mention of me. Instead there was a white blogger that I knew nothing of and after researching she wasn’t well known at all, prominently displayed on the materials as the host. There were sponsors on the flyer. There was EVERYTHING but a mention of me. I was so sad and immediately thought that maybe I had read the initial email incorrectly and I was not hosting it. But nope after re-reading it, I had been correct.

So I asked the PR lady if I was hosting another event and maybe she had accidentally sent me this flyer. She let me know that it was in fact the event and that there was no space to put me on the flyer but hoped I would still come and network with those I invited. I put in ALL the work, I had 45 invitees with solid RSVPs and someone else got the recognition and $350.00 to shop at that store when I was offered 125.00 and did all the work. And yes I had solid proof that this other blogger did not get asked to do ANY of the things that I was tasked with!

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Even then I knew my worth and I politely backed out of “attending” and “networking” at the event. I wrote all of my invitees and told them I would not be attending but that they should still go because its a cool store etc. I mean- I do have class lol. And more than 80 percent replied that they were only attending to meet me so they would pass. In the end that event was a fail. A little birdie that attended told me that there were less than 20 people there during the whole 3 hours and that the host just stood in a corner most of the night.

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But that began my insecurity in the industry. It got me to begin comparing in an unhealthy way. Although I knew my worth to not continue with the event, it definitely crushed me and made me feel unworthy. It made me feel as if this  brand, did not want a black girl on their promotions but instead wanted me to do all the behind the scenes work and heck even “work” the event for them.

Sigh!

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We fast forward to 2017 and….

I’m tip toeing the line between blogging for fun and blogging to make some money. To be totally honest, I want to make money while having fun so I have spent alot of time and money perfecting my craft. Creating content and photos that are more editorial. Speaking about real life issues. Attending all sorts of blogger conferences. And yet- I haven’t made the kind of progress that translates to more money or features.

My blog numbers are non-existent. My instagram is stuck under 15k followers. I am not showcased in magazines, getting boxes of amazing items to feature on the blog, invitations to DC top events, or sponsored travel. It is just not happening. And it makes me feel like crap.

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I am putting a lot of my own money into my passion and while there is NOTHING wrong with it, I get very disheartened because I see others who personally do not deliver the type of work that I do, get all of that and more. So there it is. The comparing aspect of blogging. That is where my insecurity comes in. I start to compare myself to the basic babe and wonder, why not me? Why did you get that and I did not? Why are you going on this trip and taking photos that do not even highlight the area and I dont get the chance? Why did you get sent that item when you don’t even wear that type of garment? Why are you in this magazine about the most unique and stylish when your outfit choices come straight from the mannequin at the store?

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Deep down I already know the answers but it still f*cks with me.

I am all about self awareness. I rarely lie to myself. I know my blog numbers are low because I do not promote enough and I do not post consistently enough. So I will change that and hope that it helps. My instagram, I don’t know why that is at a standstill cause its bomb. Yes, it really is! (lol) I may not be getting features because frankly I do not pitch enough. But… most of these chicks aren’t either. I have asked. So its a mix of me not putting in enough work and me just not being what they want, I guess. But Im not what every brand that actually pays wants? I. think. not.

Blogging brings out my insecurities. As a black, female, relaxed hair, not thin but not plus sized blogger, I do not know where I fit in. Beauty companies have all the money and klout right now and for black bloggers, it is the natural hair companies. But alas, I still use the creamy crack 4 times a year. Plus size clothing companies are making a beautiful name for themselves but alas I cannot fit any of their clothes and trust me I have tried! So it leads me to feel like I just do not belong. See, insecurities!

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I want so badly to succeed in this world because I know that I am good. I know that I offer things that others do not. I know that I can elevate many a brand’s images and outfit features with my vision, photography, editing and style. It is getting that chance and not for no pay that is difficult.

but……

When I actually stop and reflect this comes to the forefront.

top dc blogger summer style 28 1 - Blogging brings out my insecurities

Blogging and the blogging industry is not the problem. It is me that is the problem. It is my way of thinking that is the problem. It is as Monroe Steele would tell me, “you’re not manifesting it into your life” We all have insecurities. But it is what we do with them that can make or break us.

Like other challenges in my life, I will not allow this to break me. I will not quit on blogging. I actually have never had that thought. I will not continue to host elaborate pity parties for myself. Instead I am going to create a place for my type of blogging and “influencing” and wait for brands to beg for me to work with them. And it will happen because I am too talented and have too much passion in this for it not to happen.

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The moral of this rant is: It is ok to have insecurities. Just accept them and find ways to better yourself so that they do not take over. Understand that you are not for everyone. Know that in this industry, the minute you keep doing things for free, the brands will expect others like you to do it for free. Take a self assessment quiz with yourself about your motivations for starting a blog or continuing your blog. And most importantly-

Do not compare yourself to others and what they receive. I truly believe that hard work pays off in the end and all the money I spent on learning and perfecting my craft WILL gain me paid work soon. And if it does not, guess what? I have new skills to add to my arsenal!

So yes, blogging brings out my insecurities but it also brings out my passion, creativity, business acumen and more.

Flip that sh*t in your head!

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If you want the exact red earrings I am wearing, go to this post!

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38 Comment

  1. Jen Joh
    July 13, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Loved this post, it reflects the the reality of the industry and I’m glad you were able to share that with us. Keep shining , your content is excellent. You’ll flourish <3

  2. Nathalia
    July 8, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Very nice post. Very well said. P.s. love that color on you

    1. Jen Joh
      July 13, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      Loved this post, it reflects the the reality of the industry and I’m glad you were able to share that with us. Keep shining , your content is excellent. You’ll flourish <3

  3. Stanley
    July 7, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Wow…I’m shocked at how you were treated, but happy that you’re overcoming these obstacles! Please continue to share your stories as this is fuel for those in the media industry to be inspired!

    1. Jen
      July 25, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      thank you so much! It was so long ago but it definitely helped shape me lol

  4. avery
    July 7, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Hey Hey…
    First and Foremost…You are so beautiful and stylish.
    You have been so transparent with this post which is rare in this blogging world.
    Keep pushing and trust me, your blessing is coming.

    1. Jen
      July 25, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you Avery! I appreciate this so much and thank you for visiting the blog!

  5. Sophie
    July 6, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    Hey Jennifer, I too with other bloggers am in tunes with everything you said about blogging bringing out your insecurities. My numbers in blogging are literally pitiful probably because I don’t have enough time to promote my blog and I haven’t put money in to take to the next level yet. But You have done a terrific job over the years that I’ve been following you (been following since like 2011 i think) and i am not saying this because you’re on of my favorite, i am saying this because I am encouraged by your words, your path and your drive to make it where you WANT to make it. And I am totally in for making some money while doing something fun 🙂
    xoxo

  6. Barnette
    July 6, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Jen,
    Just read your post and was blown away. It really was a great read and I understand your struggles and frustrations. I too get really frustrated and think I’ve got to discover tips and tricks to become the next big thing but you really made me stop and think. Thanks again and know you will always be Co – ME – COCO to me. (I just had to add that last piece!)

    1. Jen
      July 25, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      HAHAHAH I love ya! Keep pushing. You are GREAT!

  7. Rebecca Quainoo
    July 6, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Thank you soooo much for this post and your transparency. I am relatively new to blogging and asked similar questions like, why are people not responding or acknowledging my blog. What also surprises me is the lack of support from friends and family or simply sisters supporting sisters, which is what I’m all about. But, after reading this post, I reminded myself about why I started blogging in the first place. This post inspires and motivates me to keep pushing forward and to stay in the game. Again, thank you for this great post as I’m sure it will resonate with many people. Cheers to your awesome blog and all the great work that you do and will continue doing. You ROCK!

    Cheers,
    Rebecca

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Rebecca!
      First, THANK YOU! Thank you for taking the time to read and commenting. Family is hard to get to support you. I dont know why. I have like 50 cousins (literally) and I can only get like 3 of them to actually look at my stuff. Definetely focus on your goal and your dream and you will succeed! Thank you so much again!

  8. Charmaine Charmant
    July 6, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Jen, thank you for sharing this with us! Wow! I know this could not have been an easy piece to write. I definitely have all of these feelings on a daily basis too. I want you to know that your blog and your Instagram feed (which is freaking amazing) brings me so much joy and inspiration. Keep doing what you’re doing girl – the blessings will come !

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      Thank you Charmaine! Girl those feelings are the worst!

  9. Lauren
    July 6, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Thank you for this. I needed to read this…haven’t blogged in over a month & I get into my own head this same way. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who struggles with this. I’ve had some great success but it’s easy to get down & get inconsistent when your busy looking at everyone else. Keep pushing lady!!

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      keep it going! Seriously. I know things will take a turn for the better and we will prevail!

  10. SN
    July 6, 2017 at 4:34 am

    this was beautifully written and honest but most of all INSPIRING.

    thank you.

    xo. SN | http://www.sahonynatasha.com

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      WOW! tHANK YOU so much! I am not much of a writer so I truly appreciate this. Please dont be a stranger!

  11. Elaine
    July 6, 2017 at 3:55 am

    Wow!! What a moving piece. I would feel like a fraud if I said it inspired me, without saying it also scares the hell out of me. Although I’m very new to this thing called blogging, I’ve experienced enough to make me question, not if I have the passion or creativity..but do I have the stomach for it.

    The way you expressed your feelings, all while artfully articulating the intricacies of this fickle industry ( for women of color), shows what a creative BEAST you are. Not only are you one of the most creative women out here (of any color), but your gorgeous and kind as well.

    I have no doubt that in due time , your name will be on the lips of many major brands. Thanks for reminding me to flip that ISH in my head.
    Elaine

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      HAHAHA do not be scared! Just be yourself and create content that makes you happy. Do not try to fit a mold or be fake and you will do well! And stay away from loop giveaways!

  12. Arie
    July 6, 2017 at 2:57 am

    Ok, maybe I was led to read this tonight, and or see this amazingly written content!! I am in the exact same boat, and this really lifted me up tremendously boo! You gave me hope, inspiration, and push too. Keep doing and being you too!! We all need to collaborate on something BIG!!!!! I just told my husband we have to work three times as hard as anybody else…

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      I am so happy I was able to give you hope! Your comment uplifted me so THANK YOU!

  13. MelissaFFF
    July 6, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Wow…love this post! Continue to be great. I remember years ago reading your post about a girl who thought life was over for her, and who wanted to throw in the towel. Yet look at you know! Happy and in love… I say all that to say when you want to give up on blogging remember that same girl who didn’t give up years ago on herself. God kept you here to inspire others. When you work hard the money will come. You have to stay out of what God does.. This is all in his plan dear.

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      GIRL! Who you tellin! I was near the end back then. I dont even know how that girl is but I am soooooooo happy that I was her in order to know how to make things better! Thank you so much for your support for so long

  14. Sofiyat
    July 6, 2017 at 1:53 am

    I cried while reading this post because this cannot come at a better time. I started blogging just 4 months ago and I am already disheartened with so many insecurities that keep popping my way. I cannot even begin to understand what you have been through but I’m so scared of what is to come. Thank you for writing this post! You just got a new loyal sub who cannot wait to read more of your content. I hope to be half the woman you are in terms of speaking your mind and the truth. Much love.

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      no don’t cry! I am here to help! Please never ever hesitate to send me an email or a message on social!

  15. Trudy
    July 6, 2017 at 1:20 am

    This was the exact rant that I was having over the weekend. I was continually asking myself, “What am I doing wrong here?” and I had people respond nothing. And it did not make me feel better because the light was shining everywhere else but on me. Then I had to come to conclusion that I would keep doing this even if I’m not getting the offers now because I enjoy it too much. If that changes then I’ll reassess but for now, I’ll keep working.

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      You WILL get the offers soon! I know it!

  16. Alison
    July 6, 2017 at 12:23 am

    You KNOW I’m feeling this post! These brands will eventually wake up and realize the mistakes they’re making. The best way to kill a game is to create that game. Any truly successful blogger is killing it because he or she forged a different panth. Whether it’s Gabi Gregg or Blair Eadie, Luvvie Ajayi or The Militant Baker, she’s a trailblazer and everyone is just riding on her coat tails. Blaze that trail. You’ve got talent, a unique sense of style, and a strong voice. The brands will come that will respect it as will the readers. If you need post it note reminders of your unique awesomeness do it because you’re IT.

    It takes more time and energy to forge a path than to skip down one someone already mowed, but it’s so much more rewarding and in so many ways ❤️

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      you always have the BEST advice and comments. Thank you Alison!

  17. Trisha
    July 6, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Such a great write up Jen. A lot of what was said is exactly how I feel. I have been at a stalemate with blogging and am also looking for my “breakthrough” . But my mom always says “The race is not for the swift, but for he who endures to the end”. So I hold to that and know that someday, and I’m sure soon, that break is going to come and it will come for you as well once you keep at it the great work you’re doing.

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      Your mom is right. But it is SOOOOOOO hard to wait because we want what we want when we want it 🙂 Keep pushing through and THANK YOU for coming to the blog and reading!

  18. Yawa
    July 5, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    This right here is truth!! Moral of the story- flip that s#*+ on your head. Thank you ..i needed this

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      heehee… I am so glad I was able to help!

  19. Adrian
    July 5, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Men! This is incredibly transparent and that while first situation you handled exactly the right way! But I know of what you speak, trying to figure out how to make this thing. That we love work for us can be challenging but you are definitely talented and fashionable and the right thing is going to catapult you I know it! Keep serving in your photos and keep creating!

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Thank you! It took alot for me to hangle it that way becasue I was hurt and I was MADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!

  20. Gabrielle
    July 5, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Jen-

    Thank you for this!! I’m just starting out and really struggling with the social media aspect and the “fame and fortune.” This isn’t why I wanted to start a blog but I feel myself getting sucked in and comparing myself. I think I can really be something but then again… I’m black. The disadvantage is already there and then it’s like should I really even try? I don’t want to stress myself out or be this fame crazed girl out here competeting for Instagram followers. I’m learning to be genuine and authentic and the rest with come if it’s suppose to.

    XO, Gabby

    1. Jen
      July 6, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Yes! Just be yourself. No one can do that better than you. I feel like there is a turn coming and hopefully for the better!

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