Goodbye Class Meets Couture, Hello…

This is not the post I originally had planned for tomorrow.

Originally I was going to share a recap of my Paris trip from a month ago with a list of places to stay, eat, and do. I also was going to spend a few hours creating the vlog for the last day of my trip.

But that’s not what I want to share with you all today.

I want to share with you all that I am taking a break from blogging. For how long? Who knows.

This is something I’ve been wresting with for months now. Back in August, I took about a month off of blogging. I went to watch the Olympics in Rio, and I wanted to enjoy the experience without worrying about scheduling posts or creating content to share on my return.

In October, I just about quit blogging. And when I say quit, I mean I told myself, Patrick, and my parents that I was done with blogging. But then I published a new post three days later (something like that).

Since that October blogging break, I’ve been full-speed ahead with this blog. I’ve spent so many hours the past few months strategizing what type of content to share and how to grow my audience.

But today when I was on Instagram (going through and following/liking/commenting/engaging with people trying to grow my audience from a measly 2,350 to something significant), I saw a post from a girl I’ve been following for years. Here’s a screenshot of her caption.

Reading this caption really hit home with me. I pride myself on being very authentic with this blog. I don’t do anything for likes. And I do enjoy my life experiences without it being the “picture perfect” moment. But there are still some issues I have with blogging that I have yet to reconcile:

  • I hate shopping. WHAT?! A fashion blogger who hates shopping?! I guess I don’t hate shopping, but I hate spending money on clothes. I love some the clothes I have and, there are so many clothes in my closet I want to sell. But to be honest, I hate the pressure that blogging creates to always have something “new” to wear. If I could, I’d wear the same sweater/denim jacket/jeans/ankle boot combo everyday (I actually did wear this exact outfit twice last week).
  • I hate blog photoshoots. I hate planning 5-7 outfits to shoot. I hate waking up early Saturday mornings to get dressed and looking perfect for photos. I hate being in front of the camera. I hate how taking blog photos takes 2-3 hours of out my weekend time with Patrick. And Patrick is by no means a photographer. He simply loves me enough that he’s willing to help me with this blog in any way he can, because he knows it makes made me happy.
  • I hate writing about fashion. I’m honestly not a “fashionista.” I don’t care about what colors or trends or fabrics are “in.” I don’t care about what stores are having sales. I just like wearing clothes that make me feel confident, and that’s that.
  • I hate the amount of time blogging takes away from my other passions and hobbies. Yes, if you love something, you should pour your heart into it. And yes, as with anything in life, remember the 80/20 rule (it’s ok to “love” something by enjoying it 80% of the time and not loving it 20% of the time). But I feel like I pour 150% into this blog, I deal with the bad parts of blogging, but I get overwhelmingly frustrated by not being “successful” enough. I spend all of my free time on this blog. Heck, I spend most of my time on this blog (the rest of my time is dedicated to sleeping, eating, and working out).
  • I really don’t like how seemingly random “success” is. The reason I put success in quotes is because everyone measures it differently (or at least that’s what other bloggers say). But in all honestly, if you don’t have a lot of Instagram followers, it’s hard to feel successful at all. It’s basic psychology. If you have a large Instagram following, you are seen as credible and more people are likely to follow you. If you have a small Instagram following, people are less likely to follow you. And I spend a ridiculous amount of time planning my Instagram feed and engaging with random users in the hopes that my following would grow.
  • When it comes to blogging, there are two general business models to making money. One way to make money is off of commissions. Every time you click on a link on my site that directs you to another retailer, cookies are enabled up to 30 days. I get a very small amount of money if you buy something from that site. Some bloggers make a six-figure income based off of people buying clothes from their sites (especially by using LikeToKnow.it on Instagram). I HATE this business model so, so much. It’s shoving “buy, buy, buy” down your throat. I hate spending money on clothes, so why would I ever encourage someone to do this?
  • The other business model is based off of collaborations. When a blogger works with a brand, the brand will pay the blogger based off of their social reach (blog sessions/month + Instagram followers + Pinterest followers + other social account followings, etc). There’s some negotiation involved, but there’s a general formula most people follow. Let’s say someone has 100K followers on Instagram. You can assume that their blog sessions/month are around the same 100K. Let’s say they have 10K Twitter followers, 10K Pinterest followers, and 5K YouTube Followers. Add up those numbers and you get 225K social reach. The formula is total reach/1,000 * $5-7. So in this example, a blogger with this social following would get paid $1,125 just for one collaboration with a company. Right now, my stats put me around $55 per sponsored opportunity. And with how slow my social media growth is, blogging is honestly just one huge expense.

But, there are a few things I do love about blogging:

  • I now know Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, PremierePro, and Lightroom.
  • I learned basic HTML and CSS, and was inspired to go deeper into coding.
  • I am obsessed with photography. I love being behind the camera though, not posing in front of it. With blogging, I find enjoyment through editing photos (obviously I enjoy editing scenic photos more than my self).
  • I found a love for writing and self-expression. I never exactly “loved” writing, but the only time I have truly written was in an academic setting. But I love writing here so much. I love writing about my thoughts and different ideas that I’m wrestling with. I love hearing my fingers race over the keyboard. I love being able to share my thoughts on a subject, going deeper and into more detail than I would in a normal day-to-day conversation.

So now what?

I’ve mentioned it several times, but I truly love photography. I remember when I got my first DSLR camera. I was 15 and it was Christmas, and I got a very basic beginner’s Canon Rebel t3 with a standard 18-55mm lens that came in the box (I now laugh at how naïve I was). Anyways, I got my camera and took a walk around the neighborhood just playing with it. I was in love.

The next lightbulb moment for me with my passion for photography was when I went to South Africa during Summer 2015. During my trip, I went on a 2-day safari in Krueger National Park. I would put that experience, driving around and capturing shots of the animals and landscape, as one of my top-5 favorite lifetime memories.

Every entrepreneur knows when to call it quits on a business. It is simply not logical to put a large amount of time and energy into a project that doesn’t reap any reward.

I honestly don’t remember why I started blogging. I do remember coming across a blogger on Instagram and thinking that I could do that. And that was that.

But I started getting competitive, and I wanted this blog to grow. I wanted to see results. I wanted to increase my reach. I wanted to work with brands. But the more time and effort I poured into this blog, all of the late-nights and sacrifices I have put into this little business of a blog, the more frustrated I got with the seemingly lack of success.

I have learned so much from blogging, and I do not regret starting my blog. I do not regret taking a risk by putting myself out there on the internet and social media and making myself vulnerable.

But I think it’s about time I take a break.

If you’ve been reading this blog for some time now, then you might know that the past year has been extremely tough for me. If you didn’t realize that, then I guess that’s just even further proof that social media is a highlight reel, and I did an excellent job hiding all of the tears, frustrations, and hopelessness I’ve experienced. And a decent part of those negative emotions were a directly related to blogging.

This whole experience with blogging has taught me that not only is photography one of my passions, but photography is something that I am naturally very good at.

I want to pursue photography a little more. Maybe that means just playing with my camera more. Maybe that means taking portrait/lifestyle pictures for people. I do plan on opening an Etsy shop soon to sell some of my photography. Maybe I’ll even start another blog where I share inspirational writing pieces and write-ups of my travels and photography from time to time.

You can follow along with my photography adventures at this Instagram account.

Maybe I’ll start blogging again here on Class Meets Couture. Maybe I just need to take a month off to revisit some of my older passions like reading and painting. Or maybe when it comes time to pay for my URL domain again, I’ll just let it die and move on completely.

Until next time…

5 thoughts on “Goodbye Class Meets Couture, Hello…

  1. Wow this a very powerful blog post. I agree that we need to enjoy life more and appreciate each moment. I have a suggestion for you about blogging, okay here it is: Instead of writing about fashion you might find joy in writing a beautiful message with one of your photos from a trip. Your photos are great by the way. On my blog, I write about life experiences and how I’ve learned from them. I may lead the post with fashion driven photos, but when you read the passage it’s a life lesson. I find that sharing my life experiences makes me happy to blog. I wish you the best of luck on your new venture, and I’ll be following to keep up. Great post and photos! Keep being true to who you are! 🙂

    -Racquel
    http://www.Purposely-you.com

    1. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this note. In short, you’ve inspired me to keep blogging. I went back to the drawing board, reevaluated what I value in life, and I’m launching a new site. I’m transitioning from classmeetscouture.com to self-named, and I have a lot of fun new ideas in the works. Thank you for believing in me and inspiring me to find the strength to continue doing what I love.

  2. I’m sure that, as with all your past endeavours, you will be successful. I always enjoy following you following your dreams. Go Cat!

  3. hey!! i really loved this blog post!!! i agree with you on SO many levels! i used to have a blog and then stopped bc it started getting too competitive and discouraging with trying to get followers and trying to make money on rstyle instead of just a fun space for inspiration. it’s too hard to keep up with fashion blogs where it’s a new designer item every post and not much content. i really liked your blog because you have really thoughtful posts. i’m post grad so it’s nice to read your blog since i seem to be going through a lot of the same things you are going through! i also love your style! i like the same brands you have and also re-wear a lot of my clothes. you make me think of the style i would see when i was in paris 🙂 speaking of which i really loved your posts and pictures on traveling and paris!! you inspired me to go back again this year! i’m glad you are continuing your blog! your posts are always so honest and it is so refreshing to read! also congrats on your engagement! i always look forward to reading your blog! you’re making me want to start my blog up again:) always stay authentic and true to yourself because that makes you stand out from all of the other blogs out there! XO

    1. Thank you so, so much 🙂 Reading comments like this truly make me so happy that I started blogging in the first place. I’m also beyond thrilled that you find value in the content I produce. My main goal is to create an honest, authentic space where people can come and be inspired through my writing and photography. With this whole branding shift (a.k.a., abandoning the fashion blog stigma and being true to my self), I do plan on sharing some style content still! Think more low-key, budget-friendly, less in-your-face/rstyle-focused. Thank you again for leaving such a thoughtful, genuine comment 🙂 Readers like you inspire me to keep creating beautiful, meaningful content.

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