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Fashion Bloggers Put in 100-Hour Work Weeks, Research Finds

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images

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What does it take to make it big as a fashion blogger? According to The Atlantic, lots and lots and lots of time spent perfecting those Instagram photos. Brooke Erin Duffy, an assistant professor at Temple University, and Emily Hund, a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, are attempting to quantify just how much time bloggers spend building their personal brands in a new study to be published this fall. The Atlantic article summarizes some of the data found from the work that they have been doing and as it turns out, it isn't uncommon for bloggers to put in 100-hour workweeks while making it all look effortless online.

One anonymous blogger said that putting together one post on bargain buys amounts to a full day of work, and readers expect a certain amount of post regularity on the blogs that they follow. Others told Duffy and Hund that styling themselves and getting photographed for outfit posts can take full days as well.

On top of that, it's getting harder and harder to make money in the business. Megan Collins of Style Girlfriend said that in order to make enough money to support themselves, bloggers with smaller followings may endorse products they don't entirely believe in. However, Duffy and Hund found that any type of paid blogger and brand partnerships are getting harder to come by.

"Now [brands are] so overpopulated with floods of emails from wannabe bloggers that they're... reevaluating all [their] relationships," Rachel Lynch of I Hate Blonde told Duffy and Hund. According to Lynch, a brand recently approached her about doing a holiday promotion for free when she had done paid gigs for the same brand in the past.

One of the other big issues in the field is the non-existent work-life balance. "One of the biggest cons [of blogging] is that you always have to be on," another anonymous blogger told Duffy and Hund. Alice Chan of Dalabooh described a similar situation: "You are your brand, so you have to market yourself and be professional at any time [be]cause you don't know who's sitting next to you."