2011-11-19

Next Steps

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Whoa. Sometimes I'm a little shocked that I've consistently kept up with this blog for over 2.5 years. If my blog were a baby, I would be taking over your Facebook feed with status updates regarding Junior's toilet training... And just as metaphorical Junior is growing up, I can't help but think that it is time I let my blog grow up too.

You may have noticed that I have never really entered into the advertising and sponsorship side of blogging. This was a conscious decision on my part. It started out that I had 13 readers (not including my Mama, she didn't really start reading it until 6 months in...) and even thinking about advertising at that point was a little like putting the cart in front of the horse. Of course, that analogy falls apart now that we drive cars but regardless, advertising didn't even cross my mind when I first started out. Over time, the blog grew and I decided to keep my blog as purely a hobby. I distinctly remember having a conversation with Kyla and telling her I would never do advertising. You would think I would learn at some point to never say never... My decision not to monetize wasn't some reaction against advertising or consumerism, it was a decision to keep out distractions so I could find my own voice and style. Blog advertising and sponsorship is a complicated issue but mostly, I think I was afraid of waking up one day and not recognizing myself or my blog. It's a bit of an ego trip when a company wants to work with you and it can be easy to sit up and shake a paw at their demand. In hindsight, I could have had more faith in my own identity, I wouldn't have suddenly started to describe everything as 'lovely' or looked down and discovered that I was wearing ripped tights and Litas. I am glad though that I took the time to be sponsor free and to figure out where I wanted the blog to go.

For a long time I was pretty content with the way things were going and then, I wrote this post. And I realised that between organizing the content, setting up the pictures and writing the information in such a way that you didn't fall asleep after the first paragraph, I had spent a lot of time on one small post. Oprah would call this my 'aha' moment, I call it my 'wtf' moment. The next few weeks I went through some major blog burnout (doctor diagnosed obviously) and I thought deeply about the role blogging played in my life and about the massive amounts of time I spent on my 'hobby'. If I had used my time wisely, I would have watching all seasons of Mad Men and True Blood and every Twilight and Harry Potter movie just so I could be culturally relevant but to this day, I have watched none of those because I'm just too busy over analyzing my role in the world of fashion blogging. And at the end of all that thinking, I realised that if I wanted to keep my sanity, I needed to either quit my blog or get serious. I thought about quitting my blog and finding a new way to waste some time. I thought about cleaning my house, collecting beanie babies or knitting cat hair mittens but at the end of the day, I started a fashion blog because fashion is what I am most passionate about. Some people love cars, some people love music, some people love cheese and I love clothes (fine, and cheese too).

The truth is that the blog is no longer just a hobby, it has become an unpaid part time job. If I am going to continue doing this, I need to start allowing some opportunities to happen. It's a weird concept to grasp that as a fashion blogger, you are 'the product'. Merl blogs to support the jewels she creates and Megan blogs as a side project to her clothing line (and very well designed paper patterns...) but when I blog, it is essentially myself that I am promoting. You know what is humbling? Explaining the concept of fashion blogging to someone who has never even seen one before... 'I, um, put pictures of myself wearing clothes on the Internet...'. I just need to get over it... I'm a landscaper. I'm a fashion blogger. Crazier things have happened...

What does this mean for me now? It means I left my job last Friday. I poured mixed gasoline across the yard to write the words 'It's over!', lit it with my unfinished cigarette and posted the pictures on Instagram. I wish. If I were that dramatic, I would have a reality show not some fledgling blog. But I am easing up on my landscape contracts... a decision I actually made this spring, completely separate from the blog. I love landscaping but after almost a decade of outdoor work, my body is tired... especially the right side. Perhaps one day I will have to give up landscaping completely but I am not ready for that just yet. I would miss the dirt under my nails too much... But cutting down my landscape work load will give my body a break and give me time to work on other ventures. Yes, when I write ventures, it makes me feel very professional...

What does this mean for you? It means, that when I write 'I had a great weekend' I actually mean 'buy this sweater'... But mostly it just means that I hope to post more. I've been working hard these last few weeks on posting very consistently and I hope, that once time frees up, I can post a few more times a month. I'm most excited to talk more about thrifting... those are some of my favourite posts but they take so much time that it has always been hard to get them organized. I want to continue talking about other great girls who thrift, sharing thrift finds and giving tips on how to find the good stuff. And of course, I want to continue to post outfits and to talk about a whole lot of nothing.

Perhaps this is a self indulgent post. Really, a fashion blogger making the choice to monetize is about as newsworthy as an Olsen twin sighting in a Starbucks. But because I have always stayed away from that side of blogging, I felt an explanation was a good idea. I don't know exactly what the future holds for My Edit, but there is already a redesign in the works. Happy dance! I'm excited about this...
Finally, I would like to thank you for reading this post, on a weekend no less and for reading my blog in general. Thanks for reading and thanks for the thoughtful and often funny comments you leave. You guys make my day and keep me un-humble... I can't wait to keep sharing my fashion, thrifting and cat herding experiences with you!

69 comments :

Dorothy said...

You are like Robert Pattinson and I am your loyal tween Team Edward follower. You have great hair, you are mysterious and you fight wolves. And you watch me sleep by crawling through my bedroom window? You get the idea... Go for it My Edit! Very excited to see what happens next!

From Suns To Moons said...

You've made it this far with loving readers, so I think they'll still love you after you start trying to sell them sweaters and cat accessories. You're like catnip.

Wren said...

I'm so excited to see where you go with this.

Between Laundry Days said...

I think this is a wonderful post, and a wonderful explanation of your plans and connections to this wonderful project. Though I'm not blogging anymore, I wanted to swing by and let you know how confident I am that My Edit will continue to be the mind-blowingly fabulous hurricane of fashion that we've known it to be for the past couple of years.

Best of luck to you, lovely lady. And congratulations!

Kate said...

Big Deal! Big News! I'm still fresh to this blogging world, but I was immediately drawn to your candid posts and thrifting genius. I think your landscaping career spoke to my nature-girl heart. Step into the next phase with confidence and humor, and we'll all be right behind you. Congratulations!

maryeb said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You can't go wrong following what your heart (and body) tell you and that sounds like what you are doing.
You keep blogging and I'll keep reading.

Julia said...

I'm glad you never quit. I love your blog. It's wonderfully written and refreshing and not at all pretentious the way a lot of other fashion blogs are.

And you have amazing taste.

Natasha said...

I am so happy that your blog is going to allow you time to work on other "ventures"! I think this is totally a step in the right direction...and I really appreciate how you came to this decision. Back when I was very new to blogging I was so exicted when a company wanted me to do a sponsored post for them...and I totally jumped at the opportunity, even though the words I was linking had absolutely nothing to do with what I blog about. Dumb move on my part! Thank goodness I only had about 50 readers at the time to witness that mistake!
I admire your will to resist the temptation for this long...I think it was a smart move because your readers know the genuine you, and I'm assuming you will be somewhat picky with how you monetize your blog, so we all know that with whatever companies you choose to work with, you are still being you, and your style and voice is still your own!

The Suburb Experiment said...

I'm excited that you're going to to continue blogging. I think you have a unique voice and of course I love a sister in thrifting. :)

Jenn

Stella said...

Yay~! I can't wait to see what you come up with. But, thank you for sharing your concerns with us and explaining. I think it's all a very brave move on your part and I'm sure it will take you down an awesome path! :D

Hooked on Shoes said...

I'll continue to love and read your blog nonetheless! I know it may be scary to make such lifechanging decisions, but I hope you'll find more happiness.

Serene said...

Good luck girly! Your's is a blog that I've long admired....and I'm so happy for you following your passion! Carpe Diem! ~Serene

Linda W said...

Of all the blogs I read, yours is the only one where I think you truly and honestly deserve to be making money of what you are doing here. You have a completely unique voice and standpoint. I have often wondered why there were no ads and if were you planning on accepting them in the future. I am happy to hear that you are.
I foresee a lot of ads for cat toys in your sidebar coming soon. And while I am nearly deathly allergic to your little friends, I may just click on one of them and get a bit of catnip because that is how much I love this blog.

Kelly said...

Good luck with everything, and I will continue to be one of your readers through it all!

But if you did decide to make cat hair mittens, I might just buy a pair.... ;)

expressivestyle said...

Good luck, I always think it is difficult taking a different path, but I have no doubt you will succeed.

A.Co said...

:)

Linda (little tin soldier) said...

I am very excited for you, Jentine! I'm a firm believer that we can do what we love everyday, if we choose to do so. The "new" My Edit will be nothing short of amazing!

I once said I would never join Twitter or run advertisements. Now I do a bit of both. Like you, I think keeping your own voice is important, and if you stick to your heart (and your guns), you can do it.

I can't wait to see MORE thrifting posts. And now, I think I need to thrift a sequined cat skirt for you to wish you luck on your new journey. xo

newpetite said...

you are thrifting GURU! Its coz of you that i step foot n a thrift store and now I LOVE IT!! Cant wait to see the changes.

emily.mcintyre said...

Good for you, Jentine! I always enjoy your blog and look forward to seeing its evolution!

thepraguenosis said...

more time for blogging? fine by me! i love your blog and can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve :)

Jenava said...

I love your blog, and you totally deserve it! And, we deserve more posts...LOL...

GFS said...

#teamjentine

Joceline said...

you have one of my favorite blogs, and it's only fair that you should get something in return for putting yourself out on the internet for us! i'm excited and good luck with everything!

Jane said...

You are AMAZING! You, your posts and your GTA thrift finds are utterly fabulous. Hip hip!

barefootandvintage said...

Exciting! I totally envy the ladies who can make blogging a "job". Since I've been home with Zoey, I've put a lot more time into my blog...networking, brainstorming and whatnot. It's fun, but it IS a lot of work. I was just talking to Mark about starting sponsorships on my blog, but at a very low price. (I gotta put a baby in childcare soon! It literally costs almost as much as the house rent. Ugh.) anyway....good luck to you lady. It'll be great, whatever you do. :)

Shug in Boots said...

Yay for you-ness! Best of luck in all your decisions! I love your blog! :)

Rose said...

An Olsen twins sighting is ALWAYS newsworthy.

Go for it.

Christine said...

Jentine, I love your blog and it is a daily read for me. I think your ability to candid is what makes "my edit" resonate with me. Advertise, but keep your own voice. You are one stylish gorgeous dutch girl!

Bri said...

I'm excited to see what you do with your blog in the future, I always enjoy your content and am ever amazed at your thrifty finds so bring on the future!

megannielsen said...

Jentine, you are just the sweetest - i loved reading this post! I'm excited for you :) I think it's great you are monetizing your blog, and I really really wish you all the best! I completely understand your decision to ease up on work a bit too - you work so hard, you deserve to cut back a bit.
Anyway, I love your blog hun, and i'm excited to see what the future holds for you! big hugs!!
(also happy dancing for you hehe)

brynn said...

Congratulations Jentine! I've been reading your blog for a while now and am really excited to see what the future brings you.

ilana said...

very exciting! i really enjoy your blog: your style, your writing--and i actually live close enough to you (buffalo,ny) that i've taken day trips to many of the thrift stores you have written about! wishing you all the best...

MONKEYFACE said...

Lovely post (...I tried not to say it, I really did). Hey I'm really excited for you. The monetization and extra posts will be great, but mostly I'm excited that you are finally coming around to the same realization the rest of us already knew, which is that like a L'oreal model, you too are worth it.

leFiligree said...

i actually read this entire post, which is something i never thought possible. it is that exciting!

do what you like and dont think too much about it. thats what brings me to read your blog in the first place--you dont take yourself too seriously :)

Towely said...

That was very considerate of you to include the explanation but really, in my opinion, totally unnecessary. Your blog is great and why shouldn't you be paid for the entertainment you provide to all your readers? Good on you!

HH

ACC said...

I think this is an amazing step for you. You deserve it! I'm looking forward to reading about more thrifting adventures.

acleanercloset.blogspot.com

April said...

OMG you totally had me when you said you quit your job on Friday!! This sounds so exciting for you! I'm glad you'll be posting more...I love reading them! Can't wait to hear all about your new thrifting adventures!

Meg said...

Congratulations! This is a big step, and it sounds like you're ready to tackle it head-on! I look forward to seeing more posts from you. :)

Emily L. said...

Dear Jentine, I have followed/stalked your blog ever since I came upon it in March. You are one of the funniest fashion bloggers out there and you are first on my blog reel because I always want to know what thrifting amazing-ness you will share next. This was a great post and I applaud you for taking the next step towards something you feel passionate about. I will continue to keep reading about your fantastical adventures at Talize and about your cats.

Merl said...

I guess I'll keep reading.. but only because Clyde likes seeing Kyle's rare appearance on the blog.

.....

just kidding, you couldn't get rid of me if you tried. I was going to make a comparison between myself and bodily fluids that show up under black light at crime scenes and how both of us are still there even after you thought you rid yourself of us.. but that's creepy right? right.

my next goal in life is to be someone's catnip.

Karen L said...

Dear Jentine
Please keep doing your blog. Yours is one of two favourite blogs that I regularly read. I am still learning so much and need your funny perspectives on things!

Jody-Ann said...

Congrats on the change! hope everything goes well.

Confessions of a Purse-a-holic

Sarah said...

Congrats on your decision! I'm a relatively new reader of your blog, and I personally, would love to see more posts about thrifting! I always find it interesting to hear other blogger's thoughts on sponsorships and such. It's refreshing to know that you've been blogging for 2.5 years and are only now getting into the sponsorship side of things. I'm excited to see the new look! :)

Lindsay Ann said...

congrats on your decision! i'm a fairly new reader, and i'm loving the blog :) can't wait to see more thrifting posts!

jessica said...

That's so great! Congrats on making the decision! :)

Fabulously Average said...

Great post Jentine! Excited to see more posts from you:)

Lovers, Saints & Sailors said...

Congratulations! And thanks for posting about the whole process. When it comes down to it, your time is valuable, and when you spend the majority of your time on your blog then it needs to compensate you for that time.

But that doesn't sound as exciting as more pictures of pretty clothes - yay!

Lynda D'Souza said...

Good luck Jentine...listen to your heart and your body (right side!) and do what you love the most. I can relate to what you are saying as going through something like that at the moment. Keep writing for us thrifters...we love your blog!

Lisa D. said...

Hi Jentine! I'm a long-time reader of your blog, but rarely (if ever) comment because I'm usually reading on my phone, and I'm horrible at typing on that thing. I've been a fan of your style and your blog for more than a year, and I love that your style is so original and that you have so many unique pieces in your wardrobe. You're a constant source of inspiration. Congrats on taking the next steps, and best of luck! I'll be reading along. =)

~Lisa
http://www.thecoastalchicster.com

j.love said...

What an exciting post! Good for you! Can't wait for more thrifting posts!!

I am in love with your style...and I am super jealous of your thrifting skills...plus we're both canadian (woot!)...so basically I have a huge girl/blog crush on you!

amanda said...

you are one of my favorite people. that will never change. i can't wait to see what all you do with this :)

Greetings from Texas! said...

I can totally relate. Thanks for getting deep on us! -Megan =)

Firesparx said...

I LOVE your blog Jentine! I'm glad you didn't pick the "stop blogging" path because I would of had to come down the escarpment and kicked your butt. I love your blog because you have amazing style, take quality photos and have a wicked sense of humour. You have inspired me to start thrifting and my thrifted pieces are the ones that I get the most compliments on.

Monique said...

Congrats on the decision! I love your posts, and I will definitely still follow even if you encourage me to feed my (bad) shopping habit - bring it on! :)

kelsey williams said...

Yen! This is very exciting...I loved this post and very much appreciate your explanation and honesty. Congrats and good luck!

Lindsay @ The Everything Project said...

I'm excited to see where your blog will go from here!

www.wearingitall.blogspot.com

Flight Attendant Extraordinaire said...

Good for you for monetizing! You provide a service for your readers, you put time & energy into your posts, you deserve to be rewarded for that! I look forward to your posts, so I'm excited that this means there will be more posts to see!

Looks and Books said...

I have struggled with this myself (though to a much lesser degree!), and I appreciate the time and thought you have clearly put into this decision. Your blog is one of the greats, and one of my favorites, and I know that no matter what, I will continue to read and enjoy your blog.

Good luck!

Tabitha said...

If you ever stopped blogging it would be the worst divorce post-Kim Kardashian. I love your blog and I'm glad that you're going to continue doing it. I think we all go through a phase where we realize that before it plateaus you need to sometimes evolve it. I can't wait to see where it goes and just know I'll be reading no matter what.

Sweet Laundry said...

Congratulations. I think this is a great decision. Working full time and blogging is so hard to do. I'm so happy that you will be able to dedicate more time to the blog because it really is one of my faves :)

Jenny said...

Go Jentine go!

I'm sure it will be great!

Jenny

kathy said...

Good for you! I have cut way back on my reading of fashion blogs (I don't blog, and it was interfering in my full-time job), but I couldn't keep myself away from you. Can't wait to see more of you!

Maria said...

Good luck with it!

Anastasia from Natbeesfashion said...

Firstly I had no idea you've been landscaping and I wouldnt have said so judging from your girlish posts..
Secondly I'm really glad you are taking that blog seriously and not as a hobby. Time to get some money of that girl for the hundrends of hours you have spend blogging. Last but not least I have no idea how much better can it get now that you have more free time to blog!
x

Adey said...

LOL! Ditto on #teamjentine. Yay for cat-herding and new ventures :)

Sydney said...

I second, third, fourth, sixty-fifth (?) everything already said! You've got an amazing style eye, wits from Texas to Canada and back, and you like cats. Hence, why I've loved your blog for a long time. I'm SO glad you're doing this. I really can't wait to see what comes out of your new ventures, and if anyone deserves this, it's definitely you. I wonder if you can also turn cat herding into an organized sport?
All the best!!

lizlovesclothes said...

Go for it! Do what you love, and if that's style blogging, find a way to get paid doing it!

Kyla said...

Good for you, lady! There's no shame in recognizing on opportunity and GOING FOR IT! Let me know if there's any help I can offer!

Fiona Wang said...

Check out my blog at www.fiona-wang.blogspot.com :)