It’s really an adventure keeping a blog in the 10’s. What started out as a simple journal got bigger, and it evolved as the internet has been revolutionizing our lives.
At the same time, print magazines that we all love so much had a hard time adapting to the unsustainable pace of the internet, and we’ve seen a lot of the old systems around us crumble.
The reader (me, you!) who used to feel somewhat distant from the press, journalists, and fashion, now understands that everything is within arm’s reach. We have access to behind the scenes, and understand the relationship that has developed with advertisers (you give me an ad, I’ll give you an article) and money — the key motivator behind it all, because it’s a matter of survival for magazines.
And not the measly four dollars we pay for the magazine, weren’t we stupid to believe that.
The internet is free, open, fluid, and shared — it’s different.
Then e-shops come on the scene. Amazing!!! People buy things online. We never would have imagined it. In the beginning, advertisers are careful, trying to see how to reproduce the comfortable system that had been in place with magazines.
Times have changed, but people — they’re the same.
And it works, of course. The problem with a free, fluid, global system, is that there aren’t any rules. Some people with blogs have tried to mobilize (Independent Fashion Bloggers) to keep from falling back into the same system that made us lose confidence in print. But that hasn’t really worked.
Not having any rules means that we are free to say yes to any business opportunity.
But it also means we can say no.
Then a new generation arrives — a generation who has grown up with smartphones in their hands, and a totally different way of thinking than the previous generation. They read through these commercial systems in a blink and they can navigate them with no problem at all.
It’s perfectly normal to take a selfie every three seconds, perfectly normal to broadcast your engagement (especially if you’ve rented out an entire football stadium for the occasion), and it’s perfectly normal to be paid when you talk about a brand.
A totally different frame of reference.
As for advertisers, the cogs haven’t stopped turning. After a few years of playing with the internet, they’re ready to pounce. Since there aren’t any rules, it’s their time to occupy the territory. We can do so much more online than we could on paper!
People share information for us, and it goes so much further than we could have imagined! And this new generation is having fun with it! Let’s do it. Now’s the time.
So every day, I get emails offering to pay me for publicity. I don’t mean ads in the sidebar, too easy. I mean, I’m asked to advertise in my editorial content, and in my social media networks, with no clear distinction between the ads and the content of my articles — and that completely shakes my value system.
You see, I’m not against money. It allows me to do lovely things for my blog. Better design, more beautiful photos, nicer stories. I’ve explained to you how I work here, and it’s still the same today. I say no a lot. Too much, sometimes.
That said, I like to explore what modernity has to offer.
And I like the brands I work with. They offer me great projects, they provide an amazing outlet for my creativity, and they allow me to do things I wouldn’t have been able to do without their financial support. The brands I choose to work with respect my readers. I meet people in the industry who are passionate about what they do — in short, there’s no reason to make them the bad guys, especially if you can choose them according to your own tastes.
Every day, with my agent and my team, we talk about the best way to respect our blog, and to respect you — our intelligent and educated readers who’ve got it all figured out (I know this because I meet you as often as I can, and I read all your comments)(speaking of meeting you, last week I taught a class at Yale! See photo “teacher G” up there), while also adapting to this world that’s changing every second.
After putting a lot of thought into trying to understand this new publishing world, and taking a look at how other people work, whether their blogs are fully sponsored or not — I decided to take a thoughtful, honest, and simple approach.
Any content on the blog that is done in collaboration with a brand is clearly indicated. No posts will have a hidden sponsor — we will continue to adapt to the world that’s changing around us, but you will always be clearly informed.
For everything else, if I don’t say anything, it means the content doesn’t have any particular financial backing.*
We do work with affiliated links, which is one of the simplest and most open ways to work (no direct contact with stores or brands, and no editorial pressure). Brands like Zara or Céline, who are not part of any affiliated networks, (yep, on the total opposite end of the spectrum, some brands have things in common!) continue to appear on the blog — very often, in fact. We don’t choose content based on our affiliated partners.
Everything else is simply a matter of confidence and communication between you and us.
Having strict rules hasn’t stopped the press from getting involved in a complicated, dependent relationship with advertisers — and it’s exactly this lack of flexibility and honesty that’s bringing the press down today.
It’s too bad, and I really hope that magazines will be able to weather the storm.
As for me, I’m excited to be a part of this new era and to redefine what it means to be a blogger today.
It looks like this constant state of revolution is what the future has in store for us. To thrive in that kind of environment, you have to stay simple, authentic, and adaptable. Make up your own rules. Stay faithful to yourself. Listen to feedback. And above all, don’t be afraid to question the way you do things.
And that goes for a blog just like it does for a career — or any aspect of our lives.
We never get bored, eh?
I’m here this morning if you have any questions. Hugs and kisses!
*For example, when I published the film I made with L’Oréal on Thursday, they obviously called me and paid me to make the film, but they did not pay me to post it on the blog, and it wasn’t guaranteed that I’d share it (Some people say, “You’re crazy! You should have sold them the ad space!” But it is what it is) I just posted it because I love it.
Can you see a lemon in the photo (???), a photo of me as a Professor at Yale with a perfect Schott x Edith A. Miller jacket, an old pair of Zara jeans, and my beloved Common Projects (I brought heels, but they aren’t very into heels at Yale), my Krysos + Chandi rings, a WXYZ bracelet (it’s not mine, but it’s super beautiful anyway), my MAKE eyeliner, and my Diptyque lip balm (I love their new beauty line — it’s sublime) and I’m saving the best for last — MY MIU MIU SHOES THAT ARE INSAAAANE — I’LL TALK YOUR EARS OFF ABOUT THEM SOON. I love them so much. Kisses!
Translated by Andrea Perdue.