Being a fashion blogger in Egypt, I’m part of a small, albeit growing, community. The whole concept of blogging is quite novel in Egypt, so it’s no surprise that not a lot of Egyptians tune in to the blogging community.
The problem, though, with being a blogger in the Middle East is that there are common misconceptions floating around, leaving everyone with a sour taste in their mouth.
1. Middle Eastern fashion bloggers are plagiarizers
It’s a common misconception that bloggers who originate from the region are basically copying other more famous, international bloggers. That is completely, insanely untrue. The fact that we put our blood, sweat and tears into building a blog from nothing is enough testament of how genuine our work is. Bloggers have one purpose: getting their readers the information they need.
Being a blogger in the Middle East, it’s already challenging enough competing with the rest of the world, so it would make no sense to copy other people’s work. It also makes zero sense since each blogger centers their blog to their own community. So copying an American blog and hoping it will appeal to the Egyptian people would be a mistake, and a fatal one at that.
2. Fashion and beauty bloggers have closets full of beautiful clothes, vanities stocked full of expensive makeup and spend ungodly amounts of money on their lavish lifestyles
Nothing sets bloggers apart from any other hardworking citizens. Blogging is a full time job and revenue is made through advertising and advertisers pay to have their ads placed on extremely successful blogs. So, in order to be able to afford our lavish lifestyles, we work, and work HARD. Having an unsuccessful blog results in little or no revenue, and therefore little or no money to spend on things to spruce up our blogs. We work hard and we spend our hard earned money on things that benefit our work. So, sue us. We earned it!
3. Blogging is a fun, silly hobby
Blogging is in no way silly. Having a blog means working around the clock. Bloggers, especially those who are successful, work extremely hard, all day long. The problem with blogs is that one day you’ll have a reader and the next day they might not return, so working hard to ensure your readership never declines is vital. It’s perhaps the most important part of owning a blog.
4. Blogging is easy
No. Just no. In fact, let’s just chalk this up to “things never to say to a blogger unless you want to get slapped”.
5. Bloggers get free stuff all the time
Let’s clear one thing up: When makeup companies send us products to review, this is in no way considered free. We have moral, and legal, obligations when it comes to sponsored gifts, so receiving gifts is actually a hassle. We work hard because we are morally obligated to our readers and we have to make sure we don’t offend anyone.
6. Bloggers are braggarts
People often assume that bloggers who showcase their belongings on their blogs are doing so for the sole sake of bragging, which is completely untrue. When we post possessions online, we are doing so with the sole purpose of sharing things with our readers.
Blogging is a community, and at the very center of that community lie the readers. We give our readers our full, undivided attention and so sharing things we love with them is our way of saying we consider you friends and we share our stuff with you the way we would share them with our friends.
7. Bloggers are full of themselves
Just because we post photos of ourselves or give you our unbiased opinions doesn’t mean we are full of ourselves. We value our readers’ opinions, and so when readers ask for something, we deliver. Readers who ask for our opinions get our opinions, and readers who ask for our photos get our photos, readers who ask for posts about our lives get posts about our lives. It’s a cycle, one that we never break, so anything you see posted on a blog will have most probably been requested by a reader.
8. Design is more important than content, or content is more important than design
It takes two things to make a blog noticeable: content and design. Your design is what attracts readers, content is what keeps them coming back. So it is vital that we work hard on perfecting both our blog content as well as the blog design, which by the way, is a lot of work. If you’ve ever owned a blog, you know that in order to be able to customize it to your preferences, you’ve got to dig deep into the HTML of it all, which is HARD.
If you’re anything like me, you hate anything that has to do with numbers and coding, so wrapping your head around basic and advanced HTML is quite the challenge. After that, you delve deeper into the art of it all and get to scour the big, bad World Wide Web looking for a template or theme to purchase and add to your blog.
I once spent three consecutive days on Etsy looking for the perfect Blogger template. If you don’t find anything to your liking, you get to shell out up to $200 on a customized blog design, which is ungodly and should be spent on shoes.
You ALSO get to work around the clock researching content to add to your blog, customizing it to your readers’ preferences, and making sure your writing is never subpar. Like I said, it’s a butt load of work.
9. Soon as you start a blog, readers will come running out of nowhere
This is actually the most annoying misconception about blogging. The day I started my blog, I thought my readership would soar. WRONG! I’ve been doing this for more than a year now and I’ve just recently passed 4,500 visits. Thing is, it takes a LOT of time to be able to build a strong, reliable readership.
Considering the fact that if you throw a pebble out of your window, it will most probably hit a blogger, it’s really difficult making it in the blogosphere. It takes a lot of work to be able to distinguish your blog from the millions of others that litter the Internet.
10. Bloggers make a lot of easy money
WE SAID THIS: Check out “The Rise of the Fashion Bloggers“.