Blogging dilemma: quality vs. stuff

Like most bloggers, I spend a lot of time thinking about blogs, what I want it to be, and so on. While I’m sure this happens a lot more for A-list bloggers, for me over here beyond alphabetization, I pretty much only worry about it with Fat Chic. Why? Because it’s the one blog that runs on something more than my personality alone.

The big challenge I faced in 2010 was the challenge of what to say “no” to. In the past year, I’ve been inundated with requests for text link ads, requests to do blog giveaways and requests to do sales codes. Most plus size fashion blogs say no to the text link stuff (at least, those bloggers I’ve spoken with say no.)  Many do, however, seem to run pretty heavily on announcing sales, promoting giveaways and offering sales codes. I’ve got no problem with other blogs doing this, and I can think of one where the content is almost exclusively “go buy this here.” It would be an easy way to blog, and on days when I’m suffering burnout, it’s tempting.

I just don’t feel like that’s what Fat Chic is for. First, on the giveaways, I actually have firsthand experience with how they don’t pay off. I run a side business as a perfumer where I’m forever being asked for samples for this or that blog (which I realize is different from when it’s being offered.) I see very little payoff to doing those giveaways, and while I have seen some payoff to promo codes, it’s limited. What has gotten me business? Interviews. People are happy to buy from people – from real personalities – and it gets them to pursue links much more than “buy this cheap!” The human connection is truly everything, no matter what the product is.

I am not knocking my plus blogging brethren. I think that we all should strive to take a different approach, because this gives our audiences an excellent reason to read all of our blogs. If they’re not getting repetition, they’ve got more reason to read and enjoy. So far the different approaches are working. My approach, as I said during Fat Chic’s year of inception, is the research approach. I like to dig. I like to find the clothing stores yet unnoticed and find stuff out about the ones we know that give us a reason to buy.

I’ve noticed a lot of hesitation to do interviews. Maybe it’s time, maybe it’s fear. I hope that more plus designers get past this – the more we know the people, the more we love the product of their work.