Once upon a time I wanted to have a fashion blog, and I had one. After 4 years of blogging, meeting incredible people and landing incredible campaigns I stopped. Many reasons could be to blame, however there is one big reason why I stopped.
Let’s rewind to 2014 when I launched Moda Addicted. I was in my 2nd year of college and I loved fashion and sharing my photos on Instagram. At that time, I had come across several bloggers on Instagram and I found the world of blogs. I thought it was a great way to document my outfits and share my style with the world.
I started by mixing my career, journalism, with a fashion blog. I had a section called Blogger of the Month where I interviewed bloggers from Miami on their journey. I also had a section called Outfits of The Week, where I showcased my favorites blog posts from other bloggers. At the moment I was not familiar with photography that much and I was not comfortable taking photos with a tripod. So my mom would take my photos on the weekends and because I was in school and didn’t have that much time to create a lot of content.
After a couple of months, I wanted to grow my blog and be invited to fun events so I started doing research on how to grow. I submerge myself in so much information I got overwhelmed. I have always been a perfectionist so I wanted to grow the right way with cool and original content. After two years of blogging I came across a group called South Florida Bloggers, they were new and their purpose was to create a community of bloggers in Miami. They had a monthly meetup, which were super cool, and this is when I started growing organically.
However, parallel to me meeting bloggers and collaborating them, the world of blogging was exploding. These techniques, not my favorite, to grow were becoming popular like the websites that followed and unfollowed (also likes and comments) people for you. But giveaways were also booming. I fell in the black hole of giveaways. At the beginning they were super organics a couple of bloggers no more than 10 would come together pitch around $20 each and buy a cool gift to giveaway. By now we all know the rules, you had to follow every blogger, like and comment the post. Then one blogger, the organizer, would use a random picker tool to select the winner. Wohoo, we were all gaining around 500 followers per giveaway.
What we didn’t know was the aftermath. After the giveaways ended I lost 50% of the followers gained and the majority of those followers became ghost followers. These followers are the typical that followe a million accounts but never interact with your content. IF YOU FOLLOW SOMEONE YO DON’T ENJOY THEIR CONTENT, AND INSTAGRAM IS THEIR JOB, UNFOLLOW THEM. You are hurting their account more than helping. I didn;t realize this until I started getting contacted by brands.
I work with brands like Coach, Dove (My first paid campaign), L’Occitane, Diet Coke (My biggest Campaign), and many more. But I never got another offer from these brands why? I have several theories: maybe my content didn’t match what they were looking for, maybe they decided to go with macro-bloggers (which have thousands of followers), maybe they saw my engagement was not the best, which is thanks to my ignorance and doing all those giveaways, or is it?
After years of looking for ways to stand out, and I know for a fact my blog is just like other fashion blogs, I realized and became angry that many of the bloggers that I followed that were growing super fast was due to lying and buying followers. They applied the “fake it until you make it” which if you didn’t know makes the industry lose billions of dollars annually. I got discouraged, seeing people that I knew were buying followers and landing incredible campaign and 80% of their following was bought.
The day I decided I wanted to turn my blog into a business and pledge to myself that I would never ever fake anything, and that I would never grow based on lies. I have so many anecdotes of people that I know that if their followers knew how dirty they played at the beginning of their journey they will probably unfollow them without thinking it twice. Don’t get me wrong I am still friends with many bloggers that grew their business with honesty and amazing content. But there are still ‘popular’ bloggers than today they may be honest but back then they faked EVERYTHING and bought followers. I saw accounts I knew personally grow to 100K followers and today they have 20K, of course they bought followers.
If you have reached this far, I want you to know that I have overcome my anger haha because yes I became very angry and frustrated that I spent so many hours creating beautiful images and great content (or at least I thought it was great) and bloggers that paid and copied work from other shined above the ones that worked honestly and hard. So I started to hate my blog, instead of enjoying the journey I saw it as a work that I was not seeing anything good coming out of it. While I had years where amazing things happened to me and I worked with huge brands I never thought would contact me, I was angry and frustrated.
While my disgust for this world grew, I was accepted to SCAD. I moved to Savannah, GA and I focused on completing my master’s degree in luxury and fashion management. I made amazing friends and realized I had zero to no time to work on the blog so I stopped. During my two years at SCAD, I posted a couple of times but I was not enjoying it so last year I decided to change my Instagram name to anacmarinob and kiss goosbye my blog.
This post doesn’t mean I’m back, it doesn’t mean either I won’t blog ever. But I feel that my time as Moda Addicted has ended. My passion for fashion shifted, I am no longer interested in sharing my personal style or how you could combine pieces because there are so many bloggers out there that share that. Instead I went back to my career in communications and started a podcast with a friend called, Chismeando Con Estilo, which means Gossiping with Style.
This podcast was born out of a curiosity. My friend, Andrea , and I realized there is no good source in Spanish where Latin American consumers can read or listen to fashion news. I read a lot the Business of Fashion, but in Spanish there’s only Harper Bazaar Spain and Vogue Mexico. But they don’t truly dive into the deep waters of the business and economics of fashion, but we do. With out podcast we try to reach to those consumers in Latin America, or even the United States, that Spanish is their first language and they are interested in news about fashion and beauty, about companies and their economics and everything related to the fashion world.
I hope that whoever reads this understands that not all bloggers are liars and cheated their way through, but the world of blogging has many many people in it that are evil that will use you until they don’t need you anymore and then never ever interact with you again. However, if you do it with passion and you really love to help you followers you will thrive. Because influencer is the person that masters a skill or is super knowledgeable about a topic and the influence comes natural. You cannot called yourself and influencer, your followers decide if you influence them or not.