Over the past few months I’ve made a real effort to make sure that I am known as being an ethical blogger. I want to put out a message that I believe in, whether it be easy or not to do so. I want to attract the right crowd and I want to create a new one! I’m only in the early stages of making this change, but I thought my experiences so far in making the change to become a specifically ethical blogger, might help out those making a change of direction.
IN THIS POST: Blogosphere Magazine Issue 11
1. Your followers might change…
I can’t say that I’ve lost a drastic amount of followers since publicly changing my social media bios from “fashion blogger” to “ethical blogger”, especially not enough for me to get worried over, but I’m sure that ever since my blog post topics have changed, some of my readers have lost interest.
This can be because of a handful of different reasons. One of the reasons I’m trying to avoid is guilt and the idea that they’ll feel bad for their choices or what kind of lifestyle they lead if they read my blog. That’s not the idea, of course.
Another reason, especially as a fashion blogger who used to post a heck load of outfit posts and feature heavily on affordable high-street brands, might be the fact that you’re not publishing blog posts they “can’t” buy into anymore. Blogs can be a huge inspiration and influence for purchasing new items, and of course what I’m doing now is sharing better options, but for some people, those options just aren’t what they’re looking for. That’s okay. It ties back into the guilt reasoning, in a way.
One of the best ways to deal with this is part of my next point…
2. You’ll be able to work out who to support, and who supports you…
Thinking about quality over quantity is vital when making a shift for the good. I don’t know about you but I’d rather have a handful of readers who are truly interested in my journey and the message I’m trying to spread, than thousands who are reading for the parts of my blog that are in some way still carrying through from when I wasn’t an ethical or conscious blogger.
You’ll be able to pinpoint who has your vision and who to attract in the future. You can narrow down on those who want to help push you on further and that’s rather exciting and refreshing. Your vibe attracts your tribe, as they say.
You’ll also be able to connect with people who you want to push on further. When people get together for positive change, it’s very unlikely you’ll find someone wanting to compete and better only themselves. It’s about bettering each other and the whole community.
3. You’ll realise you can’t do everything…
This point comes from a tweet I received about my personal choices of eating meat. For some people, it might seem two-faced or hypocritical for me to talk about ethical fashion and all of these human rights issues when I still continue to eat meat. I understand where the person was coming from, but there are many reasons why someone might not focus on all aspects of a part of life. It’s about accepting that everyone is on their own individual journeys and we’re not all out to reach the same destination.
It’s also about understanding that you can’t do it all! My blog is about promoting ethical fashion. There is a much greater need for people to start opening the conversation up about the industry than there is for more people to start talking about the issues around food. There are so many more people already promoting veganism and the reasons behind it than there are people talking about why we shouldn’t support fast-fashion and what other options people have.
I don’t want to start focusing on food because fashion is where my heart lies. That isn’t to say I don’t believe in it, though, and that I won’t one day change my diet – it just means that I, and whoever else you’re taking from, can’t focus on everything at the same time. Nobody is perfect!
4. Brand collaborations are about to change dramatically…
I recently turned down the opportunity to work with major footwear brand, Kurt Geiger. If this was a couple of years ago, I would have said yes straight away and easily featured their shoes in a heartbeat. But this isn’t then, this is now and my focus has changed. After trying to get a response about their ethics, I declined the opportunity and moved on because I didn’t believe in working with a brand that didn’t match up to my mindset and beliefs.
They were actually extremely understanding and it was a really wonderful way to start my ethical brand journey, but I’m not going to deny that was a difficult decision.
I’ve worked with brands like New Look and ASOS, and many others which aren’t exactly advocates of ethical and sustainable fashion. Sure, they might be doing their bests at making small changes here and there, but for me, they’re no longer the sorts of brands I want to try and attract unless the collaboration focuses on openly discussing the topics I want to talk about.
So, for those of you who have worked with big brands who you’ve always admired, but want to make the change in able to change the world (dramatic, I know), it’s not going to be easy and I’ll admit that.
Start looking for brands that do have the same mindset, though. Even just following them can set you on the right path. Join in with #EthicalHour or research brands thoroughly when they get in touch. Know who you are working with, and not just by name.
5. Your income probably will too…
Working with different brands will most likely change how much money you earn, too. This is simply because a lot of ethical brands are smaller brands, which means they have smaller budgets, which means… they might not be able to afford what prices you were offering before.
This doesn’t mean you have to personally change anything, but it might mean compromising certain flows of income or settling for something different. Don’t ever undersell yourself or accept something for free if this is the case, though. Your work is still valid as a blogger and you deserve to receive compensation for promoting something so positive to the followers and readers who support it. You have a platform to influence people, and brands and businesses should respect that.
Do you want to start blogging more ethically? Let me know in the comments!
This blog post was of course not meant to deter anyone from going down the ethical blogging route, more as to help you along and bring up some of the challenges I have faced to make them easier down the road for you!
Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx