Thursday, October 30, 2014

Canadian Clicks: The mystery behind the deficiency in Canadian fashion lifestyle blogs

I have been toying with the idea of starting a fashion blog for at least the past 5 years. However, with few Canadian fashion bloggers who have made a career out of it, I’ve always been slightly discouraged and wondered if it was even worth the effort.  Over the years, the number of active blogs has grown significantly, and I feel as though a little fashion blog from Toronto would get lost in the sea of other worldly blogs. 
Why is it that there is a lack in Canadian fashion bloggers? I brought this up to my friend Bianca Guzzo, blogger of Tea with B Weekly, and soon to be Ryerson journalism graduate. Guzzo started her blog in 2011 to help build her journalism portfolio. It covers a variety of topics from beauty and fashion favourites to body image.  Over the years, her blog has grown quite a bit, but she admits that being a blogger can be frustrating. “ I didn’t realize at first it would be so expensive.” She goes on to tell me how in order to have new content she has to shop quite a lot. “I would love to go to Sephora to pick out products to review for my followers, but I’m on a student budget”. Many elite bloggers, particularly American bloggers, are gifted with products and clothing from PR offices, and even fully paid trips to attend events. As our conversation continues she later admits, “I suppose that’s who my niche is though-- other students.”
While money may be a contributing factor to an absence of blogs in general, it does not necessarily explain the scarcity of Canadian fashion blogs. After a quick Google search of top Canadian blogs, results include a few pages to nominate blogs, and lists of top blogs. Upon inspection, blogs topping said lists were rather unrelated to fashion. I stumbled across two fashion blogs on one of the lists; one had been removed, while the other had not had any posts since 2011. A number of lists came up for top Canadian “Mommy blogs”, a genre of blog I was completely unaware of. “I think that [Canadian Fashion blogs] are overlooked in that atmosphere; you never really think of Toronto as a fashion city which is sad because it is.!” says Guzzo. I asked if she read any Canadian blogs, and the only one she could think of at the top of her head was Gracie Carroll (one of the blogs I discovered in my Google search) and her recently launched blog The Chic Canuck. The Chic Canuck claims to be the “tastemakers guide to Canada”, providing articles and photographs of some of Canada’s most unique entrepreneurs, products and artists-- an idea I wish I had thought of myself.
Considering Canada’s smaller population compared to other fashionable countries, one can begin to think it may be all population proportionate. Either that, or Canadians were not blogging because they were not going on the Internet as much as the rest of the world. However, according to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, Canadians spend approximately 45 hours a month surfing the web, while Americans followed behind averaging 38.6 hours a month.

Simply said, Canadian fashion blogs (The Chic Canuck aside) are not obviously Canadian. Two of my favorite Canadian fashion blogs (and quite frankly the only Canadian blogs I regularly follow), The Coveteur and Beckerman Blog have been blogs I have regularly visited over the years. Launched in 2011, The Coveteur was started by two friends Erin Kleinberg and Stephanie Mark. Their blog features a number of articles about the closets and events primarily located in New York or Los Angeles. On the other hand, the Beckerman Blog features the fashionable travels of twin sisters Cailli and Sam Beckerman. “ People dream of lives in New York and London and want to live vicariously through residents from those cities” Guzzo points out.
While Guzzo admits to me she would love to write for her blog as her career in future years, its not her main priority, reminding me she started the blog to help improve her own journalism skills. “At the end of the day, if I get a comment that says they like enjoyed reading my post or that it helped them in some way, that means more to me than anything else” Guzzo explains.

I decide to give up the search, however, just before giving up my quest to find a hidden Canadian blog gem, I click on one last blog link that seems promising. Alas, another Mom blog.

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